Gospel learning is now VERY home centered.
How can you keep your children engaged in “Come Follow Me”?
Help has arrived!
Read on for an “all you can eat” feast of ideas.
Children and “Come Follow Me”
“Come Follow Me” is both a joy and a challenge.
Luckily, help has arrived!
I hope you enjoy these many, many ideas to help children stay engaged during this precious family time.
Incentives & Attention Getters
Love and patience
Treasure chest – Have items inside that introduce what you are learning about.
Vary your location – Try different rooms, outside, on the floor, under a table fort (with a blanket draped over the table.)
Return and report – have a treat for anyone who can remember what they learned last time.
Tell them to respond with thumbs up or thumbs down to yes or no questions.
Give each child their own set of scriptures. Ownership encourages love of what is inside.
Tape quotes or pictures about the lesson around the house (to remind them about what you talked about during the following week).
Send little texts during the week on the topic.
Record part of the lesson beforehand. Let them listen with earphones.
Record various people reading parts of the lesson.
When reading a poem or singing a song, have them stand up each time they hear a certain word.
Charts can help them see their progress.
Get on eye level with them.
Pull word strips or small pictures out of a container.
Mirrors – kids love to see themselves. For example – ask, “who was Heavenly Father talking to in this scripture?”
Change the volume of your voice from dramatic to quiet.
Patience and love.
Hands on analogies – (example – “This rock in the water is like a hard heart. This sponge is like a soft heart. See how the sponge soaks up the water? That is what happens to you if you have a soft heart. You can soak up the Spirit when it comes to you.)
What lessons can you point out from building, maintaining and enjoying a campfire?
Dance to related music
Swirl and swing scarves to related music
Memorize short scripture bits (use action and repetition to help.)
Relay race – teach cooperation, following, obedience, responding to leaders etc.
Felt board stories
How can you use nature to back up what you are teaching during “Come Follow Me?
Will a walk in the forest help things sink in?
Let them stay up late and view the stars laying on a blanket together. The wonder may jumpstart a testimony.
Create actions to go with scriptures.
Tell them to stand up if you _________. (For example, stand up if you think this is true.)
Gather them close and cuddle as you teach.
Give them space. They can each have their own blanket laid out on the ground.
Activity poems (The “Friend” has many of these)
Simple science demonstrating a “Come Follow Me” principle.
How can you use:
- Spinning a boiled egg vs. raw (They spin at different speeds)
- White carnation in food dye water (changes color over the week)
- Vinegar and baking soda
Take activity song breaks when they get restless
Take a field trip to a location that relates to your lesson.
Stations – have them do one small activity at their own pace at each location
Act out the scripture story
Dress ups – come in costume of the person you are discussing. Or, have everyone come dressed as a scripture character.
Stuffed animal show – Each animal can play the part of a person in the scripture story.
Make a family video on the topic
For Good Discussions & Better Participation during “Come Follow Me”
Story chain – someone holds an item and starts the scripture story; they pass the item and the person they pass the item to continues the story. Keep passing until the story ends.
Have the children teach small portions of the lesson.
Don’t be afraid of silence. Sometimes kids just need a minute to think.
Ask questions that cannot be answered with a yes or no to stimulate deeper thinking.
Use a “talk rock”. When the person is holding a rock, it is their turn to contribute to the discussion. (Create instant order!)
- How do you feel about this?
- What is happening in this picture?
- Will you tell me in your own words what I just said?
Know when to switch it up. Always have extra activities ready for when they lose interest.
Ask them to show how they feel with their faces. (Smiles, frowns, confusion etc.)
If the kids all want to say the prayer, let them each pray. You can’t have too many prayers.
- I love how you did that!
- That was really nice of you.
- I can tell you really care about that.
- Thank you for telling us how you feel.
Older kids teaching younger kids one on one.
Divide and Conquer – occasionally split into smaller groups if you have another adult in your home.
Improved Retention & Application of “Come Follow Me” for kids
Love them so much
Repetition, repetition, repetition – Kids like pattern, they like repetition.
- Give the same lesson more than once.
- Say things over and over together to memorize them.
