Weekly Thoughts and Tips

June 2015


Get Moving!

By Marissa Widdison
June 26, 2015

Two children running

We all know that kids need to be physically active each day. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that children and adolescents have at least an hour of daily exercise. Their guidelines propose aerobic, muscle-strengthening, and bone-strengthening exercises. But exercise doesn’t have to be difficult or boring! Pages 24–25 of this month’s Friend have ideas for fun outdoor games that families can use to get moving. How does your family make exercise fun? Send us your ideas at friend@ChurchofJesusChrist.org!

Summer Quiet Time

By Jocelyn Christensen
June 19, 2015

Two baskets filled with books and activities

We recently had our last day of school and have been making summer plans. I decided that as a family we could benefit from quiet time each day, so I put together quiet-time baskets for each of my children.

Each basket is tailored to their needs, interests, and stages of development. In addition to fun art supplies and academic items, there are Faith in God and For the Strength of Youth booklets for the older kids, journals to write and draw in, stamped envelopes for writing to cousins, easy Book of Mormon readers, and Friend magazines. I plan on rotating these items with other things, like small games or other activities that will encourage thoughtful moments.

So far, I can’t believe how excited they are about “quiet time”! It’s been fun to watch them exploring on their own and being creative in an introspective way. In a broadcast last May Elder Ballard said, “It is important to be still and listen to and follow the Spirit” (“Be Still and Know That I Am God,” CES Devotional, May 2014). I'm hoping that this new tradition of daily quiet time will help our children form a life-long habit of taking time to be still enough to hear the promptings of the Holy Ghost and to take personal initiative for their spiritual growth.

Summer Reading Fun

By Jenna Koford
June 12, 2015

Two girls reading books

Making a summer reading list is a great way to spend your time. This month’s “Book Reviews” offers some options for fiction, nonfiction, and transitioning readers. There are even picture-book reviews! Make your summer reading list—and don’t forget about the Book of Mormon! Send an email to friend@ChurchofJesusChrist.org and tell us how many books your family reads this summer!

Listening with Love

By Jan Taylor, Primary general board
June 5, 2015

Girl holding a hymn book with music notes on a chalkboard behind her

I sat at a table in our home coloring pictures with my six-year-old grandson one Sunday evening. I started asking him some questions to engage him in conversation.  “How was Primary today?” I asked.

“Good,” he responded.

“What did you learn?” I inquired.

He did not respond so I asked him a different question.  “Have you learned the song for this month?”  He immediately started to sing it and I joined in.  We were singing “I Know That My Savior Loves Me” as we continued to color.  Right before the line, “I know He lives” we paused to take a breath.  My grandson said, “This is the part where I cry.”  A thought suddenly came into my mind and I asked him, “Do you know why?”

He became quiet as I listened for his response. I could see he was seriously thinking when he broke into a big smile and said, “It’s the Holy Ghost.”

In Teaching No Greater Call, it states: “Listening is an expression of love… As a teacher, you can do much good by listening. When you listen, you focus your teaching on the needs and interests of individuals. You demonstrate your respect for their ideas, opinions, and experiences. You show that you care about them individually,” (“Listening,” p. 66–67)

As I listened, the Spirit prompted me ask a simple question which provided the opportunity to help a six-year-old recognize the influence of the Holy Ghost and nourish the seeds of his testimony.