Here's what you do:

1. Email Nancy if you would like to be a contributor.

2. Share a Family Home Evening lesson idea. It can be about any gospel principle or topic.

3. It is not necessary, but you can also include a song, scripture, activity, and treat that go along with the lesson.

4. Add a label to your post including the "age range" your lesson applies to and the "gospel principle" you are teaching.

5. Email Nancy if you have any questions, comments, or ideas for this blog.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas

I love all the fun things about this time of year, but wanted to make sure that I teach my kids what it's really all about. I found some meaningful ideas that are helpful for teaching about the Savior's birth and the meaning of this special time of year. Most of it is from the Primary 1 Lesson 46 about the Birth of Jesus, but I added a few things to it. Hopefully, you can use at least some part of this lesson to help teach your kids about the Birth of the Savior.

Adapted from “Lesson 46: The Birth of Jesus Christ (Christmas),” Primary 1: I Am a Child of God, 151

PURPOSE

To help each child feel gratitude for the birth of Jesus Christ.

PREPARATION

1. Make a small manger (small paper-mache box from the craft store works well) and cut strips of yellow foam into small pieces of “hay”. You will also need a small baby Jesus to put into the manger. Print and cut the following ideas into small cards to use as ideas for earning hay for the manger:

Read or listen to a scripture story.

Write a thank-you note to a family member or a friend.

Draw a Christmas picture of your family.

List the good things that have happened to you during the year in your journal.

Share a smile with as many people as you can.

Read a story to someone younger than you are.

Tell a friend why you like him or her.

Clean your room without being asked.

Memorize a scripture and recite it for someone.

Thank Heavenly Father for your blessings.

Say something nice about a person you know.

Write a letter of thanks to the bishop.

Write a Christmas letter to a missionary.

Say “Merry Christmas” to a neighbor.

Help a family member with a task.

Ask your mom or dad how you can be of help.

Make a gift to give as a surprise.

Do something nice for someone you don’t know very well.

Help a friend who needs you.

Leave love notes where your mother and/or father will find them.

Put out crumbs for the birds.

Help make your house tidy.

Draw a picture and give it away.

Write your feelings about Jesus in your journal.

Sing Christmas songs as you work.

Make a list of ways you can try to be like Jesus during the coming year.

Talk with someone who seems lonely.


2. Materials needed:

a. A Bible. Prayerfully study Matthew 2:1–12 and Luke 1:26–35; 2:1–20.

b. A small nativity scene. I found a printable paper one online at www.scrapbookscrapbook.com, click on the photo to link to the page. If a nativity scene is not available, use picture 1-75, The Birth of Jesus (Gospel Art Picture Kit 200; 62116).

c. Crayons

d. GAK Pictures: 1-75, The Birth of Jesus (Gospel Art Picture Kit 200; 62116); picture 1-76, No Room at the Inn (62115); picture 1-77, The Announcement of Christ’s Birth to the Shepherds (Gospel Art Picture Kit 202; 62117); picture 1-78, The Wise Men (Gospel Art Picture Kit 203; 62120).

e. “The Nativity Song,” music with coordinating pictures printed and cut-out.

LEARNING ACTIVITIES

Invite a child to give the opening prayer.

Attention Activity

Have a child stand by you as you tell the details you know about his or her birth. Repeat for each child or person in your family.

We celebrate Jesus Christ’s birth at Christmastime

Explain that since this is the Christmas season, we are celebrating the birth of someone we all love.

• Whose birth are we celebrating?

Story

Tell the story of the angel’s visit to Mary, as found in Luke 1:26–35. Explain that the angel told Mary that she would be the mother of the Son of God, Jesus.

• What was the name of Jesus’ mother? (See Luke 1:27.)

• Who was the father of Jesus? (Heavenly Father. See Luke 1:35.)

Explain that Joseph was not Jesus’ father. He was a good man chosen to take care of Jesus. The angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him about the important baby Mary would have. The angel told Joseph that Mary should be his wife.

Story

Show picture 1-76, No Room at the Inn, and tell about the journey of Joseph and Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem, as found in Luke 2:1–7. Read Luke 2:7 aloud, explaining any words that may be unfamiliar to the children.

Activity

Have the children sit or kneel on the floor in front of the nativity scene. Show picture 1-75, The Birth of Jesus, and have each child tell about one thing he or she sees in the picture.

• Why didn’t Mary and Joseph sleep in the inn? (See Luke 2:7.)

