Quick Christmas Activities

I LOVE Christmas.  Maybe because my birthday is really close to Christmas day.  Maybe it's all the sugar!  I think it's probably all the extra love we feel because of the great gift we have been given by our Heavenly Father.  We want to share that love with each other.  One thing I love to do with my family, and with whomever I am working with in my current calling is to refocus on "Christ in Christmas".  Here are a couple of simple ideas that might help with that.

This one is from no time for flashcards.  If you go to her site, she had her children fill out little clue cards for each member of the nativity.  They read a story about the nativity.  Then the kids went and hid the pieces of the nativity.  They sent the mom on the scavenger hunt to find each piece.  They got to teach her about each member of the nativity set.  So sweet.  You could adapt this for AD very easily.  
This one is from myeyeq.
I LOVE this ornament.  She has a free printable on her site.  This is just a clear ball with a little bit of sand and some shells, but it reminds us that Christmas is a joyous time because of everything the Savior did for us, the Sermon on the Mount, Gethsemane, Calvary, and the Resurrection.  I tried to help our YW see this when I taught them this Sunday.  Christmas is Christmas because of Palm Sunday, and Good Friday, and Easter.  

                                                      This one is fromlivelaughrowe.
So what does a snowman have to do with this Christ centered Christmas?  I thought this would be a cute and quick gift.  The girls could fill it up with a treat, there are so many pretty varieties of candy this time of year.  Then they can watch this:

                                                                      He is the Gift

Have you seen it yet?  It's very touching.  Have them take a minute and talk about what gift they can give back to the Savior this year.  Then go and give those cute snowmen to someone as a secret santa gift.  Or adapt any of these ideas as you would like.  Or use them to inspire you to go and create and teach your girls!  Merry Christmas!

Girls Who Choose God Book Review

So, a few months back I was asked by some lovely ladies to review this book that just came out, called "Girls Who Choose God."  It is written by McArthur Krishna and Bethany Brady Spalding, and illustrated by Kathleen Peterson.  Due to the missionary craziness in our house, it has taken me a few weeks longer to get to this than I had intended, but I am still excited to tell you about this amazing book!

It is all about women and girls in the scriptures, and I love it because we really haven't had a resource that focuses on all these great role models.  Since we work with young girls, I think it is so important to introduce them to lifelong friends and heroes in the scriptures.  There are many wonderful examples of strong, righteous women scattered throughout the standard works.  McArthur and Bethany put several of them in one lovely, thought provoking book.

The illustrations are beautiful and the stories are simply told.  But they also have a question at the end of each story, asking the reader when they have had to act as the girl in the story.  Having three daughters of my own, I appreciate this wonderful book.  I had my youngest girl read it, and she enjoyed learning about so many different women and their own stories.

The authors have a great online resource, HERE that shows different ways you can use this book, at home, or in activity days.  I promise, I am not paid by Deseret Book  :), but I would highly encourage you to look into acquiring this book.  I would even use some of my budget money, because I think it's such a great resource!  So, take a minute to stop by Deseret Book and browse through it, or if you live way out in the "mission field" like I do, which is pretty much everywhere but Utah, check out the website HERE and look around.  You will be glad you did!

Hello again!

So, you may have noticed that I have taken a break from this blog.  As you can see, we have been busy in our house!  A couple of months ago, we welcomed our son home from his mission to Uruguay, and last week, we sent our daughter off to the MTC.  She is Argentina bound!  Super exciting and crazy times around here!  I let everything go and tried to enjoy the few weeks all of us were together as a family.  

I have received some submissions and offers to help with the blog, and I am so grateful!  I will do my best to get all the posts up that have been on the back burner.  Thanks for your patience!  


LDS Blog Train Post: Pumpkins and Pompoms!

So, we have been invited to participate in the LDS Blog Train: General Conference Version!  I am excited, and more than a little intimidated, since I am NOT a digital designer.  However, I put on my thinking cap to come up with some simple activities that I thought would be enjoyable for not only AD girls, but little ones, as well.  Here is what I came up with-

General Conference Pumpkins and Pompoms

I love fall, harvest and Halloween!  You can use any of those themes to keep your little conference attendees paying attention.  

One great craft item that often gets overlooked is the humble pompom. 

