Saturday, September 23, 2017

General Conference Activity Packs

I have a two-part, free General Conference activity packet for Primary kids here.

It's a combination of Singing Time and Sharing Time topics that are appropriate for General Conference. For example:

Monday, August 14, 2017

Emailing Primary Parents

We occasionally send emails to our Primary Parents to let them know about some resources that could help enhance a lesson that we taught in Primary, or whatever other bit of inspiration comes to us. I would say this happens on average once a month or a bit less. We don't want to inundate folks with emails, but it's nice to share a gem of inspiration once in a while, or just give the parents an idea of what is happening during Primary.

This is an email that we sent out today after Stake Conference this past weekend:

Hello Primary Parents,

Don't forget that the Primary Program this year is on October 15 at 1 p.m. Practice will be held on the Saturday prior, at 9 a.m.! 

We hope you were able to enjoy Stake Conference this past weekend. We enjoyed some great, inspiring talks, particularly some guidance that we can follow for our Primary children. 

1. We love the challenge from President Corbridge to take the next 19 days and spend 5-10 minutes per day on our knees in sincere prayer with our Father in Heaven. This is such a great challenge for the Primary children because even the little ones can do this on their own! On Sundays, we will be reminding the children that they can participate in this challenge - and even invite their families to participate in this challenge. 

2. Sister Arnold also encouraged us to take advantage of the resources found on to participate in activities that help our children fight against the influence of pornography. You can find a link to some of the resources (including a fun activity) here:

Sunday, April 30, 2017

General Conference Cards

I have been working on making General Conference cards for all of the children in our Primary. Each card is laminated, and has the title, speaker, a quote that represents a key learning from their talk, and an illustration.

I had such a hard time leaving out the beautiful words of the talks that this is more geared to Senior Primary and those who have learned to read. So, I'm debating on how and who to share them with because they were a fairly incredible amount of work - but well worth it. I have learned so much from these sessions of General Conference by studying each talk intensely. I'm so grateful for the leaders in our church that dedicate their time to serving others, drawing closer to God, and helping us learn how to do the same.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Jesus Christ is the perfect example for me

This was such a fun sharing time! Our first counselor put different pictures of the Savior on magnets and made sure there was one picture for every child in both Junior and Senior primary. Children looked up scriptures describing four ways that Jesus Christ is a perfect example, then matched those examples to the scriptures on the board. Then, each child was given an opportunity to come to the front of the room to match their picture with one of the four examples.

I love that we were able to:
1. Encourage the children to learn directly from the scriptures
2. Use a lot of visuals
3. Have every child participate
4. Focus our lesson on the Savior

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Sharing Time: Lessons from General Conference

For Sharing Time today our presidency each picked some of our favorite conference talks. We made sure to have a picture that represented the talk for each general authority. We then had the children match symbols with pictures, then tell us what they remembered/learned from the talk. Where necessary, we filled in a little bit of extra detail. For instance, with President Monson's talk, Sister Bowden reminded the Primary that he did not speak for very long, so it's important to think about what he felt was worth talking about in the short amount of time in which he spoke.

Here's a picture of the completed board, after the children matched all of the pictures to a general authority.

I also passed out a hand-out I made for Senior Primary that shares something we learned from each of the general authorities that were featured in today's lesson. 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Sharing Time: I am blessed when I choose to follow the prophet

This Sunday's lesson is, I am blessed when I choose to follow the prophet.

One of the lesson ideas is to share three suggested stories from the scriptures about people who were blessed when they followed the prophet.

1. The story of Elijah and the widow of Zarephath - 1 Kings 17:8–16
2. The story of Moses and the serpents - Numbers 21:5–9
3. The story of Nephi and the brass plates - 1 Nephi 3–45:21–22

The lesson manual suggested telling story #1 interactively so that children can follow along with the motions. I love that, and could easily do that for all three. For me, we won't have time to get through all three stories so I'm just going to have fun with the first two, which the children are less likely to know than the third story.

For story #2, I wanted some serpents. I looked online and could purchase a dozen for maybe $5, but then I thought about drawing them on paper and cutting them out. That would be great too. Or, the most amusing idea for me was to make sock puppets that some of the children could wear to participate. This took me about ten minutes and a bit rifling through my sewing supplies and my sock drawer. Quicker and cheaper than a trip to the store! (For the top snake that looks like real eyes, I sewed a black bead on top of the button.)

We'll end by talking about who our prophet is today and how we can follow the prophet today but I love this opportunity to help the children learn that the Lord has sent us prophets throughout history, and that we can learn from them.

Here's a great article about following the prophet from William R. Walker from April 2014.

Having the Primary children participate in Missionary Month

We have a tradition in our ward of having a "missionary month" every other year (used to be every year), where we help the youth to think about missionary opportunities to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with others. Although this special missionary month is built around our Young Men/ Young Women program, we try to participate in Primary as well. The church is built around family, and we want the Primary children to be aware of and feel part of what their big brothers and sisters are doing.

This is a special month for me because both of my parents were introduced to the Book of Mormon and the teachings of Jesus Christ there through missionaries that had traveled from the United States to Taiwan. They were both teenagers at the time, and met when they began attending church in the same building. Without the Book of Mormon, I wouldn't have these beautiful words of comfort:

From the section called Doctrine and Covenants, Chapter 121, verses 7-9:

My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.
Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands.
I love these scriptures that remind us that we are not alone on this earth, that our trials here are making us stronger, better people, and that at the end of the day, we have friends who have left this earth before us that are rooting us - maybe unseen angels all around us that our friends and our ancestors.

I have a favorite quote from a prophet of the Lord who came here in modern days. He says:
  • "God loves us. He is watching us. He wants us to succeed. We will know some day that He has not left one thing undone for the eternal welfare of each of us. If we only knew it, heavenly hosts are pulling for us – friends in heaven we cannot remember now who yearn for our victory. This is our day to show what we can do – what life and sacrifice we can daily, hourly, instantly make for God. If we give our all, we will get His all from the greatest of all." - Ezra Taft Benson, "Jesus Christ – Gifts and Expectations," Ensign, Dec. 1988, 6

For missionary month, here are some ways we have involved the Primary children on Sunday:
1. Invite converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to visit with the Primary and share their story.
2. Invite missionaries who are serving in the area to teach the Primary lesson.
3. Invite children to write letters to missionaries from our ward family (local members of the church).