MOTIVATORS: (Can be used to keep singing the same song over and over while keeping it fun.)
· CLAP, SNAP, STOMP – Use it individually or with partners. “Can your hands follow my hands?” Or use body rhythm pattern such as clap, clap snap, snap, stomp stomp. Partner Rhythm pattern such as patsch (pat thighs), clap, cross touch to elbows.
· DANCING SINGERS – Have a group of about 8 children come up to the front. Make a circle. Go around in a circle, stepping up tall on one beat and down low on the next and so on. Really fun for “Truth of Elijah”.
· DRESS THE MISSIONARY – Bring two sets of each item – suit coat, name tag, shoes, Book of Mormon, etc. Select two helpers. The team that sang the best got to “dress” their missionary. Then the team that had their missionary dressed the most when time ran out got to sing their favorite song.
· HOT & COLD – Make a note out of black poster board. Send one child out of the room. Hide the note. Then the children are to sing loudly if the “seeker” is “HOT” (near the note) or softly if the seeker is “COLD” or far away.
· MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS – The children love to play the tambourine, maracas, cymbals, rhythm sticks, etc. I love to pick them up at tag sales, thrift stores, etc. Or make your own. They’ll sing the same song 5 times in a row and not even notice.
· PAPER ORCHESTRA – This is so much fun! Everyone gets a piece of paper and you make different noises with the paper. You can roll it and sing through it, you can blow on it and make a squeaking noise, tap it for “raining” sound, use your imagination! Time is your only limit. At the end of our time, I have them tear them into little pieces and see how quietly they can sing to see if they can hear all the pieces hit the bottom of the trash can as everyone walks quietly by it.
· SCARF MOVEMENT – I bought a bolt of material at a sale really cheap! I cut it into squares. Each child gets a square or scarf. You “paint” with the scarf by moving them through the air. Such as: move it gently, it’s so gentle just like this song and just like Jesus.
· SHAKERS – (toilet paper tubes with rice) – I made shakers out of toilet paper tubes filled with uncooked rice. I wrapped them with wallpaper that I got free from a yard sale. The kids love to keep time or match the rhythm to the songs. Make sure the paper you wrap them in is pretty sturdy or you’ll have rice everywhere!
· SINGING IN A CAN – Cover a Pringles/peanut can with cute paper or musical notes. Make papers that give directions to sing such as: Sing with your eyes closed, Humming only, Sing with your favorite accent, Sing standing up, Sing with your nosed plugged, If you have a gerbil don’t sing, Sing every other word, Sing with your mouth closed, etc.
· SQUIRT GUN/CRYING MOTHER POSTER – I use this poster for Mother’s Day and for after the program. I drew a picture of a mother’s face, big on a poster board. I cut out her eyeballs and hold (usually ask for help) two squirt guns in the holes. As the children sing beautifully, the mother “cries” as she is touched by the beauty. This can get out of hand easily, but each time I have used it, the Spirit is strong and the kids try really hard to sing beautifully. I tell them they bring tears to my eyes sometimes. (This has to be done in “good taste”.)
· STOP & GO – Make a traffic light out of 2 black poster boards. Cut out 2 traffic lights and put red, yellow, and green cellophane in between where the lights should be. I let the children come up and shine a flashlight through the colors. We sang on green, stopped singing on red and did something different every time on yellow (girls, boys, clap to rhythm, hum, etc.)
· UMBRELLA/RAIN – I use a real umbrella and a mist bottle (squirt bottle) with plain water in it. I use the finest mist so no one really gets wet. As we are learning a song, the better they get the words and melody, the more it “rains”. I spray on top of the umbrella and the child is holding the umbrella. Once in a while I get a little crazy and spray toward the audience…oops!
· VOICES – I.e. Cowboy voice, opera voice, MoTab voice, mouse voice, boy voice, girl voice, etc… ***Note from Wendy: Be careful when using “voices”! The first time I used them, I made the mistake of using them while we were singing program songs and we ended up with “cowboy voice” on “I Know that My Redeemer Lives”. Not good! When singing reverent songs, I think it is best to stay away from “voices”. Instead, I prefer to teach the children to follow my hands dynamically – we can even crescendo and diminuendo now!***
· YARN SINGERS – I took 3 colors of yarn, cut them in different lengths and tied them all back together in no particular order. I wound them up and put them in a paper sack decorated really cute. As the children sang a child pulled the string between their hands. Each color determined who would sing. One color was for boys, one for girls, one for everyone. As the string was different lengths of colors, it was fun to see the “change”.