Sunday, December 13, 2009

Reverence is Love

Today I am teaching my junior primary kids the song, Reverence is Love. I found a flipchart for the song already made (on sugardoodle of course) and printed out 2 copies of each page. I'm going to have them up on the board, face down, and have the kids play the memory game. I am just going to start singing the song quietly and choose 1 child to start. I am not going to give any directions, just sing reverently throughout. I think the kids will catch on and hopefully be reverent also since I won't be talking. As they find each match, i'm going to put them on the edge of the chalkboard, out of order. After they find all the matches, I'll have them put the visual aids in order, then sing it with me with my ooh/ahh, lion/lamb, stand/sit signs.

For Senior primary, I'm also teaching them Reverence is Love in the same way as junior primary. But since there are only 8 pages (4 matches) they will be able to do it faster. Plus I bet many of them already know it. (But I am going to teach it anyway because our primary pres wants us to focus on reverence in primary this month). After we do the memory game and practice it, I am going to transition to teaching "The Sacrament" since that's the weekly gospel principle. I have printed out 4 pictures that illustrate the 4 lines of the song. I cut them into puzzles and am going to have each class put together a picture, glue it on cardstock, then bring it to the front. I have never heard this song before so I'm guessing many of the children have not either. I'll sing them 1 line of the song and have them guess which picture goes first, then we'll sing it. We'll continue through the whole song that way.

If I Had Been in Bethlehem

For Christmas I taught our primary the song If I Had Been in Bethlehem, by Sally Deford. It is a beautiful song and it's nice to learn a new song rather than singing one of the same songs they sing every year. Here's how I introduced the song:

I told the children we were going on a long trip. I asked them to stand up, pick up their suitcases and walk (in place) with me to the plane. Then I looked at my watch and realized we were running late so we had to run in place. Then we dropped our suitcases and sang "Hinges" to bend down and pick them up. When we finally got to the plane, we sat down and buckled our seatbelts. Then I pulled out my globe and showed them that we were flying alllllllllll the way from Texas, over the whole US, over the Atlantic ocean, over Europe, and landing right here (I put a star over Bethlehem, but didn't tell them where we were). While we were pretend flying, I had them look out their window and look at the ocean, etc. (You know, just make it fun. They were really paying attention by this point!). Then I turned off the lights and told them that we had landed and it's night time now. I asked them to listen to me sing the first line of the song and see if they could tell me where we were.

Then I sang, "If I had been in Bethlehem the night of Jesus birth" I called on a child to tell me the answer, that we were in Bethlehem. Then they sang that line with me.

I went through the whole song that way, asking them a question and then singing the next line of the song and having them listen for the answer, then sing it together.

I tried to keep it reverent and really have them focus on what it would have been like if they had been in Bethlehem the night Jesus was born. I asked them what they might have heard ("And heard afar the angels' joyful song of peace on earth"), seen ("If I had seen the shepherds come to seek the baby fair") and done ("I think I would have followed them and knelt beside them there.") Even the little ones were really into it. I had my nativity from home and as we learned each line of the song, we added another piece to the nativity. Having the lights out and really pretending like we were actually there really helped invite the spirit and the children learned the song really fast!

*To review the song, we played games the following weeks. For Junior primary, I cut out all the pieces to a snowman and laid them out on the floor. I cut enough pieces so each child could put a piece on the board (since there are so many kids that get super disappointed when they don't get to help me. This way I didn't have to listen to any complaining that they didn't get a chance to help!) I had made up several questions/fill in the blank/what word doesn't belong slips of paper and put them in a can. One child from each class had to draw out a paper and answer it, then each child in the class got to put a piece of the snowman up on the board. By the end we had the snowman all put together and had sung through the song several times!

*To review for Senior primary, we played tic-tac-toe. They had to answer a questions/fill in the blank/whatever to earn their X or O.

My Heavenly Father Loves Me

For Thanksgiving I taught them "My Heavenly Father Loves Me." To introduce it, I put all the pictures for the song up on the board in order. Then I cut the words of the song into strips, put them in envelopes, and taped them to chairs placed in a circle. Each envelope had a number on it. I had the kids walk around in a circle while the music was playing. When the music stopped, I called out a number and they had to match the words to the picture on the board. Then we'd sing that line of the song, then continue.

