Can we take a minute to talk about after church on Sunday. I’m gonna be straight up, sometimes I feel like church is too short. Like couldn’t you keep my kids an extra hour AND I teach them at home!!! Maybe I’ll feel differently when baby #3 comes in May. But especially now that we are back to 9:00 church, sometimes the rest of the day goes VERY slowly.
Sabbath activities are certainly a very personal decision, we’ve got some general guidelines but for the most part it is up to individual families to decide. So I want to hear what’s working (or not working) for your family.
Here’s some stuff we do:
-VeggieTales, Owlegories (several episodes are free on Prime), and the Living Scriptures resources on YouTube (anyone have the Living Scriptures subscription, I keep thinking about it- worth it or no??)
-Board games, including this one I made to go with a past FHE Lesson
-When I wasn’t pregnant- walks or kites at the park
-Visiting family (but then we sometimes end up with similar down time at their houses)
Stuff I always think we should do but rarely happens:
-Activities in the Friend
Help me come up with more ideas! For our family we’ve decided to avoid non church related movies and shows and video games on Sundays. Sometimes if I’m desperate for quiet I give in and let them use the PBS kids app.
On to FHE ideas for March! And we’re back with Children’s scripture resources now that we are getting out of 2 Nephi (which I love and I’m sad there aren’t better children’s resources- one day I might just write one, but that day is not today!)
March 2-8 This is the Way
Children’s Scriptures- Friend Jr Feasting on the Scriptures
Materials: Straight and Narrow Path Game Straight and Narrow Path Printables, path like a balance beam or made out of tape or chalk
Song: Choose the Right Way pg. 160
Explain to the kids that Nephi tells us that to get back to Heavenly Father there is a straight and narrow path. Use your hands to show straight and demonstrate narrow. Being baptized is the beginning of the path and then we have to follow it the rest of our lives. Sometimes we might wobble and fall off but then we can jump right back on! Use the game or the printables or both to talk through ways we stay on the path and things that might get us off track.
For the game use a die or number spinner and character pieces from another game in your house. When they land on a space with a picture discuss the picture and let them go ahead an extra space. At certain points they have the option to go off the path into a red square with a picture of something that takes them off the path- if they choose that (and maybe mom and dad could demonstrate) they go back two spaces. Bonus- you can add this to your collection of activities to pull out for a future Sunday afternoon, just laminate it or keep it in a page protector!
With the full page printables, create a straight and narrow path either using a balance beam or making a path kind of hop scotch style out of tape or chalk. Put the distractor pictures to the sides of the path. Have the kids use the pictures as stepping stones. Again you would probably want to either laminate or use page protectors.
Pro tip- depending on the program you are using to open the PDF and your individual printer, you should be able to find a way to print 2 or 4 per page if you don’t want to have them so big- especially if you are using a balance beam. But, each program and printer is different with the settings so I can’t really give a tutorial.
March 9-15 Be Reconciled Unto God through the Atonement of Christ
Children’s Scripture Resources: Book of Mormon Stories Chap 10, My First Scripture Stories Jacob and Sherem
Materials: picture of a kid in a swim suit
Song: Two Little Eyes pg. 268
Soap box moment:
In Jacob chapter 2, Jacob speaks very boldly about the law of chastity. He starts by saying that it grieves him to have to speak about this in front of their wives and children but that it needs to be said. I feel the same way, but based on a recent situation I became aware of as well all of the research and articles and statistics about child molestation, sexual abuse of children, child trafficking, and pornography exposure happening younger and younger this is something we HAVE to talk about again and again and again and it’s never too early to start.
I’m adapting this from a lesson I published back in August when we discussed Corinthians and the analogy of our bodies being temples. Jacob doesn’t use the same analogy, but it’s a good analogy if you just want to repeat that.
Start by telling your kids that the prophet Jacob in the Book of Mormon taught us about how to use our own bodies appropriately and respecting other people’s bodies.
Explain the difference between secrets, surprises, and sacred or private things.
Secrets can hurt people, we don’t keep secrets. If someone tells you something or does something to you and tells you not to tell mom or dad tell that person that we don’t keep secrets and make sure to tell mom or dad or another grown up what happened.
