Reverently, Quietly: Sacrament Meeting Activity Book by Pamela Jensen, YR, 2014, 58p, Rating=4.5
Source: provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review
When the wiggles come and boredom strikes, it can be difficult for little ones to sit through long church meetings. Reverently, Quietly not only keeps boredom at bay, but also instructs and invites the Spirit. Containing drawing activities, matching games, and coloring pages, all Church--centered, this is a quiet book that all children will enjoy!
The first hour of three hours of church meetings in an LDS church is sacrament. There the bread and water are passed, hymns sung, and talks offered. As you can imagine, young children aren't built to sit still very long. They are a curious and active group so they need to be actively engaged. They can usually sit reverently through the sacrament ordinance and enjoy singing the hymns but when the speakers start to give their talks, well, you'll likely to find the children bored silly. So that's when this activity book comes to play. Its pages consist activities that occupy their little hands by coloring, writing, or drawing. I like the drawing pages that invite its participants to look towards the pulpit and their surroundings. For example, "What does the bishop have on today?" (draw it on the blank tie) or "What time does the church clock say it is?" (draw the hands on the clock). Moreover, this book also includes activities that engage their spiritual minds. Like, name Nephi's parents or match the characters with the object of their story. Hence, parents could feel comfort that their child is getting something churchy.
At first I was conflicted that some pages were duplicated (a few multiplied 3 or 4 times). Then I saw that those pages that were multiplied made sense to repeat. For example, the bishop tie activity ..then you can check out the bishop's tie every week! Consequently, this tells me that the author did her research and considered what children wanted.
Now that you have a taste of what's in the book, does it work? Well, I tested it on my children yesterday at church. Off the bat, I thought, "Oh shoot! I need three of them!". I have three kids and it was not practical to have all three working on one book at once. So perhaps perforated pages would have served well in my case. Anyway, my kids ended up taking turns with it and with each turn the book did capture their attention. Even my eleven year old found few pages that interested him. However, it didn't challenge him much so although this book would be appropriate for primary age children (1.5yo to 11yo), I think the younger ones (maybe under 10yo) would find this more suiting. Overall, they were indeed quietly engrossed and therefore added reverence to the atmosphere. For that reason, this book did live up to its title promise. Yay!
Oh, I could totally see a few of these pages as teaching enhancements, say for sharing time or class time. But what is the copyright for that? ;)