Monday, January 28, 2013

Wiggle Worm Jar

It seems like everyone has an idea for a wiggle worm jar, so I made one too a few weeks ago.  Haven't had the chance to use it yet but I think it will be really fun!  Though you can find this idea in many places, I got it from Camille's blog HERE.  I just used sparkly pom poms, googly eyes, yellow cardstock, and hot glue.

UPDATE: If I ever make these again, I will copy the Wiggle Worms I just saw HERE - much cuter and more durable!  She wrote ways to sing on them, I think I would still do songs, but REALLY cute! If I have a slow afternoon one day, I may just make them ANYWAY because they are so darling!

Using Animal Puppets

I have these darling puppets around and wondered how I might use them.  I found some ideas HERE and adapted them to suit the animals that I have.  I may use these next week along with the singing science experiment, but I'm not sure I'll have time.  Still, always nice to have a backup!!!

Dog: Dan the dog is always running fast. He likes us to sing while playing hot potato. We'll pass around a bean bag (one for each side of the room) as fast as we can while singing and try to make it all the way around before the end of song.
Elephant: Emily the Elephant moves SLOWLY.  We'll sing slowly with Emily.
Monkey: Marvin the Monkey likes to climb trees. Sometimes he climbs high, sometimes low. When he is up high, we'll sing loud, and we'll sing soft when he's low. Have a child move Marvin up and down along with the music.
Zebra: Zoey the Zebra loves to prance.  We’ll sing staccato with Zoey.
Panda Bear: Pingu the Panda Bear loves to sneak up on people and loves the game “hide and seek”.  Give the panda to someone and have them hide it while a child is out of the room.
Pig: Polly the Pig is sleepy from eating so much dinner.  She wants to take a nap.  Sing softly with the lights off.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

My Heavenly Father Loves Me, Singing Science Experiment - 2/3 Singing Time

Now that I'm all ready for tomorrow, I was struck with an idea for February 3 that I'm REALLY excited about.  As you might have noticed, I was SUPPOSED to be doing the Singing Science Experiment tomorrow, but I pushed it back to next week (and moved the 'nose' ark to October, what better time to be silly with animal faces?).

The instructions for the science experiment portion are HERE and are copied at the bottom of this post, but the idea is that the kids get to make the water colored and see it bubble.  Since that week's topic is the creation of the world, I think it would be fun to talk about how we are so amazed when we add color to water . . . how much MORE amazing are God's creations?  How much thought and work must each one have taken??  For Him to make so many beautiful things for our enjoyment must mean he really wants us to enjoy earth life, right?

Here is the PREPARATION part - I am e-mailing eight moms (four from junior primary, four from senior) to ask if their child would be willing to prepare for me a drawing, painting, pasted picture, etc of something that reminds them that the world is beautiful.  I've asked them to submit their drawing/picture by Thursday.

SO, I will introduce the song (I do have some popsicle stick prompts that I may use) and will call one child at a time (a total of four) to come up and dip one of the spoons into a cup of water.  The water colors will correspond to colored papers on the board (blue, red, yellow, and green).  If I get really adventurous, maybe I will add two more and ask a couple more kids to help - first I'll see what kind of responses I get from the first eight I asked.  Once the color shows up, I will uncover the picture drawn by one of the primary kids and ask them to briefly tell the others why they chose what they did.

I think the kids will love watching the water change, and I really like to involve the kids by giving them a chance to show off things that are important to them.  I'll let you all know how it actually goes!


Friday, January 25, 2013

Traffic Light

My sweet little girl has had the flu . . . and I have been stuck home . . . so I figured it was time to do a couple of projects I'd been thinking about!!

Today I made a traffic light.  Instead of having the kids hold "STOP" and "GO" signs, I wanted something new and this is what I came up with.

I used some foam board, and rounded the corners.

Traced a ramekin, then used my trusty utility knife to cut out the circles 

I covered the rough edges with white electrical tape - makes it look nicer and keeps foam from falling out. 

I painted the whole thing black with acrylic paint, then duct taped a paint stick on one side (so they can hold the light with one hand and the flashlight with the other) and colored vellum behind each circle. 

The kids will get to hold the light with one hand, and shine a flashlight with the other to show when to SING, when to SING SLOW, and when to STOP!!!

