Monday, February 18, 2013

GAME IDEAS FOR COMBINED YM/YW OR JOINT ACTIVITIES

Here are a few group game ideas that would be great for joint or combined ym/yw activities...

These ideas are all from ldssplash.com

"Frisbee Swat - What you'll need for this active game are two (or more) Frisbees, two chairs, two cones (or liter bottles), two teams, and a rolled up newspaper for each player. At each end of the playing area, place a chair with a cone on its seat. The purpose is for each team to knock the other team's cone off the chair with a Frisbee. Points are awarded for each knockdown. Team members pass the Frisbees to each other as they work their way down the field. No one is allowed to run with the Frisbee—they can only pass it. Team members hold a newspaper in one hand, which is used for knocking down the opponent's Frisbee, and use the other hand to catch and throw their team's Frisbee. To play the game teams must attempt to score on offense and at the same time maneuver around on defense to swat the opponent's Frisbee out of the air.


Faith Factor - (based on the idea of Fear Factor) with the YM and YW we had competitions such as who could get the most gummy worms out of a bunch of chocolate pudding using only their teeth; who could state the years theme ("Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly...") with the most marshmallows in their mouths; bubble gum blowing contest, etc. It was a lot of fun--not totally a spiritual activity, but a lot of fun.
 

Blind Volleyball - Set up the volleyball net and drape sheets over it (safety pinning them in place). Then you just play a normal game of volleyball, you just can't see what's going on on the other side of the net! We played with a giant ball that was soft"

Teaching YW basic life skills



I've received a lot of negative feedback (and some positive feedback) about this blog post, primarily from Pinterest users who clearly either #1- did not actually read my blog post OR #2- did not understand that this blog is for YW leaders who volunteer their personal time to help teenage girls. Several of these people have called me "sexist", but if these people knew me at all (or had actually read this blog post in the first place), they would realize that is not true. 

Please see my response to these negative comments in the comments section at the very bottom of this post (in the comments section)

A recently came across some paperwork which described a survey that they had conducted of ADULT women (in a suburb of a large city), asking about their current "provident living" (i.e., self-reliance) skills and those that they felt they still needed to acquire/improve.

Due to the results of this survey, local church leaders were encouraging the ward Relief Societies to focus on teaching the women in our congregations (some of whom were single parents) these vital life skills that many lack.

What was on this list of skills that the leaders felt that these sisters desperately needed to learn?
  • Basic Budgeting
  • Planning and cooking nutritious meals
  • Cleaning
  • Basic Sewing (such as sewing on a button)
I am as shocked now as I remember being when I first read the letter. Women don't know how to clean? Or cook? Or sew on a button? But yes, while I'm sure there were many who did have these skills (or at least some of them), these were the main areas that the sisters themselves had reported that they needed more training. 

I have thought about that letter many times since I found it the other day. While it is mainly the parent's responsibility to prepare their own children to function as adults,  we as Young Women leaders have an opportunity every Wednesday to teach skills like these that will help prepare (or reinforce the preparations of parents) these young women for college, missions, and/or being a wife/mother. Would budgeting, planning & cooking meals, cleaning, and basic sewing help a young adult in college, on a mission, and/or as a young wife/mother? Absolutely! And the same thing goes for the young men. These are basic, basic life skills, but they are being taught in the home (and schools) less and less.

Within the church, these types of skills are frequently referred to as "provident living skills". This term means that these skills are necessary for any person (not just the young women) who wants to be capable of doing things for themselves instead of always relying on others. Can we sew on our own button, or do we need to run to our mother (or have to pay someone to do it)? Can we do our own laundry, or do we need to hire someone to do it? Could we take care of our own needs in an emergency situation, or would we sit around and wait for someone to rescue us?

In our class activities, we have already had a few cooking and meal planning activities (see previous posts under the "life skills" label at the right of this page). I now have a goal to have a "cooking" activity with the Mia Maid class once very quarter (or 4 times a year). This way, they will have at least 8 opportunities to learn to cook something during the time they are a Mia Maid.