Surprises are when we don’t tell someone something right away because it will be more fun if we wait. This is like when we buy someone a present, we don’t tell them what it is until they open it.
Sacred, Special, and Private are things that we only share with a few special people. Our bodies are temples and someone has to have permission to touch your body and you need permission to touch someone else’s body. If someone wants to give you a hug or a high five and you don’t want to you can say no thank you, if they don’t listen then you can move away from them. If someone doesn’t want you to hug them or give them a high five then you need to listen to them. If someone uses their body to hurt you, tell them no, get away, and tell a grown up. We never use our bodies to hurt other people. Sing the song “Two Little Eyes” now, or again, and emphasize the line “Many more things make me.” We have parts of our body that are private. Use correct names (so much research on this being super important- NO NICKNAMES!!!) and explain that private places are where a swim suit covers and show them a picture of a kid in a swimsuit. We keep our private places covered, we don’t joke about them, we don’t show them to people, we don’t look at them on other people, and no one has permission to touch them unless mom or dad is helping you in the bathroom or a bath, or if a doctor needs to check and make sure everything is healthy. If anyone tries to touch you in a private place you yell at them, “No, don’t touch my_____,” you run away, and you tell a grown up right away. If anyone tries to show you their private places or a picture of someone with their privates showing, do the same thing- Yell no, run away, tell a grown up right away. If you are watching a show or using a tablet or phone and a picture of someone without clothes comes on the screen you close your eyes (your two little eyes that blink blink blink- the song tied in again!); turn off, put down, or get away from the screen; and tell a grown up right away.
(Depending on the age and maturity level of your kids you may explain that when you are an adult and married then you may also share your private places with your spouse, it is important that kids hear about sexuality in a positive and healthy way.)
March 16-22 The Lord Labors with Us
Children’s scriptures: Book of Mormon Stories Chap 10
Materials: mission tags and pictures, missionary coloring pages
Song: I Hope They Call Me On a Mission pg. 169
Tell the children that the Prophet Jacob shared a story about the history of the whole earth, from before he was born, to when Christ was on the earth, to our time, and even after that. In our time he said that people would be called to work with the Lord to share the gospel. Those people are missionaries.
If you or your husband or both of you served a mission pull out your old mission tags, some pictures and any other fun mission paraphernalia (if you served somewhere foreign make sure to have some foods from your mission available!) Talk about what it was like to be a missionary and share some stories.
If neither of you served, talk about someone you know who is serving, invite someone over who served, or even see if the missionaries in your area are available to come over.
Talk about what you can do now to prepare to be a missionary- even if you don’t serve far away we can all share the gospel all the time. Things kids can do now- read the scriptures, go to church, listen to their parents, invite friends to come to church or activities, etc.
Color some missionary themed coloring pages and send them to a missionary you know or even just the missionaries in your ward.
March 23-29 He Works in Me to Do His Will
Children’s Scripture Resources: Book of Mormon Stories Chap 11, Book Of Mormon Stories for Young Readers Enos Prayed, My First Scriptures Stories- Enos
Song: I Pray In Faith pg 14
Materials: Picture of Enos praying, Prayer Printable, extra pictures or drawing supplies
Show the kids a picture of Enos praying and summarize the story or use the Young Readers version linked above. Use the Printable and/or find pictures or draw pictures* specific to your kids and family to put together a little “cheat sheet” to help them remember what to include in their prayer. Talk about the steps of prayer (you could sing the second verse of the song a few times).
- Dear Heavenly Father
- I’m thankful for
- Please bless, or I ask thee
- In the name…..
Then have the kids practice saying prayers using the little “cheat sheets” they created.
*This is a good example of how to differentiate a lesson if you have kids in different age groups. The older kids could be drawing their own or helping a slightly younger sibling find pictures in a magazine to cut out. Older kids could also get into more abstract concepts that aren’t easy to find a picture for, and specific questions.
Consolidated Materials List:
Straight and Narrow Path Printables
path like a balance beam or made out of tape or chalk
picture of a kid in a swim suit
mission tags and pictures
missionary coloring pages
Picture of Enos praying
extra pictures or drawing supplies