The First Vision Fill-in-the-Blank Storyboard

First Vision story board

I’m going to be teaching the First Vision in sharing time on Sunday. I’ll be doing something different for my Junior Primary, but for Senior Primary I am using this storyboard from The Friend (you can find the original online in the March 2008 Friend).

The twist is that I erased all the words that tell the story. I am planning on having my Senior Primary do their best to fill in the blank boxes and circles on their own, using the scriptures in the Joseph Smith History as a guide. After they’ve tried to fill in the blanks on their own with this one page worksheet, we’ll work on it together. I’ll also have the original available in case we get stuck.

You can print your storyboard worksheets below. They are black and white so you can make copies for the kids. Cool for Family Home Evening, too.

Mother’s Day printable

Mother's Day printable We Do Not DoubtI’m trying to work out exactly how we’ll celebrate Mother’s Day with our Primary. I’m still not quite sure, I did put together an easy printable that will work as an accompanying coloring page or card. I used this image from the Family History coloring book. I like the way the mother seems to be at the center of the image and her children are looking in toward her.

There is a full page printable as well as a PDF which has two per page, designed to be cut in half and folded.

Easy Table Track for Matchbox Cars

Table Track. Make a race track out of a folding table! Easy to make, easy to store. Genius!

Last year at the Pinewood Derby my friend Kristi showed up with this amazing folding table, kind of like the one you can see above. We set it up in the carpeted overflow area off the gym for the younger kids to play with during the derby. I think it is such a genius idea: so simple, inexpensive, and easy to store. I think it would be fun for a family gathering, Family Home Evening or just to kill time on a rainy day.

Table track close up

I used a few different colors on this table just because I had them on hand (don’t ask) but a single tape color works equally well. The cars don’t really stay in their own track, but that’s not really the point. It’s an easy way to host a mock Pinewood Derby with very little effort or cost. Tip: I think the smaller folding tables work best (not necessarily half size, but not the full banquet size) because these inevitably morph into a slide.

More Pinewood Derby Details


I have covered the topic of the Pinewood Derby. A few times. Ha! But we held our Pinewood Derby last weekend (and also held one for the Activity Day girls) and I thought it might be helpful to share a few more details that could help you in planning your Derby.

First off, we scheduled the Pinewood Derby for three wards in one weekend. We meet and set up the decorations and the track on Friday morning. Then one ward holds theirs on Friday evening, one ward goes on Saturday morning, and the third ward holds their event on Saturday evening. It fully maximizes all the work that is done for the set up of the track and the decorations. I love it! Next year I want to book all the wards in the stake for one weekend.

Second. Our ward held a Pinewood Derby for the Activity Day girls. Their event started at 5 pm. The Cubs followed shortly after at 6:30. I think it would be ideal to simply combine these two events, but it’s still a little non-traditional and I don’t want to cause any hurt feelings! Can you guess which of these two pictures showcases the Cub cars and which are made by the Activity Days girls? They were all really creative, well-made cars.


We’ve been setting up the room in the same way for at least two years! I thought I’d share just in case you’re wondering where to start.

Pinewood Derby setupIt’s a pretty typical church gym and we set up the track down the center. We have 100 feet (or more) of checkered pennant flags which we use to protect the track. No kids are allowed past the flags. During the races, we have four parents help load the cars from the garage (which is a rolling hymn book shelf) onto the track and then take them from the bottom of the track back to the garage. The kids don’t actually touch the cars during the race!

This year we added the stairs from the gym floor up to the stage. It made receiving the awards a bit more formal and exciting. I also had the bishop and the Cubmaster come to the front to shake hands with the kids when they received their award. Every child received a certificate (click here for plenty of free printables), and we also buy Pinewood Derby trophies from a local trophy shop for the top three winners! They are not very expensive (under $10) and make a huge impact on the kids.

We make refreshments available throughout the race. I think it works well for kids and the audience to enjoy snacks and treats along the way. This year we had popcorn, candy, and waters.

Racing rug

One final addition that I really love: we convert the overflow area of the gym to a car play area for the younger children. We bring a big bucket of match box cars and some toys (like this racing rug) for younger brothers and sisters. It’s so much more fun for everyone if the little ones have something to do.

