music background

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Swan Song

Today was my swan song.  Yes, I was released as primary chorister.  It's been a rough week for me as I have prepared for today, knowing it would be my last day in primary.  I have really loved this calling.  It's been nearly 3 years and I have just learned so much from the children.  They all came up and gave me hugs today and it was hard to not cry...I will miss them a great deal.

I am now Camp Director. I really loath Girls Camp.  OOOPS, did I say that out loud?  Sorry, TMI.  I was also put in as the Additional Relief Society Meeting leader.  Relief Society isn't nearly as fun as primary.  So 2014 will be a year of growth for me.  I am trying not to have a pity party but sadly I feel very sorry for myself today. 

I appreciate all of you who have read my blog and given me nice feedback.  I appreciate all the blogs I have visited and gleaned ideas from.  It is what has made this calling so rewarding.  Your ideas have made me dig deep and come up with new and inventive ways to teach songs and get the kids to really love singing the gospel.

Thank you.  Good luck with the new season of songs.  I hope I get back in the saddle some day but until then, I bid you all adieu.

Love,  Brittany

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Christmas Caroling

So I decided to make caroling books for the children this year.  It is hard when you sing these songs only once a year (if that because you never get to them all).  I know the kids are familiar with the tunes but not the lyrics.  So I typed up the Christmas songs in the song book and put them in a little pamphlet book.  We will be using these pamphlet books all month long, so I pass them out at the beginning of singing time and then collect them at the end.  This doesn't really help the kids who can't read but it does allow me to do a lot of fun things with the seniors and in junior primary, the back row can read and the teachers can follow along which might be enough help to do more songs this month than I would typically do.

So along with my books I have created some singing cards.  These cards can be used for several Sundays in a row because they are all different and you won't get to them all in one Sunday.  Just make sure you pull the cards out that you used in the previous weeks so you don't repeat in the following week.  I like to keep it fresh for the kids. 

Note you can put the song title in the card stack more than once, just make sure you present it differently.

Jesus Is Born (to the tune of Follow the Prophet - see older posts under CHRISTMAS lable for lyrics) - clap out rhythm and have the kids guess song - then sing

Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus- Name this tune in 5 words of less.  Have the kids read off the clues one by one 1. waiting 2. prophets 3. Book of Mormon 4. signs 5 overseas  Can they guess the song?

Have A Very Merry Christmas-  Hum this song, without piano, and have the kids guess what it is

Once Within A Lowly Stable -  Looo-Looo this song, without piano, and have kids guess what it is

The Nativity Song-  Using a bag of props that you give to the helper, have him/her pick some out and act out this song and see if they can guess which song it is.  (note:  my helps are like pieces of the nativity, a picture of the new star, or a stable, ect... nothing big)

Picture a Christmas-  Pictionary, with chalk, have the helper draw this song on the chalk board and see if the kids can guess what it is.  Hint, have the kids draw a camera or a picture frame (if they need help)

Away In A Manger-  Pictionary, with chalk, have a helper draw this song on the chalk board and see if the kids can guess what it is.  Hint, draw a manger far away with an arrow pointing towards it(if they need help)

Little Jesus -  Pictionary, with chalk, have the helper draw this song on the chalk board and see if the kdis can guess what it is.  Hint, draw a teeny tiny Jesus (if they need help)

Shepherd's Carol-  AROUND WE GO!  This is a COOL song, have you ever sung it?  Have the kids sing this in a round.

When Joseph Went to Bethlehem -  Name that tune, have the pianist give a few notes.  Have the helper tell the pianist how many notes to give and then the helper can give more notes if the audience isn't getting it.

Christmas Bells -  Clap out the rhythm to the audience, can they guess it?  Then have helper pick other helpers to ring the bells while singing this song

Stars Were Gleaming -  Name this tune, have helper tell the pianist how many notes to give...

Again if you think of other things to do with the songs you can vary the activities on the back of these cards as much as you want, thus songs can be in the pile more than once.  Like you can do Pictionary for one song and also name that tune for that same song, this just allows you to sing these songs more this season.  The goal is to give a variety of activities while singing ALL these songs. I did eliminate a few songs in the Christmas sections because my kids are totally unfamiliar with them and I felt it was not a good fit for my kids but you can include them all if you like.  You can also include the well known Christmas hymns.  How I have been doing this is that we sing the Christmas hymns for opening and closing songs and then the primary Christmas songs during music time.  Perhaps this singing time idea will give you a few weeks of activities and you won't have to continually be preparing every week, which is why I did this, to simplify my December.  I am using it for the next 2 weeks. 

I have loads of other Christmas ideas under my CHRSTMAS label at the bottom of my blog as well for those of you stuck without ideas this holiday.  Also, SUNBEAM SINGING always posts cute, cute things.  Good luk. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Turkey Target

I have been thinking of things to do this month that are different than what I did last year themed around Thanksgiving.  I was fooling around with the previous post and my son's NERF guns and decided the kids would probably love a singing time with the NERF alone.  Maybe you have a son who has a NERF gun, if you do, this might be an idea for you!

What about a Turkey Target, print this out and put it on the chalk board and let the children have target practice.  This could be fun.  Each helper would get a turn and then you can sing a song with after each attempt...if they get a bull's eye, then the helper could choose the song or they could choose a class to sing it or teachers only or something silly or different.  Here is the link to the target:

Or you can make your own. 

Free Turkey Target

Turkey Shoot- new spin on an old idea

Sometimes I hate repeating ideas. I have been at this job long enough that when seasons rolls around and around, I get the same old tired games out.  It's times like these that I try to think of ways to reinvent those games or ideas and make them fresh.

So last year, I did post my Turkey Bowl idea.  The is a template for these balloon turkeys (sorry mine from my previous post is horrible) are found at this creative gal's blog.

So I have used these turkeys a lot of was designed as a bowling game, which is totally fun but I have played it with the kids this way before and wanted to reinvent it.  And here is how:

I was thinking about a TURKEY SHOOT.  I have 6 turkey cards to the helper can choose from. 

