Friday, December 31, 2010

2011 Music Schedule

I recently polled my visitors:
"In Sacrament Meeting" was sort of supposed to be, well, funny, because really, I. AM. HUMAN. I'm often so caught up in my life or in the lives of my children, that I just don't get my primary things done by 9:00 AM on a Sunday morning! (Or, pathetically, by 1:00 PM on a Sunday afternoon.) So when I took my own poll, I marked "In Sacrament Meeting", as well as "Weekly" and "Yearly", Cuz...sometimes...Sacrament Meeting is all I have left! Now, before you shake your head and tsk-tsk at me, know this:

I am also a control freak, not a perfectionist, mind you, (there's a big difference!) but a CONTROL freak. I have a need for order. So, yes, I am one of those people who plan a whole year in advance. For primary music.

So, here it is, *...drum roll*... my planned out, imperfect, extremely flexible music schedule for 2011. I have done this same format for two years previous. My presidency loves me for it. I copy one for each of them as well as the pianist.
I have not included the "songs of choice" for April or June in this copy. Also, my stake conference schedule will likely be different from yours, but if you would like to have a copy of this actual schedule, feel free to download this non-editable PDF:

Primary Schedule 2011.pdf

If you would like to have the editable version, it is possible if you have the program it was created in; Microsoft Office Publisher (which you will have if you own the Microsoft Office Suite). Email me at for a copy of the Publisher version.

We have about 100 children in our primary, so we are divided into Junior and Senior primaries. My Sunday schedule goes something like this:

After Sacrament Meeting, before Junior Primary Opening Exercises starts, (sort of a chaotic time, right?) I jump right into singing the prelude wiggle songs. We add more songs,  or sing less, depending on the cue from the presidency member who is conducting. It really quiets the children down and brings everyone's attention to the front of the room.

After a welcome from the presidency member, we have the scripture, the reverence song, prayer, and talks. Immediately following we have the welcome song for new children or visitors, and then the birthday song for those who had a birthday in the past week. Next we have a wiggle song, and then another reverence song to quiet the children and prepare them for Sharing Time. After Sharing Time, we have Singing Time, where we work on the songs of the month.

After Singing Time with Junior Primary, I go directly into the nursery and sing fun songs with them for 10 minutes. 

When I return to the Primary room, the Senior Primary children are already having their Sharing Time. When their Sharing Time is over, I'm up again for Singing Time. After my time is up, we go directly into Senior Primary Closing Exercises. We do the welcome song and the birthday song first. Then we have the talks, the Scripture, the reverence song, and the closing prayer. So the difference between the two groups for me is that the Senior Primary does not have the prelude wiggle songs, the wiggle song (after the birthday song), nor the second reverence song.

Ahhhh.....Clear as mud?

Monday, December 27, 2010

If I Listen with My Heart

I'm so excited for the new theme and teaching January's song,
If I Listen with My Heart.

I have made both a movie and a matching flip chart to introduce this song.

*See downloading tips at the bottom of this post

If I Listen With My Heart.pdf
You will want to print two-sided on white card stock, laminate the pages, then bind on the left side.

Have fun!

*To get the movie on your computer:

  1. After installing Real Player scroll over the top right corner of the video and a little blue tab pops up on any video you are watching. Click on the tab to start downloading the video.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sing Off

This Sunday for singing time we are going to have a Sing Off!

I will have slips of paper under the bells with names of the songs we will be singing.

 I will have ways to sing the songs taped on slips of paper on the back of these snowflakes from my Christmas tree.
 I plan on suspending the snowflakes from the ceiling.

It doesn't matter what props you use, just as long as the children have one way to choose songs, and another way to choose how they are sung.

How to play:
Choose a class to come up to the front with their teacher. Ask one child from the class to choose a song for their class to sing by picking a song under a bell, and ask another child to choose how they will sing the song by choosing a snowflake. Then have the class "perform" the song that was chosen the way that is written on the snowflake, for the other Primary classes. After the class is finished with their song, move on to the next class until each class has had a turn to perform.

My List of Songs:
  • Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus p. 36
  • Away in a Manger p. 42
  • Once There Was a Snowman p. 249
  • Silent Night,  Hymns 204
  • Scripture Power
  • When Joseph Went to Bethlehem p. 38

Ways to sing:
  • Pantomime actions
  • Sing and Ring (I have enough bells for one class to ring them together)
  • Clap-Clap (Clap knees twice, then clap hands once or twice depending on the time signature)
  • Live Nativity (Choose class members to be Nativity members while they perform the song.)
  • Orchestra (Use bells, chimes, washboard, pan lids, recorders, maracas, rattles, etc. to combines sounds while they sing.)
  • Chain (Have the class link elbows and sway back and forth to the music as they sing.)
Normally, I would have mixed in a few silly ways to sing the songs, but because these are mostly sacred Christmas songs and I want to the mood to be a little more reverent,  I have chosen  more reverent ways to sing.

Do you have any ideas for ways to sing songs reverently? Please comment!

Have fun!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Passed, Christmas Present, and Christmas Future

Our Primary has been asked to sing 5 songs at our ward Christmas party next Saturday night. Because we have just finished reading the Book of Mormon in 90 days as a ward, (I did it! Yessss!) its sort of a culmination of celebrating Christ's birth and the Book of Mormon, and Christ in the Book of Mormon. So we have been asked to sing these 5 songs:

Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus
When Joseph Went to Bethelehem
Picture a Christmas
Scripture Power
Teach Me About the Temple

Last week we learned Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus and When Joseph Went to Bethlehem, and the children know the other three quite well already, so to review and polish all the songs this Sunday we will be playing my version of:

Christmas Passed, Christmas Present, Christmas Future

Write the name of each song you want to review on a slip of paper or even on a blank Christmas card. Put each slip of paper/card in a box and wrap it up as a Christmas present. 

