Here are some activity ideas based around Developing Talents.
Click here for the suggested activities from the girls Faith in God manual
9 B's Wall Hanging by Laura Mulholland
Activity Day Binders - This was the first activity that we did. The girls covered small 3 ring binders with material and now they will bring them to Activity Days and keep their Faith in God books in them....along with pictures, recipes and other things that we do. I bought envelopes for the pictures. They love them. (Stefani Green / ga11132006)
Architecture - Have them design their dream house on paper.
Art - Have an artist in the ward come and give a painting or sculpting technique lesson.
Artists in the Making - Walk to a park. Give each girl 6 feet of yarn. They make it into a circle and have to draw on paper all the things that are inside their circle.
Balloon Plants - Website #1, Website #2
Baseball - Play baseball with a tennis racquet and tennis ball.
Bath Salts - We just made bath salts last week. The girls had so much fun. We just kept it simple, Epson salt and food coloring. We put them in Ziploc bags and started making different colors. The only thing that you have to watch out for is the girls wanted to make new and different colors, but when you put all the colors together you get green.. so we had MANY shades of green. We didn't put fragrance in it, but they looked great, we layered them with different colors. I went to the dollar store and got 4 small bathroom container for a dollar. We made tags and gave them to the adults in primary and others in the ward as gifts. (Idea by Julie Fitzsimmons) FYI: Here is another recipe for Bath Salts: Use more or less depending on how much you want to make. 1 cup rock salt, 1 tbsp Epson salt, 1/4 tsp mineral oil, a drop or two of food coloring, a couple drops of flavoring extract (like vanilla or strawberry). Shake it all up in a baggie and we put ours into baby food jars.
Be a Standard Bearer - We did the "Be a Standard Bearer" necklaces and it was a big hit. I got a yard or ribbon which made two necklaces. I then put a giant washer on each piece of ribbon on which I had written "CTR" in permanent marker. Kind of spruced up that washer! The washer added the weight that was needed to make the necklace "hang" like they should. I then printed out hearts, about 2" from top to bottom, in different colored bright card stock. On each heart I wrote a word or two pertaining to one of the Gospel Standards.....Good Friends, Modest Dress, Faith, Holy Ghost, etc. During our meeting, we went through the list of each of the Gospel Standards, discussed them and their meaning and asked each girl if this was something they were willing to take upon themselves. After each one was thoroughly discussed and they agreed they would and could do that particular thing, they got a heart with the corresponding word/phrase to staple to their necklace. They turned out really well and looked so bright and festive. The girls seemed pleased and when the parents came to pick them up, I noticed a lot of questions as to what this or that word meant. Pretty easy activity. Hard part was cutting out all the hearts. It was titled "Being a Standard Bearer." (Idea shared by Kathleen Revoir / 08242006)
Braid Hair - Teach the girls how to braid hair. Have them practice on each other. If some of the girls know how to braid, teach them different types of braids or how to braid their own hair.
Cake Decorating - Depending on time and resources you could ask your girls to bring a small baked cake with them. Then have a bunch of questions about each other. Then they could turn the answers in for little bags of decorations and frosting. When they were finished with their cakes, talk with the girls about their individual worth. Ask them if they all decorated their cakes the same? Why or why not? All of them are beautiful and sweet...just like them. Cut up and serve the cakes. (Credit Unknown)
Candle Making - Quick and Easy. You can use a paper milk carton (Y'know the 1/2 gal type?) with the top cut off or a frozen juice can...either one you must wash out thoroughly. It is important that the string of wick be centered so we tied it to a pencil and taped the other end to the center inside the container bottom and rested the pencil across the top so it will stay centered. Fill the container with ice cubes. Then pour the hot wax over the wax until it is full. When the ice melts it leaves very neat holes throughout the candle ....very decorative. When everything is cool...dump out the water from the melted ice....and tear off the outside container (cardboard from the milk carton or juice container.) It is amazing the different designs that the ice makes! You might make a trial run to see how much ice to put in the containers, especially if you are using different shape ice from ice cube trays. (Idea by Leslie)
Career Activity - Find out the talents/interests/careers/hobbies of ward members and look for opportunities to use them as 'guest lecturers.'