Each card has a direction on one side and a song on the back:

1)  Toss the Turkey - toss a ring around a turkey (so you just set one of these little balloon turkeys out and see if the helper can get the ring around it.  Give them several attempts!  Whether they can get the ring around the turkey or not, you sing the song on the back.  SONG:  HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A TURKEY
2)  Pumpkin Roll- much like bowling but you use a mini pumpkin.  Just set up one of these balloon turkeys on the floor and have the child see if they knock it down by rolling a pumpkin at it.  Song:  TURKEY DINNER
3)SHOOT IT-  Nerf gun...have the child see if they can shoot it with the Nerf gun.  (I suspect this one will be popular)  Song: COUNT YOUR BLESSING, just the chorus.
4)  GET A STRIKE- so set up the balloon in a bowling formation and do one round to see if the helper can get a strike.  SONG:  My HEAVENLY FATHER LOVES ME
5)  Pop Goes The Turkey-  have the helper come up and pop the turkey with a pin.  SONG:  CHILDREN ALL OVER THE WORLD.
6)  YOU'RE A TURKEY-  Free Choice:  whatever they want and out of all the options of a strike, a pumpkin roll, a pop or a Nerf shot, they can choose which method they want to shoot the turkey.  Then they get to pick the song as well.

This is just a way to spice of the old version of this game.  I think it will be fun because we are doing something different with every turn.  If you don't want to make these balloon turkeys you could come up with your own target and use that instead. I have these made which is why I am using them.  Saves me a headache but I would imagine anything would work!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Draw A Turkey & Sing

I saw this idea on PINTEREST and wondered if I could make it into a singing time.  Here is how I think I will work it.  This singing time will be done on the chalk board.  You can print this graphic out below to give to the child so they can see what they are suppose to draw and how.  Here is the link if you want to go to the site to print it off:

I have a large dice and the helper will roll, depending on the number they roll, they will have to draw with chalk, the shape...of course this will be sort of tricky and perhaps silly because typically you'd start with the base of the turkey but who knows what you will roll.  This turkey could end up looking quite strange!

You can do this two ways...each time a helper draws, you can sing a song with it OR you can just draw the turkey as you roll the dice but if a helper rolls a number that you've already drawn, then that is when they have to sing.  Otherwise, if the helper rolls a number that has already been rolled and drawn, you give them a second try.

SINGING TIME IDEA: game Roll-a-Turkey game -

Monday, October 28, 2013


Last year, I posted the idea of singing TURKEY DINNER with the primary children and I attempted to attach the music and it was so poor quality. I found a simple version of ARE YOU SLEEP ON THE NET

Turkey Dinner
Turkey Dinner
Gather 'round
Gather 'round
Who will get the drum stick
Yummy yummy yum stick
All Sit Down
All Sit Down

Corn bread muffin
Chestnut stuffin'
Pumpkin pie
One foot high
We were all much thinner
Before we came to dinner

You can sing this in a round. 

It's kinda fun!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Songs for the Seasons!

I often add stuff to my music mix in primary that are not in the primary song book.  Sadly my pianist finds this super annoying.  I love her.  She is the best!

I have included two little ditties if you are interested in adding anything over the next few months.  This first song is called ONE BRIGHT STAR.  I found this website with free sacred music.  I love it. I am also the WARD MUSIC CHAIR and so I have used stuff off this site often in doing music in primary and for sacrament meetings.  They had this sweet little song for primary children.  What I love about this song is that it is easy.  ONLY 2 verses and the second verse is shorter than the first.  I find it hard to teach some of the primary Children's Song Book Christmas songs because they either have really obscure melodies OR they have a million verses. I honestly felt this was easier than teaching the Nativity Song, which I love, but has too many verses to learn in one short month!

This is a song I sang as a kid.  It is a Janice Kapp Perry special.  What is cool about this song is that it has two parts, like LOVE IS SPOKEN HERE.  However it is simple to sing and learn and works well with visual prompts so I don't think this will be hard to learn at they don't have to know it perfect to sing it.  It is about blessings.  I found it on  It would be fun to do a singing time on blessings and have the kids hold up pictures of the things it lists off while they sing it.

This is another song I am going to introduce next month because my primary children have been begging for it.  It was featured on the CD my ward gave out to the kids in 2012.  It is a Sing Me A Scripture Song by Kamie Bolen Jacobs.  It is just the verse, 1st Nephi 3:7 put to music.  The music is so beautiful (again my pianist is grumbling at me).  It is a new take on Nephi's Courage.  The download is FREE, which is cool since she charges for most of her arrangements.  If you feel ambitious, check this out!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Singing in the Leaves (my tribute to Gene Kelly)

So the leaves in my neighborhood are coming down in buckets.  It's so beautiful.  I had this thought...I want to use these leaves in primary but they are so messy.  But what if I filled a Rubbermaid tub with a bunch of colorful leaves.  That way the leaves are contained. 

So this is a simple singing time:  Inside the tub with a million leaves, put little objects in there with songs attached to them.  I have a few smallish fall and Halloween items, but they could be any kind of item.  Blindfold the helper and have them dig in the tub until they feel something that isn't a leaf.  Pull it out, sing the song. 

You could even do this next month and have the kids dig for an object that represents a blessing and a song...they have to guess what blessing the item represents and then sing a song that coordinates.

EX:  An apple- I am grateful for food.  Sing FUN TO DO (EATING AN APPLE IS FUN TO DO)

And so forth. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Sing or Hallowen Dare! AKA Sing or SCARE!

One of my most successful singing times has been SING OR DARE.  I am not sure why the kids love this so much but they do.  And it seems like they always choose the DARE cards over the SING cards.  So I make sure I have plenty of DARE CARDS.

So for the Halloween version of this game you have create similar cards but the DARES have to do with costumes.  I have a tub full of random costumes I have collected over the years.  You will want to find things easy to get on...meaning just hats or belts or wigs or things of that nature.  So you present the cards to the helper and they choose to be safe or brave.  The DARE cards will all include a costume they have to put on as well as what they have to do with it. 

The Cowboy/girl:  They have to put on the hat and the bandana and hold the gun, stand on a chair and say YEEEE HAW!