I have also taught some basic sewing (see previous posts under "life skills") and budgeting. Teaching "cleaning" is a little tougher (although maybe I could get them to fold my laundry?). But we do have regular assignments to clean the ward building.

My goals for teaching basic cooking are to teach them to make things that they actually want to eat and make things that won't be too overwhelming.

Some things that we have already made: pico de gallo*, wheat ciabatta bread*
Some things I plan to have them make soon: spinach/artichoke dip and pita chips, spaghetti, fruit pie

In the meantime, here is a great article about teaching teenagers the basics of kitchen safety, food preparation, and safe storage of foods from yourteenager.co/uk (click  here)
and my other life-skill related posts can be found by searching the categories listed at the top of this blog.

12 refreshment ideas for mutual or youth firesides (none of them are cookies or cupcakes!)



Twelve fun ideas for something different the next time you need to come up with refreshments for a Mutual activity or another youth event (like a fireside). Many of them are fruits or vegetables served in interesting ways. I'll admit that a few of these ideas aren't totally 'healthy' but at least they will give some variety!

Click on the photo to link to the recipe or instructions for making each treat.

Heart kabobs

Veggie pot of gold
 
Mini banana splits (without ice cream)

Jello deviled eggs

Fruit & yogurt cones 
Easy smoothies
 Yogurt pretzels
Pepinos con chile y limon (cucumbers with lime and chili powder)

Grapesicles
Smores on a stick


Glitter grapes
Cranberry orange scones

Friday, February 15, 2013

BASIC SEWING - BURP RAGS


This week for our class activity the girls learned to sew basic burp-rags (about 1/2 the size of a receiving blanket). I chose this project because it is VERY easy, as far as sewing goes. It also goes along with our theme for the month - Divine Nature - because I gave the girls the option to either give their completed project to someone who is having/has a baby (there are several new moms in our ward) OR they can keep them for their own future family. Developing skills that can help us care for and nurture others is an important part of Divine Nature.

At the beginning of the activity I took them to a fabric store to pick out their own (flannel) fabric. I could have just brought fabric, but I thought it would be good for the girls to see how easy it is to pick out and buy their own fabric - and I thought they'd like the project more if they chose their own print.

At the cutting counter, we had 1/2 yard of each selected fabric cut. My original plan was to have then each make traditional size receiving blankets, but I decided that we should start with something smaller - like burp rags - that would be the same concept, but take less time (and less material).  This turned out to be a good call, because I only had one sewing machine available and it took the entire time for the class to sew their burp rags.


This diagram shows the basic concept of how to sew a burp rap (or blanket).  In the diagram, the 1/2 yard of fabric is folded over (with the fold at the top of the square). Make sure they turn their fabric inside out before they sew (so, right-sides together). I had them pin a few places on each side. I also had them mark the opening with 2 pins close to each other so they wouldn't accidentally sew over it  (this doesn't have to be a certain place or even measured, just big enough for their hand to fit in. The opening is there so that when the sewing is done, they can reach inside the blanket and pull it right-side-out).  So basically they just need to sew straight lines all the way around (except for where the opening is).

After the blanket is right-side out, have them pin the opening closed and then sew it up. To make it nicer, they can sew a stitch around the entire edge of the blanket/burp-rag (which hides the stitches where the opening was sewn shut, but also makes a nice, finished look).
  
Some of the girls in our class had a little experience in sewing, but not much. They were all a little reluctant to use the sewing machine, but I gave them lots of encouragement and was right there to help if something went wrong. If possible, it would be good to have several leaders available to help the girls (and several machines going!). 



PURPOSE: Learning basic sewing skills

COST: 1/2 yard of flannel for each girl (approximately $2 each, unless you get a sale)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Resurrection Visual Aid for YW Sunday lessons

 

It can be difficult to imagine some gospel concepts (like the Resurrection!) so I wanted to make a visual aid that the YW could relate to. I  had a visual aid that I used to use during my mission and also when I taught Gospel Essentials as a Ward missionary. It came in very helpful to have something that people could see to help them follow the process of spirit and body being united, seperated, and reunited.

