Sunday, November 25, 2012

Christmas Hats

This is a twist on zoo hats.  I purchased these hats at Michael's for on the cheap!  I also added a felt Santa hat into the mix.

I found these adorable singing cards here.  (Check out the link...there are a tons of them!).

Simply have a child draw a card & help lead the rest of the children in "Do as I'm Doing" Christmas style!  If there's a hat that corresponds to the card chosen, put it on the child's head.

*I made my own card for the snowman hat.  The action was "MELT" like a snowman.  I also used it when singing "Once there was a Snowman".

Decorate the Tree

This activity is an oldy but a goody!  Again, junior primary typically enjoys it more.

Place the tree on the chalkboard & the decorations in a sack.  Have the children take turns decorating the tree, singing a song after each ornament is chosen.

Gifts from the Savior

I have done this activity the past couple years & I LOVE it.  It invites the spirit & really emphasizes the true meaning of Christmas.  I typically like to do it the Sunday before Christmas.

1.  Gather various pictures that show "gifts" the Savior has given to us...I usually get mine from a Gospel Art Kit.  Objects can also be used.
2.  Wrap the pictures individually or place them in gift sacks & put them under a small Christmas tree.  If you don't want to take a tree to church, print off a picture of one & place it on the chalkboard.
3.  Have a child come up & open a gift.
4.  Show the picture to the rest of the children & ask if they know what the gift is.  Discuss the gift & bear testimony of it.
5.  Place the picture on the chalkboard (if using a picture of a Christmas tree, place the "gifts" underneath the tree).
6.  Sing a song that corresponds with the pictured gift.
7.  Close by showing a picture of the ultimate gift:  the atonement/crucifixion.  Discuss what a great blessing this is & bear testimony of it.  Encourage the children to remember the true meaning of Christmas...the birth & life of our Savior.  Sing "He Sent His Son" page 37.

Possible gifts/song include:
President Monson - We are blessed to have Latter-Day prophets to guide us.
Stand for the Right pg 159
Latter-Day prophets pg 134

Temple - Temples make it possible for us to be sealed to our families for all eternity.
I Love to see the Temple pg 95

Baptism - Jesus Christ set the example & was baptized just like each of us are/will be when we are 8.  When we are baptized, we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost who is always there to guide & comfort us.
Baptism pg 100
When I am Baptized pg 103
The Holy Ghost pg 105

Scriptures - We are blessed to have many tools to guide us & help us know how to return to our Heavenly Father & Savior.  The scriptures are one of them.
Scripture Power
Book of Mormon Stories pg 118

Prayer - We are not alone.  We can pray & ask for guidance/help any time.
A Child's Prayer pg 12

Families - We were given our parents & families to guide us here on earth.  If we live righteously, we will get to live with them for all eternity.
Families can be Together Forever pg 188

His Example - Jesus gave us a perfect example to follow.  If we live our lives like He did & always choose the right, we will receive the gift of living with Him for all eternity.
I'm Trying to be Like Jesus pg 78
Jesus Once was a Little Child pg 55

Church - We are blessed to be members of the church.  We get to come to church each week & learn about the Savior.  Our testimonies are strengthened when we do so.  We are taught exactly what to do to return to His presence.
I Belong to the Church of Jesus Christ pg 77

Obviously there are MANY more blessings that can be added to this list.  The great thing about this activity is that it can be repeated year after year simply by adding different gifts.

Here is a clipart image for those of you who don't want to haul a tree to church! 

Gingerbread Man

This idea was originally seen here.  It works best for junior primary.  I went to JoAnn's looking for the gingerbread kit, but I couldn't find it.  I ended up just making my own out of craft foam.

Place the undecorated gingerbread man on the board.  Place the decorations in a sack/container.  Have the children assemble him, singing a Christmas song after every piece is chosen.

Snowball Fight

This activity is SO easy & the kids LOVE it.

Make "snowballs" that say either "hit" or "miss" on them...this can be done easily using white card stock & a circle punch (mine are about the size of a quarter).  Place the "snowballs" in a sack.  Divide the room into 2 teams.  Take turns having a child from each team "throw a snowball".  If they draw a "hit", their team gets a point & they get to pick the song.  If they draw a "miss", no points are given & the chorister picks the song.

*A fun twist is to play hot potato with a styrofoam ball to determine who gets to come up.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Thanksgiving "Headbanz"

My kids LOVE the game "Headbanz".  This is a variation of a game seen here.  I tried it last year & it definitely worked the best with senior primary.

You will need:
-Headband (I used the one from my game but you can also make one out of paper & hold the feather on with a paperclip)
-Paper feathers with gospel topics/people written on them.

