Weekly Thoughts and Tips

January 2017


Two Pages, Many Uses

By Ashley Barnett
January 27, 2017

Friend magazine

February’s Friend features a cool poster about the golden plates, but you can use it in a lot of other ways! One idea is to write a few lines from each numbered scene onto small pieces of paper. Then tape them around the house and let your kids use the poster like a map to put the papers in order. Another idea is to turn the poster into a game. Use a die and game tokens—coins, beads, or anything small—to travel the path from golden plates to Book of Mormon [or something like that]. Read each scene you land on, and the first person to reach the end wins! For older kids, you could also cover up the text boxes with paper; you only get to move forward if you can remember what happens in each scene. What other adaptations can you think of?

Removing the Center Pages

By Marissa Widdison
January 20, 2017


Did you know that the center pages of the Friend (pages 24–25) are especially easy to remove from the magazine? Simply use something flat to pry up the staples, and the pages will slip right off like a two-page poster! Then you can bend the staples back down so your kids can continue reading the Friend. These center pages are often designed with this in mind. For example, in this month’s magazine, there is a two-page reading chart that your family could remove from the magazine and hang on the fridge. After reading the Church history scriptures on the back of page 25, color in the matching areas of the picture. Next month’s center pages will have a poster about the golden plates!

Adjusting to Primary

By Kim Reid
January 13, 2017

Teacher with children

January means big changes, especially for new Sunbeams! Whether your child dives into the new class, hangs back, or totally melts down at first, trust that Heavenly Father is happy you’ve brought them to Primary. It’s a good place for growing young faith!

Here are some ideas to help your child adjust to a new year in Primary:

  • Visit the Primary rooms when they’re not in use. Say, “See how the chairs are your size? This place is just right for you! See the piano? You’ll get to sing some great songs.”
  • If possible, arrange for your little one to meet the new teachers during the week. Or look at their pictures from the online ward directory.
  • Role-play beforehand. A sibling or parent could pretend to be the Primary teacher. The “teacher” will greet your little one at the door, show them where to sit, sing a Primary song with them, and teach a short lesson.
  • Explain that everyone has a job at church. Tell about what you do in your Church calling. Then tell about what a Primary teacher does. Ask your child to guess what their new job at church is—to be a Sunbeam! Explain what Sunbeams do, like sing, listen to the teacher, and show kindness to others.
  • Find out if there’s a friend or neighbor who will be in the Sunbeam class too. Encourage your child to look forward to being with the friend in Sunbeams.

New in the Friend in 2017

January 5, 2017

Grandpa reading the Friend with children

This year’s Friend is better than ever! Here are a few things to look for this year:

  • New paper. We’re so happy to be able to print on something that is better for children to use.
  • Fill the world with love! Help the kids in your life cut out a paper heart and write about a way they followed Jesus by sharing or receiving love. Then send it to us! We’ll be putting these hearts up on a giant map of the world, and we hope to cover the entire thing by the end of the year.
  • A CTR story and challenge card each month.You can find printable versions of the cards at CTR2017.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
  • A printable reading chart and monthly Church history figures to support the Sunday School lessons about Church history and Doctrine and Covenants this year.
  • More for older kids. This expanded section will include a couple of stories, a “snacks and crafts” page, pages to help them apply gospel principles to their lives, and stories written by other children.
  • The “Friend Connection” page in the Ensign. This monthly page will talk about what challenging topics are being covered in the Friend that month, in case you want to use the opportunity to start a conversation with your kids.