Saturday, June 23, 2012


Who doesn't LOVE Bingo?  This is a fun version of it that I made up for singing time.  Easy to do!  Create a Bingo card with the letters S-I-N-G-O across the top.  Then under each letter are the numbers 1-5 in mixed up orders.  I made a card for each class.  Make sure no two cards are alike.
I have no printer ink, so I had to hand make my Bingo cards this time!!

You can use this to teach a new song or for review other songs.  I have in a jar pieces of paper to draw out after they sing what ever song or portion of a song I ask.  They get a number of letters based upon how well they sing.  I would draw any where form one bingo piece up to four!  The pieces were in a jar as follows;
S1, S2, S3, S4, S5, I1, I2, I3, I4, I5, N1, ...etc. I think you get the idea.  When I drew the pieces I would call out the coordinates.  The teachers had each been given a marker to mark them off.  Some teachers did it themselves, some let a child do it.
Here are some examples of how teachers marked them.

So...what do you win if you get a SING-O BING-O?  When a class gets a bingo they get to choose which song we sing.  I let them know this right at the start so that they would all be thinking of a song!

I was a lot of fun and an easy way to get A LOT of singing done!

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Happy Father's Day!  I used an idea that I saw online (eek! Can't remember where!)

One swimming noodle, cut into 5 pieces
5 Colorful paper ties with song titles written on the back
1 tie sitting on top of the piano with my pianist (hidden)

I had invited 5 dads to come visit us in primary on Father's day.  I did this for both Junior and Senior (so 10 dads in all).  I had them come in and sit with their kids.  I had the ties up on the board and picked a kid (whose dad was NOT there) to come up and pick a tie. On the back of the tie was a song title.  Since this was a fun day we did review and other fun songs.  I used;

Choose the Right (1 verse only)
Stand For the Right
Nephi's Courage (1 Verse only)

One the sixth hidden tie was Daddy's Homecoming

 Now comes the FUN part!!  I would choose a dad to come up and sit in the chair.  I would then give his  child/children a noodle.  The object of Boppin' Pop is to get Dad's mouth to match the words of the song.  When they BOP him on the head, his mouth opens up.  We did a quick demo on the first dad.  If there is more than one child they would take turns, or do verse and chorus, etc.  This was an instant hit with both the kids AND the dads!

After that dad was done, we would let him sit back down and do the next tie, etc.

After we snag the last song, and everyone thinks we are don my pianist holds up the hidden tie and says,"Wait you forgot one!"  This is where it gets REALLY FUN!

I have ALL the dads come to the front.  They are very reluctant, unsure of what I am going to do to them next!  Then I start handing THEM a noodle!  Suddenly the kids know what is going on!  I then have each of the Father's children come stand in front of their Dad!  The dads then BOP their kids while we sing Daddy's Homecoming!  Everyone loved this!!  One dad said after we were done, "That song wasn't quite long enough!"  Sxo we sang it again!!  A lot of fun!!

Sunday, May 27, 2012


It is time to start teaching Nephi's Courage.  Most of our kids already know this song so we were able to spend only one day on it.  We called it COURAGEOUS SUNDAY.  On the chalk board I listed the following things:

Sing a Solo
Quote and Article of Faith
Conduct a verse of the song
Read a Scripture
Bear your testimony
Act out what we are singing
Escort a teacher around the room while we song
Dance to the song

I read the list aloud and talked about how these things take courage for us to do.  We then talked about the great courage that Nephi had to do the things that he was asked to do by the Lord.  For courageous Sunday, I was going to see who had courage to do some of these things.

We began by singing the chorus of the song.  I then drew a name out of the jar and asked, "Do you feel courageous today?"  I emphasized that it was ok if they didn't.  If they did, they got to pick one of the things to do.  Then that item was erased.  If they chose something that involved music, we would do that on the next part of the song.

Next we sang the first verse (if someone for instance picked to dance, this is when they would do it.)

After we sang I chose another name and asked again, "Do you feel courageous today?"  I did have several kids say that they weren't feeling courageous today and that was OK!  I put there name back in the jar so that they would still be chosen on another day.

We continued to do this until we had got through all the courageous deeds, or ran out of time.  I broke up the singing as follows.

Verse 2
first half of verse 3
second half of verse 3
Then we ended by singing the entire song.

I had so many kids come up to me after wards that had not been picked who said they had courage!  They wanted to do one of the tasks for me!  it was amazing to see the response that i got out of this activity!  They learned much more than the words to a song.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Heart Attack!

Time for a day of review!  We did a good old fashioned heart-attack!  I decorated the board with a lot of small cut out hearts that were taped on.  Then I had some larger hearts with the following written on them:
Atrial Fibrillation

THe point was that each song had an issue that needed to be fixed.  If they sang the song and fixed that "heart" issue, they could take 4-5 of the smaller hearts and give a teacher a Heart-Attack!!  When they gave teachers a heart attack they would stick the hearts on the teacher.  Our Sunbeam teacher ended up with hearts on his eyeglasses, nose and chin.  He looked so funny and the kids loved it.  He left it on during the ENTIRE singing time!!  Here is how I used each condition:

Bradycardia - heart beating too slow.  In our song when I am baptized we sing so slow and quiet that I sometimes feel sleepy.  Challenge was to speed up a touch and sing with more enthusiasm.

