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.