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Archive for the ‘Activity Days’ Category

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There are a lot of ways to recognize Activity Day girls for their achievements as they go through the Faith in God program.  Recognition Activities can be a great way to do something a little special with the girls, family members or other special people in their lives.  Sometimes both parents are invited, sometimes just mom or dad or another special person, sometimes the whole family.

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At these events, it’s important to remember the instruction for these activities outlined in the Faith in God book under the section “Orientation & Recognition”:

2.
At least twice a year, a Primary activity day (or a Cub Scout Pack meeting) should include opportunities for the children to share what they have learned and accomplished.

A key phrase in these instructions is “opportunities for the children to share what they have learned.”  Sometimes this can be kind of tricky to include or it often gets forgotten when we plan Recognition Activities.  I have seen a lot of ways that groups in our area have created opportunities for the girls to share their growth in one or all of the Faith in God categories (Learning & Living the Gospel, Developing Talents, Serving Others).

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I thought it might be helpful to compile some of these ideas all in one place.  Many of these ideas can be a part of just about any activity and any theme you are working with.

Enjoy!

  1. BRING SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT THAT CELEBRATES FAITH IN GOD

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This idea works in a lot of ways and can be adapted to just about any theme.  Click here for how it was used in the “It’s In the Bag” activity and here to see how the same format was adapted for a “Proud to Bee Me” theme.

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This is also the strategy used when the girls share a family history story such as at the campfire activities found here and here.

Tea Party

At this activity, the leader gave a talk about how everyone has unique talents and that sometimes you need to try a lot of things to discover your interests and talents. The leader then shared one or two special things about each girl. Each girl also talked about their talents and some shared what they wanted to do with those talents when they grew up.

Tips to Make Verbal Sharing Successful:
1.  Invite a parent to stand in the front with them in case someone is feeling shy or nervous on their own.
2.  Establish clear instructions for sharing so they know what they are supposed to do.
3.  If there is a girl who doesn’t want to come because she has to be in front of people, invite a parent or leader to share for her.
4.  Keep each person’s sharing short and sweet (we’ve found that most girls this age only end up talking for about 30 seconds anyway!)
5.  Have parents or leaders briefly share how they have seen each girl grow in one of the Faith in God categories.

2.  PREPARE SOMETHING BEFOREHAND TO USE AS THE DECORATIONS

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Use an activity before your event to create something meaningful to display and use as the decorations.  The above activity “Let It Shine”, where each girl’s testimony was framed and displayed, is found here.  This strategy often makes each girl feel completely safe and confident in how they are sharing.

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This group had each girl draw a life-size outline of themselves and decorate it with words and phrases that described them.  They identified their talents, had others help them celebrate who they are, then got to take their drawing home to remember all the wonderful things about themselves.

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Another example was at the “Law of the Harvest” activity where they identified a goal they are working on and made a piece of art to showcase it.

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Here are some drawings that girls did to display their talents.  They created these at a previous activity and the leaders used Dollar Store frames – this showcased the drawing and the girl!

3.  USE A DISPLAY TO HIGHLIGHT INDIVIDUAL FAITH IN GOD PROGRESS

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4.  CREATE SOMETHING AT THE ACTIVITY FOR SHARING
One group used these “Mom & Me” journals as a way for the girls and their mothers to share thoughts and feelings after the activity.

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5. CREATE QUESTIONS FOR GIRLS & SPECIAL PEOPLE TO ASK EACH OTHER
A simple interview can help girls share what is important to them in their Faith in God progress.  This example helps them share about their Family History, but what if there were questions about their testimony and how they felt about the gospel?  What kind of service they are doing and how they feel when they do it?  What do they feel like they are good at and how can they improve on their talents?  There are many questions you can offer the girls and their family members to help them share one-on-one about their growth and progress in Faith in God.