Atrial Fibrillation - very rapid heart beat.  In the song We'll Bring The World His Truth we sing the song so rapid that I sometimes can't understand each word.  If we want listeners to feel the spirit they must understand what we are saying.  Challenge was to slow down but still sing with the same power.

Arthymia - irregular heart beat.  When we sing As A Child of God, the chorus has more volume and enthusiasm than the verses.  Challenge was to even the song out, great volume and power throughout the entire songs.

Murmur - occasional beats cannot be detected or are skipped.  When we sing Choose the Right a lot of the words in the third verse are mumbled or skipped.  Challenge was to sing every word clearly!

Palpitations - racing heart beat.  When we sing Beautiful Savior we sing much too fast. This song is so beautiful.  Challenge is to slow it down!

Obviously you would need to adapt these to your songs and the things that you would like to work on in each song.  After the kids met the challenge, I drew a name out of the jar.  That child got to give a teacher a heart attack!  Sometimes I drew two kids and they each took 3 hearts.  It was a BIG hit and the teachers all left their hearts on with pride!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Mom's Shoes-A-Palloosa!

Oh how I love Mother's Day!  This activity is going to be AWESOME!  I have already called in my mom helpers and everything is ready to go!  I thought I would post it early in case anyone else wanted to use it next week!

I will use 5 mom's for Jr and 5 different mom's for SR.  When inviting the mom's to participate, make sure they are comfortable with taking off their shoes.

Here is the plan!
*    Five minutes before singing time begins I will meet my visiting mom's in the hallway and take their shoes..  These will be placed in a large bag.
*   Time for singing time!  The mom's will come in as we sing "The Dearest Names" (verse about mother).  They will then sit in chairs at the front of the room.
*   "Does anyone notice something wrong with our mom's today?"  Get the kids to notice their shoes are gone!
*   Introduce the activity as "Mom's Shoes-A-Palloosa!"  They are going to guess which shoes go to which mom!
*  For Junior I am going to place the shoes out on a table so the kids can visually see them all at the same time.  For senior I am going to keep them in the large bag.
*  I will choose a child  helper, they will come up and choose a shoe!  They will then guess which mom the shoe goes to.  If they are incorrect the shoe goes back onto the table/in the bag.  If they are right that mom gets to pick a flower from the board.  Written on the back of the flowers will be our songs to sing.
*  We will keep doing this until all the mom's have their shoes back!
*   To end the activity I will then read the following article.  I found this when my now 16 year old sin was very little.  it really touched me as a mother and thought it would fit very well in to this activity;

In His Mother’s Footsteps
By: Davida Dalton, as Told To JoEllen Johnson
It was a busy day in our Costa Mesa, California, home. But then, with ten children and one on the way, every day was a bit hectic. On this particular day, however, I was having trouble doing even routine chores-all because of one little boy.
Len, who was three at the time, was on my heels no matter where I went. Whenever I stopped to do something and turned back around, I would trip over him. Several times I patiently suggested fun activities to keep him occupied.
“Wouldn’t you like to play on the swing set?” I asked again. But he simply smiled an innocent smile and said, “Oh, that’s all right, Mommy. I’d rather be in here with you.” Then he continued to bounce happily along behind me.
After stepping on his toes for the fifth time, I began to lose my patience and insisted that he go outside and play with the other children. When I asked him why he was acting this way, he looked up at me with sweet green eyes and said, “Well, Mommy, in Primary my teacher told me to walk in Jesus’ footsteps. But I can’t see him, so I I’m walking in yours.”
I gathered Len in my arms and held him close. Tears of love and humility spilled over from the prayer that grew in my heart, a prayer of thanks for the simple yet beautiful perspective of a three-year-old boy. This experience has served as a reminder to me of the vital role of a mother. While it is sobering to realize that I am a crucial link between my children and the Savior, I need to remember that since a mother is a copartner with God, I am in a position to receive guidance from one who truly cares and wants all of us to walk in Heavenly footsteps.  (April 1994, Ensign)  In His Mother's Footsteps link

I am very excited about this activity!  I always love bringing in parents to singing time and the children do as well!

Happy Mother's Day to everyone!

Not your traditional Mother's Day

Next Sunday, for Mother's Day, the primary children will be singing a song in Sacrament meeting.  This is a standard practice all over the church.  However, this year, we decided to do something a bit different. 

One of our program songs this year that we chose is "We'll Bring the World His Truth".  Every time the children sing it the spirit is SO STRONG in our primary room.  So, we decided to use it as our Mother's Day Song.  This is how it is planned to go:

After the second speaker the bishop will call all the primary children to the stand.  We will have girls on the left and boys on the right. 

