Introducing: I Am a Child of God!

Chances are you’ll be introducing the 2013 theme “I Am A Child of God” (you can find my poster in this post) soon. I think it’s a pretty safe bet that your kids already know at least the first verse of I Am A Child of God, so we’ll start by singing that. I found these great ideas on Sugardoodle that I’m going to use next week. She suggests that you sing the song once through together and ask the kids to listen for rhyming words (here and dear, way and someday). Then introduce the second verse (or just sing it if they already know it) and emphasize the words that rhyme. The great thing about this song is that they really only have to learn 4 lines since they already know the chorus. Then talk about what the chorus means. What kind of things can lead and guide us back to living with our Heavenly Father? Here’s where it gets exciting! Sing Do As I’m Doing but only do actions that represent things that can help you return to Heavenly Father. Use these little cards for some ideas, or let the kids come up with their own. Only show the paper to one child and have them be the leader. After the song is over, let everyone guess what the action represented.

Do As I’m Doing Action Cards { PDF }

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And, if you’re not quite ready to give up the Christmas songs and activities, you can do as Laura from Henckel House suggested and use my Trim a Tree activity and “un-decorate” the tree! Save this activity for next week and put all those ornaments away for next year!

HAPPY SINGING!

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Christmas Around the World

Our primary is singing in Sacrament meeting Sunday so I was looking for something fun and easy that would keep them interested and not feel like work at all because they have worked SO hard to learn the 3 songs we’re singing (I just hope too many people won’t be out of town)! We’ve decided to combine for Christmas and we wanted a light activity to combine Singing and Sharing time. I came up with Christmas Around the World!

Christmas Around the World { PDF }

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{ Just a little printing note: These are meant to be cards, so when you cut them out, don’t cut the flag and corresponding information! Instead, fold the information behind the flag so that only one or the other is visible! }

To use these country cards (There’s 12!!) post them flag side out at the front of the room. Have a child come and pick a flag, show it to the primary and see if anyone knows what country it’s from. Then read about the Christmas traditions and food from the back. Finish with saying “Merry Christmas” in the native language! Say it for the kids first and then invite them to say it with you (you may want to practice some of them first!).

My original intention was to have a song that corresponded with each country in some way, but I quickly found that to be really difficult and the connections I came up with were pretty far-fetched! (If you come up with some that work for you then share them with us!) So I think I’ll just have someone pick a favorite Christmas song to sing. You can let a kid pick if your primary knows a lot of Christmas songs, or if, like mine, your Primary only knows 4 Christmas songs, you can have an adult choose. I’m hoping that my kids will at least be somewhat familiar with the songs in the hymnal like Joy to the World and The First Noel.

If you wanted to be really fancy, you could have a little trinket from each country like Paper Hats from South Africa or a little ship from Greece. Let us know if you use this idea in your Primary and how you adapt it for you!

HAPPY SINGING (and MERRY CHRISTMAS!)

Build a Nativity on the Way to Grandmother’s House?

OK, so this activity is kind of a mash-up! We all know and love the song “Over the River and Through the Woods” and since most of us will be visiting Grandma and Grandpa or some other relatives, I thought it would be fun to go on a Christmas Road Trip! But I wanted it to be more church-friendly so I decided to also make it a build-a-nativity! Crazy? Maybe. But everyone’s grandma has a nativity set at her house right? So it totally ties together….

To play, print out the game board and game pieces below! (OR just one or the other, if both at the same time is too much for your primary! See the last paragraph of this post!)

Nativity Build Game Board { PDF }

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Nativity Build Game Pieces { PDF }

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Cut out the pieces on the first page of the game pieces printable and put them right on top of their matching pictures on the game board. Cut out the car and get ready to follow the Christmas lights on the way to Grandmother’s House! Along the way you’ll collect each piece of Grandmother’s lost nativity by singing super well! You can either write the name of a song on the back of each piece or a way to sing or you can have your kids think of a song that the picture goes with. Most of Christmas songs have at least one of these elements in them. Once you’ve collected a piece of the nativity, put it in the lovely little frame inside the game pieces pdf. Keep building your nativity as you review your Christmas songs!

Obviously if you don’t want to use the game board, you don’t have to. Just label your nativity pieces and put them together in the frame! OR you can just use the game board and don’t build the nativity!

HAPPY SINGING!

P.S. You can make these and all your paper game elements last for years with this laminator I’ve had my eye on! It’s only $30 and ships free!

Free MoTab Christmas Music!

Go to mormon.org/christmas for 10 free downloadable Christmas Songs performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir! Just scroll down about halfway to the heading “Christmas Music”. You can also send free e-cards that are really pretty and are shareable on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

This website is an incredible missionary opportunity for us to use to refer our friends who may have questions about our faith, and particularly how we celebrate Christmas. There is a place where you can request a bible and links to download the new bible videos app (which is really fun to play around with!) for different devices. There is a live chat box where you can ask questions and a button that allows you to request a visit from the missionaries. I love that our church has made so many ways for us to use technology to share the gospel!

If you’re in the market for some new MoTab Christmas music, this CD is my personal favorite!


Christmas ABCs

I based this activity on one I found in the December 2011 Friend. You can see or print it here. They’re kind of small, and they have a lot of words that aren’t in that many Christmas songs so I made some ABC cards of my own that are a little bigger and have more words that are in the songs we need to review. There’s just 12, so not quite the whole alphabet, but I tried to use words that were in several different Christmas songs so this activity will be useful for everyone. If not all of these words are included, just leave some out. You’re not likely to get through 12 of them anyway!

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Christmas ABCs { PDF }

To play this game, I had each of the letter cards posted on the board. In Junior Primary, I folded the bottom of each card back so that the word and scripture verse weren’t visible. Then I had a child pick one of the letters (if you have alphabet magnets that would be a cool way to choose which letter to do!) They had to guess what they thought the letter represented based on the picture. Some they got really easily but others were difficult (like holy). If they couldn’t guess the word, I read the scripture verse to them and let them guess again. Then I asked the whole group to think of one of our Christmas songs that contained that word, and we sang it (some of these words are in more than one song my kids know). In Senior primary I left the card unfolded, so the kids just picked one they wanted to do (or one they remembered in a song quickly!) and while we sang it, they had to find the verse in the scripture and read it to us, so they got to practice their scripture chase skills.

I liked this game because it got my kids to remember very specific words in the songs we’re reviewing and gave us an opportunity to really connect them to the scriptures and the story of Jesus’ birth. Also, there are so many levels to this game. They look like they’re geared to preschool age children, and even my Sunbeams could identify the letters of the alphabet, and understood the connection to the first-letter sounds, and the scripture element is really geared to the 10 and up part of primary. I hope you find it engages all of your primary!

HAPPY SINGING!