Tuesday, December 13, 2011

We are all different. We are all loved.

My dad dressed up in outback gear and talking to school children about his home country.

My three year old started to notice and point out (not always in the best way!) that people look different. We decided that it was a good time for a FHE lesson on this.

I collected a bunch of different pictures of people from various places as well as pictures of the places that people were from on the internet. I also grabbed my family photo book.  We started the lesson by telling our three year old that people looked different all over the world and that heavenly father loves them all. We then told him that we are suppose to love them all too. We had him go through each of the pictures. We pointed out the various physical characteristics. After each picture we had our son say that heavenly father loved them. After looking at all the pictures we asked our son if heavenly father loved each person in the pictures.  We asked if he, my son, was suppose to love them too.

Game: I thought it would be fun to play guess who. The people in that game look very different from each other and we pointed this out to our son before playing the game and reiterated the point of the lesson again.

Adaptions: With older children you can focus on more than just the physical characteristics of people. We didn't do much more than this since our oldest is just three years old.

Song idea: Jesus said love everyone

Monday, December 5, 2011

Nativity Act Out

Every year around Christmas, we get together with the cousins and act out the Nativity. The children dress up very simply. We use towels, adult dress shirts, robes, ties, and scarves. We also use props like angel wings, stars, and crowns. 

The children each get a piece of a nativity set and dress up as that character. We then read the Christmas story from Luke. As the child's part is read, the child comes into the room and places his or her piece in the stable and stands in place. 

This is a very effective way to teach children the story of the nativity! You can apply the dressing up to any scripture story you want to focus on.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Families are Important

Cousins with their Grandpa
My husband and I both have big families and many of them don't live nearby so our children rarely see them and have a hard time remembering them. I decided to make a picture album with a picture of each family.

After I made this album we showed it to our children for FHE and emphasized the importance of our families. We talked about how important it is to help each other out and pray for each other (among other things). We talked about how we are sealed together as a family and can be together always. We then went through the photo album and looked at each family and named everyone off. We tried to talk about past experiences with certain cousins and/or aunts and uncles so that our children would better recognize and remember them.

We now keep the photo album in our living room for our children to look at. We look at it on occasion and go over everyone with our children. Our kids have a lot of fun looking at it. We also try to send home made birthday cards to family members when it is their birthday. When doing this we refer to our photo album so my kids have a better understanding of who they are making the card for.

Song Ideas: A Happy Family, Families can Be Together Forever

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I am thankful for the earth

For FHE a couple months ago my family decided to go up the canyon to take a look at nature. We brought dinner and had a picnic and then after dinner went on a hike. 

During the hike we talked about all the beautiful things we saw and how Heavenly Father made everything on the earth. We emphasized how we need to try to be thankful for everything he has given us. We had our three year old point out all the things he could see in nature. He got really into it and was super excited as he walked by and pointed out every tree and rock and bush. We had him try to figure out what his favorite thing in nature was. It also started to rain which was another learning opportunity for our kids. Being in Utah, it was raining and sunny at the same time...

Just the other day we did something similar to this but went to cascade springs and walked around. We once again talked about all the beautiful things in nature and how heavenly father made them for us. We encouraged our children to be thankful for all these things. Since the leaves were changing colors, we also gave a little lesson on the season fall.

Hiking with young children is very possible. We do it all the time, lasting several hours sometimes. All you need is a good  baby/toddler carrier and you are set!


Friday, September 30, 2011

Children Activities for General Conference

If you are looking for ways to keep your children busy and quiet during conference there is a great LDS link found here: http://lds.org/general-conference/children?lang=eng

It includes coloring pages and other sorts of activities to keep a child's mind conference oriented. Come... listen to a prophets voice!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Role Playing

An idea for Family Home Evening is to do some role playing. We all know of things our children need to work on. It could be sharing, it could be responding happily when given an instruction, responding to friends, etc. These things are most easily addressed in what you call "role-playing." This is also best at times of non-conflict. You don't teach about sharing while two children are fighting over a toy. 

You best teach before the child is in the situation. Our church teaching our youth with this idea all of the time. We implore our youth constantly to have a plan for situations (drugs, dating, parties, etc.). You respond best if you have a plan already in your head. 

