The Good, Better and Best Way to Plan Activities

How do you plan your activities? As a Young Women President, I found that my method for this evolved as I gained more experience. I started out at good and then moved from better to best. Let me explain.

The Good Way to Plan Activities

When I was brand new, all I could do was choose ideas for activities and execute them. The advantage was that it got done. The disadvantage to that was that I did everything and found myself exhausted and frustrated.

The Better Way to Plan Activities

At the beginning of my second year, we started a new plan for activities. Every activity was assigned to a class to plan. At that point, planning activities consisted of me keeping a master list of ideas my Laurel class presidency could choose from.

This took some weight off my shoulders and ensured that activities were more aligned with the interests of our young women. However, we weren’t necessarily meeting any needs or finding ways to plan activities that ministered to our young women.

The Best Way to Plan Activities

Once I realized that we could accomplish more with our activities, I started doing what I like to call planning with a purpose. This means, that the class presidency has a list of questions they use to help them determine a purpose for each activity. This kept them from not knowing how to answer the question,”What do you want to do for activities?” We simply switched to other questions, like:

  • What would the Lord like to have happen in the lives of those we serve?
  • Who in our class do we need to include more? Is there an interest they have that they could share or teach in an activity?
  • What kind of goals do you have? How could we help you complete them?
  • What activities from the LDS Youth Activities website are connected to the Come Follow Me lesson outlines we will be teaching soon?

For more ideas see my post titled  9 Ways to Get Ideas for Youth Activities. 

This way helps ensure that activities align with interests and meet needs. Your class will learn to minister to each other, which helps foster unity.

Now it’s your turn. How do you plan activities? 



Bonus Post: 4 Ways to Use the #Hallelujah Easter Advent from Sugar Bee Crafts



I’m having so much fun with all of my Easter posts. I was only planning on sharing four of the printable kits from Sugardoodle, but I wanted to give you a little more.

Today’s kit comes from Mandy Beyeler of Sugar Bee Crafts. She put together an fun Easter advent that helps keep families focused on the Savior.

Easter Advent (1)

Here are four ways you can use this kit:

  1. Use it with your family as an Easter advent.
  2. Use it as a “library” of ideas to plan an Easter activity for youth.
  3. Put two or three together as kits and deliver them to some families as a service project.
  4. Use it in opening exercises for Mutual as an Easter countdown. You could start 4 weeks before and combine two activities at a time. You may have to adapt them a little to make them fit the time available.

Get the kit! 


What other ideas do you have for how you could use this kit? 

Want more Easter-related posts? Check out the #MyForeverFamily page!




2 Ideas for Easter-Related Youth Activities

If you’re visiting from Sugardoodle, thanks for clicking through! I’d like to thank you for coming by, by offering my resource library to you! It includes helps for young women leaders, like a scheduling template for planning camp and youth conference. Please fill out the form below to get it!

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I have a couple more printables to share with you. Both of them could be modified to be used as a youth activity.

2 Ideas for Easter-Related Youth Activities

French Toast Easter Bake and Scripture Scavenger Hunt

All good things involve food, in my opinion. And who doesn’t like French toast? This first idea and printable come from Collette Bomsta at My Computer is My Canvas.


This recipe comes with a twist! It’s also a scavenger hunt!


I see two ways you can use this as a youth activity.

  1. Do the scripture scavenger hunt and make the recipe. Then freeze it and bake it for another night for a breakfast for dinner activity.
  2. Do the scripture scavenger hunt, make the recipe and then deliver it to a family for a service project.

[button font_size=”20″ color=”#00b0c6″ text_color=”#ffffff” icon=”” url=”” width=”” target=”_blank”]Get the Scavenger Hunt and Recipe[/button]

I would suggest pairing this with the next printable kit to make it even more special.

Easter Decoration Kit

This kit was designed by Bettijo Hirschi of Paging Supermom.


