Saturday, November 30, 2013

LEGO Pinewood Derby

For the Sunday after our Sacrament Meeting Program, I knew the kids would want to do something laid-back and fun for Singing Time. They had earned it!

My son was a new Cub Scout so I had Pinewood Derby on the brain -- I decided to do a LEGO Pinewood Derby! I made a very very simple cardboard ramp (and in the Primary room, I just propped it up against a chair at the back of the room).

For both Junior and Senior it was the same.
I put together bags of LEGOs beforehand, one per class. The same exact number and type of LEGOs. Also beforehand, we made 5 basic LEGO cars (Junior and Senior each have 5 classes) -- wheels and a base for them to build on.

I also prepared papers that listed their song choices.

So we began by singing one song together.
Then I handed out the bags of LEGOs to each class, and one of the cars, and told them they had a couple of minutes to work together to add the LEGO pieces to their car.
We then chose two classes to go first -- they raced their cars, and the winner got to pick the next song from my list of songs.
Then another class raced the winner of that race.
And so on until everyone raced.
It was kind of rowdy but fun!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sealed! Families Can Be Together Forever

I saw a great idea floating around online and thought our Primary would click into it, so I did it this past Sunday as an "icebreaker" and the kids seemed to really enjoy it! Some of the adults commented after that it was a neat concept. Thank you inter-webs!

So here's what I did to introduce the song!

My songlist:
Families Can Be Together Forever, pg. 188
I Am a Child of God, pg. 2
Family History, I Am Doing It, pg. 94
Hearts of the Children, pg. 92
I Love to See the Temple, pg. 95
The Family, pg. 194

I brought an empty gallon-sized Ziploc bag and a Little People family (mom, dad, brother, sister, baby) and a picture of a temple.

I told the kids we were going to learn "Families Can Be Together Forever" this month and that I wanted them to pay close attention to what I was going to do, and see if they could figure out why I did it.

I started singing the song (some kids sang with me) while I put in the Little People one by one, and the temple picture. Sealed the bag. Shook it around a little, and turned it upside down in time with the end of the first verse. I asked the kids why I did all of that and the Junior kids kind of got it, and the Senior kids pretty much got it. Either way, great! We talked about being sealed, etc. Then I asked them to pay attention again, and this time I sang it through and took the temple out, and dramatically turned the unsealed bag upside down -- Kersplat! Kind of violent and the boys got a kick out of it especially. It made for some good discussion, and I pointed out that many families are not sealed for various reasons and that the reason we're talking about this song is so the kids can plan for their own futures regardless of their own family situation. We sang it again to seal the family back up! So that was three times practicing the first verse and they had it down by then!

Then we sang various family songs. I called up a kid, the picked one of the Little People and put them in the Little People house and we'd sing like that family member (also an idea I found online). 

Mom: Take off my wedding ring and show the kids down each row as we sing. Talk about the symbol of eternity in wedding rings.
Dad: Sing each line twice because dads like to repeat themselves
Teenage sister – Sing super fast because teenagers are always running around
Brother: Sing staccato because boys are always jumping around and bouncing off walls
Baby: Sing in a baby crying voice

Friday, June 28, 2013

Cookie Motivation!

Well we all know how kids love treats as a motivator!
Last year I did Charlie The Reverent (CTR) and gave him armor as we learned each song.
This year I thought maybe I could get away with no motivator board? But then I read about other fun ideas music leaders are doing and thought it might be fun to do something!

SO I made this "cookie choir" motivation board.
My cookie recipe takes 8 ingredients and wouldn't ya know -- there are eight songs we're learning this year!

So as they pass off each song, they will earn an ingredient and I'll move it over to the mixing bowl (it's on there with rolled painter's tape on the back).


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

POP Songs

Our Primary kids are singing two songs this upcoming Father's Day: 
- Love is Spoken Here's 2nd verse
- My Dad

We started off wanting to do something else two weeks ago, and then I changed my mind, so I really have only had two weeks of practice with them. Normally should be okay, but they weren't "getting it" as easily as the Mother's Day songs. Who knows why! So I knew I needed to spend more time on it this past Sunday, the last chance! I don't necessarily LOVE focusing a ton of Singing Time on these types of things. It feels like a task with undue pressure and never enough time to practice. But I know the reward is great, because the moms and the dads love having the kids sing to them on their special days!

I liked some Singing Time ideas I was seeing about balloons online. I know our Primary kids are big on excitement and big props and objects so I knew the balloons would go over well.

I brought in a bag of balloons and a sign that said "Pop Songs" = Pop, like Dad, and Pop, like POP! THE BALLOON JUST POPPED!

I knew I had to analogize balloons to the Holy Ghost, the topic of the week, and I wanted to get in some When I Am Baptized practice (song of the month).

I started off doing a rainstorm (where we rub hands, snap fingers, clap, pat thighs, stomp, then in reverse). I told them I wanted to show them what PEACE actually felt like. 
At the end of the rainstorm when it was quiet, we quietly started "When I Am Baptized." 
It was nice. 
Then I introduced the "Pop Songs" and talked about balloons and how they are related to the Holy Ghost. Thank goodness for the analogy I found online! I told the kids if you blow up a balloon and ask two kids on opposite sides of the room to touch it, obviously they can't. But if you let the air out of the room, everyone can feel it. The Holy Ghost is not confined by a body and therefore can influence everyone similar to that. It was a bit of a stretch of an analogy but, hey, there you go.