We recently chose answering the door for our Family Home Evening Lesson. We have a couple of extremes in our house. If our son answers the door, you will be greeted in a not-very-friendly manner. If our oldest daughter answers the door, you will be asked to come in and relax. That is great unless a stranger comes by. 

We talked about what to do in each scenario (someone we know, someone we don't know, a friend, someone for mom, and so forth). We then practiced. We dressed up, knocked differently, and had a lot of fun with it.

You might be wondering what this has to do with Family Home Evening and church-related lessons. I think learning proper manners is a great thing to know for life and especially for missionary work--whether from home or out in the actual field. We sometimes expect children to just know things like social customs. Some are socially adept enough to figure it out, but others need help. I think even the adept children benefit from teaching (like my daughter and strangers). 


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Quick and Simple Lesson Ideas

Sometimes the simplest lessons are the best...and the easiest when preparation time is tight!
  • If you teach church, teach your children the same lesson on Monday that you taught on Sunday. If you are a primary teacher you might not need to make any adjustments to the lesson!
  • Choose an article of faith to talk about and possibly memorize. You can also do a discussion of the articles of faith as a whole.
  • Choose one of the commandments to talk about and memorize. You can also do a discussion of the commandments as a whole.
  • Pick a favorite church song and talk about the words in it or learn a new church song that you can discuss as you learn it.


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Being Honest

Something we’ve had to deal with in our home lately is honesty. We are trying to teach our 4yr-old the importance of telling the truth. So, we did this honesty family Home Evening the other night. I felt it was really important to stress that not only would she get in trouble by mom and dad if she lied, but that lie would make Hevenly Father very sad because He has asked us to be honest in all that we do. April’s issue of The Friend had some great resources for this lesson.

Read the story Niya's Choice from the April 2011 Friend.

Talk about the choice Niya had to make. What would have happened if Niya made the wrong choice? What happened because she was honest?

Give your children the Honesty Quiz from the same Friend.

 I Believe in Being Honest - CSB#149
The Commandments - #112

Friday, May 6, 2011

Because I have Been Given Much

Opening Song: Hymn #219: Because I Have been Given Much

Scripture: Mosiah 2:17  And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn awisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the bservice of your cfellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.

It is important for children to not only learn about service while they are young, but to actively take part in serving. Whether it be others in your immediate family, a neighbor, friend, relative or even a complete stranger, it is vital to their understanding it's importance. There are many ways you can encourage service. Here is one example we are working on currently in our little family.
In our neighborhood there is a family who is expecting their first child within a couple weeks. They are not currently active in the church. The husband has been out of work for at least two years, maybe longer. They have very little, especially considering the needs of a new baby.

As luck would have it, they are expecting a baby girl. We have two girls and have been blessed with much in way of clothing for our children. So, although we may not be able to help this family out monetarily we can give them some of our childrens clothing. For our FHE activity we went through our overflowing boxes and put together a couple large bags full of clothing. Although we have never met this couple, it gives us great joy and satisfaction know we can serve them. It is wonderful to be able to include our children in this service and to see how willing they are to give to those in need.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Scriptures Stories

This is an idea my husband picked up from our Ward Conference back in February. This is seriously one of the best ways we have found to really teach the scripture story for Family Home Evening. Our kids are currently 5, 4, and 2.

You get a large sheet of paper and cover your table with it. My husband got this at a local copy shop. 

You then gather around the table and everyone has crayons. You choose a scripture story or scripture figure to talk about. My husband went with Nephi. 

My husband just started drawing a scene from one of his favorite stories of Nephi from the Book of Mormon. As he did so, he asked our oldest what he liked about Nephi. Our son's favorite is Nephi building a boat, so he drew a boat. The picture below is in the middle of the lesson; there are a lot of things to draw about Nephi. 

This was great. Kids listen while coloring. It gives you the chance to talk about the stories and the great things you learn from the stories, and it is all in a very casual way--it didn't feel forced at all. It gives kids a visual, and it also connects the learning with physical movement, which helps solidify learning.

I can see this being done for various holidays and celebrations. Maybe for the days leading up to the Ressurrection. Maybe during July as you talk about the Pioneers. Perhaps around Christmas and talking about Christ's life. 

This one is definitely a keeper!


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tender Moment

Last night was one of those payoff moments you get in parenting and in diligently doing what you have been asked.

