Sunday, February 27, 2011

New-Fangled Choose Sticks

Move over tongue depressors.  There's a new kid(s) in town!  I found these at a store called Utah/Idaho School Supply.  I'm sure any school supply store will do.  They have great stuff.

The best thing about these guys is they're each basically a white board, so you can wipe off a child's name as they graduate, move, etc.

Just thinking, it might be fun to dress these guys up somewhat for each holiday.  Like, I saw some foam cutouts of cowboy hats that could be taped on their heads for July.  Maybe even tie a little piece of a red bandanna around the neck....  green boleros for St. Patrick's Day.....etc.  It's these little details that the kids seem to respond to so much.  ANYthing for the kids, right?

Teaching Scripture Power

On the 4th Sunday of each month, when a member of the bishopric visits and speaks to the children,  we get to have singing for the duration of the time left over.  It's great since that's usually a review day.

I decided to begin teaching next month's song a week early due to my upcoming vacation.  So......drumroll please.......let me bring your attention to this fantastic booklet I found on "The Ordinary Adventures of a Primary Chorister."  I say "booklet" because it's better than a flip chart.  It has a whole page dedicated to the words with a whole page picture to go with it.  The pics are darling.  Here's the link.

Scripture Power Booklet

I began by reading the "book" to them like a storybook.  Then we sang it.  On the front of the binder, I had taped the words so I wouldn't have to bend my head around to look at the pages.  The kids LOVED it!  The older kids remembered it, but enjoyed reviewing it.

I want to get the pages laminated and spiral bound this week, so it will  really BE a book instead of just another binder/flipchart.  That's how "The Ordinary Chorister..." suggested doing it, and it sounds like an adorable alternative.

I chose "helpers" to come up and get dressed in the armor, (picture above) which was also a big hit.  I found the armor at the dollar store last year some time, knowing I would eventually use it.  This was really fun.  Next week I'll bring out even more pieces, such as the helmet, girdle, etc.

As I'm sure all of you have, we've been pushing for the kids to bring their scriptures.  They were sure glad they did today, as almost all of them were able to heft them into the air for the SCRIP-ture Power Chorus.  FUN DAY.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Traffic Light String

When I was the pianist in another ward, the chorister made up one of these, only she used a 1 Liter pop bottle that she cut the middle out of, and fit the two ends together, to hold the string.  Apparently, there is no such thing as red, yellow, and green multi-colored yarn, so I bought three small yarn thingys(?) and tied them together randomly.

Not owning a liter of pop, I needed to make use of what could be found around the house.  Eventually I found a can of french-fried onion rings in my pantry,  put them in a zip-lock, punched a small hole in the lid, covered the can with wrapping paper, printed off some pics I found online, and voila'!

A helper pulls the string steadily while we sing.  Of course green="GO," Red="STOP," and then they'll hum when the yellow string surfaces.

Scripture Power! We'll be re-learning this song next, except probably not like this. But it's worth watching for a laugh.

Looking Forward to St. Patrick's Day

I'm going to be on vacation the Sunday before St. Patty's Day, so this will be the second activity for my substitute chorister.   I borrowed this GREAT riddle idea from Kathryn, and added a little extra to it in lieu of the special day.

Everyone knows Leprechauns LOVE silly riddles.  So I've added some super silly ones in addition to the song riddles.

So the activity will go like this:  A child will be chosen to come pick a shamrock.  (They will all be attached to the board with small magnets. )  On the other side are TWO riddles.  The first one is a St. Patrick's Day riddle.  After the kids have fun with that, the chorister will read the second riddle, which is a question regarding songs they know.  After they guess the song, another helper will choose, from the "Silly Sack," the way they should sing the song.

If you want to download the silly singing cards, click "here".

This is basically a choose and review, with some fun songs mixed in.  I chose songs I was pretty sure the kids would know.  Here are the riddles:

1. Why do people wear shamrocks on St. Patrick's Day?
       Regular rocks are too heavy.
Song Riddle:  I like to imagine what it would be like to hear Jesus talk to me.
                            Hint:  I would not listen with my ears.
                      What song am I?  "If I Listen With My Heart"
2.  Knock, Knock!
        Who's there?
        Irish who?
     Irish you a happy St. Patrick's Day!
Song Riddle:  Heavenly Father has provided a way for us to get back to him.
                           Hint:  "Plan"
                       What song am I?  "I Will Follow God's Plan For Me"
3.  What does Ireland have more of than any other country?
Song Riddle:  Everyone needs to hold onto this.
                           Hint:  Lehi's Dream
                      What song am I?  "Hold to the Rod" (chorus only)
4.  Knock, Knock!
        Who's there?
        Warren who?
    Warren anything green today?
Song Riddle:  The Lord wants us to be brave and courageous
                             Hint:  Another word for brave is "Valiant"
                       What song am I?  "I Will Be Valiant"
5.  Why do frogs like St. Patrick's Day?
         Because they're always wearing green!
Song Riddle:  The apricot trees don't have any of this right now.
                           (No Hint on this one)
                       What song am I?  "Popcorn Popping"
6.  Why can't you borrow money from a Leprechaun?
        Because they're always a little short.
Song Riddle:  You need to build your house on the right foundation.
                            Hint:  Rain
                       What song am I?  "The Wise Man and the Foolish Man"
7.  Why did the leprechaun stand on the potato?
        To keep from falling in the stew!
Song Riddle:  I hope they do this when I've grown a foot or two.
                           Hint:  2 years
                      What song am I?  "I Hope They Call Me On a Mission"
8.  What do you get when two leprechauns have a conversation?
         A lot of small talk!
Song Riddle:  Jesus wants me to be this...
                           Hint:  Sun
                      What song am I?  "Jesus Wants Me For a Sunbeam"