Blow Dryer Box Tutorial

My dear friend (and Primary Music Leader predecessor) made this AWESOME blow dryer box last year.  The idea is that you insert something easily blown (silk flowers, leaves, etc) with songs written on them, then let the kids have turns sticking their arms in and trying to 'catch' a song.

Liz kindly gave her box to me, but suggested I make a new one since hers was a bit beat up.  I took photos along the way so you can share in her genius!!

Step 1: Get a big box (mine is on left, hers on right).

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Footprints, Ways to Sing, Traffic Light - 1/27 Singing Time

This Sunday I was scheduled to do the Singing Science Experiment from  I am still going to use it for sure, and LOVE the idea, but I felt like for this Sunday we needed something a little . . . . smaller.

My plan is to post paper footprints all around the room.  The front will say a choice that can be made to Choose the Right (the week's theme), and the back will have a song written on it.  Since I want to be sure to review I Am a Child of God again, I will have each verse written on one footprint.  I'll also use I Want to be a Missionary now (our option song), as well as songs about choosing the right, choices, etc.

I will select a child to pick a footprint.  They will tell us about the choice listed and how it involves choosing the right, then will announce the song and post the footprint on the board along a chalk-drawn path leading to a picture of Christ.

Next I will call another child to come roll the "Ways to Sing" box that I posted about yesterday, which I think will make the review more fun.  We will sing whatever song was picked in whatever way it's rolled . . . should make things interesting!

On the Stop/Go card, instead of making a Stop/Go Popsicle stick set, I'm really excited to make a flashlight-operated traffic light!  I will cut circles out of poster board or foam board, paint or color the board to look like a traffic light, and then past colored vellum (red, yellow, and green) on the back.  Whoever rolls that card will get to use a flashlight and stand behind the traffic light to direct the singing - normal speed, slow, or stop.  I will post a picture once I get it all made - just need a few more supplies!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ways to Sing Box/Dice

Crafty people - which seems to be everyone - be prepared to laugh.

When my husband came home tonight, I was CRANKY.

Because of a box.

You see, I am NOT a crafty person.  I didn't own a glue gun for the first eight years of our marriage.  When we decided to move back to Utah from the San Francisco area, I asked my husband if I was allowed to live there when I don't scrapbook (don't get me wrong, I admire those of you who do, but making things cutesy is not my gift).

BUT, I fell in love with the awesome Way to Sing cards at - they are just too cute.  So I printed them ALL, had them laminated, then wondered what to do with them.  I thought it would be great to get a couple of big dice that could be rolled to determine either a fun way to sing with your voice or a fun action to do along with the song.

The trouble came in the execution.  I searched high and low for a suitable object - wood blocks, dice, etc - but settled on a 6 x 6 x 6 box from the post office.  I did just fine taping it up and putting a few jingle bells inside for fun . . . the problem came in DECORATING it.

Wrapping paper just got all wrinkly and gross, no matter what kind of glue I used.  I should have bought some spray adhesive. 

Then I tried scrapbook paper . . . better but not much.

Ribbon on the edges helped!
But, with the cards on it (attached with Velcro so I can switch them out each time I use it) I think it's pretty cute.  I did another box with spray adhesive that went a lot easier, but I actually like my first one better.  It has personality.  Towards the end of the year, I will use BOTH at the same time and put physical actions on one box and ways to sing on the other so they have to try both.  Should be fun!

Pat Graham Workshop

Last Saturday, thanks to the lovely ladies on the Primusic site letting me know about it, I attended a workshop given by Pat Graham, who knows just about as much as there is to know about the Primary Children's Songbook!  It was WONDERFUL.  I found that a lot of what she said is found in her book, the green Songbook Companion, but seeing it in practice made a world of difference for a newbie like me.

You can find out more about Pat at

Here are some of my notes for those who weren't able to make it.  If they don't make sense or you have any questions, comment and I will do my best to interpret them for you!:

- We are music leaders, NOT choristers!
- Harold B. Lee - "it is the business of every child to learn to act like a son or daughter of God".
- Don't be afraid to share your ideas with your Presidency - if it is right, it will spread.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Instrument Time!!! 1/20 Singing Time

For last week's Singing Time, I decided to use instruments.  Originally, my plan was to emphasize that we - like instruments - are all different, but that together we can make things beautiful.  I wanted to point out that God made them all unique and different.  But, we ran out of time.

