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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Simply Singing - Some fun props (don't leave home without them!)

Simple Props!!!

I make reference to my "Mary Poppins" bag alot.  If you are familiar with the Mary character, you know she carried around an extraordinary carpet that had things in it to decorate an entire nursery, like a lamp and a hat rack.  I feel every chorister needs a little magical bag like Mary. I do not have a hat rack in my fake carpet bag, but I do have some props that I don't ever leave home without.  Sometimes it feels like I am carting luggage for a 2 week stay overseas rather than just going to church for 3 hours.  However, you gotta do what you gotta do and sometimes it is just nice to have FILLERS on hand in case things in primary need a little UMPH or redirection.  I keep these simple props in my bag for this reason.

I just free handed the drawings.  I often will just look at coloring book art and copy the simple cartoon drawings.  Again, sorry no templates.  But making your own version of this would be easy with all the resources out there on line.  What I love about the blogs I have seen is that I see a great idea and just make it fit my primary group and my abilities, ect.  So I will probably rarely post templates, rather I just post my ideas to serve as a spring board for your own imagination!

The first is just the "SHHHHHHHHHH" boy and girl. I use this if they are really noisy.  I will hold the signs up until they notice and they usually will mellow out.

The other signs are BOYS SING and GIRLS SING.  These are great to use when teaching a song.  If you want to have a competition or you can rotate them in a song and have the kids watch so they know when they are suppose to sing and when they are suppose to not. 

I also use the simple STOP AND GO.  One side is STOP and one side it GO.  Again when teaching a song that you sing over and over (man I must have A.D.D. because I really get bored after singing a song 3-4 times).  It's fun to just spice it up with the STOP and GO or the GIRLS SING/BOYS SING or whatever. 

Happy Singing....!

Playing I-SPY in primary


Again I saw something like this on a blog and had to make my own version of it. I found this funny toy at the $1-section at Wal Mart.  I had to buy it.  I use it as my SPY glass even though you really can't see anything through it.  It's all for visual effect!  I did this a few weeks ago as my singing time.  I had pictures hung all over the room, like of the prophet, the temple, of nature, of a happy family, ect.  And I would look through my spy glass and call out clues.  The chosen helper had to identify what picture I was talking about by listening to the clues.  Then they would find the picture and bring it to me and on the back would be a song that coordinated with the picture.  It was fun!

I figure I could use this spy glass to find a reverent child I keep this spy glass in my "Mary Poppins" bag and I may  just bring it out to help me look for a specific helper!  Could be fun!

Wiggle Worm Jar

Kirstin's cute idea!

Again, my sister is amazing.  She showed me this cute wiggle worm jar she made and I had to copy it.  No template, just us gals who like to color and draw.  The jar is a poster with a pocket and inside the pocket are the WORMS.  You could just make the worms and put them in a REAL jar if you don't want to go to the trouble of making a jar.  There is alot of intricate drawing involved in the wiggle jar poster so I just posted a pix of how you could simplify this if need be.    The worms just have WIGGLE songs on them:


The worms are a beanie worm, gummy worm, singing worm, book worm, bird with a worm in its mouth and a worm eating its way out of an apple

Super cute.  Thanks Kirstin. I have had this jar for 10 years and it has come in handy so many times when the kids are restless and need to do a fun song!

Reverence Ideas - Chapel Doors

Another Reverence Idea

Again, I do alot of reverence activities while the kids come into primary after Sacrament Meeting.  We have an enormous primary.  With the amount of kids we have, we just need things to engage the kids so they don't go hay wire while we wait for everyone to come in the primary room and sit down, so we can start primary!

I do CHAPEL DOORS alot as it is a song the kids love to sing. I just made this goofy poster that has opening doors and I hold it while we sing and I open the doors at the SHHH part.  It is just something visual for them to look at.  The sunbeams need this or they like to stare at the ceiling and pick their noses, ya know?  I just free handed these drawings as you can tell.  So there is no template but pretty easy and simple cartoon drawings on a poster!

