Weekly Thoughts and Tips

February 2017


Caring for the Elderly

By Marissa Widdison
February 24, 2017

Grandmother and girl

Do your children have the chance to learn from elderly people? Especially if grandparents live far away or are no longer living, children may struggle to feel comfortable around older people. A couple things in the February Friend encourage us to show love to elderly people—there’s a nice coloring page on FJ7, and a story on page 32 that talks about a girl visiting a care center and playing the piano for the residents there. Here are some other ideas for helping children feel more at ease with their elders:

  • Learn the birthdays of widows and widowers in the ward and make them birthday cards as a family
  • Don’t be ashamed of your own physical signs of aging; help children understand that wrinkles and graying hair are a natural part of life
  • Invite an elderly couple to dinner
  • Share family history stories and pictures
  • Set an example of being helpful and patient with elderly people
  • Talk about what you’ve learned from older people or how they’ve blessed your life
  • Encourage your children to serve older people, such as helping them with yardwork or with family history

Giving Role Play a Try

By Ashley Barnett
February 10, 2017

Girl writing

If you’re a teacher for senior Primary, you probably teach kids who can read and write. That means you can incorporate longer stories and harder activities into your classes. This month you’ll be teaching about Joseph Smith translating the golden plates, and February’s Friend has an activity that might be fun to use as part of the lesson. Page 21 features a code with a secret message. Instead of each child decoding the message on their own, role play Joseph Smith and his scribe! One person holds the code and pretends to be Joseph Smith, and another person has paper and a pencil and pretends to be the scribe. “Joseph” then translates the letters, and the scribe writes down each word. Each person could take a turn translating a word or being a scribe. How hard is it to find the right letters? Now imagine how hard it would be to translate reformed Egyptian letters! Talk about how Joseph was able to translate though the gift and power of God. This would also work for FHE!

Teaching Young Children about Jesus

By Kim Reid
February 3, 2017

Father and son reading

Preschoolers are beginning to learn about the Savior. Their hearts are open to Jesus’s love, and their ears are open to stories and music about Him. Long before little ones understand what Jesus has done for them, they can know He loves them—and feel love for Him in return.

Three ways to teach little ones about Jesus:

  • Choose a wall, shelf, or scrapbook to display pictures of people who love your child. Include a picture of Jesus along with pictures of your child’s favorite relatives and friends. Point to the pictures and ask him or her to name all the people. This can give you a chance to tell your child who Jesus is and that He is real.
  • At bedtime, tell stories about Jesus. Little ones will listen to almost anything that begins, “Once a long time ago …” You can visit scripturestories.ChurchofJesusChrist.org and use the illustrated or animated versions of scripture stories too.
  • At music.ChurchofJesusChrist.org, you can search the Children’s Songbook for songs about Jesus. Listen to them or sing them throughout the week. When children hear “He Sent His Son,” they get a simple message about the Savior’s mission. When they listen to “I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus,” they learn that Jesus is kind.