Sunday, April 5, 2009

April Fool's Day

This activity was my last one and I really wanted to go out with a bang! Activity Days landed on April Fool's Day this year.

As the girls came in, some of them were talking about April Fool's Day and I made sure to mention that I didn't know it was April Fool's Day. (Yes, a fib, I'm awful!)

When it was time to start, I talked to the girls about how I was sad that I was being released and that I wanted to make sure that they got lots of stuff passed off in their Faith in God books before I left. So, I brought out all 13 Articles of Faith posters from the primary closet and said that we were going to learn ALL of them that night. I pretended to be really excited about it and asked the girls if they were excited too. They were NOT pleased. LOL! I asked for a show of hands who wanted to do it and one little girl sortof raised her hand half-way (bless her!). I asked them if they were sure they didn't want to learn them all that night and they said yes they were sure. I pretended to be really surprised and then yelled "April Fool's!" You should have seen the looks on their faces!

Then I moved on to the "test". On a sheet of paper were these directions:

DIRECTIONS: This is a timed test. You will be allowed only two minutes to complete it, therefore you must work quickly. Record your responses on this sheet of paper.

1. Read everything before you do anything.
2. Print your name in the upper right corner of your paper.
3. Draw two squares in the lower left corner.
4. Place an "x" in one square and an "o" in the other.
5. Write your grade level in the lower right corner.
6. Print today's date under your name.
7. Draw three circles in the upper left corner of your paper.
8. Divide each circle in half by drawing a line through the center horizontally.
9. Sign your name in the lower right corner.
10. Draw a circle around your signature.
11. Write your birthday under your signature.
12. Now that you have finished reading everythign, do only as directed in the first sentence.


There was only one girl who completely read through the directions before following them.
Another girl "got bored" and didn't even finish reading them. She was certainly surprised when I told her how it ended!

Then we talked about the origins of April Fool's Day and the traditional pranks played on that day. We also talked about how it is celebrated in other countries.

When it came time for the treat, I told the girls that I wasn't sure if I picked a good treat because I'm pregnant and I've been craving weird stuff. I pulled out a tray of what looked an awful lot like sushi!!

They were simply gummy worms rolled in rice crispy treat and then wrapped in fruit leather. I chose green apple, strawberry and grape fruit leather to best look like sushi wraps. The girls were completely fooled. When they figured out what they really were, they ate the whole pan!

Ward Primary Activity Booth

The primary president asked the activity day group to plan a booth/station for a ward primary activity.

We had to make sure to plan an activity that would be easy for the junior primary to participate in. We ended up planning a music game. This activity can be found in the April 1996 Friend Magazine.

Musical Pop Hop

Arrange chairs, one for each player, in as large a circle as possible. Play different kinds of music at different tempos. The children start by sitting on their chairs. As the music is played, when they feel they are "ready to burst" with it, they should just pop off their chairs and hop around, pretending to be popcorn kernels, jumping jacks, frogs, floppy coil toys, or other active object. However, if they touch another child, the two who have touched must sit down again. When all the children are sitting, or when only one child is left, they take turns performing again, but one at a time, with the other children guessing what they are.

Black Widows

For this activity, my partner brought a lot of information on spiders and specifically on Black Widows.
She had several books with detailed pictures that she picked up at the library. She discussed facts about black widows with the girls so that the girls could identify them and know what to do if they happened to find one.

She wasn't able to get a live specimen, but said if she had more time, she certainly would have brought one.

The girls had a fun time and I'm sure some of them got the chills!

Layered Sand Jars

Super simple activity that can teach kids patience and attention to detail.

For this activity, you can use jars or bottles.

We had several different colors of decorative sand and had the girls layer the sand in the containers in pretty patterns.

If desired, you can decorate the outside of the jars with google eyes, pipe cleaners, felt, etc. to make cute little jar creatures.

Tape-Decor Jars

My partner's wonderful idea was cute tape decorated jars. She brought some small baby food jars with the labels removed, masking tape and liquid shoe polish.
The girls tore tiny pieces of masking tape and stuck them all over the jars until they were completely covered. Some girls even put the bits of masking tape on the lids.
After the jars were completely covered, they sponged the liquid shoe polish over the masking tape.
It created a really nice effect, resembling a cracked river bed or reptile scales.

The tape could even be cut to specific shapes to create even more elaborate designs, if you have the patience for that!

The pictures are on my partner's camera. I hope to be able to add them soon!

