Stake Children’s choir made easy

LDS Church News photo

Remember the children’s choir in General Conference? This photo is from the Saturday afternoon session of the 2004 General Conference. Primary children CAN rise to the occasion for YOUR stake conference! Nothing brings a sweeter spirit than children singing, and it gives them enormously valuable experience and confidence, strengthening their own testimonies as well.

See Children’s Choir, 60 strong for the how-to breakdown.

Download this letter to the parents, suitable for customizing for your stake: Children’s choir letter to parents and leaders

I love the words of the seldom-sung hymn, “In Our Lovely Deseret” (Hymns, 307):
Hark! Hark! Hark! ’tis children’s music—
Children’s voices, oh, how sweet,
When in innocence and love,
Like the angels up above,
They with happy hearts and cheerful faces meet. 
Sing on, sweet children.
-Marci
Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Music

Tracking baptismal clothing made easy

Thanks to guest Jen H. for this great idea! Jen H. is mom to 3 children, loves reading, organizing and good food.  She loves serving in Primary and sharing good ideas. 

The Primary presidency is part of the team managing baptismal clothing. It’s not a glamour job, keeping track of wet baptismal clothes. But it’s one of the important tasks behind the scenes, to make this sacred day go smoothly for each Primary child.  Here’s one way to do it.

Tape a brightly colored label to an ordinary gallon-sized ziploc bag with the following text.

(Click here for the ready-to-print label, 6 on a page: Baptismal clothing plastic bag label )

Baptismal Clothing Bag

After getting baptized, please wring out the jumpsuit in the sink and place it in this bag. Please give this bag to your Primary president before leaving the church. Please do not put any personal belongings in this bag. Please do not take this clothing home to wash.

It’s the little things that keep the kingdom running smoothly.

-Marci

For more great ideas from Jen H, see

Leave a comment

Filed under Primary Presidency Administration

Holy Week: The Atonement and Resurrection–Palm Sunday and Easter lesson idea or family activity

When I was a missionary in Spain I experienced an amazing celebration called La Semana Santa, The Holy Week.  In Spain the entire week leading up to Easter is a celebration.  This was something I wanted to take with me when I returned to the United States.  I have always loved celebrating Easter, but experiencing La Semana Santa made me really think about the amazing events in Christ’s last week leading up to his crucifixion and resurrection.

In our family our tradition is to celebrate Jesus’ last week by reading and discussing the things he did in his last mortal days on earth, day by day in the same order that they happened.  We begin on Palm Sunday, often with a feast and our own little “procession” to the temple with palm leaves. (Now that we live in Hawaii it’s easy to get palm leaves for such an activity.  But even before we moved to Hawaii we would often just use a similar looking branch, fern or leaf.)  We like to take a few minutes at breakfast, or before bed each day to share the scripture stories with our children. We open the scriptures so they know where the story comes from, then we simplify the words a little to make it more developmentally appropriate for our toddlers and preschoolers.  The older kids follow along in their copy of the Bible. I have  simple drawings of some of these events that I like to show the kids while we are talking (See the Gospel Art Kit suggestions below if you are searching for pictures). These discussions have elicited wonderful questions from our children. I feel more in tune and aware of the meaning of Easter because we are thinking about it and discussing it all week!

This is a wonderful family activity, but it could also be an idea for Sharing Time or an individual class lesson. In Sharing Time, the Sunday before Easter–Palm Sunday, you could introduce the idea and share the scripture story of Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem and then give parents this handout as a reference for more scripture study during the rest of the week.  Consider bringing in some palm leaves or other similar tree branches so each of the children can reenact what it might have been like to wave a palm while Jesus entered Jerusalem.  I often wonder how I might have felt.

Then, on Easter Sunday you could share the scriptures about Christ’s resurrection and discuss how the children felt learning about Jesus’ last week–the Holy Week.