Then one of our 8 year old boys will read the scriptures from Alma 56 (paraphrased)
Father, behold our God is with us, and he will not suffer that we should fall; then let us go forth;
  yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.
  And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers saying: We  do not doubt our mothers knew it.

Followed by the most adorable 4 year old boy who will say: "We too have been taught by our WONDERFUL mothers."

Then we will sing our song.  The way we have taught the kids is as follows:
Verse 1:  all
Chorus:  All
Verse 2: Girls
Chorus: All
Verse 3:  Boys
Chorus: All

I wish you could hear them sing this!  When they all come in together for the choruses it reminds me of cymbals being crashed together, there is so much power in their voices.  An when the boys sing the third verse it is as if I am at an MTC.  I tear up every time!  I cannot wait until next Sunday!!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Truth or Consequences

This was adapted from the Ordinary Adventures of a Primary Chorister.  I have used it SO many times and it is always a BIG hit!  It is adapted from the 50's and 60's game show.  It is perfect for reviewing songs!  I like to use it when I have the whole time in primary on fifth Sundays.

It basically goes like this; I draw a child's name out of my choosing jar.  They get to pick a teacher to CHALLENGE.  Each contestant is given a question that relates to the song.  If you get your question right you receive a point for your team (kids vs. teachers).  If you get it wrong, you have a consequence.  What is great is they way the questions are, the kids NEVER get it wrong!  So the teachers do all of the consequences.  The kids LOVE to see their teacher's up front.  Our primary has GREAT, FUN, and ENTHUSIASTIC teachers who love to participate!

QUESTIONS: (The first one is for the kid, the second for the teacher)

For the song CHOOSE THE RIGHT:
1)  What abbreviation for Choose the Right do we use?  (CTR)
2)   What was the first CTR ring made of and how much did it cost? (Nickel and Platinum, $.35)

1)  What is one thing in this song that is "fair:?  (sunshine, moonlight, Jesus, meadows, woodlands)
2)   This is a Silesian folk song, who wrote it?  (Anon.)

For the song  PRAISE TO THE MAN:
1)  Where did Joseph Smith go to pray?  (Sacred Grove)
2)  On what day of the week was the church organized?  (A Tuesday)

For the song ARMY OF HELAMAN:
1)  Who teaches you truth?  (goodly parents, mother, father)
2)   Janice Kapp Perry wrote this song, in what year as she born?  (1938)

1)  Name someone from the Book of Mormon?
2)  How many verses are in Mosiah chapter 15? (31)

For the song AS A CHILD OF GOD:
1)  What power did we come to earth with?  (Power to choose)
2)  How many babies are born in the USA every day?  (11,000)

It is obviously rigged so that the child's question is SUPER easy and the adults question is SUPER hard.  That is what makes it so much fun!  Now for the consequences.  They need to do these as everyone sings the song.

1)  Wear a sombrero and shake maracas
2)  Blow bubbles
3)  Hula Hoop
4)  Wear grass skirt and lei and do the hula
5)  Keep two inflated balloons in the air by hitting them lightly
6) March around like the leader of a parade

This is a very fun, energetic activity.  It's a great way to reward the kids for working so hard learning all of these program songs!


This was a new, fun idea we used in Senior Primary.  They sometimes get tired of sitting and I felt they are old enough to be able to move around a bit without losing focus.  Note: I did NOT use this in Junior primary.

I made seven cards that were folded like tents and sitting on the front table.  We then would sing a verse, chorus or entire song in order to earn the chance to draw a card.  I used this to review all of the songs that we have learned thus far this year.  What ever was on the card is what we had to do before we sang the next song.  It was fun.  The kids really liked moving around to a new seat.  Here were the movements:

1)   Move two chairs to your right (if you are at the end of the row, go to the other end of the row)
2)   If you have ever gone to General Conference, switch chairs with someone else who has also gone.
3)   Teachers move 6 chairs to the left.  If there was a child in that seat they had to shift to make room for the teacher.
4)   If you have ever sang at someone's baptism, switch seats with someone else who also has.
5)   Move so everyone is sitting boy-girl.
6)   If you have ever given a Book of Mormon to someone, switch seats with someone else who has. (I was so thrilled to see how many children stood up!!)
7)  Teachers trade places with another teacher.

Having the movement was really fun and they sang great!

Does our Singing MEASURE UP?

I adapted this idea years ago and cannot remember where the original idea came from.  But I use it often in Junior primary.

The idea is that we are going to "measure" how well we have learned our newest song.  I use a very large flower vase.  With a marker I mark a line near the top. I have then also have a pitcher filled with water.  What is so fun about this is I use food coloring to color the water.  You can use a color that matches the song.  This time we were singing Beautiful Savior, so I used green to represent all the beautiful things he has created (meadows, woodlands, flowers, etc).

