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
Pick a Class to sing a line of the song—everyone starts
singing—when you point to a class, they sing alone. Move quickly to keep
them on their toes.
Assign certain lines to boys and girls to sing.
(clipart from the
computer). I have an owl, canary and parrot. Once again I give the wand
"power" to a child and they get to choose how we sing the song by
interchanging between birds during the song (using the wand to point). The owl
means we sing "hooo", the canary is when we sing properly, and the
parrot is when we talk the words. You can use other bird pictures as appropriate
Tape Record/Video Tape them and play it back so they can
hear how they sound.
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).
Flower windmills at Michaels (it's about 2 feet tall and
I just stuck it in a flower pot with Styrofoam), the kind that look like a
flower then on each petal she wrote a way to sing. The kids spin the
flower and when it stops they sing the way the petal pointing to the stem says.
and it worked great. I always have western as a choice for how to sing and the
kids love it. I just make sure that we sing western style with fun
Song Review with magnets—who, what, where, why, how,
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 -- WHY For each question, call up a child (assistant
detective) to read a question with the magnifying glass.
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
Bag of dress up stuff. After each time they sing I
will choose a good singer to pick out (one thing for thing for ok job, two
things for good, and 3 things for outstanding job) out of the bag and put them
Giant cootie catcher (can be out of poster board)-Under
each flap was a song from the program or whatever. This time, I decided to use
the cootie catcher as a review tool for verse 2 & 3 in "I Lived in
Heaven" My primary kids seem to be getting the first part of the phrases
and then mumbling the rest. So - instead of putting a song under each flap - I
put the first part of each phrase in the 2 & 3 verses (there ended up
being 8 phrases which was the number of flaps I had). For example - under one
flap it would say, "Father said He needed someone....." or "Conquering
evil and death through....." or "There was another who sought...."
As each child came up and picked a numbered flap - I would have them try to
finish the phrase (they could ask for help). Then we would sing the phrase.
"Before and After." All I did was make
some word strips with phrases from different songs. Some that we are
learning and some others that they know. They draw a slip and read it.
Then the group tries to tell what phrase comes before and what phrase comes
after. Then we sing it. Sometimes to get it they have to say the
whole song but they can usually figure it out. In senior, if they need some
help we will deduct some points. It makes them really concentrate on the
words. I give them 5 points if they get the phrase before and 5 points
if they get the phrase after and up to 10 points for how well they sing the
song. When we are done singing, I tell them the score and they decide if
they want to try again for a higher score. I watch to see if everyone is
singing, if they are watching me, if they are involved in the music, etc. to
decide the score. Since Senior primary likes to compete, I tell them how
many points the junior made and let them try to beat it. In junior we
just tried to see how many points we could get.
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.)
Nutty singing: Carefully crack walnuts open - put a
paper with a song title inside and glue the shell back together. The
kids can crack the shell open and discover the song. I like the idea of
putting funny ways to sing inside the walnuts so it really is “nutty”
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 belonged on.
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.
"I CAN" can (it had those words pasted on it)
for when the children were tired of learning songs. It had slips of
paper with the names of the songs the children already knew. It was our
'first aid' kit to get rid of that 'having to learn' feeling.
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 ribbons!
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!
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”)
Unscramble the words to a line from a song we
have learned this year.
Raise your hand when you have figured out one of the songs. Now come up
and lead us as we sing that 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 the song. OR they catch a fish, and if
they sing the song well enough, they can keep it in the “aquarium” (take
the paper backing made for aquariums and attach a clear vinyl to the front of
it with duck tape—makes a “posterboard aquarium” you can take with you
and store your fishing pole and fish in), otherwise it gets thrown back into
the pond (blue fabric on the floor)
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 for them.
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 singing.
Fabric mouse that is on a stick and he hides inside a
piece of cheese. When the kids sing loudly (but reverently) He comes up
out of the cheese. When they aren't singing as well he goes back inside
Huge apple (out of poster board) in front with a worm (your
hand in a pink sock) and have the worm poke his head out when the sing well
and know the words and then poke his head in when they miss or are unsure of a
word. Then stop review that part, have the worm appear happy and continue on.
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 www.primary_art.tripod.com
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. Judging
numbers make them around the half of a page of cardstock size.
I set my page layout to horizontal so I could fit 2 to a page. I
made some real simple borders to frame the numbers and then made the numbers
large enough to almost fill the entire space. Then I printed them off
onto cardstock, cut the pages in half and laminated them. I used a
double hole punch in the top of each page and then put a loose leaf binder
ring into each hole. This made it so I could flip the numbers easily.
I was able to hold it with one hand and lead with the other. I pretty
much held it up and changed the numbers from 8-9-10, occasionally a 7,
depending on how the kids were singing the song. They would begin to
"slip" and get softer if I left it on the 9 for too long! I also had
the numbers on different colors of cardstock so that if they couldn't see the
numbers, they knew they needed to get to the red color because then they were
"Hot". The 9 & 10 were that color. The 7 & 8
were an orange color, the 5 & 6 were yellow and then 1 to 4 were
blue...meaning really cold!
Judges Then I had two presidency members and one teacher (the third presidency
member had to cancel on me last minute!!!) sit in the front and be my judges!