Reverence Shuffle Cards

Reverence Ideas

When the kids start coming into the primary room after sacrament meeting, they come with alot of energy and NOISE.  It is very disruptive and it's hard to settle them down to start primary.  So I always go in early so I am there and I have reverence songs going, which helps the kids AND the teachers remember they just need to be quiet and reverent while we wait for primary to start.

I again cannot take credit for this cute idea.  My sister Kirstin is a master chorister and she gave me these posters a decade ago when I was first called to this calling and freaking out a little about how to get the kids engaged.  They are signs that tell the kids how to sing.  They work best if you just shuffle them while you sing a song.  So let's say, we are singing  I AM A CHILD OF GOD for reverence...I have the pianist play that song over and over and I just shuffle the cards, they have to watch me closely so they know what to sing.  They love it and it keep them focused and not chatting while we wait for everyone to come into the room and sit down.

One of my favorite songs to do these cards with is...I AM LIKE A STAR.

I have no template for these.  This is the art work of my sister but I assume they could be made with clip art or by your own ingenuity. I always have this in my "Mary Poppins" bag on Sundays and I bring them out often when I want to engage them in a reverence activity of do something different with a song they know well.

Lion = LOUD
Mouse = Soft
Girl = Lulu  (sing the sound Lou Lou Lou)
Bird = tweet
Bee = Hum

You can also use these individually, if you want the kids to sing louder, hold up the LION or softer, hold up the mouse...ect.  There are lots of ways to use these signs. They are SOOOO handy!

New Lyric To An Oldie But Goodie - We Are A Happy Family


I Love Jesus
He Loves Me
He Loves Families
We Build Temples
And So You See
We'll Be Together Eternally

This might be fun to sing in a Valentines Singing Time as it has to do with Love and our Savior.  I think it is very sweet!

The Primary Wiggle Wheel

The Primary Wiggle Wheel

So I made this years ago and dusted it off 6 months ago when I was called again as chorister. I bought this lawn decoration from Michaels.  It seems they have this stuff in craft stores in the spring, they are meant to go in the yard.  It is a huge plastic flower on a stick.  I printed song titles off the computer, cut and pasted them on to each petal.  I put Wiggle songs on this, but you could put the songs of the week on it or ways to sing songs or lines of a song if you are teaching a song, too.  Endless possibilities!  Have the kids spin it...the petal closest to the red mark on the stick is the song they sing.  The kids love to give this a big spin.  I often bring this out if we have extra time or if the kids are getting restless.  

CHOOSE THE RIGHT (Teaching the hymn for Februrary '12)


Last year, our priamary's anthem was Scripture Power, and every time we sung that song, in the chorus, the children would hold up their scriptures.  They really sang that song with gusto!  I loved it.  So this year, I felt they needed something to raise in the air.  So I made these CTR sticks.  They will hold them up in the air when we sing the chorus of CHOOSE THE RIGHT.  This Sunday, I just plan on drilling the chorus.  Again, I have the junior kiddos and so we just take one thing at a time with them.  But I thought these were kinda cute.  I found the clip art on line and just made copies on green paper, cut and laminated them and glued them to skewers sticks.

Monday, January 30, 2012


I again cannot take credit for this.  I will say this is one of the most favorite and requested songs in my primary currently.  I got this idea long ago from a lady name Julie Coles.  Thanks Julie!  Since then I have used the idea to write new lyrics for a version of this song but for autumn time, but since fall is over, I will just post this one for now.

to the tune of Popcorn Popping:

I looked out the window and what did I see (hands out in "WHY" position)
Snowflakes falling right up to my kneww (action = snow falling and then slap knee)
Winter's brought me such a nice surprise, snowflakes falling right before my eyes (hands out, mimic snow falling and then point to eyes)
I can take an arm full and a ball (arms in rounding motion to, scooping motion)
Stack 3 high for a snowman tall ( show 3 fingers and then show tall by three levels reaching to the sky)
It wasn't really so, but it seemed to be (pointing motion like in original song)
Snowflakes falling right up to my knee (motion snow falling and then slap knee)

KIDS LOVE THIS.  And if you are really brave you can wear a hat and scarf when you sing it.  They love seeing leaders be silly!

Valentines Day Ideas - heart bouquet and mailbox

Being IN LOVE with primay! gotta love primary!  It's especially fun when holidays roll around.  Here are the ideas I am doing for the next two weeks in primary with a VALENTINES theme.