Then I had a volunteer teacher come up and sit up near me the whole time. They were the judge. If the kids were singing the Father's Day song well, they'd blow up the balloon a little. If not, they'd let air out. The goal was to get it so big that we could pop it! It worked GREAT. One balloon per song. Then I did another balloon for both songs in a row. 
I had them sing nice and loud, I had them stand up, etc. 

I did feel badly that a couple of kids in each group were TERRIFIED of it popping. I told them that when I was a kid, that was one of my biggest fears too so I wouldn't surprise them with the pop. They'd know so they could cover their ears or leave etc. One little Sunbeam was so terrified he bolted from the room, and they found him across the building in the kitchen! Okay, that's sad and I feel badly but it was funny too. He's a sweet boy. 

What I drew for the "My Dad" flipchart:

Monday, May 20, 2013

Word of Wisdom!

This upcoming Sunday, the Sharing Time topic is about the Word of Wisdom!

I might do what I did last year for that topic! It was pretty fun!

First I pointed out to the kids that the Word of Wisdom can be abbreviated as "WOW" the Lord loves me so much that He has given us a list of things that we should and shouldn't partake of, to help us avoid addictions and help avoid things that cause us to lose our ability to have a clear mind and make good choices, or do our part to try to keep our body free of diseases! 

And then I showed them that you can make a W O W sign with your hands: One hand with three fingers up for "W" then make an "O" shape with your mouth and then the other hand also with a "W" -- they liked that!

I wanted to do something fun, so I brought in a set of things that add flavor to our foods. I told the kids they are all natural, and help people enjoy their healthy food even more because of the added flavor. It was a fun guessing game.

I took spices from our cupboard and covered up the labels with paper so they couldn't read them. Called a kid up, had them guess the smell...and if they could then they picked out something from a bag of objects that I brought. And sang the corresponding song!

Cinnamon, garlic powder, vanilla, herbs, etc. Pick your favorites! They actually had some amazing guesses! One kid guessed turmeric!

Objects and songs:
Dumbbell -- For Health and Strength
Temple model -- The Lord Gave Me a Temple
Soap -- The Word of Wisdom
Shoe -- Head Shoulders Knees and Toes
Pillow or small clock -- Healthy Wealthy and Wise

You can also try to squeeze in the songs for the year into the list and make it relevant to the topic!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Joseph Smith's Sing-story

Because our Stake has Stake Conference on the last Sunday of this month, yesterday was our last Sunday in Primary for learning about Joseph Smith and the Restoration!

The song I picked for April's "choice" month was "The Golden Plates" -- I love the sing-song melody! It reminds me of the pioneer songs, like "Covered Wagons." I covered a cracker box with gold shiny tagboard (sorry, I don't have a picture) and used them as a prop last week.

For yesterday's Singing Time, I realized how many songs are in the Children's Songbook about the story of the Restoration! And how many paintings are in the Gospel Art Book! So it seemed like a no-brainer type of a Singing Time -- we would sing his story!

(from the Gospel Art Book)

I made a big sign to tape up to the podium that said, "Joseph's Journey."
I try to avoid using the word "journey" in the figurative sense, because cheezy shows like "The Bachelor" and all the schmaltzy reality TV overused "journey" and now it's tainted. But for Joseph Smith, I made an exception!

Then we talked about some trivia from his life, while showing a picture in the Gospel Art Book, and then sang the corresponding song!

My plan is below!

Picture of Joseph Smith reading the Bible, pg. 89 Gospel Art Book
Joseph wondered which church was true, he found this passage in The Bible, which led him to pray and ask God which was the true church. What was the bible verse? (James 1:5)

Search Ponder and Pray, (pg. 109)

Picture of the Sacred Grove (from the ward library!)
The Sacred Grove was located near Joseph Smith’s home. If you wanted to visit the Sacred Grove area today, what state is it in? (Palmyra, NY)

First Vision, pg. 90
JUNIOR         How old was Joseph Smith when he received the First Vision? (14)
SENIOR         What month and year did Joseph Smith receive the First Vision? (April 1820)

Angel Moroni in his bedroom, pg. 91 Gospel Art Book
JUNIOR         How many times did the Angel Moroni visit him that first night? (3)
SENIOR         The Angel Moroni visited Joseph Smith three times in that first night, he woke up and went out to the fields exhausted, and Moroni visited him again. Who did the Angel Moroni instruct Joseph Smith to tell about the visions and commandments he had received? (his father)

Golden Plates, pg. 86 Gospel Art Book
Who were the Three Witnesses who saw the plates? (others did too) (David Whitmer, Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery)

Priesthood restoration, pg. 93/94 Gospel Art Book
Who visited to give the Aaronic Priesthood to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery?

If time,  I Belong to the Church of Jesus Christ, pg. 77

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Mother's Day Spray Fun!

It's always kind of a goal to have the mother's tear up as their kids sing in Sacrament Meeting on Mother's Day...right?

I took one of the free big Priority Mail boxes and cut out two eye holes that were at the same height as our spray bottle. My plan is to put the spray bottle inside the box. Then I created a mother image on the front of the box covered with plastic wrap (contact paper would work better).

My plan is to have the kids practice the Mother's Day songs the best they can and see if they can make the mother cry! I'll spray out some water when they are nice and loud!