We just got back from a family vacation, and I wanted to share a fun experience with you. We have been going to Wallowa Lake for oh, about 28 years or so, and every time we're there on a Sunday we visit the ward in Enterprise, Oregon. For the first time, circumstances allowed us to be there for the full 3-hour block. That would mean, however, that my kids would go to primary! They were NOT enthused. But I felt very strongly that they should go and experience a different primary, and meet different primary kids. They need to be exposed to things, right? I started convincing them on Saturday.
"It'll be fun, there will be lots of other visitors from the campground there!"
"It's just like our primary, only smaller!"
"Uncle Dillon is going to have to go to LOTS of new wards on his mission, aren't you brave like Uncle Dill?"
"There might be cute girls there."
All to no avail. They were just not interested. Then, thanks to a special prompting, I told them that if they go, the kids will sing them a welcome song. They'll get to be the one's to go up to the front! That did it! As they bathed on Saturday night, we sang all the "Welcome Songs" we knew, and Gibson reminded me of the song I taught our primary when I was the chorister - Our Door Is Always Open (CS 254). He loved that song, and we sang it and taught it to Georgia (who was too young at the time to remember it).
The kids were excited to go to primary, and find out which song they would have sung to them. When I picked them up after primary, they both came out of the room BEAMING! They had the best time. They said goodbye to kids by name, said they'd see them when we come back next year. Gibson asked if we could come back next week, and Georgia sang a new pioneer song. It was awesome.
That is the power of music. And that is another reason that I believe this is the most amazing job in the church! Our primary songs are the bridges of our church, joining kids together from everywhere.
So I wanted to share with you the visual I made to teach Our Door Is Always Open. It's a one-page visual, and you'll have to assemble it a little. Here's how to put it together:
Print the PDF on cardstock or heavy paper
Page 1 - the door - cut out the top, right side, and bottom of the door frame (so it opens like a door)
Glue page 1 (after you cut it) right onto page 2 - the hills - make sure not to glue down the door
Page 3 - the girl - cut out her body, close so there's not background
Cut a small slit in the road that shows through the door. Put a brad through the girl, and feed it through the slit. I glued a little eraser onto the back to hold on to.
Have a child come up to the front and as you're singing, open the door and "walk" the girl up and down the path. If you're teaching it, it can be any child. If you're using it when you have visitors, have the visiting child open the door.
It's super rudimentary, but the kids (especially Juniors) love it.
What do you do in your primary to make visiting children feel welcome?
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