The Last Week of Jesus’ Life-Easter PDF

Gospel Art Kit (GAK) pictures online

~Michelle

Triumphal Entry GAK 223

Jesus Cleansing Temple GAK 224

The Last Supper GAK 225

Jesus Washing Apostles Feet GAK 226

Gethsemane GAK 227

Judas Betrays Jesus GAK 228

Crucifixion GAK 230

Burial of Jesus GAK 231

The Tomb GAK 232

The Empty Tomb GAK 245

Jesus Appears to Mary GAK 233

Jesus Shows His Wounds GAK 234

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Activity, Easter, Lesson, Sharing Time

April – Apostasy paper cup tower activity

thoton9 on Flickr

Download a ready-to-use lesson plan: Apostasy lesson outline

The April 2018 theme for week 1 is: “After Jesus Christ and His Apostles died, gospel truths were lost.”

I learned about the apostasy when Elder Mantle and Elder What’s-His-Name taught me the gospel as a 16-year-old. They used a memorable activity to teach about the apostasy that sticks with me today, decades later.

They pulled a stack of nested cups out of their backpack, each labeled with a gospel principle that was lost or changed during the apostasy such as baptism, priesthood, temples, the sacrament, living prophets, apostles and Jesus Christ. First they put down the cup labeled Jesus Christ as the cornerstone, then living prophets and apostles. Then they built the rest of the cups into a tower representing the church that Jesus himself founded when He was alive.

“Then Jesus Christ died, and the apostles were killed,” they explained, removing those cups. The rest of the paper cup tower tumbled. “In those days, the apostles couldn’t come together often enough to name new apostles as fast as the apostles were killed by the wicked people trying to stop the church. The apostles met together to replace the apostle Judas who betrayed Jesus, choosing Matthias to take Judas’ place (See Acts 1:15-26). But after that, the apostles died off and weren’t replaced, and precious truths were lost.

“But the good news is that all those truths are restored in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The apostasy can’t happen again, because each time an apostle passes away, he is replaced with a new apostle at the next General Conference.”

I’m grateful for those missionaries who taught me these vital life-changing truths years ago. You can be the bearer of this wonderful news to the hearts of the children.

As you teach the restoration of the priesthood, consider teaching the restoration of the Relief Society! Here’s a ready-to-use lesson plan and visual aids: Sharing Time Lesson – Restoration of Priesthood AND Relief Society

-Marci

Leave a comment

Filed under Lesson

Swapping roles – children as teachers!

photobucket.com

“When children explain in their own words the gospel doctrines they have just been taught, real learning takes place,” said Sisters Wixom, Stevens and Esplin, former Primary General Presidency (Church News, July 15, 2012, 15). Russell Wilcox adds, “I realized that I had learned many wonderful principles in Primary, but it was when I was required to teach those principles to others that I fully internalized them” (Ensign, Oct 2013, 48).

How can we create opportunities for children to teach, so they truly master gospel principles that will help them grow?

  • Save the last five minutes of the lesson for review and summary. Ask the children, “What is one thing you heard today that you didn’t know when you came to Primary today?” or “What are you going to do this week because of what you heard today?”
  • At the end of the lesson, ask the children to think of a Primary song that teaches the principle illustrated in the lesson, then hum that song together as you leave.
  • Invite a class of older children to visit a younger class or the nursery and teach a scripture story. Children can bear testimony of what it means for children today.
  • Challenge the children to teach a brother, sister, or grandparent (on the phone?) something they learned, or make it part of the dinner conversation.

When the Lord visited the Nephites, “he did teach and minister unto the children of the multitude . . . and he did loose their tongues, and they did speak unto their fathers great and marvelous things. . . ” (3 Nephi 26:14). We have much to learn from the children.

-Marci

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Lesson

Primary Singing Olympics!

Here’s an easy idea to get the kids motivated to sing their very best! Here are our very official judges for the “Singing Olympics” during singing time. We split into 3 teams. Each team performed the song we’ve been learning all month (one team at a time), and we awarded a gold, silver, and bronze medal at the end.

All you need are a clipboard, pen and paper for each judge, and paper medals for each team or each child. Have fun with it!

-Michelle

Leave a comment

Filed under Activity, Music

March Sharing Time: Jesus as Savior – Easter and more

The concept of Jesus as Savior can be a relief to children who expect to be punished for their mistakes. It may be that kids’ choices will have consequences that might be uncomfortable (and sadly memorable!). But they are never too young to learn that they have a Savior.