To review the next week, I printed a bunch of keys and cut them out. Then I wrote the key words to the song on the keys. I had a child go out in the hall while another child picked a key and all the children got a chance to read or hear what they key word was. When the first child came back in from the hall, he put on a hat with the key word taped to the front so all the children could see. We sang that line of the song, but left out the key word. Then the child with the hat on had to guess what the key word was. I made the key words harder for senior primary than for junior.

Catching up!

Wow, nothing like taking a 3 month break from the blog! Here are some of the things I've been doing lately:

*Right before the primary program I did the "Primary Music Hospital." I've seen several versions of this and it was SO FUN! I decorated a tri-fold science fair board with red crosses, tongue depressors, cotton balls, a thermometer, a reflex hammer, medicine bottles, etc. I just raided my medicine cabinet and nursing school bag. Then I put the title, Primary Music Hospital, and 3 file folders with the words "patients" "emergency room" and "discharges." The patients were each of the songs we learned and needed to practice for the program. I had an awesome lady in my ward who played the part of the "Musical Doctor." I made her a nametag and she wore my stethoscope. I had a child come up and pull a paper out of the "patient" folder. It had the name of a song on it, which the child gave to the doctor. Then we sang the song and the doctor did an assessment. She rated the children 1-5 in difference categories, like watching the chorister, volume, singing the right words, melody, smiling, etc. If they scored all 4's and 5's they got to send that patient home (the discharge folder). If they were too sick to go home, like they got some 3's, the patient had to go to the emergency room (and then I knew which songs needed some last minute fine tuning). The lady who played the doctor did an awesome job. She was really silly, placing the stethoscope on their chest or head while they were singing for example. It was a ton of fun and a great motivator for the kids to sing their best!

*After the program I had to take the whole 40 minutes, so I brought in some instruments (sticks, bells, empty containers) and we just sang some fun songs while the kids got to tap out the rhythms with their instruments. Also I did a "Stump the Chorister" activity (idea by the Crazy Chorister of course-I love all her ideas!). I had a table full of silly costumes, wigs, hats, etc. and passed out a children's song book to each class. They had a few minutes to pick a song and then try to stump me. Most of them gave me a part of the song and asked me to guess the song. Some classes gave me clues about what the song was about. If I was able to guess the song, they got to pick out something silly for their teacher to wear. If they stumped me, they got to pick out something silly for me to wear. It was super fun. By the end I was wearing swimming goggles, a rastafarrian wig, an indian maiden vest, and a headband with wiggly antennas. The kids were just cracking up! I was too!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Rainy Day Review

Today in Junior primary I will be finishing up Singing Time Bingo that we started last week (see my last post). They only got through 10 songs, which was awesome review so it met my objective, but they didn't even get Bingo once so they were all begging me to bring it back this week. So...easy prep for me!

Sr. Primary, on the other hand, went through many more songs and several people got Bingo since they were playing with their own cards. So this week I planned something new for them. It has been a rainy week here in Texas and I've been busy with other things so I am doing a pretty simple activity today. Going with the rainy day theme, I printed off 8 clip art pictures of umbrellas and colored them different colors. Then I cut out 8 rain drops out of blue construction paper. If I was feeling up to it I would have put them on cardstock and laminated them so I could reuse them, but like I said, I'm going simple today. On the back of each raindrop I wrote one of our program songs, and on the back of the umbrellas I wrote a different way to sing the song:

boys only, girls only, teachers and leaders only, stacatto, acapella, stand on one foot, face the back of the room, and eyes closed.

I am just going to tape them all around the room and choose a child to pick a raindrop and an umbrella and then we'll sing that song. To add some excitement, I invited our missionaries to come and help me. I am going to give them each an old tie (donated by my husband) and cut their ties off as the kids sing well. I have been wanting to try that for a while and we have some really outgoing missionaries in our ward right now so they were happy to help.

Happy Singing!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Singing Time Bingo

Preparing for the program is in full swing and I am really enjoying these final weeks of reviewing because I don't have to do much teaching, just play fun games and do some fine-tuning!

Tomorrow I am doing Singing Time Bingo. I have been thinking about doing some kind of a bingo game to really focus on certain parts of certain songs that we need to practice so I'm excited about this one...

