Saturday, May 1, 2010

Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy

My Great Idea: Sunday Stations

by Amy Ambridge

As an adult, I love a Sunday with nothing to do except nap and read. But this sentiment is not shared by children. To combat the problem, I started using “Sunday Stations.”

"I'm bored. There's nothing to do on Sunday." We have all heard it from our children at some point. My youngest daughter is famous for this refrain. How do we keep children entertained but still honor the Sabbath? It's easy to do by creating Sunday Stations that stop the boredom and help your children have a productive and spiritual day. My friend shared this brilliant idea with me.

The idea begins with the principle that Sunday is a day we need to use to renew our body and spirits. It is not a day to be wasted or spent in idleness. We have been counseled to engaged in many activities in our lives, and most of them are appropriate on the Sabbath. By creating stations that focus on different Sunday-appropriate activities, our children can honor the Sabbath and still have fun.

Four stations can be set up, though the number of stations can be adjusted to meet the size and needs of your family. The children rotate through the different stations. Each Sunday you can add a different "Surprise Station."

Pile up some pillows and make a "Listening Station." Children can listen to the Joseph Smith dramatization, primary music and hymns with the song books to follow along, dramatized scripture stories, Scripture Scouts, Alexander's Amazing Adventures, John Bytheway, or other age-appropriate, gospel-oriented material. This could include homemade tapes or compact discs of immediate family members or ancestors bearing their testimonies or sharing their life stories. You can even record yourself reading a story or sharing something important.

A "Reading Station" can include copies of the Friend, New Era, Ensign, and scriptures. It can also include illustrated stories from the scriptures for younger children.

A "Writing Station" can have slips of paper on which each child writes something they are grateful for, or they can write one thing that they like or admire about each family member. Young children can draw a picture of what they learned in primary that day or just something they did. This station could vary each Sunday to include things like journal writing. Letters can be written and pictures drawn to send to grandparents and missionaries.

A "Surprise Station" can include doing a craft from the Friend, cooking a family treat, playing a family game or going on a walk together. Each station can be customized for the different holidays. During Thanksgiving or Christmas you can expand a "Writing Station" to be a "Gratitude Writing Station" and write thank you notes and letters of gratitude or Christmas cards.

As parents, our lives are so busy that it is often hard to find time for all the spiritually uplifting things we are supposed to be doing with our families. I've found that using Sunday Stations has helped my family come closer to the solution. Instead of feeling guilty for not being able to cram in everything during the week, it allows us to use those Sunday afternoons to add more spiritually uplifting activities to our hectic lives.

Sometimes children can feel like there are so many "do nots" associated with the Sabbath. Sunday Stations can help children focus on all the wonderful things they can do on the Sabbath day and help them replace boredom with spiritual experiences and fun family memories.

No comments:

Post a Comment