Sunday, October 25, 2015

It's the day of the Program! Take a deep breath.....

Image result for don't panic

It's the day of the program.  So much to do. So much to worry about.  So many things that can go wrong.

Stay Calm!

Here are a few things that can help you this morning.

1. Take a few minutes and say a prayer.  
2.  Eat breakfast.
3. Wear something comfortable.
4. Get ready to smile! It's all going to be wonderful!  

On the Sunday of the program the children sit down in their chairs and face the audience.  What yesterday was a big empty chapel, today is filled with people. They look out at parents, grandparents, cousins, ward members and visitors. Suddenly they realize just how many people come to church and their hearts start to beat fast too.  They get a little nervous and scared.  But who do they see?  Who is looking back at them with a smile?  It's you! They love you!

Suddenly with a prompt and a huge smile, they sing for you.  Some will sing loud, too loud maybe.  Some will whisper.  Some will fidget.  It's okay.  It's really okay.  We aren't going for perfection here, we are aiming for the spirit and children singing brings the spirit like nothing else.  Let them sing their way, and from their hearts and they will bring the spirit.

It's going to be a wonderful day!

Friday, March 20, 2015


  1. Musical Measles
  2. Snowballs (have children write a song to sing on paper, crumple and throw!)
  3. Giant Dice
  4. Plinko Game
  5. Spin the wheel
  6. Name that tune
  7. Songs hiding under chairs
  8. Songs in apron pockets
  9. Bishopbric choice day
  10. Conductor training
  11. Can you hear me?
  12. Memory game on the board
  13. Trivia game
  14. Stop and Go signs
  15. Acapella day!
  16. Sing in rounds
  17. Sing in styles
  18. Magic Wand On/Off
  19. Reverent songs
  20. Charades
  21. Father’s Day - Dads come to primary and pick songs
  22. Father’s Day - Photos of Dad’s hands, guess favorite song
  23. Mother’s Day - Moms come to primary and pick songs
  24. Mother’s Day - Photo of mom as baby, guess favorite song
  25. Action song day
  26. Prophet songs
  27. Guest conductors (one for each song)
  28. Remembering last years program songs
  29. Go fishing
  30. Lights On/Off (stop and go singing piano keeps playing)
  31. Stand up and sit down on key words
  32. Name that song using 1 of the visual aids
  33. Song meter
  34. Program songs
  35. Bean bag toss
  36. Hangman
  37. Tic-Tac-Toe
  38. Hot and Cold (cardboard note, sing when hot or cold as child searches)
  39. Songs search (word search on poster or chalk board)
  40. Pin the song on the Piano (have songs taped to back of piano, sing song that gets “pinned”.
  41. Musical chairs
  42. Stump the chorister
  43. Keyword Connection (keys with a word on them, guess the song)
  44. Basketball throw (mini basketball hoop)
  45. Nerf shoot at numbered target
  46. Christmas gifts - unwrap and sing
  47. Birthday gifts - unwrap and sing birthday songs
  48. Birthday cake - songs on candles
  49. Temple photo and name match game, sing temple songs
  50. Primary Colors (courage, service, truth)
  51. Boys choice day
  52. Girls choice day
  53. Fill out an acrostic poem using the word PRIMARY
  54. Janice Kapp Perry day
  55. Use the nursery box
  56. Wear pioneer dress
  57. Put song page numbers on the board, kids pick a number and you sing that song
  58. Make a fun songbook
  59. Songs hiding under chairs
  60. Pieces of armour (assemble)
  61. Assemble a missionary (tag, scriptures, haircut, suit, etc.)
  62. Assemble a puzzle picture
  63. Assemble a snowman
  64. Assemble a Christmas tree
  65. Assemble a flag
  66. Assemble a pilgrim
  67. Assemble Noah’s Ark or add animals to the ark
  68. Assemble a garden of flowers
  69. Assemble a chapel
  70. Songs in a song bag  OR:
  71. Songs in a hat
  72. Songs in balloons
  73. Songs behind the squares (punch through the paper)
  74. Songs on valentines
  75. Songs on hearts
  76. Songs on Shamrocks
  77. Songs on flowers
  78. Songs on Kites
  79. Songs on raindrops under umbrella
  80. Songs on birds, help them get to their nests
  81. Songs on flags
  82. Songs on ants at a picnic, or plastic food items for picnic
  83. Songs in a covered wagon or handcart
  84. Songs on apples/fruit in a tree
  85. Songs on snowflakes
  86. Songs on pumpkins
  87. Songs on pumpkin parts, make a face!
  88. Songs on pilgrims
  89. Songs on turkey feathers
  90. Songs under nativity figures
  91. Songs on a wreath
  92. Songs on a Christmas tree
  93. Songs in a rocket
  94. Songs on ice cream cone and scoops
  95. Songs on pioneer items
  96. Songs in a quiver of arrows
  97. Songs on props (popcorn, gift, etc.)
  98. Songs on the back of notes, placed on a staff (draw a staff on the board)
  99. Songs on bees around a beehive
  100. Take a Mr. Potato head.  Assign songs to eyes, ears, hat, feet, etc. and put him together!