• Where was Jesus born? (In a stable.)

• What kind of a bed did Mary have for baby Jesus? (See Luke 2:7.)

Song

Help the children sing or say the words to “Away in a Manger” (Children’s Songbook, p. 42).

A baby in a manger (rock arms as if cradling a baby),

A loving mother near (reach out arms),

A star shines in the heavens (point with awe to the sky),

The Son of God is here (clap hands for joy)!

Story

Show picture 1-77, The Announcement of Christ’s Birth to the Shepherds, and tell about the visit of the shepherds, as described in Luke 2:8–20.

• Why were the shepherds afraid? (See Luke 2:9.)

• What did the angel tell the shepherds? (See Luke 2:10–12.)

• What did the shepherds do after they visited baby Jesus? (See Luke 2:17, 20.)

Story

Show picture 1-78, The Wise Men, and tell about the visit of the wise men, as described in Matthew 2:1–12.

Activity

Have the children stand and pretend to ride camels around the room, following the star that will lead them to baby Jesus.

After several trips around the room, have the children get off their camels and come back to the nativity scene. Explain that by the time the wise men found baby Jesus, Joseph had found a better place for the family to stay and they were no longer in the stable. Remind the children that the wise men brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Have each child tell if his or her pretend gift is gold, frankincense, or myrrh and then present it to the baby Jesus.

Song

Help the children sing or say the words to “The Nativity Song”.(Avon Allen Compton and Pat Kelsey Graham, Friend, Dec 1980, 13) You can use the music or just say the words while holding up the corresponding picture for each verse:

1. This is the season beloved of the year.
Sing a rhyme; Christmastime soon will be here.
Tell the true story of Jesus’ birth,
When, as a baby, Christ came to the earth.

2. These are the new stars shining so bright,
Lighting the world on that first Christmas night.
This is the angel proclaiming the birth,
Singing, “Hosanna!” and “Peace on the earth!”

3. This is the stable—shelter so bare;
Cattle and oxen first welcomed Christ there.
This is the manger—sweet hay for a bed—
Waiting for Jesus to cradle His head.

4. These are the shepherds, humble and mild,
Hast’ning to worship the newborn Christ Child.
These are the wise men who followed the star,
With frankincense, gold, and myrrh brought from afar.

5. See the sweet mother, Mary so fair,
And Joseph, guiding the donkey with care.
See the dear Baby of Bethlehem,
Little Lord Jesus, the Savior of men.

Our gift to Jesus is to be like him

Explain that each Christmas as we celebrate the birthday of Jesus, we can give gifts to him. We can’t give gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh like the wise men did, but we can give another type of gift. We give a gift to Jesus when we try to be like him. We are being like Jesus when we are kind to our family and friends.

Activity

Help each child make or decorate a manger. Tell the children to put their manger somewhere in their homes where it will remind them to do kind deeds for others as gifts to Jesus. Challenge the children to do at least one kind deed each day until Christmas. Each time they do a good deed, they can put one piece of “hay” into the manger. When the manger is full of “hay,” they can put baby Jesus inside.

Help the children think of kind deeds they can do. Remind them that when they do kind deeds, they are giving a wonderful gift to Jesus. You can print the cards above for ideas of kind deeds.

Testimony

Explain that the birth of Jesus Christ was one of the most important things that has ever happened on the earth. Express your love for Jesus and your desire to be like him, not only at Christmastime but all year long.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A Testimony to Share

Nancy's last Lesson idea reminded me of cute poem from the Friend that I adapted into miny lesson that can be used for the smallest of kids.


A Testimony to Share
Karen A. Kimball Friend, Oct. 2007 

I have a testimony 
That has begun to grow. 
Gospel truths I once believed 
Now I can say, “I know.”
(A picture of your child(ren))

When I feel inside my heart 
The Holy Spirit’s there, 
I can help bless others and 
My testimony share.
(A picture of someone bearing their testimony or one to represent happiness  i.e. children or people smiling)

I testify of Jesus Christ, 
Of Heavenly Father’s plan, 
The power of the Atonement, 
And eternal life for man.
(A picture of Jesus) 

I testify of Joseph Smith, 
And priesthood power restored, 
The fulness of the gospel 
On earth forevermore.
(A picture of Joseph Smith)

I testify of the prophet 
And Twelve Apostles too, 
Living in these latter days 
To lead us safely through.
(A Picture of President Hinckley) 

I testify of lessons learned 
Through study and through prayer, 
Truths in the Book of Mormon, 
That I’ve discovered there.
(A picture or set of scriptures)

I share my testimony, 
Then reverently I end 
Like a sacred prayer that’s said, 
In Jesus’s name, amen.
(Fold your arms)


Monday, December 3, 2007

How To Gain and Share Your Testimony

Andrew saw one of his friends go up and bear her testimony in Sacrament meeting yesterday and asked if he could have a turn....