You can buy a bag of them for just a couple of dollars.  And then, what, you ask?  Well, I will tell you!  

Idea #1:  Use THIS printable sheet of visuals and have the listeners cover each picture as they hear the topic mentioned.  You can use it as a bingo card, or have them cover the whole thing.

Idea #2:  Cut up the printable sheet of visuals and pick a few to tape onto small jars or buckets.  Whenever that topic is spoken of, the listeners can place a pompom into the container.  Or, go nuts, and use all the pictures for 15 different containers!  

Idea #3:  Assign each listener a key word, like "Jesus" or "faith".  Also, assign them a specific color of pompom.  When they hear their key word, they can put a pompom into their jar.  Having their own color just helps keep the pom stashes more equitable-intermixing of pom poms has been known to cause meltdowns. 

You can decide how to "reward" your listeners.  They may enjoy just filling up their cards or jars.  You might want to hand out a treat when they have reached a minimum level.  Hopefully, this activity will be flexible enough for both kids and moms to enjoy!

Now, on to the pumpkins!

Like I said, I am not a digital scrapbook designer, but I know how to shop on etsy!  And I used a kit I purchased on there to make a jack-o-lantern kit for conference.  **I did buy this with a commercial license included for personal use and also to make my own products, but just to be safe, please don't resell any part of this printable.  Thanks!** 

Build-a-jack pdf

This jack-o-lantern kit comes with pumpkins, noses, eyes, mouths, and also, some stems.  You can cut out the different parts of the jack-o-lantern and put them in different containers labeled with key words.  During each talk or session of conference, have your listeners build their jack-o-lantern by listening for the key words. Or give them a new piece for every 5 minutes they sit still.  Or give them a new piece for every 10 minutes they go without asking you for a drink.  Get out the kitchen timer!   Or you could even do this on the fly-for instance, telling your kids they can get a nose, if they hear President Uchtdorf say the word airplane or flying!  

Don't want to cut anything out?  Then next time you are anywhere near walmart, hobby-lobby, target, or any other store that sells halloween supplies, look for a kit that has pumpkins already cut out.  They are everywhere! 

I found mine at hobby-lobby, and grabbed a couple of sheets of adhesive-backed foam that I can have the kids cut up into jack-o-lantern features of their own design.  If you REALLY don't want to cut anything out, have them draw the pumpkin faces on with a water-based marker.  Easy-peasy.  

The only other thing you really need is some candy. Well, in my house, we do.  I need rewards to sit still for that long.  :) Oh, and comfy pjs!  Hope you enjoy conference this weekend!  

Go HERE for the build-a-jack PDF.
Go HERE for the conference bingo sheet.

You just came from granny enchanted.
Your next stop will be countdown to conference.  If you get lost along the way, go to the LDS Blog Train.

Duct Tape Jars and Tithing

This amazing idea is from Leigh Anne over at your homebased mom.  Not only is she one of my favorite bloggers, but she is an AD leader!  So we can reap the genius of her great ideas with the wonders of the internet!  Hop on over to the link above for this great idea.  And while you're there, you might want to stay awhile and browse her other fabulous, fun, pretty, and delicious ideas!  Seriously, I have loved every recipe I have tried from Leigh Anne.  Thanks for graciously letting us "borrow" this, Leigh Anne!  

Mother's Day Wind Chimes

Image and idea from designdazzle.com

This post is from Melissa and includes a couple of ideas:  

They made this wind chime for Mother's Day.  Here is a pic of their projects in progress:

She also included some ideas for Earth Day-these would be great for other topics: gardening, service, spring crafts, etc. 

"Earth Day:  We talked about Recycling, Reusing, and Reducing.  I had 2 hand outs with word puzzles, what earth day is for them to work on after we were done with our 2 activities.  

We made bird feeds out of empty toilet paper rolls.  Yarn through the tube, they slathered on peanut butter, and then rolled it in bird seed.

We also talked about how plants grow.  They were given 5 seeds, and made see through greenhouses, so they could watch the stages of the seed sprouting.  A ziplock plastic baggie, wet paper towels, seeds.  We talked about what plants need to survive and how to take care of their seed until it was ready to be planted in dirt."

Thanks for sharing Melissa!  Keep those ideas coming!

