Thursday, July 30, 2009

Program Review Activity #1--It's A Primary Party!

Okay, if you are looking for the introduction activity for this month, it's the next post just below this one...I just thought I'd get started on the task of posting all these fun review games for our program. My repeat week activity for this month will be posted sometime next week.

Use the program review activities in whatever order you would like. I will be using this activity to review four of the eight program songs and plan on only taking the 20 min time. It is an activity that can easily be used two weeks in a row to review several songs if you wish.

The primary was organized on the 25th of August 1878. This will make it 131 years "young". I thought it would be appropriate to hold a little birthday party for the primary in celebration in this special birthday month. Our review will include some simple birthday party games. This is an activity that is easy to do in 20 min or can be expanded to include the entire time (whatever you wish it to be). If you would like to read a brief history of the primary you can do so at,16230,4088-1-32-99-0,00.html


For games:

4 Colorful pieces of paper that have the individual songs listed on them

1 Bean Bag

1 Helium filled Balloon

For "Decorations/Atmosphere" (If you want to do this it is nice but not required)

A few Balloons

A few streamers but up on the board

Primary Party hat for you and your pianist


Explain to the children that it's the Primary's Birthday and we are going to celebrate with a musical party. If you would like, read the brief history of the organization of the primary to the children...(it's only a paragraph long and it's really fun information). Tell them you have four games to review our songs.

Musical Chairs:

Bring four chairs to the front that you have already stuck the papers with the program songs securely too. Call up 3 children. Have the pianist play music as they circle the chairs when the music stops, the children sit down on the nearest chair. Whatever chair does not have a child in it, that is the song that is sung. Use your balloon to direct the children to sing loud or soft. When the balloon is up have them sing louder, when the balloon goes down have them sing softer.

Sing and Freeze:

Take the three remaining song papers off the chairs and have one of the children choose one without looking. Explain that we will be singing this song while we move. Have the children follow your movements while singing the song (you could put your hands on your hips, flap your arms, jump, twist...etc)...have the pianist suddenly stop the music. When the music stops we have to freeze in place. Anyone that moves sits down...continue singing the song stopping once or twice more.


Take the two remaining songs. Have a child blindly choose one of them. Look at it, and choose a short phrase that is within that song. Whisper it into the child's ear. Have them pass it on through the primary (or a little group you've called up if your primary is huge). Have the last person say what they heard and see how close it is to the original. If it isn't too bad or silly...sing the song and substitute the phrase that was said.

Hot Potato:

With the remaining song, take your bean bag and toss it to a child. As you sing the song have them toss it around to different children. When the music stops, the child holding the bean bag gives the next word or phrase to the song.

Finish the "party" by having them sing "This month is such a special one" for the primary presidency.

Have fun with it.

* idea by the crazy chorister

PS It happens to be our prophet's birthday this month as well, so you could spin it in that direction too.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New Song Sunday--Families can be Together Forever

Can you believe we're on our last song for the year? Let's make it a good one.

Just one thing before I get to it, I had hoped to teach the children this song incorporating sign language with it, but I realized that now is not the time to complicate life for me or the kids. I believe we would need several weeks to memorize and get it right for the program, and I have to do some much for the other songs it just isn't possible this year. So, just a word of advice to those of you who feel overwhelmed....simplify, simplify, simplify.


1 ziplock bag with a picture of the temple taped to the bag

5 Fisherprice little people (representing a dad, mom, and three children)...if you don't have Fisherprice little people (which, by the way, I am sure someone around you does or your nursery room has them) could use just about anything you wish.

1 picture of the temple

1 picture of Jesus Christ

1 picture of the council in heaven

picture prompts


Ask your pianist to gently and quietly play Families can be together forever. Ask 5 reverent children to come to the front. Show the children the little people dolls. Talk about how two of them are a Mom and a Dad. Give two of the children the dolls to hold up. Show the other dolls and explain that these are their children. Tell the primary that they are a family. Have the other children hold these dolls up. Ask the children to put the family in the bag. Seal the bag. Talk about how through temple marriage, we are sealed together forever. Turn the bag upside down and show how the family all stays together. Then put them in the bag again without it being sealed. Turn the bag over and let the dolls fall on the ground. Talk about how those who aren't sealed may have a good marriage and a good family; they may be happy for now, but without the sealing there is no promise. In temples, sealing work is done for those who died without having this take place in their lives. We can help our families here on earth to have those promises and blessings as well as our ancestors. Explain that Jesus Christ made it possible for us to be together forever as families. Show the picture of the temple. Explain that in the temple we make covenants that bind us together for eternity if we choose to live righteously in this life. Show the picture of the council in heaven. Remind the children that in the song "I lived in Heaven"..we learned that we all lived together with people we loved. We want that for our future lives in eternity and we can take steps today and for the rest of our lives to make that happen.

Show them the first picture prompt. Say the words, explain anything they don't understand. Have them sing it with you a few times. Continue with this process until the song is completed.

Have a great week--and don't forget to take a breath now and then.

*original concept-the idea door
**Adapted by the crazy chorister

Monday, July 27, 2009

My Plan for the next 10 weeks....

Wow, vacation is fun but I am so happy to be home again. Thanks for being patient with me as I didn't post for this past Sunday. My sub decided to review with a "singing cube" and reported that it went very well.