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Broken Hearts for "I Will Follow God's Plan" Let's try this again...

Okay, for those of you who weren't able to pull up the broken hearts for "I Will Follow God's Plan"  I'm re-posting links here.  I sincerely hope they work for you this time.  For some reason I wasn't able to e-mail the file to those who requested it.  I'm so sorry.  Let me know if this works. If you haven't already, you will need to sign up for the free "4-Shared" site for file sharing.  I know a lot of you bloggers out there use it, and it seems like a great way to file share.

Just click "Download" when you see the word, "Download."   :)

My Life Is A Heaven it Began
My Choice Was to Come....To His Word and His Love
I Will Work......Walk in His way
Then I Will Be Happy......In My Home Above

Saturday, February 19, 2011

I Will Be Valiant

I want to teach this song to the kids really, really bad.  So tomorrow is the day. It is fun, upbeat, catchy, and different from the other songs we've been singing.

I've included a flipchart that I found on Sugardoodle.  I'm just going to attach the pages on the board - not use them as a flipchart, and then once the kids have sung it a few times, pass out a bunch of Kazoos (from Oriental Trading) and let them sing through those.  Maybe ... we'll even march around the room with them.

What could be funner than a kazoo?  Huh?  Here's the link:

Preparing for a Substitute Chorister

Yes, It is true.  I am actually going on a much needed vacation in March....for 2 weeks!  However, it turns out that I'll need a sub for 3 Sundays.  Yikes!  Good thing we have Stake Conference as the second Sunday.

I don't want to overburden my fill-in with anything too complicated, so I think it would be fun and easy for her to use these primary matching cards.

 There are TONS of cards in this just a few would be good, so as to make it less frustrating for the kids.  When there's a match, a song will go with it.  I'll pick songs they know fairly well...and include the flipcharts/posters, etc. for my sub ... in case the kids aren't sure of every word.  Nothing's worse for a temporary chorister to feel like she's the only one singing.

Here's the link:   Primary Matching Game

Finishing Up Teaching "I Will Follow God's Plan"

My favorite singing times are when the kids are involved interactively.  They responded really well to my "Broken Hearts" singing time last week, so I hope this one goes as well.

I'm going to put pictures, representing the key words in the song, under random chairs before primary begins.  When we're ready to practice this song, I'll tell them to look under their seats for the pictures.  We'll begin singing the song ... but STOP when a picture is needed.  I plan to have a printout of the piano music with the "stops" indicated so the pianist and I will be on the same page. . .no pun intended  :-)

Each time the music stops, the children must look at their picture and decide if it's the one that fits.  Then he/she will bring it up and post it on the board.  After all pictures are up, we'll sing it without stopping, then begin removing the pictures until they can sing it completely from memory.

Below I've listed the key words.  Click onto the word, then copy and paste the picture onto a document.  Size as large as you want, then print them out.  I recommend laminating them (clear contact paper is cheap) and saving for future use.  These pictures could be used for many singing times/activities in the future.  Print out the pictures with an asterick TWICE, because the word is used more than once in the song.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Broken Hearts Bad Link.....Lame....

Sorry my 3+ hrs of work on attempting to provide a PDF file didn't pan out.  My new MAC computer is kicking my .... well, you know.  If anyone would like the actual file for the broken hearts.....which could be used at other times than just for Valentines Day, I would be happy to e-mail the file to you.  Just e-mail me at

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Broken Hearts for Valentines Day

I've been spending the last few several hours trying to teach myself how to scan something I've created onto the computer....then post it here for you to click onto.  I scanned my pictures on the flatbed...and it ended up in 4 separate pages.  So there will be four URL's to click on here...   Hmm...I'll try to do better next time.

I didn't really want to take a day off from teaching "I Will Follow Gods Plan" in order to just sing fun songs for Valentines Day.  Tomorrow is Ward Conference, and the Stake folks will be I wanted to teach the second part of the song.....while incorporating Valentines Day in a fun way.

