Sunday, May 31, 2009

Primary Putting

Yesterday was a little stressful trying to come up with another fun idea for today, it being the 5th Sunday. I had a random thought that utilizing more sports ideas would be a fun idea for teaching during the summer and the first one that popped into my head was making a golf course. After much thought, here's what I came up with:

I covered a Huggies box (one of the jumbo packs from Costco) with old wrapping paper turned inside out and cut 8 "holes" along the base. Then I printed out PRIMARY PUTTING in cute font on colored paper and taped it to the box. (But ran out of time to further decorate so if I ever do upload a picture, please don't judge me!)

Anyway, then I numbered each hole. Then I labeled 8 strips of construction paper with the number 1-8 on one side and put the name of one of the songs we've been working on on the other side. Since it's only May, I had 3 WILD cards, as I'm very much planning on using this as review in the future as well.

I had all the kids think of their favorite Primary song while I put my strips of paper on the board. (For some reason, very few can come up with a song on the spur of the moment.) Then I put a line of masking tape on the floor and drew a name for our first golfer. We sang the song corresponding to the number of the hole the ball went through. If a golfer hit the ball through a hole and we had already sung the song, we would just sing it again - review, right?

Lots of fun! And reusable!!! Please share any other sporty ideas!

Baptism; new song/review combo idea!

(I know it was the song for May, but this idea will work on other songs as well. My apologies for lack of pictures. My daughter dropped our digital camera in the pool and it is fried. I will see if I can work some miracle with my cell phone to add later.)

I printed out all the words, cut each out individually and backed with colored paper that was cut about 1/2" larger than the white sheet. (Yes, this took some time, but it also made it much easier to prep for the following weeks!)

I left some colored pages blank and utilized the Detective Clueless idea. I wrote scriptures in very small handwriting on the colored pages and told the kids which file to look in to fill in the blank. We would start singing at the beginning of a verse and stop when we came to a blank. That way, we ended up singing through each verse multiple times. We also got to use the scriptures and learn more about Jesus' baptism.

It took us a couple of weeks to get all the way through the song and fill in the blanks. Then for review, since I had all the words on seven different colors of construction paper, we used "exploding water", as my kids call it, and sang the whole thing through 7 times. They love watching the water bubble over and get so excited trying to guess what color will come up next.


First - my apologies also for slacking in the posting department. This singing/sharing time took place about 2 months ago but things have been super busy for us.

We were having a little trouble with lack of reverence. Not just the children but teachers too! So our Primary president called and asked if I could teach the children "Reverence Is Love" during her sharing time. Which got me to thinking, "What is reverence? How can I teach this song and keep it fun and interesting while reverent at the same time?" Sign language! So I picked out the main words, looked them up on an online ASL site and memorized the song.

Our president began by assigning a "noise" to each class. For instance, the Sunbeams mooed the next class counted to 10 repeatedly, etc. Then she told them that when she raised her hand, they were all to make their assigned noises and stop when she lowered her hand. She then told of Jesus and the money changers in the temple, raising and lowering her hand at appropriate times. She also discussed the meaning of reverence and how we can show reverence and then turned the time over to me.

I told the children that I wanted to teach them a special song about reverence but that they would have to be reverent to learn it. I'm no soloist, but I did sing and sign at the same time (ask your pianist to slow down if you want to try this!). Then I invited them all to sing and sign with me anything they could remember but to particulary watch for the sign for "reverence". After 2 times through, I asked if anyone noticed what the sign was. Then we went through the first line, learning words and signs. Then added the second line, sang from the beginning. Then added the third line, sang from the beginning. Etc. To finish, I had them sing the song twice through, once with words, the second time only with signs.

The Spirit was so strong. And the kids love the song. We are going to sing it as a part of our program to help the reverence in our sacrament meeting as well.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Hit or Miss Game

This Sunday is the fifth sunday, and I have the entire singing/sharing time. I wanted a game where we could sing like crazy and review songs, but also have fun.

This idea was inspired by someone with the idea of "musicship"...but I can't remember who.

****I just got a comment referring me to the correct site. The Crazy Chorister was the one I got the original idea from. Thanks to Dana who sent this information!****

I tweaked it a little to make it work for our primary and what we needed to get accomplished.

On a poster board, I made a grid: 1-6 across the top and A-G going down the sides. I cut out 3x3 squares of cardstock to fill in the blank spaces. The children will come up (for Juniors) and pick a square and the older kids can just call out coordinates (A2) for example. Behind the square will either be a symbol or blank. If it's blank, we don't do anything, and have someone else pick another square.

