Stop/Go—stop for hum, go for sing or stop for loud,
go for soft, etc.
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).
Song Review with magnets—who, what, where, why, how,
Muffin Tin review game
Throw a beanbag into a muffin tin—each “muffin spot”
is labeled with a song/way to sing. The muffin tin idea can also be used
with actions in the bottom of the tins such as buzz, clap, stand and sit on
a particular word, girls only, boys only, teachers only etc... I sometimes
let the child who is throwing the beanbag pick which song and then the
actions will tell us how we get to sing it.
Rhythm instruments to beat out rhythm
Fancy box with jewels on it: fill it with slips of
paper with songs on it and if you have extra time or if you are sick it’s
in the cupboard ready to go. The kids pass it while they sing the song and
when the song ends whoever is holding it gets to pick the next song. (If
they’re holding it trying to manipulate the results, trick them by singing
it again or gently taking it from the troublemaker and give it to somebody
else to pass.)
I took a dark blue poster board and then cut different
sized circles out of fluorescent colored papers and glued them on to look
like planets. On each planet I wrote the name of a song. Then I cut out
Rocket Ship shapes and on the back of each rocket was a phrase from one of
the songs. The kids could pick a rocket and then decide which planet it
It has been posted before on here to decorate a
Pringles Can like a rocket and write "Blast From the Past" on it
and sing LAST years program songs and see if the kids remember them.
Wiggle Worm Songs
I saved a peanut butter jar and made a sign for it that
says "Wiggle Worm Songs." I then went through the CSB and
chose songs that would be great to sing when the children get the wiggles.
I typed those up and copied them onto 4 different colors of bright
cardstock--each song is only in the jar once, though. I then cut the
song names into strips, rounded the ends, drew smiley faces on one end and
then crinkle folded them and put them in the jar. It turned out really
cute. I will give my pianist a list of the songs in the jar so that
she can be prepared to play them whenever we need it.
Cut the Tie
We had the bishop come in to hear Jr. Primary sing all
9 songs. I had him sit in the front facing the children and put a very ugly
tie on him (his "Special Singing Tie”), which we cut as we
sang. The children really enjoyed it and we ended up with a good
assessment of each song (the Primary Pres. kept a scoreboard) and a tie in
Singing Hat--a very silly-looking hat (put it on the
child who is singing the best, or on the teacher who’s class is singing
the best) OR attach a clothespin to it at the brim and on 3x5 cards, write
words that are found in the song. Pick a child to come to the front and
place the mystery word on the hat, not letting them see it. Have the
children sing through the song, omitting that word and see if the child
wearing the hat can guess what the word is. It is fun to take main words out
(like “prophet” in Follow the Prophet) and then move to words that are
repeated more often (maybe “thee” or “we”)
Weekly super singer award. I pick a boy and girl in the
jr. and sr. primaries and I have these little die cut award ribbons that I
attach a little pompom critter to. I keep track of who’s gotten the award
so that everybody gets a turn.
Stickers, Stickers, Stickers, I’ve found ones that
say Super helper, and Ask Me What I Learned Today at a school supply store.
I like both but I really like the latter because hopefully when their
parents see it they will ask and the kids will remember and sing the song
If I’m working on a new song sometimes I’ll make up
a cute bookmark with maybe a verse or key phrase from the song on it and
give those out to thank them for working so hard.
Song Bird Puppet: (I got this idea from a McCall’s
pattern booklet and I revised it a little) 18” long ¼” dowel, wooden
bead that fits on the end, 3” diameter Styrofoam ball, blue adult crew
sock, orange felt scrap, 2 wiggly craft eyes, empty and clean pint cottage
cheese container. Poke a hole carefully in the center of the bottom of the
container. Put the stick through the hole and attach the wooden bead to the
end. Push the Styrofoam ball onto the other end of the stick so that it fits
into the container. Remove the ball and squirt glue into the hole and then
put the ball back on the stick. Slide the sock over the ball lining the seam
up with where the mouth of the bird would be. Pull the sock up and apply
glue to ball and then smooth the sock back down over the ball and then pull
over the container. The sock should know be completely covering the cottage
cheese container, and the Styrofoam ball. Now glue the eyes on and cut a
diamond out of the felt. Fold in half to make beak and glue on seam line.
The kids love this shy bird that only pops up when it hears wonderful
Special Glasses that can see great singers. Hot glue
jewels around a funny pair of glasses.
Special ears glued to a headband that hear great singers.
Eddie Spaghetti—Draw a large boy on a poster board (shoulders
on up). Cut out a small circle for his mouth. Put a large pasta bowl filled
with twine (all wound up to look like a bowl of spaghetti). Helper feeds Eddie
the “spaghetti”. The more participation, the more Eddie eats. They try to
get Eddie to finish all his spaghetti before the song is done. Artwork found
at Christy’s Primary Clipart page
Balloon popping game—based on how well they sing they
get a certain number of pumps with a bicycle pump until they pop a balloon.
(Have one balloon represent one song—goal is to pop that songs balloon—have
to sing until you can!)
Judging—kids have flip charts or pads with the numbers
1-10 or 1-5. Kids vote on how well their peers sing a song.
Fill a box with a treat (one for each child) wrap it in
bright paper and then wrap the same amount of ribbons around it as there are
songs for this years program. When the kids have mastered a song they get to
cut a ribbon off. When they’ve mastered all of them the box will be open and
they can get their reward.
