FHE Lesson: Healthy and Happy Hearts

Since February is the month of love and hearts, of course we had to have a Family Home Evening lesson tied into the theme.  The Heart Healthy Exercise game shared by Marie at Make and Takes was the perfect activity for my kiddos: making hearts strong and healthy by exercising in a fun way.I followed her instructions and found some clipart online of the various heart healthy actions I wanted to include and I made some very simple posters.My poster included the following actions: sit ups, kick, stretch, roll over, push ups, jump, jog in place, and jumping jacks.

I also followed her suggestion and made a heart bean bag to use as a throwing item. Cut two hearts out of red felt, hot glue 3/4 of the edge of the hearts, fill with beans, then glue the rest together. A simple project that took just a few minutes, but my kids loved playing with it.

Lesson Plan

Lead a very brief discussion about hearts. Do you know the word “heart” is found 1473 times in our standard works of scripture? Obviously, hearts are important! It is important to take care of our hearts and keep them healthy and happy.

We can keep our hearts happy by…. (reading scriptures, following the prophet, praying, keeping the commandments, etc).

It is also important to keep our physical hearts healthy. We can do this through regular exercise and activity.

Play the heart healthy game: Take turns throwing the bean bag on the posters, and do the action it lands on. We also had some other hearts to choose from to let us know how many of each action we should do (5, 10, 15, or 20).

End the evening with a discussion of our favorite “heart”scriptures and eat heart shaped cookies for dessert!

Favorite Heart Scriptures

Matthew 22:37 “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind”.

2 Nephi 4:15 “For my soul delighteth in the scriptures, and my heart pondereth them”

Alma 45:7 “Yea, I will keep thy commandments with all my heart”.

Key to a great marriage

“A happy marriage is not so much a matter of romance as it is an anxious concern for the comfort and well-being of one’s companion.”

Gordon B. Hinckley, “What God Hath Joined Together,” Ensign, May 1991, 73.

Quoted in Douglas Brinley, “What Happily Married Couples Do,” Ensign, January 2012.

Spreading love in February

This little mailbox is a new addition to our family’s annual February festivities. When I found it in the dollar aisle at Target I picked it up without hesitation. The mailbox is our “love box”: anyone who would like to can leave message inside for another family member. The girls get pretty excited when they notice the raised flag and know that there is a message inside. In the picture you can see some of the messages that have been sent (and received).

Writing a note just takes a minute, but it is a nice way that we are showing love in our family. I was also inspired by the idea of a 14 Acts of Love countdown to Valentine’s Day, shared at Make and Takes. We haven’t been able to do it every day, but it has helped us to have a more service/other oriented mindset.

I have found so many great ideas online this year for Valentine’s Day. Thank you, Pinterest, for keeping it all organized for me! You can view the ideas that have sparked my interest on my Valentine’s Day Pinterest board. I also have a great set of links that I shared last year.

Activities for Groundhog Day

Every year Groundhog Day sneaks up on me, but this year we are actually doing something to recognize it! I hosted the Sweet Bee’s preschool group today and we had some groundhog themed fun.

After our usual introductory stuff (some free-play time, welcome song, talk about the calendar and the weather) we read Animals in Winter.The book details, briefly, what various animals do to survive the winter: migrate, hibernate, or adapt. I previously found images online of each animal mentioned in the book, and as we read the book we added the animal picture to the appropriate poster. This book was a really great way to bring a little science into our lesson, and the activity as we went along kept the attention of the children.

Then it was time to focus in on the groundhog (aka the woodchuck). The children colored a groundhog and decorated a cave (toilet paper roll) for it to pop out of. Snack time: Edible Groundhogs!I originally found the idea for this groundhog here and I thought it was so cute. I modified the instructions slightly based on the amount of supplies I was willing to purchase (I left out the cookie frosting and just used chocolate pudding to stick it all together). Here is the breakdown:

-chocolate pudding for the body

-vanilla wafer for the head

-edible eyeballs (I found some at Walmart in the cake decorating aisle–the kids thought they were the coolest thing ever!)

-butterscotch chip for the nose (or you could use a chocolate chip)

-mini marshmallow for the teeth

-vanilla wafer broken into pieces for the ears and the front paws

The children were very enthralled with this little edible critter!

To conclude our day we ended with a few songs and a game.

(sung to the tune of 10 Little Indians)
One little, two little, three little groundhogs.
Four little, five little, six little groundhogs.
Seven little, eight little, nine little groundhogs.
Sleeping down under the ground.

(sung to the tune of I’m a Little Teapot)
I’m a little groundhog, furry and brown.
When winter comes, I sleep underground.
I’m curled up, as cozy as can be.
When it’s spring please wake me up!

I brought out my laundry basket and the children took turns laying inside, with a blanket thrown over their heads. I would sing the song and the child would pop up when I said “wake me up!” The kids loved it and wanted multiple turns, so I sang a lot! A simple game, but perfect for the 4-year-olds (and the the almost 2-year-old) in our group.

If I have time tomorrow, I plan to make this footprint groundhog with my children.Image courtesy of The Educator’s Spin On It

Here are the other books we are reading in honor of the furry little groundhog:

Geoffrey Groundhog Predicts the Weather by Bruce Koscielniak

Gregory’s Shadow by Don Freeman

Happy Groundhog Day!