Ask the children if they have ever read the book, or seen the movie, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Explain that in the story, Ebeneezer Scrooge, a cranky old miser who doesn't like Christmas, is visited in the night by three angels, or "ghosts": The Ghost of Christmas Past, The Ghost of Christmas Present, and The Ghost of Christmas Future. Each angel shows him his past, his present, and his future, and in the end he learns about the true meaning of Christmas. Tell the children you are going to review Christmas songs today by playing a game called "Christmas Passed, Christmas Present, and Christmas Future". It doesn't have anything to do with ghosts or Charles Dicken's story, but it is called "Christmas Passed", because we are going to pass one of these Christmas gifts around as we sing each song. "Christmas Present" because when Sister (pianist) stops playing the piano anywhere she chooses to in the song, whoever is holding the present gets to open it while we finish singing the song! And "Christmas Future", because inside the present is the name of the next song we will sing! Whoever opens the present will tell us the name of the next song.
I plan on singing an additional fun Christmas song to begin passing the first present around.

Have fun!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Songs!

I know some of you have already begun singing Christmas songs, but I am just getting started this Sunday!

Here's two flip charts I made for this month:

You can download and print your own copy by clicking
or you can email me at and I'll send you the PDF.

Below are samples of the two flip charts. Don't try to download them from the images's more trouble than it's worth. Easiest to click on the links above or email me. 

                                                                                                                                   For the When Joseph Went to Bethlehem flip chart, print on card stock (on one side only), then laminate and bind across the top edge.

                                                                                                                                   For the Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus flip chart, print on card stock (on both sides of the paper). Next laminate, and bind on the left side.

Have fun!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Little Vacay for Me

That's right, it's Stake Conference for my ward this Sunday.  I'll also be gone the following Sunday, at my parents' home for Thanksgiving weekend. ( I am SO excited! Its been 13 years since I have been 'home' for Thanksgiving!) 

But hey! Since you are already here, put in your two cents on my latest poll...there on the right-------------------------->
(Looks like you will need to use the slider at the bottom of the poll *scroll right* to see the results after you have voted.)

Happy Thanksgiving and have fun!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Disguise theTurkey!

This is an idea that originated on But instead of using a clip-art turkey, I'll be using one of the teachers.
In my case, we are reviewing the song Scripture Power, which we learned last week. I plan on going over all the words to the song, then singing the song once, before beginning this game.

Disguise the Turkey!

You will need:
  •  Props to make the chosen victim teacher a turkey. I found a great turkey mask here, and shown below is an idea for a pilgrim hat I am going to place on my "turkey's" head (I am thinking, ice cream bucket + paper sack + belt with buckle):

  • Items to diguise your "turkey", such as a wig, trench coat, large sunglasses, umbrella, gloves, etc. I think I'll add a sign that says "I'm not a turkey!" to hang around the neck.
  • Nest: bean bag chair for the turkey to sit in.
  • Phrases of the song you are going to review on slips of paper, or a list of thanksgiving songs each written on slips of paper, or ways to sing songs written on slips of paper. Attach a slip of paper to each disguise item. (I will be attaching the cards shown below, which you can download for free *Aaack! I love free stuff* over at Divine Secrets of a Primary Chorister LOVE these, I use them all the time!)

    How to Play

    • Choose which teacher will play the "turkey". Maybe do this by having all the children sing a phrase of the song, and whichever class sings the most ideally, then their teacher is chosen. 
    • Put the turkey mask and the pilgrim hat on the teacher, then have them sit on the beanbag chair. 
    • Say something like: "Boys and girls, this is our Thanksgiving Turkey, Brother ________. How old are you Brother ________?" (He answers 42.)  "FORTY TWO! Wow! You have been escaping being cooked for Thanksgiving dinner for forty-two years? What's your secret?" (Wait for response.) "Boys and girls, I think I know how to keep Brother __________ from getting cooked this year, too. Lets put a disguise on him!"
    • Explain that you have brought several items that would disguise a turkey, and that each disguise has a note pinned on it, telling us how we are going to sing our song today (or which phrase, song of gratitude will be sung).
    • Call up a child to choose one of the disguises to be placed on the teacher, then sing the song, phrase or style that is written on the paper.
    Have Fun!

    Thursday, November 4, 2010

    Scripture Power

     Fifty-four days ago my Primary Presidency issued a challenge to the Primary children, as well as all members of the ward, to read the Book of Mormon in 90 days. And guess what, we are doing it! Families are doing it! Friends are doing it! Individuals are doing it! I am doing it!

    The primary President asked me to teach the children Scripture Power, so that the children will be prepared to sing it at the Ward Christmas Party in December, or a Sacrament Meeting special musical number, or both.

    Here is flip chart I a made: Scripture Power.pdf
    Open it, print it, two sided, on white card-stock. Laminate, then bind it on the left side.

    I will be teaching it this coming Sunday. Nothing fancy or difficult to do; I'll just be explaining the words and how they relates to each picture in the flip chart. Then we'll sing each phrase, put them all together, and voila! Done! This is a fantastic song. Its going to be a good time!

    Have fun!

    Saturday, October 30, 2010

    Truth or Consequences

    Last Sunday was my ward’s Sacrament Meeting Program, and wow, it was awesome! The children really out-did themselves in volume, reverence and following my lead. Being the primary chorister is certainly a rewarding calling! 

