Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Reverent Bags

This will probably come as a shocker to everyone.
Children are not naturally reverent.
I know... huge revelation right there.
Ha, ha, ha!

I continued to think about this though.
President Marion G. Romney said,
"By and large, children... will be just about as reverent 
as they are trained to be and no more"
("Reverence," Ensign, Oct. 1976, p. 3).
So if they are not naturally reverent,
it means someone has to "train" them.
And I am blessed with that opportunity to teach Baby Bunny.

There is a HUGE difference between being reverent
and simply being quiet.
As the Primary song says,
"Rev'rence is more than just quietly sitting:
It's thinking of Father above,
A feeling I get when I think of his blessings.
I'm rev'rent, for rev'rence is love"
(Children's Songbook, p. 31).
How do I instill in Baby Bunny the desire to be reverent instead of just being quiet?
How do we teach him about the gospel?
How do we help him find his own testimony?

Granted Baby Bunny is only 3 months old.
However, he won't stay that way for long.
And I already feel the weight of responsibility for training him.

I have also remembered when I was teaching preschool at BYU.
Or even when I was teaching Jr. High last year.
I would never, ever, EVER start the class with nothing for them to do.
Problems arise when children are bored.
If I kept them occupied and engaged,
even the pill children were tolerable.

With thinking about Reverence.
And knowing I needed to come up with a lesson plan.
I created these...


A Reverent Bag is something that will go with us to church each week and will have activities to keep Baby Bunny engaged but still thinking about Gospel related things. I did not want this to just become a "quiet bag" of things to keep him occupied. I want it to be something that he can learn from and something that helps his testimony begin to grown. As you can tell from the picture, there are 4 bags because each week will have a different "lesson plan." (And on 5th Sundays, we will just take one of the other bags--maybe Devin can pick his favorite week.) I wanted to make each week different so it would keep him (and someday future siblings--not an announcement!) engaged. 

So far, each Reverent Bag is labeled with Week 1, 2, 3, or 4 and has a gospel themed book. These books are not the cheapest but this was a blessing in disguise from when I had to spend hoooooours cleaning out the BYU nurseries. I inherited a lot of duplicate things. I would suggest searching the D.I. before dishing out the cash for these things brand new. Or skip the books all together (just check back later for more Reverent Bag ideas).

I have searched online and found tons of FREE printables. Thank you kind internet people that have already taken the time to make Reverent activities for my child. Even with other people already making the activities, it still takes time to print/ cut/ assemble/ etc. I will slowly be posting new ideas for what I'm putting in our Reverent Bags. Feel free to copy exactly or change completely what I'm doing to make you Reverent Bag(s) work for your sweet little ones.

BTW: some of my ideas and quotes came from an article published in the Church News on Aug. 25, 2012.


Spidergirl said...


I liked this post: http://middle-agedmormonman.blogspot.com/2012/03/thoughts-on-reverence.html

Biggest pearl in that one for me was the thought that "Reverence runs in families. Not just your immediate family, but across generations...[Experience taugh the author that] families that were reverent were reverent across generations. The grandparents were reverent and respectful, so were the parents, and finally the kids. Not only did this happen across generations, but sideways to siblings and their families as well. The family had a tradition of reverence for the sacred. The same trend was noticeable on the negative side of the spectrum as well."

SO true.

Also, some pearls I found from President Kimball:

Way to be a good parent who actively thinks about these kinds of things :oD

Lisa said...

I love your quotes!!

And I really like that MMM blog. Totally agree with his reverence philosophy except for one thing. I don't agree that young toddlers/ children can sit for 70 minutes and have absolutely nothing to do and still be reverent. A teacher would NEVER do that in a classroom (he argues the point that they can sit still at school) and I think to expect a kid to do that is crazy.

I love your last comment! It made me smile! :)

Spidergirl said...

Yes, that is asking a bit much for the really young ones! I think your reverent bags are perfect - way more appropriate for church than what I have seen a lot of families use (superhero coloring books don't exactly lead to spiritual experiences... neither does getting out the iPad... it more likely communicates that church is boring!!). I think that where those things are a problem, the parents just haven't thought about it.

Something we've seen and appreciated and talked about implementing when our family grows is waiting until after the Sacrament to get books/toys out. I think that communicates the importance of the ordinance - especially if the parents make it clear that it's a privilege and exciting!! ... as opposed to making it negative.

Anyway... sorry about all the wordy comments I'm leaving ;o) But it is something I think about and that I think is important! And I really appreciate having friends like you who are good examples. Making intentional choices like helping kids be reverent in happy ways means you do care about your family and want it to be successful! And I know you know that :o) So it makes it even better.

Lisa said...

Are you kidding?! I LOVE all of your long comments. I am probably your number one blog reader because somebody deleted her facebook.... ;)

Oh my gosh, don't even get me started on the iPad in church. :| That deserves its whole own post, which would likely turn into a rant. Sigh.

We are 100% going to have our kid(s) wait to get anything out until after the Sacrament. My mom did that with us and we are going to continue that. And I am for sure going to write about that idea... someday!

If you have any more fabulous ideas for reverence at church, you should write your own posts (or keep commenting) about it so I can steal your ideas too! :)

Spidergirl said...

haha I'm glad you don't mind. And I'm glad to know someone reads my blog ;o) I am a faithful reader of yours too!