This year we hosted a Career Night for our Cub Scouts and Activity Day children. We combine all the 8-12 year old children for this kind of activity about once or twice a year. This is something I plan way in advance with our Cub and AD leaders and it replaces a pack meeting or activity.
For the event, we invited four members of our ward to talk about how developing talents through school or other work is meaningful. We had a Disney artist, a firefighter, a marketing manager, and a TV production assistant (we are adjacent to Los Angeles, ha ha). I prepped our visitors with four questions:
1) Name and what you do (include dad/mom/family here as well)
2) What was your very first job? or What was your favorite job?
3) What kind of preparations did you do for your job (or whatever kind of work/life you’re doing)
4) What other talents and skills have you developed that make you more useful in the kingdom of God?
Even though the kids are only 8-11 years old, I really wanted to drive home two ideas. 1) Education and preparation is important. 2) The more you can do, the more helpful you can be. Plan to develop a variety of skills that you can use at work, home, and church.
I began the night with the idea that our life is a long journey and you’re going to have to cover long distances. If you have a pair of sneakers, you’re going to be better prepared to walk a long way. If you are even better prepared and you have a bike, you’re going to go a lot farther a lot faster. If you’ve really put in the time, saved the money, and are willing to do the work you can get a CAR. This will take you much farther and it will even allow you to take others along with you. When you are well prepared with schooling and hard work, you will be well prepared to go as far as you need to go and take friends and family with you!
We set up the room so that each child was sitting at table with a chair (seminary meets in our room during the week, so we have these cool thin tables available). We gave each kid the worksheet above to doodle on and fill out during the interview, along with some colored pencils. It’s large: 11×17 because I wanted something a little different and memorable for the kids to work on.
I put together a flyer to advertise our event that I’m sharing here just in case you want to use it. The PDF below has a blank blue box (no pizza icon, either). You’ll have to add your own text in PDF or some other kind of image editing software.
I also enlarged and reprinted all of the icons you see above for our event and taped them up to a rolling whiteboards that we have in our building. You can see them above, behind our panel. They served as backdrop for our speakers. There are 20 of them and they are available below. I didn’t create these icons: the original artist is www.freepik.com and I got them at www.ﬂaticon.com.
If you’re interested in something a bit more sophisticated, check out this Career Interest Survey
. It’s better suited for ages 12 and up, in my opinion. Check it out, though, if you’re looking for something a bit more complex.
We have a fun tradition with the Primary with whom we share a Primary Room: they meet right after us on Sundays in the same room. On program day, we leave treats for each other! A small candy treat or poster wishing the other ward Good Luck or Congratulations! It’s fun. This year my counselor left Starburst for the kids: a little pair of Starburst for each child. We attached this fun Starburst tag. I thought it would be easy to share in case you want to use them for another event: Primary class, school class, young men or young women.
They are about 3 inches by 1.5 inches.
For the life of me, I do not understand why the Primary Sharing Time program booklet is limited in quantities. As far as I can ascertain, each ward gets 3. Which seems like enough unless you’d like each member of the Primary presidency (3) to get one, plus your secretary (1), plus your music leaders (we have 4–2 pianists and 2 choristers). At a minimum I’d like 8.
Not to mention what happens if someone moves or gets released and you need an additional copy.
Every. Year. I beg my little sister to please buy a couple extra copies if she sees any at Deseret Book. I live in California and there is no Deseret Book or Seagull or anything within 2 hours. So, so aggravating.
The problem with printing the full color PDF that is provided online is that (OBVIOUSLY) it is in FULL COLOR. The text is in orange! And green on green! It doesn’t print well or photocopy well in black and white. It costs $8 to print in full color!!!!
I could go on, but lets focus on solutions instead.
Here’s the solution. The complete booklet with all text in easy-to-print black and white and grayscale photos. The PDF is below.