    Since this Sunday is the last Sunday in October, I want to do something relaxed and fun. No pressure to sing well or learn music; just relax and enjoy the music, and play an old game called:

    Truth or Consequences!

    Truth or Consequences is a game show from the 50’s and 60’s.  Here is a random episode I found on youtube.  HILARIOUS!

    ( To see part 2 click on the video, you will see a link to it over at  

    Now, here's my spin on the game show for Primary Music Time:

    Truth or Consequences!
    You will need:
    • List of songs and Easy/Hard questions
    • White board or chalk board to keep score
    • Buzzer or bell for when time is up
    • Basketball hoop or anything that can be used to score a point (bean bags/laundry basket, Nerf balls and a bucket, etc.)
    Here is a picture of the basketball hoop I use. The kids LOVE it. It's really difficult to make a shot, but very fun to try! I bought it at a craft expo:

      More stuff you will need...props for challenges:
      • dice
      • bubbles
      • harmonica
      • lei for hula
      • maracas

        I have a list of fun songs to sing that all the children know well. I’ll explain that the teachers will be on one team, and the primary children on the other team. A teacher and a child (from the same class) will come to the front to play at the same time, and I’ll have a question for each of them. Whoever gets the question correct will get a point, plus the opportunity to shoot hoops for additional points while we sing the song (one point per goal). But if they get the answer wrong, they have to do a challenge while we sing the song, and they will not get any points.

        What the teachers will soon discover is that I will only ask them ridiculous and impossible questions that they will never be able to answer (I hope). I’ll give the teacher 3- 5 seconds to answer before I sound the buzzer (or bell or whatever). Next I’ll ask the child an extremely easy question about the song, and of course, they will get it right! Since the teacher got the question wrong, he or she will choose a consequence card and do whatever it says as the song is sung. At the same time the child who answered correctly will try to score as many extra points as they can by shooting hoops while we sing. Be sure to write the score on the white or chalk board!

        Songs and Questions

        ·         I Am Like a Star    163
        o   Easy: Do the stars mostly shine in the day or in the night?
        o   Hard: What are the four main types of galaxies? (spiral, elliptical, lenticular, and irregular)
        ·         I Hope They Call Me on a Mission   169
        o   Easy: Where did somebody you know serve a mission?
        o   Hard: From 1923 until 1925 David O. McKay served as president of what church mission? (European)
        ·         We’ll Bring the World His Truth   172
        o   Easy: Who teaches you the truth?
        o   Hard: Janice Kapp Perry wrote this song. Whay year was she born? (1938)
        ·         Rain is Falling      241
        o   Easy: Raindrops are made of __________?
        o   Hard: The earth's total amount of water has a volume of how many million cubic miles. (About 344)
        ·         Popcorn Popping   242
        o   Easy: In this song, what does one see when looking out the window?
        o   Hard: Popcorn is a type of maize (or corn), a member of the grass family. What is the scientific name for popcorn? (Zea mays everta)
        ·         Once There Was a Snowman   249
        o   Easy: What happens to a snowman when the sun gets hot?
        o   Hard: Slightly wet snow has a weight of how many pounds per cubic foot? (15)
        ·         Smiles   267
        o   Easy: Name something that makes you smile!
        o   Hard: When a person studies laughter they are known as a ___________? (gelotologist)
        ·         Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes   275
        o   Easy: In the song, Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, what do we touch first?
        o   Hard: Sailors once thought that wearing this would improve their eyesight. (a gold earring)
        ·         Hinges  277
        o   Easy: Show us two hinges that make your body bend.
        o   Hard: Name three kinds of joints in the human body. (Hinge joints allow movement in one direction, as seen in the knees and elbows. Pivot joints allow a rotating or twisting motion, like that of the head moving from side to side. Ball-and-socket joints allow the greatest freedom of movement. The hips and shoulders have this type of joint, in which the round end of a long bone fits into the hollow of another bone.)
        ·         The Wise Man and the Foolish Man   281
        o   Easy: When the rain comes down, what happens to the flood?
        o   Name the three basic types of rock. (igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic)


        • shake maracas during the song
        • blow bubbles during the song
        • become a statue during the song
        • do opposite actions to the song
        • during the song  pantomime the story of the song
        • tap dance as the song is sung
        • during the song, crouch low to the low notes and stand tall and reach for the sky on the high notes. 
        • play the harmonica during the song
        • do the hula during the song
        • do the chicken dance during the song

        Here is a PDF I put together for this activity:

        Click on the above link to open the file. Print the first three pages first (I did mine on cardstock), then flip the pages over so you can print pages 4-6 on the back side of the cards. Page 7 is a list of the songs and questions.

        Have fun!

        Saturday, October 9, 2010


        It's finally here! The first of two Sundays before my ward's Children's Sacrament Meeting Program!

        I love it, because I finally get to see the fruits our combined labors, as a member of the Primary board. Tomorrow both junior and senior primaries, (about 100 children) will rehearse the Children's Sacrament Meeting Program. All together. In the chapel.


        Pure de-light!

        They know the songs.
        They know their speaking parts.
        Its a matter of logistics.

        I get to pop up when its my turn, and turn up the volume! See the magic first-hand. Close my eyes and feel the chills and the Spirit. If the tears come I'll let them flow. The children are going to be awesome.

        You know how everyone says that the Children's Sacrament meeting Program is their favorite Sunday of the year? Well, lucky me (and you too, assuming you are also a primary chorister), I get to experience it tomorrow, next Sunday, the following Saturday, AND performance day.
        I love theses children. I love this calling! Its going to be awesome.

