One of the things I struggle with my kiddos is trying to keep everyone involved and happy. Some of them get their little feelings hurt when they don't get to be my helper. Even though I use helper sticks to choose helpers fairly, they still get disappointed if they wanted to be chosen but weren't. Sometimes they will come up to me and say, "Sister Walker, I was sitting reverently and you didn't pick me!" I always try to praise them for their effort and tell them I DID notice, but I just can't choose everyone every week. But I am a MAJOR people-pleaser! I can't help it! It still makes me sad when they are disappointed!
So every now and then I try to come up with activities where every child can participate in someway, even if it's just holding something. I did this for teaching the President Monson verse of Follow the Prophet and it worked great. Here's what I did:
"Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to return"-each of the Sunbeams held a stuffed felt heart (I made these for the nursery a while ago, and I use them ALL the time. Anytime you need a visual aid for love)
"He blesses us with Prophets who help us all to learn"-each member of the CTR 4 class held a picture of a modern day prophet from my gospel art kit
"President Monson humbly leads God's church today"-each member of the CTR 5 class held a popsicle stick with a thumbnail size pic of President Monson on it (I also made these for my nursery babies to hold while singing the chorus of Follow The Prophet, and they come in handy in primary too)
" If we heed his words, we'll walk a righteous way."-each member of the CTR 6 & CTR 7 held a shoe (i just raided my little boy's closet)
I just taught them one line at a time and gave each kid their visual aid. Then when we put it all together, they would hold up their prop as we sang their line. It really kept their attention well because they got to hold something and feel involved, plus they had to pay attention to what we were singing so they knew when to hold it up!
This week, I am going to review The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but I also have to teach a Mother's Day song to Jr. (and review it with Sr, who already knows it pretty well). I am going to draw our chapel building on a poster board. I'll make sure the name of the church is clearly visible. (Hopefully I can get my artsy husband to help with this, because my drawing skilss are limited!) I will give each child a little simple drawing of a child (a boy for the boys and a girl for the girls). I'll give them a few minutes to color the child to look like themselves. While they're coloring I'm going to give each teacher a slip of paper with a question on it to reinforce the principles in the song. They will discuss with their class while they're coloring and come up with the answer. Then we'll come back together and start the review.
I'll ask each class to share their question and the answer. (For Junior it will be simple things like, "What church to we belong to?" or a fill in the blank question. Senior will be a little harder, like a line from the song with the words scrambled that they have to put in order). Then we will sing the song in a fun way (clap the beat, stand on one foot, march in place, etc) or just the line of the song that applies to their question. Then each child in the class will come up and put their replica of themself up on the posterboard by the picture of the chapel. When we're done I'll reinfoce how we all belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints , what we know, and what we will do with the truth that we know.
My objective is, of course, to repeat the song lots of times so they learn the words and the principles in the song. I think the children will enjoy that each and every person will get to participate and have fun.