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Archive for the ‘Activity Days’ Category

“We hope this will be the first of many dates that you do with your dads.”  That was how this leader ended her message at the beginning of this Daddy Daughter Recognition Activity.  What a great message to leave these fathers – spend more time with your daughters.  Build a relationship with them.  Show them you love them.  Talk with them.  Share memories together.

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The evening started out with a short message from a leader:

  • Heavenly Father loves us so much that He gave us a family.  In that family is our dads.
  • Dads are special for lots of reasons.  They hold the priesthood and can help us when we need blessings and teach and lead our family.
  • He can be a hero in many ways.  They can help us increase our testimonies, lead us and guide us to make right choices and keep our covenants.
  • Dads are always there for you.
  • You are here tonight to have fun with you…let this be the start of many daddy/daughter dates together.

Note: Consider having the girls share what they have been working on over the last 6 months in Faith in God or perhaps have the dads share one area that they have seen growth in their daughter.  It usually doesn’t take very long if you give them a limit of sharing just one thing and it’s a great addition to any Recognition Activity.

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FAMILY NEWLYWED GAME

Back by popular demand!  This game was a hit the last time they did it with their moms so the girls requested it again – that’s a sure sign that an activity works!  Don’t be afraid to do something that is effective again.  Every activity doesn’t have to be totally new in order to be effective.  This game proves this point perfectly.

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They use white boards and the daughters/dads are facing each other.  This is a great set up and is super effective.  I like how they get to see each other’s reactions as well as the answers of those around them.  It made the whole activity very fun and expressive and connecting.

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If you don’t have white boards, you can also use a sheet of card stock or chipboard inside a plastic sheet protector as a “white board.”  With a white board marker, it still can be erased and works well if you don’t have a set of whiteboards (one of these leaders is a teacher and used the ones from her classroom).

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Here’s a list of the questions they asked – first about the daughters then about the dads.

Favorite Question to the Dads: “What is your dad’s favorite store?”

Daughter’s Answer: “Hobby Lobby”

Dad’s Response: “I wait out in the car!”

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LINE DANCING + PHOTO SHOOT

No western Daddy/Daughter event is complete without line dancing and a western photo shoot.  Because of a building scheduling issue, they had to make it work in tight quarters – it was great!  Don’t let less-than-perfect logistics deter you.  They love it even if the space isn’t ideal.  These leaders did a great job of just making it work.

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REFRESHMENTS

Western-style treats included cupcakes, licorice “ropes”, Rice Krispy “hay bales” and the old “watering hole.”

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The favor was a take-home package to make a couple of S’mores together.  I liked how this extends the Daddy Daughter date a little longer where they can create their treats together at home.

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As always, activities involving just dad or just mom are a fan favorite with Activity Day girls.  Thanks for letting me come!

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PJs, makeovers, story time, moms.  What Activity Day girl wouldn’t LOVE this Recognition Activity?  This night had a spiritual message, lots of connecting for moms and daughters, and a healthy dose of fun.  And it actually was fairly simple to execute because the moms brought a lot of the supplies (nice!).

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INVITATION

I didn’t see the actual invite but this activity was called “Mother-Daughter Slumber Party” and it asked each person to bring the following:

  • wear your PJs
  • bring a blanket to sit on
  • bring makeup and a hairbrush to do makeovers (many moms brought makeup that could be “destroyed” because it kind of was…)

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MESSAGE + BEDTIME STORY

The girls were asked to come up to the front of the blanket area for a message about their year-long theme that this group had been focusing on all year: “Daughter of a King”

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  1. One of the purposes of Activity Days – a place to feel safe and learn that they are all different but they have a Heavenly Father who loves them no matter what.
  2. Have the girls look in a mirror and ask, “Who do you see?”  Answers included things like, “myself,” “girls,” etc.
  3. Story: read Daughter of a King by Rachel Ann Nunes (find it used on Amazon here)
  4. Have the girls look in the mirror again and ask, “Now who do you see?”  Answers changed to, “a princess,” “daughter of a king,” etc.
  5. Discuss how each of them is a daughter of a king with potential to do great things. That they have a Heavenly Father who loves them and wants them to return home to Him again.
  6. Each girl stands and shares what they have been working on over the last 6 months in the Faith in God program.
  7. Pillows: explain that the leaders made little pillows for each of the girls to remind them, every time they lay their heads on it, that they are a princess and daughter of a king (the girls take the pillows as they leave later).

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They created small pillows then added a printed card and created a little package for each girl.  Here’s the printable (I think they probably changed the color to navy blue in photoshop).  Clear here for another option.

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BLIND MAKEOVERS

Makeovers are fun but blindfold the one holding the lipstick and you are taking the fun to a whole new level.  The leaders brought the blindfolds (men’s ties or bandanas worked great) while the moms brought the makeup and hair stuff.  The girls started as the artists, followed by the moms.