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6. USE A GAME TO SHARE ABOUT EACH OTHER
A kid-appropriate version of the “Newlywed Game” is a great way to share with each other.  Consider asking some questions that have to do with Faith in God such as, “What would you say is your best talent?” “What is your favorite thing you have learned from the scriptures recently?” “What are you working on to be better?” “What is your favorite way to serve others?”  Those questions are a little harder than, “What is your favorite color?” but they get into some deeper information about who these girls are and the kinds of things they should be thinking about in their lives.

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Play a game that tests their knowledge of gospel principles, such as this Articles of Faith Memory Game.

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7. HAVE GIRLS SET GOALS WITH THEIR FAMILY MEMBER

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8.  MENTOR THE GIRLS AS THEY CONDUCT THE ACTIVITY
Use the girls in as many places as you can during your activity.   Mentor them as you plan out what they might need to say to conduct, give them a list of what they should say so they are successful and teach them how to stand in front of people and speak clearly.  It is a great learning experience for these girls to “run the show.”  Does someone play the piano and could plink out an opening song?  Let them!  Are the girls saying the prayers to start and finish the activity?  They are more than capable.

Give them a chance to participate in as many aspects of the event as possible and they will gain confidence in their ability to share more in the future!

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Let me know if you have ideas of your own for this list!  The more these girls share their progress, the more confident they will feel and will be able to apply Faith in God categories into their lives.  I challenge you to give it a try and then SHARE your ideas here!

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GIRLS AT WORK: TESTIMONIES UNDER CONSTRUCTION

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This Recognition Activity was for the girls and their parents.  They focused on having a true foundation based on their testimony.

Mini-Lessons
Going to five different (short) lessons, they learned about the five parts of a testimony found in this message of The Friend and earned a picture for each part to place on their testimony glove.

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The Living Christ
After they received their testimony gloves/pictures, they met back together and were given their own copy of “The Living Christ” document.

Invitation to Act: each girl was challenged to use their copy of “The Living Christ” – to mark it up, fold it and put it in their backpack, bring it to church, pull it out during Sacrament Meeting…to become familiar with it.  The leader then testified of the promises and blessings as they become more familiar with and increase their testimonies of the Savior in their own lives.

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Shirts
At a previous activity, each girl made their own shirt with their darling activity logo.  The girls wore their shirts to this activity.

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Decorations
They also created the “cone” decorations for the tables and wrote down their favorite Activity Day moments from the last six months.

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This Recognition Activity was done in the fall and helped the girls celebrate the fact that when they work for something now, they will have the blessing of the “harvest” in the end.  Mothers were invited and it was a wonderful harvest celebration.

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Decorations: Individual Goals
In a previous activity, each girl created a piece of artwork that highlighted their individual talents and goals.  They chose something they wanted to work on and the leaders will talk about them again in six months to see how many blessings have been “harvested.”  A wonderful, individual way to share their growth in the “Developing Talents” category of Faith in God.

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Welcome + Message
A short message, explaining the “Law of the Harvest” was given and the rest of the activity was explained.  Click on the following link for the message:
The Law of the Harvest

Harvest Games
After sharing their artwork and goals, they played some harvest games.

Leafblower: blow as many leaves down the length of a table.  Suck them onto the end of your straw and place them in a container.  The most leaves wins!

Pumpkin Balance: who can balance pumpkins on a craft stick in your mouth the fastest?

Pumpkin Cup Stacking: who can stack their pumpkin cups into a pyramid the fastest?


Handout + Treat
Each girl received a homemade loaf of bread and small jar of jam to remind them of the blessings that come from a harvest.  The following handout came with the treat.

AD Harvest HANDOUT

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EVERY MASTERPIECE IS A THING OF BEAUTY

This fabulous activity was focused on connecting girls connecting with their dad or other special person as they created something together and learned about their true beauty.

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Welcome + Theme Introduction
The decor was simple – artwork in a variety of styles was displayed at the front.  One of the leaders gave a short talk about how each piece of art is unique – just as each of them are unique daughters of God, beautiful in our own way.  The world is filled with messages that we are “not enough.”  These messages are not from our Heavenly Father.  He wants each of us to be different so that we can fulfill the things we are meant to do in this life.