A couple of months ago, I shared how we started having our kids teach the lesson in a way they can prepare and give themselves (see http://fheforchildren.blogspot.com/2011/02/favorite-scripture-story.html). Last night, our five year old Brayden taught the lesson on Jonah and the Whale.

He did a super job--I was a bit shocked at how well he did. He has obviously been thinking about this since he last did it and has made major improvements.

But the best part was at the end. He turned to a picture of President Monson and quizzed his sisters on who it was. Then he bore his testimony! He told us that he knew President Monson was a true prophet. It brought tears to my eyes to hear my little boy spontaneously bear testimony. What a great blessing!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Week

The April 2011 Friend has a wonderful way to learn about what Jesus did during the 8 days leading up to Easter. You could read this all at once, or you could read them the 8 days leading up to Easter. To find it, go here.


Friday, April 1, 2011

Everyday is April Fools to Satan

Today is April Fool's Day... I am sure every kid knows about april fools and tries to come up with the best prank. I found this cute idea from pettiskirtsandmudpies blog and thought it was so clever! So, I'll share it with you.

FHE lesson....Satan is deceiving....

I was laying in bed thinking about April Fool's Day....which I love...
and I thought of a perfect Family Home Evening Lesson to go along with all the April Fool's pranks!

I started off with sponges....from the dollar store...and I cut circles...
I have to admit, my circles where far from perfect...but the kids did not notice!

I stacked them three high...and hot glued them so they would hold together.

I bought some gum, and wrapped it to look like a little purse, and wrote on the back...."Chews the right!"
I started the lesson off with a pack of gum that I had emptied, and replaced with white card stock, that had scripture references on them.

I asked them to take a piece of gum and pass it around!
They were so excited to be getting gum right in the beginning of FHE...

I was happy to see, that they were equally excited to have scripture references to look up! =)

We read 10 scriptures about how Satan wants to deceive us and lead us away from Christ!

They thought my false pack of gum was the punch line....so they were NOT prepared for my delicious looking mini layered cakes!

I also made cupcakes which I offered them. I tried to encourage them to take a cupcake, they know I make good cupcakes...but I have never made these mini cakes!
They could not resist the mini cakes!

They took their butter knifes and started to cut!
Brooke, being the oldest, and strongest, decided to take over the cutting!

OH! They were so excited to reach blue cake....they couldn't believe it...but they needed a sharper knife!

Chelsea could not wait any longer, she took her fork and dug in...taking a big chunk of sponge along with her butter cream frosting!

"We've been tricked!!"

They understood perfectly what I was trying to teach them.
Satan will try to tempt us by creating a picture of joy...fun...excitement...and make the ways of Christ seem boring...ordinary...and plain!
We must be close to the spirit to recognize and avoid his cunning ways!

The truth of Satan's path is that once your in, you realize You've been tricked!!!

I ended the evening with the gum handouts...
Isn't that a cute idea? I love it. Happy April Fools Day! Don't get tricked!


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Importance of Work

This lesson was inspired by Chapter 27 of the Gospel Principles manual entitled, "Work and Personal Responsibility."

We discussed how it was important to work and how Heavenly Father and Jesus worked to create the world. Then when Adam came to the earth and was sent out of the Garden of Eden, he and Eve were commanded to work. We talked about how if they didn't work, how would they get food for their children? or have clothes?

We talked about how as a family, mothers and fathers are commanded to take care of their children, and thus they need to work.

We also brought up a quote from the Gospel Principles manual about how "Children should do their part in the work of the family." We discussed how they needed to help with things that they are asked to do, and even things that they are not asked to do. We had this head into introducing our new job chart, but you could talk about anything.

Stories that you could use are Nephi and obtaining the brass plates, parable of the talents, stories about pioneer ancestors working hard, etc.

We also talked about how working brings us joy and helps make us happy because we are improving ourselves. We also talked about how working helps us to enjoy when we do not work.

Based on what you include you can tailor this to any age group.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

General Conference Prep

General Conference is next weekend! We started a new tradition where we use FHE on the Monday before Conference to prepare our kids for it.

We bought 8x10's of the First Presidency and Quorum of the 12 (less than $1 each through store.lds.org), put them in plastic sheet protectors, took some framed art off the wall, and as part of the lesson, we reviewed each person's name and taped them all on the wall.

