** Update 2/24: I put up a quick post of how it went teaching this lesson.
This is essentially a Song Reviews Sunday, with emphasis on "My Heavenly Father Loves Me," and "I am a Child of God." We'll be visiting the places where our ward's missionaries are currently, then sing songs as we "travel." We will sing the song in fun ways. If you're just looking for ways to practice this month's theme song, then skip on down, because that section alone could be it's own lesson. I may stretch this over two Sundays, or revisit it at the end of the following month.
I will say something like, "Most of you know someone that is on a mission right now, or that is leaving one or will start one soon. They can be called to serve all over the world, and when they do, they can see so many of the wonderful things that our Heavenly Father has created for us to enjoy. I think of all these beautiful things when I think of the song 'My Heavenly Father Loves Me.' We are going to travel around the world and see some of those sights because I want you to see how much our Heavenly Father loves us, and how his presence is all around us. We see it in the gifts he has given us of our bodies, we see it in the missionaries that he sends out to teach those who haven't found the gospel, and we see it in the creations around the world. He has made this earth unique and wonderful, and there is more than any one person could ever see in their entire lifetimes."
Then, I will share the map I have put together, which will look something like the above. I might draw it on the move-able chalkboard beforehand, and then tape the pictures onto the board, or I might go buy a cheap map, or I might print out the shapes of countries and just put that on the pin board without a map. Whatever way is easiest/cheapest, since each approach will convey the message to the children.
Children will come up and pick an image to turn around. I will tell them that so-and-so is serving in that country, highlight the unique feature I chose to show a picture of for that location, and then we will sing a song. It's simply a fun way to choose a song, but in a way that helps emphasize the theme that our Heavenly Father loves us, and gave us our senses, and gave us the beauty in the world, to show his love for us.
I will choose several different relevant songs, and sing them different fun ways:
1. "I Am a Child of God" - I will have them practice our sign language with this song.
3. Various missionary songs - I will have them hold up flip charts, or pretend to be missionaries.
4. Songs from last year - I do not want them to forget all of the songs they learned for last year's primary program. We will sing these songs with extra twists, like adding in hand motions, singing fast or slow, loud or quiet, etc.
5. "My Heavenly Father Loves Me" - Hold up Your Card
I might save this for a few months out, since the activity is elaborate enough, but I have prepared everything just in case. I am going to pass out cards with different objects on them that represent lines of the song, as shown above. I've done it without putting them on a stick before, but thought it would be fun. I will ask the children to hold up their picture every time we sing their line of the song. That's it! So simple, but the children love the versions that I have done of this "game," especially junior primary, but even senior primary loves to participate.
You can mix it up by having the children trade pictures with each other.
If you want to do JUST this song, and feel like the children are getting tired of this game, then ask them to sing the song, but as they do, hand their picture to the person to their right. When the piano stops at random times, only the children holding a card with a picture of [pick a picture] can answer the question, which is, "What is the next line of the song." Fun, simple, and it helps them review the words!
I've linked to the location on the Internet where I found these pictures, if you want to go there to find a bigger version than what I have posted.
Life, Heart, Mind
I thank him reverently