I came with the following instruments:

- A big bag of homemade egg shakers - I took plastic Easter eggs, filled them halfway full with rice, and wrapped them with colored electrical tape.  Pat Graham used these at the workshop and I thought they were fun.

- Nice, not-splintery chopsticks (I had nine pairs)

- Toy microphone (can get for about $1 at Target, etc)

- My set of tone/resonator bells (similar to the ones at  They are slightly pricey - I have them because of my four-year old's 'Let's Play Music' class - but I can see a lot of uses for them in primary.

We began by reviewing "I Am a Child of God" from last week - before Primary I passed out the pictures from last week - numbers still on the back - to the teachers and asked them to hand them out when I asked.  As we sang, I had the kids who were given a picture by their teacher come to the front and try to get in the right order.  Jr. Primary needed a LOT of help, but Sr. Primary did better.  Then we sang it again to see if they got the order right (giving them a reason to repeat, ala Sis. Graham!).
Next, I handed out one bell to each child.  I had some extra mallets (Target had toy xylophones for like .30 ea a few weeks ago), and used chopsticks for the couple I was short.  Using a chart I wrote on the inside of the file folder, we sang the song again with the bells playing during the chorus only.  After each chorus, the kids would pass their bell to a neighbor so that more people got a turn.
I complimented them on their singing and the spirit it brought.
Next we moved onto one of our ward's 'option' songs - "I Want to Be a Missionary Now".  Using the microphone, I spoke the lyrics, then would point at the kids for them to fill in the words.  I knew the last chorister had taught this song just a few months ago, so I didn't spend a lot of time teaching it, just reviewing the words.  Then I passed out the eggs and the sticks and had each group do a different rhythm.
The rhythms I chose were way too complicated for Jr, so for Sr. I had the eggs shake on each word, while the sticks beat on counts 2 and 4.
I think they had a lot of fun getting involved in music!  Passing out the supplies took longer than I would have liked, but we noticed a big improvement in reverence, particularly in Jr. Primary.

Full-Year 2013 Schedule

Since I was SO nervous about this calling, I went into super-planning mode.  I ended planning out the year's general song plan, along with an idea of which activities I want to go along each week. 

Here is a little sample of January's schedule.  You can get the whole thing at (search for "Chorister Schedule"), or leave your email address and I will send it directly to you.

JANUARY - I Am a Child of God and He Has a Plan for Me
God is my Heavenly Father.  He Knows and Loves Me. Heavenly Father's Plan is a plan of happiness. Heavenly Father's Plan is a plan of happiness. I have agency, and I am responsible for my choices
January 6, 2013 January 13, 2013 January 20, 2013 January 27, 2013
Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam 60 Once There Was a Snowman 249 Once There Was a Snowman 249 Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam 60
I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus 78 Falling Snow 248 I Will Follow God's Plan 164 I Am Like A Star 163
Hello Song 260 Hello Song 260 Hello Song 260 Hello Song 260
Happy, Happy Birthday 284 Happy, Happy Birthday 284 Happy, Happy Birthday 284 Happy, Happy Birthday 284
I Like My Birthdays 108 - - -
AofF 5 125 AofF 5 125 AofF 5 125 AofF 5 125
I Know My Father Lives 5 He Sent His Son 34 My Heavenly Father Loves Me 228 Dare to do Right 158
New Years Party, Sunbeam Welcome I Am a Child of God Snow Song Search, Popcorn Adaptation Instruments/Different is Good Singing science Experiment
I Want to Be a Missionary Now 168 v1 I Want to Be a Missionary Now 168 v1 I Want to Be a Missionary Now 168 v3 I Want to Be a Missionary Now 168 all
I Am a Child of God 2 - v1 I Am a Child of God 2 v2 I Am a Child of God 2 v3 I Am a Child of God 2 all
Follow the Prophet 110 Falling Snow 248 Every Star is Different 142 Choose the Right Way 160
Nephi's Courage 120 I'm Thankful to be Me 11 Shine On 144 The Still Small Voice 106
I Love to See the Temple 95 Popcorn Popping Adaptation Children All Over the World 16 I Believe in Being Honest 149
For Health and Strength 21 I Will Follow God's Plan 164 I'll Walk With You 140 The Things I Do 170
The Wise Man and the Foolish Man 281 Once There Was a Snowman 249 We Are Different 263 0


Hello everyone!  I am a BRAND NEW Primary Music Leader.

