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Primary Activity Days

Jena Peterson - August 28, 2006

The description provided on lds.org tells us that the purpose of Primary Activity Days is to "give children opportunities to interact with each other and have wholesome fun by participating in physical, creative, cultural, and service activities."

Since the point is to “put into action the principles they have been taught during Sunday Primary and in their homes,” we wanted to give you, your presidency, and your teachers a few ideas to do just that.

Physical

Game day in the park. Reserve a pavilion at a park with a lot of space to run around. Begin with Missionary Tag. Have children and adults pair off into groups of two, link arms, and spread out over a grassy field. Two people in the middle start. One is “it” and the other is being chased. The person being chased has to link arms with one person in a pair, then the person on the other side of the pair breaks off and is now being chased. If the person who is “it” tags the person being chased, that person becomes “it.”

Follow up with a water balloon fight, tug-of-war, and Red Rover. Serve watermelon, fruit juice, vegetables and dip, and other healthy snacks for refreshments.

Junior Olympics. Again, reserve some space at a park. At church in the weeks before this activity, pass around a sign-up sheet with the competitions listed. Consider a slip ‘n’ slide event, three-legged sack race, relay race, water balloon fight, and maybe even a tumbling event. Let each kid sign up for two events. Have trophies, medals, and ribbons ready. Think about recruiting impartial judges or assigning teachers to different events. Make a schedule and have an awards show at the end. For refreshments, make round sugar cookies with gold, silver, and brown frosting to look like medals.

Talent Show

You can use several activity days to get ready for this one. For a talent show, the creative part comes in when the kids choose to practice and do something they don’t already know how to do. Have the teachers and other kids be ready to help and teach each other something new. One violinist could teach someone who wants to learn one simple song; a piano teacher can teach another child a song; if one of the kids wants to learn how to lead, the Primary chorister could teach them how to lead and for the talent show he or she can lead the audience in a Primary song.

For refreshments, have kids who want to learn how to cook something come prepared with a new treat someone else taught them how to prepare.

Don’t be afraid to branch off. If the kids want to learn how to do something that can’t be performed, take pictures before and have them present one or two while telling the audience how they learned to do it.

Cultural

Ancestry Potluck. Enlist parents’ help for this one. Have each child find out which countries their ancestors are from. Make a list and have the kids research and make (with help) a dish from one ancestor’s country. Bring everyone together for a Saturday potluck lunch.

Dad’s (or Mom’s) Mission Dinner. This can be the same type of activity as the Ancestry Potluck, but each dish comes from Mom or Dad’s mission country.

Around the World. Have this theme spread over several Primary activity days, featuring one continent and its countries each activity. Again, find out where the parents served their missions.

For the first month, invite the kids whose parents served in Europe to find out as much as they can about their parents’ mission country. At the activity, kids (and parents if they’re available) can tell about the country and share something cultural with the rest of Primary—maybe an English folk song or a dance from Poland. The refreshments can be treats from those countries.

For the second month follow the same pattern, this time featuring Asia; the third month feature Australia and the Pacific islands, and so on. Have fun decorating!

Service

Letters to the Elders and Sisters. Stock tables with paper, pens, and pencils, and have the Primary write letters to the elders and sisters serving from your ward. Consider combining this with a cultural activity and learn about the countries in which your ward’s missionaries are serving.

Grounds Cleaning. If there is a temple or meetinghouse going up in your area, find out if you can organize an activity to help clean up the grounds, plant flowers, or beautify the surrounding area.

The Good Samaritan. Using the cultural hall, bring dress-up clothes and have the older Primary members (ages ten to eleven) put on a performance of the story of the Good Samaritan for the rest of the Primary. Have teachers help the Primary audience follow along as a narrator reads Luke 10:30–37. In a culminating lesson, emphasize Mosiah 2:17 and the importance of service to others.

Teaching Principles

Dinner with the Missionaries. Prepare a simple dinner like a potato bar for the Primary kids, leaders, and the missionaries serving in your ward. Giving enough time for them to prepare and schedule, invite the elders or sisters to come to dinner and share their testimonies of missionary work. Have them encourage the kids to get ready for their own missions and live so that they can serve. Open the activity with a prayer and the song “I Hope They Call Me on a Mission.”

Temple Trip. If you live close enough to a temple (and with permission to travel), take a trip just to walk around the grounds and visit the visitors’ center. Sing, “I Love to See the Temple” before you leave and talk about how to prepare to go to the temple.

Mother’s Day

On the Saturday before Mother’s Day, use your activity day to make presents for moms. Many wards hand out flowers for mothers on Mother’s Day, but try this alternative. Get a small terracotta pot, potting soil, and a pansy or geranium for each child. Check out your local nursery for other options. Bring paints, sprays, glitter, and brushes and let the kids decorate their own terracotta pot.

Teach them how to gently plant a flower in soil and give them instructions on watering. On Mother’s Day, give each child his or her flower to take to Mom. Have some of the kids decorate more than one pot so the extras can be given to women in the ward who’s children aren’t in Primary or who don’t have children.

Father’s Day

On the Saturday before Father’s Day, make homemade ties for every father in the ward to wear to Church the next day. Get several yards of white felt and cut out an oversized tie with two straps of thin elastic at the “knot” for dads to secure it around their neck. Give kids puff paint, markers, and other decorating materials to decorate their dad’s tie. For dads in the ward with kids grown and gone or in the nursery, assign an older child to make an extra one. Deliver the ties so that every dad in the ward is wearing one the next day at Church.

© LDS Living Magazine
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