A sister from my previous ward did this once, and I was amazed at how it caught the attention of the kids, so I decided to try it this week.
We are learning Teach me to Walk in the Light this month, and since it is a fairly simple song, this was the perfect activity for it.
I was a music education major at BYU, so I had a conducting baton. I'm not sure where you can purchase one, probably at any music store...
I pulled out my baton and asked the kids what it was. Then we talked about the role of a conductor. A lot of them thought his/her job was to tell the group to play high or low notes. To give them a hint, I conducted "softly" with my left hand palm down as if to say "Shhh!" and my right hand conducted close to me with smaller movements. Then hands shot up everywhere and they realized that a conductor told the group HOW to play/sing.
We tried a few others, such as LOUD, quickly, slowly, staccato, and smoothly. I stopped there with it, but one Sunday, I plan on actually conducting them like a real choir and having them follow the way I conduct.
However, for this week, I brought out this little sign (8 1/2 x 11) on card stock. Then we had a quick lesson about the music symbols and what they meant.
okay, so I couldn't upload it, but it was basically this:
I put a mouse by the pp and a lion by the ff to help remind them which one was soft or loud.
Then I handed my baton to one of the children, and let them drag it up and down the chart to "conduct" us on HOW we should sing. I had to remind them not to move to quickly since it's hard to change your voice that quickly. We only did it a few times, but everyone wanted a try! I'll definitely be bringing this one back, and I'm glad I could get in a quick theory lesson!