Babysitting Kit Update 2014

from simpleasthatblog.com

A lot of you probably know Rebecca from Simple as That.  I am a fan of hers from a few years ago when I found one of her amazing books on scrapbooking.  Now she makes all of these adorable creations:

She contacted me a few weeks ago and asked for permission to use an idea that has already been on here to create some new FREE printables for her AD girls.  Of course, I jumped at the chance!  So, I am happy to feature this adorable, new babysitting kit from her blog.
You can find it HERE.  Thanks for sharing your amazing talents with the rest of us, Rebecca!

Mother's Day Gift Ideas 2014

Mother's Day is right around the corner, and I think it's great to have the girls make something simple and sweet for their mom.  I tried to pull some ideas from around the net that you might find helpful!

This one is SO cute!  It's from Paging Supermom and can be found HERE.

You need a circle punch, some cute scrapbook paper, a cheap picture frame (or you might choose to leave this unframed and stick a magnet on the back), green card stock and paper baking cups.  I love the simplicity of this and that the girls can do it all themselves.

If you want to do something more in the pampering vein, this is a great spa in a jar!  It's a copy cat of Mary Kay's satin hands scrub.  Two ingredients, some cute jars, and you've got some Mother's Day love.  Go HERE to Raining Hot Coupons for the instructions.

Here's another de"light"ful idea.  :)  I love candles, and I think most women do.  Especially if they smell good.  Here is a super cute tutorial on how to make your own in a tea cup.  The girls might have a cup they want to use or you can go pick some up at the thrift store.  This cute idea is from The Wedding Chicks and can be found HERE.

I am working on one more project that I will have up tomorrow, but I hope these ideas give you some inspiration!

Help wanted

As much as I have loved activity days, all good things come to an end!  I have actually been released and am serving in YW now. I do have a few more activities and ideas to share. And I will be happy to keep things going here, but this is usually a collaborative effort and it's just been me for a few months. So I would LOVE to hear from any of you ladies who are interested in contributing and/or editing this blog!  Anyone? Anyone?  

Easter Activity Idea: Resurrection Rolls

image from cowboys 4 christ

Here is one more quick idea for an Easter themed Activity Day.  I like this one, because it is your activity and treat all in one!  This activity is making Resurrection Rolls, which are rolls which start out with a marshmallow in the center, and then, the marshmallow melts, and the roll is empty and hollow in the middle, representing the empty tomb.  While the rolls are baking, you have time to read the Easter story.  It's a great way to reinforce what Easter is all about!  So without further ado, here is the recipe:

Resurrection Rolls

can crescent roll dough
8 large marshmallows
melted butter
cinnamon sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 and read John 19 while it's heating.
2. Roll out the dough and explain how it is like the cloth they wrapped Jesus' body in.
3. Explain how a marshmallow is like Jesus, pure and white without sin, and it represents his body.
4. Roll the marshmallow in the melted butter and then cinnamon sugar, representing the oils and spices they placed on Jesus' body before burying him.
5. Roll the marshmallow in the dough, pinching the edges shut. Explain how this is like wrapping Jesus' body in the cloth.
6. Put the rolls in the oven, or the tomb, for 12 min.
7. While they bake, read John 20:1-18.
8. When baked, open up the rolls to discover the marshmallow is gone, just like Jesus' body was gone from the tomb because he was resurrected.

You might even consider sending the girls home with their own Resurrection Rolls Kit, so they can do this activity with their own family!  Here is a printable version for you if you would like to do so!  

go HERE for printable pdf,



Conference Roundup-Round 3 or whatever...

Just a few more quick and cute ideas that you could incorporate:
This is such a cute idea from mishmashmom.blogspot.com. You can view the post HERE.  She took the printables everyone created after conference and made mini copies.  Then, they were "preserved" in a jar for whenever her VT ladies needed a boost.  This could be a great way for the girls to remember main ideas from conference!  

This cute printable is made all to go on one sheet!  It is from lifesjourneytoperfection.blogspot.com and you can get the file HERE.  I love that it is mini and you could tie it up with a little bag of m&ms or whatever for their bingo game.  

This next activity is something that would work best with older girls, but they could definitely get the whole family involved.  It's Fantasy General Conference Brackets! 

