Back on Track Thaumatrope

The Visiting Teaching Message for June talks about renewing covenants through the sacrament. I have a couple different ideas on how to share the message this month. The first focuses on the last quote by Julie Beck:

“I was with an eight-year-old girl on the day of her baptism. At the end of the day she said with all confidence, ‘I have been baptized for a whole day, and I haven’t sinned once!’ But her perfect day did not last forever, and I am sure she is learning by now, like we all learn, that as hard as we try, we do not always avoid every bad situation, every wrong choice. . . .

” . . . It is not possible to make real change all by ourselves. Our own willpower and our own good intentions are not enough. When we make mistakes or choose poorly, we must have the help of our Savior to get back on track. We partake of the sacrament week after week to show our faith in His power to change us. We confess our sins and promise to forsake them.”

To help illustrate the power Christ has to change us, I made a thaumatrope, which roughly translated, means “wonder turner”. It is a small two-sided disc, that when spun rapidly, creates the illusion that the images on both sides of the disc interconnect.

You can download the printable file here. Cut out the two circles. Line them up back to back, so the woman’s head and the narrow part of the path (or track) both point upward. You’ll also want to make sure the little circle punch guides line up on both sides. Glue them together.

Next punch your holes and loop some string through each hole.

When you hold the strings taught between your thumbs and pointer fingers and gently twist, the thaumatrope will spin, and it will appear that the woman is stepping back onto the track.

To use the thaumatrope to illustrate the message, I would first read Sister Beck’s quote. Then hold up the thaumatrope by just one string, and compare the string to each of us. Explain how we are unable to make real change all by ourselves. Then pick up the other string, which represents the Savior. Explain that when we do our part to repent, partake of the sacrament, and show faith in Christ, that He, in turn, will help us to get “back on track” – to truly change and lead us back to our Father in Heaven. Then spin the thaumatrope, showing the woman stepping onto the path.

Let me know how your thaumatropes work! Have a fantastic month.

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6 Responses to Back on Track Thaumatrope

  1. CraftCrave says:

    Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [18 May 02:00pm GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  2. Mel~B says:

    Hi There,

    I just stumbled across your blog this week and have had a great time looking through all your old posts. I just love all your ideas!! I was wondering if you could help me out with something? Currently I am the beehives advisor for a ward in Sydney, Australia and I came across a fantastic "Spiritual Directory Assistance" and was wondering if you had any ideas for a handout for the girls in my class. The "directory" is found at Can you please share any ideas you might have for how I can put this on to a sheet of paper for the girls to keep in their scriptures without losing it so they can turn to it whenever they need to? Thanks again for all your ideas and for sharing!! LOVE IT!!

  3. Kristin says:

    Mel-B, the first thing that comes to mind is to print it on sticky notes – though it might be easier to print something this long on copy paper and then to use a "restickable" glue stick

    (Like this one:

    to turn it into a sticky note. They can put that in their scriptures, and it will not damage their pages if they later want to remove or place it elsewhere.

    Good luck! Sounds like a neat idea.

  4. Julie says:

    Just found your blog…THANK YOU! Can't wait to use your ideas! Julie B.

  5. Betty Rollins says:

    I love your blog!! I always use your ideas for VT! Please keep it up.

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