Saturday, July 26, 2008

Tree of Life

Listening: After dinner we stayed at the table and read the Scripture Story of Lehi's Vision as told in the Children's scripture stories. Then we let Andrew help read the "The Wonderful Fruit" Pictostory.

Pretending: We moved into the living room where I had previously set the stage for us to act out the Vision together. Each of us played a role. We did it several times and the boys never got bored with it. We wrapped a piece of wood with foil for the iron rod. The blankets represented the dirty water and the mist of darkness. They created a straight and narrow path. Our ficus tree was decorated with white popcorn balls which represented the tree of life and the fruit. The barn and little people were the great and spacious building.

My Little Nephi

Ryan kept "saving" the wicked people and bringing them to the "tree of life." My little missionary.

Singing: We sang the chorus of "Hold to the Rod" together several times until Andrew knew the words. We ended with "Popcorn Popping", of course.

Ryan "holding to the rod"

Snacking: We ate the yummy "fruit of the tree of life." (AKA Popcorn Balls)

1 Nephi 8
1 Nephi 11

Sunday, July 20, 2008

FHE With Preschoolers and Toddlers

I know there are tons of blogs out there with great FHE ideas. Bloggers who are much more creative than me! I enjoy reading them and using their ideas in our FHEs. Most of what I have found has been a little too old for my 3 year old and one year old boys. They have very short attention spans. So on this blog, I will share what I have found or created myself (rarely) that has worked with my little ones. I will also share what may have flopped completely, so you can learn fom our trial and error.

At our home, FHE is informal, never stiff. (How could it be with two tiny boys)? Sometimes our activity and lesson are combined. Sometimes we memorize a scripture while we stuff our mouths with the treat or while we play with a parachute. We change locations and presentation methods often. We usually start the lesson at the dinner table while we have a "captive" audience. Then we move somewhere else for the activity part of the lesson. We always have prayers, music, scripture reading, and a treat. The lesson portion is generally a combination of several interactive activities. That way I can get more than 5 minutes of teaching in. By planning 5 or 6 different segments of FHE, we are able to have about an hour of focused family time teaching a principle of the gospel.

I also don't use ideas that take tons of preparation. I don't have time for hours of prep with two little boys to enjoy all day. I try and spend Sunday evening gathering my materials and planning. I do feel like it is something I should spend time and energy on so we can be successful, but I don't feel like it is something that should take away from time I spend with the boys while they are awake. (Especially when they are just as happy if Daddy pulls out his guitar and plays primary songs for an hour. That is our favorite).

Occasionally our Family Nights are very simple. We read a gospel art picture, sing primary songs, and play Ryan's favorite "Duck, Duck, Goose." Others are elaborate with a theme. I just feel like it is important that we have them every week, no matter what. I don't want my boys to ever remember a time when we didn't have FHE in our home.

My greatest resources for planning are the Gospel Art Kit, the Sunbeam manual, the Friend, and the internet. I will come up with our topic and google it. If you are doing a bible story, there is a wealth of information available. Some of the sites I frequent are linked on the side.

If you have done lessons on similar themes, please share your comments. If you use one of our ideas, let me know if it worked for you.