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Art Teacher
The art teacher from the local elementary school showed the girls artwork from various students throughout the years.  She spoke to the girls about what the word “Masterpiece” means: an artist’s very best work.  She testified that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, who created everything, saved His very best masterpiece for the last: us.  We are His very best work.  We share Heavenly Father’s image and we also share some of their talents – we can be creators, too.  All of the great masters of art had to start small, just like you!

Art Project
Each girl and special person team created their own “masterpiece” canvas.  Mask off shapes and lines on your canvas then paint in each white space.  When dry, remove masking and you have a geometric work of art and quality one-on-one time spent together!

Paintbrush Treat
These simple, darling treats were the perfect way to end the evening.  Rice Krispy treats dipped in frosting with a craft stick for the handle and you have edible paint brushes.

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Try this wonderful, meaningful activity – you can adapt it many ways to fit your particular needs.  Learning about things that make them beautiful and working on a project with a special person is the perfect combination for a great evening.  The theme was “Every Masterpiece is a Thing of Beauty” and these girls are the greatest masterpieces of all.

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Mother-Daughter Luau + Daddy-Daughter Sock Hop

This Activity Day group has had a plan for the year – to focus on feet.  “Then In His Footsteps Tread” kind of feet, that is.  This was their overall theme and they created two activities to focus on this same theme.

This is a long post because it’s two big activities – one with mom and one with dad.  They could be done as individual activities or they you could do what this group did and connect them together as a year-long focus and theme.

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Their first Recognition Activity with moms and daughters was held in the spring – Luau style.

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Their second one was in the fall with dads and daughters and was a much-anticipated Sock Hop & Service Project.

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Let’s talk about both.

MOTHER/DAUGHTER LUAU

They started out with footsteps leading from a picture of Christ to the gym at the church building.

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Each mother and daughter chose a 3 Muskateer, Almond Joy or Snickers candy bar.  Once treats were chosen, they were told to talk to those at their table with the following rules: if you had a 3 Mustakeer the you told about 3 people that have influenced you, Almond Joy meant to tell what brought you joy, Snickers bar meant to tell what made you laugh.

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Welcome and girls singing a song they have been practicing for the Primary Program in the fall.

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Everyone was divided into two groups:

  1.  Learn the Hula

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  1. Photo booth with Mom

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All together again for flip flop cookie dessert.

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Then a talk found in the Ensign (Footprints of Faithfulness, February 2015) about a St. George photographer who was trying to capture a photo of the temple with a perfect layer of snow covering the sidewalk.  He arrived at the temple early in the morning and circled the block to find a place to park.  As he came around the corner, the once perfect snow had a line of footprints in it, made by elderly temple workers, getting ready for the first morning shift.  He realized that rather than perfect snow, this was the best photo he could capture.  Footprints leading to the temple.

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They then discussed how the girls can follow in the footsteps of their mothers and the Savior as they journeyed through their lives, using both as their example of righteousness.

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Finally, the evening ended with the girls giving their mothers a gift they had made at a previous activity: rag-tie flip flops!  They made them for themselves and their moms with the intention of giving them as a Mother’s Day gift (Mother’s Day was the following day).

DADDY/DAUGHTER SOCK HOP

Service Project

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With their focus being two Women’s Shelters in the area, the girls were invited to gather donated pairs of socks to give to women and children in need.  They collected from the neighborhood and they brought donations themselves.  They even got some donations from the local Target stores.  This service project culminated at the Daddy/Daughter Sock Hop one month later.

After the socks were collected, the leaders used another activity to deliver the socks to the shelters with the girls.

Invitation – use a CD and printed labels to create a “record” as each invitation.

