Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Repentance Spots - 6/23

** The kids LOVED hearing my real-life mistakes!  Sr. Primary complained when it was time for sharing time that they hadn't gotten to hear all of them.  I definitely recommend using true stories!!!

I really want to talk about repentance in a way that the kids will remember.  Along those lines, I am copying an idea I found on SugarDoodle HERE, called "What are those Spots?!?".

Now, the person who wrote this idea wore her 'spots' all through sacrament meeting - I definitely would not be daring enough to do THAT!!!!  But I like her idea - you cut out several large circles and write a sin or a mistake on them.  Then, pin them to your clothes BLANK SIDE up. 

The first couple of times the kids asked about my spots, I pretended not to know what they were talking about.  Then I would say "WHAT??  You can SEE these??  Oh, that is so EMBARASSING!  These are my mistakes.  Would you please help me get them off!!!"

Not that you need a visual, but here it is . . .

I wonder how much more effective it would be if all the mistakes were true??  It's not fun to reflect on our own mistakes, but at the same time kids always want to know what REALLY happened.  Here are a few TRUE examples for me (I was careful to pick stories from my Primary days so that it doesn't turn into a current-day confessional):

1. When I was in elementary school and was taking ballet classes, I told my friends that I got a part in a ballet that I really didn't.
2. I took some money from my little sister's hiding place because I hadn't saved mine and wanted to go to the school carnival.
3. I was angry at my mom for spending so much time teaching piano, I HID all of her teaching supplies all around her studio.
4. Once I really wanted to go on a hike, but no one else in my family was ready, so I started doing something else.  Once they WERE ready, I complained about going and said I didn't want to anymore, and was grumpy the whole time.
5. My mom always asked me to wear SHOES outside.  But I didn't like shoes, so I would disobey her.
6. My mom would ask me to mop the floor, and sometimes I didn't want to.  So I would mop it, but wouldn't do a very good job.
7. My dad is very good at math and would always help me with my homework.  Instead of thanking him, I would get mad at him when I didn't understand a problem.
8. Sometimes, when I didn't want my little sister to play with me, I would be rude to her and tell her I didn't want to play with her.
9. In Sunday School I sometimes wanted to sit on the floor and talk to my friends more than I wanted to listen to my teacher.

After each SPOT is taken off, before I can put it down we will talk about what I should have done differently or to repent.  As much as I can remember, I will tell them how I DID repent.  Then, we will sing a song associates with the mistake or act of repentance.  Right now I am planning on these songs:

1. I Believe in Being Honest 149
2. I Want to Live the Gospel 148
3. I Feel My Savior's Love 74
4. Smiles 267
5. Keep the Commandments 146
6. Fun to Do 253
7. Families Can Be Together Forever 188
8. Love One Another
9. Reverence is Love 31

"Just Wing It" at Singing Magic

I'll let you in on a little secret that those who have been following this blog for a while already know - I plan like crazy because this calling is HARD for me!  I do not like being up in front of people.  I do not like singing in front of people - not even in my own house.  Every Sunday morning I am sick to my stomach and want to stay home, although the feeling usually fades a little by halfway during Jr. Primary.  But planning I can do.

I've got all but the last Sunday in June planned out.  But, while I like to plan, I was reminded last week that sometimes you do have to go with the flow.  Henckel House pointed me towards THIS post with ideas for last-minute adjustments/additions you can make to accommodate your Primary.  There are lots of great ideas - letting Jr. Primary help you make up actions, playing something she calls "helmet hero", etc.  She is looking for more suggestions so that she can make a list for all of us, so head on over and comment!

Thanks for all of you who help me do this calling.  All we can do is our best and hope and pray that somehow it is enough!!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Hide the Magnet

Today, with a rowdy, holiday-weekend Jr. Primary, I decided at the last minute to do the good ol' hide-the-magnet game instead of my planned activity.  They LOVED it - Jr. and Sr. both - they sang great and participate the whole time!  It's a game they played often with the previous chorister.

Basic idea - you pick two children.  One goes out into the hall while the other hides the magnet (a good-size clamp one, like the kind you use to seal food bags or hang notes on the fridge with).  When the hall kid comes back in, the primary sings louder/softer depending on how close the hall kid is getting to the magnet.

