“Jiffy Books,” Ensign, Apr. 1984, 74
A fun way to utilize teaching moments with small children is to use a modified quiet book. These “jiffy books” keep a child’s attention during church meetings and reinforce basic gospel principles. The book I made for my daughter used pictures to focus on the family and the Church.
The books are easy to make. To start, buy an 8-by-10-inch vinyl photo album in your child’s favorite color. The kind with self-adhesive plastic pages works well. To apply straps for easy handling, purchase a small amount of vinyl or slicker cloth. (Slicker cloth has cloth backing and is stronger.) Cut two strips 1 1/2 inches wide and 10 inches long. Turn the edges to the inside lengthwise, overlapping slightly, and top-stitch on the sewing machine. Using a heavy-duty stapler, attach the ends to each side of the album. Letters to title the book may be cut out of the same fabric and glued on the front cover.
For the inside of your book, you need a package of decorative paper and an assortment of lace doilies for mounting, narrow ribbon or rick rack for edging, magic markers for labeling, and glue. Items that teach the importance of the family and the gospel include a picture of your child and the words “I am a child of God”; a portrait of Jesus; photos of mother and father, brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents; pictures of the Prophet Joseph Smith; keepsakes the child has cherished from Primary and other Church meetings; a favorite poem or story clipped from the Friend; pictures of one or more of the temples; a photo of your meetinghouse; and, on the last page, another portrait of Jesus. Exactly which items you include is up to you and your children. The self-adhesive pages keep the pictures clean and in place.
As the children grow older, the books can be modified to teach other gospel ideals. You can make a book to include only the life of Jesus, the prophets of the Church, or just one of the prophets with his pictorial history. The book can focus on pictures of all the temples, or on a gospel principle such as reverence, faith, love, or sharing. I compiled one jiffy book for my daughter which includes poetry, counsel from the General Authorities, a special letter from a grandmother, copies of favorite Church songs, and articles with messages to prepare her for temple marriage. These jiffy books are one of the many ways we can implement the gospel into the lives of our children. Joan H. Evans, Salt Lake City, Utah