Russel M. Nelson
Friend March 2018 “ Meet Our New Prophet”
Friend August 2018 “President Nelson Loves Children” President Nelson meets Primary children as he travels all over the world.
Note: I’ve included the words from the manual that each of the below visual aids goes with.
We lived in Heaven: (Click on the below picture. Print the picture, or show it on an electronic device.) Explain that before we were born on earth we lived in heaven with Heavenly Father.
We were spirits there. A spirit is what is inside of us that makes us alive. When we were spirits, we didn’t have flesh and bones like our bodies have now, but we looked the same.
(Use these puppets to demonstrate what it means to be a spirit. See here for assembly instructions.)
Show the first picture again and explain that Heavenly Father is the father of our spirits, and we are his spirit children
Sing: I Am a Child of God. Tell the children they are going to sing the song “I Am a Child of God.” Explain that God is another name for Heavenly Father. (I like the Red Headed Hostess visual aids for the first verse of this song, but it does cost money. Jolly Jen has a flip chart that would work too, or you could use the below visual s from the Nursery Manual. Also see lds.org for the music)
Who is a child of God? Do the bean bag activity in the lesson. Print and cut out this activity. Show the pictures one at a time and ask the following:
Is a policeman a child of God?
Is a grandmother or grandfather
Is a bishop
Is a soldier
Is a mailman or missionaries
Is a mom or dad
Is someone who doesn’t go to our church
Is someone who lives in a different country or culture
Have the children take turns posting each picture under the title “Child of God.” The title can be written on the board or in a file folder or display board. You can also bring up people they know such as a neighbor.
Help the children understand that everyone is a child of God even though we may be different in age, hair color, what we do, where we live, skin color, or the church we attend, we are all children of God.
We can be like Heavenly Father
(Print and cut out these images pdf.) Use the following questions with the images. They could also be made into a matching game.
Explain that just as animals grow up to be like their parents, we will grow up to be like our parents.
Heavenly Father is the father of our spirits, so we can grow to be like him. Heavenly Father is loving, good, and kind. When we are loving, good, and kind, we are being like Heavenly Father. We should try to become more like Heavenly Father every day.
Have children tell or act out ways they can be loving, good, or kind.
Review Game: I really like the Red Headed Hostess folder game as a review, but it does cost money.
The images for the activity “Who is a Child of God?” are from the Friend magazine. Soldier 6/16, Bishop 1/16, etc.
The images for the animals are from Pixabay: Free Images
Each day, starting on the first day of December, take a date card off the chart (going in numerical order) and read the scripture together as a family. Older children can find the matching picture that goes with the scripture and replace the date card with the picture, or if you have little ones have them turn the card around so the picture is showing and then put the card back in its spot if using a poster board, or, if using a pocket chart, take out the date card to display the picture behind it.
(The pictures and idea came from the Friend December 1985.)
The below activity cards have an activity related to each day’s scripture, and they also have an item related to the scripture that you can put into the pocket chart or into lunch bags. Click on each page, save, print saved file, and cut out the cards. Put the cards in the correct pockets of the chart, or staple one on each of the lunch bags. Read through the activity list below to make sure you have all the supplies needed, then fill the pockets or bag with those items. (The Christmas squares paper is from Freepik.com)
Day 1: Isaiah Card and Mobile: (Print and cut out the two pages of the “Prophets Foretold Jesus Christ’s Birth Mobile.” Follow the remaining preparation instructions on the activity.) The first few days of the advent calendar are about the prophecies of Jesus Christ’s birth, so on each of the first five days, tie a prophet card on the mobile and read the scripture of that prophet’s words. Day one is Isaiah. Explain that a virgin is a pure woman and Immanuel means “God with Us” meaning Jesus’ birth into mortality.
Day 2: Nephi Card and Coloring Page: (Print a copy of the coloring page for each person who will be coloring. Include crayons in the sack or pocket.) Have a child tie the Nephi card onto the mobile and then have family members color in the figures of Nephi and Isaiah on the coloring page. Ask the children what the scripture tells about Jesus’ birth.
