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 http://thechildrensing.blogspot.com/2010/07/4th-of-july-singing-time.html 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