The Pirate girl/boy:  ACT OUT HOW A PIRATE ACT, make sure you say, ARRRR MATEY!

Long blond wig and crown with wand (yes if a boy picks this card, they have to put it on)... go tap someone on the shoulder with the wand in a 'lovely voice' and give them a compliment.

Spider-man gloves (I have these funky gloves that make sounds that are part of a spidey costume)-  Lead the children in your favorite song wearing the spidey gloves!

Witch Hat-  Put the hat on and tell the children this Halloween riddle:  what do witches put on their hair?  Answer- SCARE SPRAY!

Mickey Ears Hat (from Disneyland) -  give your best voice impression of Mickey Mouse

The sing cards are as follow:

Sing your favorite Program song of this year
Sing your favorite primary song about our Savior
Sing your favorite song about autumn time.
Sing your favorite primary Christmas song
Sing your favorite wiggle song
Sing Do As I Am Doing backwards!
You can tweak this how you like, using the costumes you love and find appropriate and easy!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Falling Leaves Singing Time

So my program is over and I have 3 whole months to just play.  Perhaps most of you choristers are still doing intensive reviews.  But for those of you wanting to play, here is an idea.

I made and laminated these leaves years ago and I use them for a variety of things.  I highly suggest having a set of these.  I free handed them on poster board and colored them with chalk.  They can be used so many different ways.

So I chose 10 of my leaves.  5 of them have a lyric taped to the FRONT.  5 of them have a song and a way to sing it on the back.  Here is how this works:

I will put all the leaves on the board with magnets.  The kids (pick helpers) get to choose.  They can choose what they see, which is lyric, or they can choose the unknown, having to turn the leaf over to find out what they have to do.

For example:  One leaf has the lyric on it...'everyday I need'.  They have to figure out where that lyric comes from.  You can go hard or easy with these lyrics depending on your crowd.  When they get the lyric and guess the song, you sing it.  For this particular goes to Scripture Power of course.

The other leaves...well they choose and turn it over and read it silently.  It will give a song and tell the helper how they have to sing it.  So it's like name that tune.  The helper has to be brave in this endeavor so put out your disclaimer that if they choose the UNKNOWNS, they have to be prepared to sing.  Some will find this challenging and some will find this horrifying.  HA HA.  But let's say they choose the leaf that says CALLED TO SERVE, HUM on the back of the leaf.  Well they have to hum (solo) and see if the audience can guess it with just their voice.  Then once they guess it, sing it with the entire group and with accompaniment. 

For me, I may just do the lyric portion for the juniors as I don't see 3 year olds getting the task of humming, ooing or auuuhhhh a song.  Then with the seniors have both portions as they like challenges and tend to be more up for these sorts of task.  Either way, the goal is to make all the leaves FALL off the board.  So once all the 'easy' ones are gone, they will be left with the other. 

I hope it will be fun.  I chose seasonal and fun songs because the kids have worked hard and I thought it would be fun to just do up tempo fun things.

chain update

So my primary program was the week before conference.  I have been kinda just resting up the last two weeks.  It was really good but also exhausting.  After the program, I let the kids measure our singing chain during primary.  It made it to the Bishop's office. I had no doubts that it would do so.  We had a little field trip down the hall as they kids pulled it as far as it could go.  Then I gave them candy.  Yes, I am sure the presidency LOVES me.  HAR HAR.  But wow, my kids earned it.  Here's a pictures of it.

My primary kids got way into this.  They asked me when it was over, if we could continue to make it grow and go around the building. I had to admit, I probably didn't have enough construction paper for all that but I appreciate their motivation to keep up their singing whether we were working towards a program or not.  But as far as a motivator to get them to sing strong during all our program practices, this worked like a champ. I had someone just sit by me and add links as they did well.  And of course we were generous in our link adding.  The kids were very curious to see just how long it was.  HINT:  I did go to the building midweek after our last practice and measure it beforehand as I didn't want them to come up short.  However, I didn't have to add any...all these links we earned by my singing stars!

Monday, October 7, 2013

2014 THEME

The new theme for 2014 is out.  FAMILIES ARE FOREVER.  I will admit, I am shocked it doesn't have to do with missionary work.  The songs are really sweet though and I think it will be fun teaching the kiddos these songs next year.  I always like to ponder a few months as to how I want to approach the 'new' songs and so I start thinking about the new year way in advance.

Once again, Kamie Bolen has teamed up with Jenny Phillips to create a CD.  Our primary always buys her CD's as a Christmas gift for the kids.  Her arrangements are beautiful.  Last year she had such a hard time getting copyrights to publish her arrangements.  In fact, she didn't get permission until August for this year's stuff.  So I was never able to use her arrangements which made me super sad.  But I think she has figure out how to do get permission now and I suspect copyrights for these new songs will be granted earlier.  She has some really cool things that include harmony and interludes.  I think a few really neat arrangements adds a lot to a program.  This year my primary sang a very cool version of I AM A CHILD OF GOD that included a flute, solo and congregational singing.  We also did the ARMIES OF HELAMAN medley which wow...was so amazing, kids worked hard to learn that one, but those were my two really tricky numbers and worth the extra time I spent to find a nice arrangement of and teach.

She has also included the track for her song, ALMA 37:5, which is a FREE download.  Two years ago she offered her song 1st Nephi 3:7 and my primary kids LOVE that song.  So that might be worth looking at as an option as an additional song in your line up for next year.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Writing the Lyric

So I was pondering my last post and that song, OH WHAT DO YOU DO IN THE AUTUMN TIME WHEN ALL THE WORLD IS CHANGED.

I was thinking I wanted to put a spin on this song and make it more interesting.  First I will present the song as it is written, found in this link:  We will sing it with the handy-dandy flip book pages.

Then I thought it would be fun to get feedback from the kids.  What do they like to do in the Autumn time?  You ask for suggestions from the kids.  Chose someone to share and write it on the board.  Get a few examples of what they do in the autumn time and then try to put them in lyrics that rhyme

For example:  A child might say, play football, another might mention Halloween, or carve pumpkins or wear scarves or whatever.  So with the help of the kids, rewrite the song...

