Saturday, August 23, 2014


Here are is a fun activity for back-to-school...I have posted this before, but this time I have adapted it to be done with this year's program songs.


Fill a backpack with various school supplies.  Attach the saying to each one.  Have a child choose an item from the backpack and then sing the corresponding song.

Glue Stick Stick to the Savior’s example like glue.  If you do so, you will always 
choose the right.  
Song: "He Sent His Son" p. 37

Pencil -  The scriptures contain the written words of Prophets.  We can read them to
learn how to return to our Heavenly Father and Savior.
Song: Your song of choice about prophets.

Crayons - Priesthood ordinances and temple work "color" our lives... they bless us and
make it possible for our families to be together forever.  
Song:  Your song of choice.

Sharpener - Stay “sharp” and be in-tune. When you're baptized and confirmed, you 
become a member of the church & receive the Holy Ghost.  He will comfort and
guide you and help you know the truth.  
Song:  "Baptism" p. 100

Eraser - Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can repent and be forgiven of our
sins.  We can "erase" our mistakes! 
Song:  "I Stand All Amazed" p. 193 Hymn Book

Calculator - The best way to “calculate” how to return to Heavenly Father is to follow 
His plan.
Song:  "I Will Follow God's Plan" p. 164

Ruler - Parents and children have important responsibilities in families.  Children can show love to their parents by obeying them and keeping the "rules".
Song:  "The Family is of God" p. 28-29 of Sharing Time Outline
Scissors - “Cut” things from your life that aren’t pleasing to Heavenly Father.  
Participating in wholesome activities will strengthen you and your family.  
Song:  "Seek the Lord Early" p. 108

Sunday, July 6, 2014


As I am sure you know, this month's song is "Baptism".  Most of your kiddos should at least be familiar with it.  Last time it was a program song, this is how I introduced it & it worked really well.  This activity works well for reviewing the song also.

Place a picture of Christ being baptized on the chalkboard/bulletin board at the front of the room.  Dress up like a news reporter...I wore a trench coat, a sticker on my chest that said "Primary Singing Time News", and carried a microphone and/or notebook & pencil.  You could also have someone else with a video camera follow you around.

Enter the room and introduce yourself...for example, "This is Sister Lewis with Primary Singing Time News".  Next ask the children "who", "what", "where", "when", "why", and "how" questions in the order of the song and take notes of their answers.  For example, for the first line of the song, point to Jesus and John the Baptist and ask, "Who are these people?"  Then ask another child "where are they?" (in Judea).  "When is this happening?"  (Long ago).  Then play their answers back... "Okay, let me make sure I have this straight.  "Jesus came to John the Baptist in Judea long ago.  Is that right?"  Have the children sing the portion of the song you've just asked questions about.  Proceed in the same fashion with the rest of the song.

As I ask questions and get the children's answers, it works well to place pictures/visuals that correspond to each portion of the song on the board.  Then as I play their answers back and as they sing, I point to each picture.

Have fun with this one!  The kids love it.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Family is of God

I originally found an awesome lesson plan for "The Family is of God" on the blog,  Pergler's Primary Place.  It incorporates the proclamation to the family.  I thought it could easily be adapted for singing time.  

-Wrap a picture of a family.  Present it to the children.

-“Inside this present is a picture of a gift from Heavenly Father.”

-“Raise your hand if you like to give gifts? Put your hand down and think of someone you have given a gift to. Why did you give that gift to that person? Was it because you love them?”

-“Our Heavenly Father gave us this gift (refer to the wrapped present) because He loves us. Listen to this song for a clue about what Heavenly Father’s gift is and then I’ll let you guess what it is.”

-Play the song for children.

-Let the children guess what the gift from Heavenly Father is and then unwrap the present.

-“Why did God give us families?”  Listen to the song again & take answers from the children.

-Hold up “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”.  “In 1995, the prophet, President Hinckley, issued this proclaiming, ‘the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.’  Successful families work together…when family life is founded on the teachings of Jesus Christ, we can be happy!  This means when we follow the Savior’s example and do what He has asked us to do, we can be happy with our families…both on earth and through eternity!”
- “Our new song for April is ‘The Family Is of God’. We are going to learn about the special responsibilities parents have and also how we can honor and help our parents.   I have a series of homes filled with love.  You will come up and pick a heart…each one has part of the song on it and something important about families.  Then you will place the heart in this happy home and help create an eternal family.”

-A Primary child will select a heart from a house.  Start with house #1.  Each heart has a verse from the song written on it…have the hearts coordinate with whatever chart or visual you are using to teach the song.  I placed blank house images up on the board & then wrote the verse to the song on a heart (I used the same image for the heart).  I then taped/velcroed the heart to the house image.   Have the child read the heart (or read it for them) and place it in the house (create the paper house below or use a toy house).  Present the corresponding portion of your visual and then sing it.  Discuss/explain & share personal stories/testimony where needed.  Continue with the remaining hearts/houses, adding lines to the song and singing as you go.

