Saturday, July 04, 2009

Supermoms! Unite for Sunday sanity!

Kids in sacrament meeting. How do you do it? We have a few rules, like no snacks or activities until after the Sacrament, and they must sit on our laps or on the bench quietly during hymns and prayers. Then they can color or play quietly. We downsized from a big bag of Sunday toys to one toy per kid because it was just getting out of hand. One week was so bad, we actually practiced 10 minutes of reverent time and pretended we were waiting for the sacrament at home a couple nights throughout the week--the following Sunday showed marked improvment. But after that, we were back to our old, crazy, impossible Sacrament struggle. (Do you like my alliteration?)

Here is my latest One-Hour project. It is a one player bing0 board and the task will be for Leah to listen in the meeting and put a Sunbeam on the image when she hears the word mentioned: music, Holy Ghost, Missionaries, prieshthood, etc. You get the idea.
If she were older, I would have used more pictures with more complex principles.

The project consisted of sleuthing out some photos that represent concepts simple enough for a three year old to understand and putting them on a grid chart I made in Word. Then I printed it and laminated it and adhered a sticky velcro dot to each square. Then I did the same with sunbeams, and voila! It took me about an hour, so I made two. I even made a little pocket on the back to store all the little sunbeams in. Tomorrow will be the true test of its effectiveness.
Project break down:
  • 10' roll of adhesive laminate: $20 (I'm so glad I didn't buy that $60 laminator, because this stuff works just fine for my purposes)
  • 75 sets of adhesive velcro dots: $8.
  • Of course, it helps that we already have a really good printer.

I have lots of laminate and velcro left, of course, so I want to make one for you! Here's how to get one. I want to hear how you keep your kids occupied during Sacrament Meeting. What are the rules you have? Do you allow snacks and activities? What kinds? If not, why not, and what do you do instead to keep order?

I'll report back after we've tried my new Bing0 game for two Sundays (So, July 12), and then I will pick a random winner among the commentors and I will make you your own bing0 game (and I will even put your family picture on it instead of mine!).

Happy commenting!


Coiner Family said...

I wanna bingo game! We also have the no snacks etc till "the bishop says it's ok" after the sacrament when one of the bishoprick stands up to excuse the preisthood. Then it takes some of the heat off us. We're waiting on the bishop to say it's ok. The only other thing that seems to work, is we have a primary room picked out, and if Garner can't be good in the chapel, he has to sit on a chair in the boring empty room. Works pretty well! If THAT doesn't work, he can kick and scream on our lap in the boring empty room till he's ready to go back in. Sigh...will it ever get any easier???

Petersen Palace said...

I want one, I want one! I'll give you that onesie back if I can have one. Haha I'll give it back anyway. :) We do the same thing, no snacks or toys until after sacrament. A lot of times I just make her wait till nursury. I usually color in a coloring book with her, look at pictures of Jesus, and I have a picture Book of Mormon that I will read to her quietly. We don't make it too complicated and it seems to work out. And now...onto breakfast!

Hollie said...

I have no set rules. Only that the kids don't crawl around or play with other kids. If they get taken out, we make it absolutely miserable for them so that they'll never want to leave the chapel again. Drew must sit on our lap during sacrament, and I don't bring snacks for him at all. We are downsizing the toys too. I am working on a religious quiet book, but have no idea if that will ever get finished. The bingo is a great idea. Pick me Pick me.

Valerie said...

This is good stuff! I could use it for our Primary. I am always looking for ways to keep the kids interested. Thanks for the idea!

Lisa M said...

I just figure kids are kids, I would love it if they would sit quietly for at least 5 minutes, but they are kids! All I can say is that it gets better as they get older. I had all 3 alone at church today...yea for me! (and I only left sacrament meeting 10 minutes early :)) LOVE THE BINGO btw!!

david & michal coombs said...

ok, i don't have kids, but i LOVE this idea! you are brilliant!

angela michelle said...

What a great idea! I think my strategies are like yours: no toys til after sacrament, if anyone is really bad we do "reverence practice" when we get home and practice sitting quietly on chairs. I think kids can learn to sit quietly! Also I don't bring many toys. Too much stuff is a distraction and makes a big mess which is not reverent. Also recently we decided that once you're 8 you can bring only paper and pencil and once you're 12 you can't bring anything.

Teacher Eli said...

We're in survival mode most Sundays with my kids--Matt is rarely there to help--so I focus on things that will keep them quiet and happy. We do snacks, but I bring one big bag and two little tiny cups. The kids have to be sitting quietly before I'll fill their cup up. MUCH less mess, and it gets the kids to sit still (although I admit that it is bald-faced bribery...) Funny, but our biggest problem is not temper tantrums, but primary songs sung a little too loud. How can I punish the kids for that?!?

Rebecca said...

We don't have snacks in the chapel. My son can sit without snacks for an hour. He does it all the time at home! I think snacks in the chapel are tacky -- especially when people take out cheese sticks and peanut butter sandwiches. (a woman gave her son a PBJ sandwich in the middle of sacrament meeting one week when I was pregnant-sick. I almost vomited from the smell and had to go sit in the foyer. SHE should go in the foyer!) The chapel just isn't the right place for that. It's irreverent. I'd say if my child needed a snack we'd go in the kitchen after the meeting and eat it there.

But Paul is just getting to the age where he can sit through the meeting. (As opposed to sitting in the foyer, screaming.) We've had a few successful weeks. He loves that new picture book that the church has, and he turns through that looking for pictures of Jesus and babies and things that look familiar. We also have a quiet book that he sometimes plays with. And I bring a popup book that he loves. We've tried toys but I can't find any toy that doesn't make unnecessary noise, so those are usually a no go.

I think your bingo idea is a great one! I hope it helps Leah pay attention during the meeting!

Bing Bingo Game said...
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