Do you play football games?
then ask, what would rhyme with that?

Or dance in the rain?

Carve pumpkins for night?
Wear costumes that fright?


You will have to help guide them in this, but with the help of their peers, I think you will end up cute lyrics. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Holy Smokes, it's almost October...some goofy fall songs

Wow, the weeks are flying by. I have been MIA.  My primary program is in 2 weeks and we have had practices in the chapel for 2 weeks now which means I haven't had to come up with any ideas to entertain the kids.  However, we are still adding to our singing chain each week and I am going to post a picture in a bit.  It is so long it is in two enormous garbage sacks.  The kids think it is so ridiculous and funny...and well, it is.  When the program is over, we are going to roll it out and measure just how long it goes. 

I was blog stalking like I do because I love gleaning ideas.  And I came across alternative lyrics to OH WHAT DO YOU DO IN THE SUMMER TIME.  If you have gone into my archives, you know one of my favorite things to do is mess with 'fun' songs in the primary song book by changing their lyrics. 

It is just about time to get out 5 LITTLE PUMPKINS (Popcorn Popping).  But this one is kinda cute, too.  OH WHAT DO YOU DO IN THE AUTUMN TIME  (check it out, even has visuals all ready to go for it).  When the program is over, I will be using this to celebrate autumn (which is my favorite season!)

Singing the apostle song might be a fun addition to getting ready for conference!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Minute to Win It Program Review

What to do for the endless reviewing of primary program songs (especially with the seniors)????

Well I saw this one post on MINUTE TO WIN IT.  I think kids like challenges.  I think it can be morphed into a review.  And here is how: (you will need a stop watch)

So you have 5-6 challenges.  Have a bucket with slips of paper in it that have the class names.  Choose a reverent child to select a slip.  Whatever class they pick, get to come and do the challenge.  Some challenges can involve the whole class, but if it does not, then the class will select a representative to do the challenge for their class.  IF, IF, IF,  their class does the challenge in a MINUTE, then they can choose which program song and who sings it...and if they don't, then their class has to sing it. 

You can design your challenges to be specific to the needs of your primary.  But here is what I came up with.

1)  cup stacking (stack the tallest tower you can in a minute without it falling over)
2)  bubble gum blowing (blow at least 10 bubbles in a minute- you can use multiple people for this)
3)  Hula Hooping (keep the hula hoop going around your hips for at least a minute - you can involve multiple people on this)
4)  Hold your Breath (how long can you hold your breath...a minute or longer????
5) Write out the chorus of I AM A CHILD OF GOD on the chalk board
6) Read the lyrics to Latter-Day Prophets backwards (I will have a sheet to read) at least twice!

You can get creative here. I may think of a few more, too.  Could be fun (& wild!)

Singing Spray - primary program reivew

I know this idea has been around for ages...oddly enough I have never tried it until now.  But it works!!!  And more importantly, it is a snap to prepare and easy to produce!   Plus, it's a perfect thing to have during primary program review.  The kids love it.  I made the label quick and easy using free clip art and typing a title. I know some people go computer fancy but I do things super quickly 'cause I have ADD and really have zero patience to create things on Photoshop or what not.  So really, it took me 5 minutes to make.  You can fill the bottle with whatever you want but make it good.  You want the kids to WANT it.  Spray an amount in their mouths when you notice particular kids singing really well or trying.
I have been doing alot of this sort of thing as I am reviewing.  Get out your magic wands and feather dusters.  This works so well especially with the younger kids.  They wanted to be 'dusted', 'sprayed' or tapped with a magic wand and they will sing their hearts out to get it. 
Good luck to all of you who are reviewing.  It can be oh so tedious.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Singing Chain and some other Random Things

So I have been blog stalking lately.  Lately I have been MIA for a few reasons: end of summer trips and stake conference.  But my program is the 29th of September so I am trying to hanker down and get busy.  Time to get serious here.  Sigh!

Have you ever heard of the blog, Sunbeam Singing?  If you haven't I highly recommend going there.  This gal has a gift for the computer and some fun printable stuff.  She currently has a very cute back to school idea posted if any of you are looking for something to do in honor of that.

In my blog searching I came across and idea about a music chain?  I sort of adapted it for me, using her idea of the chain but for a different purpose.  This Sunday I am going to introduce a bucket of paper strips...cut to 1 inch width and 6 inches long in a variety of colors, regular paper, construction paper...any scraps I have.

Now that we are in full review mode, I was thinking it might be fun to make a chain that would circle the room or maybe even make it all the way down the hall to the bishop's office.  But the kiddos have to earn links by singing the program songs well.  And I am going go make the presidency decide how many links they earn each song they sing...the better they sing, the more links.  Or I have passed out stripes to individual classes and given teachers pens.  Each teacher listens to their class, if they feel they have earned links, they write why on the paper strip and give it to me and we will make it grow and grow as they sing well. 

It will probably entail a massive amount of paper but I am hoping the kids will be excited to see how the chain grow and each Sunday over the next 4 weeks, we will lay it out and see how far it goes...using a stapler to add links with every song we sing.  Hopefully by the 29th, it will go around the room or further and they will get a treat!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Ticket To Ride

This week in honor of Pioneer Day, I felt it would be fun to do something FUN with the kids that had nothing to do with primary program preparation.  Thus I doubt I will do any primary program songs this week. I just want to PLAY.

I made these simple TICKETS to ride in the wagon (trek).  They are numbered 1-5.  I will hand them out randomly to the kids.  I am hoping there will be about even number of 1's, 2's, 3's, 4's, & 5's. 

So here is how this works:

We will be singing the song FUN TO DO:

I will pick a number from a bowl.  Those who are holding a ticket with that number have to stand and come to the front of the room.  I will have a variety of hats, bonnets and bandanas and they have to put them on and then sing this simple song:

Here are the 5 ways you sing this song:

RIDING A WAGON IS FUN TO DO (mimic riding in a bumpy fashion)
FORGING A RIVER IS FUN TO DO (long stationary strides with arms moving back and forth)
MILKING A COW IS FUN TO DO (mimic milking actions)
WALKING TO ZION IS FUN TO DO (walking stationary in slow mo)

When each group is finished with their task (they have to do it well by the way even if the older ones find it humiliating), and if they do it well, get a treat: the promised land (candy).  So everyone ends up with a treat in the end!

