The Ultimate Singing Time Tournament

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It’s here. The game to end all games! Every game you think you’ve played in primary (and a few more!) have been combined into one giant tournament for the ultimate singing time. ( I should write movie trailers! ) Below are a list of mini-games that you can use in different combinations to keep things interesting for one giant push to practice program songs OR to relax after your program is finished. AND since they’re so short and so easy to play, you can use them as time-fillers too! Versatility is key for us primary choristers.


To play this game, show one primary child the name of a song, or whisper it in their ear, and instruct them that must sing the melody only saying the syllable “la” AND they have to start out soft and get louder and louder until someone can guess which song they’re singing! You’ll get to know who can carry a tune, and who can recognize music even without the words. If you end up with a contestant that’s particularly tone deaf, let the pianist start to play with the singer after a few lines.


I’ve made a few collages of images that represent a song. Just show the images and let your kids guess which song they go with! To make it harder in Senior primary, just flash them for a couple seconds at first and then gradually let them see the images longer until the know the answer!

Memory Match Ultimate Primary Tournament {PDF}

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It’s just a fancy name for hot and cold (and a great way to throw in a musical term!) Grab your favorite thing to hide and pick someone to go outside. Everyone else agrees on a hiding place and gets a reminder to sing loud when they get closer and soft when they’re far away. Invite your contestant in and sing away!


You’ll probably want a senior primary contestant (or even a teacher) for this game! Show them the title of a primary song and instruct that they can’t say any of the words in that title, but must use other words to describe the song and get the rest of the primary to guess its name! You can make it even harder by adding a few other key words from the song that are not allowed!


Pick a few phrases from the different songs you’re reviewing. Now mix up all the words and post them on the board! I made some strips of words for you to use with some of the phrases that my primary sometimes struggles with! Read it out loud and see if someone can put it in the right order. If they can’t, then sing the song it goes with and point to the strip when you get there. Write the correct phrase underneath the word strip! This is a particularly fun one to play vs. teachers too! For example:

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Jukebox Jumble Ultimate Primary Tournament {PDF}

There are lots of ways you can mix all these games together and adapt them for junior and senior primary if you have them separated! Decide before you start if you will keep score and how to divide your primary. My favorite thing to do with each of these games is to play kids vs. teachers! To make this work out well, I often let one teacher have a turn in each game and the rest are all children. You’ll be able to involve a lot of children in playing each of these games, especially if you divide responsibilities. For example, if you are playing jukebox jumble, make it a senior primary member’s job to unscramble the phrase and a junior primary member’s job to identify which song it is from! And everyone loves to see the teachers get up in front and play!



Silent Simon Says

This is a really great activity to get your kids to watch you closely! It is so important, especially on the day of your primary program, for them to watch you so they know when to stand, sit, sing louder and softer, etc.

Start by telling them that you will be playing Simon Says. If they don’t know how to play, then give them an overview with a few examples. In this version of Simon says, only the silent actions you do should be followed, while the direction you say out loud should be ignored. For example, if you raise your hands to indicate that they should stand then they should follow you, and stand up. If you then tell them out loud to sit down, they should stay standing, because only your silent actions should be followed. Encourage your primary teachers to play too, because the kids love it when they do the right thing and the teachers make little mistakes!

This is a really great no-prep activity that will keep all of your primary involved, and give you a great opportunity to be really clear about what your actions mean! Make sure to be extra clear on what each signal means before you start, especially with junior primary, and the longer you keep playing, the more familiar your actions will be to them. You will definitely want to include one for standing and one for sitting, and you may want to consider one action that tells them to get on the edge of their seats so they are all ready to stand together. You can also include some actions for singing louder or softer, faster or slower. Once you’ve played a few times without them singing to make sure they understand the actions you’re communicating, play with them singing a song too, and continue to shout out directions. I have found that it’s much harder for them to remember not to follow your speech when they are singing! And be sure to be really insistent with what you say too, and keep repeating it a couple times if your kids are really getting the hang of it. I would probably play more rounds of Silent Simon Says without singing with Junior primary, and more while they’re singing with Senior.