worth of Singing Time ideas*
(*Not all of these are
my original ideas, thanks to all who contributed ideas over the past 5
(By Penny Judkins)
These are all fun ideas,
but the most important thing to remember is to follow the Spirit. Pray about
your Primary children and your calling.
Use only those things which you feel inspired to use.
Always bear your testimony, because above all, we are teaching Heavenly Father’s
precious children the gospel through music!
- Name that tune
I give a clue to the song and they tell me how
many notes they need to name the song according to what help the clue has
been. Sometimes I turn it around and they choose the song, give me a clue
and I have to guess.
- Chaos & danger
This game came from teaching “Keep the Commandments” You plan in advance
to have the pianist play a different song than you’re singing. The kids
realize how important it is to STAY within the guidelines the Lord has given
us. They have to figure out which song the pianist played and which song we
- Squirt gun/crying Mother poster
I use this poster for Mother’s day and for after the program. I drew a
picture of a mother’s face, big on a poster board. I cut out her eye balls
and hold (usually ask for help) two squirt guns in the holes. As the
children sing beautifully, the mother (cries) as she is touched by the
beauty. This can get out of hand easily, but each time I have used it, the
spirit is strong and the kids try really hard to sing beautifully. I tell
them sometimes, they bring tears to my eyes…. This has to be done in “good
- Pin the bee on flowers poster
This is just like pin the tail on the donkey game, however I have a poster
board full of flowers. The flowers have #’s on them. The kids pin the bee
on the flower and that tells us which song to sing, or if we’re working on
a song, how many times in a row we will sing it. Of course we use a
different “voice” each time. (cowboy voice, opera voice, MoTab voice,
Mouse voice, boy voice, girl voice, ect.
- What Song am I? Game
This is a poster that has big colorful musical notes on it. 8-9 in all. The
poster is sat on the ground and the child or I throw a beanbag and whichever
note it lands on tells us either a phrase from a song, a # of a song, or
tells us three words in a row in the song. They have to tell us which song
it is, then we sing it.
- Easter Bunny with eggs/song titles in
plastic eggs hunt
Use plastic eggs that come apart. Put #’s for the songs, who can sing, or
anything applicable to what you are learning at the time. Be sure to talk
about the “true meaning of Easter” and that we’re just pretending and
having some fun time.
- Combined Easter program for Singing/Sharing
Take any holiday story or parable from the scriptures, add songs
intermittently and you have a wonderful combined Singing/Sharing time. Some
can be found in the Primary files.
- Birthday cake too many candles
I made up birthday cake the size of a poster
board. I filled it with candles. I tell the kids, I’m getting WAY TOO OLD!
And I need them to help me get some of these candles off. The candles have
the #’s and ideas on them. The kids love to help me not be so OLD. Can
also be turned around and made to put the candles on the cake. The candles
are separate and can be taped on and off as everything is laminated.
- Boy with backpack
This is a poster of a boy facing away and we’re
looking at his back. He’s wearing a backpack that I’ve slit the top of.
I attached a large gallons size Zip-lock bag onto it. Inside I have pictures
of books, ruler, pencils, erasers, ect… things you use for school. I have
used to to “fill” the backpack to get ready for school and to empty it
for Spring break or the end of the school year. On the back of each of the
items are the #’s or ideas for the songs we’re learning.
- Silly hat singing time
I went to a thrift store and bought a small
lamp shade. I turned it upside down and attached the ugliest 3” ribbon I
could find. The lamp shade is brown gingham, the ribbon is colorful circles.
I cut musical notes from construction paper and laminated them. Whichever
class is singing the best their teacher has to wear the “hat”…. I
start out wearing it first. I have also turned it around and let the child
singing best and sitting reverently wear it and lead the next song. The kids
love to have their teacher be the one to wear the hat!