My previous visual aids have been misplaces, but that was ok, because I wanted to make something specific for my upcoming YW Sunday lesson on the Resurrection. I chose the image of an adult woman because we were adults as spirits before we were born and will be adults when we are resurrected. If you want, you can show additional steps (like a baby, child, etc), but I was focusing on the basic elements. 

Here are the steps that I show with my visual aids and the general thing that I normally say along with the visual I am showing:

To represent a pre-mortal spirit, I used silver puff paint, traced on to a plain piece of clean contact paper (with another piece of contact paper sandwiched on the back)


I show the spirit piece and the body piece going together (spirit behind the body piece)




I show the body being laid down, as if in a grave, and the spirit going "upward" to represent that it goes on to the Spirit World


Its difficult to see in the photos because she is covered in shiny glitter, but this represents a resurrected being.


For the girl, I used a paper doll set that I got (scrapbooking section) at Michaels, but you could use any paperdoll, printed clipart of a person, or draw your own person!

The other supplies I used were silver puffy paint and clear puffy paint with glitter, and clear contact paper. I used this to make the "spirit", but I also used it to "laminate" the other paper dolls so that they could be kept and re-used.
 






Wednesday, February 6, 2013

PHOTO SCAVENGER HUNT


  FOR OUR MOST RECENT CLASS ACTIVITY, WE HAD A PHOTO SCAVENGER HUNT. THIS WAS AN IDEA THAT THE CLASS PRESIDENCY CAME UP WITH. THEN I PUT A SEMI-EDUCATIONAL SPIN ON IT, OF COURSE (BUT TO THEM, IT WAS JUST A GAME!).  I'D ALSO ADD THAT THIS ACTIVITY ONLY TOOK ABOUT 20 MINUTES, WHICH WAS FINE BECAUSE IT WAS ADDED ON TO THE END OF ANOTHER ACTIVITY THAT WE KNEW WOULDN'T TAKE THE ENTIRE TIME. ANYWAY, IF YOU WANT THIS ACTIVITY TO TAKE LONGER, YOU CAN ADD MORE ITEMS, OR MAKE IT MORE COMPLICATED BY HIDING ITEMS THAT NEED TO BE FOUND BY SOLVING RIDDLES OR CLUES.

I ASKED THE YW TO BRING DIGITAL CAMERAS AND/OR CELL PHONES THAT CAN PHOTOS (IF THEY HAVE THEM). MOST GIRLS HAVE PHONES THAT TAKE PHOTOS, SO THIS WASN'T A PROBLEM, BUT I BROUGHT MY DIGITAL CAMERA ALSO, JUST IN CASE. THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO WORK IN TEAMS, SO YOU WOULD REALLY ONLY NEED ONE CAMERA/PHONE PER TEAM.

THE WEEKEND BEFORE THE ACTIVITY, I HAD WALKED THROUGH THE BUILDING AND MADE NOTES ABOUT INTERESTING THINGS THAT COULD BE FOUND AND PHOTOGRAPHED. BESIDES THE OBVIOUS THINGS, I TRIED TO INCLUDE ITEMS THAT WOULD HELP THE GIRLS BECOME MORE FAMILIAR WITH THE WARD BUILDING. FOR EXAMPLE, DO THEY KNOW WHERE THE FAMILY HISTORY LIBRARY IS? (HOW ABOUT THE MOTHERS ROOM? THE WARD LIBRARY?). HAVE THEY EVER REALLY LOOKED AT THE ARTWORK IN THE HALLWAYS AND FOYER? (CAN THEY IDENTIFY ALL OF THE SCENARIOS/CHARACTERS BEING PORTRAYED IN THEM?)

SOME OF THE ITEMS I ADDED TO THE LIST WERE NOT SPECIFIC THINGS, BUT ANYTHING THAT WAS THE SPECIFIED COLOR (SUCH AS 'SOMETHING PURPLE'). I WAS INSPIRED BY THIS BLOG POST BY A LITTLE CRAFTING, WHICH DESCRIBES USING A COLOR/ PHOTO SCAVENGER HUNT ON TEMPLE GROUNDS TO FIND IMAGES TO MAKE THEIR OWN SPECIAL YW VALUES/COLORS POSTER:
 
I'M HOPING TO DO SOMETHING SIMILAR TO THIS WITH ITEMS THAT THE GIRLS PHOTOGRAPHED TONIGHT (WHICH IS WHY I SPECIFIED THAT THEY SHOULD NOT TAKE A PICTURE OF A TOILET OR TOILET PAPER FOR THEIR 'WHITE' ITEM!)

