The Sabbath Is a Delight - Primary Activity


A few months ago we did an activity for the children in our primary that was not only fun but had an important spiritual lesson behind it too. I figured I could share for any who are interested! At the time, the leadership in our ward/stake wanted each auxiliary to focus our teachings on keeping the Sabbath day holy. Often times it’s hard to think how you can incorporate things into primary when you have manuals to follow and not a lot of time in between sharing time, singing time, etc. I think I found this idea somewhere online but adapted it a bit to make it more centered around Elder Nelson’s talk, “The Sabbath Is a Delight”.

As I thought about what we could do to focus on this important commandment in primary, I reflected on my own personal testimony and how it has changed from when I was a child. Growing up, I sometimes felt like Sunday was just a day full of “no’s”.

“No, you can’t play with your friend.”

“No, you can’t go to that birthday party.”

“No, you can’t watch T.V. “

Although I never hated Sundays and I am forever grateful that my parents set a high standard for us, Sundays were never my favorite day. Now that I’m older, I absolutely love Sundays. I know it’s normal for kids to think that Sundays are boring, but I wanted to do something that would help our primary children see that Sundays can be special days. While you may not be able to do things you normally do on every other day of the week, you can spend time doing things that will bring you closer to your family and to God, which is so much more important than a TV show or play date.

In Elder Nelson’s talk, he focuses on four areas that can help us make our Sabbath a “delight”: family history, gospel learning, family time and service. As a presidency, we wanted the children to learn more about these areas, spend time doing something relating to each area and discover for themselves that Sundays can be “a delight”.

In order to achieve this goal, we had the children complete a few activities and report back to us to earn an ice cream sundae. We had a Sunday/sundae celebration! We let the children watch a church movie during sharing time while we served them their ice cream. It was a lot of fun and the children loved it. Here are some details for how we went about it:

I split the areas mentioned in Elder Nelson’s talk amongst the presidency and we each were in charge of one. We came up with a few activities that the kids could do relating to each area, typed them up on a cover page and then found additional resources to include in our packet.  (We wanted them to have lots of activities/ideas they could refer to in the future.) We stapled each individual packet with the cover page on top and put all four packets into a manila folder for each child.

The children were to either complete one of the suggested activities (written on the cover page) or come up with their own (as long as it fit the area) and then write about their experience. They didn’t need to turn anything in – this was just for their personal reflection. Then, they would report back to us as they completed each activity (or their parents would text/email me) and would earn a scoop/topping for their sundae.

We gave everyone one scoop as a freebie (vanilla or chocolate). If they did something for family history, they earned a second scoop. If they did an act of service they earned chocolate syrup (or caramel). If they studied the gospel, they earned one topping of their choice. If they spent time with family, they earned another topping. So a “full sundae” would be two scoops of ice cream, chocolate syrup and two toppings.

On the day of our special Sunday/sundae celebration we went around to classrooms and dropped off individualized “menus” to each teacher for the children in their class. Each “menu” had the child’s name and what they earned (one/two scoops, one or two toppings, etc.). The teachers asked each child to fill out their menu and they handed their orders to us as they came into sharing time. During the movie we made their sundaes, according to what each child wrote down, and passed them out. It was very reverent and organized – not like a crazy line of kids wanting ice cream and us taking orders on the spot.

Throughout the process we kept track of their progress on one of our bulletin boards. My awesome secretary cut out shapes with her fancy machine of cones, scoops, toppings, whipped cream and a cherry. We wrote each child’s name on the cones and as they reported to us we added their scoops/toppings. We didn’t do this in front of everyone, though. (We didn’t want anyone to feel left out/bad if they didn't’ participate.) They would report to us after primary and we would add to our bulletin board once the children were gone. Then the following week they could see their sundae had grown and could get excited about their progress.

Side note: On the day we handed out the manila envelopes, we wanted to really get the children excited about it. For sharing time we did four stations, each member of the presidency at a station, and we did a mini-lesson about our particular area. I was in charge of service so I showed the children a sweet video (here or here) about giving service, asked them for some ideas of ways they can give service to others and then had them complete an act of service right then and there. (At the time we just got a new bishop so we cut out hearts and wrote messages/colored on them to “heart-attack” the old bishop’s car and the bishop’s office for the new bishop.) I gave them a little pep talk about giving service and then we rotated. We planned on doing this during one sharing time but this actually took up two sharing times. It was worth it though!

Okay, phew. I think that’s all. If you have any questions, let me know! My counselors came up with some awesome resources, particularly for family history (coolest coloring book EVER) and I would be happy to assist anyone who feels their primary child could benefit from this.

Happy Sunday!
Main explanation included in packet 


I have the cover pages for each area with the suggested activities as well. If you are interested, let me know!


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