This should move quickly because this particular song is super short.  So of course we will end singing collectively all our favorite pioneer children's songs, TO BE A PIONEER, HAND CART, PIONEER CHILDREN, OXEN, ect. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The games are a foot

So my husband's work always does this elaborately themed summer company picnic.  This year the theme was Sherlock Holmes and my children all got mini messenger bags filled with bizarre hats, mustaches, side burns (yes, I said sideburns) and a magnifying glass and so on.  I couldn't help but turn this into a MYSTERY SINGING TIME.  It's just too cute.  This stuff all came from Oriental Trading if any of you are interested in actually ordering...or perhaps you have a pipe and some mustaches laying around.  Of course you do.  HA HA.  But maybe in our eclectic dress up box (doesn't everyone have one) you may have something that would work as a detective or perhaps the party store would have something cheap to make up a cute disguise!???

This can be used a few different ways.  Like with the game of Hot and Cold, you pick someone to hide an envelope.  And then someone is Sherlock.  And Sherlock has to get dressed up to find it, singing hot and cold, Sherlock looks for the envelope.  When he finds it, he opens it up and it either leads to another clue or it can have a song inside that you have to sing. 


You can create a mystery and in order to obtain each clue, they have to solve the song puzzle and sing it.  At the end of the hunt, they find something a gum ball for each child or a Smarty or sucker.  I will leave the PRIZE up to you.

The clues to the songs will have to do with program songs.  EX:

This song has 3 verses, it was written by Naomi Randall.  It's our primary favorite program song.  It talks about our Heavenly Father.  It tells us how to get home to our Heavenly Father.  What song is it?  (finders clue- look under the on the side of the piano)


This song has 3 verses.  It is about our Savior.  It tells us to be aware of what we are doing as if our Savoir was near us at all times.  It reminds us to be a good example and missionary.  What song is it?  (finders clue- look behind the pulpit)


Trees, birds, butterflies, flowers.  This song talks about nature and all of Heavenly Father's creations.  It's talks about the world we live in and how it is a gift from our Heavenly Father.  What song is it? 
(finder's clue - look behind under the 'scripture' chair.

And so make up clues for all the program songs you want to review. You can make the clues as hard or simple as you want.  And you can call out one clue at a time so that it prolongs the MYSTERY.


Print these clues on slips on paper and have the first out to start and the subsequent one in their hiding spots as they lead to the final destination. 


You could have envelopes filled with one puzzle piece at a time, and each piece has a song on the back, you can assemble the pieces one by one as you find them and see what the picture is at the end.  You can either make the puzzle up or use a simple child's puzzle with 5-10 pieces!

The funny part of any of these options will be of course getting the kids dressed up and having them look like Sherlock.  There were also mustaches on sticks which were pretty funny...those could be used as well.  And if you have a cape or anything would be fun.  Someone could play "Watson"...there is just a lot of possibilities with this. 


Spin on I Spy- review

Last week I did a review with the kids using my I-spy glass.  You can make an I-spy out of anything, a paper towel roll, you can use a magnifying glass or a toy telescope...whatever. I used what I have which is a toy kaleidoscope. 

Instead of spying for pictures around the room that match songs, I spied helpers.  And most of my helpers were teachers.  This was kinda fun.  I would put my scope to my eye and say:

I spy with my primary eye someone who has yellow hair...who is very caring...she knows most of the primary songs...she can be heard but rarely seen...she know what notes to follow...ect...who is she?


Then I described a few teachers and some of the presidency.  You can describe some of the children, too.  This just mixes up how we pick helpers.  Whomever guesses who we are 'spying' choses a card from my basket.  The cards just had a picture on it and what song.  They can rummage through the basket and pick which song it is rather than have it be a surprise...they way it is truly winner's choice. 

This was fun and simple!

Feather Dusting

I made this silly stick using a dowel and craft feathers.  I have seen this a few times on other blogs.  I used this last Sunday and the kids actually thought it was funny.  If they were singing well, I'd give them a little dusting or tickling by lightly brushing their cheek or tapping their head. 

Kinda fun to use while reviewing a song

Thursday, June 6, 2013

March in Parades (something patriotic)

I was having this conversation with the primary secretary in my ward who was remembering when she was in primary long ago, she is 20 years older than me and so primary was run a tad differently for her than it was for me. When she attended primary is was held midweek and said they often had instruments and marched around the room while they sang songs...doing things we tend not to do on Sundays these days.  But it just got me thinking.  Very few of us get to march in parades the song, OH WHAT DO YOU DO IN THE SUMMERTIME, suggests?  And parade season is about here (4th of July).

Target $1-Spot has a bunch of cool hats and patriotic accessories this year. I was looking for this stuff last year and had to fudge it a little because I couldn't find what I wanted for cheap.  But Target came to the rescue this year.  So I bought a few things and added to what I found last year. 

And so...we are going to march in a parade this year.  I think I will call up helpers to select from choices of accessories I have accumulated.  Once every item is picked, I will have the rest of the primary stand.  We will sing a patriotic song, there are a few in the primary book, but I think the more well known songs are in the hymn book.  And those with accessories will actually march the perimeter of the room (making a full circle) while the rest of us march in place.  We will get several different groups up to put on the accessories and sing a few of the great patriotic songs while doing this mini parade march. 

In my vast collecting of music (thanks mom, Kirstin, and the Internet), I have the sheet music to a few fun things that are not in the primary God Bless America, This Land is You Land, As the Caissons Go Rolling Along, You're A Grand Old Flag, ect.  So I may be using those as well. 

I do think the song, THIS IS MY COUNTRY, in the primary children's song book is quite cute and has a good rhythm to it.  It's one worth teaching the kids!  It short and easily learned.  We will definitely be using that one.

Here's to marching in parades!

