Last year our bishopric asked us to help them put together a Primary-Bishopric breakfast activity. I think they were envisioning a casual Saturday morning out on the church lawn with the bishopric in aprons, standing behind a table, flipping pancakes. Well, when they turned it over to our presidency to plan, that vision may have changed a little bit (with their approval, of course!). First of all, it was January, so the activity had to be held in the church gym. Secondly, our presidency was afraid to see (and clean up) the results of our Sunbeam-heavy Primary and a bunch of maple syrup. Lastly, I felt strongly that if we were going to ask parents to bring their kids to the church on a Saturday morning, the experience needed to be extremely valuable – on a spiritual level as well as a social level.
And hence, our 2012 CTR Activity was born (you can read more about it on my post from last year). I thought it was valuable to our Primary children because it a) helped them bond with their classes, their teachers, and members of the bishopric; b) introduced our new theme for the year in a personal way that couldn’t be done on Sundays; c) helped the children feel that they are a part of a greater group of people who feel and believe and try to live the same way they do.
Our activity last year was a success, and our bishopric asked us to repeat it again this year. As a presidency, we decided that simple is best, and if it worked last year, there is no reason to reinvent the wheel! So this year we had “Breakfast with the Bishopric” based on the 2013 theme of I am a Child of God. It was very similar to last year’s activity:
Children arrived at church gymnasium and received a crown that was fitted to their heads (template available at the end of the post). Crowns said “_____ is a Child of God” on them, and they were color-coded to match the tablecloth of their class’ table. They sat at tables in classes, with their teachers.
- At tables, children decorated paper dolls to look like themselves (we did this to use for our bulletin board) while waiting for everyone to arrive.
- When all children had a chance to arrive, we started the game “Four Corners.” For the game, one bishopric member sat at each corner of the gym (corners were marked 1-4). A Primary presidency member held a microphone and called out instructions. Kids were instructed to choose any corner (1, 2, 3, or 4) and RUN to it. When they got to their corner, the bishopric members had 2-3 minutes to share an experience they have had that has helped them recognize our Heavenly Father’s love for them. We encouraged them to get creative, use visuals if possible, and make it engaging. After 2-3 minutes of the bishopric sharing their stories, they gave each child a jewel sticker for their crowns. Then the children were instructed to run to a different corner (one they hadn’t been to yet), and the process was repeated, with the bishopric sharing the same story with each group. No child visited the same corner twice, because they “earned” a different color of jewel for each corner, and they wanted to earn them all (the crowns each had one jewel in the middle when they got them).
- After this part was completed, the second part of the Four Corners game began. There was no major purpose for this part, other than that the kids loved playing it, and it gave them a chance to get their wiggles out while final food preparations were made. Kids were instructed to again run to a corner of the gym. The person talking in the microphone had their eyes closed and counted down from 10 to 1, and kids were supposed to be at a corner by that point. Then the Presidency member called out a random number. Anyone standing at that corner was OUT and had to return to their tables to sit with their teachers. The process was repeated until there was only one child left, and he or she was declared the winner (we gave a small prize).
- After the game was completed, the bishopric served breakfast, walking from table to table carrying large trays. We kept it simple and served muffins, bagels, fruit on skewers, and cups of juice.
- When everyone had been served, we showed a short video, which was just a slideshow of close-up pictures of our Primary kids, set to the music of I am a Child of God and My Heavenly Father Loves Me. Our kids LOVED watching themselves!
5. After the movie, we had the bishopric come up to the stage, and we had the kids vote on which fun Primary songs to have them sing. Our bishopric entertained us with Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam, Once there was a Snowman, and Do as I’m Doing. Our bishopric hammed it up, and the kids thought this was absolutely hilarious! We had many comments that this part of the activity should become a yearly tradition.
- Prepare crowns (download crown template). We printed them on colored cardstock to match colors of tablecloths we used for each class. The brightly colored tablecloths made it look like we had decorated! 🙂
- Purchase jewel stickers from any craft store (such as Michaels).
- Attach one jewel to each crown; the children will earn the other jewels at the Four Corners game above.
- Equip tables with crayons, colored pencils, and something to draw (we used paper dolls, but you could just do coloring pages or a drawing prompt).
- Have bishopric prepare short personal experiences explaining how they know Heavenly Father loves them (based on what they see around them, people in their lives, answers to prayers, testimony, etc.).
- Prepare food for breakfast or snack.
- Create movie with pictures of children.
- Set up movie projector and microphone.
- Put up signs with numbers 1-4 in each of the four corners of the gymnasium.
- Give bishopric jewel stickers.
- Make sure teachers will be able to attend to sit with their classes.