-Close by bearing testimony of the importance of families. 

Love at Home clipart can be found at

Sunday, March 2, 2014

I Stand All Amazed

This month's song is "I Stand All Amazed".  Teaching hymns can be tricky.  They often contain difficult vocabulary & concepts.  It's important to really break down the lyrics for the children to be sure they understand what they're singing about.

I recently held a training for the choristers in our stake at our Primary Leadership Training.  I assigned each of the choristers a song from this year's outline & asked them to share how they would teach it.  Below are Sister Grant's thoughts on "I Stand All Amazed".

These need to be slightly adapted depending on the age of the children.

1. This song is about the atonement of Jesus Christ. When we say "atonement," we are talking about Jesus' suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross.

2. How many of you have ever broken an arm or leg, or hurt yourself in some way? (Most children will raise their hands, and a few will want to share their experiences, so it's important to keep things reined in at this point :) ).
3. When we sin, our spirit gets hurt, kind of like getting a broken arm or leg. But we can't make our spirit all better by ourselves. We need Jesus' help.
4. In the Garden and on the cross, in some way we don't completely understand, Jesus was able to take our sins and suffering upon himself. This means that when we repent (i.e., recognize our wrong, apologize, promise never to do it again), Jesus can take the hurt out of us and into himself, and he overcomes it--he makes it better. This is an amazing gift that Jesus has given us!
5. "I Stand All Amazed" is a song about being grateful for Jesus' atonement. There are some grown-up words that we can learn about so we understand this song better. (Each music leader could pick the words to focus on. Possibilities include amazed, confused, grace, proffers, and/or crucified.)
On another topic, a friend asked how to explain to children the scripture about the earth being "utterly wasted" if temple work isn't done (see D&C 138:47-48, also D&C 2). Here is the explanation I gave him. It occurred to me that this might be helpful for the month when we're teaching a family history song.
Before we came to earth, we lived with our Heavenly Father. While we were there, we made promises to help our family members. Some of our family members came to earth before us, when the gospel wasn't on the earth. It was very brave of them and they had many challenges because they didn't have the gospel.

We promised these family members that when we came to earth, we would help them get the blessings of the gospel. We would find out who they were, and we would go to the temple to be baptized for them and receive other gospel ordinances so they could be together forever as families.
Now we're on the earth. Do we remember our life with Heavenly Father? That's right, we don't. So how can we remember those promises we made to our family members before us? Well, Heavenly Father said in this scripture that he would put those promises in our hearts. So even if we don't remember them with our heads, we will feel them in our hearts. We will want to help our ancestors by going to the temple for them so they can have all the blessings of the gospel, and be together forever as families.
Did you know that when we do temple work for our family members who have died, we also make our own families stronger? Doing temple work for our families is so important! In fact, in this scripture, the Lord says that if we don't do it, the earth will be in really bad trouble by the time he comes back. (That would probably be enough for Junior Primary; for Senior Primary, we could talk more about the problems we see around us in the world because of the war on families.)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


For this activity, you will need bowling pins (I picked mine up at Target), paper ghosts, and a small ball or pumpkin. Write song titles on the back of the ghosts and tape them to the bowling pins.  Set the pins up and have a child roll the ball toward them.  If the child knocks down one pin, that's the song you sing.  If a few pins are knocked down, he or she can choose between the songs.  If a strike is bowled, the child gets to choose his or her favorite primary song.  Once a song is chosen, remove that pin.  You could also just tape the ghosts to the pins without songs written on the back.  If the child bowls a strike, he or she gets to pick the song.  If not, the chorister picks.

Halloween Ring Toss 
This idea was found on  Use 6 empty 2-liter pop bottles as bowling pins (wrap them with Halloween scrapbook paper to make them cute).  Use diving rings or paper plates with the middles cut out for your rings.  Put a number on the top of each lid to represent a song to sing.  Choose a child to try throwing a ring around a bottle...each child gets 3 chances.   

Mummy Wrap
This activity is super simple and the children always love it.  You will need several rolls of toilet paper.  Select two children to come up…one to be the mummy and one to wrap the toilet paper.  Have the child wrap the other in toilet paper like a mummy while the rest of the children sing a song.

Witches Brew
This activity was seen on  You will need a large pot (cauldron), straws, and clipart images to serve as “ingredients” (for example, a bat, pumpkin, ghost, spider, etc.).  Write a song to sing on the back of each one.  Choose a child to suck up an stew ingredient with the straw and put it in the pot.  Sing the corresponding song.

