Saturday, August 20, 2011

Teacher Appreciation Day!

It always makes me happy when the get-down-dirty-nitty-gritty teaching part of a song is done, and it's a great feeling when you know the children have learned it well. I always look forward to the next week, which is this week, because it means fun!

I plan on beginning having the children sing The Lord Gave Me a Temple, both verses, one time through. I'll remind the children before we sing that they will need to pay close attention to the words and phrases of the song, so that their class can score lots of points in the game we will be playing. With this activity the children will sing The Lord Gave Me a Temple at least 6 times through, and never realize it will be to help them with memorization. Awesome!

Teacher Appreciation Day!

I'll explain it something like this:

"Boys and girls, there is someone very special in your class, someone you need to thank for all the hard work they do. That's why, today in singing time, we are going to celebrate 'Teacher Appreciation Day'! This means that we are going to let our teachers have a little bit of fun. But it's your job to sing super well, singing all the words, and everyone in the class should be singing their hearts out! I'll choose the class with the hardest working singers to send their teacher to the front for a fun challenge where they can earn points for the class!" {Remember, these are invisible points, and they don't mean a thing. LOL}

"I will show you what challenge can be your teacher's, before we start to sing each time. There are 6 challenges in all. Here's the first one:"

"It's a basketball shoot-out! We will sing The Lord Gave Me a Temple, and I will choose a class who is singing their very best to send their teacher to the front. If your class is chosen, your teacher will have the opportunity to shoot hoops for exactly 60 seconds! Every basket made equals 2 points that your class gets to keep! Forever! Okay, here we go..."

After the first teacher finishes the first challenge, shout out how many points that class has earned, then show your props for the next challenge.  I am going to give each class a turn for their teacher to do a challenge.

So, now you will need to choose 6 or seven challenges to go along with Teacher Appreciation Day (one for each class).  I am using challenges that are easy for me, with props I have handy.
  • The first idea, above, is the wooden basketball shoot. I bought this at a holiday craft fair several years ago. 

  • Dice on a Plank: give the teacher a wide Popsicle stick or tongue depressor, and tell them to put it in their mouth. Next they get to stack as many dice on the tongue depressor as they can. Give them 10 points (or whatever) for each dice that gets stacked without falling down within 60 seconds. Here's some pictures of my family doing this game: 
So easy, even my Grandpa Conover can do it!
My niece, Annalei. She won, actually!

  • Golf Putting: I actually have one of these, too. My husband won it as part of a health challenge at work. So I'll give each teacher 5 points (or whatever I decide, ha!) for every hole in one within 60 seconds:
  • Cookie on the Forehead: Have the teacher sit in a chair and face the children. Tilt his or head back and place a cookie on their forehead. Tell them they have 60 seconds to get it in their mouth using only their facial muscles. I'll give them 12 points for each cookie within 60 seconds. Here's my sister, Heather, with a demonstration:

  •  Bobblehead: attach a pedometer to a headband, and secure the headband to the teacher's head. Make sure the pedometer is set to zero. Start timing (60 seconds) and have the teacher begin bobbing his/her head up and down in order to gain "steps." Give the teacher and class one point for every step measured on the pedometer after one minute. Note: My pedometer, my ancient one from about 8 years ago, wouldn't work when I tried this at home. So instead, I downloaded a free app for my Android phone. It works great!

  • Paddle Balance: give the teacher a ping pong ball and paddle. Have him/her balance the ball on the paddle. Give them a point for every second the ball is continuously balanced on the paddle without falling. Maybe give them a practice try, first? 
There are a whole lot of fun ideas here at the Minute to Win It  website, or just make up your own. Be sure to list any brilliant ideas you have in the comments field!

Have fun!


  1. It sounds like a really fun singing time! I do wonder, though, about using sport games/challenges... we teach children not to play sports on Sunday and to keep the Sabbath Day holy so this might send mixed messages to the kids.

  2. This is fun!!! I love it!! And I don't think the games you have chosen are not in line with keeping the Sabbath Day holy. Maybe you could have a teacher write out a missionary letter and give so many points per word!! :)

  3. We're in the same spot with The Lord Gave Me a Temple, so I think this is a great idea! But I'm making the games church-related: stacking sacrament cups, drawing a simple church picture with speed, arranging the last verse of If I Listen With My Heart with some magnet words have from a prior game, name that hymn, etc. I think you can play fun games in Primary but still keep them in accordance with the Sabbath Day.

  4. Dear Andrea,
    Thanks! And the missionary letter idea...classic! Made me smile.

  5. Dear Jody,
    Great "substitutions!" Thanks so much for posting them.

  6. I love, love, love these great ideas! Keep them coming Beautiful!

  7. I am so grateful for this blog!! I love your creative genius. I love the additional ideas as well. Thanks for taking the time to post your ideas I would be at a loss without it.

  8. Dear Sher, Beautiful Sher, thanks! :)

    Dear Kollen, Thank you! Glad to share.

  9. I totally know what you mean about being so relieved to have the nitty gritty done and to be able to move on to some more creative methods. You are so clever, it makes my head spin!!

  10. Thanks so much I always check your blog first. I think it is okay to have fun and still feel the spirit.