I started by going into Word and typing out 24 short phrases from our program songs with fill-in-the-blanks. I was able to do 2 or more from each verse of each song that we are singing. For junior primary I am making one giant bingo card on poster board. I'll have a child choose a strip of paper out of a basket and read it (or have their teacher help them read it). Then they'll have to fill in the blank and find that word on the bingo card. Then we'll sing that line of the song. The advantage with this game is that we can really focus on small pieces of songs. I think that will help my primary kids a lot, rather than just singing the whole songs all the way through.

For Senior primary I decided to make them individual bingo cards and let them play their own. I found this awesome website that makes custom bingo cards for free. There are several (I just googled "bingo maker") but this is the one I used and it worked great: You just type in your 24 words and it makes up to 50 different bingo cards and you can customize how many you print on each page, etc. How easy is that?!

I may just pass out a crayon to each child and have them color in the squares as we go rather than having markers for each square. It's simple.

Can't wait!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Nursery Ideas

I had a request for some ideas for Nursery Singing time. For me, there are 2 absolute keys to making singing time in nursery successful.

#1 Consistency. (Sorry, Anon; I know you are just subbing so this is hard to establish in just a few weeks, but it sounds like this may be what your nursery is missing and why the kids wander around instead of singing). Whereas in Jr/Sr primary you need to keep things new and interesting each week, the nursery kids really need consistency. I always do things the same way in nursery. They sit in chairs in a semi-circle around me. They aren't allowed to bring toys to singing time; in fact the leaders usually close the divider so they can't even see the toys. You may need the leaders' help keeping the kids in the chairs at first if they're not used to it. We always sing the same handful of songs and introduce new songs very slowly. We always end with the same song, I Am a Child of God, so they are ready to say the prayer and have their snack. I also try to do the more rowdy songs towards the beginning and then wind down to I Am a Child of God so they are actually reverent (well, some of them) by the end.

#2 Little Hands Need To Be Kept Busy. Whether it's choosing songs that have actions, or having something for them to hold while they sing, I find that I can't hold their attention for longer than a minute if they are not doing something interactive. Here are the songs I do and how I do them:

*3 Little Ducks. I found a small clipart picture of a duck, printed it on cardstock, laminated them, and glued them on popsicle sticks. I pass them out so the kids can move their little ducks around with the actions of the song.

*Teasing Mr. Alligator. If you don't know this song, LEARN IT. Kids love it. The actions are so fun and keep them engaged.

*ABC's or Twinkle Twinkle. I always have them clap their hands, shake bells, or march in place.

*Snowman, Popcorn Popping, Wise Man and the Foolish Man. Any songs that have actions seem to keep them engaged.

*Happy Family. I just started this a few weeks ago so most of the kids still don't know the words, but we will get there eventually. I made finger puppets from the nursery manual. Several mommies and several daddies and the kids can each wear one on their finger while we sing.

*Follow the Prophet. My kids caught on to this very quickly. They learned the chorus in just a few weeks. You can see the vis aids I made here.

*3 Little Speckled Frogs. My 3 year old got a package of little plastic frogs for his birthday that I bring to nursery sometimes. The thing is, sometimes there are a few kiddos ( my son included) that fight over the frogs, so just know your audience. You could always make laminated frogs on sticks so they're all the same and then there's no fighting.

Some other ideas I've seen/done before:
*Make "conducting wands" so they can conduct the music with you. Get a package of pencils, some thumb tacks, and some curling ribbon. Cut a few strips of ribbon about 6 inches long and use the tack to secure them to the eraser end of an unsharpened pencil.

*Draw a large elephant on a piece of poster board with a hole cut out where the trunk would be. Have a child stick his arm through the hole and conduct the music with the "elephant's trunk."

*I found a picture of a beehive and a bumble bee. I made several copies of the bee and laminated them and also laminated the beehive on cardstock. I handed out the bees and let the kids come up one at a time and stick the bee to the beehive and then we sang a song.

Hope this helps. Happy Singing!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Primary

August 25th is the anniversary of the first primary meeting being held. I plan to do a birthday party for the Primary. This original idea was posted by The Crazy Chorister, who has endless ideas that I use very often!

I plan to decorate with balloons and streamers (left over from my 3 year old's birthday party last month!) and wear a party hat if I can find one.