I took this idea I saw from last year.  I'm not sure who's idea this was, so if it's yours, please post a comment to that effect so you'll get the credit.  Last year's version had the words from "He Sent His Son."  So I just used her idea with this year's song for February.

My plan is to place one half of a heart into an envelope, address it to "Shadow Ridge Ward Primary Children,' place a sticker of "Christ with little children" I bought at Deseret Book, for the stamp.

I even postmarked it.....if you can see it.  I know, it doesn't even resemble a real postmark, but it gives the effect....ever so slightly......  It says, "Created With Love..."

I worried that the kids would take too long opening the envelope the conventional I just placed a heart sticker on the back to close it.

I'll have helpers pull the envelopes out of the Mailman's mail pouch, open them, then we'll sing the phrase which is on that half.  

As we continue opening the envelopes, more pieces of the song will be revealed and the kids will try to match them up.  If they get the whole song matched up, they'll get a valentine treat!  (Oh heck...They'll get one anyway....) Hopefully, by the time the valentines are all matched up they will have learned the song fairly well.  Afterwards....I'll have a valentine treat for them, which they will take from the mail pouch as they leave Primary.

Here are the PDF heart files.
My Life Is a Gift......
My Choice Was to Come.....
I Will Work....
Then I Will Be Happy.....

Here's the yummy treat I'll be handing out.  I put a little bit inside a snack-sized ziplock for each child.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Primary Valentines Mailman

I've been working on this little guy for next week, the day before Valentines Day.  I found him on "The Divine Secrets of a Primary Chorister" Blog:

I blew him up and colored him on a thick foam board, then with a large needle and dental floss, I attached a little denim bag I already had.

To get the U.S. Mail on the front, I just printed off the  words on my computer, using a red font, outlined them in thick black, cut them out, then attached them on the front of the bag with a product called, Aleene's Paper Napkin Applique Glue.  You use it just like Mod Podge, but it bends with the fabric a little more.  Mod Podge would probably work too.  I just happened to have this stuff.

I'm going to jazz up the background some, not sure how just now, but I'll think of something...   I'll have
valentines inside with the names of songs about love and caring.  Then before the kids leave, I'll re-fill the bag with valentines just for them....with a special treat.

What will you be doing for Valentines?

I Will Follow God's Plan .. First Half

I only taught the first half of the song today.  I wanted to be sure we had both lines learned well, and still had time for fun.  I know I said I didn't really want to use posters or flipcharts...but I changed my mind at the last minute and put a poster together this morning.  I covered it with blobs, and planned to uncover each line as we learned it.  The tan felt is covering the second half, which I'll have covered with the blobs for next week.              

I began with this gift box, and had a helper open it up.  

This was what was inside:  (They expected it to be empty, like filled with love or something.)

Then we talked about the plan...

At this point we played the hot and cold game with the gift box.  I used Mr. Crescendo Crocodile to help out the game a little.

After a few times with this, they had learned the line pretty well.  On to Line 2:

I had been taking the blobs off the poster to learn the words. 
 Now with Line 2 it looked like this:

Then with the last blob gone, it looked like this:

So then it was time for another game.  We hid this flashlight with a picture of Christ on it, to go with "to seek for God's light to direct me from birth."
 That's all we learned today.  I think we had fun learning it, and the kids paid attention.  
That's always a plus!                                                     

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I Will Follow God's Plan

Okay...  I think I'm ready to take this one on.  I DON'T want to use the old standbys this time....that of flipcharts and/or posters.  I want to do something unexpected and different.

I'll start out with a beautifully wrapped gift....ask the children to listen to the song as I sing guess what's inside.  I'll pick a child to unwrap the gift, and inside will be a paper with the words, "MY LIFE" written on it.

I downloaded this darling folder game off the Green Jello with Carrots Blog that is a great pictorial for the "PLAN."  Maybe ... I'll have a helper(s) help me with placement of the pictures on the board.  Or if time is an it usually is, I'll just show it to them already put together.  I don't want to spend the whole time explaining it.  Just a quick overview.

Then for the line "My choice was to come to this lovely home on earth, and seek for God's light to direct me from birth,"  I'll have a flashlight with a picture of Christ taped to it.

For the Line "I will follow God's plan for me, holding fast to His word and His love,"  will be scriptures.

Then ""I will work, I will pray, I will always walk in His way."  A pair of shoes.

The Line, "Then I will be happy on earth, and in my home above."  A small world globe, or I could just point to the earth and Celestial Kingdom on the "Plan."

Now as we learn each line, I'll choose a child to go into the hall, then we'll play the Hot/Cold Game with the objects, singing the particular line of the song that goes with the object.  By repetition, they'll be learning the song in a fun, participatory, entertaining, and visual way.