During the week, we briefly reviewed their names here and there. When the weekend came, we had our daughter match the face of the person on the screen with their picture on the wall and reviewed his name again. The next Monday, we did a final review and took them down. Within that week period, our 2.5 year old could name all 15 men.

October 2010

We found this to be a fun way to help her learn the names of our prophets and apostles.

What ideas do you use to help your kids be engaged during General Conference?


Monday, March 7, 2011

Great FHE Resource Online

I have found (been told about) this great resource for Family Home Evening ideas. It is here: http://familiesinzion.com/. On the left, you will see a link to FHE Lessons. They are grouped by topic and are a lot of fun! I think you will love it!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Prioritizing Things that Matter Most

This lesson stems from Elder Dallin H. Oaks conference address "Good, Better, Best," , October 7, 2007 found here.
Another good reference is Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf's talk "Of Things That Matter Most," during the October 2, 2010 found here.

 Goal: To teach children the importance of doing the things that matter most first.
Things needed for object lesson:
-Jar or see-through container of some sort
-a few larger objects like pink pong balls, rocks, tennis balls -depending on the size of your container
-Lots of little items to fill space such as dry rice, dry beans ect.

There are so many things to do in our day to day that sometimes we forget to do the things that matter most. Discuss with your children the most important things we do each day. Some answers may include: pray, scriptures, journal, family time, family meals, ect.

Then you can discuss some other less important activities that can be done each day.

There is an "oldie but goodie" object lesson that works really well. Take your jar and list with the kids the non-important things we can do each day that fill our time. Pour the smaller objects into the jar. Then talk about the important things we should be doing each day and try to then put the larger objects in. They do not fit! Then do this activity the other way around. Putting in the most important things first, then the lesser important, and they all fit perfect!

Teach the children that when we do the things we should each day, our Heavenly Father will help us make time for everything else. If you want you can write on your golf balls (or other objects) what the most important things are, then leave the jar somewhere where people can see it throughout the week.

Quotes that go along with this from Elder Oaks talk are:
"We should begin by recognizing the reality that just because something is good is not a sufficient reason for doing it. The number of good things we can do far exceeds the time available to accomplish them. Some things are better than good, and these are the things that should command priority attention in our lives.

As we consider various choices, we should remember that it is not enough that something is good. Other choices are better, and still others are best. Even though a particular choice is more costly, its far greater value may make it the best choice of all."

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


My daughter is just getting into that age where I will find her speaking not-so-nice to her friends sometimes. I know from here, it only gets worse (especially with girls!). So, I thought it would be good to have a lesson on friends and how important and special they are but also how we should treat them.

Make a heart (perfect for Valentine’s Day!) with either the word FRIENDSHIP or a picture of friends on it. Underneath write the scripture: “A friend loveth at all times.” Proverbs 17:17. Attach 4 or 5 strings around the heart. On a corkboard (or something similar) use thumbtacks or tape to attach the strings and hang the heart up (don’t attach the heart itself).

Sing “Love one Another”

Ask the children who some of their friends are. Tell who some of yours are too. Ask them questions like what fun things do they do together, why they like them, ect. Ask them how they feel if their friends are mean to them. Explain that friendship is a great blessing Heavenly Father has given us and we need to treat it that way. Just like we don’t like when our friends are mean to us, we need to remember to act nice to them as well.

Activity: draw attention to the heart and strings. Explain that you are going to tell them some stories about different friends. (I have a few, but come up with some of your own that may be specific to your child)

1. Susan and Anna are playing together. Anna starts making fun of Susan. They start calling each other names and their friendship is broken. (Cut one of the strings)

2. Jimmy pushed Alan because he wanted to go first. The first push led to another and soon Alan and Jimmy were hitting and hurting each other. Another friendship is broken. (cut another string)

3. Milly had a bad of candy but wouldn’t share with Justin at all. After a bug argument over sharing and selfishness, Justin went home. Their friendship is hurt. (cut another string)

Continue sharing stories till only one string is left. Tell the kids that when we do mean and selfish things, we can lose or ruin friendships.
Discuss what things we can do to strengthen friendships and make them stronger. I wanted to teach my kids that they need to try and always be the person that will stand up for other people and be nice to everyone. Read the scripture on the heart and remind them that how we act towards others shows them how we feel about them.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Favorite Scripture Story

A couple of Sundays ago, I was teaching the twelve year olds in Sunday school. I was explaining to them how much more you learn when you are the teacher instead of the student because you spend time in preparation and think about it a lot more. I pointed out that as 12 year olds, they likely really only got this opportunity to teach a lesson in Family Home Evening. I encouraged them to really take the time to study when preparing a lesson for Family Home Evening. I promised them it would help them build their own testimonies on the subject.