Day 3: Samuel the Lamanite Card, Video, and Song: Tie the Samuel the Lamanite card onto the mobile. Color in his picture on the coloring page. Watch the video about Samuel the Lamanite and then sing along with the “Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus” Video.
Day 4: Micah Card and Song: Tie the Micah card on the mobile, and color the Micah figure on the coloring page. Explain that this scripture tells of where Jesus would be born. Sing along with a YouTube video of “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”
Day 5: Adam Card and Retell: Tie the Adam card onto the mobile. There is no Adam figure on the coloring page. Explain that other prophets also foretold of Jesus’ birth. Have them color in the last prophet on the page, and then have them retell about the prophets and what each foretold about Jesus’ birth.
Day 6: Video: Watch the video “Chapter One: Elisabeth and Zacharias” from the New Testament Stories DVD or LDS Media Library. I included the DVD in this bag. You could have popcorn in the bag instead of the DVD if you are watching it on LDS Media.
Day 7: Video and Mary and Angel Figures: Place Mary and the Angel on a wall if using the cutouts from LDS Media Library or on a table if using a child friendly nativity set. Watch Mary and the Angel Gabriel (video). (See more Cutouts below.)
Day 8: Video and Joseph Figure: Watch the video “Chapter Four: Joseph and the Angel” from the New Testament Stories DVD or LDS Media Library. Place Joseph on a table (or on a wall if using cutouts from LDS Media Library).
Day 9: Chocolate Coins: Using chocolate coins, discuss what taxes could be used for—roads, schools, etc. Set aside the tax coins and put them in bag or pocket #10 to enjoy tomorrow. (Chocolate coins can be purchased at party stores or in the party supply section at Walmart.)
Day 10: Chocolate Coin Taxes: Distribute and eat the chocolate coin taxes. Optional: Look up an online map of Israel from Jesus’ time period and point out all the cities people may have gone to be taxed.
Day 11: Maze Coloring Page: (Print a maze for each child.) Using a crayon, find the path to Bethlehem through the maze for Mary and Joseph.
Day 12: Stable and Video: Watch half the video “Chapter Five: Jesus Christ is Born” from the New Testament Stories DVD or LDS Media library. Watch to the point where a stable is mentioned (pt. 37) then have a child place the stable on a table—or on the wall if using cutouts from LDS Media–and then put the figures of Mary and Joseph in the stable. (Click on the following image of a stable, save, and then print it the full size of the paper for the cutouts.)
Day 13: Baby Jesus Figure and Song: Put the baby Jesus and manager in the stable (or on the wall) Sing the song “Away in a Manger.” Sing along with a YouTube video or a Children’s Songbook recording.
Day 14: Window Picture: Print the picture of the earth and the picture of Jesus. Attach the front of the picture of Jesus to the back of the picture of the earth, or put both in a single page protector. Have the children hold the picture up to the light of a window or lamp. Explain that Jesus created the earth but was born humbly in a lowly stable.
Day 15: Shepherd Figures: Place the shepherds and sheep figures on the table or wall–but not in the manger.
Day 16: Angel Figure and Song: Place the angel on the table or wall near the shepherds. Watch and sing along with a YouTube video of “Stars were Gleaming.” (Verse One)
Day 17: Candy Canes: Place the shepherds and sheep in the stable. Candy Canes: Explain that shepherds carried hooked staffs in order to get sheep who had wandered off or needed help. Candy canes remind us of caring shepherds and of Jesus who is the Good Shepherd. Watch the second half of the video “Jesus Christ is Born.” (From pt. 47 to the end)(Children’s Songbook)
Day 18 Map and Wisemen Sticker: (Print the below map and the Wisemen sticker page. Put the map in a page protector if planning to use it again. Cut out the Wisemen and make them into stickers or put tape of the back of them. Put one of the stickers in this bag.) Show the map to the children and explain that it is a map of the land of Israel where Jesus was born. Have a child decide where the East is on the map and then stick the Wisemen sticker onto that part of the map. (The map is from the LDS Book of Mormon Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students Unit 7)
Day 19: Wisemen Sticker and Marker: Have a child put the Wisemen sticker on the first place the Wisemen went looking for baby Jesus. Draw a dotted line between the two stickers with a marker or dry erase marker. Look at this painting of Jerusalem by James Tisset and discuss reasons the Wisemen thought the King of the Jews might be in Jerusalem.