I’ll never forget the feeling of introducing another adult to the concept of Jesus as Savior. She grew up in a non-Christian church, and the concept that Someone would pay for her sins if she repented was a relief of eternal proportions. She thought she’d have to suffer for her own sins, and she had suffered plenty already. The Atonement is a magnificent gift from our Father and our Savior Jesus Christ.

Children too can appreciate this gift. As you ponder the needs of the children, you may be inspired to focus more this month on Easter, the Resurrection, or the gift of the Atonement. Here are some ideas:

Happy Easter!

-Marci

Leave a comment

Filed under Easter, Sharing Time

Rainy Day prop for choosing songs or choosing turns

Guest contributor Sister D. strikes again! (See her previous clever “Hello Song” post here.)

Looking for a fun way to choose songs or for kids to choose turns? Open up an umbrella, hang strings from the metal ribs, and hang paper raindrops from the strings! Label the raindrops with names of songs for review, or numbers that correspond to a list of songs to sing or scriptures to read. (Hint: putting numbers on the raindrops makes them reusable for different purposes.)

Let it pour!

And if it’s more like snow season than rain season, try this “Year Round Snowball Fight!”

Leave a comment

Filed under Activity, Music

Inspiring, Easy Ideas for a Kids’ Temple Trip!

Guest contributor Chardell is a wife and mother of three who enjoys baking bread and traveling.

Children of all ages can feel the sacredness of the temple, even from the outside. A temple trip for Primary or for families can instill an early love for the temple.

Chardell recently took her ward Primary to the temple. For a temple craft, Chardell had lots of different kinds of white or clear beads and the kids glued them on a blank template. On the back they wrote

I love to see the temple
I went there today
(Name of temple and date)
(Child’s name and age)

See a step-by-step outline of possible Primary/family temple trip activities in the book born on this blog,”Sunday Lessons and Activities for Kids!” (Read the story here: Primary in Zion becomes a book!) See the free download of the temple activity necklace/passport here.

You might like to use these Temple coloring pages and journal (feel free to customize). You’ll see one page with a blank temple for people to draw their family inside. The second temple coloring page has lots of detail; older kids might enjoy getting serious with colored pencils or markers. The third page is the journal for each child to complete, with help from adults or older children if needed. A journal page that records thoughts and feelings from child’s first temple visit becomes a lifelong keepsake, perhaps even displayed at their temple wedding reception.

See Michelle’s story about her children’s reaction to a beautiful 15-minute video that helps children understand the temple: Primary Children Looking Toward the Temple

Also see the Sept 2011 FRIEND article, “Preparing to do baptisms for the dead” to give children an idea of what to expect when they actually get to go inside someday.

May you and your children have an eternally memorable experience visiting the Lord’s holy house.

Leave a comment

Filed under Activity

Dodge those arrows and rocks like Samuel the Lamanite!

thisweekinmormons.com

Download the free audio MP3 and sheet music here (available exclusively on PrimaryinZion!)

Kids don’t have to stand on a wall to have arrows and rocks thrown at them — or words that hurt like arrows and rocks. But just like Samuel, they might be unhurt. Here’s what happened to Samuel:

“(They) were angry with him; and they cast stones at him upon the wall, and also many shot arrows at him as he stood upon the wall; but the Spirit of the Lord was with him, insomuch that they could not hit him with their stones neither with their arrows.” Helaman 16:2

Like Samuel, children can have the Spirit of the Lord with them, no matter what others do. A little ignoring can go a long way. Kindness to the verbal arrow-shooter can work too. (See “Passing Kindness” game from the Friend magazine for ways to show kindness to others, and how to defend themselves when others are unkind.)

But if the situation is serious, crossing over into bullying, it may be time to take action. Try these ideas:

And in case Samuel the Lamanite is one of YOUR heroes too, teach your children this unforgettable original song (only available here at PrimaryinZion!): Samuel the Lamanite song (with sheet music)!

Don’t let those arrows hurt you. Keep the Spirit of the Lord with you, just like Samuel.

-Marci

Leave a comment

Filed under Bullying, Lesson, Life Lessons, Music