This comment got me thinking about my own children.

We like to have them take a turn sharing the lesson every so often. We have really had some learning curves along the way.

The first time we did this and Brayden was old enough to have real opinion on the direction of the lesson, we ended up with him "teaching" us for an hour. Not kidding. We have it on video. It really was funny and one of those priceless moments, but the whole thing wasn't really the direction we thought was appropriate :)

After that, we guided the study and the lesson, but it really ended up being more of me teaching while Brayden parroted what I said. This isn't necessarily bad, but I also felt like it wasn't best.

Especially after I got thinking about what I had taught the 12 year olds.

I spent some time pondering the matter and I was finally struck with some inspiration. I decided to have Brayden share his favorite scripture story.

So I told Brayden what he would do. I then asked him what his favorite scripture story is (even though I already knew...unless he had changed his mind of course :) ). He told me Daniel and the Lion's Den. So we went to the scriptures and read the story in the scriptures. Then we went to the children's scripture stories they sell at Distribution and read about Daniel and the Lion's Den in there. We then found a picture for him to use during his lesson.

I explained to him that for his lesson, he would tell us the story of Daniel and the Lion's Den.

That night, he was able to hold the picture up and share the story of Daniel all by himself. Not only was he able to learn the story well, he was able to actually give a lesson on his own, which is very exciting for a child.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I am a Child of God

my four year old knows we pray to Heavenly Father and that we want to make Him happy, but I wanted to have a lesson where we really taught her that He is our Father. Literally. So, we came up with this lesson.


Get pictures of baby animals and their animal parents for matching.
On a board or the wall put up the baby animal pictures, save the parent ones.

Start by singing “I am a Child of God”

Tell children that all babies will grow up to be like their parents. Hold up each “parent animal” picture and ask them to match it with the baby. Just like a foal will grow up to look like a horse (or elephant, puppy, kitten), kids will grow up to be as tall and know as much as their parents. Tell them we have another parent we want to be like and ask if anyone knows who that is (Heavenly Father).

Tell the children that Heavenly Father is the father of our spirits and that we live Him before we were born on earth. Just like we will someday become like our moms and dads, we can also become like Heavenly Father too. Heavenly Father loved us so much that when He sent us to earth, he gave us another mom and dad to love us and take care of us so that one day we can return to live with Him.

“I lived in Heaven”

Friday, January 7, 2011

Garden Tile Stone Activity

After Christmas and New Years is a great time to stock up on stuff for future birthdays OR FHE activities! The other day I went to our local mall where they had a ToysRUs Express. This means the store only comes in during the holidays and then after the holidays are through they sell whatever is left at a highly discounted rate. So I decided to browse. I found a "do-it-yourself" garden tile stone kit designed for children. I picked one up for $2.50 and can't wait for spring when I'll use it for an FHE activity.

I am not sure as of yet what the lesson will be, perhaps I'll post on that when I figure it out, but I can't wait to have my husband and our children put their hand prints on it, along with other decorations and put it in our garden. Keep an eye out for special sales and keep FHE in mind, you mind be surprised what you find!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Setting Goals

Image source

Setting goals (and meeting them) is an important part of life, and something people naturally tend to do around this time of year. Well, the setting, maybe not the meeting ;).

For family home evening last night, we all thought of something we wanted to improve on. We had our two older children think of something on their own. Our five year old decided he wants to be nicer to people. Our three year old decided she wants to stay in her bed at nap time (hurray!--we have been struggling with this for a few days). My husband and I decided we want to do better about taking time to play with the children.

Having the child think of a goal to strive toward on their own gives them some ownership and some sort of desire to meet the goal. We have decided to make a picture representing their goal and put it on the bathroom mirror to remind them of it. We will see how the "meeting goals" portion of the goal setting and meeting task goes :)

I think it is also valuable to tell your children of your own goals. They can then watch you work toward and hopefully meet that goal. It will be a great example to them and help them really learn how the process works.
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