        Saturday, September 25, 2010

        Program Review

        Our Sacrament Meeting Program is October 24th. I asked the counselor over me if I could have all forty minutes of sharing time/music time combined, for music this week, and she happily agreed! I have debated whether to incorporate a super fun activity, or just work on what needs to be done. I really want the children to get a feel of how the program songs flow together, so I have chosen to just rehearse. My plan is to practice rising and sitting cues before and after the songs, work on dynamics and diction, and generally polish all the program songs.

        In my primary, I have taught them sign language to The Holy Ghost, so that's one we really need to brush up on. Also, for Follow the Prophet, each class has been assigned one verse, except for the last new verse "Heavenly Father loves us, wants us to return...." which we will all sing together. I want to practice having each class come up to the front to sing their verse, and sitting down during the chorus, while the next class comes up, and then flow right into singing the last verse all together. I also have a couple of soloists singing some of the extra verses of Come Follow Me, so we'll add them into the mix.

        Next, we'll go through all the songs on the program, in order, with standing up and sitting down, and I am thinking that will pretty much use up all the time! If I find a little extra time, we'll do some fun activity songs.

        I hope you are having as much fun preparing for the Program as I am. I truly love it! Oh, and enjoy General Conference next Sunday. I know I will.

        Saturday, September 18, 2010

        I Need A Vacation!

        We are going to review primary program songs this Sunday, and we will sing the songs in the order that they appear in the program. 

        I'll walk into the primary room dressed with my vacation outfit over my Sunday dress (the tackier, the better!):

        And I'll be toting this:
        As I walk into the room I'll say, (with a bit of weariness in my voice):

        "Wow! Do I need a vacation! I have spent all summer on the go! Even during our family camping trip this summer I still had to pack everything, cook, and do dishes. Then I had to do all the laundry and put everything away when we got home! It was exhausting! But now that the kids are back in school, I'm taking a little time for myself! Maybe this week I'll get a mani/pedi, have my hair done, go shopping, or just sit by the pool and chillll-lax. for singing time, YOU will get to lead the music, while I sit back and relax!"

        (I'll bring along one of these:

        to sit back and enjoy singing the music while the children lead)

        Next I'll unzip my suitcase and show them what's inside.  I'll tell the children that from the comfort of my reclining camp chair, I will choose the most reverent children, one at a time, to come to the front of the room to lead today's songs. Before I head to my camp chair, I'll hold up the objects in the suitcase and explain what each item is for and demonstrate each prop. I'll tell the children that whoever gets chosen will get to pick any item they want to use to lead the music, even if it's already been done. Hey, who cares if we use a prop twice? It's a vacation!:
        "Use this remote control to lead the song. When you point and click it at the pianist, she stops playing the piano but everyone continues to sing. When you point and click again, the pianist begins playing again."
        "Here are two ball caps. When the conductor wears the pink ball cap, only the girls sing. When the conductor trades for the red ball cap, only the boys sing."
        "This is Wilbur the Wide Mouth Frog. Wilbur is a hand puppet for the conductor to wear while he or she leads the music. WILBUR. (enunciate while you explain, stretching your mouth and lips as wide as you can while you speak) TALKS. LIKE. THIS. During the entire song, everyone must sing like Wilbur and ENUNCIATE. THE. WORDS. OF. THE. SONG."
        "When the conductor leads with this buzzzy bee, everyone will "Zzzzzz" to the music instead of singing words. When the leader puts the bee behind his back, everyone sings the words again."
        "Use this slinky to lead the music. When it is stretched out long and wide, everyone sings very loud. When it is tight and close together, everyone sings softly."
        "Lead the music with this clapper, while everyone claps to the beat of the music". (I found this at the dollar store)
        "While leading the music, hold up the hippo for everyone to sing the song slowly, then switch to the cheetah for everyone to sing super fast."

        These are all ordinary objects I had at home already. I am certain YOU are much more creative, inventive, and ingenuous! Please leave a comment if you have any other brilliant props to add!

        Have fun!

        Wednesday, September 8, 2010

        Pop Quiz

        Here is a fun fun review game called Pop Quiz, posted by The Crazy Chorister.
        I love The Crazy Chorister should follow her!

        Thursday, September 2, 2010

        Teach Me About The Temple

        The stake primary leaders in my stake have asked me to teach the song, Teach Me About The Temple to the Senior Primary children in my ward in preparation for November's Stake Conference. All the Senior Primary children in the stake will sing it together in a Stake Children's Choir, but I am going to teach it to the Junior Primary children in my ward as well.

        A sample of the song, Teach Me About The Temple, written by Lynne Perry Christofferson, can be heard here.

        My ward's Children's Sacrament Meeting Presentation is on October 24th this year, and Stake Conference is November 21st....this is so interesting, I my plan is to teach Teach Me About The Temple for the first three weeks of September, then review all the Presentation songs every week until the Presentation in late October. Then we will focus on Teach Me About The Temple for November, and of course....a lot of fun mixed in along the way! Clear as mud? Righto!

        This Sunday I will be teaching our new song from my flip chart:

        I'll be going over the words and phrases and their meaning as we learn the song, page by page. There will be lots of echoing, which helps immensely with memorization!

        Have fun!

        Saturday, August 28, 2010

        A Minute To Win It

        Or..."30 Seconds To Win It".  After all, I only have 20 precious minutes for music time (and sometimes less), so every second counts!

