Ready for an Emergency?

We have found the following game to be a good way to teach our children what to do in an emergency.

Get Ready—

Divide family members into teams of two, pairing one parent or older child with each younger child. Select team colors; place a colored sticker dot for each team in various places (see below). Prepare a game sheet with different questions for each team.

Get Set—

Gather the family. Assign each member to a team and a color, and give each team a game sheet.


Each team searches for its own colored dots and places them on the game sheet, then answers the questions. The first team that answers correctly wins a prize.

Dot Placement and Questions

Water: Where is the main turn-off valve to the house? How do you turn it off? Where do you turn off a toilet’s water supply?

Electricity: Where is the main breaker to turn off power to the house? Where are the circuit breakers or fuse box? How do you reset a tripped breaker or replace a blown fuse?

Gas: How do you turn off the supply to the main house? The water heater? The furnace?

Smoke alarms: Where are the smoke alarms? How many do we have? Do they require batteries that need to be changed regularly?

Telephone: Who do we call in an emergency? How can we contact Mom or Dad? When might we appropriately dial 911 (or your country’s emergency number)?

Evacuation: Where should we meet if we have to leave the house during an emergency?

Playing this game has helped all of us learn more about how to take better care of ourselves and our home during a crisis.Alison Affeltranger, Sego Lily Ward, Sandy Utah Granite South Stake

[illustration] Illustrated by Joe Flores

Bedtime Teaching

Everyone loves a story. Chances are, if you sit on the edge of a child’s bed or pull up a chair outside the bedroom door and begin with “Once upon a time … ,” you’ll have their immediate attention. Many kinds of stories can be told as you settle children for the night.

Family stories: Tell about your own childhood and what you learned while growing up. Share stories of ancestors recorded in family histories and journals.

Fun stories: At our house Daddy has a favorite story he makes up about a Frisbee. He adds a new adventure each time he tells it. Mommy has a fun story she made up about a boy named Arthur and his mishaps with bubble gum. The story always includes a place where children can choose the names of Arthur’s friends who get gum balls.

Inspirational stories: Retell stories from sacrament meeting, clarifying and simplifying when necessary. Listen during Sunday School, priesthood, or Relief Society meetings for stories that can be simplified and then shared with your children. Conference talks and Church magazines are also wonderful sources of stories that build faith and remind us that our Father in Heaven loves and is mindful of His children.

Scripture stories: Tell stories from the standard works. Children love to hear about Noah and the ark or Daniel in the lions’ den. Don’t leave the telling of such stories only to videocassettes or picture books. Let your children hear them from you, along with a simple testimony.

Situational stories: Children who don’t sit still long enough to listen to a lesson will often become engrossed in a story. Think of a difficult situation your child may be encountering. Then create a character with a different name who must face a similar problem. Ask the child, “What should Jimmy do?” Discuss various options and tell what happens to Jimmy when he makes different choices.

When telling stories, be sure to emphasize whether they are truth or fiction. Children trust what you say and believe what you tell them, so always be completely honest with them. Then, when it’s time to turn out the light, you might follow your stories with a quiet lullaby, hymn, or Primary song. Children will feel your love as you quietly teach them at bedtime.Marlene Ellingson, Southern Estates Ward, Mesa Arizona Kimball Stake

[illustration] Illustrated by Beth M. Whittaker

Fun with Family History

Participating in family history projects can be fun at any age. Here are several activities that may spur the interest of children, youth, and young adults.

  • One grandmother took the opportunity to teach her grandchildren, ages 8 and 10, how to trace their family line during a two-week visit to her home. Before the children arrived, she arranged with the local Family History Center to have some microfilms containing names of their ancestors.

    When the children arrived, she took them to visit the center, showed them the microfilm reader, and gave them some specific items to search for. The pleasure they received from finding names of their own family on the film made it a special day and planted seeds in their minds that may blossom in the future.

    On a later visit, she gave each child a notebook. Inside was a world map. She helped children place a dot on the towns their ancestors came from. They found illustrations of flags from the various countries, made copies of them, then glued them to the map.

  • A family we know planned a special family home evening on family history. They typed up short excerpts from histories of ancestors and had the children read or dramatize them. Simple costumes helped make it fun. They also prepared old family recipes for dinner, including Grandma’s Icebox Dessert.

  • The family history specialist in one ward worked with the Boy Scouts on their genealogy merit badge. Once a month for four months, she met with the boys on their regular activity night. Each boy received a kit containing a cover sheet, merit badge booklet, and forms that needed to be filled out as they completed the various steps of the merit badge.

  • Youth leaders in one ward found an old cemetery that needed care. After making arrangements with the directors, the group organized a service project to clean the grounds by mowing, weeding, planting, and hauling away trash.

    Later, the group decided to compile a history of the cemetery by collecting the inscriptions from each tombstone and including them in a booklet containing a brief history of the cemetery.

  • Young adults held a family history party. Everyone came dressed as one of their ancestors. During the evening all of them had a turn to tell about the ancestor they represented. Games included churning butter, splitting wood, braiding rugs, and using a plow and harness. Scones and cider topped off the evening.

By participating in a variety of fun activities, children and youth can begin while young to gain an interest in family history work.Lois G. Kullberg, Salmon Creek Ward, Vancouver Washington West Stake

[photo] Photo © Digital Stock