October 26, 2012

CTR Ornaments for Primary.

In Primary we always have the children make ornaments after they perform their annual Christmas party.
In years past they have done Shrinky Dinks or foam.  This year we made fabric CTR shields to go along with this year's theme--"Choose the Right".
For 75 ornaments about 5 inches high and 4 inches wide, I bought
-1.25 yards of white
-1.25 yards of green fabric
-one spool of variegated cotton yarn
-Quilt Batting or Stuffing (i used what i had)
-6 packs of thin markers (NOT fabric markers, just plain, inexpensive markers)
total cost- $13

Flat or Stuffed?
I used cotton quilt batting that i already had on hand and made them flat, like a quilt.
They were easy to color on and not complicated at all for the kids.

If I wanted to take more time I would have left a hole for them to stuff and had pre-threaded needles for them to sew their holes closed.  I would not have worried about the hole actually getting sealed because it is just an ornament.  It would be cute if they didn't sew it well.
Sewing Prep-  
I printed out a cardboard CTR logo from online and i cut it out with a piece of cardstock underneath it.
I made a mini quilt sandwich-- green fabric, batting, and white fabric. (i used spray adhesive between the layers, because i had it, but you don't need it.)
Then I traced it 75 times onto white fabric with a pencil.
I tried to keep the shields in lines- ten in a row.
Then i cut out one row.  Does this make sense?
I measured the string for the top, folded it in half and knotted the bottom.  (You want a little knot in the bottom to hold the string on better under the seam, so it isn't easy to pull out.)
As i sewed on top of my traced shield, I would stick the string underneath the top middle and just sew right over it.
It was fast and easy, and fun to do while i watched Netflix on my ipad.
I cut out each ornament with pinking shears at the end.
The only tricky part was cutting out the ornament without cutting the string off.
I would just pull the string all the way to the left and cut the right side, then pull it all the way to the right to cut the left.
Tracing and assembling took one Psyche episode.  (With help from my daughter who cut and knotted the tops.)
It took me about an hour to sew all 75 and another 30 minutes to cut them out.
I sewed on Saturday night in under one movie.  :)

Sharing Time Ideas--
Introducing this project we sang fun songs and talked about the logo-- CTR on a sheild.

I asked the kids why the symbol for Choosing the Right is a shield?
What does a shield do?
Why isn't it Choose the Right on a sword?
What does choosing the right protect us from?
What are some examples when they were protected by choosing the right?
We read Ephesians 6 and talked about the armor of God.
It was a fun, casual conversation.

Junior Primary-
I choose children to come to the board and show me how they right C, T, and R.
(I tried to pick younger kids who were not perfect at letters to show the youngest that they could do it.)
I asked how they could choose the right.  One child said, "Obey my dad."  So, I asked her to draw a picture of her father.  Explaining that it would be good to draw a picture of DAD on our CTR shield.
I had another child come write their name on the board.
I told all kids to color 3 things on their shield.
1. CTR
2. Their name and 2012.
3. A picture of choosing the right.
My six year old came home with a picture of A Bird on her shield.  She said, "I can be kind to birds."
i love it.
Logistically, i showed the kids (by acting it out for them) how they would sit so still waiting for me to put an ornament on their laps.  They would turn around and kneel down at their seat, and wait for their teacher to hand them a marker. When they wanted a different color they would ask sweetly.  When they were finished they would return their markers to their teacher and sit quietly in their seat.  I told them to hold their ornament in the air and i would show everybody.
I handed one, new box of thin-tipped markers to each teacher to distribute.

Senior Primary.
WOW!  It was SO fun to discuss this with older kids.  They completely understood the POWER that choosing the right has to protect us.
We starting with a simple-- no piano-- singing time.
I had one kid stand and hum a song.  As the other children figured out what song it was they would stand and start singing the words.
The spirit was SO strong and the kids were all wanting a turn to pick a song. Even teachers wanted a turn to hum.
Because the Spirit was so strong, I taught the kids the darling song, "Hum Your Favorite Hymn."
We sang it through a few times and it was a really great lead into talking about SHIELDS.
Humming primary songs can help shield your mind... that is a great example of how CTR protects us.
(I did not plan that lesson- it was inspired.)

After we talked about Ephesians 6 and after I testified to them that choosing the right will be a shield and a protection to us. As we choose the right we will be SAFE and HAPPY.
I told the kids it was important to CHOOSE today, standards for their life that they would commit to.
I had them think about their life 5 years from now and asked what they would NEVER do or what they would FOR SURE do.
I told them that when i was young people often wore their pants "low rider", so low that you could see their underwear.  I knew a young boy that made a deal with his father that he would NEVER wear low-rider jeans.
Other kids told stories of their parents making the choice to never smoke, or to get married in the temple and how that choice blessed their life.
As i handed out the blank ornament to each of them I had them say out loud how they would CTR.
It was sweet and powerful to hear their commitment.
I will never swear.
I will never smoke.
I will go on a mission.
I will pray daily.
I will never hit a girl.
I will wear modest clothes.
I won't have sex before i'm married.
I will be kind.
I will get married in the temple.
I will have faith.
My daughter Anna wrote,
Her ornament got wet in the car and the ink came off a little.  That is what you get when you use washable markers.

My daughter Ellie makes me smile, she wrote,
One child, who has had a harder time recently, refused to say anything that he would do to choose the right.
I tried to help him think of SOMETHING he would never do... even if it was "never hit a girl" or "never pierce his nose"... but he was in a rebellious mood.  It was sad and left me concerned.
I found his blank CTR shield on the floor when he left.
This afternoon I am bringing it to school for him with candy.  I wrote on it some things I think will make him smile.
"I will never eat dog.  I will smile once every day.  I will always remember that my primary teacher loved me."  I do love that boy and i will NEVER stop hoping the best for him.

There is POWER in teaching children right from wrong and they will be PROTECTED as they choose the right.
Teaching values to our children is essential.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (Ephesians 6:12-13)

I am grateful for a religion that teaches me there is SAFETY and PEACE in choosing the right.

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