Chinese New Year Activity Idea
Compass Treasure Hunt - Help your girls learn how to use a compass.
Cross Stitch Pattern by Alicia Wood
Do-It-Youself Dollhouse - A great activity for your girls to start with you and take home and work on. Build the dollhouse with cardboard. They'll have a blast!
Easy Ruffle Knotted Headband by Camille
Embroider a quilt (charity) - Give the girls squares/rectangles of solid broadcloth or muslin. Have them draw a SIMPLE picture or message on a piece of paper then trace it to the material. Have them embroider the picture/message then make a quilt out of all the squares/rectangles and donate the completed quilt to the women's shelter or other charity. (Idea by Evelyn Thomas / ga08272008)
Engineering Lesson - Learn about engineering and problem solving by building a structure with straws. Give each girl a handful of straws and a glob of play dough and a paper cup. (The straws are cheap at Costco or Sam's club or ask a business owner to donate them. The play dough can be homemade.) Tell them that they need to build a structure that will hold the cup off of the table. (You can make up your own rules) They can work in teams or by themselves but don't let them see each other while they are creating the structures or everyone will do the same thing. When they are ready, have them drop pennies in their cup one at at time until the structure falls over. The object is to see who's structure can hold the most pennies. It is a really fun activity. It makes them have to think and try to solve a problem. Children these days are used to being told how to do everything and they need to learn problem solving skills. (Idea from LDS Activity Days Website)
Face Painting Fun by Jami Cloud - A great activity to do around Halloween
Fish Care - Learn the skills needed for fish care. Get consent from each parent before going through with this activity (for obvious reasons). Buy a goldfish for each girl, rocks, etc. Have each girl make their own aquarium using a quart jar.. (See example) Show them how to change water, feed fish, how often, etc.
Flip Flop Kick Off - Make fancy flip flops by tying strips of fabric to flip flops.
Floral Cards - Pick wild flowers and press them. Then the following week make cards for Mothers Day with the flowers. (Idea by Diane)
Friendship night - The Activity Day Leader and I brought board games and popcorn and we all rotated thru games, playing a different game with different girls and snacking on popcorn. The AD leader prepared a spiritual thought at first (just shared one of her favorite scriptures.) We thought it would be good to have the girls play games with the girls they don't usually hang out with. (Idea by Jessica Skinner)
Friendship bracelets - Make friendship bracelets with embroidery floss (fairly cheap). They worked with a friend to braid them, and I was surprised how few girls knew how to braid. (Idea by Diane)
Fun with paper
Gaming with a Twist by Nanci Jarman
Gratitude Journals - Girls can decorate a notebook/binder and write their first entry during the activity. Challenge the girls to write something daily.
Home Depot Workshops - Did you know that at Home Depot they have a free kid's workshop (ages 5-11) the first Saturday of every month from 9am-Noon? They provide the project (it changes every month) and all the supplies. The children get the project, a child size Home Depot apron, a pin with the project shown to pin on their apron, and also a certificate. It is all for free. The kids do need to bring an adult with them to help. My group met there and had a great time. It is easy to plan... no planning! Just show up and have fun. The girls loved it. Just a tip... get their early as they may run out of projects depending on how well known the workshop is. You can also call ahead and find out what the project is. (Credit Unknown)
"Homemade Beauty" - Type up different recipes for homemade beauty things such as masques, facials, shampoo, lip gloss, rinses, lotions, conditioners etc. Make one together. (Check out this website for more great recipes and information).
I am going to teach them a line dance. (Boot Scootin' Boogie) First, I will give a little lesson on the influence of music. Share D&C 136:28, which reads: "If thou art merry, praise the Lord with singing, with music, with dancing, and with a prayer of praise and thanksgiving." Just a little information... if someone out there would like to teach their girls a line dance and they don't know one themselves... they can look it up on the internet. I found a lot of different websites that describe the steps in detail just by typing "line dances" on google.com. (Idea by Vanessa Seiuli / ga06042007)
Ice cream sculptures
Juice Pouch Crafts - Make a purse, tote or lunch bag out of Kool-Aid or Capri Sun Juice Pouches. If you have boys in your group, they could make a wallet.
