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.




{ 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!


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!


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!


Back To School Singing Time! { A Program Review }

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It’s time for another year of school! Summer is always over too quickly, isn’t it? For this review activity, you’ll need a brand new pencil for each member of your primary! (If the thought of fighting the back to school sales is too much for you, you can use the same printables below, just tape them to the bottoms of a few chairs around the room!) These cute pencil wraps will fit around about half of a standard #2 pencil!

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There’s 30 on a page, so print however many you need to cover your primary! Once you’ve got one of these papers taped around each pencil, go back and put these special papers on some of them! (If they don’t fit around the other side, you can just tape one short end to the pencil and wrap it around the bottom the long way!)

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There’s a school subject and clue to go with each song to review! Go up and down each row and let each child pick a pencil! Have them look for a special school bus clue to a song, and see if they can guess which song their pencil goes with! If their pencil doesn’t have a school bus clue, they still get to keep the pencil, and be reminded to choose the “write”!

Back to School Singing Time Pencil Wraps { PDF }

Happy Singing!

Recipe Review

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It’s about time to start getting those program songs in shape! I’m always on the lookout for great ideas to review songs and really motivate the kids to keep singing the songs they’ve been singing all year long. It’s about this time of year that I remind them every week just how many Sundays are left until the program and that we need to work hard to make sure everyone is ready to sing those songs for their families with confidence! This review is perfect for the week before a Saturday practice!

Recipe Review PAPER Ingredients

Tell the primary that you are going to be making cookies (or whatever treat you choose!) for everyone who attends your program practice! There’s a couple of ways you can go about this depending on how ambitious you’re feeling! To make it super simple, I made some printable ingredients for classic chocolate chip cookies! There are 10 ingredients, so 10 chances to review! You can either print these paper ingredients and earn one ingredient per song sung program perfect, or you can bring the real (pre-measured) ingredients from your kitchen! Grab a mixing bowl and a couple of aprons and have your kids do the dirty work of dough-mixing for you! Then take it home and stick it in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to bake it. Of course, you may end up with an even bigger mess in your primary room, so I’d run it by your Primary President first, and definitely lay down a plastic tablecloth to catch any spills! If you have a large primary, you can have one child put the ingredient in the bowl and another mixing while the song is being sung!

As you sing each review song, remind them how important it is for every ingredient to get into the cookie mix! Cookies without sugar or salt or butter would be yucky. Just like it’s important for every song to be ready to sing for the program and for every child to be reverent and singing!