This kit includes enough decorations for 12 table settings and a banner that says, “He lives”.


My favorite part are the napkin rings. Each one has a scripture on it that tells the Easter story. You can read them while you are around the table and have a discussion about Easter, the Resurrection and what it means to you!


Here’s how I would use this with the French Toast Bake:

  1. Use it to decorate for the”breakfast for dinner” activity I suggested above. Read the scriptures on the napkin rings and talk about what they mean to you.
  2. Do the scavenger hunt, make the French toast bake, cut out and prepare the decorations and deliver them with the bake to a family for service. This could take up to 2 activities by the time you cut everything out, do the scavenger hunt and make the French toast bake.

[button font_size=”20″ color=”#00b0c6″ text_color=”#ffffff” icon=”” url=”” width=”” target=”_blank”]Get the Easter Decorations[/button]


How would you use these kits, combined or separately?

Want more Easter-related posts? Check out the #MyForeverFamily page!




10 Times Young Women Leaders Really Should Read Handbook 2

When I was a new Young Women President, it took me awhile to learn how to use Handbook 2 to help me with my calling. One mistake I made every year was when we’d review the instructions for planning Young Women in Excellence and we’d realize that we were supposed to be helping our young women set goals all year to be prepared for it. Sometimes, what you’re looking for is not in the Young Women section and it takes awhile to find it. To make it easier for you, I’ve prepared a list of regular events where you should check to see what the Handbook says with the section number so you can find it. Any time one of these things happens, it’s a good idea to review the Handbook.

10 Times Young Women Leaders Really Should Read Handbook 2

  1. Plan New Beginnings (10.8.3)
  2. Plan activities. Section 13 is all about activities. I’ve used the purposes for activities in 13.1, as well as the purposes of the young women program  in 10.1.1 to help my class presidencies brainstorm ideas for activities.
  3. Train your class presidency. I use both section 3- Leadership in the Church and section 10- Young Women to help with training.
  4. Plan Girls camp. 10.8.6 is all about camp. 10.8.9 covers fundraisers. More details on fundraisers is in 13.6.8.
  5. Plan youth conference (13.4)
  6. Plan Young Women in Excellence (10.8.4)
  7. Train in presidency meeting. (3, 10)
  8. Have a young woman turn 18 (10.1.5)
  9. Have new Beehives that just turned 12 (10.1.15 and 11.4.3)
  10. Prepare a meeting agenda (Young Women Presidency Meeting 10.4.3 and Class Presidency Meeting 10.4.5)

What other times would you add that someone should read the Handbook?


6 Easy, No-Fail Ways to Release Control to the Youth

Many of us are control freaks. We’ve done all of this before and we know how to do it. We think it would be easier if we did it ourselves. It’s so much more work when the youth are in charge. What if they don’t follow through?


Any of that sound familiar to you? Did you hear yourself in any of those statements?

If you did, you’re not alone and it’s not to late to make some changes. Here’s my list of easy, no-fail ways to release control of the youth programs to the youth.

  • Let them choose the themes for youth conference, camps, New Beginnings, Young Women in Excellence and anything else that requires a theme.
  • Pair a youth up with a leader to plan meals for camps and youth conference. They plan the menu and the leader takes them shopping for the food.
  • Ask your class or quorum presidency for feedback on which Come, Follow Me lessons they feel are needed the most.
  • Have the youth fill out the schedule for camps and youth conference. The worst that can happen is you will either run out of time to do the planned activities or you will run out of activities. These problems are easily solved by having the group vote on which activities are most important to them or by giving them some free time. You can also review the schedule with them before the event and ask them to add more activities or cut some activities out.
  • At the end of your Come, Follow Me lessons ask your class if they would like to spend another week on the same topic or move on to another one.
  • Have the youth start choosing the activities. You can start by giving them 3 or 4 options that are acceptable to you and then eventually move to purpose-based planning.

If this is something that is hard for you to do. I encourage you to choose one and try it out for a month.

