Working together strengthens my family
(Friend September 204, suggestion # 4)

The following activities could be used as individual sharing times or as one sharing time with the children divided into four groups and rotating between stations.

Sing songs about kindness while the children move from group to group.

Group 1:
One way we can show love and respect is by speaking kindly to family members.
Have a stack of craft sticks (enough for four groups of children) and a garbage can or a paper bag labeled "garbage can."
Ask a child to break one of the sticks.
Explain that using "garbage-can words" ~ words that are inappropriate or hurtful ~ in our homes can make our families weak like the single stick and more easily broken. We should not use words that hurt family members but should throw those words away.
Throw away the broken stick in the garbage can.
Explain that we should instead use words that build up and strengthen our families.
Ask the children what words strengthen families:

Let them write them on the sticks. Give each of the children who suggested words or phrases a stick; then gather them up to create a bundle of sticks.
Tie them securely together, and ask a child to try to break the bundle.
Like the bundle, families are much stronger when family members build each other up by saying kind things to one another.

Group 2:
Prepare several small heart cutouts, and write case studies (see TNGC, 16162) on them that help children see how they can show kindness,

Let the children choose a heart, read and answer the case study, and discuss it. Have the children look up and read John 13:34. Display a picture of a family (Primary 1-5 or 1-7).
Each day we have many opportunities to show love and kindness in our families.

Share a personal experience of how showing love and kindness has blessed your family.
Leave enough hearts blank so each child can take one home.
Each child could draw or write on a heart one thing he or she will do to show love to his or her family during the week.

Group 3:
Display a picture of King Benjamin (GAK 307).
Let the children sit on a blanket, look up at the picture, and read together King Benjamin's message to families (see Mosiah 2:1, 57; 4:1315, 30).

Have the children play a matching game using duplicates of pictures that depict family togetherness, for example:

Place the pictures facedown on the floor. Have the children turn over two at a time to try to make a match. Share an experience of when your family was blessed by following the Church's counsel for families.

Group 4:
This group will need a blackboard or large paper to draw on. Whisper to a child one way we can show love and compassion to a family member, for example:

Give the child 30 seconds to draw the scene, and allow the group to guess what it is.
Choose another child to draw and repeat.

To adapt for groups with younger children, see Sharing Time Ideas, June 1996, 44. Encourage the children to share these activities with their families in family home evening.