Jump Rope - I bought a Chinese Jump Rope for about $2 and taught my girls how to play. We used to play all the time when I was in school, but these girls had never even heard of it! They LOVED it, and have asked my several times since then if we can play again. I also brought jacks, another game I played when I was small, but has since gone "out of fashion." They loved it also! (Idea by Michelle)
Jump Rope Activity by Tammy Griffin
Lap Quilts - 1) Buy fleece (lots of cute colors - we had flowers & m&m's). For the girls I just got 1 1/4 yards to 1 1/8. 2) turn selvage edge under and sew 1/4 inch. Actually not necessary but looks nice. 3) Cut the other two ends in 1/2 inch wide and 6 or so inches long "fringe" 4) Get Pony beads and thread them on each fringe 5) Tie a knot under each bead on the fringe so the bead doesn't come off. Also, I found that a different color bead than the fleece looks nicer. (Idea by Cary Kullick)
Learn a Primary Song in Sign Language.
Levi Purses - Make purses out of jeans back pockets - We cut the back pockets out and used the seams for the handles and used a low temp glue gun to glue them together. The girls all came up with different ideas on how to do this, and then used paint to decorate them. One girl brought a pair of overalls with a small pocket on the front of the bib and made a small coin purse with a long handle. One girl had embroidery on the jeans she brought and they cut that off and used it to decorate. It was the first meeting for one of the girls, and she had a blast, and the other girls we very willing to help her. I usually do Activity Days alone, as I had asked for a helper and have not received one yet, but one of the Moms came in and helped, very much needed with a class like this. (Idea by Nancy Stephens)
Make homemade lip gloss + gossip lesson.
Musical Number - Have the girls learn a song to present as a special musical number in Sacrament meeting.
Names - Talk about your names and what they mean. What does it mean to have a good family name? It means you are trusted and have integrity. Review the following conference talk (one of my favorites) with the girls and have a discussion about what this story has to do with creating a good name for yourself. Can they do that as well? How? Have the girls make wire name decorations.
Nature collages - Go on a small hike outdoors and have the girls collect items to make into a collage.
Origami - The girls loved it. My assistant had a book, but you can find stuff on the web. We used computer paper and showed the girls some simple things, like the box and frog and the crane. I know there is a cool story with the crane, but couldn't find it in time. The theme might be developing our talents... something along the line of.... We start out our life as a blank page and each choice we make is like a fold in the page and when we are all done, what do we become? The girls had a great time and want to do it again. Next time, I think I will print out the instructions so that they can take them home and work on it there. (Idea by Rebecca White)
Paper Bag Albums by Barb Bennett
Paper Bag Albums - You take 3 paper lunch bags and fold them in half. Punch 4 - 5 holes along the left hand side to make it look like a book. Decorate in "scrapbook" style and add pictures and journaling. Very easy! Click here to get instructions on how to make paper bag albums. - See examples of this craft: Example 1, Example 2, Example 3, and Example 4
Paper Cast Ornaments - Make the ornaments (wall plaques) using temple clay and cookie molds. Cut paper towels in strips/pieces, blend with water. Put in mold, absorb water, then put in low heat oven or microwave and paper cast them while in mold. (Idea by Trina)
Picture Puzzle Blocks - Wow! These are so cool. Scroll down until you see them. I think they'd be fun to do. Just have the girls bring some of their favorite pictures and have at it. I was even thinking you could use cardstock paper instead of wood like she uses (to make it more affordable). Using a box pattern, have each girl cut out however many boxes they want to use (the more boxes, the more pictures). You could even stuff the inside with cotton balls to give it "some" weight.
