The Family is an Umbrella

 

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This Umbrella Activity took about 35-40 minutes to do. Every family loved it, and it left just enough time to do awards and refreshments.

Supplies:

  • White umbrellas from Oriental Trading (1 per family in attendance)
  • Fabric Paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Plates to put paint on
  • Cups for water (for rinsing brushes between colors)
  • Disposable table cloths to protect church tables
  • Any other supplies you need for the awards portion and the refreshments portion
  • (Optional) disposable aprons

Preparation:

  • If you don’t want to provide disposable aprons, tell the families in the invitation/email that they should wear old clothes to the activity.
  • Print or have access to this quote: “I like to compare [family activities] with an umbrella. If the umbrella is not opened up, it is little more than a cane and can give little protection from the storms of nature…The umbrella spread out makes the silken material taut. When the rain falls, it runs off; when the snow falls, it slides off; when the hail comes, it bounces off; when the wind blows, it is diverted around the umbrella…It is my prayer that we shall all spread our spiritual umbrellas for protection of our families.”-Spencer W Kimball
  • Print each family a copy of this Mormonad (optional)
  • Just before the activity: We used the umbrellas as part of the decorations, putting one on each table. The rest of the supplies were placed off to the side on a table. Only other preparation is filling the water cups before you start.
  • (Optional) Invite some girls, leaders, parents, or the Bishop to prepare a thought or short testimony about the importance of families.

Activity:

  • After opening exercises, ask the audience to share their feelings about the importance of family, and why families are important. Optionally, you can ask the girls or some adult beforehand to prepare a testimony or special thought about this topic.
  • Read the quote (see the Preparation section) and explain how the family is like an umbrella. I had another leader demonstrate the quote while I was saying it, closing and opening the umbrella at the right times.
  • Tell each family they are going to decorate one umbrella together to take home and share. Challenge them to discuss as a family what colors, patterns, and pictures they will work together to draw. Each family member must contribute to the design and painting process.
  • Get painting! Each and every family seemed to thoroughly enjoy their project, and everyone did a different design. It was a great time had by all.
  • We gave them a five minute warning after about 25 minutes. Then, we all helped clean up and wash hands before moving the chairs from the tables into rows, for the awards part of the recognition night.
  • After awards, we had refreshments and closing prayer.

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