Making and Keeping Aids for Family Home Evening
Every effort has been made to make this manual as interesting for your
family as possible. Pictures and games necessary for the success of the
home evening are provided. You may want to make your own cutouts using
patterns from the manual or by cutting materials from old family home
evening manuals. By using the ideas below, you will increase the effectiveness
of the activity and the ease in presenting the material.
- Removing cutouts from old manuals. To remove the cutouts from
old manuals, use a razor blade or a sharp knife. Place a thin pile of
newspapers or a piece of cardboard under the page you want to remove,
and make a clean, straight cut. This will protect the other pages in
the manual and prevent jagged edges that may result from using scissors.
- Mounting cutouts. Cutouts are usually more useful if you mount
them before using them in the home evening activity. To mount a cutout,
cover the back of it with paste or glue and then attaching it to heavier
paper. Mount a picture to be used in a game or jigsaw puzzle on heavy
paper or cardboard. Cutouts for flannel board may be mounted on lighter-weight
- Flannel boards. The flannel board is an inexpensive and easy-to-make
device. It consists of a piece of flannel or felt fastened to a stiff
surface. A large sheet of rigid corrugated cardboard makes a good backing
for the flannel board. Plywood or masonite can also be used. Cut a piece
of flannel a little larger than the cardboard backing. (Felt can be
used, but it is more expensive.) Stretch the flannel over the face of
the backing material; wrap it around the edges; and tape it securely
to the back with wide masking tape or packing tape.
- Use a wide tape to fasten flannel on cardboard or masonite.
- On plywood or celotex, use tacks or heavy-duty staples.
To use the flannel-board figures, glue pieces of flannel to the figure
in several places, or use masking tape formed in a ring with the sticky
side out so that it will stick to both the figure and the flannel board.
- Other ways of displaying cutouts. You need not use a flannel
board to display cutout figures. The following suggestions can be effective:
Use a pillow and straight pins. Stick the pin through the cutout and
into the pillow in the position you want it.
Have the family sit around a table and lay the figures flat on it.
Place the cutouts on the floor where all can see them.
If you wish to move the cutouts as the story progresses, use spools
or small blocks of wood or plastic. Make a ring with masking or transparent
tape (with the sticky side out), and attach it to the back of the cutout
and to the blocks or spools.
Cut grooves about an inch deep in the top of some of the blocks or
spools. Mounted cutouts can then be inserted into the grooves and will
stand upright on your table or floor to give a three-dimensional effect.
- Chalkboard. The chalkboard is a familiar and convenient means
of presenting visual materials. Lightweight, commercially made chalkboards
are available at furniture and variety stores at moderate cost. But
building your own chalkboard can be a fun family activity.
One of the best materials available for making a chalkboard is tempered
masonite. This is a smooth, durable, and inexpensive material. You may
make your chalkboard any size, but three feet by four feet is adequate
for most purposes.
When the masonite is cut to size and the edges are smoothed with sandpaper,
it is ready for painting. It should be coated with a paint-like material
called "chalkboard slating," which should be available at
most paint stores and can be applied easily with a clean, soft brush.
Chalkboard slating is also available in spray cans. Whether you brush
or spray, be sure to follow the directions on the label of the container.
Let the slating dry thoroughly. Also, let it age for several days before
- Chalkboard Substitute. A piece of heavy, white poster board
can make an excellent substitute chalkboard. Cover or laminate
the poster board with clear plastic. You may write or draw on
the plastic surface with wax or grease pencils, marking pencils, or
soap crayons. The wax markings can be wiped off easily with tissues
or a soft rag. Use a sponge and some mild liquid soap for hard-to-erase
- Bulletin Board. A bulletin board can be useful in family home
evenings or for general family use. It can be made very inexpensively
from celotex or similar fibrous material. These materials are
generally available with a white-painted surface on one side, which
is satisfactory for a bulletin surface. To hide the pin holes,
cover the board with a coarsely woven cloth, such as burlap. Use
your imagination to decorate the board, perhaps with an interesting
- Posting board. This simple teaching aid consists of a
series of horizontal slots or pockets on a folded board that will hold
wordstrips or pictures. Fold butcher paper or heavy craft wrapping
paper like pleats; then tape it to the front surface of the board.
- Puppets. Simple puppets can help you dramatize stories
and important lesson ideas. Children love to be involved in these
types of dramatic presentations, and they enjoy the use of all kinds
of puppets. A variety of puppets made from paper sacks, socks,
and other common items are shown below.