Day 20: Scroll Activity: (Cut a a piece of paper in half lengthwise. Cut each piece in half again lengthwise. Cut all the pieces in half widthwise. You should end up with 8 pieces of paper 5.5 inches by 2.25 inches. Write in the middle of one of the papers the word “Bethlehem.” Roll the papers into small scrolls–one per family member–and tie them with string or jute.) Explain that Herod’s chief priests and scribes would have read the prophecies of Jesus’ birth on records made on scrolls. Have each family member choose a scroll from the bag or pocket. The person who finds the word “Bethlehem” will read it during the next day’s activity and place the next sticker. You may want to mention that when King Herod heard of the birth of a new king of the Jews,” he became alarmed because it threatened his rule as king.
Day 21: Wisemen Sticker: Have the family member read the scroll and then draw a dotted line from Jerusalem to Bethlehem and put the Wisemen sticker near Bethlehem.
Day 22: Star Activity: Decorate star cookies or decorate a star craft item such as these popsicle sticks stars or the below string threading activity, then hang the decorated star or star cutout over the manager scene.
Day 23: Wisemen Figures: Put the Wisemen figures in the nativity scene (or on the wall if using the cutouts from LDS Media Library).
Day 24: Retell the Story of Jesus’ Birth: If needed, review the story of Jesus’ birth by reading a storybook or watching “The Nativity” video. Then, using the Nativity figures or cutouts, have family members retell or act out the story of Jesus’ birth. Optional: Give a candy kiss or hug after each person’s response and input.
Day 25: Picture of Jesus and Song: Print an image of Jesus as an adult. See LDS Media Library or use the cutout. Show the picture and post it near the nativity. Optional: Sing along with a YouTube video of “Joy to the World.”
Open and download this file. Click on and drag each image to one of the calendar days. Put the things that fulfill the purposes of the Sabbath on the Sunday squares and put the other things on one of the weekday squares. Before deciding where a picture goes, ask the following question:
As you do the activity, pay attention to all the days on the calendar that the family has to do their work, sports, and recreation, and notice that there is only one day a week that we are to set aside as a holy day of worship.
Place the correct picture and label on the chart according to which “day” it took place in the creation (one square will get two pictures). Check your answers in Genesis 1:1-27, and move pieces to their correct position as needed.
Scripture Story Activity
“The Israelites Prepared Ahead for the Sabbath”
Display the picture of the Israelite family on the table or floor so that the family figure is standing up. Put the manna pieces in front of the family figure.
Tell the family that after Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt, the Israelites had to travel through the wilderness to reach the Promised Land. They did not have enough food to make such a long journey, so the Lord provided manna from heaven for them to eat.
Tell the family they are going do an activity that will teach them more about the story of the manna from heaven.
Have each family member take turns choosing pieces of manna until they are all gone. Have them look up the scripture references that are on the back of their manna pieces. (A couple of pieces will have numbers instead of scriptures on them. Those will be used later in the activity.)
Going in numerical order read the following questions to the family. After a question is read, ask the family if anyone has the answer to it. Have the person tell what the answer is. (Optional: Also have them read the scripture) After they tell the family the answer, have them put that piece of manna into the basket.
* Have the family members with the numbered manna pieces answer the following questions.