Review "Testimony" in the True to the Faith reference book: http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=e1fa5f74db46c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=0cbd991a83d20110VgnVCM100000176f620a____&hideNav=1&contentLocale=0

Andrew is 3, so we're going to keep things simple:

  • Show the picture of Joseph Smith's First Vision: http://www.lds.org/hf/art/print/picture/0,16989,4218-1-4-115,00.html
  • Let him identify each person in the picture.
  • Ask simple questions such as: Does Jesus love you? Does Heavenly Father love you? Are you a child of God?
  • Share our testimony with him.
  • Let him practice sharing his testimony with the family.

Any ideas would be very helpful. Thanks!

Talking Points for Sharing the Gospel

Review Elder M. Russell Ballard's recent conference talk: http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=9bb42bce258f5110VgnVCM100000176f620a____&hideNav=1

Have your children think of some simple statements that they can say when others ask them about the church and write them down.

As a couple, or with your older children, make a one page statement that can be given to others as suggested by Elder Ballard.

Here is a link to the Articles of Faith: http://scriptures.lds.org/en/a_of_f/1

Friday, November 30, 2007

Countdown to Christmas Cont....

Ok, how cute is this?! My friend Shellie shared her Christmas Advent (you can use this in conjunction with the Christmas Chain idea.) Thanks for sharing Shellie!

There are three parts to each day – a scripture, song and activity. Some of them are a stretch, but I have fond memories of them as a child. Have fun counting down the days!

December 1st “A” is for angel – Luke 1:30-31, “Hark, The Herald Angels Sing,” and be and angel – do a secret deed.

December 2nd “B” is for bells – Luke 2:13-14, “I Heard the Bells,” and ring the bells – sing songs or add bells to your tree.

December 3rd “C” is for candle – Matthew 5:14-16, “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” Eat by candle light.

December 4th “D” is for drum - D&C 25:12, “The Little Drummer Boy.” Decide what to give Him (pa rum-pa-pum-pum).

December 5th “E” is for evergreen – Psalm 100:4, “O Christmas Tree.” Put up your evergreen tree.

December 6th F is for friendly beasts – Luke 1:26-38, 46, 47 “Away in a Manger” -2nd Verse. Feed the friendly beasts – make a bird feeder with peanut butter and seeds and hang in a tree.

December 7th G is for gingerbread- Luke 19:29-38, “Up on the Housetop.” Make a gingerbread house.

December 8th H is for hug – 1 Nephi 11:8-23, “Because I Have Been Given Much.” Give a hug and make cookies for a friend/neighbor.

December 9th I is for inn – Luke 2:1, 3-7, “O, Come all Ye Faithful.” Help someone in need.

December 10th J is for Joy – 3 Nephi 1:13, “Joy to the World.” Make a joyful noise – go caroling.

December 11th K is for kings – Psalms 24:9-10, “We Three Kings” Set up a nativity adding kings.

December 12th L is for lamb – Isaiah 40:11. “While Shepherds Watched.” Add lambs to the nativity.

December 13th M is for manger. Luke 2:12 and read the definition of “manger” in the dictionary.“Away in a Manger.” Add the manger and Mary and Joseph to the nativity.

December 14th N is for names. Isaiah 7:14. “Tell me the stories of Jesus.” Names, names, names – address cards while listening to or watching the nutcracker.

December 15th O is for ornaments. Matthew 6:19-21. “Deck the Halls.” Decorate or make ornaments.

December 16th P is for presents. Matthew 7:11. “12 Days of Christmas.” Wrap or give presents.

December 17th Q is for quiet. Luke 2:19. “Silent Night.” Be quiet! Enjoy a puzzle, book or game at home.

December 18th R is for rod. Luke 2:8-18, 20. “Far, Far Away.” Make hot chocolate and stir it with a candy cane rod.

December 19th S is for Santa. Helaman 14:3. “Here Comes Santa Claus.” Visit Santa.

