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 theĀ game board andĀ 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!

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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!

Singing { Christmas } Scripture Chase!

At the beginning of November, we learned “Books in the Book of Mormon” and I wanted to do a little activity with the scriptures so my kids could see how the song will help them to find scripture references. But then it was Thanksgiving, and we needed to get to work on some Christmas songs, so we never got the chance. It so happens that my primary learned our Christmas program SUPER fast! But I can’t justify using a Singing Time in December for non-Christmas songs when there’s such a small window that we get to sing them! We needed something to help us review our Christmas songs in a different way, so I came up with a Christmas Scripture Chase! There’s 2 versions, one for Senior Primary and one for Junior Primary.

Senior Scripture Chase


We have 3 songs we’re reviewing: Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus, A Shepherd’s Carol, and Silent Night. But I only wanted to use scripture references from the Book of Mormon, since that’s the other song I wanted them to review. I decided to use 2 references for each of the three songs. For Samuel I used Helaman 14:2 and 3 Nephi 1:19. For A Shepherd’s Carol, I used Mosiah 3:8 and 2 Nephi 10:14. For Silent Night, I used Alma 7:10 and I finished with Luke 2:8-9 just to throw them a curveball (and because the Book of Mormon doesn’t talk about the Shepherds).

To play, I made sure everyone had a Book of Mormon, then I explained some rules. There was no talking! You could only touch your own Book of Mormon! Once you found the scripture, you silently raised your hand! If your hand was up first, you would read the scripture, then someone else got to say which song they thought it went with. Then we would sing the song. Before we started, I told them that singing “The Books in the Book of Mormon” in their heads would help them to find the scripture references much faster than looking in the table of contents or just guessing.

I wrote the reference on the chalkboard for each round, just one at a time so that no one could move on to the next verse and get distracted before we were done. The kids really liked it and this was one activity where EVERYONE was participating, trying to find the scripture.

Junior Scripture Chase

Since Junior Primary is mostly non-readers, I adapted the scripture chase for them. Some of the scriptures are different, and instead of getting them to find the verse in their scriptures I used these:

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Junior Primary Scripture Chase {PDF}

They have the scripture reference and a picture that goes with it on the front and the scripture on the back. I taped them to the bottom of some of their chairs and then had them look underneath to see what they could find, one class at a time. Then I would read the verse (you may want to have them marked in your scriptures) and asked them to decide based on the scripture and the picture which song it went with.

I decided to use 8 cards for this group because they seem to get through things a little faster, and I thought they needed a little break for some fun songs!

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!