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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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Our neighborhood is focused on family history and preparing to attend the LDS temple.  I have seen a couple of great activities centered on these topics – they were simple and meaningful and celebrated the Activity Day girls.  One of those activities was “T is for Temple.”

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One of the greatest reasons why this activity is so effective was what happened before they even got there.  The leaders did a wonderful job of creating activities that focused on their end-goal of celebrating family histories, including pioneer heritage and preparing for the temple.  This is what they did:

  1. Family History Activity: shared family stories, gave each girl the “My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together” booklet and discussed getting stories from their parents and grandparents
  2. Pioneer Museum Field Trip
  3. Scrapbook Pages: girls brought a story about an ancestor and they put together a scrapbook page about those stories
  4. Heritage Photo Shoot: a photographer in their neighborhood took photos of each girl – many of them were dressed in period clothing of their ancestors (darling! And they displayed these at the Recognition Activity)

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ACTUAL RECOGNITION ACTIVITY

Welcome Activities as They Gathered (T-Party Hats + Family Search Experience):

- T-Party Hats: each girl created their own T-Party hat using paper plates, paper bowls, silk flowers and ribbon.  Dollar Stores are a great place for inexpensive flowers.

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- Online familysearch.org Experience: families set up a Family Search account if they didn’t already have one and added parents and grandparents to their tree if they were not yet connected.  If that was already completed, they did a scavenger hunt to explore Family Search and learned how to add photos or stories.

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Scavenger Hunt Ideas (things to find on Family Search):
- name of someone in your group’s great-great grandmother
- year another person’s great grandfather died
- name of someone in your family that you found a photo for
- name of someone in your family who was born in the 1800s

Opening Prayer and Welcome

Young Women Speakers: 3 girls in the neighborhood (age 12-17) shared their testimonies and experiences with family history and going to the temple to do baptisms for the dead.  They gave ideas of how Activity Days girls can prepare for the temple.  This was the favorite part of the evening.  These youth are great examples of who the Activity Day girls are becoming and did a wonderful job of encouraging them to prepare now to attend the temple.

Leader Message

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Ancestor Pages: girls shared their scrapbook pages about their ancestors as well as what goals they have been working on over the last six months.

Closing Prayer and Refreshments

Favor: T-Party Hats and picture of our local temple for the girls to take home

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Something that I loved about this activity was the family involvement.  The girls can’t register for a Family Search account without their parents – this was a wonderful way to help each family to explore Family Search and catch the spark that comes from finding and learning about our ancestors.  I liked that they had something for the families to do if they were already experienced with Family Search to introduce it to the girls.

Each aspect of this activity had purpose and helped the girls connect to their families in some way.  The activities leading up to the event paved the way for the girls to truly get the most out of the activity.  They were prepared and the activity celebrated their efforts.

Fabulous activity!  Thank you for all you do!

 

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I was blog-hopping today, checking out the beautiful Thanksgiving tablescapes in the “Be Our Guest” blog hop and came across this lovely gem.  Beth at UnskinnyBoppy used my Split Pumpkin Flourish shape from the Silhouette shop for her gold foil napkin rings.  Click here for her entire post and here to find the shape in the Silhouette shop.  You can also find it in Lori Whitlock’s svg shop in a holiday bundle here.

Enjoy the beauty!

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Three words.  Do.  This.  Activity.

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First of all, families were invited and it was short (about 45 minutes total).  But every part of it was meaningful and an opportunity for the girls to share and SHINE.  The group has been working on developing and talking about testimonies.  This Recognition Activity focused on that – testimonies.

What Do We Want to Have Happen: Give the Activity Day girls a chance to share their testimonies in a variety of ways.

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DECORATIONS:

The girls made the invitations (I don’t have an example of that).  The girls also made the decorations.  Each girl created a “scrapbook page” with their photo and their written testimony.  The leaders found garage sale frames on the cheap and spray painted them.  These were set up as a “gallery” around the room.  Families and girls looked at them as they arrived and then at the end of the program.  What a great way to celebrate each girl, give them all a chance to share, and help them remember their testimonies once they go home.

This activity did not require a large space and could easily be done in the Primary or Relief Society room depending on how many girls you have.

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Suggestion: Consider helping each girl in the writing process.  As a former school teacher, I know that each student learns at different rates and they are all at different levels of writing ability.  Often times, their ability to actually write is slower than their ability to think.  Take the time to sit down one-on-one with each girl.  Ask them questions about their testimony.  It can be as simple as, “What do you like about the scriptures?”  “What do you know about Jesus Christ?” “What do you know about Heavenly Father?” etc.  It will still stay simple and authentic but provides a framework for helping them each to realize exactly what they know about the gospel.  Then write it down for them.  Children often think faster than they can write – write the first draft for them based only on what they say as you prompt them with questions.  Finally, they can use the draft to rewrite the final version of their testimony on the scrapbook card.  Keep it simple and short.  This will be an AMAZING learning experience in itself as you guide each girl in a one-on-one teaching moment to help them identify what a testimony is and what they know is true.

