When it's almost time for the program its time to get out some kind of motivator to get the kids prepped for the program. I've seen many different motivators, usually a poster with ice cream cones and the scoops of ice cream are added to the cones as the children improve in their proficiency in a song. When they have added a certain number to each scoop, essentially learning all the songs they are awarded a prize, such as an ice cream party.
Personally, i'm not a huge fan of food as a motivator so the ice cream idea and other "food" related ideas were out for me (like earning toppings for pizza, or fruit toppings for fruit pizza).
This year I traveled over to the local teacher supply store (i'm at my parents this week so it was good old Utah Idaho Supply, but if I had been at home I would have gone to Learning is Fun). I picked up two different kinds of motivators, one for Jr. and one for Sr. I had the marble jar laminated so I can use it again. They only charged $2.00 to laminate a poster, I was really happy about that.
For the Jr. Primary each bird will represent a song, and when the bird lands in the nest they are ready to sing the song for the program so the object is: to get all the birds into the nest.
For Sr. Primary I got the marble jar, although part of me still wishes I had gotten keys and locks, and they had to move the key toward the lock to unlock it. At any rate, There are ten rows/columns which is perfect for the 10 songs we're doing so I'll put a song at the top of each column and as they get better at a song I'll add marbles to that column. Some columns they will fill up the first day and others will take a little longer.
Now for the motivator - what will they get if they get all the birds in the nest and all the marbles in the jar. I didn't want to do food. I thought about trinkets or something from Oriental Trading, I thought about stickers or pencils that say primary from Deseret Book, but I finally settled on a new song in a bag. They loved the last song in a bag so i'll have another one ready when they have completed their charts. We have 10 weeks until the program, one of them General Conference, so only 9 working Sundays. We should be ready.