This idea came from  Place TRICK, TREAT, or SHARE cards in a trick-or-treat bag.  Choose a child to pick a card from the basket.  If a TRICK CARD is chosen, the child will have to do a music trick.  Possible tricks are:
1.         Line up prophet photos in order and then sing “Latter-day Prophets” as a group.
2.         Line up all of the Book of Mormon books in order and then sing “Books of the Book of Mormon” as a group.
3.         Sing “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” backwards with the motions as a group.

If a TREAT CARD is chosen, special music treats are given.  For example:
1.        Girls sing for the boys
2.        Boys sing for the girls
3.        Teachers sing to the Primary children

If a SHARE CARD is chosen, the children pick their favorite song.  They could also lead the music, play the piano (if they know how to play), sing a solo, etc. 

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Primary Program Review

Dr. Diagnosis
This idea is courtesy of my creative friend who is also a chorister.  Have a man in your ward dress up like a doctor…we were fortunate to have an actual doctor in our ward who was willing to participate.  He brought his own bag and instruments.  However, a toy doctor kit would also work.  Outfit the doctor with a white lab coat and a clipboard.

Print out a form for each song beforehand with instructions on how the song needs to be improved…this is for the chorister’s and doctor’s eyes-only!  Introduce “Dr. Diagnosis” to the children and explain that he heard some of their program songs were “sick” and needed a doctor’s special attention.  Present the doctor with a patient (song) to be diagnosed (give him the form for the chosen song).  As you sing each of the songs, have Dr. Diagnosis wander around the room…he can listen to the children’s hearts with his stethoscope, shine is light in their mouths, feel their foreheads for fever, check their ears, pretend to give shots, etc.  After each song, have him give his diagnosis.

Songs may need the following:
Shot:  " shot of enthusiasm"
Alcohol:  "to clean it up...a little sloppy"
Blood Pressure Cuff:  "pump it up"
Pills:  "relieve the pain" (doesn't sound like you are enjoying it)
Tongue Depressor:  "lazy tongue...say words clearly"
Stethoscope:  "work on breathing"
Ointment:  "rub on face to smile more"
Thermometer:  "too hot...too loud...calm down a little" etc.

An incentive poster can also be made.  Title the poster “Primary Song Hospital”.  Write 3 categories across the top of the poster:  Intensive Care Unit, Recovery, and Discharge.  Make slips of paper with song titles and tape them down the side of the poster.  All songs start out in the Intensive Care Unit.  As improvements are made, songs can move to a higher ward in the Primary Song Hospital.  Once all songs have been “discharged”, the children get a reward…a sucker, bouncy ball, or other prize given at a doctor’s office would be cute.

The Greatest Show On Earth
Who doesn’t love going to the circus?  This idea was originally seen at

Introduce the activity by saying, “Tickets please, tickets.  Step right up for the greatest show on earth…The (Your Ward’s Name) Primary Program!”

Place the names of your circus acts and/or games on a spinner.  Have a child spin to see which activity he or she gets to do.  If you don’t have a spinner, adhere names of acts to the sides of a large die or put them on strips of paper in a sack/container.  After the child completes the activity, sing a song.

Possible Circus Acts & Games include:
Duck pond - Place 3 rubber ducks in a row on the table. Have a child choose 1 duck.  If the duck with the “x” on the bottom is chosen, he or she gets to pick how to sing the song (use “Sing like a…” discs found at  If not, sing normal.

Tight Rope – Lay a rope out on the ground.  Have a child pick a paper strip describing how to perform tricks on the rope (while the group sings a song).  Tricks can include:  normal, sideways, backwards, one arm in air, toe to heel, eyes closed, etc.

Lion Tamer - Tape paper flames around a hula-hoop.  Pick 2 children…one to hold the hula-hoop while the other throws a stuffed lion through it. Give 3 chances…if all 3 go through the hoop, the child chooses how to sing the song. 
Clown Alley - Have a child dress up like a clown & lead the song.

Pin the nose on the clown (Hot-n-Cold) – Place a large picture of a clown on the chalkboard.  Blindfold a child and give him or her a red nose to pin on the clown.  Tell the other children to sing loud when the child is near where the nose should go and soft when he or she is far away.

Ring Toss – I found an inexpensive ring toss game at Toys-r-Us.  However, 2-liter bottles and a diving ring could also be used.  Have a child try to toss the rings on the stakes/bottles.  Determine how many rings the child has to get on to win…if he or she succeeds, have him or her pick how to sing the song.  If not, sing normal.

Juggler – Have a child try to juggle while the rest of the children sing a song.

Guess Your Weight – Bring a scale from home.  Pick two children…one to step on the scale and the other to guess how much the child weighs.  If the child guesses within 5 pounds of the actual weight, he or she gets to choose which program song to sing.

Milk Bottle Game – Place a stack of cans or bottles on a table…I used plastic bowling pins.  Have a child throw a ball and try to knock them all over.  If he or she succeeds, have him or her pick which program song to sing.