Super simple.  No prep.  And, apparently, a fave for our primary.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Teaching "When I Am Baptized" - Baptism/Repentance Object Lessons 6/2

June's song is one of my favorites - "When I Am Baptized".  To introduce it, I'd really like to use a powerful object lesson that will hit home to them.  Here is what I settled on:

1. My favorite so far is from Susan Fitch Design HERE: Laminate a picture of a child.  As you talk about sins or mistakes, add chocolate pudding (I've also heard of using Cheese Whiz or peanut butter) to the picture.  Then, using paper towels marked 'BAPTISM', let the kids clean off a little more each time the song is practiced until the picture is clean (they loved this one!!!).

I also made a 'rain chart' for the chorus that's been going around the Facebook group.  For Sr. Primary, I removed all the raindrops and placed them around the room (I put star stickers underneath so they will end up in the right pattern).  The kids took turns, a class at a time, picking a raindrop and then trying to place it in the right spot while we sung.

The rainbow is from my St. Patrick's Day Singing time.  The raindrops are printed straight from Sunbeam Singing HERE.
I also printed THIS flipchart from Chandelyn Radley (posted in the FB group).

Some other repentance/baptism ideas I found:

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Father's Day/Pin the Tie on the Dad/Who is the Daddy - 6/16

For Father's Day we will be playing a combination of 'Pin the Tie on the Dad' and 'Who is the Daddy'.

Each tie (they will be around the room on the walls) will have questions and a song on the back (see below)Choose 1 Primary child to pick a tie and read the question on the back.  In Jr. Primary, the whole Primary will help answer the question, especially since teacher help will likely be needed.  In Sr. Primary, BEFORE reading the question, the child who picked the tie can either compete themselves or choose a classmate from their side of the room while I pick another contestant from the opposite side of the room to sit at a small table in front with a couple of handbells.  Whoever rings the handbell first - and gets the question right - gets a small treat (a Hershey's kiss, etc).  If answers are slow in coming they can pick on kids from their side of the room to come whisper the answer to them. I know competitions don't work for some primaries, but ours (at least Sr.) adore it! If Jr. Primary is having a rough time, I may skip the questions altogether.

Once the question is answered, a new child will be chosen to be blindfolded (with a tie, of course) and will try to pin the tie on this laminated guy:

Download the PDF VERSION OF THE Dad HERE, and the ties HERE.

Anyone happen to have the original source for this artwork?  I saved them ages ago and said they were from 'Katie', but I can't find the source now and would love to reference it since it's going to save me a lot of amateur drawing.
I found these QUESTIONS over at the Crazy Chorister:

1. What Father Appeared to Joseph Smith in the Scared Grove? (Heavenly Father)
2. Who is Alma the Younger's Father? (Alma)
3. Who is the Father of our Ward? (Bishop)
4. Who is Ammon's (the one who was a great missionary and cut off the arms) father? (Mosiah)
5. Who is Nephi's Father? (Lehi)
6. Who is the Father of the Joseph sold into Egypt? (Jacob)
7. How many Fathers do we all have? (Earthly father, Heavenly father, etc).
8. Whose words made Enos want to repent? (His father Jacob's)
9. Who is the partiarch of the home? (Father)
10. Who loves you more than anything else in the world? (Mother is also an acceptable answer here)

The SONGS I may use are:
I Know My Father Lives 5 (we have a Heavenly Father who loves us)
Families Can Be Together Forever 188
Daddy's Homecoming 210
Once there was a Snowman 249 (many dads love to help build snowmen)
For Health and Strength 21 - sing in a round if you like
(Dads, in lots of different ways, help take care of us)
I'll Walk With You 140 (Dads love us no matter what)
We'll Bring the World His Truth 172 (We have goodly parents)
Love is Spoken Here 190

Saturday, May 18, 2013

When I Hear my Father Pray

Looking for a new Father's Day Song?  We will be using this beautiful one from the Ensign.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Preparing for Baptism/Bishop Interview Questions - 6/9

Update - total flop for Sr. Primary, I didn't even try it in Jr.  Maybe it would have gone better, except the boys couldn't stop talking about how creepy the drawing was.  If you try this, use a cartoon or a printed picture unless you are a good artist!!

