Whether you work with the Relief Society, Primary or Youth, starting a 1,000 Acts of Service Project is an awesome way to get the members of your ward thinking about service in a fun way. It’s the perfect LDS service project. Here’s how you can start one today.
The entire month of October was service month for the young men and young women in our LDS ward this year. Every activity that month was a service project. However, we wanted our youth to start thinking about doing individual acts of services as well. That’s how we came up with the idea of a 1,000 Acts of Service Puzzle. It was a huge success and it was amazing to watch these teenagers serving each other and their family members all month long. Here’s how you can do it in your ward too.
Print your service puzzle
So, this service puzzle is more than 4 feet tall. It includes more than a 1,000 puzzle pieces (that you’ll need to cut out yourself), detailed instructions and a 8.5×11 instruction poster for your participants. To purchase and download all of the files that you will need, just click on the link below to get started:
Since these documents are so large, I wasn’t able to print them on my home printer. Instead, I emailed the files to my local copy store. I prefer the UPS Store but you can use whatever company you like. It costs about $30-$50 to print everything, but prices will vary. When you email your PDF files to the copy store you will need to be very specific in explaining how to print these files. Here’s what you can tell them:
Hello copy store, can you please print the attached documents as indicated below?
- 1,000 Acts of Service Puzzle Board: This document is 22 inches x 51 inches. I need one black and white copy, single sided.
- 1,000 Acts of Service Puzzle Pieces: This document contains twelve 11×17 pages. I need one copy of these pages printed doubled-sided on cardstock as follows:
– Pages 1&2 double-sided
– Pages 3&4 double-sided
– Pages 5&6 double-sided
– Pages 7&8 double-sided
– Pages 9&10 double-sided
– Pages 11&12 double-sided
Print the pages with the picture side in full color and the pages with the numbers in black & white.
You can print the service puzzle instructions and idea posters at your home printer if you would like since these files are only 8.5×11 dimensions.
Cut out all the puzzle pieces
This LDS service project isn’t for the faint of heart. After you’ve printed everything you need, then you’ll need to cut out each of the puzzle pieces. But don’t freak out! Honestly, I used a paper cutter and it only took me a couple of hours. And you don’t have to do it all in one sitting. Plus, you can also recruit other people to help you. Just don’t lose any pieces! This is a puzzle after all.
The 11×17 puzzle piece pages will naturally have a thin white border around them, don’t try to cut off the white border because then some of the puzzle pieces will be too small to fit in its allotted square on the puzzle board.
Hang your puzzle board and get started!
We had an activity where we introduced the poster to all of the youth and explained how the puzzle worked. Then, we hung it on the wall near our bishop’s office where everyone could see it. Next to the puzzle board, you’ll also want to hang the instruction poster that explains the poster. It also has a bunch of service ideas so all the participants can start thinking about what they can do to add pieces to the puzzle.
Under the instruction poster, hang a ziploc bag with all of the puzzle pieces and 3-4 glue sticks. Remind the participants to glue the puzzle pieces on the board with the numbers right side up.
Throughout our service month, we would remind the youth to go put some pieces on the puzzle board. We just used the honor system and it was a good way to get everyone thinking about service. This project lasted an entire month. Below is the schedule we followed for our service month.
Tips and tricks to make your service puzzle a success
- Extra copies: Print one extra copy of the puzzle piece pages. That way you can fill in any pieces that were lost or placed incorrectly at the end.
- Right-side up: Remind the participants to glue the puzzle pieces with the number right-side up or the picture will be upside down.
- Underlined: Numbers that could be confused with a different number when flipped upside down have been underlined.
- Intentional service: Encourage the participants to perform intentional acts of service, write them down and then place their puzzle pieces at the end of each week.
- Remind & reward: Send regular reminders to the participants to glue pieces on the service puzzle. Get them excited about the project. Have a party at the end to celebrate everyone’s service accomplishments.
This LDS service project actually turned out amazing. It was so cool to see the puzzle slowly come together all as a result of our youth serving each other. Here’s a short video showing how we did it.
I hope you have fun doing this service puzzle at your next church activity. Here’s the link to purchase and download the file one more time in case you missed it above:
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