When I was little, one of the ways I remember my mom keeping us quiet during sacrament meeting was with hand plays. The one I remember the most (besides her simply tracing my hands) was “Here is the Church House”. I taught it to my little girl a few weeks ago, and she loves it. I can occupy her for 5-10 minutes with this hand play alone! In fact, just tonight as I was putting her to bed she asked to do it over and over again. The first part, where you interlace your fingers backwards, was tricky when I first taught her but tonight she was doing it like a pro! She knows the whole thing and can do the hand motions herself (although she needs a little help with the words). In case you don’t know how it goes, I took pictures of her doing it (yes… during sacrament meeting… is that bad?) so I could teach you.
After playing this for a while, and realizing that it had no gospel application other than that we pray at Church (which is good), I decided that I should make some hand plays that were gospel related. So I did. First I looked up “The Testimony Glove” which I figured was a good place to start.
I came up with three hand plays that go along with the five parts of the “testimony glove”, which are
1. I know that God is our Heavenly Father and He loves us.
2. I know that His Son, Jesus Christ, is our Savior and Redeemer.
3. I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. He restored the gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth and translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God.
4. I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s Church on the earth today.
5. I know that this Church is led by a living prophet who receives revelation.
Some of the rhymes are better than others, and some of the hand motions might seem little ambiguous, but it’s been a while since I did anything horribly creative, so you get what you get. I’m excited to start using these with my kids. I made them up a few weeks ago, but I forgot about them until tonight when J was asking for the Church house game over and over again.
Without further ado, here are the three hand plays that I came up with. Feel free to share these hand plays and enjoy them with your kids.
(yes, I know that Moroni actually gave the Book of Mormon to Joseph Smith,
but since this is for very small children,
and Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ ultimately
were the ones who blessed us with the Book of Mormon,
I feel like this is still accurate)
I am also going to do some scripture stories hand plays in the near future. I’ve got some ideas floating around up there. I was thinking today that I might even publish them in a book. I have a fun book of hand games and finger plays for kids, but is is strictly secular, and I really like having ones that I can use to teach the gospel to my kids.
How did your parents keep you occupied during sacrament meeting as a toddler/preschooler? Do you remember the Church house hand play? Do you think you will use these hand plays with your kids? If I make up hand plays for scriptures stories, would you like to see them?