- Leprechauns & shamrocks
This is a poster to help us learn songs. In each of the leprechauns hands
are shamrocks that have phrases from the new song. I have also had the
letter from each word on the shamrocks and they have to put them in the
I made a musical die by wrapping a small
square box with white paper. I wrote on each side of the box a different way
to sing the song ie. opera voice, cowboy voice, mouse voice ect I have
several different die I’ve made with different things on them. Fast, slow,
staccato, legato, ect
- Punch poster
I made a posterboard with 9 large circles cut
out of it. On the front of the poster, I put words under each hole like:
hi-yah, ka-pow, hit me, etc. On the back of the poster, I put a single piece
of tissue paper masking taped on the back of each hole (masking tape is
easier to take off and replace later to re-use the poster). I also taped a
piece of yarn above each hole on the back. To the yarn I tape whatever I
- Musical instruments
The children love to play the tambourine,
maracas, cymbals, rhythm sticks etc. I love to pick them up at tag sales,
thrift stores etc. Or make your own. They’ll sing the same song 5 times in
a row and not even notice.
Pictures that they choose the song that matches
I got a bunch of pictures from the library, put them in a box. The kids
choose a picture and tell us which song it reminds them of. Then we sing it.
This is great for taking a break after learning a new song.
- Jeopardy game
I got BIG cardboard pallets from Costco (they use then in between their
toilet tissue cases) I have 4 categories listed on top. Some of these might
be, SEASONAL FAVORITES, BLAST FROM THE PAST, SACRAMENT MTG. PROGRAM, SHAKE
RATTLE & ROLL. Under each category, in a column, have the numbers 1-4
listed. Behind each number will be a question. As the children pick the
category and the point value. You give them the answer (ie: the Lord
provides a way) and they tell you the name of the Song in question form (ie:
What is “Nephi’s Courage”) Then you sing the song.
I use a real umbrella & a mist bottle (squirt
bottle) with plain water in it. I use the finest mist so no one really gets
wet. As we are learning a song, the better they get the words and melody the
more it “rains”. I spray on top of the umbrella and the child is holding
the umbrella. Once in a while I get a little crazy and spray toward the
- Snowball fight
(paper toss) I give each child a piece of
paper. Make sure you stress the fact that we’re in the Church and
sometimes we “toss” snowballs! (be careful or this activity can get TOO
ROWDY). The kids,(with teachers help sometimes) write their names &
their favorite Primary Song. I invite a class at a time to wad & toss
the “snowballs” toward me. Then, I pick up a snowball and we sing that
song. This activity serves a dual purpose; I keep the snowballs and make a
list of the children and their favorite song. Then I have my Top 10
- Singing in a can
Cover a Pringles/peanut can with cute paper or
musical notes, make papers that give directions to sing such as: Sing with
your eyes closed, Humming only, Sing with your favorite Accent, Sing
Standing Up, Sing with your Nose plugged t. If you have a gerbil don’t
sing, Sing every other word, Sing with your mouth closed ect.
- Rocket--blast from the past
To incorporate past songs that the children
have learned into weekly singing without always picking the same ones over
and over. I am going to make a rocket out of a tall empty cheese ball or
Pringles can with a lid. Decorate it to look like a rocket. Put all of the
songs from the last several programs, and any that they already know from
the book, add the new songs as we learn them. This would also be good for
substitutes, or to hand over to a new chorister, so they will be up on what
songs the kids know.
- Get the bugs out
I went to a "Party store/dollar
store" and bought real looking plastic bugs.... I think they cost me 8
for a $1. The kids got a real kick out of it... I put them in a paper bag
and had attached a small piece of tape to the bottom of each bug. I had a
number written on each so I could control which songs we sang. The kids
pulled one bug out or "caught one" and then had to hold it while
we sang the song. We then decided if the bugs had been caught so we could
put it in the BUG JAR (a big miracle whip plastic jug) that I had decorated
with bug stickers. If not, the bug went back into the bag. Great for
reviewing the CSMP songs! (the bugs symbolize the problems with the songs)
(toilet paper tubes/rice) I made shakers out
of toilet paper tubes filled with uncooked rice. I wrapped them with
wallpaper that I got free from a yard sale. The kids love to keep time or
match the rhythm to the songs. Make sure the paper you wrap them in is
pretty sturdy or you’ll have rice everywhere!
- Bowling for Snowmen
Use Snowman clip art, print out several. Tape
them to water bottles. Cover a basketball with batting and wrap white string
around it to hold the batting in place. The kids try to knock over a snowman
with a snowball! The Snowman will have the #’s on them for the songs.
- Turkey shoot
I bought the little “accordion fold”
turkeys. I took a dart gun and let the kids shoot a turkey. Whether they hit
the turkey or not. They got to choose a turkey which had a number written on
them. The numbers corresponded with a song. The kids sing the song and tell
me what blessing the song reminds them of.