Lemonade Stand

So every little person likes to try their hand at a lemonade least once, right?  Why not in primary???  I made this posted, you can create any sign you want or think is easiest to do.  This design was my sister, Kirstin' it's a knock off of her original design.  I free handed it on just plain old white poster board. 
How does this singing time work?  Well... I am going to do a taste testing.  I will attach this sign to the front of one of the small tables that is in my primary room, giving it a lip so the top goes above the rim of the table.  Behind it, I will have 6 cups.  They will be filled with various things (not milk due to allergies).  I think I will chose lemon lime (sprite), orange, root beer, water, some kind of fruit punch (Capri Sun), of course LEMONADE. 
The drinks need to be in a Styrofoam cup or something that isn't transparent.  The goal is to guess the beverage by merely tasting it.  If they guess the flavor correctly, they get to choose the song they we sing or you can have a list of songs they can chose from.  Now...if they actually get the  LEMONADE (it's the prize of this activity), they get choose the song the teachers have to sing, and the teachers have to come up in the front and sing it to them.  Might be fun....!

Father's Day

I have been blog stalking and I found the new lyrics to Nephi's Courage about dad's. I just think this is hilarious and CUTE.  I am going to write these on a poster and sing it with the kids on Father's Day.  I of course cannot take credit for this clever ditty!  So thank you to the woman who wrote this!

I have an awesome father and I call him Dad.
And he always helps me when he knows I'm sad.
He smiles at me and tells me I am loved
He puts his arms around me and gives a great big hug. 

He's my dad. He's the best. I hope his hair will stay.
I know there's other Dads around but mines the best today.
He's my Dad. He's the best, his hair is turning grey.
With my love I'd like to wish you Happy Fathers Day!
So I have been thinking as to what to do on Father's Day aside from singing this cute little song, which will be at the end of singing time.  I think I will modify a little what I did last year with a who's who's game of the dad's in our lives.  So this is similar to what I did last year but without the poster.
I picked about 5 well known men/ fathers in our life/history and gathered a few fun facts about them.  So this would be like the Bishop, Heavenly Father, Joseph (Jesus Father), Adam (the father of the earth), Joseph Smith (father of the restoration), President Monson (current father of our church), and dad (describe in general a dad that might fit anyone's situation) and maybe Grandpa (again, a general description). 
So I will call out clues or details one at a time, making this easier for the juniors and harder for the seniors.  And whomever raises their hand first and guesses it correctly, they get to hang a picture on the board of that person and chose the song of their choice.  At the end, our board will be full of pictures of very important men in our lives.  Then we will conclude with the little song sung to the tune of Nephi's Courage. 
For example:
1)  This person had a curiosity about life and religion
2)  He was a hard worker
3)  He knew that prayer was important
4)  He was born in 1805
5)  He went to a grove of trees
6)  He saw a vision
7)  He restored the gospel and the priesthood
8)  He was martyred for his beliefs
9)  Praise To The Man was written about him...
who is he?  Joseph Smith (you could sing a song about him or have them pick a song)
The pictures you find of these people can be from gospel art or the internet.  The only one I know of our Heavenly Father is the one depicted with Christ in the Sacred Grove.  The pictures of Grandpa and Dad...well I just may use a picture of my dad and grandpa...OR I could use a drawing or clip art picture of that.  Just some ideas...
Let's all celebrate the dads of the world.  Oh how we love them!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

School is out for summer...

So here in Idaho, school ends this week.  The kids are excited to be FREE!  I like basing singing times off holidays and seasons as my mind immediately went to SUMMER VACATION when I was stewing about what to do this week for the primary children.  I have been thinking of some new and fun ways to celebrate summer (see future posts).  I thought this week we'd kick it off.  I have a lot to teach this month as I am attempting the We'll Bring The World His Truth medley.  I am super excited song for June, WHEN I AM BAPTIZED, is a repeat this year.  We will spend no time learning this song although last year I did a post on teaching this song if you are looking for ways to introduce that particular song.  My kids love the 'rainbow' song and we sing it so often, they still know both verses by heart.  WHEW. 

So this is a cup that could be used all summer long OR you can use it as one single singing time.  I copied a bunch of summer FREE clip art off the web.  I chose images that fit the songs I wanted.  You can pick your own songs. I chose songs we know and love.  I mounted them on orange and yellow construction paper, laminated them and stuck them on sticks (then put them in a orange cup).

The imagines on the sun sticks correspond to the song we are going to sing.  I am going to have the 'helper' pick a stick.  He/she tells my what the image is of.... is it something they find fun to do in the summer time and why?  Then the pianist is going to give the helper a few notes (name that tune) and they get to guess what song it is.  The fewer the notes the better because the image on the stick is a clue to the song.  Once they guess it, we sing it.  These songs are all about things we do in the summer.  So each week you could do a few of these and keep adding or you could do an entire singing time (if you have time) on this.  I did include a few songs from the program in here for review as well as I felt they sort of fit some of the summer activities. 

I will spend most of my time this Sunday teaching a new song and doing a little on Father's Days songs that we need to polish, so likely I will only do this as an brief activity at the end of all that. I always like to do something FUN after learning songs because they do get restless (me, too).

Oh What Do You Do In The Summer Time?  - image sun with the word SUMMER overlaid
Happy & You Know It - Big Smiley Face (if you're happy school is out, shout Hooray!)
Jesus Wants Me For a Sunbeam- image sun- (represents playing in the sun)
Give Said The Little Stream- picture of girl fishing in a stream -(does anyone fish in summertime?)
Leafy Treetops- image of a tree- (climbing trees anyone???)
Holding Hands- image of kids holding hands- (playing with friends anyone?)
Fun To Do- image of a pool (swimming in pools is fun to do)
I Hope They Call Me On A Mission - image of a suitcase (anyone going a trip this summer?)
When I Am Baptized- image of a rainbow (represents playing in nature)
Book Of Mormon Stories- image of a book (anyone do the summer library reading program or read for fun?)

Again you can do any image any song...

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Time for Review- SING OR DARE

I do a lot of blog stalking.  Sometimes it's fun to go into the archives of these amazing blogs, blogs that are no longer active.  There are some GOOD things in there if you dig.  I am always looking for games to play for review that aren't killers to produce.  Sometimes the games I see are really involved and require a lot of props and prep.  I love to do fun things but not spend week preparing for it.  So I thought this was a super fun and easy idea and I made it my own by tailoring it to my primary.