June is all about preparing for BAPTISM.  I thought it would be fun to discuss baptism/review baptismal covenants by discussing possible baptismal/temple recommend interview questions (idea HERE).

STEP 1:  Get a picture of your BISHOP, crop so that only his head and neck are showing, then PRINT.

STEP 2: CUT out the head/neck of the picture, PASTE onto poster board, and then DRAW a suit and tie underneath with a wide pocket.

I only drew his face in because I wasn't sure how he'd feel about having his photo up here!  Otherwise I would have just glued on the picture.

STEP 3:  Cut a line in the pocket and attach a Ziploc bag in the back.  The kids will have to PICK A QUESTION from the bishop's pocket. Alternatively, you could just attach the questions to the bottom of the poster.

I want to point out to them that they learn many gospel principles through Primary songs!!

For Jr. Primary, we will just talk about the questions but continue to practice "When I Am Baptized" in between until they have it down.  For Sr. Primary, we will use the songs below.

Do you understand what it means to be baptized? When I Am Baptized 103
Do you keep the commandments?  Keep the Commandments 146
Do you believe in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ? I Know my Father Lives 5
Do you pray to Heavenly Father? A Child's Prayer 12
Do you have a testimony? I Want to Be a Missionary Now 168
Do you try to follow the words of the prophets? Follow the Prophet 110
Are you kind to your family and friends? Love One Another 136
Do you understand why repentance and baptism are so important? Article of Faith 4 124
Do you attend your church meetings and keep the Sabbath day holy? To Think about Jesus 71
Do you take good care of your body? Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes 275

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Double the Dice - Program Songs and Ways to Sing

For our review on 5/26, I am doubling the dice.  I printed a set of cards with the names of program songs for the year and will attach them to one of my "Ways to Sing" dice.  We'll have the kids take turn rolling both a song and a way to sing.  Easy and definitely reuseable!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Second Mother's Day Idea

Update - in the end I got enough responses to use my original idea and, especially with the blow dryer box, it was really fun!! 

So . . . you win some you lose some.  Time to simplify.  I have only gotten a few responses back on my "Mother's Day Guess Who", so time to come up with a BACKUP PLAN in case I can't get enough in!  Or, I could always sprinkle this revised activity with a few "Guess Who" spotlights....

My backup plan will be the "Hats off to Mothers" idea that has been popping up on a lot of blogs and websites lately (originally from the Friend).  My favorite version is Camille's, HERE.  I truly love anything that I don't have to try to draw myself!!

Here is the poem:

Sunday, May 5, 2013

President Monson 'Favorite Things' Cards - to be used throughout the year

I mentioned in my post about President Monson that I found a great link with interesting facts about him and beautiful pictures.  There are far too many to use today, or even this month, so I have decided to incorporate a "President Monson's Favorite Things" bit throughout the year.  Every now and then I will put one or two of these laminated cards under the kids' chairs, and we will spend a few moments talking about President Monson and singing a song to go with that fact.  I think it will really help the kids to gain an understanding of and love for our prophet!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Word Hats, Teaching "I Want to Live the Gospel" - 5/19

Since I'm keeping the kids so busy the first couple of Sundays in May (Mother's Day song, all about President Monson), I'm going to focus exclusively on our song for the month the third Sunday.  Our Presidency picked "I Want to Live the Gospel".

I'll introduce the song as suggested in the June 2007 Friend:

Pop-Up Puppet Review Tool

I love the internet.

Today I was brainstorming how to get Jr. Primary to review the Mother's Day song when 'Singing Magic' posted a list that included a pop-up puppet that comes out only when the kids are singing really well.  Perfect!

Putting it together took all of ten minutes.

I used a large fruit snack box - light, just big enough for my hand but not too big for my arm, and cut a hole in the top.

Using spray adhesive, I wrapped the box.

Voila!  Use any puppet you like and tell the kids it's shy and ONLY comes out when they sing well.  If they sing REALLY well, it will even dance for them.