“Sunday Morning Problem”
Written by Adrianne Pearson Coleman
Illustrated by Julie F. Young
As you listen to this story see if you can think of some ways to help make Sunday the holy day it should be. (Going in numerical order, show the pictures and read the back story captions to the family.)
After Story Discussion:
Friend June 2018 “Small Things Make a Big Difference” Little choices, good or bad, can make a big difference.
Friend May 2018 “Conference Notes” President Oaks used the example of a growing root cracking the sidewalk to teach that little choices can make a big difference over time.
Sister Aburto once saw a big group of butterflies. She learned that every year they fly thousands of miles from Mexico to Canada, and then back. They do this one tiny wing flap at a time. Like the butterflies, we are on a journey back to our heavenly home. One small good choice at a time can get us there.
Ensign March 2018 “Family Home Evening: Discerning Right from Wrong” Object Lesson. Satan tries to make good, righteous, and joyful seem miserable and evil appear to be good. Wrap a rock as a gift and put a treat in a brown paper bag. (See more at link)
2017 Sharing Time Outline Tell the children that you are thinking of a word, and give them clues to help them guess the word. Ask them to raise their hands when they know the answer. Clues could include the following: We had this before we came to earth. It is a gift from our Heavenly Father. It is an important part of Heavenly Father’s plan for us. Satan wanted to take it from us. We use it when we make choices. It is a gift that lets us choose for ourselves. It starts with the letter A. After the children have guessed the answer, say together, “Agency is the gift to choose for ourselves.”
Show the children a long stick that has the word choice written on one end and the word consequences written on the other end. Explain that a consequence is what naturally happens because of a choice we make; for example, if we choose to practice playing a musical instrument, we will get better at it, and if we choose to touch fire, we will be burned. Pick up the stick and show the children that every time you pick up the stick, you get both the choice and the consequence of that choice. Ask an older child to read 2 Nephi 2:27. Invite the other children to listen for what the consequences are for making the right choice (liberty and eternal life) and what the consequences are for making the wrong choice (captivity and misery).
Invite two children to come to the front of the room, and let each child hold one end of the stick. Ask the child holding the “choice” end to give an example of a good choice (for example, speaking kindly to others). Ask the other child to share possible consequences of that choice (for example, making lasting friendships). Repeat with several other children.
2017 Sharing Time Outline Show the children a container of many different colors of crayons. Show them a second container with only one color. Ask the children: “If you were going to color a picture, which of these containers of crayons would you want to use? Why?” Explain that having a variety of choices is a blessing. Testify that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us and They want us to make correct choices.
Friend September 2016 “For Parents of Little Ones” Lesson ideas for little ones about making choices.
Friend September 2017 “Show and Tell” I love the CTR shield because it reminds me of a knight’s shield that protects them from a dragon. I know when I choose the right I’m protected from sin.
Libby R., age 8, Utah, USA
Ensign December 2017 “Dealing with Peer Pressure” Helping Kids Say No
Role-play different situations at home to give your child practice.
Let them know it’s OK to blame an escape on you. “Sorry, I have to be home. Gotta go!”
Brainstorm escape plans as a family. For example, come up with a code word your children could use in a phone call or text message to let you know they need help getting out of a situation. Talk through how the scenario might play out.
Reassure your children that, even when they make mistakes, you are always there to love and help them!
Nephi’s example (1 Nephi 4:2): We often think of Nephi as the good example. But who set an example for Nephi to follow? Talk about role models who have helped you make good choices.
The Lord’s promise (D&C 6:33–37): Sometimes making the right choice is hard, and it can feel like everyone is against us. The Savior tells us that in these situations, we should still “do good” and know that He is with us.
Daniel said no (Daniel 1:8–16): Daniel and his friends refused the food the Lord had commanded them not to eat and chose better food instead. What are some different ways you can say no to outside pressures?
Friend November 2017 “Peer Pressure Problems” Ideas on how to deal with peer pressure to avoid making wrong choices.