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Cootie Catcher Thank You printable

Printable Thank you Cootie Catcher

Ever since I created a Cootie Catcher for Conference, I keep returning to this format! It’s so cute.

It was easy to convert into a “Thank You” cootie catcher. It’s meant to be printed in full color. Regular weight paper works best because you’ll need to have several folds. There are instructions on the bottom of the page.

Printable Thank You Cootie catcher full pageYou could fill in each “thank you” in the center beforehand, but I imagine it would be very sweet to open this cootie catcher together. The person who wants to thank can ask their friend to choose a number, then an object, and then verbally thank their friend right there on the spot! The eight “thank you’s” in the center are very general and probably apply to any friend:

Thanks to you, I have learned that…

Your support has meant the world to me! Thank you for…

You are so generous! Thank you for…

Thank you so much! I’ll never forget how I felt when you…

I’m so grateful for our friendship. Thank you so much for…

Thank you! I’ll never forget how you…

Where do I begin? I can’t thank you enough for…

Thank you so much for…

Mandala Thank You card

Printable Mandala Thank You card to print

The next Thank You card has a cool mandala design coupled with the definition of gratitude. For some reason this seems like a better fit for kids who are a bit older. I think perhaps they would enjoy the more intricate and abstract coloring.

This one is bigger, designed to be printed on a full page and folded in half. Card stock would be ideal.

Thankasaurus Rex printable card

Printable Thankasaurus Rex card copy

Today continues a week of easy-to-print Thank You cards here at The Mormon Home. Feeling super grateful at the end of the school year for all the help we had to get to this point!

This one is the Thankasaurus Rex card, perfect for little ones from preschool through 2nd grade. My little Jonah will love coloring this one for his special preschool teachers.

This would work best printed on white card stock. It’s designed two per page, meant to be cut in half and folded.

Simple Thank You Note

Simple Thank You note copy

The end of the school year is coming quickly! My May calendar is filled with recitals, finals, and projects. I have a high school senior (!?!) so I have all the feels–mostly gratitude that one of my children has made it to adulthood! It is more obvious than ever how many people we, as a family, have to thank for making it through another school year. So this week I am posting a simple Thank You card printable every day as we gear up to thank our teachers and friends who have helped us along the way.

I know it’s easy enough to buy your own at Target or the Dollar Store. These cards are meant to be easy to color in so your kids can add a personal touch. A bit more meaningful, but also, importantly, I think when the children participate they are forced to think about others. Great for Family Home Evening or a Sunday afternoon activity, too.

Probably best for the elementary age set, but I have a pretty mandala coming up that would be perfect for middle school girls (ha!).

These work best printed on card stock. There are two per page, mean to but cut in half and folded.

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

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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.

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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.