        It's the last Sunday of the month which means review time, and even more exciting, we have now learned ALL the program songs. Woohoo! *Pat yourself on the back and take a bow.*

        So, game show fanatic that I am (I actually tried to get on Millionaire a few times), we are going to play A Minute To Win It, except I am cutting each game to 30 seconds to save time. I will be modifying each game so that they can be done in 30 seconds.

        A Minute To Win It

        You will need:

        A stop watch or a clock or watch of any kind with a second hand.

        Choose as many A Minute To Win It games as you have songs to review. You can make up your own or go to the official A Minute To Win It website and choose from all the games posted there. These are my picks:
        Write each Minute To Win It game on a strip of paper and place in a hat/fishbowl/gift-box.

         Gather all the supplies you will need for each game.

        Write all the review songs (or draw a simple picture for each song) on the chalk/white board.

        How to play:

        Assign each class the task of choosing one contestant from their class. It could be a child or a teacher.

        Each contestant comes to the front of the room and chooses a slip of paper from the hat/fishbowl/gift-box with one of the games listed on it. The contestant plays that game for their class. If they are able to complete the task in less than one minute (or in my case, 30 seconds) then the contestant chooses which program/review song to sing from the list of songs on the chalk/whiteboard. If they loose then I get to choose the review song to sing.

        Explain to the children that there must be complete silence while the game is being played (no cheering or jeering) in order that the contestant has complete concentration....which will greatly aid in keeping a more reverent atmosphere!

        Have fun!

        Sunday, August 22, 2010


        Have you seen the Primary Program Outline for 2011? Wow! My presidency handed it to me today, and I fell in love. I have been the primary chorister for three years...this is my fourth program year. I'll be so, so sad if I get released before the 2011 program!

        Saturday, August 21, 2010

        Singing Bee

        Tomorrow is the fourth Sunday of a five Sunday month, which means the children know the song I am teaching (Have I Done Any Good?) quite well, and we are ready to have some fun with it!

        I know others have posted this, I am not sure of the original source. It's definitely a favorite of mine. 

        Singing Bee

        You will need:
        • A microphone, or even a hairbrush microphone if you have a small primary. I have a little karaoke player that would work too, but I like to use a regular microphone that plugs into the room's PA system.  I just check it out from the ward library. Set up your microphone on a microphone stand at the front of the room, short...for little ones.

        To play:
        Say the children, "Raise your hand if you know the words to Have I Done Any Good?, really, really well." Then ask,  "If you would like to sing a solo today from the song, Have I Done Any Good?, using the microphone, please raise your hand." Lots of children in my primary usually raise their hands, but that is because there are about 100 children (divided between jr. and sr.). So I choose from one class at a time. I start with the youngest class, the 3-4 year olds, and choose four or five of them to come up to the front with me, and stand in a line behind the microphone. (I have that many come up at a time to cause less commotion, and we can whip through things faster than calling them up one at a time).

        Explain to the children,"We will all start singing the song together. When I cut everyone off, like this: (show them what your "cut off" is like, and of course, be dramatic!) we'll all stop singing, but whoever is at the microphone gets to sing the next phrase of the song all by themselves using the microphone, and then they return to their seat."

        Sometimes a child at the microphone is scared and can't sing, or doesn't know the words at all! This is when I sing it with them, or whisper sing the next phrase in their ear, and they repeat it into the microphone. I encourage all the children to clap for each child, (and I say "Yaaaaay!" and clap) after they have done their solo.

        After the 3-4 year olds have taken their turn, I move on to the next older class.

        It's a lot of fun, especially hearing these young voices sing out! It's also a great way to find out who might be willing to sing a solo or sing in a group for the Sacrament Meeting Presentation.

        Have Fun!

        Sunday, August 15, 2010

        Saturday Night Specials category...."Saturday Night Specials" (SNS). This is a category for anyone who has had a week like mine. CrAzY cRaZy CrAzInEsS! It will be listed under "All the Stuff" in the column on the right (scroll down) that will have ideas that can be put together in a flash!

        So here I am at 11:59 PM on a Saturday night, no not the first time. I'm tired. I still have dishes to do. I have been going strong since the dog woke me up at 6:30 this morning, and now? Finally...sit down here and ....*deep breath*...I am ready to begin working on Primary. Oh, it's Ward Conference tomorrow, for me, too. We are going to have a blast with the stake leaders there.

        The first SNS is great idea that that I have done previously, and The Crazy Chorister also has a good version of this game.

        Stump the Chorister/Teacher

        Gather together a bunch of dress up props.

        These are the things I have:
        1. a parasol (or use an umbrella)
        2. old leather hat
        3. tiara
        4. thin plastic rain slick
        5. soccer shin guard
        6. lei
        7. glove
        8. huge toy sunglasses
        9. kimono
        10. flashing jack o' lantern necklace
        11. scarf
        12. bandanna
        13. sarong
        14. fanny pack
        15. neck pillow
        16. woman's wig
        17. snorkeling goggles
        18. straw hat

        I have put them in my special green bag:

        *Side note: My grandmother made this bag for me when I was about 13. When the children see me walk into the chapel before church meetings begin with this simple drawstring bag, the excitement is audible. They get exited because I use it for all kinds of fun games and activities. I can hear them say, "Look Mom! Sister Patterson brought the green bag!" Oh, how I love this calling.*

        To Play:
        You will need a bunch of questions to ask the teachers and/or leaders in the room. Or you can have the teachers write question to stump you. My questions will be focused on service because we are singing Have I Done Any Good? for the month of August, and I will be trying to stump the teachers.  

