Friday, September 7, 2012

Preparing for our October Presentation - Red Light, Green Light

I have very few Sundays left for our mid-October Primary Presentation due to General Conference, Stake Conference, and an upcoming Temple Dedication, so I am focusing my remaining Sundays on fun ways to sing the songs that help children to focus on the words to the song, on singing in sync, and other fun stuff.

Last week, I did Red Light, Green Light, which is not an original idea, but above you can see how I designed my version of it. The premise is simple: tie green, red, and yellow yarn together at varying lengths and intervals (unless you have the unusual fortunate to find a ball of yarn that fits that description). Have a child come up and pull out the yarn while everyone sings. If the yarn turns red, stop singing. If the yarn turns green, sing. If the yarn turns yellow, hum.

I made my version by wrapping yarn around a paper towel roll, then placing it inside of a giant poster tube. I then glued a stop light sign to the tube, that I had a spare of from when I prepared the Watching for Signs singing time lesson. I had one child pull out the yarn, and another one winding it, but it was still a bit of a tangled mess by the end. However, since the beauty of this activity is that the yarn changes colors, it's not a big deal to snip it wherever it tangles and to retie and rewind the yarn ball for the next time this activity comes out of the Singing Time closet!

I actually prepared this activity about six months ago, and was pleased when on Saturday night, I changed my mind about my previously planned activity, and was able to switch to this one without any additional work, since it was ready to go. I had originally intended it to give to someone if I asked them to sub for me and they didn't know what to do. I think I will still use it as a possible substitute activity, but I like that the children are now familiar with it.

I was worried that the children would get bored of this activity but my twenty minutes went by FAST, and the children were excited to come up and be the ones to pull the yarn.

A few things:

1. I told the children that we were humming on yellow instead of slowing down on yellow because it was hard for the pianist to see the yarn changing colors so frequently.
2. I engaged the children right off the bat by saying, "This is a stop sign. What does 'red' do?," and letting them yell out the answer, and then telling them how that related to the way that we would sing the song.
3. I bore my testimony at the end of the activity.

A special thanks:

I just spent 20 minutes trying to track down the original post I found about this activity, and found about 15 other stop lights! They were all wonderful, but if you happen to have a big poster tube, my version takes the least amount of effort, which is sometimes nice after preparing new activities week after week. I will post her link once I find it. She used a large, round food canister for her version of the stop light. It was super cute.

P.S. (Added September 9) - I meant to mention that if the children grew bored of this, I planned to have the different colors represent different activities (sing louder, softer, staccato, etc.) I did not need to switch it up after all but it's a nice option ...


  1. Is this the link you're looking for:

    Thanks for posting this! It was just what I needed for tomorrow.

  2. Unfortunately, no ... the one I found originally was posted earlier - I think in 2008. This looks like a great blog though; thirty years of experience in the primary is a great resume. Thanks for sharing!