Activity Days Preview

This has become a tradition in our ward – we do it for Activity Days once every other year. We have one session of making the invitations and planning, and one where the younger primary girls attend Activity Days, learn about baptism, and play some fun games. It is an activity loved by all and doesn’t take too much advance planning. We have Activity Day girls now who first came to a preview day when they were five, and now they look back on it as a fond memory that got them excited to start attending regularly!

Categories: Developing Talents, Learning and Living the Gospel

Duration: 2 sessions, about a month apart. (You can skip most of the first session if you don’t want to spend time making the invites with the girls.)
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Supplies: 
  • Paper
  • Stamped envelopes with the name and address of all girls you want to invite. Depending on the size of your ward, you may want to invite just the seven year olds, all the younger girls in primary, or something in between.
  • Any card decorating supplies you happen to have
  • The supplies required by the activities your girls plan.
Preparation:
Week 1: Invites and Planning
  • Gathering the names of all the 5-7 year old girls can take  few weeks or just one day, depending on how organized your ward is!
  • Before the girls arrive, write out all the information that needs to be on the invitation, either on a piece of paper or on the chalkboard. Something like “Dear Friend, I hope you’ll join us for our Activity Days Preview on ______ from __ to__ PM in the Primary Room. We will be learning about baptism and playing fun games. If you have any questions, please call Sister _____ at _______. Love, _____”

Week 2: Activity Days Preview Night

  • Call all the girls a few days in advance to remind them of their assignments of what to bring, and that they will be talking about their baptism.
  • My Activity Day girls have always been very excited about telling their baptism stories, but if you don’t think your girls will have much to say, you may want to prepare a story about your own baptism, or just a basic short lesson on the importance of baptism.
 
Activity:
Week 1: Invites and Planning

1. Show the girls how to cut a card to fit the size of the envelopes you brought. Have them first write out the invitation, then decorate, first because some girls in this age range write really slowly and you want them to have enough time, and second because if they mess up with the writing they can just start over. I usually tell them to make about five more cards than we actually need because some are going to be more legible than others (but don’t tell them that not all of them are going to be used)!

2. Let them decorate to their heart’s desire, and while they are decorating, talk to them about how you would like them all to share their baptism experience with the younger girls. Anything they want to share (from the temperature of the water to the feelings that they felt) is fair game. And they can bring their baptism clothes, too, if they have them.

3. Next, have them think of about three simple games that they can play with the younger girls. Remind them that this younger age probably can’t read as well as they can, so some board games are out (feel free to reject suggestions that might not work out!). The common suggestions we get are sack racing, pin the tail on the donkey, sardines, hide and seek, three legged racing, etc.

 

4. Help the girls figure out who is going to bring the needed supplies, and write down their names to remind them later!

Week 2: Activity Days Preview

1. Sit in a circle for the beginning of the meeting, do introductions, and discuss baptism. Make sure the younger girls have time to ask questions.

2. Play some games! If one of the Activity Day Girls forgets their supplies, just play a rousing game of “duck duck goose” instead. In team games I will tell them how many older girls and how many younger are on a team, that way there is always a good mix of abilities.

More Ideas:
  • One of the great things about this activity is the pride of the older girls in planning the activity from start to finish. Resist temptation to plan a more elaborate activity – the 5-7 year old crowd is pretty easily entertained and just in awe of being around the older kids, so they are pretty easy to impress!
  • You could have the girls write followup letters to the younger ones who attended, thanking them for coming and saying that we look forward to them joining us when they turn eight!
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