“Giving Children a Chance to Serve,” Liahona, Sept. 2010, 13
Anyone serving in the Primary can tell you that children often have difficulty coming to Primary ready to sit quietly and learn. No matter how skilled a leader is or how much teachers love their class, children sometimes act out.
Latter-day Saints have been told that all new members of the Church need a responsibility.1 Having a responsibility helps them feel a part of the Church and gives them a chance to learn and grow. Children can enjoy these same blessings when they are given a chance to serve.
Callings are not given to children, but Primary leaders can prayerfully search for service opportunities for even the smallest child. Here are a few ideas:
Have an older child help a younger child during sharing time.
Invite a child who has arrived early to stand at the door and greet others as they come to Primary.
Assign an older child to be in charge of making sure the microphone is turned on.
Ask a few older children to get chalk, eraser, crayons, or other items from the library.
Ask a child who plays the piano to play a prelude or postlude hymn.
Assign two friends to sit by a visitor or new member and help the person feel welcome.
Invite a child to help lead the music.
Assign several children to help set up or take down chairs.
Ask a child and the child’s family to visit a new child in your ward or branch.
Ask a child to hold a picture.
Ask someone to create a simple chalk drawing to go with your lesson.
Ask selected class members to invent actions to a new song they are learning.
Help an 11-year-old plan a Primary activity day. This will help the child complete a Faith in God requirement.
However large or small their responsibility, remember to thank children for their service.
I have enjoyed working with children as they have learned to serve. It is rewarding to watch them grow and use skills in the Young Men and Young Women programs that they began to develop in Primary.