100 ways started as a challenge to see if I could think of 100 ways to choose and review in 10 minutes. I got to about 70. The next thirty took about 24 hours. Make review weeks fun! Choose and Review!
Even 11 year old boys will participate when singing time is fun!

If you want to print this out, you can print it directly from my google doc.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

3 Ways to Teach LDS Primary Songs

Three ways to learn, teach and have fun!

When teaching primary songs it's easy to find a favorite way to teach a primary song and then teach all the songs that same way.
Everyone learns differently and it's important to remember that while one child is a visual learner, another might be an auditory learner.  As I look back through my visual aids, it's pretty clear I'm a visual learner.
When teaching primary songs mix up the way you teach them so that during the course of the year you teach at least one song in each of the three ways to make sure you are teaching to all your primary children.

The best way for the children to learn a song is to use a combination of the styles.  By singing the song, regardless of the way you teach the song, the children are already using two parts of their brain instead of one  which will
help them remember it better.

You can find ways to teach primary songs for each of the three learners below.

Visual Learners

Visual learners learn by seeing pictures, reading or watching a demonstration.

1. FLIP Charts
Flip Charts can utilize keywords and pictures.  They can also have all the words to a line and/or a picture.  These are great  visual aids, easy to store and fun for the kids to see.
2. Posters
Posters were really popular when I was a kid.  I think I learned every primary song taught to me with a poster.  You can make the words nice and big and add pictures as desired.

3. Wordstrips

Wordstrips can be written in chalk on the chalkboard, or  words on a poster.  Erase words as the children repeat the song.

4. Make seasonal songbooks (for senior primary)

If you are singing a bunch of seasonal songs and you know that the children don't have them all memorized songbooks are a great tool. They make the words easy to read, because they are right in front of every child, and they make the children feel more grown up.  We use songbooks when we sing!

Kinesthetic Learners

Tactile learners learn by touching, or hands on activities.  

1. Sign Language or Actions
There is a reason kids love the action songs.  They get to move around and sing at the same time.  Sign language and actions will both allow young kinesthetic learners to really learn a song!

2. Have the kids make the visual aids
This has always been one of my favorite activities.  I generally ask one or two classes at a time to help with the visual aids.  Each child in the class is given a keyword or short phrase and they draw a picture of it.  They love to see the visual aids they made!

3. Physical items

Kids love to touch the visual aids.  In nursery I let the children pull items out of the box.  An item corresponds to a song.  In primary I can do that as well, and another favorite trick of mine is to pull items out of a bag as the kids sing.  Look at the picture below.  It shouldn't take you long to figure out what the song is just by looking at the props.

 Auditory Learners

Auditory Learners learn by listening.

1. Sing and Repeat
I sing out a line, the children repeat.  See my brother there.  He  is listening for the children to repeat the line.  They know he wants a response because his body language shows them that he is listening for their response.

2. Sing Acapella
If you take the piano out and sing acapella it's a great way for the kids to hear the melody, and repeat that back to you.

3.   Use the Piano

Before you start to teach a song have the pianist play the song as prelude the week before and the day that you teach the song. Have the piano play a line before you sing it so the children can internalize the music before they sing it.  


Combine these styles together and use these techniques to teach primary songs effectively to everyone in your primary.  Have fun while you teach!  Enjoy it!  The more you enjoy it the more the primary children will enjoy it!

There are lots of ways to teach primary songs.  If you have one to add, I would love to read about it.  Please email me or add it to the comments!