My primary really needs to review I lived in Heaven. Like really. I was called in March and dove right in teaching My Eternal Family and really didn't do enough repeating/reinforcing of I Lived in Heaven and now we're getting close to the program and I realize they really don't know the 2nd or 3rd verse. So I am going to focus on each verse individually, plus How Firm a Foundation.

I'm going to play 4 party games:

1. Musical Chairs-have 4 chairs set up in the front with a song taped to each one (I'm doing each verse of ILIH individually and then HFAF by itself). Have 3 kids come up and circle the chairs while the pianist plays a fun song. When the music stops, they sit in the closest chair. Then we'll pick the song on the empty chair and sing it using my buzz/sing sign. If it happens to be the 2nd or 3rd verse of ILIH, I'll probably have them sing it a few times through in different fun ways so get the review in.

2. Pin the Bishop on the Church-(This is one I thought up, hope it works!) Before hand I'm going to use my sidewalk chalk to draw a scene on the blackboard of our church building: a chapel, parking lot, trees, people, etc. I have a 3 x 5 picture of our bishop that I intended to use for Father's Day, but never did. So I'm going to have a child come up, blind fold them, spin them around (I probably will only spin the sr. primary kids) and have them try to get the bishop right on the door of the church. With the 3 songs that are left from Musical Chairs, I'll have a child randomly pick one and then we'll sing that song a certain number of times, depending on how close they got the picture to the right spot. If it's right on the door, we'll sing it once. On the church, but not right on, twice. Outside the church somewhere, 3 times.

3. Hot Potato-I plan to set up their chairs in a circle for this entire activity. I did this for my pioneer day activity and they loved it. It's a nice change of scenery and makes it even more exciting. I'll have a child pick between the last 2 songs and toss a beanbag around while we sing that song. When the music stops, whoever has the beanbag will have to say the next line in the song (for Sr. primary I may have them say the preceeding line to make it harder). We may sing the song a couple times through if time permits. I love this idea because it will really make them focus on the words of the song.

4. For the last song that's left I plan to do different activities for my Jr. and Sr. primaries. I am going to do the Telephone game for my older kids. I'll start by whispering a line from the song to one child and let them pass it around and see how close it is to the original. Maybe even let a child choose a phrase to start and pass it around ending with me. They'd like that! Then we'll sing the song with that phrase inserted (granted it's not too crazy). I think that will be a little too advanced for my little ones so for Jr. Primary I'm just going to have a helium balloon and have them sing louder/softer as I raise/lower the balloon. Maybe even let a child control the balloon if time permits.

I'm excited for this one. Most of all, because it's not much prep for me and I think the kids will be excited about it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pioneer Day

Sorry I didn't get a chance to post this before Pioneer day, but I'm posting it anyway just in case anyone wants to adapt it for another use.

Since so many people were in and out of town in July (including me!) and we had to prepare a song for Pioneer day, I decided to spend July just focusing on pioneer songs and activities. Our Primary program is not until November so I will have time to teach them the song for July later. So the last Sunday in July I just wanted to finish out the month with one last pioneer-focused activity.

I found a clipart picture of a campfire, printed out 4 copies, and glued one to each side of a box. Then I found several short stories about pioneer children and wrote them on pieces of construction paper. I also wrote a few pioneer songs and other fun wiggly songs on pieces of construction paper. I made a small covered wagon with oxen (found the pattern in an old Friend magazine). When the kids came in, I had set up the chairs in a circle with the "campfire" in the middle. I put the pieces of paper with the songs and stories face down in a line with the wagon at the beginning of the "trail."

I started by telling the kids that at the end of a long day of walking, the pioneers would sit around a campfire and tell stories, sing songs, read scriptures, and pray together. (They were all LOVING sitting in a circle!) I had them pass a beanbag around the circle while the pianist played Pioneer Children Sang as They Walked and when she stopped, the child who had the beanbag came up and moved the wagon to the first piece of paper. Then we would read the story (I brought simple props to go along with each story) or sing the song. The idea was that they would help the wagon move along the trail to the Salt Lake Valley.

Monday, July 6, 2009

I Spy

Update: I did this activity in my primary and it was really fun! I planned to repeat The Handcart Song, which we were practicing for Pioneer Day, over and over but it turns out they already knew the song (especially Sr. primary) and didn't need to sing it that many times so I just let the kids pick their favorite songs. Both Jr. and Sr. LOVED this activity. I highly recommend it. And it's so easy to prepare and carry out! For Sr. I made the changes more subtle than jr. I'll definitely do this again!

