Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pretzels and Prayer

I'm a little slow this week with my post.  Sorry about that!

We had another really fun activity day!   Since the gathering activity with the word search was so successful last time, we did another one this week.  I found a maze that was done with broken pretzels.  They enjoyed it!  The link to the maze i used is no longer available.  Here is another option: here.

Those who finished early were asked to turn their paper over and write the word PRETZEL down the side.  Then, with each letter in the word, they needed to come up with a word that you could associate with prayer.

Next we moved on the the activity portion of the night.  We dipped pretzels in white chocolate.  Somewhat messy but not too bad!  I only let them dip half of the pretzel so they didn't get all their fingers in the chocolate.  I had sprinkles available as well and I did the sprinkling!  I was surprised at how many preferred "no sprinkles" and one even wanted just plain pretzels.  They had a good time with this activity.

Now on to the lesson.  First we listed the words associated with prayer that they had written on the back of their papers.  I was impressed!  They are very creative and smart!

Next I told the following story (which has a few variations if you google it):
In about 610 A.D. a very creative Alpine Monk decided to make use of the pieces of dough left over from baking bread. The Monk formed them into thin strips folded into a looped twist to represent the folded arms of children in prayer.
This scrumptious treat was given to the children as they learned their prayers. They began calling the treat "Pretiola", which is Latin for "little reward". Soon it was known the world over as a pretzel.
The secret of making great pretzels is not only in the baking but also in the shaping. We, like pretzels, are made from the best ingredients, by the best hands available, the hands of our Father in Heaven.
Have you ever seen a broken pretzel, or one that's lost its shape? We too, can lose our shape when we don't pray always to keep our spirituality intact. Even in the midst of our greatest trials, we must remember, as did Job, to call on the Lord. The simple shape of the pretzel, arms folded in prayer, reminds us to pray each day. Our "Pretiola" or "little rewards" are the blessings we receive.
Every time you see a pretzel, remember prayer. Check to see if your arms are often folded in prayer and have not lost their shape.
They LOVED this story!!  It really held their attention!  I gave this as my Handout.

Finally we discussed the steps to prayer and how to pray and show respect to Heavenly Father.  Again, they were so great at answering my questions and giving insight!  So great.  I had them write the steps of prayer on the back of their handout.

I forgot to get my camera out!  I was having too much fun, I guess.

This lesson goes with Learning and Living the Gospel #5. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Day!

We started our meeting with a Word Search that I created from here:

It's a fun thing for them to do while waiting on everyone to arrive.  They LOVED it!!!

We then discussed "LOVE!".  First, how do we show our love to Jesus Christ?  The answer is found in the scriptures:  John 14:15 If you love me, keep my commnandments.  Also John 15:10.

How do we show our love for others?  By serving them.  Mosiah 2:17.  What are some things we can do to serve our families?

Who shows love to you?  How do they show their love?

Then we created a valentine card that they could use to thank someone who have served them.
My daughter found this cute idea on Pinterest.

I really liked it because one of our moms uses sign language.  They had a fun but challenging time tracing their hands and creating these cards!

Finally, for fun, we made these fortune-telling games.

I modified it a little.  Instead of having the valentines "sayings" as the fortune, I had them think of some ways they could show love at home and write those as the fortune.  Then they could go home and play with mom or dad or a sibling and serve/show love.

For refreshment I told them I had a "crush" on them and gave them a soda with a crazy straw idea that I found here.

It was fun night!  Happy Valentine's Day to you!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Gratitude Journals

I am the new Activity Day leader!  Oh boy.  We meet twice a month.  My first meeting was 2 weeks ago and afterward I thought, "Oh my.  What have I got myself into?"  I just did not have the right kind of variety in that very long hour.  

So this time I was more prepared.  I mixed it up a little.  We played Corn Hole only we called it Blessing Hole.  (odd, isn't it?) But they had to say a blessing before they threw the very dusty bean bag.  (I had to keep telling them to stop making dust.)  They couldn't repeat a blessing already said and I kept track on the board.  Then we talked about our many blessings and how it is important to Heavenly Father that we are grateful.  D&C 59:21: And in nothing doth man offend they confess not His hand in all things.

We had to discuss the word "gratitude" because they couldn't really articulate what it meant.  Then I showed them the gratitude journals that we were going to make:

I got this printable here:

 I decorated two pieces of cardboard, front and back and then tied all the pieces pages together with yarn.  It was taking a long time for them to write out each month so we put the page in and I told them they could finish that part at home. 

They will finish the front with the word "Gratitude" that has been cut with a Cricut machine but the sister that was bringing them could not make it to the meeting.  Some of them just asked me to write on them in cursive.  I think they had a fun time being creative!!  It was a successful meeting!