Bring a flashlight, a baseball or mitt, and a bean bag. Obtain a picture of a farm or horse.
Explain that the Sabbath should be a day of rest, a day of worship, and a day of service.
Day of Rest.
Show the children the flashlight. Turn it on and ask them what makes it work (batteries). Ask them what would happen if you left the flashlight on for a very long time (the batteries would go dead and it would no longer work). Explain that if the batteries are recharged on a regular basis, then it will continue to work for a long time.
People also need to be recharged, both physically and spiritually, to continue to work well. Our spiritual battery recharger is a holy day called the Sabbath. If on a weekly basis we recharge our spirits, we will remain stronger through the rest of the week.
Show the picture of the farm or horse and tell the following story by Sterling W. Sill:
One of the outstanding memories carried over from childhood is my recollection of the Sabbath day. Back in those early times out on the farm, Sunday was a day completely set apart from the rest of the week. From Monday through Saturday, our attention was centered in the heavy labor involved in making a living by the muscle power of men and animals.
But Sunday was differentit was the Sabbath. It was the day of rest. It was the day of the Lord. On Saturday night the horses were turned out to pasture and all work was suspended. Saturday was also a kind of special house cleaning day to get things and people ready for Sunday. The final act of the work week was...the "Saturday night bath." [Then we got our] mended, clean clothing, all laid out, ready for Sunday.
(Sterling W. Sill, "The Sabbath Day," Friend, Feb. 1975, 39)
Day of Worship.
Explain that we worship the Lord on the Sabbath by attending our meetings, taking the sacrament, and feeling reverence. Show the baseball or mitt and tell the following story:
David had been playing for a little league team all season. More than anything else, he wanted to be a regular on the team, and he wanted to be a pitcher.
He never missed a practice or a game. Whenever his dad or older brother could find the time, he would get them to play catch with him. Even when David watched television he would wear his baseball mitt.
Near the end of the season the coach told all the little leaguers they should meet at the ball park on a certain Sunday morning to have a special practice and have their pictures taken.
"I can't come on Sunday," said David.
"You'd better," said the coach, "because we are going to talk about our team for next year after we have our pictures taken."
Usually David ran home full of excitement after a ball game or practice. But this night he was late and he hardly answered when his family spoke to him.
He was unusually quiet all week, but on Sunday he went to church and not the ball park. On Monday he was at practice and every practice afterward.
Finally the day came for the team tryouts. "You'll be one of our regular pitchers," the coach told David, "but you'll have to play whenever a game is scheduled. We need you--and that will mean sometimes you will play on a Sunday."
"I'm sorry, but I can't play ball on Sunday," David said.
"Then you'll have to be a standby pitcher instead of a regular one." answered the coach.
And that was how the season went. Sometimes David had a chance to pitch a game, but more often he did not. The other boys on the team played on Sunday, but David went to Primary and Sacrament Meeting with his family.
In the spring when David was ten years old, the coach called the boys together to begin a new season and to make selections for the team. "We'll need you for a regular pitcher this year, David," he said. "But sometimes you'll need to play on Sunday."
"I'll have to think about it," said David.
That night he talked the problem over with his dad and then said a special prayer to help him have the courage to do what he knew was right.
The next day he told the coach he would have to be just a standby pitcher again. The coach only shook his head.
Several weeks went by, and David was at every practice. One night the coach called the boys around him. He explained that David could not play ball on Sunday. "But I'd like him to be our pitcher anyhow," he went on. "If you agree, we could let David be our regular weekday pitcher and have a standby pitcher for Sunday games. How about it?"
There was a moment of silence. David could hardly breathe. The team members hesitated for only a minute, and then every little leaguer agreed wholeheartedly to the Sunday standby pitcher plan.
(Shining Moments, Stories for Latter-day Saint Children [Deseret Book: Salt Lake City, 1985], p. 112-114.)
Day of Service.
We can give service on the sabbath by writing letters to missionaries, preparing talks or lessons, visiting family members or those who are sick, writing in our journals or doing genealogy work, and doing missionary work.
While the pianist quietly plays a reverent song, have the children pass the bean bag from child to child. When the pianist stops have the child who is holding the bag tell one thing they can do to keep the Sabbath holy. Keep passing until a number of children have had a chance to share their ideas.
Sing songs such as "To Think about Jesus," CS, 71, "The Chapel Doors," CS, 156, "When I Go to Church," CS, 157, and "The Church of Jesus Christ," CS 77.