I broke the song up into sections.  Aster we sang a section I would rate how well they sang it.  I then chose a child to come pour colored water into the vase a bit.  (I would just tell them when to stop).  This continues until the vase is almost full.  Then to reach our goal we stand up and sing the song through in it's entirety.  I ask them before if they think they are going to make it to the top.  The suspense is so cute and they get so excited!  Of course they always make it to the top.  What's great is they really earn it!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Remote Control Singing

So I saw several versions of using this concept in singing time.  I didn't want to have just a larger version of a remote control because I couldn't figure out how to push the buttons and conduct.  So I modified it a bit.  We did it today and the kids LOVED it!  Especially Junior Primary, for them it was a big hit!

I started by making my remote control buttons to be on signs that I could hold up.  I did a variety of signs.  We used today to review As A Child of God and Choose the Right.  This is because I was out sick one Sunday and then we had Stake Conference, so it had been 3 weeks since I had last heard them sing.  I thought a review would be wise, even if it put us behind schedule a bit.

Here are the signs:

This on is obvious.  To mix it up I had them lean and move the way i hold the sign, whether its left, right up or down.  That gets them in good practice of keeping their eyes on me.


This one was fun.  We sang Choose the Right as fast as the pianist played.  I emphasized to them that they were not to sing as fast as they could, but rather as fast as the piano went.  It was really good practice for them to follow me and to listen carefully to the piano.  When singing fast like this it is best to have the pianist only play the right hand.


This was not to sing the song backwards! Haha, though some kids wanted to try.  Instead when I held up the sign the turned around and faced the wall.  This way they couldn't see me do any of the hand signs that prompt them in the song As A Child of God.  When I made a beep noise they turned back and faced me.  I did this randomly throughout all three verses.


After using this one I realized that a MUTE button would have made more sense.  When I held up this sign they paused their singing.  But the piano kept going.  This one caused them to really focus and me, the piano, and the words to the song.  One of my favorite ways to drill a song.


Before beginning this one I always remind the children (especially the very little ones) that shouting is not singing.  Also, that even when they are singing as quiet as they can, I should still be able to hear them.  Then we began.  As I raised the sign up the increased in volume and as I went down they decreased.


My favorite of today.  I have never recorded the primary children singing.  So I explained to them that they need to hold still while they sang and not fidget so we would record only voices.  Then they sang the song to review.  When they were finished I played it back for them.  The senior liked it but the junior were astonished.  Their little faces just lit up as they heard themselves sing.  This was a great moment for them!

This turned out to be a very fun activity.  I chose to pick up the signs in the order I wanted and not have a helper hold them.  Sometimes the kids can make these types of activities too wild by switching the sign too quickly of too often.  I decided that I was in "control" of the remote control today.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Fun! Fun! Fun!

A dad comes in with a sheet on him (like a ghost), holes cut out for eyes, and no shoes on.  (Sometimes the shoes can give it away!)  He comes in quietly and picks a tool out of my tool box.  These are real tools that i have attached a song title to.  I use program songs, father's day songs, and other fun songs that the kids know.  While we sing the dad helps conduct with his tool.

We have had some pretty funny dad's conduct in pretty crazy ways.  They are allowed to do anything except talk.

After the song the kids are then allowed to try and guess whose dad it is!  This is so much fun. Sometimes if we have stumped the kids I let the dad say "Hello".  After that it is always a give away!


This one touches every one's heart so much!  Mothers always leave this activity with misty eyes. 
A few weeks before this singing time I email mother's and ask them what their favorite primary song is.  I also ask them if they will be at church on mothers day and if they could come in to singing time (some mom's have callings in other auxiliaries and cannot leave).  Then I take the responses I get, match up duplicates and we are ready to go!

I cut out large hearts.  On the back I write the names of the mothers that responded.  If two or more mom's have the same favorite song, their names go on the same heart.  Each heart will represent a song.  When a heart is chosen we read which mom(s) are written on the back.  The children of these mom's then go find their mom.  While they are looking for their mom (with the presidencies help) I tell the rest of the children what song we are going to sing.  We get ready.  When the mom's are found, they sit in the from on chairs while we sing their favorite song to them.  Their kids stay up with them as well and sing.  Afterwards the mom's are in tears.  We invite those mom's to stay.  Then the next heart is picked and we repeat until all of the hearts are gone.

When all the participating mom's have heard their favorite song, we have them all come back up front and we sing Mother, I Love You.  This is, without a doubt, one of the most touching singing times we have ever done!  You will not be able to get every mom in there, but we try!


This will only work in Senior Primary....
We used a couple years for program song review.  The older kids and teachers LOVE it!  It is simple to prepare and so much fun to do!

On pieces of construction paper I write the first letter to each word in the title of a song.  For example when we did this in 2010 we used:
IBIC  (I believe in Christ)
IKTMSLM (I know that my Savior loves me)
HSHS  (He sent his Son)
TCOJC (The Church of Jesus Christ)
FTP  (Follow the Prophet)
TFIOG  (The Family is of God)
MEF (My Eternal Family)

It is so easy to do and can be used with ANY songs!