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Activity

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Photo Booth
Of course, there has to be a great photo opportunity for these girls and their special guests!  I feel so blessed to work with all of the amazing women in our area who make Activity Days possible.  Lucky, lucky me.  I learn so much from all of them.

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Soda Fountain
This group actually served hamburgers and fries for dinner but that’s just a bonus.  Many groups don’t have the budget to serve dinner.  How about just focusing on the soda fountain instead?  The girls loved making their own specialty sodas and adding a little whipped cream or sprinkles if they wanted.

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Games
Bubble Gum Blowing Contest – who can blow the biggest bubble?

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Paper Straw Blowing Contest – remove one end of the paper on your straw and blow the paper off to see how far yours can go!

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Guess Who’s Feet are Your Partner’s – special guests when behind the curtain, removed their shoes, and stood with just their feet showing.  The girls guessed who’s feet were their special person’s.

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Sock Hop – line dances, lots of twirls and swings.  This is any girl’s dream to dance the night away with their special person!

A great culmination to a year of focusing on following in the Savior’s footsteps.

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This Mother and Daughter activity was focused on the journey that each girl takes from their blessing as a baby to the decision they made to be baptized and then preparing to be married in the temple.  3 major events.  3 beautiful white dresses.

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The dresses were on display and each girl was asked to bring a photo of themselves as a baby – in their blessing dress if possible.  They were also asked to bring a display of the things they had been working on over the last six months with Faith in God.  Those displays included photos of each girl in their baptism dress if possible.  Those pictures were much easier to gather because most of the girls have been baptized in just the last year or two.

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During the gathering, the girls had a fun time playing a game of trying to guess who was who in each baby picture.  They wrote down their guesses amid comments like, “She was so cute as a baby!”  It was a positive and fun interaction to kick off the activity.

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After a warm welcome, one of the Activity Day leaders gave a 5 minute talk about the “Best 3 Dresses in Life” and the spiritual gifts that each girl has to help them on their journey.  Since this particular leader had just gotten married only a year ago, she was a wonderful example of living the journey herself.

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After the message, each girl shared their talents in their display.  Moms were invited to come up with them if they wanted the moral support.

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Finally, mothers had been invited to share talents with the girls.  Much of the focus was on how our mothers were examples of developing their talents and how they can help each daughter develop their own.

Everyone was given this favor as the evening ended:

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The simple but tasty fruit pizza for dessert was a great way to end the lovely evening.  My favorite part?  The baby photo guessing game.  The energy and love was a wonderful way to start the activity.  Everyone do this!

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This activity was for Mothers and Daughters but it could have been done with dads or whole families.  It was a very meaningful but simple way to connect each girl with their heritage and everyone had a wonderful time!

Activity Days S’more Invite

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The Activity Day leaders thought ahead and had a fabulous activity about family history and how to find their ancestors on the computer before this activity.  This activity sparked the flame of interest so that by the time the Campfire Night rolled around, the girls were invested in learning about their families.

Mom and girls were invited to bring camp chairs, roasting sticks and a story of an ancestor to the campfire evening.  The fire was already going when everyone arrived and it was a cozy fall evening – perfect for storytelling.

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They went around the group and each girl told the story that they had brought to share.  They were given a half-sheet of paper in advance that invited the girls to prepare a short story to share with the group.  This helped them to keep the stories short and the interest level high as they told their stories.  Some of the girls even memorized their story and one brought photos to pass around.

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One thing that was fun about the stories was that they often reflected the personalities of each girl telling the story.  Some were funny.  Many were dramatic.  All were interesting to the group because they were interesting to the girl.  You could feel the family connection as each girl told of their ancestor.

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After sharing their stories, everyone was invited to roast marshmallows and make their own s’more treats.  They were also given a favor to take with them.  The whole thing was done in about an hour, with the gorgeous weather to make the perfect night.

S’more Fun Favor 4 On a Page

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UPDATE ******
Here’s another group’s take on a similar activity:

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Covered-Wagon Food Table
So awesome!

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Family History Challenge

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