Weekly Thoughts and Tips

May 2015


Dioramas with Scripture Figures

By Maggie Zug
May 29, 2015

Paper dioramas

I use pictures from past issues of the Friend magazine to create dioramas like this one of children with the Savior. My figures are laminated, and here’s the trick—cut a strip of extended lamination along the bottom and then tape it into a circle! The figures will stand up so that children can easily move them around the scene. If you want to make the background extra durable, mount it on poster board. 

Editor’s note: You can find a collection of scripture figures by clicking here!

What a Wonderful World

By Jenna Koford
May 22, 2015

Illustrations of flowers

How many beautiful things did you see today? Sometimes we only notice blessings after hard trials, but God is always working in our lives, even if we’re only aware of a few things He does.

President Eyring kept a gratitude journal and wrote down things he was grateful for every day. He said, “Tonight, and tomorrow night, you might pray and ponder, asking the questions: Did God send a message that was just for me? Did I see His hand in my life or the lives of my children? I will do that. And then I will find a way to preserve that memory for the day. … I testify that He loves us and blesses us, more than most of us have yet recognized” (“O Remember, Remember,” Ensign, Nov. 2007).

Hang this Bright Idea poster in your child’s room to remind him or her to love all of the earth’s creations. Your family can also keep a family gratitude journal. Talk about what you saw and felt each week during family home evening! Younger kids can help by drawing pictures for the journal.


Paper Doll Lessons

By Marla Brimley
May 15, 2015

Paper dolls with clothing

To help activity-day girls learn about dress and grooming standards, we made a set of paper dolls. I provided the laminated figure, and the girls had a fun time fashioning lovely modest clothes out of cardstock. We talked about respecting our bodies and the bodies of others. It made the standards discussion interactive and fun! This activity could easily be adapted for boys too.

Steps to Baptism

By Marissa Widdison
May 8, 2015

Screenshot of May Friend Magazine

The centerspread of this month’s magazine is an illustrated poem all about baptism. For a fun family night, try placing each section of the poem in a different part of the house. Your family can make real footprints around your home and talk about the covenants we make at baptism!

Primary Symbols for Teaching Children with Disabilities

By Ginny Smith, Primary general board
May 1, 2015

Children holding up signs

Did you know that hundreds of visual symbols are organized and ready to download on ChurchofJesusChrist.org? Teaching with visual symbols is a fun and simple way to teach gospel principles to children with disabilities or other special needs. Visual symbols can be used in a variety of ways, such as during family home evening or in Primary.

More than 350 symbols can be downloaded from the Media Library gallery for Primary Symbols. They are grouped into categories such as covenant path, home and family, Primary schedule, scripture stories, and more. Here are some ideas for using these symbols:

  • Help a child follow a nursery or Primary schedule
  • Enable children to better express needs
  • Explain a gospel principle
  • Use for a coloring activity
  • Teach a Primary song

Elder M. Russell Ballard reminds us that all children are the offspring of God. “Regardless of physical limitations or the challenge of circumstance, their souls are endowed naturally with divine potential that is infinite and eternal.”