I have been getting comments and emails from many of you worried about your up coming primary program...don't worry, there is still plenty of time (even for you September primary programmers). I thought I would tell you the schedule I will be following for the next few weeks so you could have an idea of my plan to get the program polished up.

Aug 1--Introduction of Families can be Together Forever
Aug 8--Repeat Week/Test at the very end of singing time
Aug15--Review Game with Jan-April songs
Aug 22--Review Game with May-Aug songs
Aug 29--Huge Review Day with all program songs (ask to have the entire time this day)

Sept 5-26 = Really Fun and Engaging review games that will really polish up each song. They will be able to be completed during the 20 min allowed. I might do a bigger activity towards the end of Sept. if I get the whole time. I have some ideas that I think will provide the energy for our program.

As the summer speeds by, I find myself getting even more, as I get time I will post one or several of the review games I intend to carry out. They will not necessarily go in order of the weeks I plan on doing them. I hope that doesn't mess up any of you, but I think it might give you extra time to plan out your own schedules and fit the activities in when they work for you the best.

That said, I have laundry to do.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Program Review week: Pioneer Singing Game

I decided to combine our Program Review this month with a Pioneer theme. It should be fun.


1 large poster board or a large piece of butcher paper in the shape of the USA with the Mormon Trail outlined on it (so it looks like a map). Today, I just drew it on the chalk board free hand. If you happen to live outside the could use a boat or ship to outline the voyages the pioneers took across the Oceans.

7 small cutouts of covered wagons, handcarts, horses, people...etc (anything you want really)

4 pictures that go along with pioneer stories

4 short pioneer stories that involve children

picture prompts for you program songs (if needed)

Pioneer Honey Candy (if you want to include this aspect the recipe will be at the bottom of this post)


Begin by explaining to the children that pioneer children did a lot of walking. They walked with their friends and family. As they journeyed together across the plains, heading a prophet's words, they were strengthened as individuals and families. One of the things little pioneer children did to strengthen each other and their families was to sing. Singing made them happy and helped them endure their hardships. Music can strengthen your family.

Have a child come to the front and choose either a wagon to go across the trail, or a picture with a story. If you are going to sing a song...point out your map and explain that as they sing the song they will be helping the pioneers across the plains. Move the wagon closer and closer as they sing well. If they do a great job...that wagon make it to the end. If they don't sing or don't know the song that well have the wagon stop in the middle or such. If you have time at the end....try and rescue the stranded pioneers by singing that song again. This will be a great indication of which songs need more work. If they choose a story, tell the story quickly and sing a pioneer song that goes with the meaning of the story.

When time is up, tell them that you have a special reward for singing so well. Then hand out your pioneer honey candy. (if you feel this is appropriate)

This activity worked very well. We were able to get through almost all of the program songs and several stories.

Honey Candy
2 cups honey
1 cup sugar
1 cup cream
Combine all ingredients and cook slowly to a hard-ball stage. Pour onto buttered platter. When cool enough to handle, grease hands and pull until a golden color. Cut into pieces.

Happy Pioneer Day!

*original idea from idea door
**adaptation the crazy chorister

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Repeat Week-- Guess Who?

This month I have choose to teach the children Jesus Once was a Little Child. Last week's introduction activity went so well, and we hand enough time to get through the entire song as well as practice our pioneer song for Sacrament meeting later this month. A funny thing happened while we were learning the song...I asked the children if they knew what the word "Mild" meant (He was pure and meek and mild). One of the children raised their hands and said, "Not spicy?" Boy, I love this calling.

Since part of this song says, "He played as little children play, the pleasant games of youth.", I have been reflecting on some of the games I played as a child that I loved. One of those games was called "Heads up 7 up".

The basic idea to the game was 7 children would be picked to come to the front. Everyone else would be told "Heads down, thumbs up"...the children in their seats would then close their eyes and put their thumb in the air. The 7 children would then go silently around the room and touch one child's thumb (which that child would then put down so the other six children wouldn't pick them twice.) The 7 children would then come to the front of the room again, and the teacher would say "Heads up 7 up". The 7 children who had their thumbs touched would then stand up. They would each take turns trying to guess who out of the seven up front touched their thumb. If they guessed correctly, they got to switch places with the person up front. The goal was to try and be sneaky and quite enough where no one could guess it was you and so you got to remain up front.

So, how did I turn this into a Repeat week activity?....


10-15 creative ways to sing the song (I have posted these all over the blog, but I'm going to try and compile them into one post for future reference)

picture helps if needed


Sing through the song once to remind the children of what they are learning and review any words or phrases that are difficult to understand to refresh their memory.

For the sake of time and reverence I decided to play this with only three kids up front instead of seven.

Call up three reverent children that were singing in your review. Explain "Heads up 7 up" to them only call it "Heads up 3 up" or "Guess who". Tell them that you will give one of the children up front a card that has a fun way to sing our song on it. Direct the primary to put their heads down and thumbs up (include the teachers in this it makes it more fun for the kids). The three that were chosen will then go and touch the thumb of three other children in their seats. When they are back up front, say, "Heads up 3 up" and have the children that were picked stand up. Then, instead of the child trying to pick who choose them, they are trying to pick who has the card. The first person to pick the one with the card gets to switch them places for the next round. Then you sing the song as directed on the card. Continue to play this game until time is out. You should be able to sing the song at least 6-7 times.

I really like this game because most of it is in complete silence.

Have fun.