Thanks and Giving Singing Time

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November can be a strangely in-between time for planning singing times. You’re done with your program, (yay!) but it’s not quite time for Christmas songs yet. It’s a great time to teach a few new fun songs, or one of your old favorites that you haven’t gotten around to yet. But sometimes, thanksgiving can get lost in the mix. There’s not that many Thanksgiving songs playing on the radio, but there are A LOT of excellent Thanksgiving songs in the Children’s Songbook! (And in the hymnal too if you were curious!) There are 24 songs under the topic of Gratitude! A few of my favorites are Father We Thank Thee for the Night p.8, Thanks To Our Father p.20 and if you’re thinking about doing a round for Christmas, give your kids a head start by learning For Health and Strength p.21, which is only one line and will give your kids some practice with the concept! But, whether you’re learning a song about gratitude or an old standard, this activity can help you give Thanksgiving the attention it deserves!

First, you’ll want to print these leaves. There’s one for each letter in Thanksgiving.

Thanks and Giving PDF

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Junior Primary

Start by asking what holiday is coming up this month! Explain that Thanksgiving is made up of 2 words, “thanks” and “giving”. Have one child come up and pick one of the leaves out of a bag. Ask them to think of either something they are thankful for or a way that they could give (think service) during this month that starts with the letter on the leaf. If younger child is picking the leaf, really emphasize the sound that each letter makes to help them think of a word that fits, or let their teacher help them. If they get the letter anywhere in the word, I’m good with that. Put the letters up on the board as you go, to spell out “Thanksgiving”, and write the “thanks” or “giving” word coming down from it, like a crossword puzzle. I like to try to think of a song that goes with whichever word was chosen to sing once the leaf is up. For example, if someone says they are thankful for trees, we could sing Popcorn Popping, My Heavenly Father Loves Me or Autumn Day. But, if you’d rather not be on the spot like that, come up with a list of songs you’d like to sing. If you’re learning a new song with this activity, learn a new section of the song with each leaf that goes up. If you’re running out of time (because Thanksgiving has 12 letters) have 2 kids come pick leaves at one time. That will cut down on all the thinking time too! At the end, you’ll have “Thanksgiving” spelled out on the board and lots of things to be thankful for and give this season!

Senior Primary

In senior primary, start with all the letters scrambled up on the board, and see if they can guess what word they spell. Again, go over how both “thanks” and “giving” are in the word. Pick someone to go first and ask them to think of either something they are thankful for or a way that they could give that starts with the first letter, ‘T’. (They might have some trouble when it gets to ‘V’ so let them think of a word with a v in it anywhere!) Write it on the board, then give everyone 10 seconds to think of a song that goes with that word. I like to count it down silently on my fingers. If they can’t come up with one and none of the adults, including yourself, can think of one either, pick a song about being grateful or let their teacher pick their favorite one to sing! At the end, talk about all of the things that we have to be thankful for and ways that we can give in the month of November!


P.S. Look out for some exciting news about the future of Sunbeam Singing coming soon! Like Sunbeam Singing on Facebook for all the latest!


Easter Review – If The Savior Stood Beside Me

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Easter Eggs and Basket Singing Time REVISED {PDF}

**Note, if you downloaded this file prior to 3/28/13, you will notice that the first egg says “John 31:15” but it should be 13:15.  You could re-download or you could just watch your kids struggle to find the 31st book of John. Either way**

It was very clear to me that we still needed to spend some time with this song! But I still wanted to reinforce the message and importance of Easter, so I came up with this activity to do both! We’ll be using the same visuals in both Junior and Senior primaries but in a totally different way. This would work great if you wanted to use actual Easter eggs and put the scripture references inside too!

Senior Primary

On each egg there is a scripture reference that corresponds with one of the verses of If the Savior Stood Beside Me. There is a key sheet included in the PDF file so you can keep track and help your kids recognize which line of the song the verse goes with if you need to. I also included a few fun review songs and a special egg with a star so we could sing all three verses together. To start this activity, I’ll have one child come up and pick an egg. They’ll look for the verse on it while we sing the song through once to review it. I like to organize it that way so we can get through as much singing as possible and so everyone has something to do all the time. When we’re done singing, the child who found the scripture verse will read it to us (or I will if they don’t feel comfortable). Then we’ll decide which verse (or other song) it matches and sing it. I really like incorporating scriptures when I can, especially if they have the opportunity to find them on their own and get familiar with where things are in the scriptures. We’ll collect the eggs in the basket (included in the PDF) as we go.

Junior Primary

Last week, we played hot and cold, which they had such a good time with! So I thought this week we could do something similar with this Easter activity! It will be kind of a combination of hot/cold and pin the tail on the donkey. I’ll have the basket posted at the front of the room. Then I’ll pick someone to come up and pick their favorite egg (I won’t be using the scripture reference with this age group) and get blindfolded. We’ll spin them around a few times and then let them see if they can put their egg in the basket. The rest of the primary will sing soft if they are far away from the basket and loud as they get closer to help them find it.

Combined Primaries

If you have both junior and senior primaries together, you can combine both activities above! Have a member of senior primary come up and pick an egg and find the scripture verse on it while the rest of the primary is singing. Let them read the scripture and then decide which verse it goes with. Then, as you’re singing that verse, have a member of junior primary blindfolded and trying to put the egg in the basket while another member of senior primary has chosen the next egg and is finding the scripture. I think this activity would be really cool with both groups together!