Obtain pictures of a sunflower, the sun, and Jesus Christ (GAK 240). Create a "bouquet" of sunflowers using silk or real flowers in a basket or paper flowers on a poster. Attach a question (see discussion below) to each flower.
Show the picture of a sunflower. Ask the children if they know what it is. Ask why it is called a sunflower (you may get many good answers, such as "it is the color of the sun" and "it is shaped like the sun"). Discuss how sunflowers always follow the sun. They turn their faces east in the morning and follow the sun to the west by evening (demonstrate turning with the sunflower picture). Tell the children that we can be like a sunflower and also follow the light, but the light that we are following is not the light of the sun (show a picture of the sun). It is the light of the Son of God (show a picture of Jesus Christ). Just as the sun is necessary for a sunflower to grow, Jesus Christ is necessary for us to return to Heavenly Father.
Ask the chorister if she knows any songs that teach us about following God's light. Have her sing the line "My choice was to come to this lovely home on earth And seek for God's light to direct me from birth" from "I Will Follow God's Plan," Children's Songbook, p. 164. Ask if anyone knows what song that is from. Explain that she will teach them this song that tells us about following the plan that Heavenly Father gave to us. Explain that Heavenly Father presented a plan to us while we still lived in Heaven. In His plan he provided a way for us to return to live with Him. Does anyone know what that way was? Discuss how Jesus Christ is our Savior.
Ask for volunteers to come up and pick a flower from the bouquet. As they pick their flower have them read the question and answer it. Help them understand each idea as needed. Questions: Who did we live with in Heaven? (Heavenly Father) Whose plan was it for us to come to earth? (Heavenly Father's) Who made it possible for us to return and live with Heavenly Father? (Jesus Christ) What did Jesus Christ do so we could return to live with Heavenly Father? (Suffered for our sins and was resurrected so we could be too) What are we supposed to do here on earth? (Obey the commandments, follow Jesus' example) Did we choose to follow Heavenly Father's plan when we were in Heaven? (Yes, that is why we are here)
Sing additional songs to reinforce the concepts taught, such as: "He Sent His Son" p. 34, "I Lived in Heaven" p. 4, and "Choose the Right Way" p. 160.
Note: The sunflower theme can also work well for activity days or as a quarterly activity. There are a number of sunflower crafts you could do such as:
- Color or paint the edges of a paper plate yellow and glue sunflower seeds to the middle. Attach to a dowel for a stem.
- Paste yellow petals around the edges of a paper plate and cut out the center for a sunflower mask. (The petals could be the children's handprints.)
- Use a needle to string dried sunflower seeds onto nylon thread to make a sunflower seed necklace.
- Plant sunflower seeds in a pot the children have decorated.
- Make a sunflower shaped fridge magnet from fun foam or cardstock with a picture of the child in the center.