What easy, no-fail ways have you used to release control to the youth?


Here’s What We Did for Mutual: January 2016

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I thought I’d provide some examples of what activities look like when the youth lead. They’re usually pretty simple and inexpensive. Here’s what we did this past month for our activities.

What did you do this month for activities? How did you help the youth to lead them?



The Easy Way to Plan Personal Progress Activities

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This is a great catalog of activities and all of them are based on the young women values. Some of the activity ideas include:

  • Adopt a grandma
  • Christmas caroling in the Summer
  • Pre-General Conference Activity
  • Making a scripture file
  • Learning car maintenance

As you can see there’s a lot of variety in the activity choices. Each activity has the values listed with it, so young women could write it up as Personal Progress experience. There are 87 ideas for activities in all, so you could use this book for a whole year and still have some ideas left. This book is great for Beehives, who benefit from having a menu of options when it comes to planning activities. With Mia Maids and Laurels, I would recommend using this less often. This is an easy way to plan and carry out activities with a purpose. The girls could even identify a need and there’s a good chance that they will find an activity that is a good match for that need.

Overall rating 4 out of 5 stars

Leadership Skill Lessons


LDS Youth Leader Lessons

This book will help youth leaders work with their class presidencies to plan activities with a purpose and will help them get past getting stuck at the question: What do you want to do for activities?

Did you read this book? What did you think of it?

Get February’s book:

How to Keep the Mutual Theme Visible All Year Long


Have you checked out this year’s Mutual theme resources? I love them!  We have videos, articles and music you should go check them out.

One way I plan to use these resources is in Class Presidency to trigger ideas for activities. Here’s why:

  • Using something to trigger ideas always results in more ideas than asking what they want to do for activities.
  • The ideas will come from the youth.
  • The youth are more excited about carrying out activities based on their own ideas.
  • Using a church resource like this helps create purpose-based activities, rather than simply filling the calendar.
  • It will help activities to have a spiritual purpose.
  • It will help us support the theme all year.

How are you using the Mutual theme resources this year?


7 Steps to Planning a Successful New Beginnings

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Now that January is here, many of us are planning and carrying out New Beginnings, if you haven’t already. Here’s my process for making sure it moves smoothly and is well-attended.


  1.  Select a theme. It can by the Mutual theme for the year or something else. I strongly suggest letting the young women select the theme. It’s a great way to create buy-in where they can’t fail.
  2. Review the instructions in Handbook 2 for New Beginnings. It’s pretty clear about what needs to be in the program. The list includes:
    • an explanation of Personal Progress
    • presentation of the young women theme, motto and logo
    • age group purpose statements and symbols (age group = class)
    • information about events for the coming year
    • introduce new young women, including those who have moved in, in the last year
    • Personal Progress recognition
    • remarks from a member of the bishopric
  3. Divide the assignments among the classes. You can split some assignments between classes if they are more work. For example, between move-ins and new Beehives, we have 9 girls to introduce, so we split that between the two classes.
  4. Have each class presidency decide who gets which assignment in their class. They will be more likely to be excited about the assignment and to follow through.
  5. Have each class presidency personally invite the girls in their class. Beehives will also invite all incoming Beehives, as well.
  6. Have each class adviser personally invite the parents.
  7. Follow up on assignments and problem-solve where needed.

That’s it. It keeps things pretty straightforward and simple.

What advice to you have for how to carry out a successful New Beginnings?

Looking for some easy decorations for New Beginnings? I recommend the  2018 Youth Mutual Theme Special Events Kit by The Red Headed Hostess. It can also be used for camp, Young Women in Excellence or any activity centered around the 2018 Mutual theme.



5 Gospel-Centered Ideas for Christmas Youth Activities

Christmas is fast-approaching and now’s a great time to have some youth activities that connect them with the season. Here are a few ideas I’ve collected:


What have your best Christmas youth activities been?