Graphics for ingredient to cookies. If kids participate
and sing their best then you add an ingredient to a poster. When the kids have
earned all the ingredients for the cookies then they get cookies the following
week. This is fun because it takes them weeks of work to get the reward.
I brought "Happy Singing Pills" (Skittles) in a
bowl and halfway through when they started to get restless, I had a member of
the presidency pass them around and let each child who was singing well take
two "pills." They got excited, it wasn't messy, and it was a
Singing Spray—Fill Squirt Bottle w/lemonade or some
other non-staining juice. It is used if everyone is singing—squirt once into
mouth w/o making contact. Tell them it only helps them sing better if they are
already singing—no singing, no squirt.
Thermometer: White foam core with a thermometer drawn on
it. Make a slit in the bottom of the thermometer and at the top. Take a piece
of red ribbon the length of the thermometer and a piece of white ribbon the
length of the thermometer and sew them together. Feed the ribbon through the
slots and adjust so that only white shows on one side and only red show on the
other so that when they sing the temperature can rise and go clear to the top.
Write: “We’re Having a heat wave, a musical heat wave, the temperature’s
rising, it isn’t surprising, we’re learning our songs!” Keep track of
progress with thermometers you can color in the level you got for each song.
“Sunny Singers” meter or Sing-O-Meter
Make a seasonal/theme picture with parts of the picture
to be added to or colored in each week as the children learn a new song well.
As parts of the song or songs are mastered, invite a child to come color a
part of the picture.
Get the Bugs Out!
I put several large paper insects on the bulletin board.
Each insect had the name of a program song on the back. I asked the kids if
they knew what it meant to "get the bugs out" of something. They
understood that this meant we were going to fix any little things that were
wrong with something. Then I told them that although we know all the program
songs, today we were going to "get the bugs out". I told them of
four areas that we would be working on:
1. words (fix any word problems)
2. sing (make sure everyone was singing in their best voices)
3. watch and follow...I told them they must glue their eyes to me
as soon as they heard the piano intro. We practiced doing this a few
times. We also practiced standing up and sitting down.
4. Reverence (no talking...arms folded...feet quiet)
The children chose a bug and we sang the song on the back. I reminded them of
the four things I was looking for. If they did the song correctly then we got
to put that "bug" into a big jar. If not, we left it on the bulletin
board to work on some more. The junior boys especially liked this.
I made a poster with pictures and clipart of children.
This represented the Primary children. I then took and drew musical notes
above them as if they were singing. I went to the Dollar Tree and bought some
bugs. On the bottom of the bugs I attached a number. The number matched a
cheat sheet I had made with the primary songs and the page number of the song.
I placed the bugs on the poster with that white sticky stuff and let the kids
come take turns picking bugs. I directed with a fly swatter just for fun. If
the children sang the song with little to no flaws I removed the bug and the
more they sang and reviewed the better they got. Eventually we were bug free.
The children knew the songs and I was happy it was all over.
I had used the "Get the bugs out" idea with the
gummy worms for the past two weeks as we had our final rehearsals. I
made a tree on a poster board and cut apples that had the titles to program
songs on them and 3 gummi worms on the inside. If they sang the song and got
the words right, one gummy worm came out of the apple. If they sang it strong,
another one, and if they sang standing/sitting up tall and facing me, they got
the third one out. The gummy worms went into a jar. When the jar was full,
they each got a worm. The children all loved eating the gummy worms at the end
Today, I brought all of my children's ample supply of
plastic insects and told the children that now that we had all of the bugs
out, we were going to play with them for a while. I got the idea from a
birthday party type booklet to have the children take turns standing on a
chair and dropping insects down into a small tin or wide mouth canning jar. I
gave the child 5 bugs to drop and for each bug that made it into the tin, I
counted that many more children along the row to determine which child would
come up to choose our next song.
I had made up a poster size maze with bugs placed
liberally around in the labyrinth. At each point in the maze where a
choice of direction had to be made, I placed a large number. I had also
previously prepared a list of all of their favorite songs and assigned each
one to a particular choice point and option along the way. Example: Choice
point #1 had the possibility of going right or left. Choice point 2 had
the choice of going right, down, or back where they came from, etc.
For the Junior Primary, the selected child came up and chose the direction
that we would take from each choice point. We then sang the song
associated with that choice. For the Senior Primary, I made it much
harder. They got to a choice point and then I gave them the list of
songs [for that particular choice point] to choose from but did not tell them
which direction their choice would take them. ... We had such a blast.
The Senior Primary particularly got into the dropping of the bugs.
Celestial Challenge This idea is from The Primary Page. It has 3 large circles depicting the
degrees of glory: 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. Card had name and
page number of song and number of verses. to be learned. They are taped up in
"Outer Darkness" at the beginning of the year, then once a month, we
have our "Celestial Challenge." (Telestial Kingdom—songs we are
working on. Terestial Kingdom—songs they know pretty well, Celestial Kingdom—songs
that are program ready.) 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
Fun reward for after they’ve sung in Sacrament Meeting:
Sour Warhead Individually wrapped candy glued or taped onto a card that says,
“I didn’t hear a single sour note!” (You could use any sour candy, these
are just small and easy to attach).