It is a spoof off of TRUTH OR DARE rather SING OR DARE

So again, this involves cards.  The kids can choose a dare card of a sing card.  Disclaimer, I might warn the kids that if they choose a DARE card, to be prepared as they are silly and may entail embarrassment!  The SING cards have to do with all the songs we have learned so far and ways to sing them so we can review.

1)  Everyone Stand & Balance on one foot- if you put your foot down before the song is up, sit down.  Let's see who is the last person standing (this would be the helpers choice of song)
2)  Play STOP & GO - Sing Latter-day Prophets (insert a program song you want to review)
3)  Rub your belly & pat your head - Sing WHEN HE COMES AGAIN (insert a program song you want to review)
4)  Play LOUD & Soft (these are signs you rotate)- sing HOLDING HANDS (insert your choice of program song)
5)  Clap the rhythm of the song Golden Plates - insert songs of your choice
6)  Use rotating flash cards (ooo, buz, lulu, tweet)- sing If the Savior Stood Beside Me


1)  Give the Primary Presidency 'high-5's'
2)  Name at least 6 Latter-Day Prophets
3)  Act out your favorite wiggle song & let the audience guess what it is
4)  Recite the 13th Article of Faith
5)  Stand on your chair and say, I LOVE PRIMARY
6)  Try to name everyone in your primary

Now you can make these sings/dares easier and harder depending on your group.  But overall, I felt this was a super easy yet FUN way to review.  You get a lot of variety in this singing time.  Have fun!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Week In Primary

So this was a serious drag, but I never got to use my mother's day corsages because the presidency did this really cute sharing time and it basically took all the time.  So I have been racking my brain on a way to use them because I went to the work of putting them together.  And I thought about teacher appreciation week.  My kids' schools just had this event to honor their teachers, and so I thought it would fit nicely to do version of this in primary.  And boy do our primary teachers deserve ALOT of appreciation.  Now if you did use corsages, you could still do this and just prepare something else to give to the could be a candy bar or a tissue paper flower or a note or whatever. 

So how I will do this:  I have a stack of cards to pick from.  I will pick a helper and they will chose a teacher in the room to spotlight.  Then they will pick a card from the stack.  The cards have song questions on them for the teacher to answer.  And depending on the answer, that is what song you will sing.  You should get a variety of songs here.  The child will then give the corsage or candy or flower to the teacher who was spotlighted. 


What is your favorite primary song of all time?
What is your favorite hymn?
What is your favorite primary song about the Savior?
What is your favorite song about missionaries?
What is your favorite seasonal primary song?
What is your favorite wiggle song?

I made these cards on cardstock. I just googled free clip art and pasted it in with the text.  Pretty easy.  You could write any questions you want.  I will do this after we review the songs we have been learning in May.  I think it will be fun.  At the end we will sing Happy & You Know It using the lyrics!

We appreciate our teachers
Yes we Do
WE DO!!!!!!!!!!!!
We appreciate our teacher
Yes we DO
WE DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
They are valiant, sweet and dear
So we'll give them a big cheer
We appreciate our teachers
Yes we do!

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Golden Plates

I am sort of behind because April was a weird month for me with General Conference and Stake Conference, giving me only two weeks to teach songs.  Those two weeks were dedicated to learning mothers day songs.  So I am playing catch up.

Last month's choose your own song for us was the GOLDEN PLATES.  I have seen on blogs that a lot of people are using this song for Aprils Choice.  It's so cute and honestly reminds me of when I was in primary.  It's an oldie but goodie. I knew my primary kids would pick it up easily.  But I did a few props to help them learn it just the same. 

I printed out pictures that went with the lyrics of the song and taped them around the room.  We sang each stanza slowly, stopping at the end of each line and review, and depending on what they sang, they had to find the picture that coordinated.

The golden plates lay hidden (picture of the golden plates)
Deep in the mountain side (picture of the mountain pointing inside)
Until God found one faithful in whom he could confide (picture of Joseph Smith)
A record made by Nephi (picture of Nephi)
Written in days of Old (I didn't have a picture for this but you could find something maybe)
Now in the Book of Mormon, the story is retold (picture of Book of Mormon)

Now as they collected these pictures, they had to assemble them in order on the chalk board.  Once we slowly sang through the song once, stopping and collecting the pictures for each stanza, we sang it all the way through with no stops. 

Then I revealed the GOLDEN PLATES I made, which are pretty homely but I did my best.  I have seen blogs where they are much prettier than mine, but sometimes imperfect is okay. I made these by cutting up foam board, and attaching metal rings to it.  Then I just painted the whole thing gold with spray paint.  It was easy and cheap!

So when I brought out the gold plates, I asked how many of them had their own gold plates, and they all raised their scriptures, which is what I wanted them to do.  Then it was time to bear testimony of Joseph Smith and how indebted to him for finding the plates, translating them, and restoring the gospel.  Now with the plates, we hid them and as we sung the song playing the HOT AND COLD game, we practiced the song while the plates were hidden and found about 5 times...and in doing so, we pretty much memorized it on Sunday.  It was a fun Sunday. 

After church yesterday, I heard my kiddos upstairs singing that song to themselves subconsciously.  It's times like this that I know that as spastic and crazed as I feel on Sundays, they are getting it. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

We'll Bring The World His Truth

I do like to complicate things.  Mostly I like to find GOOD arrangements of songs that I know will invoke the spirit and all year I have been digging for versions of this and that.  Our program this year is going to include We'll Bring the World His Truth.  It follows the month that we talk about missionary work. 

In my ward we have over 100 primary children.  It's like having my own mini version of the Mo-Tab.  They love challenges as well.  I had this crazy idea of tweaking this song.  I own the book THE LDS SONGBOOK FOR ALL OCCASIONS...if you don't own this book, I highly recommend it. I found it at Seagull Book for like $12 and it's worth every penny.  It has some really fun songs in there, spiritual and silly.

