With a couple of children in our small Primary class turning eight soon, I thought it would be the perfect time to hold an “It’s Great To Be Eight” activity.
This was our first time to have this activity. I’ve heard of the title several times online, but I’ve never completely understood if there was a specific program followed for this activity or what. And so, I decided to just make up the program as to what I felt would be useful and exciting for the children to learn.
Upon opening the activity with a song and prayer, I gave an overview about baptism. Initially, this part was supposed to be assigned to one Primary teacher, but she couldn’t make it, so I was forced to grab stuff from the Gospel Principles book, summarize and simplify them a bit. To make it more catchy, I printed important phrases on strips of paper for the kids to read every now and then. A few baptism-related pictures from the photo library were also quite helpful. I tried to give emphasis on the covenants and to help the kids more easily remember them.
After the overview, we had Bishop come in and talk a bit about the baptismal interview: how to prepare for it, what’s it all about and what it was for. I felt learning about it would help the children (who haven’t been baptized yet) to be less worried/nervous/scared about meeting bishop for the interview when their turns come.
Two of the older children, who have already been baptized a few years ago, then took turns sharing about their memories of their baptism. One did it simply and directly. The other made the extra effort of preparing a slideshow (that her mum operated on the laptop while she talked) of pictures taken from her baptismal day.
Then, I had my husband talk about his experience in being a baptizer. He also gave tips on how to be physically prepared for the baptism proper – such as bending the knees, holding (pinching) the nose, etc. He also did a demonstration for the children to see and for the younger ones to experience. It was so cute seeing my 6-year old experience a baptism demonstration. I had to help push his knees a bit to remind him to bend them during the second demo, because he didn’t do it at the first time. He looked excited and serious about it.
After the demonstrations in the room, we went on a little tour of the baptismal font. We divided them according to gender. The girls went first, guided by bishop’s wife, who was so kind to help us out. She led the group to the font, explained a little bit while the girls had a look at the empty font below. Then they went through the ladies’ room through the access door to the font. Then, they went down the font so the young ones could experience and see what it’s like being there.
The boys soon followed, guided by our pianist. He, with a bit of help from my husband, led the boys through the men’s room access and to the font.
Before everyone had arrived, I had prepared a treasure hunt game for the children, which would help them review the things they had learned that evening. It was composed on questions typed on pieces of paper (one question per piece of paper), with each question having two possible answers to choose from. Each possible answer had an instruction as to where to find a smaller piece of paper (hidden around the room) that had either “Great job!” or “Oops! Try again.” typed on it, depending whether it was the correct or incorrect answer.
Unfortunately, we had run out of time (as some of our speakers had been a bit too excited about their talk and had spent longer time talking than expected), and sadly, we had to modify the game to make it shorter. Instead of all kids being able to have a go, we got the younger ones (unbaptized ones) to answer the questions, and almost as quickly as possible. (Need to work on getting folks to stick to the time limit next time…)
After the quick game, I did a short closing message, and we had one of our lovely little girls say the prayer.
Then, the divider was pushed aside to reveal the buffet table. Hurray! It was time to snack! 🙂