On the 30th, inspired by a fellow primary music leader blogger, I made singing time all about our missionaries.
I emailed each mom of a missionary ahead of time and had her email me a pictures of her missionary. Since I asked far enough in advance, I was also able to get blurbs about where they were serving and their FAVORITE PRIMARY SONG.
I printed two copies of each photo on 8 1/2 x 11 paper, then mounted them on construction paper.
To open, I showed the kids a brown paper lunch bag and told them it contained clues about our topic for the day. Inside was a pass-along card, a future missionary tag, an addressed/stamped letter, and my cell phone.
Once they guessed we were talking about missionaries, I shared that for many families, Christmas was special not only because of the gifts they received, but also because they got to hear from their missionaries. I asked the kids how often they thought missionaries got to call home - many were very surprised that it is only twice a year!! I showed them a picture of my family and talked about how last Christmas, I had TWO siblings on missions and how special it was to hear from them.
I then picked a child to try to find a 'Missionary Match' on the board (I had posted them in two rows with the pictures hiding). Once they found a match came the exciting part . . .
Thanks to a helper in the hall, each time they found a match (we clapped quietly to make sure she knew) my cell phone - ringtone changed to I Hope They Call Me On a Mission - would ring (also an idea from another blog). I would answer, and my hallway helper would ask for one of the children. Once they answered, she would tell them that missionary's favorite Primary song! They loved announcing it to the rest of the kids, and I think they enjoyed getting a phone call. After the call we sang the chosen song.
The biggest problem we ran into was the delay in my phone actually ringing. We filled it up by placing a sticker on a toy globe like the one pictured below to show where the missionary was serving, and talking a little about what it was like there. If I do this again, I think I might use walkie talkies?
At the end, I encouraged them to write our ward missionaries. I think it was a fun activity!