Pop Bottle Terrariums - Use some of the following websites for help: Website 1, Website 2, and last but not least Website 3
Princess Power - When they first come in they will be making a 'Princess Crown' out of pipe cleaners. It takes four per crown. Then they will pair up and trace each other on a long piece of butcher paper. We will use this later. They will learn about proper etiquette - how to set a table, how to fold napkins, proper manners at a table. They will then set their own place setting (with our fine china!) with a place card and all. Then they will come in for a presentation on modesty. They will get to search in magazines for modest clothing. They will cut out an outfit and then go to their life-size paper doll and color it on them. Then they will sit down and be served a luncheon and get to practice their etiquette. The theme of 'Princess Power' is to show them that they really are special young ladies and that when they behave as one, they will become one." (Idea by Suzanne Stewart)
Public Speaking - Put a bunch of random objects in a paper sack. (Loaf pan, dish detergent, shoe, etc.) Have each girl take one and give a two minute speech after two minute's preparation. And/or have the group use all of the objects as part of an 'instant skit' they write based on the objects.
Sewing Basics - Learn basic sewing skills. Learn how to mend clothes. Have them bring something with them that needs repairing.
Spaghetti Art - Cook up a bunch of spaghetti noodles. Put out some construction paper and have the girls make pictures with the noodles on the paper. For some reason it sticks to it like glue when it dries. It only works on construction paper not on cardstock.
Table Setting - I took the dishes from the kitchen and the girls each had their own place setting and I read the instructions from "Setting A Table" and they then had to set their places. I also talked about "Table Manners for a Typical Evening" and went over some basic rules of conduct when at a persons house and being polite. I also spoke to them about being members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and how our actions reflect the church and also our family. I also shared with them some of my own personal experience growing up and a funny/embarrassing story about myself eating out at a restaurant when I was younger. I found that when you get down to their level and can share something fun about yourself with them they respond more and didn't see it as a lecture activity but as a learning one. We finished the activity the following Saturday evening by getting dressed up and going to see the Secret Garden at the Community Center with their Moms. (Idea shared by Stephani Green)
Talent Show by Wendy Hairel
Temple Reminder Craft- We will make something focusing on the temple that the girls can display in their rooms to remind them of the temple. (Idea by Shana Windham)
The Basics - Teach the girls how to iron a shirt, pillowcase, dress, sew on snaps, buttons.
The Untalented Duckling by Ash Roberts (Skit)
Tie Dye Shirts - Make tie dye shirts and invite the girls to wear them on activity days. (Idea by Kim Judd)
Time Capsules - For the 'capsule' part, I got new, unused cans at our local LDS cannery. They even happened to have gold colored ones! I paid about .35 each for them. I made some cute labels on my computer and printed them on label sheets. If you want more info. about the labels, let me know. I asked the girls to bring special things to put in the capsules and I typed up some questionnaires for them to fill out listing questions asking them about their likes, dislikes, wishes, goals, and some spiritual questions i.e. favorite scripture, hymn, how they feel about the Savior, their parents and siblings, etc. And a place for them to record their testimonies. (One sad thing, I had one little girl ask me what a testimony was!) We had a Polaroid camera available and took pictures of them all too. They filled out their questionnaires, decorated their labels and cans with stickers, and seemed to have a great time. I will be taking the cans back to the cannery to seal them in a couple of days. They look so cute and we put the 'Do Not Open Until....'. (Idea by Debbie Caster)
Use the talents of others! We went to a ward members house who is a mechanic and his shop is in the back yard. He showed the girls how to change the oil and check and add air to the tires. They loved using the lift to put the car in the air and they had fun using the air hose to fill the tires. (Idea by Kristy Halladay / ga01102012)
Visit a cultural event or art exhibit - There are often free nights that you can go to different museums. You may also want to look at your high school's calendar and attend a play, a choral or a band concert to fulfill this requirement. You can teach the girls about how to behave appropriately and provide refreshments afterwards. (Credit - www.lds.families.com)
Wall Letters - This activity will depend upon your budget; however, most craft stores sell wooden letters (in many different sizes and mediums). Purchase the letters in everyone's first name. Have them sand, paint and decorate them to hang on their bedroom walls.
Wax Strawberry Sundae Decorations - Fill a goblet with strawberry jam and cover it with wax. Then you whip your wax and put it on top to look like whipped cream. We poked a straw through and put sprinkles and a red gumball on top for a cherry. (Credit Unknown)
Writing a play... by Alicia Moulton