I told the children what they were being judged on (and had it posted on the
blackboard) (volume, melody, words, reverence during songs, reverence in
between songs, how well they stand up together, if they are watching me) and
divided the things being judged (volume etc) among the judges. so they each
had about 3 or 4 things they were judging. I made the judges each a big
flipbook of the numbers 1-10 and they used those to rate the kids! I told the
kids that if they got to a certain number of points in these two weeks that we
would do some sort of treat. When they gave the kids a score for the
song...they explained why they got the score (i.e. I gave you a 8 because some
of you were not singing...) the judges were good and hard on them but it made
the kids sing really well!!
Present: 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.
Music machine Children sing well during singing time then
they get to swing the top open (desktop trashcan and see if there's a surprise
in the machine. stickers, sometimes a hershey kiss, a bookmark.
Flashlight for SR and JR primary. When they are
"letting their light shine" it is on. When they are not, the
light is turned off. When the batteries run out, I have prepared little
treat bags (pencils, bookmarks, stickers, candy) that they will get.
Chocolate Chip Cookies: make graphics to represent
the ingredients used in making the cookies. Make a poster board look
like a recipe card (not necessary but it would be cute) You could title
the recipe - Super Singer Sweets. If the kids participate and sing super
good you add an ingredient, 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-Metermeasures
how well they are singing, and they like to see the arrow move and make it to
fantastic during the song. Use a magnet on the back and back the arrow with a
magnet so it looks like it is “magically” moving
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.
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
5 star songs to review. I made a poster
with all the songs on it and then I made stars and laminated them. I talked to
the kids about what it means to be 5 star. Then we try and sing our songs like
5 star songs. The kids love it. They love to see how many stars they can get
each week. I made a separate poster for jr. and sr. so that they each had to
work on it. I have had parents ask me about our five star songs because their
kids are talking about them at home.
--"Patients"--CSMP songs typed out (can scan the top part from song
book where the picture is with the song title), put into sheet protectors, and
hung by ribbons
--signs that say: "The Doctor is In/Out", "Song Hospital",
Waiting Room", "Admitting/Check-in", "Therapy",
"Check-out", "words", "melody", "spirit",
--gift box with ribbons tied around it that match ribbons on CSMP songs and a
surprise inside for the kids
--doctor/nurse gear (hats, stethoscope, etc.)
The room will be set up as a "Song Hospital." On the bulletin board
(the waiting room) will be the names of all the CSMP songs, hung up by ribbons
(which they can put around their necks). I will set up 5 chairs, where the
"specialists" (word doctor, melody doctor, etc.) will sit with cards
numbered 0-5. One of the children will come and pick a song to be checked-in
to the hospital while 5 children will be picked as doctors/nurses. Each doctor/nurse
will have a special area they focus on (words, melody, spirit, volume, and
watching/following). We will sing the song, and the "specialists"
will evaluate our song's condition, on a scale of 0-5. If our song receives a
4/5 average from all the doctors, then it goes straight to check-out, where a
gift will be sitting with lots of ribbons wrapped around it. The child then
finds the matching ribbon that is on the song and cuts it off the box. If the
song doesn't receive a 4/5 average, then it is admitted to song therapy, where
we will work on whatever specialty felt help was needed. If our "words
doctor" felt that the words needed help, we will do a bean bag activity (pass
around a bean bag--kids say one word of the song and pass it on--so the song
is sung by all kids, one word at a time. If they mess up the word, we sing
that line of the song as a group and start the song over with that child) or
"hot potato" (pass the bean bag around until you stop playing, then
whoever is holding the bean bag guesses what words come next). If the melody
needed help, we will play with the string in the can, with a string that tells
us to sing or hum the song. If the spirit needs some help, we will share our
testimonies about the song. If volume needs help, I will hold up soft/loud
signs that they need to follow. If watching/following me needs help, I will
practice leading them in "fun" ways, and maybe use the boy/girl or
stop/go signs. I think I will have a specialist come up for sign language on
our two sign language songs as well, which will probably need some reviewing.
After some song therapy, we will have the doctors check the song out again, in
hopes it can be "checked out." If it can't, we will admit it to the
hospital--which means the song will wait until a following Sunday, when we
will work quite a while with the song. Eventually, all songs should make it to
the check out point, where matching ribbons will be cut off the box. There
will be one "big, fancy" ribbon on the box though, that does not
match any of the CSMP song ribbons--this is the program ribbon. In order to
cut through the biggest ribbon, they will have to sing at the 4/5 level the
whole program, the day of the CSMP. (They will be able to track their progress
as we do the program, since I will show them by my hand what level they are
singing at--last year I wore a black glove with the numbers on it to show
them...maybe I will wear it again). Inside the box will be their "surprise"
I have promised them. I may also throw in some stuff like "medicine"
for our singers (lemonade in a squirt bottle that I squirt into their mouths)
or a "contagious singing pox" (red sticker dots) if we need some
variety during the weeks.
Walkie-Talkie I had 8 cards - each card
listing one program song and a location somewhere in the church. I
brought my two-way radios and gave one to another adult, and let the kids give
her a code name (midwest mama), then let the adult give us a code name (Billy
Bob Joe). I let a child draw a card, then using CB lingo, I would tell
the adult over the radio where to go (library, gym, etc.). We would sing
the song on the card, and then radio to Midwest Mama to see if she could hear
us from where she was. (Emphasizing to the kids the difference between
singing and yelling.) The children absolutely love doing this, and
gladly sing their hearts out.
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).
"Never louder than Lovely”.
The kids sing loudly (but reverently. The kids know what it means and it is
easy for them to remember.