In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), Sunbeams are three to four years old in the Primary Program -- a weekly organization that teaches children ages three to twelve about the gospel. Activities for the three year-old Sunbeams can be both fun and educational. Songs, games, drawing and play are all important parts of a healthy and fun Sunbeam class.
Activities with Music
Music can be used with the Sunbeams class to inspire fun activities. LDS songs like "Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam" and "Book of Mormon Stories" and seasonal favorites like "Popcorn Popping" and "Once There Was a Snowman" combine songs with active hand and body movements. Mastery of the movements and the lyrics help the development of preschooler. The songs frequently teach a religious concept but also provide fun activities for the group. Other active songs to use are "Do as I'm Doing," a Simon Says-type song game. Choose songs that follow a theme; if the Sunbeams are learning about the Book of Mormon, teach the song "Book of Mormon stories."
Arts and crafts that require some preparation are easy and fun, and are enjoyed by the preschoolers. Using yellow, orange or gold construction paper, cut out sun shapes with a hole in the middle large enough to see their faces. Have the Sunbeams wear the masks by holding them up with Popsicle sticks or by tying a string to each side of the paper and wrapping the string around the Sunbeam's head. Use these sun masks to brighten up a song performance. Other crafts could include coloring pictures of Scripture characters or making necklaces with string and Cheerios or Froot Loops.
Sunbeam Primary Lessons
A Sunbeam class can learn about the LDS church with an age appropriate Primary lesson. These lessons not only teach a scripture message, but help the preschool age child learn to be quiet and reverent. Using flannel felt boards to illustrate Scripture stories and help Sunbeams to learn the story with an interesting visual aid. Read a scripture or lesson message and have the Sunbeams answer questions about which flannel board image is the one you're reading about. Sunbeam Primary lessons can be followed by a fun activity to help children learn a mix of reverence and fun.
Transitions Activities from Nursery to Primary
Sunbeams are the transition group between Nursery and Primary. In Nursery there are mostly games and toys, while in Primary children have to sit still more often for lessons. It may be difficult to make this change, and Sunbeams should include activities that do both, to help them begin adjusting to Primary. Have Sunbeams sit in on the Opening Exercises of Primary classes to teach them reverence. To help Sunbeams make the transition, use Nursery activities, like the crafts and games they're used to doing, for the first five months of Sunbeams, slowly weaning them to the regular Primary class. Continue to take the Sunbeams to the Opening Exercises and Sharing Time in Primary.
Emily Meehan began freelance writing in 2007. She wrote for her graduate school newspaper "The Public Servant," covering subjects ranging from politics to arts education. Meehan has a Master of Public Service and Administration from Texas A&M University and a Bachelor of Science in sociology from Brigham Young University.