I GAVE EACH TEAM A SHEET WITH THE LIST OF ITEMS THEY NEEDED TO FIND AND A LIST OF THE RULES FOR THE GAME.  THE GIRLS WERE TO WORK IN TEAMS AND COMPETE TO COMPLETE THE LIST THE QUICKEST. THESE  WERE ALMOST ALL ITEMS THAT COULD NOT BE REMOVED, SO THEY WERE TO USE A CAMERA O(R CELL PHONE THAT TAKES PHOTOS) TO DOCUMENT THEIR FINDS.

HERE IS THE LIST OF THE ITEMS AND RULES THAT WE USED (BELOW), BUT YOU WILL NEED TO ADJUST THIS TO WHAT IS AVAILABLE IN YOUR WARD BUILDING. MANY OF THE ITEMS I USED WERE EITHER ON POSTERS/PHOTOS ON THE BULLETIN BOARDS OR PART OF THE ARTWORK HANGING ON THE WALLS. I HAVE ADDED SOME NOTES IN RED BELOW (THE WORDS IN RED WERE NOT INCLUDED ON THE GIRL'S LISTS)

LOCATE AND PHOTOGRAPH AS MANY OF THESE ITEMS AS YOU CAN IN THE BUILDING. ALL OF THESE ITEMS ARE SOMEWHERE IN THE BUILDING:

  • A NECKLACE
  • A PONY-TAIL
  • PICTURE OF SOMEONE BEING BAPTIZED (CHURCH ARTWORK)
  • A HIGH-HEELED SHOE
  • PICTURE OF BABY JESUS (CHURCH ARTWORK)
  • THE MOTHER’S LOUNGE DOOR
  • GORDON B HINCKLEY (ON A POSTER ON THE BULLETIN BOARD)
  • FAMILY HISTORY LIBRARY DOOR
  • A LION (CHURCH ARTWORK)
  • PINK ROSE (FAKE PLANT IN THE FOYER)
  • A MAN’S DRESS SHOE
  • A FULL-TIME MISSIONARY (PICTURES ON THE MISSION PLAQUES)
  • THE WARD LIBRARY DOOR
  • THOMAS S. MONSON (ON A POSTER ON THE BULLETIN BOARD)
  • A MEMBER OF THE BISHOPRIC
  • A TEMPLE (ON A POSTER ON THE BULLETIN BOARD)
  • A WEDDING RING
  • A CAMEL (CHURCH ARTWORK)
  • SOMETHING WHITE (NOT A TOILET OR TOILET PAPER)
  • SOMETHING BLUE
  • SOMETHING RED
  • SOMETHING GREEN
  • SOMETHING ORANGE
  • SOMETHING YELLOW
  • SOMETHING PURPLE
  • SOMETHING GOLD
RULES:

#1- YOU HAVE TO STAY IN THE BUILDING. ALL OF THE ITEMS ON THE LIST WILL BE SOMEWHERE ON OUR SIDE OF THE BUILDING OR IN THE BACK HALLWAY 
#2- PLEASE DON’T DISTURB ANY OTHER CLASS OR MEETING (DON’T GO INSIDE ROOMS WHERE PEOPLE ARE HAVING ACTIVITIES OR BE SO LOUD THAT YOU BOTHER THEM). THANKS!



PURPOSE: TEAM-WORK/UNITY, FAMILIARIZING THE GIRLS WITH THE WARD BUILDING (ESPECIALLY THE ARTWORK AND FEATURES LIKE THE FAMILY HISTORY LIBRARY), LEARNING ABOUT THE YW VALUE COLORS

COST: NOTHING, EXCEPT THE COST TO PRINT  OR COPY THE LIST/RULES