Weekly Thoughts and Tips

May 2014


Picture Puzzles

By Maggie Zug
May 30, 2014

Family Fun Time excerpt

To help children become familiar with gospel art, I sometimes use pictures from the distribution center and turn them into puzzles. After cutting this picture into pieces, for example, I printed and glued a sentence to the back of each piece that reminded the children of something they could do to follow the Savior. The puzzle is now laminated and ready to go!

Editor’s Note: You can find the online distribution center at store.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

Loving Those with Disabilities

By Joy Jones, Primary general board
May 23, 2014

Mother and daughter

I recently visited a Primary where I met a wonderful sister and her son, who had severe disabilities. I was touched by the love that so obviously existed between them. This dear mother demonstrated patience and tenderness. Her son trusted her and felt safe with her near.   

Like most children in Primary, a child with a disability may be nervous when parents aren’t near. We have many children with disabilities in our Primaries. Are they welcomed with love and caring? Do we strive to understand how we can better meet their individual needs? Do we endeavor to support and assist the families of these children by asking how we can help? 

On page 38 (Chapter 5) of Teaching, No Greater Call we are taught, “During His mortal ministry, the Savior showed great compassion to people who had imperfections of body and mind. He offered them hope, understanding, and love. As you teach … you should follow His example. Try not to feel uncomfortable about their disabilities. Recognize that all people are different in one way or another. With love and sensitivity, you can help class members with disabilities participate in lessons. You may need to work with others you teach to help them understand and accept those with disabilities.” 

Truly, those with disabilities have much to teach us about Christ’s love—not simply in allowing us to develop charity and love for them, but also coming to know them as we open ourselves to their love and acceptance.

Editor’s note: For additional resources on this topic, visit disabilities.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

Family Fun Time

By Marissa Widdison
May 16, 2014

Family Fun Time excerpt

Have you seen the Family Fun Time page in the Friend? This page goes along with the first story in the magazine each month. It has activity and discussion ideas you can use with your family, as well as a simple recipe to make together. It’s a great resource for family home evening.

This month’s magazine focuses on media safety. The story on pages 4–5 describes a family home evening where the family talks about important media rules. The Family Fun Time page includes a media checklist and cyberbullying tips you could use to guide a discussion. You could copy or cut out the “Stay Safe Online!” image and hang it on the fridge or by the computer. And don’t forget to make the banana ice cream! 

Here are some other stories and corresponding Family Fun Time pages we’ve run this year:

Just Like the Scriptures!” and Family Fun Time: Scripture Study

Best Family Forever” and Family Fun Time: Sending Love

The Big-Brother Trap!” and Family Fun Time: Getting Along

Brave Enough” and Family Fun Time: Letters to Loved Ones

How does your family use the Family Fun Time page? Please send your ideas and success stories to friend@ChurchofJesusChrist.org. We’d love to hear from you!

A Banner of Conference Quotes

By Jocelyn Christensen
May 9, 2014

Conference Quotes Banner

General conference means so much to our family. This year we made a banner using chalkboard paper to take notes during conference. We wrote the most notable phrase from each speaker on a pendant of our banner. As soon as conference was over, we already had the words of the prophets displayed in our home as a reminder for our family to look to in the coming months. When the next general conference comes, we can erase the banner and start again. Families can easily make a similar banner of their own using card stock, string, and a hole punch.

Editor’s note: How does your family keep conference throughout the year? Please email your ideas to us at friend@ChurchofJesusChrist.org!

Helping Children with New Line Drawings

By Lynn Parsons
May 2, 2014

Children holding signs

Very young children and those with disabilities often struggle to talk or understand speech. A new page on ChurchofJesusChrist.org features line art that can be used as a tool to bridge this gap. Here are a few ways you can use these drawings.

Teachers can use them to:

  • Communicate expectations, such as preparing for a prayer.
  • Attach concrete ideas to gospel words.
  • Create a visual schedule to reassure children who have anxiety.
  • Instruct as well as allow children to demonstrate what they recall from a lesson.

Families can use them to:

  • Teach family home evening lessons or prepare a talk for Primary.
  • Bear testimonies at home.
  • Help practice church-appropriate behavior.

Children can also use the drawings to communicate wants, such as volunteering to give a prayer or requesting a drink. As families, leaders, and teachers begin to use these new drawings, they will be inspired with ideas to use these tools to bless the lives of the children they serve.