I cried for a week after getting the calling.  It's the first calling I've EVER been tempted to say no to - I was terrified.

But now that I'm in it, I'm actually coming to LOVE it!  Now this doesn't necessarily mean I'm GOOD at it, but I do work hard.

Any good ideas I have are usually thanks to other ladies who blog, so I thought I'd start my own to continue the dissemination of ideas, since some of my favorite sites are no longer active.

And, if no one reads this, at least I will be able to look back at past singing time activities to refresh my brain once they all start to blend together!!!  I'll be post-dating my past singing time activities (sorry they won't have many pictures) but will try to include more pictures in future posts.

Happy music leading and best of luck to us all!!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I Am A Child of God Snow Search - 1/13 Singing Time

On the 13th, I decided it was time to buckle down and really teach the month's song (though we had sung it the previous week) - "I Am A Child of God".  I adapted a few ideas from HERE and came up with this snow-themed activity:

For opening, we sang "Once There Was a Snowman".  At the beginning of singing time, I talked about how COLD it is outside, and asked how they felt about winter!!!  We started off singing this adaptation of Popcorn Popping that a friend e-mailed to me:

I looked out the window and what did I see?
Snow was falling on the evergreen trees.
Winter has brought me such a nice surprise
Snowflakes falling right before my eyes.
I can take an armful and make a treat
A huge snowman that will seem so neat.
It was really so, and it seems to be
The BIGGEST snowman made in history!!!

Then I told them that we were going to talk about I Am A Child of God - but first they had to excavate my 'clues' from a large glass bowl filled with snow!!!!  The clues corresponded to gospel art pictures I had posted on the board (facing backwards, with a post-it number on the back of each).

Each object was stored inside a plastic bag - for Jr. Primary, I also included one of those fridge magnet numbers to make it easier for them to know which picture it went with.  I covered the table with a towel and provided gloves for those who wanted them.  They had a great time!!  After each few objects, we'd pick the verse with the most pictures uncovered and sing it, trying to guess the hidden pictures.  Maybe it's just because it's SO COLD here in Utah, but the snow hardly melted at all and nothing got wet, it wasn't nearly as messy as I feared.

This isn't a picture of my bowl, but I did use a large salad bowl like this.  I had the corners of the ziploc bags poking out to make them easier to grab.

Here's how I broke it out:

Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Year! 1/6 Singing Time

Okay, so fair warning - I don't think I will do this activity again!  It was SUCH a fun idea, and the kids did love it, but the more I thought about it it probably was not appropriate to use poppers in church!!!  Although many others have posted about how they did it too in the past . . . . maybe someone can find a way to adapt this so that it doesn't go against any church rules.  No one complained - I gave the Sr. Primary teachers a disclaimer that I realized in hindsight it may be too much and so would probably not to it again - but still.

For New Year's, we talked about NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS!!  First, I started by welcoming everyone to a new year in Primary and spotlighting a couple of the new Sunbeams.  I had contacted their parents to get a little blurb on each of them and find out their favorite primary song.  I did two this week, and for each one I would let them wear a sparkly New Year's Party Hat and lead with one of the "WACKY WANDS" I introduced.  I'll post a picture soon, but I just took a mason jar and filled it with some star wands, a plush flower with a long stem, and an inflatable light saber.  They got to lead the song with their wand while wearing the New Year's Hat.

Then I asked them what people do on New Year's.  I got lots of party-related answers, but both times someone eventually mentioned New Year's resolutions.  I told them I wanted to talk to them about goals they could set for the year.  The only problem?  The goals were stuck inside Party Poppers (I just took the cardboard bottom out and inserted the rolled-up strip of cardstock).  They had to pop each popper, find the song, and then we sang it while one of the kids got a turn leading with a wacky wand.

They were SURPRISINGLY reverent and really enjoyed it.  Like I said, probably won't do it again, but if anyone can think of some great, more appropriate adaptation I would love to hear it!

*Update: I did find a similar idea at that used spring-loaded poppers - I will be on the lookout for these for the 4th of July!!!

I can't find the list of songs I used, but they were things like:

For Health and Strength - eating healthy, getting good exercise
Kindness begins With Me - kind to siblings
When We're Helping - being helpful to parents
The Wise Man and Foolish Man - do well in school
Search, Ponder, and Pray - read the scriptures