I have 3 different symbols on different colors of cardstock; a 4 stars, 11 ships, and 6 flowers. On each of the symbols, I penciled in a song title.

All of the cards will be faced down, as so:

The ships represent the program songs. (I divided up the verses, so one ship would represent "How Firm a Foundation (verse 1)" and another ship would have "How Firm a Foundation (verse 3)".

The flowers
represent songs we will be singing at the retirement center in two weeks. These are "non-denominational songs". We have our Father's day songs, one of our mother's day songs, I am a Child of God, Wise and Foolish Man, etc. You could just do wiggle songs for these.

The stars represent "free choice", where the child can pick any primary song he wants.

For most of the songs, I will have a little bag with papers inside, with different ways to sing the song. I thought about bringing my dice, but it's getting hard enough for me to move around without carrying a ton of stuff. These papers might say "sing staccato, stand on one leg, loud and soft (I have sticks with a lion and a mouse that they can alternate during the song), girls sing, boys sing, don't sing words that begin with "H", etc. If they have a rough time with a verse, we'll probably review a little and sing it again.

****It would be fun to have a picture or phrase or something underneath all of the squares that they slowly uncover. However, leaving it blank, you can use the poster over and over, just rearrange the cards and erase the song titles for different ones as needed****

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Teaching scramble game

I'm excited to share something that worked AWESOME for me today. This can be used with ANY song, but worked particularly well with this one, since it wasn't "wordy" and on the slow side.

(This was for SENIOR primary. I'm working much more slowly with the Jr'.s and have been doing more basic activities with simple visuals. I think Jr.'s could do this if there were pictures, rather than words)

Last week I introduced this song with this awesome idea from this blog
Some changes I did were: My pictures were on half a sheet of colored paper, I didn't use Popsicle sticks (just the picture backed on colored paper), and I changed some of the words that were colored to fit the visuals I could find...not change the words themselves of course, but which words were colored. :) For example, I didn't color the word "Obedience" as that was a visual I found hard to find, but colored "Father" instead. I tried to have the same amount of colored words per verse. I hope that wasn't too confusing! :)

Anyway, I felt this song was simple enough to introduce ALL three verses at once. Then I could work on individual verses as needed.

This week, I wanted to focus on the 2ND verse of Baptism.

I cut out 2 1/4" in. strips from a poster board (4 of them) and wrote the four phrases on them, like this:

I took the four strips to church with me. We sang through the 3 verses, using the idea from last week, where the kids stand up on the words of the picture. Then I posted the four strips on the blackboard with magnets, in a mixed up order. I called on a volunteer to put the strips in order while the rest of the primary sang with the poster.

She was able to do it, no problem. So then I challenged them to do something harder. I took a pair of scissors and chopped a few of the phrases up like this:
Then the first volunteer and I mixed up the phrases again and called on another volunteer to come up and put the phrases together and in the right order. They started rearranging the pieces the same time we started singing the verse.

If they were unable to put the pieces back together before we finished singing the "round" was not mastered. I would let them finish putting the pieces back together while we waited (usually just a few seconds), we'd mix them up and call on another person to try. If they DID succeed in putting the phrases back together before we finished singing, it was too "easy" so I chopped a paper or two to make 1 or 2 more pieces.

We have more than 20 kids in Sr. primary and everyone who wanted to have a turn (which was all but one or two) got to have a chance at unscrambling the phrases. They loved it! Sometimes I had to remind the others to keep singing as they were caught up in the volunteer's efforts. I held up the poster with all the words until I noticed that the kids were singing, but no longer looking at the words. YAY! :)

This is how the pieces looked on the board after every turn. I'd have the volunteer who just finished rearranging the pieces, help me mix them up again.

***Towards the end, when there were the most pieces, I brought out my conducting baton (I never use this...I still have it from my band directing days...) and they could just point to the scattered pieces as we sang them. I've heard of people using fly swatters and swatting the phrases...but as this is a more reverent song, I didn't feel that was appropriate.****

Saturday, May 16, 2009


I just wanted to put up a brief note about my lack of posting. My main excuse is that I don't have anything original and the ladies with links on the side of the blog have come up with lots of good things.

My second excuse is I'm due to have a baby soon (could come next week...but not due till June) and have not found the energy to do anything elaborate or even worth posting.

I'm not giving up yet, just wanted to explain the absence of posts. I hope you all are finding wonderful ideas to help your sunday's out!