        I will ask ask a teacher from each class one of my questions. If they answer correctly, I have to wear an object from my green bag. If they answer incorrectly, or they don't know the answer, they have to wear an object from my green bag. After they have given their answer, a child from their class reaches into the bag and removes the item to be worn. (Naturally, I don't want to end up wearing everything in the bag, so I am going to try to make my questions difficult, and hopefully some are ridiculously impossible!) The teacher or I puts on the item while we all sing one of the verses or the chorus of the song. We will alternate verses, then the chorus, with each turn.

        So here's my list of questions that will be drawn at random:
        1. Where did Sister Bagley serve her mission?
        2. How many school kits did our primary complete at our activity day? 
        3. Where is the scripture "Choose ye this day...we will serve the Lord." found?
        4. Complete the phrase: There are chances for work all around just now, ____________ _____ __ ___ ___.
        5. What might pass by in the phrase "Do not let them pass by?"
        6. Guess how many words make up the song? You have three seconds.
        7. Where did Bishop Allred serve a mission?
        8. What is the highest note we sing in Have I Done Any Good? Guess.
        9. What is the last phrase of the song
        10. (Show a picture from the flip chart of Have I done any Good?): Recite the phrase in the song that goes with this picture.
        11. In 30 seconds or less name how many times the word "today" is sung?
        12. In 30 seconds or less name how many times the word "I" is sung?
        13. Complete the phrase "Only he who does something helps others to live, __ __ ___ ____ ____ ____ __ _____."
        14. What is wrong with this phrase: "Has anyone's burden been brighter today because I was willing to share?"
        15. Who wrote the words to Have I Done Any Good?
        16. Who was the first person to sing this song? (A: I have no idea.)
        17. Recite the second verse
        18. Recite the chorus in a language other than English.

        Have Fun!

        Friday, August 6, 2010

        Have I Done Any Good? Week 2

        Plans for Sunday's singing time include teaching the second verse to Have I Done any Good?. I'll be using my flip chart and discussing each phrase with the children, and I'll be explaining the graphics from the flip chart, such as "Love's labor has merit alone", etc.

        Nothing earth-shattering...just lots of repetition and singing and having a good time!

        Thanks for stopping in...and while you are here, be sure to answer my poll on the right ------------------------>

        Have fun!

        Saturday, July 31, 2010

        Have I Done Any Good?

        Have I Done Any Good?

        This is the song I'll be teaching for August. I have printed it on both sides of the pages of cardstock (story book form), laminated each page, and then I had it spirally bound.

        I'll teach the children to enunciate and emphasize the Green words on the flip chart.

        You can download your own copy by hitting the download button above, or click here:
        Have I Done Any Good?Have I Done Any Good? or email me at and I'll send you the PDF.

        Have fun!

        Friday, July 23, 2010

        Come, Come Ye Saints

        I am going to show this in Primary this Sunday. I think it will really set the mood.

        I am downloading it to my laptop using, and I'll show it to the kids from my laptop.

        Wednesday, July 21, 2010

        Pioneer Wagon Wheel of Fortune

        This idea is a combination of ideas borrowed from The Crazy Chorister's Wagon Wheel of Fortune and from The Children's Sing here, and here, and here.

        Yesterday I was at my local dollar store, Dollar Tree, and saw this:

        AND...they had this poster sized foam board! I was so excited to find both items, but especially the foam board! (I paid nearly $3.00 a piece at Wal-Mart for the foam board I used to make the Follow the Prophet posters. Ugh.) I snatched up a few of them. I'm thinking of going back to get a few more!

        So here's my finished Pioneer Wagon Wheel of Fortune with assembly and game instructions:

        To start, I took the largest kitchen bowl in my cupboard, and used it to trace a big circle on the foam board. Then I made a small hole in the center.
         (If you squint just right you can see my faint pencil circle on the foam board.)
        Next I removed the plastic spinner from the Dollar Tree spin board, and put it on the hole I made. The spinner simply pulls apart into 2 pieces, so one part goes on the front side and one goes on the back to secure it.
        The hole was purposely too small, so that the spinner would fit snugly. Next I drew ( can see I am definitely NOT an artist! Ha!)...I drew the details of the wagon wheel, and colored the space inside the spokes red, yellow, and blue.
        I printed out the phrase, "Wagon Wheel of Fortune" on red, yellow and blue cardstock, and then cut out the individual letters.
        And here's the end result! I still have to laminate the board, however.

        UPDATE: My local Ship 'n Copy store, where I get my lamination done, does not laminate foam board. 
        No matter, contact paper will do just fine.
        As you can see from the first photo and this one,  I have 12 different graphics cut out for the wheel. I will also get them laminated. With both the wheel and the graphics laminated, I can use this tacky blue stuff called Blu Tack,

        to stick the images on the wheel, and change them around at will. Also, because the wheel will be laminated, a dry erase marker can be used to write or draw anything in the wheel spaces. 

        Here are two different versions of clip art for the game:


        Print the phrase "Wagon Wheel of Fortune" on colored card stock, then cut out the individual letters and tape them to the board before laminating the board.

        Print the pictures on white card stock and then cut them out. Laminate, and then cut them out again.

        Pioneer Wagon Wheel of Fortune

        You will need:
        • Pioneer Wagon Wheel of Fortune foam board and pictures.
        • Pioneer clothes for boys and girls (I have bonnets, skirts and aprons for the girls; straw hats, cowboy boots and neckerchief/bandanna for the boys.)
        •  List of pioneer songs (I am going to write this list on the whiteboard and have the child who spins choose a song from the white board either before or after spinning. Then we will erase that song from the white board.