Start by reveling the first Song Title Code.  Remind the kids that if they know it they have to be quite not to say it out loud and give it away.  The version I like is to see which class can have everyone with their hands up first, including the teacher.  There is a variety of ways you could judge it.

After the right answer is discovered we then of course sing that song.  It needs to be sung well before I reveal the next Song Title Code.  Like everything fun I do in singing time, they have to earn it!

Primary Hospital

I am posting some activities that I have done over the past two years.  Primary Hospital was adapted from I think sugardoodle, but it was long ago I can't remember.

We started by having various adults dress with an ailment.  The children's job was to cure them with music.  I started out by explaining how when they sing I always feel happy and joy inside.  We talked about how good music can brighten your day, lessen your worries, and bring the spirit into our hearts.  So I told them I had some adults who needed be a cure through music.

1)SHOUTING FLU - this was caused by singing too loud.  To cure this ailment we had to sing the correct volume consistently throughout the entire song!  Remember shouting isn't singing.  My mom volunteer was holding a "barf" bowl as she walked in and pretended she may vomit on kids at any time.  She looked positively ill and was amazing at this!

2) TONE DEAF-ITIS - this was caused by not following the correct tune of the song.  It could only be cured by listening to the piano and those around us carefully as we sang.  This mom helper had a fever and walked in with a thermometer in her mouth, an ice bag on her forehead and a blanket on her shoulders.

3)  WEAK LYRIC LEG -  this was caused by sometimes mumbling the words and not pronouncing them clearly when singing.  The cure was to sing clearly so that we could understand each word of the song.  My dad volunteer came in on crutches with a leg brace on.

4)  NON MUSIC MEASLES - this was caused by not singing.  Sometimes someone won't sing and fidgets or distracts others.  The cure was for EVERY in the room to sing.  My dad volunteer had circle stickers stuck all over his face.  As they sang he slowly removed them.

5) TONGUE SPRAIN - this was caused by trying to sing the songs too fast!  The cure was to carefully follow the chorister.  This parent had an ace bandage wrapped around his mouth and chin.
 6) VOLUME FEVER - this was caused by singing too quietly.  Song songs are meant to have volume.  The cure is to sing with enthusiasm and energy (it helps to stand) and not to die off in volume at the end.  My parent volunteer for this one came in looking as ill as possible wearing an isolation flu mask.

Here is how it went.  My pianist and I were dressed in scrubs.  Then one of our parent volunteers came in.  As they weakly made their way towards me I commented on how terribly sick they appeared.  Then I had a child come up front to assist.  We put a nurses hat on them and they used a stethoscope to check the patient out.  Once they were done I revealed the illness and described how they caught it.  I had a jar filled with giant tongue depressors that had a program song written on each one.  They chose a stick and my child nurse helped me lead the song using the giant tongue depressor.  While we sang I watched and listened for whatever the cure needed to be.  Then it was up to the adult to say if they were cured or not.  I actually had one mom say she still didn't feel the best and needed them to sing it once more.  She was great!

I also had a large jar full of 6 lollipops.  When we cured each adult my nurse helper gave them a lollipop for being a good patient.  I had the exact amount so no child would beg for one of the "extras".

After that adult was done I chose a new nurse and the next patient came in.  This is a great way to review program songs!

Magic Water

This is a favorite, especially among the little ones.  I try to do it every other year so it is still a surprise!  I cannot remember on whose blog I originally saw this and cannot take credit for the water idea.

Start 5 pint jars 3/4 full of water and 1 pint jar 3/4 full of vinegar.  You will also need:
5 different food coloring colors
6 spoons
baking soda

To prep this activity, place 2 drops of food coloring on a spoon followed by a teaspoon of baking soda.  This needs to be done right before singing time so the food coloring doesn't soak through.  Do this for each color.  This spoon should be just baking soda only to represent white.  Make sure you save this one for the end.

For today's activity I chose to make a large CTR shield which I then cut into puzzle pieces. 

On the back of each piece I placed a color that corresponds
to my food coloring choices.

You will notice I have one piece left.  This is my start piece.  The free piece so to speak.

Time to play!  The goal is to build the CTR shield.  They earn pieces by singing.  I am reviewing Choose the Right, the first verse.  I will mix up what they sin and how they will sin it each time.  If they sing it well, I will choose a child to come up and pick a spoon (making sure it is not the white one).  They then get to place the spoon in one of the jars of water and stir.  Magically the water will turn a color!  They love it! 

Whatever color the water turns that is the puzzle piece that they get to grab and place on the board.  This continues until all the pieces are chosen except the white one.  Now I will talk a little about what the color white represents, purity, peace, pure love, etc.  Choosing the right helps us to feel the spirit stronger each day.  We can be overflowing with the love of Christ.  To earn the last piece they will sing the first verse with chorus while standing up.  Afterward I will choose a child to do our last spoon which is the pure baking soda and jar of vinegar (i do not let the kids know it is not water).  When it is mixed the reaction overflows with bubbles (hence overflowing with God's love), this is when the tray comes in handy.  Make sure the jar is on the tray to prevent a terrible mess!