Later this week I’ll share the *coolest* faux derby racing idea that we also used in the little kid play area. It’s easy, inexpensive, and you don’t even need to store it… stay tuned!


Or So She Says: Write a Letter on the Sabbath

Write a Letter on the Sabbath

I have a guest post up this week on Or So She Says. It includes five fun templates for letter writing. I think its t’s perfect, “constructive” Sunday afternoon activity: write letters to family, friends, the missionaries.  My favorite is this Instagram template–I think it’s hilarious. Instead of writing a standard letter, draw an Instagram photo and just add a few lines below for explanation! There’s another one that is Pinterest styled, one that’s a Comic Book template, as well as a couple of more traditional formats. Go check them out!

Social Media Templates

Supporting Your Senior Missionary Parents

Supporting Your Senior Missionaries

Before they took off for Cambodia, I had my mom and her husband write a list of ways to prepare for a senior mission. I think it’s a really good beginning list. Now that they’ve been serving for about a year, I wondered if they would change anything about their original list. They sent over a few thoughts, summarized below.

First, my mom especially wanted to share that being a senior missionary is nothing like serving as a young missionary.  Senior missionaries are much more flexible, choosing options and as they serve. They are much more self directed.  Senior missionaries determine what needs to be done and how to use their time.

In addition to the original list, they wanted to add or modify with a few additional ideas. For example, while it’s helpful to serve wherever you can, especially as a couple, it will be important on your senior mission to learn to be flexible in your service. Your mission president may be impressed to change your assignment! Also, they mentioned that it is most helpful to talk to senior missionaries from the mission to which you have been called. Talking to senior missionaries is great, but there are many specifics that can be discovered only from your area. Finally, since senior missionaries have a different set rules to abide by, they mentioned how important it has been to prepare a method to communicate regularly with family.  This can take place through email, Skype, FaceTime, or some other free electronic means of communication.

I thought I would also share a few of my mom’s ideas on ways that family members can support senior missionaries! I really love that many of them are simple. It is a relief that helping our senior missionaries is probably best achieved by doing what obviously needs to be done!

1. We have felt family support even before receiving our call. Children and grandchildren have shared in the excitement of opening the call letter and preparing for our mission.

2.  We know that children pray for us and our success. We feel this extra support.

3.  We receive only positive, encouraging comments.

4.  We are grateful for a daughter that is checking on our home and finances.  She also sends out cards for birthdays. We have also had children help us order flowers for funerals. It is difficult from a foreign location. There are countless acts of service related to our car, etc.

5.  We receive wonderful emails from children updating us on what is going on in their families.

6. We Skype regularly with our children and grandchildren. We have lovely experiences in conversation with individual grandchildren, hearing talks, listening to musical performances and just seeing the babies. We appreciate their preparation and effort.

7.  We are blessed with daughters and daughters-in-law that send thoughtful, meaningful packages, especially remembering seasons and holidays.

8. We love knowing that our grandchildren are aware of our mission experience. Besides wanting to serve the Lord and His children, we are serving to impact the lives of our grandchildren.

Missionary Hump Day Printable poster

Happy Hump Day for MissionariesI can NOT believe that my parents are half way through their two year mission to Cambodia! It is just bananas. They are doing such an amazing job. A little later this week I’ll share some of their updated feedback about how to help and support a senior missionary.

Today, though, I’m posting a super fun Hump Day printable! We sent it off to Cambodia a couple of weeks ago and I swore I would wait until my Mom got the package before I posted it online but I just can’t wait anymore! So, Mom, consider this a sneak preview. I hope you get it soon!

It’s available for you to print below, in an 18×24 version and a super big 24×36 print. These are black and white engineering prints your an have done for under $5 at your Staples or FedEx Office. After I printed ours I had my son Max color it with markers before we sent it off to Cambodia :)

Hump Day 18x24 miniposter copy

Oh, and just in case you’re not interested in sending a full poster, here’s the same image sized to fit standard letter-size paper. It would be easy to print at home and throw into an envelope.

PS: These files are big! There may be a lag when you are downloading. Don’t fret. Wait for a sec. If you’re still having trouble, send me a note.