I just read about a cute activity on SugarDoodle (LOVE that website) that I definitely want to try! It was posted by Julie Summerhays:

"We played a version of "I Spy". I first had them look at me, my clothes, my hair, everything, then I dissappeared into the hall to put on or took off something that they would have to spy. I then came back in and we sang one of the songs and I picked someone to tell us what I had changed or what they could spy that was different. We were able to sing about 7 songs, so I brought 7 things to change. I took off the item every time, so it wasn't too confusing. We did a review of the program songs and it worked out so well - the children LOVED it. Here are some of the things I did: Change my shoes, put on a headband, put on a bracelet, put a sticker on my skirt that blended in with the pattern, changed one earing, put a barrett in my hair, put on or take off a necklace. For the senior, you could make it much more difficult."

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I made these instruments for nursery. I sewed 3 bells in a row on a strip of scrap fabric. Then I wrapped the fabric around a piece of card stock and hot glued it in place, then hot glued the ends together. I pass them out for the kids to shake when we're singing songs that don't have visual aids or actions, like ABCs. I considered hot gluing the bells on, since I don't sew well and it took me hours just to do 10 of these. But I didn't know if they'd jingle as well, and I'm glad I sewed them instead. There are kiddos every week that try to pull them off!

Those tubes standing up in the back of the picture are just toilet paper rolls with beans in the middle and wax paper over the ends. But my 2 year old poked his finger through the wax paper and destroyed them as soon as he got a hold of them. That was my Litmus test I guess. If they can't survive him, they're not going to survive the other nursery kids! So for now I just use the bells.

When I had this calling in Provo a few years ago, the previous music leader passed along to me a box full of "instruments" that she used in junior and senior primary all the time. There were bells much like these and wooden dowels (2 per person so they can hit them together). I have also been saving up formula cans and other containers to contribute to my own instrument box to use as drums. The only thing is, you have to make sure they know that the instruments are ONLY to be used for beating out the rhythm of the song. If they get wild or disruptive, they don't get to have an instrument. I'm a little hesitant to start this in my primary because I'm sure it will be so exciting and, more than likely, a little chaotic at first. But what I saw in my last ward was that once the kids knew the drill, they were really good about only using their instruments for doing the rhythm.

Follow The Prophet for Nursery

One of the things I have been doing every week in Nursery for a while is Follow the Prophet. I start by showing them a picture of the prophet and ask them who is in the picture. Most of them by now will say Prophet and then I make sure and have them say his name, President Monson. We talk about why he is special. (Keep it simple, of course: He tells us what to do be happy, He tells us what Jesus wants us to do, etc.) I cut several of the thumbnail size pictures of President Monson out of old Ensigns, put them on cardstock, laminated them, and glued them to popsicle sticks. Each child gets to hold their own picture of the prophet while we sing. I just taught them the chorus only. They usually bounce it up and down while we sing "Follow the Prophet" then shake their finger when we sing "don't go astray" and point to their head when we sing "He knows the way." Then we usually stand and march in place while we sing it a second time.

Everything I do in nursery involves them holding something or doing something with their hands. Little hands need to stay busy or they will lose focus really fast!

I also did this same type thing for the song 3 Little Ducks. I found a clipart picture of a duck, cut out several of them and put them on cardstock, laminated them and glued them on popsicle sticks. That way when we sing 3 Little Ducks, they move their own little duckies around, behind their backs, etc.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Different Ways to Sing

The key to helping children learn is repetition, repetition, repetition. But of course they lose interest real quick if you don't change things up and keep it interesting. I am always trying to come up with different ways to sing the same song over and over without it getting boring. These are some signs I've made up to use for reviewing/repeating songs or just to get the attention back if it's lost.

Boys Sing/Girls Sing

Lion/Lamb (Sing loud/soft)

Stand up/Sit down

Buzz/Sing the words


(You can either have the piano stop or keep going and just the kids stop singing)

Children Illustrate

For certain songs which are easy to illustrate, it's fun to have the kids help with the illustrations. I did this with Beautiful Savior. I wrote the first 3 lines of the song on pieces of construction paper and handed them out to each class. I gave them some crayons and a few minutes to illustrate the words. For the younger classes, I had the teachers draw what the kids told them to so it wouldn't be chaotic. The older kids were able to take turns and all contribute to the picture. Then I used their pictures as my visual aids in teaching the song. Here's an example, the first line of the song "fair is the sunshine."