One last note, I never reveal my magical ways!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

"Choose" a Balloon POP QUIZ!

I have done a "POP" Quiz before!  This time we are referring to it as "Choose" a Balloon since we are focusing on Choosing the Right this year.

**Please note** I do NOT do this activity in junior primary.  The popping of balloons can be a bit too much for some of the little ones.

To being with I have 12 questions that are rolled up and put into balloons of various sizes.  Here are the questions I will use.  We are emphasizing the songs Choose the Right and As a Child of God.

1)  Fill in the blanks:  When in the ______ your heart ___________. (from Choose the Right).
2)  How many times do we sing "Choose the Right" in the first verse and chorus?
3)  Fill in the blank:  Good choices ________ me and my family ______. (from As a Child of God)
4)  Sing 3rd verse and chorus of As a Child of God with loud and soft cards.
5)  Sing 3rd verse of Choose the Right with chorus.
6)  Boys only sing 1st verse and chorus of As a Child of God.
7)  Girls only sing 2nd verse and chorus of Choose the Right.
8)  What does the word "digression" mean in the 2nd verse of Choose the Right?
9)  What does the word "pursuing" mean in the 3rd verse of Choose the Right?
10) Sing Choose the Right in its entirety.  Stand/Sit each time we sing the word "right".
11) What important word is in each of the 3 verse (not counting the chorus) of As a Child of God.
12) Sing As a Child of God using Stop/Go cards.

I then thumb tacked each balloon to the back side of the moving chalk board.  This way I can have it all set up ahead of time without the kids knowing what we will do.

This is like a Pop quiz in school, at the and they will get a "grade".  They get a point if they get a question right and a point if they sing well.  (Example: 9 out of 12 will be a 75% or a C).  Their grade scale is as follows:

A = AWESOME!!  We have learned our songs well!!
B = we can do BETTER in our songs.  We need to keep at it.
C = Sister Meine is CONCERNED! We should know these by now!
D = DANGER!  Our songs are not where they should be!
F = Not even going to give this one a name because I know we won't be in this group!

Once I explain the rules and the grading scale, we will begin.  I will draw a name out of my choosing jar and that child will get to come up and pop a balloon.  We will do whatever it says inside in order to earn a point!  My goal is to get through all 12 balloons!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Four Corners

Well, today was a crazy Sunday.  I had to speak in sacrament meeting.  So since I had to spend a lot of time this week planning my talk, it restricted my primary planning time.  I decided to do an activity that I hadn't done for a while that the kids all love!!  I like this particular activity because EVERY child gets to participate in some way.  It is also great to use when learning a new song because it is repetitive.

To start I post the number 1, 2, 3, 4 on a large piece of colored paper in each of the four corners of the room (hence the name of the game...four corners).  The I choose my first helper.  This child comes up front and closes his/her eyes.  I then choose a class to go first.  While we sing, the class moves around and positions themselves in any of the corners.  When we are done singing the child with their eyes closed "chooses" a corner.  (see how I snuck in this months theme to the game )  Everyone in the corner that was named is "out" and has to sit down.  Then the child up front closes their eyes and we sing again.  etc.

If a corner is empty I let the guesser know not to pick that corner.
When I am down to four or less kids, I tell them not to be in a corner with anyone else and at that point the guesser chooses the corner to be the "winner".  The winner is then the guesser for the next class.
Sometimes I have more than one class up at a time.
I have had just the teachers move to the corners before. The kids love that version too!

Today I used the second verse of Choose the Right.  I split it into two parts.  We sang the first part over and over again until a winner was found.  Then for the next class we sang the second part over and over.  For the third class we sang the whole verse.  The fourth class we sang the chorus only.  Fifth class we sang the entire second verse with chorus.  Finally for the last round we sang both verses with chorus.

Hopefully this explains it well enough.  Please let me know if you have questions!!

Sunday, February 5, 2012


I have seen this idea on numerous blogs and have never tried.  Today I finally got an opportunity to use it and I am SO glad that I did!  What a HIT!!  So here is my modified version of the several other versions that I saw.

First I made my UNO board.

I did it on one black piece of poster board.  I then covered it with contact paper so I could use it over and over again.  I went through my family version of UNO and collected cards that I would use.

I used this to teach the song CHOOSE THE RIGHT.   I taped the words to the song in the four squares.  Each card when drawn meant a different thing.

When a number card was drawn we would sing that
square the number of times the card indicated.
Note that I only had numbers going up to three!

Then there were these, the reverse cards.  When one of these
was drawn the kids had to turn around and sing that colored
square without looking!

Next were the WILD cards.  When one of these were drawn the
kids had to sing the entire song (all the squares).  That is because
the card shows all the colors!

And finally I used the SKIP cards which I really liked!  These allowed
a kid to remove some of the words from that colored square.  Then
we sang that color once.

For Junior Primary, I only taught them the chorus today.  We have a lot of new sunbeams and our Junior primary is quite large.  I felt just the chorus was enough for them.  Here is how their board looked at the start.