Teaching Tithing Wallet printable

Teaching Tithing printable walllet, cards, and coins

Every kid I know loves playing with wallets (my kids included!) so I’m super excited for this printable. I’ve designed a one page worksheet that can be folded into a fun paper wallet. I think it’s perfect for Senior Primary ages, but it could easily be used with older or younger kids. Great for Family Home Evening, too. Here are the fast and dirty instructions:

Tithing Wallet assembly instructions

To maximize the potential for teaching, I’ve included scriptures, pictures, and even a Children’s Songbook song that are all part of various tithing lessons in the manuals. On the inside you can also find images of things that tithes and fast offerings help to fund: missionary work, temples, buildings, scriptures, family history, printing and translating scriptures, and humanitarian service to others.

The PDF below doesn’t have any of the dotted lines you see above–I have found it looks much cleaner and folds more easily without the guides. But the image above should give you a great idea of how the wallet is meant to come together. Cut on the solid lines, fold on the dotted lines and then glue.

What should go inside the wallet? Money, of course. The printable below has 63 coins you can cut out for your lesson (or use a 1 inch punch). You’ll just give ten to each kid. The wallet comes together with a divider in the middle, which is a great way you can demonstrate that nine coins (on one side of the divider) can be spent or saved and one coin (on the other side of the divider) is reserved for tithing.Tithing coins printable

Tithing Wallet cards

What my kids love most about my wallet are my cards! Debit cards, grocery reward cards, insurance cards, and driver’s licenses: my wallet is full of them. So for the tithing wallet I designed a few fun, tithing-related cards! There’s a faux Driver’s License: the kids can color in their own picture, sign it, and fill in their own address. There’s also a Tithing Rewards card intended to mimic a shopping rewards card with a tithing quote from Elder Bednar. The other two cards are both meant to help clarify and reinforce why we pay tithing and how: The Tithing Form and What is Tithing?

There are eight per page (two sets) on the PDF below, best if printed on white card stock.

Tithing donation form, full page PDF

Finally, I wanted to make a clean, crisp version of the tithing form available to print. I created it for one of the wallet cards above and I know you’ll need it for the lesson. It’s sized to print larger than life, on a full sheet of paper. You could tape it to the wall and fill it out in front of the class.


Saturday Conference Thoughts

Instagram 2016 Saturday ConfI had a good time with the Saturday session of conference. Renlund won the morning session and Andersen is my favorite address of the year so far (Linda K. Burton is a close second). Such an important message–again touching on the theme of “other” and home. Sometimes I like to browse the #ldfconf on Instagram–I’m sharing a few of my favs here. A couple of themes I loved–there were a lot more Spanish language memes on social media. Many conference quotes in Spanish! Cool. I’m looking forward to getting to know the new Primary General presidency. (So blonde!) And at least Mormon Sud caught on to the fact that everyone under 21 is exclusively on Snapchat.

Happy conferencing, friends.

Super Simple FHE: Conference Review Cootie Catcher

Cootie Catchers for Conference

Remember cootie catchers? They were a way to play MASH when I was a kid. (Mansion, Apartment, Shack or House!?) I am always looking for hands-on ways for my kids to engage with conference so I thought a cootie catcher would be a great fit. After playing around with the format for a while, the result is a cootie catcher that would make a perfect Family Home Evening for the Monday after conference: super easy to pull together after a long conference weekend and it will allow you to quickly spark some memories of conference.

Cootie Catcher diagram

Hopefully you know how to fold a cootie catcher yourself–it’s really hard to diagram, although I did my best. Once it’s all folded, you can ask a child to choose 1, 2, 3 or 4 OR CTR, President Monson, Scriptures, or Temple. Then flip the cootie catch back and forth for the corresponding number (for example, if they choose scriptures, flip the cootie catcher back and forth three times). When you stop, let a child choose which of the four available images they’d like to discuss. Unfolding the flap reveals a question related to the image they choose. For example, a picture of musical notes reveals the question: “What do you remember about the music during conference? Did you hear a favorite hymn or notice a special choir or singer?”

Have some refreshments, play with your cootie catchers and chat about conference. Fun and simple!