You can go HERE for the 2014 version.
 I think it's a super cute and creative idea to keep the whole family engaged.  This would also be a great idea for YW.  

And another FABULOUS printable from courtneyaitken.blogspot.com.  This might be my new favorite!  You can get the pdf  HERE.  Have fun!  And enjoy this weekend!

Conference Roundup Spring 2014

I absolutely ADORE the website all things bright and beautiful, aka courtneyaitkenblogspot.com.  She designs the most amazing printables for YW and Primary and everything else.
from courtneyaitken.blogspot.com
This is one from last conference that I didn't see in time for the roundup.  Find it here.  I love it!  I think it would be super cute to hand out with some chocolate gold coins!  
from ldsnest.com

These printables are from LDS Nest and can be found at this link here.  You might want to use them with your older girls, because they are maybe geared more toward their age group.  They are available in both color and black and white. 
from ce.byu.edu

This cute idea is from BYU Women's Conference 2013.  They have a virtual sharing station you can view at this link here.  You would have to adapt this for the girls, sincesome of the steps are reading your patriarchal blessing, etc.  But the ideas are fun!  
from sugardoodle.net

Here is a terrific, as usual, packet from sugardoodle.  You can click on this link HERE to download the PDF.  
 from littleldsideas.blogspot.com
This is a superfun activity idea from little LDS ideas.  You could probably adapt it for an AD night, or put together a packet for the girls to do with their families, or use it as an after conference activity.  Either way, it involves ice cream.  I'm in.  Go HERE for the printables.

That's it for now.  I will keep an eye out for any other ideas.  Feel free to email or comment and share if you come across something or have a brilliant idea you want to share!  

Easter Activity: Resurrection Eggs

From momtheintern.blogspot.com
 Easter is only a few weeks away.  We live here in the south.  You can find Resurrection Eggs everywhere here.  Walmart, Hobby Lobby, the checkout of the grocery store.  I had never seen them before moving this direction.  They are really neat.  They go through the Easter story and talk about the different events leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection of the Savior using a familiar Easter symbol-eggs.  I used them in singing time and last year we made our own sets for Activity Days.  You can find a great version here

from momtheintern.blogspot.com
 There are several different versions on the internet.  If you want to substitute a scripture or an item for a different one, then listen to the Spirit and customize it for your group. 

from momtheintern.blogspot.com
Sometimes, you are limited by budget, availability, time, and size constraints.  That's why these are just ideas and you can adapt them to fit your needs! 

Here is an idea for a cute treat that is NOT sugar.  
Sorry, the only source I have on this is this pinterest pin.  

Just some cheesy bunny crackers in a plastic bag (cone-shaped, it might be a piping bag) tied with a green bow.  Easy-peasy!

 Happy Easter!

Cute Printable for Women's Broadcast Tomorrow

This year is the first time that all women aged 8 years and up will be invited to attend the Women's Broadcast.  It will be held tomorrow night, March 29, at 6 pm. MST.  If you want to give your AD girls some grown-up note cards with some inspirational quotes on them, check out these super cute journaling cards from LDS Nest here.  Thanks to the ladies over there for sharing all their creative goodies!  Keep an eye out for more conference postings.  

Christmas Ideas to Consider

I told you I was way behind.  Or way ahead, if you look at it that way!  This is an activity we did last year that was tons of fun!  We printed up these tickets:

You can find an editable powerpoint of this ticket HERE. The version of it in the googledrive is very plainjane, but if you download it and open it in powerpoint, you can change the fonts, etc.  

And handed them out the girls after Primary the week of the activity.  When they came we watched Luke II and then had a short intermission for a hot cocoa and cookie bar.  We had hot chocolate with a variety of toppings: whipped cream, chocolate kisses, mini peanut butter cups, red hots, peppermints, candy canes, marshmallows, and even grasshopper cookies.  They had a lot of fun making their own crazy concoctions!  Then they settled in to watch one of our family faves, a Claymation Christmas.  You could watch anything that is short and appropriate.  We love it because it has a lot of traditional Christmas carols in it and is highly entertaining.  It was a fun way to wind up AD for the season.  You could also send them off with a little something to remind them of the Savior during the hustle and bustle of Christmas.  We really enjoyed the down time and not feeling like we had to check off something.  

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