Father We Thank Thee For the Night

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This is a great little song that’s about being thankful. It has a catchy, easy to learn melody but the harmony in the accompaniment is a little different which makes it interesting. Plus, this is a really great song to sing at the close of primary right before the prayer because it’s short and reverent but gets kids thinking about things they are thankful for that they do or experience EVERY DAY. Here’s some visuals to help things along:

Father We Thank Thee For the Night Visuals

Screen shot 2013-11-16 at 11.05.31 AMStart by posting the title of the song on the board (there’s words in the printable!). Then ask a few questions. Why should we be thankful for the night? It’s dark and your parents just want you to go to sleep! But wouldn’t you have a bad day if you didn’t get any sleep? Have you ever stayed up really late and then had to get up early?  Could you sleep well if it was bright outside? Did you know it’s a commandment to go to sleep!? (D&C 88:124 – you may want to go over what ‘invigorate’ means!) Now you’re ready to learn the first line of the song and post the first picture.

Then go through each line of the song posting the relevant picture as you go, and asking a question about it. Can you describe what a sunrise looks like? (pleasant morning light) What are some things you do every day that you’re thankful for? (rest and food) Have you ever been lost or left completely alone for a little while? (aren’t you glad you have people who love and care for you?)

In the last line the word ‘fair’ has a different meaning than most of your children will probably be used to. Start by asking what the word fair means. Talk about how words can mean different things depending on the context. A little Snow White analogy may help in this situation. When the evil queen asks “Who’s the fairest of them all?” as she looks in the mirror, what is she really asking? It’s about beauty, not justice or carnivals. Learn the last line of the song and then talk about all of the things that make up every single day that we should be grateful for. Challenge your kids to look for things this week that are completely ordinary that they see or do every day that they can be thankful for. If you have some extra time, you may want to talk about how when we pray, we start by thanking Heavenly Father for things that He has given us.

HAPPY SINGING!

Leaves Are Falling { Three Fall-Themed Activities for Reviewing OR Learning }

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As primary programs are coming to an end, we can finally look ahead to learning new songs and having some fun mixing it up a little more during singing time! This is a great fall themed activity that can work with any songs you want to learn or review! I love versatile activities like this because I can reuse the same printables over and over again! Here’s a few ways to use these lovely leaves!

Print the leaves HERE!

Reviewing Several Songs

If you’re still in prep mode for your program or you want to refresh your kids’ memories on some old favorites, you can use these leaves for a great fall-themed review activity to go over several songs. Write the names or page numbers of the songs you want to review on the front of each leaf. I like to write the names of songs for more casual activities, because the primary feels like they have more control to pick what they will sing, and the page numbers if I’m worried we won’t get to sing all the songs we really need to work on, especially if they’re not the most popular ones that my kids will pick. On the back of each leaf, write a way to sing that song or a group to sing it to keep things more interesting. To really make things fun, collect some fall foliage from around your neighborhood and let your kids earn leaves based on how well they sing each song. If they sing a song especially well, they earn 5 leaves, and start to build a pile of leaves on the floor. If you  have a toy rake like this one, let one child come up and rake the earned leaves into a pile!

Reviewing One Song

Notice how there are 2 leaves of the same shape in the printable? If you have just one song you really want to focus on, split each phrase into 2 parts and write the 2 halves on 2 leaves of the same shape. Scramble them up on the board and let one kid come up and pick 2 leaves that match. Then have one group of children sing one half of the line and assign the other leaf to another group. If you have a small primary, you could do boys and girls or 1-2 classes together. If you have a very large primary, you can split each class into 2 leaves and do a call and response sort of activity, where one group sings the first half of the line, followed by the other group with the second half. Then, have someone from another class come and pick 2 more and repeat the activity. Once you’ve gone over each set of leaves, have everyone trade and listen closely for when their line comes up! It’s pretty entertaining to listen for the holes when your kids aren’t paying attention, and it really lets you know which parts of the song you need to really drill! If you have a combined primary, you’ll want at least one senior primary member, participating teacher or good reader in a group with your smaller children!