Have a child come up & put the headband on.  Put a feather on the headband without him/her seeing it. Next the child asks yes/no questions to try & figure out what the feather says.  For example, "Am I a person?", "Am I a Thing?", "Can you read me?" etc.  If this is too difficult, you can have the rest of the primary children give the child clues to help them figure out what is written on their feather.  For example, clues for the Holy Ghost could be "I help you choose the right", "You feel warm inside when I am talking to you", "I can comfort you when you are sad or afraid", etc.  Once the correct answer is given, sing a song that corresponds.

Pumpkin Pie

Who doesn't love pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving dinner?  I have used this visual in several different ways.  I made it years ago when I taught school & I no longer have the book I got it from.  Sorry!  But you could easily make one yourself.

Variation 1:
Place the empty pie container on the board.  Write songs/numbers on the pumpkin pie pieces & place them in a sack/container.  Have a child come up & pick a piece of pie.  Sing the song on the back.  Tape the pie piece to the container.

*You could also have each child say what their favorite thing to eat is at Thanksgiving dinner!

Variation 2:
This is fun to do as a game.  Divide the room into two teams & place two empty pie containers on the board.  Place all the pumpkin pie pieces in a sack/container. Formulate questions pertaining to topics taught during sharing time this year.  Tape a question on the back of the pie pieces.  Take turns having a child from each team draw a pie piece & answer the question.  If they answer correctly, they get to tape their pie piece to the container.  Sing a song that corresponds with the topic. The first team to have a whole pie WINS (or the team with the most full pie at the end of singing time).

Variation 3:
Write songs on the pie pieces.  Place a whole pie on the board.  Have a child come up & pick a piece of pie.  Sing the song on the back.

Turkey Toss

For this activity you will need:
6-8 blown up balloons
6-8 paper turkeys
Bean bags or another soft object that can be thrown

This idea was originally found here.  Write songs/numbers on the back of each turkey.  Tape each paper turkey to a blown up balloon & line them up in a row on a table.  Have a child come up and toss the bean bag at a turkey.  Sing the song on the back.

Turkey Bowl

For this activity, you will need:
Bowling pins (I picked mine up at Target)
Paper turkeys
A small ball or a small fake pumpkin

Write song names on the back of each turkey.  Have a child softly roll the ball/pumpkin toward the pins.  If the child knocks down one pin, that's the song you sing.  If they knock down a few pins, they can choose between the songs.  If the child bowls a strike, they get to chose their favorite primary song.  Once a song is chosen, I remove that pin.

This is the clipart image I used.

Shoot the Turkey/Pluck the Turkey

Variation 1:  Shoot the Turkey
I have done this activity the past 3 years & it is a definite crowd pleaser.  Be warned it can get a little rowdy!

You will need:
A paper turkey
Paper feathers with gospel topics written on them
A Nerf gun

Have a child come up & take a shot at Thomas E. Normous using the Nerf gun... I used the name tag in the middle of my turkey for the target.  If they hit the target, they get to pluck a feather.  Have the child think of a primary song that corresponds with the feather they chose.

Here is a list of potential topics & songs:
Holy Ghost - The Holy Ghost p. 105
Eternal Life - I Lived in Heaven p. 4
Savior/Example - Jesus Once was a Little Child p. 55 or I'm Trying to be Like Jesus p.78
Atonement - He Sent His Son p. 34
Baptism - Baptism p. 100 or When I am Baptized p.103
Happiness - If You're Happy & You Know It p. 266
Friends - Here We Are Together p. 261
Church - The Church of Jesus Christ p. 77
Primary Songs - The child's favorite primary song
Testimony - The Church of Jesus Christ p. 77 or I am a Child of God p. 1
Knowledge - The Wise Man & the Foolish Man p. 281
Prophets - Latter Day Prophets p. 134 or Follow the Prophet p. 110
Health/Bodies - The Lord Gave me a Temple p. 153 or Hinges p. 277
Prayer - Children All Over the World p. 16
Eternal Family - Families Can be Together Forever p. 188
Nature - Popcorn Popping p. 242 or Once There was a Snowman p. 249
Heavenly Father - My Heavenly Father Loves Me p. 228

Variation 2:  Pluck the Turkey

Simply have a child come up & pick a feather off the turkey.  You can have topics written on the feathers or have blank feathers so the child can say something they are thankful for.  Either way, sing a song that corresponds.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Primary Music Jeopardy

Sorry for my absence...Disneyland was calling!!!

Primary programs are just around the corner! It's crazy how fast a year goes by.  Here is a darling idea that I observed a chorister doing in the ward I visited today.  It's perfect for program review.

This game was played in classic Jeopardy style.  Categories included: Who?, Next Line, What?, & Rhythm.  Examples of questions for each category are as follows:

As a Child of God - You!
Stand for the Right - The man who leads our church.
Wise Man & the Foolish Man - 2 people.  One was smart & one was not so bright.
Nephi's Courage - One of Lehi's sons.  He was very righteous & had lots of courage.
I'm Trying to be Like Jesus - We should all strive to follow this person's example.
When I am Baptized -  All of us when we turn 8.