Note: bring baby wipes so everyone can clean off their faces because they like to try it more than once!

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Nail stuff was located in one section of the gym – the leaders brought all kinds of fabulous polish for moms and daughters to do each other’s nails as part of their makeovers.

And don’t forget fabulous ponytails to complete the look.

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PHOTO SHOOT

Need I say more?

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PILLOW FIGHT

What slumber party would be complete without a pillow fight?  The night ended with a “pillow fight” using huge campfire marshmallows! Don’t kid yourself – it was fun for the girls but the moms were into this!

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REFRESHMENTS

A treat table complete with all kinds of candy and a hot chocolate bar was the fun but simple refreshments for the evening – everyone could go and load up at any time throughout the activities.

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Note: The hot water was very hot – they thought it would cool down quickly but the thermoses did their job and kept it toasty hot.  Keep that in mind and maybe dispense the water beforehand so it has a chance to cool just a little.  Also, because everyone was on the floor and walking around, there were a quite a few hot chocolate spills.  Be prepared for that with clean up supplies or maybe larger cups that aren’t as full would help.  You could also use a paper plate to put their individual treats on as well as their cup and that would have helped everyone know where the cups were placed on the floor and possibly stop part of the hot chocolate if it still spilled.  No one cried over this spilt milk, though!  It was a small hiccough that didn’t put a damper on the fun at all – just something to be prepared for.

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I love any activity that connects parents or families to the girls and helps to build relationships.  This activity did just that.  The message was wonderful and they did a good job of creating a balance of fun with learning a gospel principle.

Thanks for the party in my PJs!

 

 

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How are these Activity Day girls growing?  Celebrate their growth in each of the Faith in God areas with this “blooming” Recognition Activity.

1.  Welcome / Theme Introduction

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2.  “I’m Growing…” – Girls share how they have grown in each of the three areas of the Faith in God program (Learning and Living the Gospel, Serving Others, Developing Talents).  These girls had a paper where they had written the ways they were growing in Faith in God.  Consider using a previous activity for the girls to write down how they have grown or send home the assignment so they can prepare with their parents if needed before the event.  You can display their papers or share in front of the group.  Perhaps have a parent stand up with them or share for them if they are too nervous to do it on their own.  Help them feel comfortable and safe in sharing!

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3.  Plant a Seed – learn how to plan a seed in a small pot.  Teach tips for best growth and invite parents to pitch in and help.  Make sure there is enough space for everyone to “dig in” together because that’s half the fun!  Invite parents to ask questions and talk with their daughters about what they are going to work on to keep growing during the next 6 months.  Consider having them write a goal or two on the flower pot tag to help remind them that they are blooming where they are planted.  “I’m going to bloom where I am planted by….”

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4.  Family Question Game – discuss how everyone grows through support and love from their family.  Play the Family Question Game found in this previous post (see, I told you I saw this game again. Loved it both times!)  Find an example of how they played here.

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5.  Dirt Cake – of course, no “growing” event can be finished without some Dirt Cake!  Click here for an example of every kid’s favorite treat!  Or simplify the whole thing (I’m a fan of this) and just use chocolate pudding on the bottom with crushed Oreos on top. Of course, a couple of gummy worms finish off the yumminess!

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I walked into church the other day and saw this door to the Bishop’s office and had to stop.  It had Activity Day girls written all over it (figuratively and literally)!  It’s an easy spin-off of the “Heart Attack” idea (click here for previous post) and the purpose was written right there.  The girls had been learning about the role of their priesthood leaders and wanted to thank them for their service.

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I can see how the activity might have gone….

1. A short lesson about the roles of our priesthood leaders, emphasizing their service and our need to recognize that.

2.  Discussion about how to express that in a note.

3.  Writing notes and drawing pictures to attach to the Bishop’s door.

4.  Sneaking into the church to leave some love for the Bishop and everyone who happened to walk by that door!

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This activity makes my brain start working on all of the ways that a “Heart Attack” type activity might be modified to accomplish different needs in Activity Days.  Certain women or families who have influenced the girls could be the target.  Girls who maybe don’t come to Activity Days but we want to welcome in.  Widows, widowers or single parents.  Teachers.  Primary leaders or music people.

Anyone could be the recipient of this service project at any time of the year. You don’t have to just be grateful in the fall – gratitude is a message for 365 days of the year.  Add this activity to your calendar – it’s a keeper.

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Elder Gary E. Stevenson said, “You are never lost when you can see the temple.” (Sacred Homes, Sacred Temples April 2009)  Click here for the full talk.

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In our Stake Conference last week, our Stake President told a story about something that happened two days before.  He and his wife had attended a session at the Ogden temple to prepare for Stake Conference.  As they were walking out, Activity Day girls from a nearby ward met them at the door with cookies.  These treats had a note attached that said,

“While you were serving in the temple, we were serving you.”

