Six months ago, I found some pre-painted, cute wood cutouts of a lion, owl, ladybug, fish, butterfly, and turtle at Wal-Mart while I was picking up some other cheap art supplies for Primary. I think they were only $.50 each so I bought some magnets in the same aisle, and turned the cutouts into decorative magnets. Check your fridge though ... there's a good chance you have random magnets that will do the trick.
The magnets I "made" however, are inexpensive and can be used in a number of ways. I'll share some other ideas further down in the post, but for now, this is what I did:
1. I attached a magnet to string, and then to a pole. I then painted a picture specifically designed to go with the magnets. Children were asked to come up and fish for the magnets, then match them up to their designated spots in the picture. I color-coordinated the magnets and poster board so each magnet stood for a song we would sing.
I then added in a little, fun, extra Olympic theme to give the wiggly bodies a chance to relax a bit, and move around a bit, since I don't do that every week. Also, I have a planned Olympic activity coming up soon, so this is a precursor (more on that in a future post - I'll post early so you can plan it too!).
I drew each animal magnet participating in an Olympic activity. So, when the children sang "As a Child of God," I had them do the breast stroke and the back stroke for two different verses, for example. The butterfly is synchronized swimming, so I told the children to listen carefully to each other and blend their voices with the person next to them, and told that it was something professional choirs did, too. They sounded amazing! I was so pleased.
For skating, I told the children to sway in place, side to side, while they did the motions for "The Wise Man and the Foolish Man." The ladybug had three verses, so I picked three Olympic activities. The first one was archery, which was super fun, but I had the pianist stop playing so that I could remind the children that if I could hear the sound of arrows being launched, it meant they weren't singing!
In senior primary, because I had time, and because the theme was reverence, we ended with a new reverence song, that helped introduce the lesson for the day, once singing time was over! (The teacher was very pleased!)
Creating a picture.
To create a picture around magnets, if you don't like to draw, just cut out some magazine pictures, or even find a poster of a landscape, and simply use that as the background for your activity. You can have children work to complete the poster, either by calling children up to choose an illustration to attach to the poster (place magnets in areas on the poster.) Each magnet they choose could represent either a way to sing the song, or a song you want them to sing. You can also have children guess what illustration will go with what magnet on the poster.
Other ways to use the magnets: match the magnet
Give each class a magnet with a description on the back. Read a clue, then ask each class to review their magnet and see if their magnet matches the clue. If it does, they get to send someone to the front of the class to bring their magnet up, place it on the board, and then pick a song to sing.
Other ways to use the magnets: match the magnet: tell a story
Each magnet represents a story, for example, the magnet of the owl could be the parable of the Wise Man and the Foolish Man from the Bible; Matthew 7:24-27. Since the theme for last week was "Reverent," I could associate one of these magnets with a story about reverence. I might tell them for instance that I am only going to tell them the story about one of the magnets, but that each magnet comes with a story.