Learning a New Song

There’s a lot of ways to learn a new song with these leaves! You can split the lines in half like in the activity above and do a call and response in each line. Since its a new song, to do this style of activity, you’ll want to sing the whole line for them first, then you sing the first half, they sing the second half and then trade. Finish learning each line by having just the kids sing it by themselves. Then you can mix it up with different groups! Another fun way to learn a song is to number each leaf and tape them under a few chairs in the primary room. Start by having everyone look for leaf #1 and then learn the first line or section. When each section is learned well, let someone make the leaf fall by throwing it up in the air! If you’re looking for some fall-themed songs that are quick to learn, my favorites are “Leaves Are Falling All Around” p. 241 and “It’s Autumntime” p. 246.

I hope you’ve got some great new ideas for fall! Let me know your favorite ways to use these leaves in your singing time! Happy Fall, Y’all, and

HAPPY SINGING!

General Conference Activity Pages!

It’s that time again and getting kids to sit {relatively} still through 8 hours of Conference can be a challenge. Here’s 3 brand new activity pages to help keep everyone focused and enjoying Conference!

General Conference Activity Pages {PDF}

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This first page is especially great for very young children! Just color each picture and word whenever you see a speaker wearing this color!

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For this sheet, just listen closely to the speakers and whenever one of these prophet’s names are mentioned, color the name and the picture that goes with it! This page is great for the kids in the middle who have learned to read but still love to color.

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This last page is geared to the older kids who get bored with coloring more quickly. Just listen closely to the speakers and whenever a scripture is quoted, circle which book it’s from and make a tally mark inside the box. At the end of conference, count how many scriptures from each book were used!

I hope you find these useful this upcoming Conference Weekend, and if you haven’t yet, then go print my Conference Packet for Adults! It’ll make taking notes more organized and fun than you ever thought possible. (Print these for yourself too! I won’t tell!)

Happy Conferencing!

{ Taking a Break is } Fun to Do!

This is the time of year that your primary has become all about the program, and that’s probably a good thing in a lot of ways. You want to give your kids as much experience and confidence as possible going into it so they feel comfortable and everything goes more smoothly! But chances are you’re getting tired of singing the same songs over and over, and trying to keep everyone in their seats and relatively quiet while you practice speaking parts. Sometimes you need to take a break, and that’s where these ↓ come in!

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There are 12 in total!

Fun to Do ACTION CARDS! {PDF}.

These adorable action cards go with the song Fun to Do, CS pg. 253. If your kids already know this song, then these will be a great way to mix it up so you’re not clapping your hands or spinning in circles every time you sing it! Sometimes it’s hard to come up with fun actions on the spot (for kids and for us choristers!). If you or your primary don’t know this song, don’t get overwhelmed by teaching ANOTHER song just to have a break! That doesn’t sound like a break at all! But it’s super short, very catchy and if you sing it TWICE (that’s just 2 times!) with the original lyrics (singing a song is fun to do) your kids will know it. And they will easily be able to plug these actions in. Just have a kid come up and pick a card, then act it out while you sing. It’s so short and so fun to sing that this can be a break from reviewing songs or you can let your primary presidency know you’ve got them and you can throw one or two in during parts rehearsals too!

And if you’re still looking for ways to review all of your program songs check out Recipe Review, or Back to School Singing TIme, or Repetition Repetition Repetition: 5 Ways that Work. And if your kids are struggling with some of the lyrics to one particular song, The Every Last Lyric Game might be right up your alley!

HAPPY SINGING!

Primary Program INVITATIONS!

Have you ever thought about mailing or passing out invitations to your primary program? I hadn’t either until I was browsing on Sugardoodle the other day. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful way to invite less-active or non-members in your ward to come and enjoy one of the most fun-to-watch Sacrament programs of the year? And wouldn’t it be amazing if you got some less-active kids to come and participate? Especially if you’re a small ward struggling to cover all the parts! Wouldn’t it be amazing to fill up the overflow that Sunday?

I made a couple of invitations that coordinate with this year’s theme. This one with the red border is for any children you’d like to invite to come and participate in the program. There’s a space to let them know when you’ll be rehearsing for the program as well as the date and time of the performance. If you’re really on the ball you can send them a CD of the songs you’ll be singing too!

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And this one, with the green border, is for all the members you’d like to give a special invitation. You could mail them, give some to the missionaries to hand out, or use your home and visiting teachers to distribute them. You could even give a few to each child to invite their friends or family members in other areas!

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Print your Invitations Here: Primary Program Invitations 2013 { A PDF }

I hope these invitations will bring you great results and make your primary program well-attended both in audience and participants! As always, I’m happy to work with you on a custom invitation, poster or anything else you can think up! Just visit my Etsy shop!

HAPPY SINGING!