Friday, January 16, 2015

I Know That My Savior Loves Me Song Review

I'm back ... I am subbing for our Primary Chorister on Sunday, and wanted to share what I was thinking about doing in Primary for Singing Time for a song review of "I Know that My Savior Loves Me."

The more I hear "I Know that My Savior Loves Me," the more I love it, and the beautiful things the words in the song teaches us and reminds us about our Savior. I want to help the children really think about what they are singing by attaching images of the Savior and images of heart to popsicle sticks. This focuses the children, of course on Savior and Love.

Each time we sing the word "Jesus," or "Savior," they will hold up the image of the Savior on he popsicle stick. Every time they sing the word "love," or "heart," they will hold up the image of the heart, on the popsicle stick.

You could also have them hold up the picture of the Savior every time they sing "he," "His," or "Him." This adds a LOT more time that they will need to hold up the stick picture of the Savior. They can do this on the second time around, to add some variety.

You can also have them point to themselves every time they sing the word, "I."

I love this activity particularly for the new Sunbeams, but even Senior Primary tends to respond well. For the Senior Primary, I'll follow up on some activities that our chorister was doing last week that she planned to continue forward, with some fun rhythm games while singing the song, involving clapping hands with their neighbors instead of just keeping the clapping to themselves. I love this kind of activity in Primary - so engaging! Here's an example of how I've previously lead the clapping game. If you've never done it before, start there, before taking it up a notch!

(Also, if you waited until Sunday morning to find these notes, you can just substitute an action, like "stand up and sit down" for the images ...)

I might use colored images, but then again, these line drawings are the least expensive to print out in large quantity:

1. An image of the Savior found on Media Library:

2. A heart - easy to draw of course, but here's one found in the Media Library:

3. Popiscle sticks - you can find these at the craft store or in the craft section of many stores for just a few bucks.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Thanksgiving Singing Time

I love preparing the children for the Primary Program, and teaching them about the monthly themes through music ... but I also love that small window in November when the Primary kids aren't preparing for a program, and we have a little more time to explore all of the amazing songs in the Children's Songbook.

This is one of the Singing Time activities I like to do every year - have children draw feathers from a basket and help fill in Thomas the Turkey.

The kids love this one - and it's easy to have a fun time, but also encourage reverence because everyone wants a turn. I just say, "I'm drawing names from the jar so that everyone has a chance to be called up ... but if you're not being reverent, I'm going to put your name back into the jar."

This Sunday's Sharing Time is about forgiveness, so I think one easy way to incorporate that is to have a few of these feathers be questions about forgiveness, and songs about forgiveness.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Planning singing time for the day of the primary program

How is your Primary program planning going? Our Primary program is this coming Sunday. I am so excited! 

This is my favorite activity for the Sunday of the Primary program. All you have to do is remember to pick up some blank paper and pencils from the library! That's it! No additional prep, and the kids love it.

Friday, September 26, 2014

General Conference Bingo Emphasizing Singing Time!

For those of you not familiar with Conference Squares ... the church makes them for families to print out to use during General Conference. The concept is the same as Bingo. Children can put a Starburst or some other fun piece of candy on their square when the topic comes up during a conference talk. The church has seven different versions that you can print out.

I made a similar version to Conference Squares based on the songs that we are singing in the Primary program this year. We will give each primary child a General Conference activity packet, which will include these two new Singing Time Conference Squares. Every column is themed to one of the songs, and the song name is at the head of the column. I hope this will help them to see parallels between what they have learned through music, through sharing time lessons, and through General Conference.

Since two of the songs are optional, your ward may be singing a slightly different set of songs, but the themes will be the same, regardless, since even the optional songs should be based on the lesson theme for the month that the song was taught!

Download from Box

Download from Box.

You can print them by right-clicking on the images above, or you can download the jpgs here.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Keep the Sabbath Day Holy - Singing Time Review Songs

I always liked to do a fun review of all the primary songs on one of the last Sundays of the month, to make sure the children haven't forgotten the songs that they have been learning for the program.

This Sunday's theme is about keeping the Sabbath Day Holy. Our primary children have been a bit rambunctious lately too, so the timing couldn't be better to talk about this wonderful topic.

I'd like to recommend an idea that I'm actually going to be teaching as part of the lesson, but if I were still a chorister ... I'd do this instead.

Take seven paper plates, and decorate them to look like the earth. Each paper plate represents each of the six days that it took to create the earth, and the seventh day of rest. Associate each "day" with one of our primary songs that we have been learning.

Here's the fun part - what to do with all these earths. I can think of a few fun visuals but right now, I'm leaning toward having a symbol that depicts what happened on that day, and letting the children match the symbol with the earth, and then singing that song.

This sounds a lot harder than it is, because to match the items, there will be easy hints. These are just images I grabbed off the Internet to illustrate the idea, since I haven't made anything yet. Another thought is that instead of making seven of the same earths and matching them to a picture of "what happened that day," it could also be one half of the same picture, for junior primary, but with the same matching questions.

Day 1 - "I'll seek the Lord early while ..."
"... in my youth."

Made Day and Night
Day 2 - "How could the Father tell the world, of love and tenderness?"

"He sent his son a newborn baby, with peace ..."

Made the Sky

Day 1 - He created Light and Dark.
I'd draw a circle that was half black, half yellow. Then, the hint would be that on the earth, it would say, "I'll seek the Lord early while" and the hint on the half black, half yellow circle would say, "in my youth."