A second solution! The complete booklet formatted into a half page booklet. The page numbers are organized so you could photocopy the pages front to back, stack the pages together and fold it in half to have a complete booklet with half as many pages. There may be some issues with this depending on how your printer handles 2-sided printing, but it works with my set up here.
I gushed about Our Heavenly Family, Our Earthly Families around this time last year. It’s such a visually beautiful book and deftly handles many sensitive doctrinal issues. I love it. This summer I was thrilled to have the chance to interview this powerhouse team about their motivations and intentions behind one of my favorite Mormon books!
Read the full interview over on AML.
This year our Primary had an ongoing program called the CTR Bear. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this done before, but it’s similar to lots of school classroom projects like Flat Stanley. A stuffed teddy bear with a CTR t-shirt goes home with one family per week. This project is best suited for Junior Primary, I think, but we sell it to the older children by reminding them of the importance of setting a good example by choosing the right. I also like that it’s best for our Junior kiddos: many extra activities (like Cubs and Activity Days) are for the Senior children and so it feels like a nice balance that this activity resonates especially well with the younger ones.
The family hosts the bear for a week and takes a few quick pics of the children “choosing the right” with the CTR bear. The picture above is my son Jonah. He was choosing the right by sharing the video game controller (our standards are high at the Davis house). We have a private Primary Facebook page where we share these photos with each other. It’s not the most critical part of the program, but it is really fun! I have the cutest collection of pictures of our Primary kids reading scriptures with the CTR Bear, at the LA temple, riding bikes, eating good food, helping clear the table with the CTR Bear and so on. Adorable.
After their week is up, the kids report on their experience during Primary opening exercises. If all the children in one family are in Junior, they just report in Junior. If there are kids in both Junior and Senior, we have a report in both opening exercises. It’s really fluid. No one writes down a talk about their CTR Bear experience–often the presidency member conducting prompts the child with questions. It’s very casual.
Our secretary set up this super cute bulletin board in our Primary room. All the bears start out with no shirt, just their family name on the bear. After they’ve had a turn with the CTR bear the kids put a t-shirt on their family bear. It helps us keep track of whose turn it is and it’s just so darn cute.
We included this letter in the Relief Society binders when we first started this program so that parents would know what was going on. Download the PDF below.
One useful tip: start the year with TWO CTR bears. It’s super helpful to keep the program rolling in case someone forgets to bring it back to church and it also allows time to wash the bear and bag!! I also spray the bears down with Lysol regularly. It occurs to me that if you didn’t want to have a stuffed bear for whatever reason you could do this exact program with a paper bear, too.
We have really enjoyed this CTR Bear program this year. Especially in Junior Primary the kids really look forward to their turn. It’s very low cost and there is no sugar or candy involved! Win-win-win. We love it.
I promised a friend I’d share a version of our 2017 Primary program, “Choose the Right,” by the end of July! Ha. The last day of the month still counts, as we all know from Home and Visiting Teaching.
Today I’m sharing a copy of our program, available in Word or as a PDF. It’s more specific to our ward than the generic one I usually share for a couple of reasons. 1) I incorporated classroom experiences into the program. You’ll see what I mean if you read the program: one child from each class is sharing a story about something they learned in their Primary classroom. I think it’s a great way to share what the children learned during the year and really highlight the work our wonderful teachers are doing in a more public setting. 2) We had an ongoing program called the CTR Bear. Perhaps I’ll share more about that later this week. It’s sort of a twist on Flat Stanley, where a stuffed teddy bear with a CTR t-shirt goes home with one family per week. The family takes a few quick pics of the children “choosing the right” with the CTR bear and shares the pics on our private Facebook page. The kids report on their experience during Primary opening exercises. We have a section where the kids report on their CTR Bear experience during the program. I doubt it will be applicable to you! You could switch these up for personalized lines from children about a time they chose the right. 3) We had a 10 Commandments Summer Challenge. So the kids are going to repeat the 10 Commandments as part of the program. I’m not sure if your primary did that? You could adjust a few of the lines and keep the same framework.
