Sunday, May 8, 2016

Praise to the Man


So that's what I've been doing for the last, oh, three hours. I browsed through some flip charts online for this song and just felt generally disappointed by them. Besides, I think this will be the last song I teach this primary. So I decided to make it a sort of parting gift to them, something they can probably remember me by. I know my drawings are definitely on the artsy side, but I want this song to have an impact. It's a great song; I personally have felt a deepening gratitude for the prophet Joseph Smith. I know he wasn't a perfect man, but no one is. And he lived an exemplary life, sacrificing all! I am grateful that he fulfilled his mission on earth so that we can have the fullness of the gospel. We all owe so much to him, the least we can offer is our thanks.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

[Primary] He Sent His Son

When I put together a flip chart for a primary song, I prefer to be very simplistic with the pictures. I rarely include words, but in this case I felt it could be helpful. The purpose of a flip chart--at least the way I feel about it--is that it should help the children memorize the song rather than make them depend on it. Using straightforward symbols seems to be really effective. I think it helps the kids process everything faster, maybe? 
Here is the flip chart I drew for my primary. This is the song "He Sent His Son," page 34 in the Children's Songbook. You should be able to right-click and save each of these.

How could the Father tell the world
of love and tenderness?
(One thing that can make these symbols more effective is explaining them as you go; having a mini conversation about it helps the kids remember. In this case, you could explain that the mouth and world always signify the words "tell" and "world." I explained the last picture by asking the children how they feel about babies...tenderness is a natural feeling when we hold babies.)

He sent His son a newborn babe
with peace and holiness.
(I pointed out that the question papers are outlined in orange, the answers in blue. The envelope represents having sent something and is meant to remind the children of the repeated phrase "He sent His son." In this picture, you could explain that the dove with the olive branch is a symbol for peace throughout the Old Testament. I asked the children if they knew what words are on the outside of every temple--"Holiness to the Lord, the House of the Lord")

How could the Father show the world
the pathway we should go?
(This is pretty straightforward. You might want to point out that this time we say "show" instead of "tell.")

He sent His son to walk with men
on earth that we may know.
(Explain that our brains are where we know things, basically, so this symbol is pretty simple to remember.)

How could the Father tell the world
of sacrifice, of death?
(This was a great opportunity for our primary to have a small discussion about sacrifice; try to keep any discussions brief since singing is the main goal, but don't be afraid to bear testimony and let the children bear their testimonies, too. We talked about altars and why they symbolize sacrifice.)

He sent His Son to die for us
and rise with living breath.
(This was yet another sweet opportunity with our primary to reverently point out that even though we do not use the cross as a general symbol of worship in our church, it does remind us that Jesus died for us. But the tomb--the empty tomb--is a reminder that even death had no power over Jesus. "He is risen! He is not here!" The empty tomb is a powerful symbol for me.)

What does the Father ask of us?
What do the scriptures say?

Have faith, have hope,
live like His son, help others on their way.
(This one might need a little explanation for the children. I reminded them of the scripture and song that say faith is like a little seed. I asked them how they thought the person on the top right of the page seemed to feel--really just to help them notice and think about it--and then with the bottom left picture, I reminded them that Jesus told us to love one another. That's really what that symbol is supposed to represent...I know it could be interpreted a number of ways. Sorry. :) The last one is two hands grasping each other.)

What does He ask?
Live like His son.
(We are splitting this song up between our junior and senior primary. The junior primary sings the questions, the senior primary sings the answers. This last question-answer the primary sings all together.)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Boredom Busters

Day ONE of summer: I already feel crazy. I won't go into detail-- because right now I'm not in the frame of mind to be able to do that without complaining about my kids' whining and such. Seriously, today's post could be called "Qaptain Mommypants and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day."

So before I babble on and on about how I hate to hear the words "I'm bored," here's what you can expect in this list of Boredom Busters:

Nothing crazy, nothing gender-exclusive (so each idea can appeal to both of my kids), nothing TOO messy (we hope), nothing costly, nothing labor-intensive on my part, nothing requiring extensive planning, nothing dangerous...nothing annoying.

There are lots of activities that do not belong in a list like this-- things like going swimming, going anywhere as a family, playing computer games or watching a TV show-- because I assume that will be happening anyway. While some things may take more preparation/cost/involvement depending on which Mom is helping which kids, these are supposed to be relatively quick fixes for Boredom.

Reminiscent of the Ghostbusters - this is our container of little folded strips of paper for each idea on the list. Shake the container, close your eyes and pull out a strip of paper. The goal is to attempt the very first idea you pick, not to sift through until you find a favorite...but some days that may be necessary.


  • create sculptures with toothpicks and marshmallows
  • create sculptures with popsicle sticks and glue
  • make a storybook 
  • make pictures with cut-out pieces of paper
  • make a craft from the Childcraft Make and Do book
  • read a book
  • paint a picture
  • sculpt something out of clay and bake it
  • play with play-dough
  • draw a map of the house or yard
  • dig for buried treasure in a spot Mom says is okay
  • make pictures with things found in nature 
  • draw pictures on the patio with chalk
  • play games (like hopscotch, foursquare) with chalk 
  • make a costume
  • create and perform a play
  • make sock puppets or paper bag puppets
  • ask Mom for hair gel and make up goofy hair styles
  • have a little picnic in the backyard
  • ask Dad if you can set up the tent
  • learn something on the piano
  • read an Encyclop√¶dia article 
  • learn an origami craft
  • ask Mom if you can make a treat together
  • play with water balloons in the yard
  • take a bubble bath
  • make a paper-animal zoo
  • dance to music
  • ask Dad to help you compose a song
  • write a letter to someone
  • ask Mom if you can call someone on the phone
  • play the organ with headphones
  • ask Mom to make some Goo-Bleck
  • make a race car track with tape
  • ask Mom if you can play Popcorn Games
  • put a puzzle together
  • draw a picture and cut it into a puzzle and put it together
  • do an act of service for someone
  • make a river out of tinfoil in the backyard
  • ask Mom if you can make handprint art
  • ask Mom if you can play with finger-paint
  • make a balloon-powered LEGO car with Dad
  • build a blanket fort/tent in your room
  • make a LEGO marble maze
  • ask Dad if he can help you build a cardboard box maze
  • make a house/castle/building out of a cereal box
  • ask Mom if you can make a cardboard box craft
  • ask Mom if you can make a fan-duvet bubble-tent
  • ask Mom to make Cloud Dough
  • ask Mom if you can make thumbprint art
  • make a hovercraft
  • make and play with a homemade sprinkler
  • ask Mom if you can play with paint-in-a-bag
  • learn a phrase in a different language
  • make a solar system mobile
  • learn the names of the bones of your skeleton
  • learn the names of your guts and innards
  • learn how to tell time
  • practice riding a bike
  • read a scripture story
  • draw a scripture story
  • learn how to make a meal
  • practice using measuring cups and cooking tools
  • draw on the dry-erase board
  • make tinfoil sculptures
  • record yourself singing a song
  • ask Dad to make a video with you
  • learn how to make a smoothie
  • make a LEGO video
  • make a story with photos for pictures
  • record yourself telling a story
  • ask Mom if you can play with a microphone
  • learn to crochet (at least make a chain stitch)
  • write in your journal
  • memorize a poem
  • memorize a scripture
  • find special rocks and draw faces on them
  • design and make a mobile
  • make a mailbox for family notes
  • make a paper aquarium box/mobile/wall
  • ask Dad if you can launch a bottle-rocket
  • use a lamp to make shadow puppets
  • make a string spider web and paper spider/bugs