During the time that the adults are in Sunday School and Relief Society (for women) or Priesthood (for men), children over 18 months old will be in their own classes. Children 18 months to 3 years participate in Nursery. This classroom will have a few to several teachers serving there (depending on the size of the nursery). There are books, toys, games and puzzles available for the children to play with. They may play games like “duck, duck, goose” or “ring around the rosies” or they might have bubbles to blow and soft music to listen to. There will be music time, where the children will learn fun songs and songs with a gospel theme. There will be a lesson that one of the nursery leaders has prayerfully prepared that will hopefully engage their attention. Often times, the children have a chance to draw pictures as part of the lesson or as a separate activity. And best of all, there is a snack time. It may be something like crackers or cheese or apple slices or fruit snacks. The nursery children universally love snack time!
During the time your child is in nursery, if he is inconsolably crying for an extended period of time, he will probably be brought back to you. Also, if your child needs a diaper change, he will brought to you. When he has a clean diaper, he will be ready to go back to nursery. When you are done with your classes, you go back to the nursery room and pick up your child.
Older children (ages 3-11) will participate in Primary. Primary is divided into two blocks—Sharing Time and Sunday School. Depending on the ward and the age of your child, he may have either block first. with the Primary Presidency (a president, her two counselors, and a secretary). When they enter the room, the pianist may be playing soft prelude music or the children might be encouraged to sing or hum while they wait for the meeting to begin. They sit in groups with children their own age and their Primary teacher. Children who will be participating in the meeting may be seated at the front of the room.
When all the children are there and it is time for the meeting to begin, there will be an opening song, usually chosen from the Children’s Songbook. Then the child who had been asked to give the opening prayer will step up to the microphone at the podium (if available) to say the prayer. After the prayer, another child who had been asked will say the scripture theme for that month. The theme for December is:
Jesus Christ once lived on the earth, and I have faith that He will come again. “This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).
After the theme, the child who has prepared a talk on that theme will present it. Many times, a parent will come in and help the child to read or just be there for moral support.
Then there may be all sorts of fun things. They will celebrate a child’s birthday by singing a birthday song and perhaps presenting him with a small gift. They will greet any new or visiting children by having them come to the front of the room so the rest of the children can sing a welcome song to them. They may take a minute for children to share anything interesting that happened to them that week. A member of the bishopric might come in to share a brief lesson or thought with the children.
There will be a Sharing time which is instruction by one of the primary presidency or one of the primary teachers (or an entire class of children) that involve all the children. It might be a game or a story that teaches a gospel principle. Often, the children will be asked to participate by coming up and holding visual aids or answering questions. There will also be Music Time where the children learn the songs they will be performing for Sacrament Meeting towards the end of the calendar year. These songs are taught through a lot of repetition, games, and visual aids.
The other part of the time spent in Primary will be in a Sunday School type setting with just the children who have birthdays in their same calendar year. This class will usually begin with a teacher calling upon one of the children to offer an opening prayer. Then the teacher will give the lesson that he or she has prayerfully prepared that week. Depending on the age of your child, the lesson will be taken from one of the manuals listed on this page under “Related Lesson Materials.” At the close of the lesson, the teacher may call upon another child to offer the closing prayer.