- Bean bag toss/pass
Have pianist play a song that you need to review, everyone sings the
song as they pass the beanbag. When the music stops the person holding the
bag sits down. You can also toss the bean bag to a child and they have to
tell you the next word in the song.
- Tic Tac Toe -Theme the X’s and O'
after the season
For Thanksgiving, paper pilgrims and turkeys,
Christmas, Angels and Shepherds etc… Dray a large grid on the chalkboard
or poster board. Each playing piece had a song listed on the back
appropriate to the situation.
- Envelope game
Print out the words to the song and cut them
out. Make enough envelopes with song lyrics for groups of 3-4 children. I
use pictures for Jr. primary since they can’t read. As you all sing the
song, they put the words (or pictures) in the correct order. Good way to
learn a song.
- Target game
I made a huge cardboard target (could draw on
chalkboard) and made 8 sections. I had the children made paper airplanes. As
the sang the songs I picked the one sitting most reverently and smiling
while they sang. They got to fly their paper plane at the target to see
which # (song) we would sing next. Tons of fun! At the end of singing time,
I let everyone fly their plane at the target.
- Memory game
There are many variations to this game. Use
your imagination fo this one. I had to boards, pictures that depicted songs.
They turned over one from each board, if they matched we sang their choice
if they didn’t we sang my choice.
- Singing Baseball
Draw baseball diamond on chalkboard. Divide group into two teams. Coach
has a player in the warm up box and one in the batters box whenever their
team is up to bat .Player steps up to pulpit when at bat. The Questions are
"Pitched" (read) to players and score is kept according to value
of question. Paper hats are moved around bases according to hits and runs.
Each team only gets two "OUTS" per inning. After two RUNs, change
team up to bat A"Bell" is rung every 3-4 minutes, then it's time
for a "MUSIC QUESTION." Sing the song when the question is
- Hot and Cold
Make a note out of black poster board. Send
one child out of the room. Hide the note. Then the children are to sing loud
if "the seeker" is “HOT”near the note and quiet if they are
“COLD” or far away.
- Erasure Pass
Preparation: On the board are a list of words in groups of three. Each
distinct group includes one word from the song being taught and two words
that mean the same or opposite. Example: The song being taught is Seek the
Lord Early. I would choose SEEK as my first word and with it place the words
LOOK and SEARCH. My next group might be for the word YOUTH. With it
CHILDHOOD and ADOLESCENCE. Another group might be FATHER, MOTHER and HOLY
GHOST. Stand in front of the children and state the rules:
1: No talking,
2: No Throwing the eraser,
3: Give the eraser to someone who hasn't had it,
4: Erase only the words NOT in the song (we want the words that remain on
the board to be the words in the song in the order they appear in the song).
Hand the eraser to a child and start singing the song. DO NOT STOP SINGING.
You may go through the song 10+ times before all the wrong words are erased.
The children them come up one at a time and erase one word not in the song.
Teachers may help non-readers, or you may need to prompt when few words are
left. Make sure you keep the rules in effect. If a child erases a wrong word,
be prepared to write it back on without stopping your singing. After all the
wrong words are erased, have the children sing only the words on the board.
Then switch and have them sing all the words except the ones on the board.
- Who wants a million blessings
This game is the same as the Millionaire game but you use questions
about the songs you’re working on. The lifelines can be 1) ask the
audience 2) check the book 3) 50/50
- Song taboo
This is the same as the game Taboo; you make up cards for the children
to pick from. They have to guess the Song Title without saying the words on
the card. Then you sing the song ie:
I Am a Child of God
- Yarn singers
I took 3 colors of yarn and cut them different
lengths. I tied them all together in no particular order. I wound them up
and put them in a paper sack decorated really cute. As the children sang a
child pulled the string between their hands. Each color as it went through
the space between their hands depicted who would sing, one was for boys, one
for girls and one for everyone. As the string was different lengths it was
fun to see the “change”.
- Top 10 songs of the year
(See #18) or Poll the Primary, put together a
list of the most requested songs. Start at #10 and work up to the #1 song.
- Quick draw songs
When the attention is wandering or I just need
to bring them back, I tell them we are going to do a "quick draw".