You could also have a child come up and whisper in his ear the words to the song and have him draw it with chalk on the chalk board and have everybody else guess the words.


Memory is a classic game that's easy to adapt to different situations. For this particular Sunday, I felt like the kids needed to review I Lived in Heaven (3 verses) and Beautiful Savior (3 verses) plus we had just learned 1 verse of Baptism. I put the first line of the verse plus a picture that went along with the words (particularly for junior primary, who can't read as well) on pieces of cardstock. I put them all up on the board face down and the kids took turns flipping cards over trying to make a match. When they found 2 that matched we would sing that verse. Simple and effective for a review activity!

Cover Up

This is a verse of scripture, 2 Nephi 31:20, which is our Stake's focus for the year. They want all the primary kids to memorize it, so I put it to the tune of Redeemer of Israel to help the kids learn it. This was a simple little poster I made with each line of the scripture written in a different color. We sang it through all the way once. Then I had cut strips of construction paper the same colors as the lines of the song. I had a child come up and pick a color and cover up that line of the song, then we sang it again. Each time you sing, you cover up more and more of the words to test their knowledge.

Choosing Helpers

I have seen several different ideas out there for how to choose helpers for singing/sharing time. I don't like to choose myself because I don't want kids to think I have favorites. Plus you get the same kids volunteering all the time and others don't raise their hands but they will participate if I call on them. I found this idea on SugarDoodle and made it for my primary.

I printed out 15 clipart flowers, mounted them on cardstock, and laminated them with contact paper (I use contact paper on EVERYTHING!). Then I bought a package of lollipop sticks and painted them green. I hot glued the flowers on the sticks and stuck them in a pot with beans (it looks like dirt/rocks and it holds the sticks up). On the back of each flower I have different things written, like:

*brought scriptures (this is a great motivator-some kids have started bringing their scriptures because they know this might help them get picked!)
*wearing red
*wearing yellow
*wearing black shoes
*brown eyes
*brown hair
*not wearing socks
*wearing glasses

I wrote the words on sticky notes and cut them down to size so that I could change them out. After using those for several months I changed some of them to say Birthday in Jan, Birthday in Feb, etc.

I really like using my flower pot so the kids don't get to rowdy when it's time to pick helpers. They know I'm just going to pick a flower and if they're sitting reverently and it applies to them, they'll get to participate!

Fill In The Blank

This was a quick and easy review activity:

I wrote out the first two verses of Baptism, but put blanks where the main words would have been.

Then I wrote the words on strips of construction paper and taped them to the bottom of several chairs before the kids came in. I told everybody to look under their chairs. Once all the word strips were found, we went through the song filling in the blanks and singing each phrase as we went along. Junior primary even enjoyed this, although many of them cannot read. Maybe next time I'll use pictures instead of just words for the little ones. Here's what it looked like when it was all done:

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sing or Dare

I found this idea online somewhere, but can't find it again now. But here's my version:

I made this poster the week we were reviewing Baptism that said "Sing or Dare." The "Sing" cards had a fun way to sing a certain verse of the song we were reviewing. The "Dare" cards had a question or just something silly for the child to do. We ended up singing each verse of the song twice, with lots of fun mixed in! Here's what the cards said:

For Junior Primary
Stand on your chair and shout "I love primary!"
Name your favorite thing about Primary**
Name 2 latter day prophets
Switch seats with someone else
Give your teacher a hug
Give the primary presidency a high five

Clap the rhythm while you sing the 3rd verse of Baptism
March in place while you sing the 1st verse of Baptism
Play Stop/Go while you sing the 3rd verse of Baptism
Stand on one foot and sing the 1st verse of Baptism
Tiptoe in a circle while you sing the 2nd verse of Baptism
Whisper sing the 2nd verse of Baptism

For Senior Primary
Tell the names of everyone in your class
Stand on your chair and shout "I love Primary!"
Give everyone a high-five
Name 3 latter day prophets
Hop on one foot around the podium 3 times
Draw a picture of your favorite food

Stand on 1 foot while you sing the 3rd verse. If the other foot touches the ground, sit down.
Rub your belly and pat your head while you sing the 2nd verse.
Play stop/go while you sing the 1st verse.
Leave out the names of people and places in the 1st verse.
Girls face left, boys face right as you sing the 3rd verse.
"Buzz" instead of singing the word "the"

**On a side note, the 4-year-old little boy who got this dare, name your favorite thing about primary, thought about it long and hard and then said..."leaving!" We all got a chuckle out of that!