An incentive poster for passing off songs can also be used.  Title the poster “The Greatest Show on Earth”.  List songs down the side of the poster.  The object is for all songs to earn 3 tickets each.  Each one starts out with zero tickets.  As improvements are made, tape tickets beside the song titles.  Once they’ve all received 3 tickets, the children earn a “circus treat”…for example, a pixie stick, candy circus peanuts, or tootsie rolls.

Primary Singing Olympics
Choose who gets to come up by passing a torch around the room while the pianist plays (hot potato style).  I fashioned my torch out of a flashlight and colored cellophane.  This was fun because you could actually turn it on and it looked like flames.  Another idea is to make one out of a toilet paper roll and tissue or construction paper.

Place each of the game titles in a sack or on a spinner. Have each child who receives the torch draw or spin to see which game he or she will be participating in.  Once a game has been chosen, remove it from the sack or spinner (if using the spinner, add another game after one has been removed). 

The following activities serve as your "games": 

Basketball - I used my Little Tikes basketball hoop but an over-the-door hoop would also work.  Have the child try to make a basket.  If it’s made, he or she gets 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", and “Your Pick".  Have a child see how far he or she can jump.  Whatever paper the child lands on or closest to determines the song. 

Swimming - Have the child lead the group in "Do as I am Doing" swimming (swimmer's arms).  This would also work for running, rowing, Equestrian, Taekwando etc.

Archery - Wal-Mart & Target sell inexpensive bow and arrow sets.  Make a target and place it on the bulletin board.  Have a child try his or her skills...if the target is hit, he or she picks the song.  If not, you pick the song.  You could also make a target that has different ways to sing the song on it.  Whichever one hit is how you sing.  For example: hum, stop/go, fast/slow, quiet/loud, etc.  I have visuals I've made that say each of these...the child gets to raise and 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 and try to drop a Polly Pocket into a mason jar or other container with a smaller opening.  Another idea is to use a clothespin.  If the object goes in the jar, the child gets to choose the song.  If not, you do.

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.

Discus - This is the same thing as the javelin but with a paper plate "discus".

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.

High Jump - Put song titles on small squares of paper and stack them high on the wall.  Have a child jump as high as he or she can to grab a song.

Shot Putt - Put numbers representing songs in the bottom of a muffin tin.  Have a child stand at a line on the floor and see if he or she can toss a cotton ball into one.  Sing the corresponding song.

Give each child a "gold medal" at the end.  Gold candy coins or Rolos work well. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Back to School

School Supplies – Fill a backpack with various school supplies.  Attach the saying to each one.  Have a child choose an item from the backpack and then sing the corresponding song.

Eraser                        We have been blessed with the gift of repentance.  We can “erase” our mistakes!
                                    Repentance p. 98

Glue Stick                 Stick to the Savior’s example like glue.  If you do so, you will always choose the right!
                                    I’m Trying to Be like Jesus p. 178, Jesus Once Was a Little Child p. 59

Pencil                         The scriptures contain the written words of Prophets.  We can read them to learn how to return to our Heavenly Father and Savior.
Book of Mormon Stories p. 118, Seek the Lord Early p. 108, Search, Ponder, and Pray p. 109

Crayons                    Always remember your Primary Colors.  Red is for courage to do what is right, yellow’s for service from morning til night, blue is for truth in your thought and your deed. You will be happy when this is your creed!
                                    Our Primary Colors p. 258

Sharpener                Stay “sharp” and be in-tune.  Always listen for the still small voice.  He will help you choose the right!
                                    The Holy Ghost p. 105

Calculator                The best way to “calculate” how to return to Heavenly Father
                                    is to follow His plan!
                                    I Will Follow God’s Plan p. 164

Ruler                           Always follow Heavenly Father’s “rules”.  If you do, you will be blessed!
                                    Keep the Commandments p. 146

Scissors                      “Cut” things from your life that aren’t pleasing to Heavenly Father.  When we follow the teachings of Jesus and choose the right, we will always be happy!
                                    Choose the Right Way p. 160

Folders – This idea was originally seen Sugardoodle (credit unknown).  Buy different colored school folders and label the fronts with school subjects.  On the inside, write a Primary song that corresponds to the subject.  Have a child choose a folder and then sing the song.  Possible subjects are:

Biology                      My Heavenly Father Loves Me p. 228
Art                              Our Primary Colors p. 258
Anatomy                  Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes p. 275
Music                         Hum Your Favorite Hymn p. 152
Science                     When I Am Baptized p. 103
Reading                    The Books in the Book of Mormon p. 119, Scripture Power
Recess                       Do As I'm Doing p. 276
P.E.                              Hinges p. 277
Math                          Keep the Commandments p. 146
Social Studies           Children All Over the World p. 16
History                        Book of Mormon Stories p. 118
Geography              Called to Serve p. 174