Weekly Thoughts and Tips

June 2018


Helping Young Children Share

By Jess Ward
June 29, 2018

Children Fighting

“It’s mine!” Does that sentence sound familiar? It’s no secret that sharing is a difficult concept for little ones to learn. But the good news is that sharing is a skill children can learn with practice.

Here are some ideas:

  • Sing a simple rhyme or song when your children need a sharing reminder, like, “Sharing our toys is fun to do!” or “I can share to show I care!”
  • Before friends come over, ask your child if he or she would like to pick a favorite toy to not share, like a prized stuffed animal or favorite truck. Put that toy away before the playdate.
  • Set a timer to help children take turns. Sometimes children think that letting someone else play with a toy means they’ll never get it back.
  • Make sharing a part of everyday life. Practice sharing with your child, even when it’s just the two of you, and point out when you’re sharing. Try, “Would you like to have some of my crackers? Look, we’re sharing! May I have a piece of your apple? Thank you for sharing with me!”

There’s a coloring page about sharing on page FJ7!

You can read past letters at FriendFPLO.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

Sacrament Reverence Book

By MaryEllen Van Engelenhoven
June 22, 2018

Friend magazine

As a parent, I struggled with helping our children be reverent for the sacrament. Here’s something that worked for our family

First, I tried to help our kids understand why the sacrament is sacred. (Resources for a family home evening lesson about the sacrament can be found here.) Then it was time for a simple art project—I’ll call it a sacrament reverence book—which can also be done for family home evening! Here’s what to do:

First, find pictures of Jesus and other appropriate art that promotes faith and reverence. Your child can draw events from Jesus’ life, cut illustrations out of the Friendmagazine, or purchase inexpensive pictures at https://store.churchofjesuschrist.org.

Next, help your child create or buy a small, inexpensive photo album or journal. (Your local dollar store could be a great place to shop for this.) Have your children glue or insert their pictures in the book. And there you have it! Your child’s very own sacrament book to help them to think about Jesus and help feel gratitude for what He has done for us.

Be sure to let your child be creative and “own” their special book by writing their name on the cover and helping them update it from time to time. You could occasionally slip in a new picture to surprise them. There’s no right or wrong way to make a sacrament reverence book. It’s up to you when you let them use it, but hopefully it will help them understand that the sacrament is the most important part of Sabbath worship!

Go on a Friend-ly Scavenger Hunt

By Marissa Widdison
June 8, 2018

Friend magazine

Do you have past issues of the Friend lying around? Create a Friend scavenger hunt! Come up with a list of pictures or words for people to look for. Then have everyone pick an issue of the Friend, and see who can find the most items in a set amount of time. Happy hunting!

Understanding Feelings

By Jess Larsen
June 1, 2018


Happy, sad, angry, excited—your child is experiencing a lot of feelings in that little body! Sometimes it can be tempting to sing, “No one likes a frowning face” and expect smiles all around. But young children need help understanding their feelings.

Here are some ideas to help your child talk about feelings:

  • Draw or print faces that show different emotions. Tape them to craft sticks. Tell your child different scenarios and ask how he or she would feel. Your little one will love finding the right face. Try to go beyond just happy or sad—include emotions like nervous, angry, excited, or embarrassed.
  • Listen to music that inspires different emotions and dance along with what you hear. For example, try “Flight of the Bumblebee” for a busy feeling, William Tell Overture for excitement, or “Clair de lune” for peace.
  • Cut out a paper doll chain. Ask, “What color would you use for sad? Happy? Mad?” Have your child color each doll a different color. Then fold up the chain and explain, “Even when you feel lots of different things, you are still you! Are different feelings OK? Yes, they are!”
  • Look at picture books together. What emotions do the characters feel? How do they act? Talk about what your kids can do when they feel sad or mad, like stomping three times, scribbling on a paper, or saying a prayer for help.