5 Things { That Should be } on Your Primary Chorister Christmas List!

5. Primary Song Sing-Along DVD

Have you seen these before?! They’re like primary song karaoke! With cute and cheesy images that your primary kids will love to laugh at (mine do!) My kids feel super special when I pull this guy out. It makes the PERFECT sub plan, especially if your ward or branch is lacking in confident choristers. This version has several of the songs in the 2013 Theme, like I Am a Child of God and I Love to See the Temple, and some others your primary probably already knows and loves to sing.

4. 101 Music Games for Children


These are some of the best music games I’ve seen. They were developed for Elementary Level music teachers, but you don’t need experience with music to play! (You don’t even need to know how to read music for a lot of them!) SO MANY ideas. They work for all age levels, junior to senior primary. They’re even categorized into games that develop certain skills like listening (my kids need that one!) , concentration, creativity and building trust. Each game listing tells you which age group its appropriate for, what you’ll need and recommended numbers for playing. ANY SIZE primary can use these!

3. Handbells

If your ward doesn’t have a set of these, it’s time to invest. They’re EXCELLENT for Christmas programs (and other times of year too!), and the kids LOVE LOVE LOVE to use these things. Who knew bells would be such a big deal? This set of 8 is the cheapest I’ve found:

You can also get a different style bell, also in a set of 8:

2. Super Singing Activities and Super Little Singers

Ok, so technically this is two things, but one is geared to junior and senior age primary and the other is geared to Nursery. These books are ADORABLE. They have a bunch of ideas AND visual aids that are really cute and totally ready to use. You just cut them out (and I would suggest laminating them). Here’s the one for your main primary:




It comes in book OR CD-ROM format so you can always have the files to print from (handy!), just click on the image of the one you’d rather have. These sets are especially good for new choristers who are trying to build their collection of games and visual aids to choose from!

Who doesn’t need help in with their Nursery singing time. I’m always on the lookout for ways to make mine better. This is the one for Nursery:

1. Children’s Songbook Companion

This book is my absolute number one resource for ideas to use in primary. Especially when it comes to teaching new songs. If you don’t have a copy, you need to get yourself one and fast. I’m thoroughly convinced that every ward should have one to provide to their primary choristers. (Maybe use up any leftovers in your yearly budgets before January?) It’s written by some amazing women, one of whom has written songs published in the Children’s Songbook. For a while I felt like this book was antiquated because it’s all in black and white inside and it just seems kind of stodgy to me, but I was COMPLETELY wrong. These ideas and activities are timeless. And there’s like 5 activities for EACH song in the Children’s Songbook, and of course a ton of them can be adapted to whatever you’re learning. I wish I was as creative and in tune with teaching primary songs as these authors so obviously are!

So, there you have it! Some must-haves for your Singing Time Wish Lists! Let me know what else you’ll be asking for this Christmas!

And, (as always),

HAPPY SINGING!

Trim a Tree!

Another Christmas-themed Singing Time! This one will work for anything! As a review for multiple songs, for learning a new song, or for reviewing musical terms and ways to sing! If you need to review several songs, write the name of them on the back of each ornament and have one child come and choose their favorite to put on the tree and then sing the song they chose. You could also use each ornament to represent a phrase of a new song they’re learning. Once they have it down, they earn an ornament and they get to decorate the tree with it. If you’re learning different tempos or tones for music like Staccato or Legato, you can practice those too!

Here’s a paper tree and some ornaments, but if you have a small tree and ornaments that you could bring to Singing Time I’m sure the kids would love it!

Christmas Tree PDF

Christmas Ornaments PDF

HAPPY SINGING!


Roll a Turkey {A Thanksgiving Activity}

It’s Thanksgiving! I don’t know about you, but my primary has a lot going on this month! We’ve learned 2 Christmas songs, The Books in the Book of Mormon (a special request from our wise Primary President), and we’re gonna squeeze in a verse of “I Hope They Call Me On a Mission” too. But I don’t want Thanksgiving to get lost in the shuffle of things! So, we’re going to be learning “For Health and Strength” p. 21 in the Children’s Songbook. It’s ONE LINE. Yep. I know. But, it’s also a ROUND! And, as you may know, we’re learning Shepherd’s Carol right now too which is also a round! My kids have been having a little trouble with the singing at the same time thing. Especially in Junior primary, so I thought this could be extra practice for that skill as well! And even if you’re not using Shepherd’s Carol, it’ll be good practice for A Child’s Prayer, which we will be learning as part of the 2013 Primary Program!

But, we aren’t spending our WHOLE singing time on a one line song. Because that would be crazy. So I found this super cute Roll-a-Turkey drawing sheet on Pinterest. All you need is a dice and a chalkboard.

And you can download it here: Turkey Game for Kids Color PDF

We’re going to learn our short little song first, sing it through probably twice in different groups, then move on to review! Each time we sing one of our songs, I’ll look for a super singer to draw the next part of our turkey. (You have to keep rolling until you get something that hasn’t been drawn yet.) I don’t know if we’ll get a whole turkey done, maybe between junior and senior primary. I think this will be perfect for my primary, because the activity is Thanksgiving themed, but the songs can be whatever you’re working on! Thanksgiving or not. And use some cute stickers as a reward for Thankful singers!

HAPPY SINGING! (and Happy Thanksgiving!)

Thanksgiving Stickers!

Thanksgiving sticker designs have arrived! There’s a boy one and a girl one that look like this:

Aren’t they adorable? And perfect for extra good singers during your Thanksgiving singing times! You can get them (and other, year-round stickers) here and use promo code “SANTASAVINGS” at checkout for a discount!

HAPPY SINGING!

Pin the Tag on the Missionary

This month’s theme is missionary work! So we’ll be throwing in “I Hope They Call me on a Mission” with our Christmas review and a super short Thanksgiving song, and maybe even a week on The Books in the Book of Mormon (yikes, that’s a lot!) But I think this game could work for you all year round.  You can print your missionary and tags right here!

Pin the Tag on the Missionary PDF

Just grab a blindfold, cut out your tags and you’re ready to go! You could look for “super singers” to earn a tag, the most reverent children, or whoever can answer a question. At first I thought I would write a question on the back of each tag, but I think I’ll just have a list of questions in my binder to ask the children, and each right answer will earn a tag!

I think I’ll use some poster tack on the back of the tags so they’re removable, but if you wanted to make this game last for a long time, you’ll probably want to laminate everything. If you do laminate him, then you can use a transparency, or wet-erase marker to mark the spots where the tags get pinned and a little initial to keep track of who gets closest. One thing I’ve noticed playing this game in other settings is that kids, especially the older ones, will use their left hand to feel around for where another tag has been placed to see if they are in the right place. Once there’s 3 or 4 up there all over the place it doesn’t really matter so much, but I think I’ll have my senior primary keep one hand behind their back to minimize their creative cheating. Something to watch out for as you play!

You could use it for reviewing lots of songs if you’re still in program mode, or if you do a quarterly review (one of my goals!) by using questions from all different songs and then singing the song that corresponds to that question. If you split for junior and senior primary, you can make a harder question sheet for the older kids and you don’t have to switch out any tags (yay!). Or you could do review on just one song with lots of fill in the blank questions, or questions about a principle the song teaches (like how you can be a missionary now, or ways to prepare for serving a mission). Do whatever works for your primary!

HAPPY SINGING!