Please feel free to use, share, and copy.
I also put together an easy to photocopy program cover to be used on the day of the program. Fold them in half and place announcements and the bulletin info inside. These would be adorable colored in by the Primary kids. *Don’t use crayons if you’re going to run them through the copy machine AFTER they are colored in. The crayon will melt the copy machine.
There’s also a PDF of a quarter page invite/flyer. You’ll need Acrobat or a photo editor to adapt these for your ward.
Good luck friends!
As promised, I put together a set of Doctrinal Mastery printables for The Book of Mormon. These are scriptural references that LDS seminary students will be studying during 2017.
Obviously these work well in a seminary classroom, but I use these often for FHE and this year I’ll be throwing them in letters and packages I send to my missionary son, too.
There’s also a set here that are sized to a quarter page. The first set is what I call “personal” so if you printed seven pages you’d have all 25.
And then this set is what I call a “classroom” set. It has only one scripture per page, so it’s 25 pages with four of the same scripture per page. It would work well if you wanted to print the smaller size off for a whole classroom.
Then there’s a quick one page printable with the icons and a summary phrase. I think this is perfect for study and review.
I know I’ve mentioned before how much I appreciate seminary teachers. They played a fundamental role in my son Josh’s testimony. I know it’s different depending on the person and the circumstance, but for a variety of reasons Josh’s seminary teachers were much more influential on him than his Young Men or Sunday School leaders. I am so grateful seminary filled the void.
When I make any additions to the Book of Mormon Doctrinal Mastery set, I’ll just add them to this post. I find it makes Pinterest link backs easier and keeps everything in one spot. So the next variation is the condensed one-page printable. The text is very small but if your printer is worth it’s salt, it’ll be readable.
Our eldest son, Josh, is preparing for a mission to the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo East. He enters the Dominican Republic MTC mid-August.
Josh graduated from high school over a year ago and completed his freshman year at college away from home. He didn’t go to a BYU school, but he participated meaningfully in a student ward and institute. He took a few road trips, got a job, and played a lot of pick-up basketball. This summer before he leaves he is spending time on splits with our local missionaries here in SoCal. He is working and drinking deeply the magic of Los Angeles in the summer. He’s excited and happy.
When I ask him if he’s worried about his mission, he says he’s worried about teaching and baptizing. His answer makes me feel relief. How does he already know that these are the only two things worth worrying about?
As always, Josh is doing things at his own pace, with or without our help, ignoring peer influence. I’m sharing how this is all working out just in case someone needs to hear that this kind of timing might be a blessing. Make no mistake: my husband and I were only peripherally involved in Josh’s decision to attend school before a mission. He made it a matter of personal prayer. But I do believe this past year at school has been a key turning point in Josh’s life. Irreplaceable. I don’t know if this gap year is right for you or your missionary, but I’m an advocate of giving it true consideration.
Additional thoughts about missions and the temple here.
I was moved during conference this year at the mention of the document The Living Christ. I always feel nourished and encouraged by a focus on our Savior, never more so than during the Easter season. In celebration of the holiday, I resized this special document into three poster sizes: 24×36, 18×24, and 8.5×11. These larger sizes should be easy to print as engineering prints at your local copy shop.
I’m playing with the idea of memorizing it together as a family. Title included, it’s 731 words. I liked all the ideas that this blogger implemented: check out her methods for memorization. I am thinking we’ll go a little more low key and put an engineering print on the wall and use washi tape to “black” out sections as we learn them.
And finally, here’s one that’s two per-page. The ratio of the document does not exactly work to fit the standard 5×7 scripture size, but they’ll turn out to be smaller than a standard size so they’ll fit nicely anyway.
Need updated labels for conference? You can print these on Avery 5160 address labels (or compatible). They are super fun for kids to use as stickers. Click the PDF below. They include the new Primary Presidency.
Here’s an update for Fall 2017:
I also have a page with general topics which might also be helpful in note taking.