Next Line
Simply provide the child with the first part of a phrase/line to the song & have them fill in the rest.  For example, "Choose the Right, there is _____   ___   ____________   ______" (peace in righteous doing).

Stand for the Right - What the prophet wants us to do.
As a Child of God - The "power" & "light" each of us has been blessed with.
Choose the Right - We all have agency & can choose what path we want to follow.
When I am Baptized - An opportunity to choose the right we are given at age 8.
Wise Man & Foolish Man - We make the wise choice by living gospel principles.
Nephi's Courage - Heavenly Father has provided the way & will always help us obey.
I'm Trying to be Like Jesus - We should fill our lives with things that invite the spirit.

Clap out the rhythm for the first line of each program song.  You could also call the category "Name that Tune" & have the pianist play the first few notes.

This game can be played in teams or as a choosing time with one child coming up & answering individually.  If playing in teams & the choosing team is unable to answer the question, the opposite team gets a chance to respond correctly.

Thanks, Sally!  Great idea.

Monday, August 27, 2012


It's that time of year again...College football season!  This is HUGE at our house.

This game is super simple & can be used to review any songs you'd like.  It's always a hit...especially with senior primary.  Simply print off several copies of the following image & cut into small cards:

Then write numbers on the back of the cards to represent points scored during a football game: 

1- Extra Point
2- 2 point Conversion
3- Field Goal
6- Touch Down

Place the cards in a sack to draw from (you don't want the kids to be able to see the points on the back).  Divide the children into 2 teams (I usually just do the 2 sides of the room).  Take turns having a child from the each team come up & draw a football.  Whatever card they draw is how many points their team scored.  Sing the song you want to practice following each "play".  

*It's fun to pass a small football around each side of the room while the pianist plays (hot potato) to determine who gets to come up.  

*You can also have a coin toss to see which team gets to start the game.

Have fun! GO UTES!!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

"Time" for School

Can you believe it's already time to go back to school?  Where has the summer gone?  I picked up this clock from the dollar section at Target.  I have also seen them at the dollar store, Michael's, & Utah Idaho Supply.  If you feel really ambitious, you could make your own or just use an old clock from your house.

Assign numbers 1-6 on the clock to a song you want to sing.  Numbers 7-12 tell how to sing the song.  For example: robot, cowboy, granny, boys only, girls only, etc.  You can put pictures on the numbers to represent what & how to sing.  For example: a rock for "The Wise Man & the Foolish Man", a bee for "Stand for the Right", a rainbow for "When I am Baptized", a lightbulb for "As a Child of God", a picture of the Savior for "I'm Trying to be like Jesus", a sword or boat for "Nephi's Courage", a CTR shield for "Choose the Right".  They're not necessary, but they do make it more interesting!  

Have a child come up and move the hands on the clock.  Then tell the children what "time" it is & sing the song accordingly.

Zoo Hats

Do you ever feel like you are putting on a three-ringed circus?  I know that there are weeks when I definitely feel like this. When this occurs, I stop what I am doing & pull out my zoo hats.  These hats were purchased at Michael's a few years back, but I have seen them there again recently.

I use my animal cards that I found here.  You could also just make up your own; for example, slither like a snake (sway your body) or swim like a shark (use hands to make a fin).  Use your imagination!

Simply call a child up & have them choose a card.  Put the hat on their head that corresponds to the card & follow the directions while you sing "Do As I am Doing".  SO FUN!!!  Even the older boys & girls love this...although I am sure you'll never get them to admit it!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Say What???

This game is a variation of the board game "Mad Gab" & is a fun way to review program songs.  The original idea was found here.  "Say What?" was published in the Friend Magazine originally in July 2010  & then again January & July of 2011.

The nonsense phrases from the January 2011 issue reinforce this month's theme nicely...all are ways we can fill our lives with things that invite the spirit.  Print off the sayings & glue them to the back of footprints.  Place the footprints in a bag or container that the children can draw from.  Put a picture of the Savior on the upper corner of the chalkboard.  Have a child draw a footprint & say the phrases out loud...It works best if they say each word one time slowly & then connected as fast as they can.  Have the rest of the children try to figure out what is being said.  Lastly, place the footprint(s) on the chalkboard "walking" toward the Savior.  Sing a program song that corresponds with each nonsense phrase.

Close by bearing testimony that Heavenly Father & the Savior have made it easy for us to return to live with them.  If we follow Jesus' "footsteps" & fill our lives with those things that invite the spirit, we will be greatly blessed.  Explain that if they are ever doing something that they feel ugly inside about, they should stop doing it...that is the spirit telling them it is wrong.

