Sunday, August 31, 2008

New Nursery Manual

The church just published a brand new manual focused specifically on the needs of the Nursery Aged child. I am so excited. It is well-written and easy to use. The lesson plans are perfect for this age and you can use them at home too if you have nursery aged children. Each lesson has a gospel art picture and a coloring page. There are movement activities and finger plays.

Now I feel a little silly posting our FHE ideas, because this resource is perfect. So this week, I am going to refrain from posting our FHE from last week and just share this new resource with you. I hope you enjoy exploring the new manual as much as I did.

(Side note) I know we are not supposed to aspire to callings, but here is my secret wish. Someday I would like to be on the curriculum committee and plan lesson manuals for primary aged children. I think it would be so much fun. When I saw there was a new nursery manual I was truly as excited as I am at Christmas time! I called my husband at work. I was bubbly. I told everyone I spoke to that day. But no one cared quite as much as I did. At least they weren't ready to flip cartwheels over it. But I love that the church sees needs and fills them so perfectly. I love being a member of such an inspired organization. I love that our leadership is in tune with our Father in Heaven's plan for each of his children and that even our youngest members are important enough to teach the truths of the gospel.


Saturday, August 23, 2008


Preparing: We made 9 dozen cookies to share with other families. We made these yummy cookies from my cousin's blog.

Learning: We read the story of Jesus Feeding the 5000 from the Children's New Testament. Then Andrew helped read a Sharing Pictostory from the Friend. We talked about how we feel when we share.

Storytelling: I shared the story of The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchens using flannel board characters and cookies that Ryan and I had made together. I used paper plates and we acted out the story by dividing the cookies up between the plates for each character.

Sharing: While we each ate a cookie, our family chose four other families to bring cookies to together that evening.

Singing: We sang Give Said the Little Stream as we drove around delivering the cookies.

Scripture Memorization: Acts 30:35 "It is more blessed to give than to receive." We memorized the scripture a we drove to deliver the cookies, too.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


On the way home from church last week, I told Andrew that our FHE was going to be about sharing on Monday night. This is the conversation that followed.

A-I don't want to learn about sharing.
M-What would you like to talk about?
M-We can talk about feelings. That sounds like a fun idea. What makes you feel like laughing?
A-Well, you see, what makes me happy is not sharing.

This is a really simple lesson that was a lot of fun and not really much prep work at all. It almost seems too simple to post, but someone might need a quick lesson one night.

Learning: These ideas are from the Sunbeam manual. Andrew really liked talking about his feelings and it was eye-opening to hear some of his responses.

My Feelings

Sometimes when I’m very sad (make a sad face),
My mother hugs me. Then I’m glad (hug self and make a happy face).

Sometimes when I’m very mad (make an angry face),
I walk away and talk with Dad (walk in place and nod head, as if talking).

If something ever frightens me (make a frightened face),
I say a prayer to comfort me (fold arms).

Then when I go out to play,
I’ll be happy every day (make a happy face).


Draw four large circles on the chalkboard. Draw in simple features to make faces showing different emotions: happy, sad, angry, and frightened (see illustration below). As each face is drawn, ask the children to describe the feelings expressed on the face, and then ask them to make their own faces look happy, sad, angry, and frightened.

  • • What makes you feel happy?

  • • What makes you feel sad?

  • • What makes you feel angry?

  • • What makes you feel frightened?

Share with the children a time when you have been sad, angry, or frightened and a time when you have been happy.

Singing: We sang "If You're Happy and You Know It," "The Smile Song" and "What Are You Feeling" (from Signing Time).

As a child, I was always a little freaked out by this old man that frowned and smiled, so I was really excited to find this idea that uses a simple braid and smiley face to sing the song with. We made two faces with frown/smiles for us to use in our lesson and with the songs.

Playing: Musical Smiley Faces: I printed out several smiley faces and placed them on the floor. We played several feelings themed songs. We paused the music and took away a smiley face each time (similar to musical chairs). Instead of leaving someone out, we shared smiley faces with each other until we removed enough that all of us were on the same smiley face and then had a group hug and a tickle fest!

Snacking: We made homemade ice cream sandwiches. They were yummy and simple to make. While we ate treat, we told "Knock Knock" jokes to each other. Ryan learned to say "Knock Knock" and then giggle hysterically. Andrew perfected the "Boo-who?" joke.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Jonah and the Whale

Learning: We began FHE in the living room and told the story of Jonah and the Whale using the scriptures and the Flannel Board Story. The Sunbeam Manual has a great outline for questions for young ones that you can use to help them listen for answers in the scriptures.

Hold up the Bible and explain that we can read about fish in the scriptures. Tell the story of Jonah, as found in Jonah 1–3. Explain that Jesus prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah so Jonah would not drown. Jesus had work for Jonah to do. You may want to read aloud a verse or two, such as Jonah 1:17 or Jonah 2:1, as you tell the story. (If you read a verse aloud, explain that Jesus is sometimes called “the Lord.”)

  • • Who sent the big fish to swallow Jonah? (See Jonah 1:17.)

  • • What did Jonah do when the fish swallowed him? (See Jonah 2:1.)

  • • What did Jonah do when he got out of the fish? (See Jonah 3:1–3.)

  • • Did the people believe Jonah and repent? (See Jonah 3:5, 10.)

Pretending: Daddy had a great idea to use the Ryan's laundry hamper as the giant fish and the boys pretended to be Jonah as he was swallowed. The result was lots of giggles and pleas of "Again, Again."
Playing: We played "Mother May I?" and practiced listening and obeying.

Painting: We made a whale together as a family project. We sat it on top of our refrigerator this week to remind us to listen and obey. This was a fun activity. Both the boys were able to help and really enjoyed it.

Whale Paper Bag Craft

Singing: We sang the verse about Jonah in the primary song "Follow the Prophet." We also sang "Called to Serve."

"Jonah was a prophet, tried to runaway. But he later learned to listen and obey. When you really try the Lord won't let you fail. That's what Jonah learned deep down inside the whale."

Snacking: Whale Cupcakes: Try these cute cupcakes or go simple and buy the Whales crackers (generic goldfish) from Wal-mart.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Jesus Calms the Storm

This is both of our boys very favorite family home evening. We have done it many times. We change it up a little bit each time, but Andrew asks for it whenever it is his turn to "teach." It is really easy to put together on a really busy day. It takes virtually no preparation! (Those of my friends who are immersed in Edward and Bella's world right now might need that this week). This past FHE we really focused on the obedience part of the story and how we need to listen to the things Jesus has taught us to do.

Listening: At the dinner table we read the story from the Children's Illustrated Scriptures, Jesus Commands the Wind and Waves. Andrew actually knows this one by heart, so he tells the story to us.

Pretending: We create a storm in our living room. We use our rain stick, musical instruments, and shake a blue blanket to create a storm on the water. Andrew turns the lights on and off to make lightening. I hold up the picture of Jesus that is shown above. When I hold up the picture, all noise and lightening stops, and the winds and the waves obey Jesus. Both boys enjoy this game and we can make it last a long time. We talk about how we need to obey Jesus, too.

Scripture Memorization: To memorize our scripture we all take corners of the blue blanket and shake it up and down while we say the memory verse over and over again. Luke 8:25 "for he commandeth even the awinds and water, and they obey him."

Singing: We sing the chorus to "Master the Tempest is Raging" and then a song of the boys' choice.

Fun Activity: We have included water play at our water table outside with this lesson during the summer.

Snacking: For snack we make Banana Boats . These are fun camping treats we make in the oven. The boys are able to stuff the boats themselves with their favorite treats.