First:  Again, I cannot take credit for this idea.  But I did my own version of it.  This is a bouquet of hearts.  I just copied and laminated these and put them on sticks.  I found this pail in the Dollar Spot at Target.  I filled it with rock salt and stuck these hearts in at varying heights to make a bouquet!

The hearts tell the children different ways to sing song. If you look in the index of the primary song book, you will find a whole list of songs under the title LOVE.  So I am just going to write myself a list of these great songs, ie: Love One Another, Jesus Said Love Everyone, Love Spoken Here, ect.  I will pick a helper and they will choose a heart and it will tell us how to sing these songs:

The hearts say:

Okay here's another idea!

My son made this cute little mailbox in his preschool.  It's a saltine box that is covered and decorated and the flap on the end has sticky velcro to make it open and shut.  But I also noticed these cute little tin mailboxes at the $1-Spot at Target as well.  They would work.  Anyway, this singing time is about LOVE LETTERS.  I bought a pack of note cards for $1 at Target.  My daughter kindly decorated the outside of them for me with foam stickers.  Inside I just printed out little messages. 

Who is your best friend?

Name One thing you love about your family!

Temples are where we are sealed together as families forever.  Which is your favorite temple?

How do you show kindess and love in your home?
Love Is Spoken Here

Jesus is the perfect example of love.
How do you feel the Savior's Love?
I Feel My Savior's Love

Showing kindess is showing Love
How do you show kindess?
Jesus Said Love Everyone

something fun - Conversations Hearts for Valentines Day

Here is something fun...

I swore I would never be a blogger, but here I am.  I just want to pay it forward to all the people who have saved me over the past few months.

So these are the conversation hearts.  I have seen these on many blogs.  So I cannot take credit for them. But I did tweak the idea a little.  I just did this on Sunday.  I have the little kids and so they aren't great readers just yet.  So I color coded the hearts.  Each heart had a saying (ie: CALL ME) and then in the same color I would write the song that coordinated with it (I HOPE THEY CALL ME ON A MISSION).  The hearts with sayings I put magnets on the back and put them on the chalk board.  I called up helpers and they would choose a heart and then they would have to search the room to find it's color match (and tell us what song it was).  I had the song hearts just stuck on the walls, piano, doors, cabinets, ect.  We made all the matches and the kids though it was super fun and we sang some fun songs that we never get to sing otherwise.

Here are the songs and sayings I chose

Marry Me =  I Love To See The Temple
Call Me = I Hope They Call Me On A Mission
U R A STAR = I Am Like A Star
Yes-Sir-Ree = Happy Family
Smile = Smiles
Big Kiss = Daddy's Homecoming
I Do = Mother I love You
Teach Me = Teach Me To Walk
Be Wise = Wise Man Foolish Man
SHHHHH = Chapel Doors

I love anything to do with holidays.  I have a few new postings to get to having to do with Valentines Day as well!

Conversation Hearts For Valentines Day

okay...these are the pictures of my conversation hearts!
Again, the SAYING matches the song
So the yellow says
and it's matching heart says

I had the kiddos match the hearts

Getting Started

Just getting started!  Six months ago, I was called as the primary chorister for my ward.  I have had this calling before, perhaps 10 years ago when I was a young mom with babies.  I spent my days coloring and laminating things for singing times.  Thankfully, I saved all that stuff.  WHEW, as it has come in so handy now that I am back in the "singing saddle" once again.  Now that I have this gig again, I am realizing how many resources there are out there thanks to the blogs of some seriously talented women.  I thank them as they help me each week to come up with new and creative ways to teach songs...but more importantly, these great ideas have helped me teach kids to love primary (and to sing). 

I am not the blogger type so this will be a work in progress for me but I hope to share some fun things that I am doing with my kids.  I am the JUNIOR chorister (by the way), so many of my ideas are geared towards young children as the eldest kids in my group are 6 year old. I have a lot of non readers and they get antsy singing one song for 20 minutes.  So I like to play games and sing a variety of songs to keep them loving primary!

Here goes...  Brittany H.