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PROGRAM:

With one of the 11-year-old girls conducting, they had a program that reflected different ways to share and talk about testimonies.  The girls did each part of the following program:

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Intro – “We have been learning about different kinds of ways to share our testimonies.”
Song – Let the Holy Spirit Guide Hymn #143 – all of the girls practiced and sang it together
Testimony – one girl shared her testimony
Story – “Thomas’s Testimony”  The Friend July 2013 (click here)
Talk about Testimonies – she shared about what she learned at our Stake Activity Days Day Camp – we are all covenant keepers and shared her testimony
Song - I Love to See the Temple  Children’s Songbook #95 – one girl chose to sing a solo.  Brave girl and wonderful expression of what she knows is true.

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Explain that they can each take a Book of Mormon and write their testimony in the front (perhaps during a Family Home Evening).  Encourage them to share it with someone.  One girl had a plan of exactly who she wanted to give the Book of Mormon to and wrote a beautiful note to her at the activity.  Her testimony is clear….as well as her love for her friend.

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You could insert other girls bearing their testimonies throughout the program if you choose.  You can also add to or change this program any way you want to meet your needs.  It took about 15 minutes to go through the whole thing.

GALLERY + REFRESHMENTS

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They were then invited to take a treat (cookies) and look at the gallery of testimonies.  There was a wonderful spirit of happiness and celebration during this activity.  It was simple and meaningful.  It really packed a punch and focused on sharing what the girls had been working on.

Want the printable that they used for the light sticks.  These became a little favor for each girl to take home, along with a Book of Mormon and their own testimony frame.  Click on the link below:

Tag for Light Stick printable

Put this activity in your plan – the prep work that happened in the activities leading up to it was fabulous and focused on learning and living the gospel.  You’ll love it just as much as we did!

 

Boo-vase

Don’t be deceived by the seemingly simple vinyl application on this vase – she put the vinyl on the outside AND the inside for a cool, dimensional look!  The “boo” is found here in my Silhouette shop for all of you Silhouette users.  See the entire description here.

The perfect way to show your creepy Halloween spirit.

Enjoy!

 

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I had a request for a tutorial for how to use my Pocket Tags in the Silhouette shop and here it is!  Sure, you can use these pocket tags as a tag…but how fun is it to enlarge them and create a fabulous invitation!  The method for assembly of the tags works the same no matter how you use them – check out Kelly’s tutorial here for all the details and step-by-step instructions.

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Go to the Silhouette shop for all Pocket Tag designs.  Just search “pocket tags kolette” when you’re in the store and you’ll find them.

Enjoy!

I’m not on the front lines with Activity Days any more.  I serve on the Stake level so I get to attend Recognition events and hear about great ideas but I’m not the one getting to carry out these fabulous activities you are seeing here.

I was stopping to get the mail the other day when I saw one of my old Activity Day girls sneaking around the side of  my neighbor’s home.  A car was following nearby, very slowly.  Upon closer look, this car was full of other Activity Day girls and one of their wonderful new leaders.  I knew something good was up!

 

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I went over to the car and found out that it was the older group of Activity Day girls (the 10-11 year-olds).  Each of them had chosen a different younger Activity Day girl to be their Secret Sister.  For their activity, they put together little bundles of treats with a note to each girl.  They were sneaking around the neighborhood delivering their treats to each younger Activity Day girl.

 

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I loved it on the spot!  Then it got better.

 

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Their next assignment was to call each girl’s parents and find out the answers to a series of questions about their Secret Sister.  They were then going to share about their Secret Sister as a surprise at their next Recognition Activity.

Girls celebrating other girls.  What could be better?  Being examples.  Saying, “This is what it looks like to be in Activity Days.  We care about each other!”  We all know that friendships and relationships are often made because we invest time in getting to know another person.  That is what this activity is doing.  Plus, the younger girls will watch this and know how to be kind to those around them.

VARIATIONS: This idea could be incorporated into your Activity Days program in lots of ways.  If you don’t have more than one group of Activity Day girls, who else could they be Secret Sisters to?  Maybe you focus on the 7-year-old girls coming into Activity Days the next year.  How about widows or older couples in your neighborhood?  You could choose various women in the neighborhood who have influenced each girl.  There are a variety of people who would benefit from this activity.

Growing up, I lived in a neighborhood that had many older women living there.  When I was 12, we had a leader who asked each of us to choose individual women, then helped us do a “secret” something for them once a month for a year.  After about 12 months, we invited these women to a dinner and activity to recognize and celebrate them.  I still remember dropping off a bud vase with a garden rose and a note attached or a plate of treats that we had made then running away to hide in the bushes while our “Secret Sister” found their gift.  The gifts were always simple, rarely cost much money, but were a way to say, “Someone is thinking of you.”  You don’t have to do a gift once a month for it to be effective – keep it simple but make it meaningful.

Think about it.  How would you develop this idea?  Please, please, please tell me!  I love this whole concept and can’t wait to see what you do with it!

Enjoy!

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