        Here's my list of songs:

        Pioneer Children Sang As They Walked  Children's Songbook 214
        Little Pioneer Children  Children's Songbook 216
        To Be a Pioneer  Children's Songbook 218
        The Oxcart  Children's Songbook 219
        The Handcart Song  Children's Songbook 220

        Here We Are Together ("...we're crossing the plains"...) Children's Songbook 261 (Pick 4 children to come to the front and be named in this song, and dress them in pioneer clothing.)
        Fun to Do (Pushing the handcart, gathering wood, building a fire, etc.) Children's Songbook 253
        For Health and Strength (because pioneer children were very grateful for health and strength and daily food!) Children's Songbook 20
        When We're Helping  (Because pioneer children helped their parents all day long.) Children's Songbook 198
        Come, Come, Ye Saints (Hymns, 30)

         To Play:
        1. Select 6 of the graphics and use Blu Tack to adhere them to the wagon wheel spaces. 
        2. Explain: "When the Pioneers were traveling across the prairies, plains, deserts, and mountains to reach the Salt Lake Valley, they encountered many adventures!  We are going to sings songs today that teach us about their journeys. First we will spin the spinner on the wagon wheel. The spinner will land on a picture of one of their adventures, and I will explain how we will sing the pioneer song."
        3. Select a child to spin the spinner.
        4. Sing the pioneer song according to the graphic where the spinner stops:
        • Ox - sing very slowly "Teams of oxen were used to pull heavy wagons. Oxen are very slow animals, but because they are stronger than horses or mules, many pioneers used them to pull their heavy wagons."
        • bunny rabbit - sing very fast "Rabbits were seen along the pioneer trail. Rabbits are FAST and hard to catch!"
        • pioneer girl - only girls sing (Put girl pioneer clothes on a girl) "These are some of the things pioneer girls would wear."
        • pioneer boy - only boys sing  (Put boy pioneer clothes on a boy) "These are some of the things pioneer boys would wear."
        • cowboy boot - sing western style "Lots of pioneer boys and girls your age were real cowboys and cowgirls! They drove cows and other animals all by themselves along the pioneer trek!"
        • snake - sing very quietly "Yes, there were rattlesnakes! If the pioneers encountered a rattlesnake it was best to be very quiet and not disturb it!"
        • Native American child - children trade seats during one phrase of the song "There were many, many encounters with Indians along the trails. "Pioneers would 'TRADE' some of their precious items (jewlery, dishes, toys, furniture) for much needed food, or furs and blankets to keep warm."
        • ax and chopped wood - sing "choppy" (staccato) "Children had the job of collecting firewood for campfires. When there were no trees for wood, they would collect sagebrush or buffalo dung to burn in their campfires! Eeewwww!"
        • beehive and bee - if the child holds this picture up high in the air, everyone hums. When the child hides the picture, everyone sings the words.  "The Pioneers wanted to call their new home 'Deseret', which meant 'honey bee' in the Jaredite language in the Book of Mormon. The honey bee was symbolic for how industrious or 'busy' the pioneers were, just like bees!"
        • ant - children stomp to the beat "Sometimes insects, like ants, invaded the pioneer camps. Pioneers had to stomp to get the ants off their bodies! Yikes!"
        • cow - a child leaves the room. Someone hides the cow in the room. Child returns and the rest of the children sing loud when he/she is close to the cow, and softly when he/she is not close. "If a cow wandered away from the pioneer camps, sometimes children your age had to search for them and bring them back to the camp."
        • mountains - echo sing: divide the children in two and have the first group sing a phrase of the song, while the second group echoes them. (Have the pianist play each phrase twice throughout the entire song.) "When the pioneers finally reached the mountains they discovered some places in canyons, between two mountains, that would echo anything they said or sang!"
         After each picture has been landed on with the spinner and used in a song, replace it with a new picture.  Some of the songs, like Fun to Do can be sung more than once and the spinner spun each time.

        Happy Pioneer Day!

        Have fun!

        Thursday, July 15, 2010

        BIG fan of The Children Sing

        This is another amazing idea from Kathleen at The Children Sing:

        Pioneer Adventures Roller Box

        I can't wait. The children are going to love it!

        Have fun!

        Wednesday, July 14, 2010

        Come Follow Me with The Crazy Chorister

        I am a HUGE fan of  The Crazy Chorister.

        Her latest posting, COME FOLLOW ME --- JUST FOLLOW THE PATTERN is fabulous. I am definitely going to have fun doing it with my Primary children this Sunday.
        Here's another pattern for an Oragami Shirt and Tie.

        Thanks for the great idea, Crazy Chorister!

        Have fun!

        Thursday, July 8, 2010

        Come Follow Me and I Can Follow Jesus Activity

        Here is my flip chart for this Sunday's Primary Singing Time activity.
        Come Follow Me.pdf

        I have printed it on card stock in story-book form (on both sides of the paper) and had it laminated and bound on the left side.

        1.       Ask the pianist play through the melody first while the children listen.

        2.       Explain that this is a very special and sacred hymn about our Savior, Jesus Christ.  After they have listened to the melody, ask the children if they recognize the music.

        3.       Have the pianist play the introduction, and tell the children you are going to sing the words this time.  Invite anyone who knows the words to sing along. Use the flip chart to sing the story, and point to the appropriate pictures.

        a.       Compliment the children for singing along with you.