In this book, there is a version of We'll Bring the World His Truth that is companioned with AS SISTERS IN ZION.  Many of you may know this EFY medley...very pretty.  The cool thing about THIS particular version is that it is simple.  It eliminates the portions talking about being daughters of God and marked generations.  It is simply a rendition of two church songs, put together like LOVE IS SPOKEN HERE.  I think my kiddos can do this.  Boys vs. Girls. 

Anyway, I thought I'd throw that out there to blog land.  It's so pretty. I think it will bring tears.  And it's not complicated...the trick will be getting the boys to sing ALONE.  But we have about 50 boys, I think we can do it.  :-)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Primary Idol

I know this idea has been posted a lot in blogland so forgive me if you are thinking...NOT AGAIN!  But as usual, I took someone else's vision and morphed it into something I feel will work for me.  Perhaps you can do the same!  I found the graphics from a computer savvy chorister on another blog and snatched them up.  I did a little spin on this idea to make it more simple for me.  Since American Idol is in full swing right now, I thought it would be fun to use this for the senior primary as a way to review the songs and verses we have learned so far.  So what I did is that I just copied the graphic twice and laminated it. I will just stick it to the back of two chairs that I will place in front of the audience in our primary room (judges panel chairs). I will then pick a helper from our stick can.  That person gets to come up as a judge (which is a spin on using teachers or outside guests to come in and judge- they will judge themselves instead).  The helper will pick another person to help judge and that person will come forward (could be a friend, classmate or teacher or leader).  So we will have TWO judges.  I have two cups.  One of the judges will draw from one, the other judge from the other cup.  One cup has the class names in it.  The other cup has the song and verse that class will sing. 

So ONE class ends up singing ONE verse of one of the songs we have learned so far.  The judges then will critique them.  I will warn them to be nice...constructive criticism is good but being just rude is not okay.  The goal is to sort of get a friendly competition between classes going so that each class tries to out do another while perfecting our program songs. 

This will just be a quick and fun way to review the songs we have learned so far.

here is the link to the graphics:

Friday, April 5, 2013

Mother I Love You

So mother's day is coming up soon. 

I found this Utube video of the sign language for this.  It's super sweet. I plan on using this.  Usually we do two songs so I only plan to sing the first verse of this song and then sing another song.

I love the ending of this where they just hold up the I LOVE YOU SIGN.  I think it will be really touching. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Sing It Backwards

My senior kids love to be challenged.  I was scouring the primary song book for a song that you can truly sing backwards.  And well, DO AS I AM DOING works.  I did this with them on Sunday and they thought it was hilarious and they usually think wiggle songs are lame. 

I did write the lyrics on a poster for them because it's hard to think in your head how to sing this.

Me follow, follow, doing I'm as do....

Mother's Day Corsages

So I found these flowers at Dollar Tree.  They come with a little vase.  I had this notion, that this could be used two different ways and if you can't find these exact products, you can always make them with cardstock or other household supplies.

First:  The kids could arrange a bouquet of flowers by picking these flowers and putting them in the vase OR I bought another set and made them into corsages.  I just clipped the wire steam off and hot glued a piece of elastic to it.  How this would work is that the corsages will be in a basket.  The helper picks a corsage.  Each corsage has a card color coordinated to it that has a question on it.  So they answer the question which has a mom song to go with it.  Then the helper chooses a sister/mom teacher in the room to give the corsage to.  Our primary has predominately female teachers and so I know this will work in my midst.  I thought it would be kinda sweet to see how they picked, a teacher, the pianist...a member of the primary presidency?

What is the yummiest thing your mom makes?  Sing MOTHER DEAR
What is your favorite story that your mom reads to you or used to read to you?  Sing MOTHER TELL ME A STORY
How do you show your Mom that you love her?  Sing LOVE IS SPOKEN HERE
What is your Mom really good at?  Sing MOTHER I LOVE YOU
How do you help your Mom?  Sing QUICKLY I'LL OBEY
Does you Mom have a nick-name she calls you?  Sing DEAREST NAMES
Do you know what your mom's favorite flower is?  SING I OFTEN GO WALKING

Flower Bouqet

I found these cute little flower picks on Easter clearance.  Dollar Tree has stuff like this as well.  Anyway, I just filled a little tin pot with dirt and stuck them into it.  Pretty cute.  I figure the kids can either plant the flowers or pick them.  The flowers can have anything attached to them, different songs, lyrics to songs you are learning (have them guess what verse it comes from) or it can also just have suggested way to sing a song (like loud, soft, hum, oooo, ect).  I think this will be useful to me over the spring.

I also found these sparkly foam shapes on clearance.  Currently I am using them on my entry table in a candy jar for spring decoration, but I thought they'd make super cute magnets and somehow I could use them in primary...they could have songs behind them or clues to a game.  They could be hidden and we could make a design on them on the chalk board.  Could be useful.  I highly suggest shopping Easter clearance this month at Dollar Tree/Wal Mart!

Think Spring - quarterly song program song review

I had a fun little excursion to The Dollar Tree this week.  They just have the most random, cute and CHEAP things.  A lot of their merchandise is FLOWERS right now.  So I bought some of everything knowing I could morph it into singing times.  Here's idea one!  April is a very bizarre month for me with General Conference and Stake Conference looming.  I therefore only have Sundays this month with the kiddos.  UGH.  Anyway, I thought I'd do a review of the first 3 songs we have learned for part of one of those Sundays.  These flowers came from the Dollar Tree.  I just glued the base to a poster.  We will sing and if they sing well, the flower will grow.  We will see if we can make our primary-garden bloom. I did something similar in January with melting the snowman and I was astounded how much the juniors got into this...singing their hearts out to make Frosty melt.  I have hopes they will do the same to make the flowers grow.  I have just taped the songs on the center of the flower so I can interchange them and use this again if I so chose.  Behind the flower is taped as well but there is a plastic loop on the top.  So I will hold the poster and dislodge the bloom and hold it by the loop as the kids sing and just pull it up if they do well or leave it where it is if they don't.  Once the song is done, I will stick to whatever height they got it to.  Hopefully it will be to the top!