So, at the beginning of the summer, I wanted to keep my girls reading their scriptures. They all have different schedules and needs, so I wanted to make sure they kept up their scripture reading. To keep it fun, I wanted to add an incentive. So I came up with the idea of Mosiah in a Month. I used M&M's as a tool to introduce this theme! I copied a bookmark I found online, and adapted them to fit our family. The girls really liked this way of keeping track of their reading. (Some of the younger kids we decided it would be okay for them to listen to and follow along in their scriptures, but I wanted them to read the actual scriptures so they could get use to the language.)
Originally, I told them they would get 5 points for putting their name on the bookmark (basically for trying to participate). Then for each chapter they read, they'd get a point. (If they finished Mosiah, they could read any other book in the scriptures and get additional points for each chapter, but only AFTER they read Mosiah.) They would also get a point if they wrote something on our family text chat about something that stood out to them in their reading that day. (They could also just talk to me or my husband about it too.) They could only post once a day though. It was really neat to read the things that the girls were picking up on from their scripture reading. It really helped enhance my testimony this summer!! ( I did have to make up a chart to keep up on all the points. My husband and I did the challenge along with the girls too!)
Oh! There was an additional challenge! It was called the Dad Challenge that my husband came up with. So the idea behind the points was that depending on how many points they earned, they could "buy" different items on the menu at our big dinner at the end of the summer reading (just like a restaurant.) Different menu items would be worth different amounts, so if they only had 10 points, they wouldn't be able to buy very much. (This was a great incentive for them to read, but I didn't end up using the points in the end. I'll explain later.) So the Dad Challenge was, if they read and shared a thought EVERY DAY, they could have ANYTHING on the menu! They thought that was pretty cool!
They didn't have to read an entire chapter each day. Just as long as they read a couple verses and shared something each day. Ultimately, the goal was to read the entire book of Mosiah, we have some slower readers, so I didn't want them to feel overwhelmed or that it was an unobtainable goal. And I wanted to keep this fun!
So, our celebration dinner was last night. I was pretty nervous because I had to change the rules, but didn't tell the girls! I wanted to keep the incentive for the points, but it just was too much work to make that much food, and I wanted to do a Mystery Dinner, so that would make it even MORE challenging!
I had the girls make up some decorations for the yard the day before. (Pintrest was a blessing!) They also made place mats for the table! We had to host the dinner outside because they couldn't be in the kitchen at all!! I didn't want them to see what I was making! In fact, Saturday, after I went to the store, I told them that all food in the house was off limits. If they were going to eat something, they had to ask me first! (I didn't want to wake up Sunday and realize I didn't have half my ingredients!) I didn't even let my husband in on the menu! I prepped as much as I could on Saturday and then before I started the assembly on Sunday, I hung sheets around the kitchen so no one could see in. (It was my secret lab!!) As you can tell, I really built up the suspense! And it paid off!!
Before the dinner, I held an awards ceremony. I had one daughter who successfully completed the Dad's Challenge (so she got a big package of M&M's) and one daughter that only missed 2-3 days (so she got a medium package of M&M's)! That's pretty good considering the month actually extended into two months. Everyone else, got mini packages of M&M's as participation awards!
Now a mystery dinner is lots of fun! A lot of work for me, though. I wanted it to be Book of Mormon based, which was super hard! I looked ALL OVER on line, and found very little help. So, this is the menu I made up.
The girls were instructed to use all 15 numbers. They couldn't use the same number twice! They had to enter a number in each box for the three courses. It was fun to hear what they thought things might be. (And yes, that means that some of them had their dessert for the first course, which they thought was AWESOME!) **I posted the menu and items below.
I had to have my husband help me with this part. It was too much all by myself. I put sticky notes with the numbers 1-15 on the table with the food item so it would be faster and easier to fill each plate. (This was a saving grace!! If you ever do this, the sticky notes are a MUST!) I also put names on each plate so I could match things up easier. Now the rule is to take away the plate and everything after each course. (If they were lucky enough to order water their first course, I let them keep it.) We used paper plates and they had a clean one for each course.
Also, I would suggest only putting only a couple apple slices, or carrot sticks, or whatever the item is on the plate. It ended up being a lot of food and they were all stuffed by the end and really hadn't eaten all that much! After the dinner was over, they were allowed to go into the kitchen and have seconds of whatever they wanted.
If you end of doing this with your family, let me know how it goes and if you come up any helpful hints for the future!
- Carrot sticks – Swords & Spears
- Water – Alma the Younger's Joy
- Jello- Temple Blocks
- Caesar Salad – Roman Mix-up
- Ice Cream – Nursing Child's Treat
- Fork – Two Paths
- Watermelon (cut in triangles) – King Benjamin's Tower
- Green Bean – Lord's Vineyard
- Apples –Iron Rod Reward
- Red Sauce – Red Sea
- Bruschetta – Mana
- Cookies – Helamen's Shield
- Ice –Spiritual Rocks
- Grapes – Seeds of Faith
- Ravioli – Nephi's Wet Pillow