 They had so much fun!!  After about 10 minutes, I then started letting two kids come up and we would do two cards at a time!  This got really fun!!  We'd sing the yellow square twice then turn around and sing the green square without looking! FUN!  By the end of singing time every child in junior primary knew the chorus and sang their hearts out!!

For Senior I included the first verse as well (sorry no picture).  I split the first verse into two (yellow and red) and then spilt the chorus into two (blue and green).  It was so great to see them learn a song so quickly and so well, and have a great time doing it!

To all of those other choristers who have been using this and posted it on your blog, THANK YOU!  I loved this sooooo much!  It was such and effective tool to teaching new songs to the kids!!!

***EXTRA NOTE*** To make this easier on my pianist I photocopied the song for her and marked the portions on the song with the corresponding colors.  That was if I said "Blue square twice" she knew exactly what to play!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Project Primary!

A year and a half ago I got attacked by a dog while out on a run.  I was stuck in bed for several days.  While in bed there happened to be a Project Runway marathon on the satellite.  I had never seen this before but since I had nothing else to do or no where to go I watched.  So this week when I was planning my music lesson, memories of that show came back to me.

On 5th Sundays, our Primary Presidency gives me the entire time, no sharing time.  I love having the extra time for singing!!  I always use these as a review and remember day.  We review any program songs we have already learned and we remember songs that we learned years past.  This is a long explanation.  Sorry, I am trying to make sure it's detailed enough so it makes sense!! :)

To prepare for this activity I first made game cards.  The front said "Project Primary" and on the back was a question.  I made them about 5x7 in size. My questions were as follows:

In the song As a Child of God, what power did we come to earth with?
In the song Hinges, what would happen if we did not have any hinges?
In the song Listen, Listen, who do you listen to?
In the First Article of Faith, who are the three people we believe in?
In the song Scripture Power, what does scripture power keep you safe from?
In the song When I Am Baptized, what do you like to look for?
In the song As a Child of God, what does the Holy Ghost help you do?
In the song Stand For the Right, what words does the Prophet have for you?

In the song As a Child of God, recite the third verse.
In the song When I am Baptized, what do you ponder on?
In the song Seek the Lord Early, where do you find the Lord?
In the song The Family is of God, what are the four things a mother teaches?
In the song I Pray in Faith, what is the third part of a prayer?
In the song Praise to the Man, who reveres him?
In the song As a Child of God, why do you feel so safe and happy?
In the song Stand For the Right, how many times do you sing the word "true'? (10 seconds)

I also had a garbage sack full of various "fashions":

South of the Border-- Sombrero and maracas
Sporty look--football jersey
Day on the town--red hat and cheetah shawl
Hit the Slopes--scarf, gloves, and ski goggles
Cow Poke-- cowboy hat and western vest
Pioneer-- Bonnet and apron
Island Days-- Grass skirt and lei
Bedtime wear-- robe and stuffed animal

To set up the activity I had all of the cards on the board, so that the words "Project Primary" were showing.  I explained to the kids that we were going to have fashion challenges and at the end of primary we would have a fashion show!!  Their models were anyone over 20 years old in the room.  This got a big laugh from the teachers when they realized it would be them! (side note here, I have very fun and cooperate teachers in our primary.  They are willing to do all kinds of crazy and funny things for me!)

I started by announcing the first "fashion challenge", for example Island days, and took out the corresponding attire from my sack.  Then I drew a child's name from the choosing jar.  That child got to come up and pick a card.  I read the question (in senior I let them read their own).  They had to then answer the question.  My pianist would play the song softly in the background to help.  If they were stumped they got ONE help from their class.

If they answered it correctly (which they do, we make sure they get to the right answer somehow) they then get to pick an adult model to come put on the fashion!  That teacher comes to the front of the room and puts on what matches that challenge, for example the grass skirt and lei.  They then stay p front with me while we sing the song that went with the  question.  The catch is, they have to sing clearly, with volume and then reverence when the song is over, to keep that teacher dressed this way!   This was how I enforced the reminder to be reverent.  If they passed, the teacher "model" sat down in their fashion.

We continued this until all the questions were asked or until we were almost out of time.  Then it was time for the fashion show!!  I used our new song As a Child of God for the show since that is the one we need to be reviewing the most.  As they sang the models walked around the room (some did so in a very silly way).  As long as we sang good the models kept walking.  If we mumbled our words or sang too quietly the models would stop.

I'm not sure who had the most fun, our models or the kids!  It was a big hit!!  We had a lot of fun and got a lot of good singing time in!  I definite one to do again another 5th Sunday!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

"CHOOSE" a door

I have tried to make my singing time activities match the theme for this year about Choices and choosing the right.  Tomorrow I plan on doing an activity that I did last year and it was a big hit!

I used two poster papers to make Door #1 and Door #2.
Since I am teaching the THIRD verse of As A Child of God tomorrow, I took the verse and omitted some key nouns and verbs.