Shirts & Ties

For teaching the Father's day song, I made these shirts by folding a piece of 8.5 x 11 paper and the ties out of construction paper. Click here to find the directions.

On the back of each shirt was written a phrase of the song. The shirts were taped on the walls/chairs/piano/podium all around the room. I called on a child to choose a shirt (we went in the order of the rainbow) and read the line of the song. I had the visual aids for the song up on the board, all mixed up. Then another child would take a fly swatter and swat the picture that matched that line of the song. After we matched the words and the picture, we sang that line. We went through all the shirts in the same manner until we had all the pictures put in order and had sung the song through!

Primary Punch

Another super successful activity I did a few weeks ago (and again, I have seen it on several different websites) was called Primary Punch.

I bought a science fair project board and cut out 9 circles just barely smaller in circumference than my plastic cups. I spray painted the board black (you should have seen the black circles on my grass because I didn't lay anything down while I was spray painting!). I wrote the words to the song Seek the Lord Early on 9 strips of paper and placed them in the plastic cups. Then I covered the cups with different colors of tissue paper and secured the paper with rubber bands. If you cut the circles just smaller than the lip of the cup, it will fit snugly in the hole.

When the kids came in I had put the picture prompts for the song up on the board in order. I chose a child to come up and choose a circle to punch. They LOVED punching through the tissue paper to get the word strip out and then match it to the picture on the board. Then we sang that phrase. It was a little hard for junior primary to put it all together after singing the phrases out of order, but the older kids picked up on it much faster.

This was a big hit, and one I'll definitely use again!

Simple Review/Repeat Activity

This was a simple activity I made up for a sub to use while I was in Utah, but I don't think she actually used it. But it could easily be adapted for any song.

I wrote each word to the song (in this case it was Beautiful Savior) on different colors of construction paper and taped them to a poster board. Show the poster and sing all the way through. Then have a child draw an object out of a grab bag (I used 5 different colored toy blocks). When you draw the yellow block, remove all the words that are on yellow paper and sing the song again. Depending on how many different colors of construction paper you choose to use, you will sing the song several times through, which is the whole point!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Singing Time Science

One of my most successful activities (if you are measuring success by the kids' reactions) was one I called Singing Time Science. I have seen variations of it on several different blogs. I was originally going to call it Singing Time Magic, but I happened to find a pair of safety goggles in the primary room as I was setting up so I just changed the name and had the child doing the "experiment" wear the safety goggles.

I had 5 large clear plastic cups filled with equal parts water and vinegar. Then I had 5 white plastic spoons and put a drop of food coloring in each spoon and covered it with a big pile of baking soda. When the child took the spoon and mixed it in the cup, it fizzed like crazy and turned the liquid to whatever color was in the spoon. I had 5 pieces of construction paper up on the board that corresponded to the different colors of food coloring. As each cup was mixed, we would turn over that color of paper and sing the song. It was a BIG hit.

**A variation of this that I have seen and that I may use again sometime would be to have all the cups contain just water except for one. That way the water still turns colors, but only 1 fizzes up and the kids will be excited to find out which one it is.

You can see pictures of all this here:

Starting Out

As I was trying to come up with an idea for singing time this week, I decided I need to keep a record of my singing time activities each week, even if only for my own sake. This is the second time I have had this calling {I guess Heavenly Father figured I needed a second chance to get it right!} and I wish I had a record of all the things I did the first time around in Provo. Also, I find so many great ideas on blogs and other forums that I use for my own Primary kiddos, I feel like I should get my ideas out there in case they might be of value to someone else.

So here it is...just a simple blog about my singing time successes (and occassional failures!)

I have really come to love serving in Primary. There have been several times over the last few months of having this calling that I have felt the Spirit very strongly as I've taught the little ones in Primary. I am humbled, challenged, inspired, sometimes frustrated, often amused, and greatly blessed by this calling to teach music to some of Heavenly Father's choice spirits.