December 20th T is for twinkling stars. Helaman 14:5-6. “The First Noel.” See the lights or go to the planetarium.

December 21st U and W is for unto us. Isaiah 9:6. “Angels We Have Heard On High.” Unto us a child is born. Go to the visitor center on temple square or watch a live nativity.

December 22nd V is for visit. Matthew 2:1 -14. “With Wondering Awe.” Visit neighbors bearing gifts.

December 23rd X is for extra visitors. 1 Nephi 11:20-24. “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” Have extra people over to visit (play games, dinner, or for FHE).

December 24th Y and Z - 3 Nephi 1:19 and John 3:17. Sing or read “The Night before Christmas.” Yawn and get some ZZZ's

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Countdown to Christmas Chain

Make a Christmas chain out of construction paper to countdown the days to Christmas. Find scriptures about the Savior to write on each chain link. Each day, cut a link down and read the scripture.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Obedience

I think that this lesson goes without saying. We need it and variations of it routinely through out our lives. As a parent I am always trying to teach my children principles not just "do this now", "do that now". I hope that this lesson teaches a principle. It also has many resources. I like to gather more than I need so that I can adjust to how things are going that night and what my kids are responding to.

Obedience
Adapted from the Primary 1: I am a Child of God manual for FHE

Purpose
To strengthen each child’s desire to obey heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and to obey his or her parents.

Scripture
John 14:15

Attention Activity
Ask your children to do several actions, such as stand up, turn around reach up high, touch their toes, and sit down. Remember to say thank you for doing as you asked. Explain that they were being obedient. They obeyed your instructions.

Lesson
Show a picture of your children when they were babies.
who does this picture show?

Talk about how each of us came to earth as a baby. Remind the children that because babies are so small and helpless, they need someone older and bigger to take care of them.
Who took care of you when you were a baby?
Who takes care of you now?

Explain that you love them very much and want them to be safe and happy.
Talk about rules of things that your children are not to do, things that might hurt them or make them unhappy. (example: playing in the street, touching the stove fighting with family members or friends)

Talk about things that your children can safely and happily do. (example: playing with toys, friends, and family, being kind to others.)
Why are these things ok?
Why should we obey Mom and/or Dad?

When we obey our parents, we can feel happy. Our parents are also happy when we obey.

Story Ben Obeys
Friend Magazine October 2006
Song “Quickly I’ll Obey”
Children’s Songbook p. 197

Our Heavenly Father and Jesus want us to obey our parents. Show a Picture of the Sermon on the Mount (GAK 212). Explain that when Jesus was on the earth, he taught the people what Heavenly Father wanted them to do. These teachings are called commandments. Hold up the scriptures. Tell the children that the commandments are written in the scriptures.

Talk about some of commandments the children can obey. Utilize Beatitude Flip Book, pictures, or other objects to emphasize the concepts. (example: Love our families, Pray to Heavenly Father, Attend Church meetings, Be kind to others)

Scripture Story Shadrach Meshach and Abed-nego as found in Daniel 3.
(GAK 116, Living Scripture Video: Daniel)

Testimony of obeying our parents and Heavenly Father’s commandments brings happiness.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Preparing for the Temple

Twice today, Andrew pointed to pictures of temples and called them "castles." I figured we needed a refresher course on temples!

Preparation:

1. Obtain 7 pictures of temples (clip art, GAK, Friend, etc.). On the back of each temple, print: Pray, Obey Parents, Love each other, Go to church, Pay tithing, Eat good foods, Be honest.

2. Post the temples on the wall.

Scripture:

Psalms 24: 3-5

Lesson:

1. Have the children stand and sing or say the words to the first part of “I Love to See the Temple” (Children’s Songbook, p. 95), using the following actions:

I love to see the temple (interlock fingers and raise the forefinger of each hand to make a spire). I’m going there someday (walk in place).
To feel the Holy Spirit (put hand over heart),
To listen and to pray (put hand behind ear, then fold arms).

2. Read the above scripture.

3. Tell the children that if they keep Heavenly Father’s commandments, they can go to the temple when they are older. Explain that in the temple we make special promises to Heavenly Father to obey his commandments. We can also be married in the temple, and we can be baptized for people who weren’t baptized while they lived on the earth.

4. Have each child find a temple that is around the room and talk about what is written on the back. Explain that these are things we can do to prepare to go to the temple.

Monday, January 1, 2007

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