        4.       Show the children the first picture from the flipchart:

        a.       Tell the following story: One day, Jesus taught from Peter's boat on the Sea of Galilee. Afterward He told Peter to take the boat to deep water and let out the nets to catch fish. Peter explained that he and others had been fishing all night without catching anything, but he said he would do as Jesus commanded. Peter and his brother Andrew caught so many fish that their net began to break. James and John came in another boat to help. The fishermen were all amazed. Jesus called Peter and Andrew to follow Him and become fishers of men. Fishers of men is another way to say ‘missionaries’, because it meant that Jesus wanted them to help bring people to the Gospel. He also called James and John. They all left their boats and nets and followed Jesus and became fishers of men. (Story adapted from the Gospel Art Picture Kit.)

        b.      Sing the first phrase: “Come follow me, the Savior said”, and ask the children to echo it back to you. Sing it again in a whisper, and ask them to sing it back to you in a whisper. Do it again singing very slowly, and again enunciating every syllable. Repeat as many times as needed, until the children have the phrase learned.

        5.       Show the second picture on the flipchart: 

        a.       “Here’s a question: what does ‘tread’ mean?...That’s right! The word, ‘tread’ means to walk along, or to press your foot into something. So when I say ‘I want to tread in Jesus’ footsteps’, what does that mean?...That’s right, it means that I want to put my footprints in Jesus’ footprints, to follow him, just like the children are doing in this picture. They want to follow his example and do all the things he did.”
        b.      “Sometimes when poems or songs are written, the words are very fancy or sophisticated, just like this next phrase, (say it with an air of sophistication) ‘Then let us in His footsteps tread’.  It’s not hard to understand it if you think about it, it simply means, ‘Hey, we want to follow Jesus! We want to do what He did! We want to follow His example!’”
        c.       “Everyone say ‘We want to follow Jesus’. Now everyone say, (say it with emphasis on the bold words)Then,…let us in his footsteps,…tread’. Both phrases mean the same thing.”
        d.      Sing the phrase “then let us in His footsteps tread”, and have the children echo sing it back to you, the same as above in step 4b.
        e.       Sing with the children the first two phrases: Come follow me, the Savior said. Then let us in His footsteps tread.

        6.       Show the third picture in the flip chart:

        a.       “Did you know there is only one way we can return to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ? It’s only through Jesus Christ, by following his example, and obeying the commandments, that make it possible for us to be ‘one’ with Him, and with our Heavenly Father.
        b.      “In the first picture on this page we see these two children looking up at Jesus. They want to be ‘one’ with Jesus. They must follow his path (point to the pathway) and do as he did to become ‘one’ with him.”
        c.       Explain what Jesus is doing in each of the five pictures of Christ on this page, and tell how the children might do the same in their lives.
        d.      "What does 'thus' mean?...That’s right, it simply mean ‘this way’. So when I say, ‘for thus alone’, it just means, ‘this is the only way’.  When we sing (sing it) ‘For thus alone can we be one’, it means that following Jesus’ example is the only way we can be one with him."
        e.      Sing the phrase again and have the children echo it back to you, the same as above in step 4b.
        f.        Sing with the children the first three phrases: Come follow me, the Savior said. Then let us in His footsteps tread. For thus alone can we be one.

        7.       Show the last picture in the flip chart:

        a.       “Who is ‘God’s own loved begotten son’?...That’s right! It’s Jesus Christ. This phrase completes the phrase before it: (sing it) ‘For thus alone can we be one (with emphasis) with God’s own loved begotten Son.’ (Point to the last picture.)
        b.      The children in this picture represent YOU! They want to be one with ‘God’s own begotten Son’, just like you do!
        c.       Sing: “with God’s own loved begotten son”, and have the children echo it back to you, the same as in step 4b.
        d.      With the children, sing: “For thus alone can we be one, with God’s own loved begotten Son
        8.       Sing the entire song together with the children, and compliment them for a job well done!
        If time permits, play:

        I Can Follow Jesus
        You will need:
        •        A small table
        •       Slips of paper with ways to follow Jesus’ example in a “Mystery Bag”.
        •      Play dough

        On the slips of paper in the Mystery Bag, write:

        Play Dough
        2 ½ cups flour
        ½ cup salt
        1 tsp. alum
        3 Tbs. oil (add to water)
        A few drops of food coloring
        2 cup water
        Boil water and oil. Add food coloring. Add other ingredients to boiling water and mix by hand.
        How to Play:
        Pick three or four reverent children to come to the table at the front of the room. Give each child a lump of play dough and ask them to set it on the table in front of them, then have each child pick a slip of paper from the Mystery Bag and read silently what it says. (Smaller kids will need you to whisper in their ear what it says on the paper). Ask them to close their eyes and imagine the play dough tuning into the object on their slip of paper. Encourage them concentrate with all their might, and try very hard to visualize the completed object in their minds down to the last detail. After they have given their best effort, have them open their eyes and ask them if the clay actually turned into the object they saw in their imagination.
        Tell them that no matter how long and hard they think about it, that lump of play dough will never turn into the object they were thinking about on its own. It has to be shaped and molded with our hands! Just like the play dough, we can think and think and think about how much we want to serve others the way Jesus Christ did,  but nothing will happen until we use our hands to love and serve others.
        Explain that everyone is going to sing Come Follow Me.  While everyone else is singing, the children at the front with the play dough have exactly as long as it takes to sing the song to form their object with their hands.
        Sing the song. When it’s over, have the children show their play dough objects and explain how they can be used to follow Jesus Christ's example.
        If time permits have another group of children form more objects from the Mystery Bag while Come Follow Me is sung.
        Have Fun!