What a wonderful way to help Activity Day girls begin to understand why we attend the temple.  I can only envision the lessons taught to these girls as they talked about why this was a service project worth doing and what their role in preparing for the temple is.

As I’ve thought more about it, I wanted the message to be more clear regarding the Activity Days girls’ need to prepare themselves to serve in the temple when they turn 12 years old.  I wanted the note to say this instead:

“While you were serving in the temple, we were preparing ourselves to attend the temple, too!”

TEMPLATE - ChristmasI was so inspired by this story from our Stake President that I created this printable to help you make it happen!  Click on the following link to download this tag:

Temple Service Project – Tag

I like how this focuses on their individual preparedness to be worthy to enter the temple doors to do baptisms for the dead.  I can see a lovely lesson centered around what we are doing now to be covenant keepers and how that will prepare us to take that next step to serve in the temple.  You may not live nearby a temple to be able to carry out this service project.  No problem – this particular activity could be just one step in many activities and lessons that focus on the temple.

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Consider these questions:

  • what are temples?
  • what happens there?
  • why temples are important?
  • why do we perform temple ordinance for those who have died?
  • what we need to do to stay worthy to go?
  • how do we prepare and keep ourselves clean so we can serve in the temple?
  • what blessings come from temple ordinances and attending the temple?

These are just some of the questions that can be addressed during activities about the temple.  What you do to answer those questions is as varied as the people creating the learning experiences.  Take the girls’ photos at the temple, make artwork focusing on the goal of getting to the temple, talk about it.

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When you think about what the most important gospel truths that we could be teaching these young girls, how to be covenant keepers and looking toward the temple is probably the most important and has the greatest eternal consequences.  I’ve learned in my own life that when we are focused on the temple, everything else seems to fall into place.

“As we touch the temple, the temple will touch us.” – President Thomas S. Monson (Jordan River Temple dedication – referenced here)

Think about this idea – especially you leaders in our Stake.  How can we make the temple more a part of the lives of these Activity Day girls?  There are many ways to get the job done and no one way is correct.   What we know for sure is that keeping our eyes on the temple is a sure way to be covenant keepers.

What are you going to do to focus on the temple?  Click here if you would like to learn more about the LDS temples.

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Here is another great activity focusing on families and family history.   This could also be done at a regular Activity Days activity but the families sharing together was a wonderful idea.  With the “campfire” set up in the middle of the floor, families were asked to bring a blanket to sit on and a family story to share.

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WELCOME

DINNER: What better campfire food than Pigs in a Blanket and oven-made S’mores!  No utensils needed and they were a hit with everyone.  Super simple and on the cheap.  Great idea.

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STORIES: After dinner around the campfire, the girls and their families were given the opportunity to share a story from their ancestors or their current family.  Some read their stories, others told them.  Many had props to help demonstrate their story.  It all worked.  If someone chose not to share, that was just fine.

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We all enjoyed hearing adventures of wedding days, rattlesnakes and how one family became the “Washtub” branch instead of the “Potato Sack” branch!  It was a fun way for the girls to become familiar with family stories and create a connection to their ancestors.

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Elder Quentin L. Cook said in April 2014:

We finally have the doctrine, the temples, and the technology for families to accomplish this glorious work of salvation. I suggest one way this might be done. Families could hold a ‘Family Tree Gathering.’ This should be a recurring effort”
(“Roots and Branches,” Ensign, May 2014, 47).

These family history activities is accomplishing exactly this charge.  Well done!

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This activity is a darling spin-off of the “It’s in the Bag” activity found here.  Simple. Meaningful.  Celebrates the girls.  My three favorite qualifications for a great activity.

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You’ll notice on this invitation that the girls were asked to bring 3 items to share what they have been working on in the three Faith in God areas.  I was so touched and impressed by the thoughtfulness and preparedness of these girls when they shared their items.  Many of them had written their experiences down beforehand and all of them shared WHY they brought each item.  I learned a lot about these girls – especially that they are working toward all of the right things and wanting to choose the right.

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WELCOME:  The activity started out with a short message from their leader about the strength of these girls and their potential.

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SHARING: Each girl shared their three items and many of them bore testimony of what they believe.
Favorite Quote after sharing an Article of Faith:”The reason I like this Article of Faith is because I really DO believe all of those things!”

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FRAMES: After the sharing, each girl created their own “I’m Proud to Be Me” frame.  The blank wooden frames were found at Michaels and the patterned paper was pre-cut (trace the frame itself onto the paper and cut them by hand) then attached to the frame with white glue painted on.  I love the baker’s twine tied quote.  I hope those girls BELIEVE how wonderful they are!  Fabulous Activity!

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