Everyone think of your favorite song. Put both hands on your knees. When I
say "go!" raise your hand. The first one I see gets to pick the
song. "on your mark" "get set" "Go!" This can
also be like Pictionary where they draw a picture on the chalkboard of the
song they want to sing.
- Scarf Movement
I bought a bolt of material at a sale really
Cheap! I cut it into squares. Each child gets a square or scarf. You paint
with the scarf by moving them through the air. Such as: move it gently, it’s
so gentle just like this song & just like Jesus.
Use it individually or with partners “Can
your hands follow my hands?” Or use body rhythm pattern such as clap, clap
snap, snap, stomp stomp. Partner Rhythm pattern such as patsch (pat thighs),
clap, cross touch to elbows.
- Dancing singers
Have a group of about 8 children come up to
front. Make a circle. Go around in a circle, stepping up tall on one beat
and down low on the next and so on. Really fun for “Truth of Elijah”.
- S-i-n-g-o- game
Take a piece of foam core board or poster
board and make a grid on it like a bingo scorecard. At the top instead of
writing bingo you write singo. In each square you put a small piece of one
side (hook) of velcro. Then you make two sets of markers--one for them to
draw out of a basket and one that will be on the board. I laminated these. I
made mine different colors so I could easily keep them straight. One side
can say anything you want--I put "you're a singing superstar" on
mine and the other side will have different categories on it. You then put a
small piece of the other side (loop) of Velcro on EACH side of the board
pieces. To play you put the markers on the board with the category side
facing out and a child draws a marker from the drawing set. They then have
to choose a song to sing that fits the category they have drawn. If the
group can sing it well enough in your opinion then they get to turn the
matching piece around on the board. The goal is to get a straight line just
like in bingo. For the free space, let them have a free choice marker.
- Singing Olympics
During the Olympics in SLC we opted to “pass
the torch” in Primary as well. I made a torch out of a flashlight with red
cellophane paper over it and we passed it around the room. When our song
finished the next person got to pick the next song. We also had 4 different
games going for our Olympics.
- Cooking up a song
Take kitchen containers, a mixing bowl and spoon, and an apron. Tell the
kids that we were cooking up a song. I had a volunteer put on the apron and
choose a container (empty cool whip, etc.) and add the "ingredient"
to our mixing bowl. Each container has a slip of paper that says either line
1,2,3,or 4. While they are stirring, we have to sing that line 5 times to
help it cook. Believe it or not, this really worked. They all wanted a turn,
and I told them lots of stuff about how their singing helps it to cook. You
decide which order to put the ingreds. Into the mix!
- 2 Bags
I went to fast food bags (2or 3) and ask for
donations of their paper wrappers and french fry wrappers. Most of them are
very happy for the advertisement. I put song titles in them and let the
children reach in their favorite bag and pull out one thing. That’s what
- You be the chorister today
I walk around and touch the children being
most reverent and best examples. They get to lead the music in Primary that
day. I’m still up there teaching but they get to lead.
- Pick a flower
I put flowers all over the Primary room in
cups. I had a vase in the center up by me. Each time a child chose a flower
they came up and put it in the vase. When we finished singing time that day,
we gave the flowers to the pianist.
- Stand up Sit down
Print the key words to the song out. As you
pull out the key words you stand up and sit down when those words come in
the song. This is great if the children are getting restless.
- Puzzle game
Make up a crossword puzzle for the song you’re
learning. The clues would be the key words to the song.
- Stop and Go
Make a traffic light out of 2 black poster boards. Cut out 2 traffic lights
and put red, yellow and green cellophane in between where the lights should
be. I let the children come up and shine a flashlight through the colors. We
sang on green, stopped singing on red and did something different every time
on yellow (girls, boys, clap to rhythm, hum, etc).
- Ball Toss
This is a mini basket ball hoop with a
miniature basket ball. Depending on how many shots they make tells us which
song we sing. If they can’t make any, we sing what the pianist wants to
sing. (she likes to pick once in a while)
- Song (word) search
Make word search puzzle with song titles
hidden in it. There are many sites on the web that will do this for you. All
you have to do is print out and blow them up.
- Hangman / Resurrected man
- Hide the note
- Spin the Wheel (song titles)
You take a desk chair that spins around. Then you choose a child to pick a
teacher/ or the chorister. The teacher sits in the chair, and the child
spins them around.