- Have a set schedule they can count on.
Comment area – Have a place where the family members can write their thoughts throughout the week about what you are learning.
Pray as you prepare.
Go short – divide up short teaching moments throughout the day instead of one long lesson.
Use the 5 senses in your lessons
Know when to stop. When they stop learning or the Spirit leaves, it’s time to be done.
Teach the child, not the concept.
The “Look for . . .” Ask your child to look for a specific thing when you read a scripture. (Example – look for what action the person took.)
Music to emphasize “Come Follow Me” topics
Pray for Heavenly Father to fill you hearts with love for your child.
Listen to related music
Perform related music
When memorizing, put it to music. (You can even invent a new tune to go with what you are memorizing.)
Watch related church music YouTube videos
Name that tune of related music
Listen to the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square
Sing along with the Tabernacle Choir videos on YouTube.com
Listen to “Music & the Spoken Word” together.
Create actions to go with songs.
Use inspired background music during activities
Activity songs from the “Children’s Songbook”.
Homemade noise makers for your music
Check out ChurchofJesusChrist.org/music
Family Art time for “Come Follow Me”
Love them like Heavenly Father loves you.
Create art together about the subject you are studying. (Drawing, coloring, painting etc.) Take time to discuss how the art relates to the topic.
What crafts could you do as a family to cement the topic in their minds?
Play dough sculpture
Gospel art online
The Church History Museum Store has an online catalog of amazing inspired art that you could view together.
The Church History Museum has their art competition winners online.
Take a tour of the spiritually related art you have in your home. Talk about what the art means to you.
Picture match game – have a variety of pictures. Ask them to choose what picture reminds them of the doctrine you are talking about.
White board or giant piece of paper group draw
Driveway chalk illustrations of the story you are telling. (You can draw as you tell the story, or they can draw.)
The coloring pages in the “Friend” magazine
Create an art gallery of the things they make during “Come Follow Me” time.
Take pictures of their creations to send to friends and family. Post them on social media (with their permission).
Make” on topic” collages.
Make art projects to give away.
Family “Come Follow Me” Games
Be so patient.
Homemade puzzles – write or draw something about your lesson, then cut it into pieces that the kids can reassemble
Chutes and Ladders – change out the cards for new ones related to the lesson
Twister – instead of spinning the wheel, ask questions on different color papers you draw out of a bowl randomly.
Jenga – tape numbers to the blocks. The numbers relate to prepared questions.
Bean bag games
Waste basket basketball. If you make it in, you answer a question.
20 questions game
Games in the Friend magazine
Cut a scripture into word chunks, mix them up and have the kids put them in correct order.
“Simon says” to teach obedience and careful listening etc.
Video, Movies & Media
Don’t forget how much Heavenly Father loves them.
Watch related church music YouTube videos
“1 in a million” videos with children their age bearing testimony on the church website (New Friends)
Video or audio record your children’s testimonies, telling scripture stories or reciting scriptures to send to far away loved ones.
Watch videos or even movies related to your lesson. Tell the kids you are going to stop and talk about things sometimes. (Treats at all stopping points helps them not be annoyed.)
Record the crazier antics to watch later, or for sharing with friends and family.
“Latter-day Kids” on Youtube
Reading & Writing
Remember that love is a gift you can ask for in prayer.
Assigned words – non-readers can participate in scripture reading by being assigned words. For instance – you can point to your son each time you come to the phrase “And it came to pass.” He gets to say that part of the scripture.
Child friendly poems (Kids love rhyming)
Read related stories from the “Friend”
Make it a bedtime story
Fill in the blanks – If they can’t read yet, just leave out easy words for them to guess as you say sentences.
- To record feelings about what you are learning
- Instead of asking for verbal responses to your questions, have them write the answers (to share or not to share.)
Keep a family journal of memorable moments during your “Come Follow Me” time.
Scripture Stories “For Young Readers”
Links to Kids and “Come Follow Me” resources at ChurchofJesusChrist.org
“The Friend“ (of course)
What other ideas do you have for children and “Come Follow Me” success?
Tell us how these ideas worked with your family, we’d love to hear.