Day 2 - He made the sky.
I'd draw a big puffy sky. Then, the hint for the matching earth would be on one side, "How could the Father tell the world, of love and tenderness?" The answer on the other side would be, "He sent his son a newborn babe, with peace ..."

Make sense?

I'd hoped to put up real images. This is simpler than it looks. This is how I interpret Genesis 1 and 2 so be careful that you agree:

Day 3 - Made land, seas, grass, herbs, seeds.

Day 4 - Made lights to divide day and night, seasons, moon, stars

Day 5 - Made water, water animals, birds

Day 6 - Made land creatures, man

Day 7 - He rested

Tell the children the object is to match up all seven earths, so that they can also REST. Each earth is either a song, or a question about how they can keep the Sabbath Day holy. If they don't make a match on their turn, then they also have to give an example of activities that are good to do on the Sabbath.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Singing Time Focused Around Lesson Topic - Family Prayer

There are so many fun ways to teach music this month, focused on the August theme, "Participating in Wholesome Activities Will Strengthen My Family."

The Week 1 Lesson is about Family Prayer, and gives the suggestion to invite children to "share something he or she might thank or ask Heavenly Father for in family prayer."

The children already know so many wonderful songs about prayer, why not combine the sharing time and singing time lessons to help emphasize this point.

Use the wonderful resources in the LDS Media Library on the topic of prayer to print out a picture, to cut up like a puzzle.

The list of

Then, put the following items on the back of each puzzle - either a question, or a song to sing. If they get a quote, then they just have to read the quote:

Quote #1
“When I was a little child, my parents taught me by example to pray. I began with a picture in my mind of Heavenly Father being far away. As I have matured, my experience with prayer has changed. The picture in my mind has become one of a Heavenly Father who is close by, who is bathed in a bright light, and who knows me perfectly.”
—Henry B. Eyring
“Exhort Them to Pray,” Ensign, Feb. 2012, 4

Quote #2
We can pray each morning to recognize opportunities to serve others. “Heavenly Father will guide you, and angels will assist you,” said David L. Beck, Young Men general president. “You will be given power to bless lives and rescue souls.”
3 -- (June 2014 visiting teaching message)

Quote #3
“Successful … families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.” (Prayer,

“The Savior told us, ‘Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name” (3 Nephi 18:21). In our day, the Church urges us to have family prayer every night and every morning. … Family prayer is a powerful and sustaining influence [a long-lasting power to help us change for good]. – President James E. Faust, April 2002 General Conference (1920-2007)

Question #1
In family prayer, we thank Heavenly Father for our blessings and ask Him to help and bless our families.
What could you THANK Heavenly Father for in family prayer?

Question #2
In family prayer, we thank Heavenly Father for our blessings and ask Him to help and bless our families.
What could you ASK Heavenly Father for in family prayer?

Song #1
(Write down song titles from the various prayer songs listed above.)

Song Trivia
Finish the sentence. "I'll seek the Lord _______ while in my _______"

Friday, June 20, 2014

Paper Doll Singing Time - Song Review or to Continue Learning a Song

I have been so aware of the Family theme all year, and am loving it. I hope the lessons that are being taught are sinking in as much for the children as for the leaders. I was thinking it would be fun to have a singing time activity around Paper Dolls, aka, Little Families :)

You can do this as either a song review or to continue learning this month's song. (I share how to make a paper doll at the bottom of this post.)

As a song review, each set of paper dolls could represent one of the songs that we have been working on toward the primary program. However, rather than writing the name of the song, to make it harder (second picture below), write a line from the song on the paper doll.

To continue learning a song (instead of as an overall song review), each set of paper dolls has a line of the same song on it.

As a song review, children would first have to identify the song, and fill in any empty lines on the paper doll (helps them with remembering specific lyrics), and then sing the song as a primary.

To continue learning the same song, children would be required to sing up to the point in the song they are learning, that the doll they chose represents OR fill in a missing word on that song, then put the paper dolls up IN ORDER so that by the end of singing time, the dolls are in the order of the lyrics of the song.

The object of the game would be to sing enough songs to be able to string the dolls across a poster (or a drawing on the chalkboard). Children earn the right to put the doll on the poster by correctly guessing the song, then singing the song with the primary.

For example, you could draw a simple picture on the chalkboard and say you have a family member that is lost, but if everyone holds hands, you can get them all back home. (i.e., sing enough songs by choosing enough paper dolls to string them across the poster).

You could actually put the dolls up on the board so that the hand of the paper doll from one set has to touch the hand of the paper doll from the next set. Some other fun themes would be stringing them across the river, like pioneers helping each other across, or stringing them across a drawing of the earth because we are all children of God, no matter where we are from.

Since paper dolls are easy to make, you can even send the children home with their own sheet of paper to cut out their own paper doll, as an incentive. Maybe write the names of the songs around the edges of the outline of the paper doll.

Conclude by sharing your testimony about Heavenly Father's plan as it relates to being children of God and each other's families.

How to Make a Paper Doll

1. Take a sheet of paper, and fold it back and forth, accordion-style, making about four or five folds in the paper.

2. Once your paper is folded, draw your "doll" on it, making sure the arms go to the ends of its fold.

3. Cut your doll out, making sure to cut the arms out to the edge of the paper. That's it! You're done. Unfold to see your results.

4. Write the name of the song, or a line of a song, or even a question about the song on each set of dolls, and you're ready to go!