Note: While these ideas are aimed at families, they’re easily adapted to Primary. And you can share these ideas with your Primary families, especially as followup after a Primary lesson about service or Christlike love for others.
On May 30, 2015, Michelle and Marci were thrilled to present a workshop at New England’s first conference for all women of faith hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: Busting out of the Bubble: Teaching Kids to Feel Empathy for All God’s Children Through Service. part of Let Your Light Shine 2015. What an inspiring day it was! Whether you weren’t able to join us and want to hear more, or you did join us and want a refresher, or you are just interested in this topic in general, you’ll find some of our ideas and resources below.
Kids CAN get involved in meaningful service! Service doesn’t have to be an event requiring a large block of time. Service can be done in 0 minutes (doing something you’d do anyway, like reading a book or singing a song) –but focus it on service. Not only do children learn by doing, but they also learn by learning – being exposed to service heroes in the scriptures, in history, and in their lives. Or service projects can be done in 5 minutes, a few hours, or 1/2 day. All of these things build a culture of service.
The Service Grid Strategy: Take a look at some of our ideas to get you jump-started. Then use the blank grid to continue brainstorming more ideas that fit your mood! Here is a list of ideas for service to neighbors, grandparents, missionaries, and family members, with a blank grid for your own ideas (keep a blank one on the fridge and fill it in when ideas come to you).
Kids and service grid ideas (a worksheet full of our ideas)
Kids and service grid worksheet (a blank worksheet for you to brainstorm more ideas!)
Wonder how you can re-frame what you are already doing with a service component and essentially do service in “0 minutes”? Here we’ve compiled a list of readings, children’s books (for all different age groups), songs and scriptures to help create a culture of service in your family:
Kids and service resource sheet has books, scriptures, songs, and more!
Serving a Grandparent (your own or elderly ward members, etc.)
- In 0 minutes, you can sing “I Have a Family Tree” (Children’s Songbook 199). (You’d be singing songs with your children anyway!)
- In 5 minutes, you can send a postcard or letter.
- In a few hours (either Family Night or during the day or in Primary, you can interview a grandparent about what they’ve done for others that they are proudest of.
- In ½ day, you can put on a show for your grandparents or someone else’s (i.e. a nursing home). This can be singing or acting out a beloved story like the Nativity, or a modified Little Red Riding Hood (starring a grandma!).
Teaching kids about serving and helping them serve others is a foundation for a lifelong habit of living as Christ lived.
-Marci & Michelle
- “Pint Sized Service Projects”
- “Transform year-round holiday craziness into holiday service”
- “Women and Service in the Kingdom: a Sharing Time or family night lesson for girls AND boys” about women’s leadership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
- “Healing Hearts through Helping Hands,” about girls in Framingham/ Marlboro, MA area who made a quilt for Oklahoma tornado victims
- “Serving in our community: a ward food drive”