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!