Chinese New Year - Chinese Hair Sticks

For this activity, the primary president asked me to use up all the extra chopsticks left over from a Scout function. I figured with a little sanding and paint, they'd make fun hair sticks. Most of the girls have long hair, or their mom does. I had to make sure to look them over before taking them to Activity Days because they have a tendency to splinter. So, hubby and I examined and sanded a couple dozen pairs.

I also brought some paint, paper plates to put dollops of paint on, cups for rinse water and some fine point paint brushes.

The girls had a fun time painting the hair sticks and some of the girls even wore them to church the following Sunday!

Valentine's Day Service Project

We had the girls frost and decorate heart-shaped sugar cookies for the Bishopric for Valentine's Day. The sugar cookies were made earlier in the day due to time constraints, but the girls had a blast frosting the cookies and deciding which cookies went to which Bishopric member.
They also signed a Thank-you For All You Do card for the Bishopric and at the end of the night, the Bishop let us into his office to drop off the three plates and the card.

There were so many extra cookies that we suggested that they also give a cookie to each of the cub scouts. They weren't too sure about this at first (LOL) but they eventually warmed up to the idea and had fun going around the building delivering cookies. (Some of the girls felt the need to go and visit some of the older scouts and make sure they were eating their cookies. LOL!)

13th Article of Faith - preparing for YW

I took this idea straight out of the Faith in God book. One of the Preparing for YW items is to study the 13th Article of Faith and then make a list of things that are uplifting and virtuous. Then talk about how we can seek after those things.
Since there are quite a few difficult words in the 13th Article of Faith, we first talked about what all those words meant. Then each girl spent some time making a list of things that they felt were virtuous and uplifting. We let each girl share a few items and encouraged the other girls to add those to their list if they liked them.
We then talked about how the girls can implement those things in their lives.

Halloween Tales

Halloween was coming up when we did this activity. I found some story starters online and had the girls write a short story based on that first line. The girls got really creative; some of the stories were the scary sort and some were pretty silly and funny.
I compiled all the stories and put them together with some Halloween themed pictures in a word document. I took one copy to Kinko's and printed out a book for each girl. The girls were really excited to get a book with their own story as well as their friends' stories all together.

Some starter examples:

As I carefully entered the haunted house, the door shut behind me and...
It was a cold Halloween night when...
The black cat started to hiss when...
The large cauldron of purple liquid started to boil when...
The mad scientist was creating a new monster that...
Something in the closet was making a strange noise so I opened the door and...
On October 31st, I was carving a pumpkin when...
The Halloween pumpkin slowly transformed into...

Easy to learn 10 Commandments

I found this idea in an old Achievement Days activity book. I have included the template which you can save and print out on cardstock.
I had the girls cut out their own cards and color them if they chose. As they did this, I quizzed them on the commandments and had them tell me about them without looking at the cards. By the end of the evening, several of the girls could tell me what the commandment was just off the number!

Conducting Music

For this activity, we learned the basics of conducting music.

I went the simple route and used the information from the back of the hymn book. We talked about eighth, quarter, half and whole notes and what they meant while conducting. We tried out a couple of different hymns from the book with various time signatures while one of the girls played the piano. I taught them how to look for the time signature and which beat pattern to use for them.

Some of the girls already had quite a bit of knowledge about music and they were able to assist me in teaching the other girls. It was also a good opportunity for the girls who could play the piano to practice in front of others.

Scripture Scavenger Hunt

Here is a game that we played on a nice summer night. Divide into two teams. Give each team a copy of the scriptures listed, a copy of the standard works of the Church, and a bag to put their “treasures” in.

Each team looks up the first scripture and reads it carefully to discover what they need to find that will fit into their sack. After they find the first object, they read the second scripture and find that object, and so on. Each scripture will tell them what they need to find, except number ten, which has special instructions. The first team to collect all nine items and complete clue number ten wins.

1. Matthew 7:25 [Matt. 7:25]

2. Psalm 102:11 [Ps. 102:11]

3. Jeremiah 8:8 [Jer. 8:8]

4. Doctrine and Covenants 45:37 [D&C 45:37]

5. Mark 10:38

6. Ezekiel 37:16–17 [Ezek. 37:16–17]

7. Matthew 10:30 [Matt. 10:30]

8. Exodus 3:5 [Ex. 3:5]

9. Moses 1:41

10. Mosiah 2:17–18.

To finish the game do something this scripture is talking about.

After both teams have finished, share what you did for number ten with the other team.

Scripture Scavenger Hunt Key

(1) rock, (2) grass, (3) pen, (4) leaves, (5) cup, (6) stick, (7) hairs, (8) shoes, (9) book, (10) service, love.