The children love the craziness of this activity.  I have even made up my own before to target specific songs for practice.  Have fun!!!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Welcoming Visitors & New Children

It's always fun to sing to new children &/or visitors!  Make them feel welcome by having them come to the front of the room to be introduced & sung to.

1. Flags
Have one of the new children/visitors select a flag.  Sing the "Hello Song" & replace the word "hello" with the way you say "hello" in that country.  Flags can be purchased inexpensively at Zurchers or Utah Idaho Supply.  Here are some fun ways to say "hello" from around the world:

Israel - Shalom
Great Britain - Cheerio
Italy - Ciao
France - Bonjour
Mexico - Hola
China - Ni Hao
Germany - Guten Tag
Japan - Konnichiwa
Austraila - G'day Mate
Argentina - Buen dia
Greece - Geia sou
India - Namaste
Kenya - Jambo
Netherlands - Hallo
Russia - Privet
Ireland - Dia dhuit
United States - What's up, Aloha (Hawaii), Yo

2. Sing "The Church of Jesus Christ" - Explain to the children that the church is the same no matter where we go.

3. Sing "Here We are Together" - This only works if there are multiple visitors &/or newbies.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I'm Trying to be Like Jesus

This month's song is "I'm Trying to be Like Jesus".  The children in my ward already know this song so rather than spend the whole time teaching it, I will be incorporating it in a choosing time.

Make or print off several "footsteps".  I got mine here.   Write song titles for practice on the back of each footstep.  Next, prepare "directions" (boys only, girls only, hum, teachers only, leave out a word, children wearing black/blue etc).  I will be using visuals I found in this book.  These can also be slips of paper with directions written on them.  Place footsteps & directions in two separate containers for the children to draw from.  Sing the chosen song according to the direction selected.

Another idea is to place the directions for singing in a "singing cube" instead of drawing them from a container.  I made this awhile back and the children LOVE rolling it.  I have used it in countless different ways.

Begin this activity with a discussion of how we can try to be like the Savior & where we can find directions of how to do so.  Close by bearing your testimony of the blessings we will receive if we strive to follow Jesus' example.

You say it's your birthday???

Birthdays....what to do?  The children LOVE being in the spotlight on their birthday.  I have tried to think of a different idea each year to change it up & make the children look forward to getting sung to on their special day.



Crazy Hat & Glasses

*Glasses were purchased from Old Navy & hats from Justice.

Another great idea??? How about balloons?  See here.

Saturday, July 28, 2012


I did this activity during the last summer olympic games & it was a hit to say the least. The great thing about this activity is that you can stretch it out over multiple weeks!

I chose who got to come up by passing a torch around the room while the pianist played (hot potato style).  I fashioned my torch out of a flashlight & colored cellophane.  This was fun because you could actually turn it on & it looked like flames.  Another idea is to make one out of a toilet paper roll & tissue or construction paper.  See here.

The following activities served as our "games":
Basketball - I brought my Little Tikes basketball hoop.  Have the child try to make a basket.  If they make it, they get to choose the song.  If not, you choose it.
Long Jump - Place three papers spaced evenly in a row on the floor that read "Chorister's Pick", "Teacher's Pick", "Your Pick".  Have them see how far they can jump.  Whatever paper they land on or closest to determines the song.
Swimming - Have the child come up & lead the group in "Do as I am Doing" swimming (swimmer's arms).  This would also work for running, rowing, Equestrian, Taekwando etc.
Archery - Walmart & Harmon's both sell inexpensive bow & arrow sets.  Make a target & place it on the bulletin board.  Have them try their skills...if they hit the target, they pick the song.  If not, you pick the song.  You could also make a target that has different ways to sing the song. Whichever one they hit is how you sing.  For example: hum, stop/go, fast/slow, quiet/loud.  I have visuals I've made that say each of these...the child gets to raise & lower them while everyone else follows.  This would also work for shooting using a Nerf gun.
Volleyball - Have the children pass a beach ball around the room while singing.  A balloon would also work.
Diving - Have the child stand on a chair & try to drop a polly pocket into a mason jar or other container with a smaller opening.  Another idea is to use a clothes pin. See here.
Gymnastics - Sing "Hinges".  Gymnasts definitely have to have hinges!!!
Javelin - Have the child throw a swim noodle.  Again, you can place distances on the floor using tape or papers to determine how to sing the song or which song to sing.
Karate - Have the child karate chop a plastic Easter egg or other object that breaks open easily.  Have  the name of the song to sing inside the egg.

Use your imagination with this activity...the possibilities are endless!!! Check out for more awesome ideas.

You can give each child a "gold medal" at the end.  When I did this, I used gold candy coins that I purchased from Harmon's.  Rolos are another option.

Have fun!