In my own ___________, I'll happily ______________.  I'll ____________ my ______________ by my _______________   _________________.   You could either have this on strips of papers or write it largely on the board.

To begin we sing the first two verse for review.  Then I tell them we have one more verse and they get to "choose" doors in order to build it.  I choose a child from my choosing jar to come up.  They get to pick a door to fill in our first blank.  Inside the doors are words that could fit in the blanks.
I then cover each word with numbers that match which blank they could fit into. Then I cover then with the numbers 1-6.

If the child picks Door #1 they lift up the flap for space one, in Door #1.  If they picked Door #2 they lift up the flap for space one in Door #2.
So for example, if my first child picks door number one, our song would be... In my own DONUT.  We talk about why that would not work.  Then we get the right word out of the other door.  Notice I made sure that the words are placed randomly in the doors.

We continue to do this until the entire verse is built.  After each word is added we sing what we have built so far, until finally we are singing the entire verse.  This activity really emphasizes the words in the song and I get a chance to clarify their meanings and the importance of having them there.

Happy singing!

Monday, January 16, 2012


Yesterday we did one of my all time favorite review activities.  I've seen it on lots of other blogs, so I can't remember who to give credit to.

This is a great activity to do once the kids have learned the verse of a new song and you want to reinforce that they understand the words and meanings of the songs.  I am blessed to have wonderful teachers in both our Junior and Senior primary who always willingly participate in my crazy ideas!

To start I have a swivel chair (borrowed from the clerk's office) and the numbers 1 through twelve placed around it like a clock.  I draw a child's name from my choosing jar.  That child gets to pick which teacher they want to spin.  The teacher sits on the chair and puts their legs out like a spinner.  When the piano music starts the child gets to spin the teacher matching the tempo of the song.  My pianist does a great job with this, really mixing it up.  When the piano stops so does the teacher.  Wherever their feet land is what number card the child picks up.

Each card has a different question or singing challenge. some of mine yesterday were:

1. Sing first verse and chorus of As A Child of God
2.  Fill in the blanks: I feel so _____ and _______because
3.  How do good choices bless your family

I think you get the idea.  The great thing about this activity is that it works for any song and my primary LOVES IT!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Building A Child of God

Today was SO much fun!  We are working on the second verse of As a Child of God.  I teach the verses in sections.  Then build the song as we go.  Today was a reverse version of Hangman.  We did girls against boys, which aways works great in our primary.  I had the kids move so the girls were on one side of the room and boys seated on the other (in junior I did leave the Sunbeams where they were).

Here are the finished bodies.

After I taught the first portion of the second verse we sang it together twice:
"I feel so safe and happy because."

Then it was contest time!  The girls sang, then the boys sang it.  Who ever sang it loudest and pronounced the words the most clearly got a body part on the board.  I then did this for the second portion of the verse:
"such feelings of peace come from family love."

Contest again.

Next we sang those two phrases together twice.  After that it was contest time again.  Following that we added the chorus and etc.  I hope you get the idea.  It was a blast.  All the kids enjoyed it! Eventually we were singing the first and second verses with the chorus to earn the final body parts.

Girls won in junior, boys won in senior.

Some added extras.  If they were irreverent when the other side was singing they could lose a body part.  I sometimes ask visiting parents to help judge because it can get too close to call!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


One more post for today.  My wonderful, talented, giving, fantastic, fun, adventurous, inventive, spiritual, awesome, Primary Pianist has been released!  Alisha Gearhart was so amazing to work with and I reluctantly raised my hand when she was sustained to be the new Relief Society secretary!  I am sooooo sad to have her grow up and go to class with the mommies now!  She is irreplaceable and I don't know what I am going to do without her!! :(


Choose Your Own Journey

Since this year's theme is all about choices, I planned a fun way to learn the first verse of our new song, As A Child of God.  I told the kids we would be going on a journey together and that they got to "choose" what and where we would be going.  I taught them the first line of the song with some sign language to help (I will post about those later).  Once they sang it well they got to make their first choice.  After each choice was made we would then add the next line to the song.  So it went song, choice, song, choice, etc.  By the end of singing time today both junior and senior have the frist verse and chorus down perfectly!  Here is how our journey turned out!

I would read the three choices, then I would put thenm in a bag.  I chose a child from my chosing jar and they got to reach into the bag.  I then pinned up what they drew on the board.

Choices:   The Beach, Disneyland, The Dentist

Choices: Toothbrush, Piano, Mayonaise

Choices: Our pet, Our Primary Teacher, The Boogey Man

Choices: Jump on a pogo-stick, Fly, Pull A Handcart

Choices: 5 minutes, 5 hours, Forever

By the end of primary our journey was decided.  Senior primary's was the best!  They ended up with this:
We are going to the dentist with our pet. We will take our toothbrush in a handcart.  We are staying there FOREVER!

After the kids laughed I then asked them how they felt having someone else make their choices for them.  We had a great discussion about free agency and choosing the right!

What's even better is this could be used with ANY song!