All around the chair on the floor you have the names of song titles or
phrases, (or some thing else of your choosing).
The teacher puts their feet out, and wherever her feet are pointing closest
too, that's what gets chosen.
Make or buy pipe chimes and have the children
play the corresponding tone to match the song.
Attach paper clips to song titles, have a
baton or play fishing pole with a magnet at the end for the “hook”. The
children fish for the songs to sing or how many measures you will go into
- Fishing for Crickets w/Seagull
I attached a “little Mermaid” Skuddle” (seagull) to a dowel with
yarn. I hot glued a magnet to his beak. I printed out crickets from the “Mulan”
movie and glued paper clips to them. Near the 24th
of July I tell the story of the crickets and seagulls as we sing the pioneer
- Magnetic letters
Use the magnetic letters that you use on the
fridge. Put them in a bag or appropriate container for the season. The
children draw out a letter and choose a song that starts with the letter
they pulled out. For the sake of time, I use the letter that correlates
with the number in the alphabet the letter is. 1-26 (make a list ahead of
time and you CAN use the songs over and over)
Put pictures or words up on the blackboard, and cover each with a piece of
paper. Take turns flipping the paper. I flip one, and the children flip
the other. When they match one we sing that song.
- Detective clueless
Make up a question for each phrase of song....
reduce font to smallest size possible. Envelope: "Classified
Files" containing questions ; Dress as Detective with trench coat/
hat/ sunglasses.... Bring a magnifying glass Make five question marks
labeled with the five W's - laminate, stick magnetic tape on back to place
on chalkboard. Five Important "W's"
All detectives (or reporters) know that they need to ask these questions
when looking for clues to solve a case. WHO -- WHAT -- WHEN -- WHERE --
For each question, call up a child (assistant detective) to read a
question with the magnifying glass.
- Dress the Missionary
Bring two of each item, suit coat, name
tags, shoes, Book of Mormon etc. Select two helpers. The team that sang
the best got to 'dress' their missionary then the team that had their
missionary dressed the most when time was out got to sing their favorite
- Paper Orchestra
This is so much fun! Everyone gets a piece
of paper and you make different noises with the paper. You can roll it and
sing through it, you can blow on it to make a squeaking noise, tap it for
“raining” sound, use your imagination! Time is your only limit. At the
end of our time, I have them tear them into little pieces and see how
quietly they can sing to see if they can hear all the pieces hit the
bottom of the trash can as everyone walks quietly by it.
- Yearly theme game
Take the theme of the year and make up a
song to go with each letter in the words or a song for each word. Let the
kids pick a word and sing the song that correlates with it.
- Balloon popping
Put titles of songs inside balloons and then
blow them up. Have the kids come up and sit on the balloons to pop them to
see which song to sing. Or you can put phrases inside and you sing the
song until you get to that phrase.
- Book of Singing Stories
Make a book with poster board. On each page
have a picture or “clue” depicting a Primary song. The kids get to
turn the page to the song they want to sing. I have several pages that I
can change out. You can use color copies of the GAK pictures, they’re
- Celestial Challenge
This idea is from The Primary Page. It has a
gold sun, silver moon, and white stars, all on a black board. Each is
labeled accordingly - celestial kingdom, terrestrial kingdom, and
telestial kingdom. On little squares of poster board, I have made up
"icons" for each program song - a picture and the name of the
song, for both the older & the younger children’s benefit. They are
taped up in "Outer Darkness" at the beginning of the year, then
once a month, we have our "Celestial Challenge." I have them
sing each song, and the Presidency tells them whether they have sung it
well enough for the program (Celestial Kingdom/sun) or maybe it needs some
more work. The goal is to get them all on the sun (Son)!
- Build a Jack-o-lantern
I use a real pumpkin. Not carved. I made
different eyes, noses, and mouths and let the children choose faces and
put them on the pumpkin. Duct tape works best to attach them. I laminate
everything so I can use it over and over. Black construction paper works
best for the features. Except for the teeth.
- Holiday things
It’s just use your imagination time! Around any holiday you can find
things that correlate. Build a Snowman, or “undecorated” the Christmas
tree in January, Have love letters in Feb. and so on.
- Toilet tissue Unroll
Unroll a roll of toilet tissue and write
song titles on random squares and re-roll. Then let each child take off
one square and the ones with song titles get to lead their songs.