Well, I forgot about Pioneer Day and I want to review songs so here was a simple way to combine the two:
I'll have the children fish for stuff to put in the wagon - only things that we need to take across the plains. I haven't decided what I mean by "fish" -- could be hidden under objects on a table, behind pictures on a board, around the room, pulled out of a bag, or I might attach magnets and a paper clip so that they actually fish.
Rules of the game: To find items that a pioneer would want to take with them across the plains. As children find appropriate items, they will add them to the cart. If they find something we don't need, it gets left behind (at the log cabin).
Object of the game: To learn about Pioneers while singing!
Singing application: Some items will have a song on the back that we will sing and review, or a new pioneer song. It might even include a fun way to sing the song but probably not, because I actually want to discuss some of the things they've been having issues with in the songs and work on that. :)
If you don't want to draw all your own objects (or gather together and make physical objects, I've given you a head start here:
(Go to the link to get a bigger version of this image.)
Other items to look for and print, or draw ... or use real objects ...
Things that would go in the cart:
Needle and thread
Things that should stay behind:
Images that I will print for context:
1. Image of Pioneers pulling hand carts ... okay you get the picture ...
While planning an even simpler Pioneer-themed singing time, I found this drawing, also by Chris Gunn, that actually inspired the entire activity, pretty immediately, so thanks Chris! (It was seeing the word "Tithing" on the side of the cart that was the trigger. -- also great for a tithing lesson or to incorporate into the sharing time lesson!!)
Handcart education: http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/pioneer-trek
1. Last year's Pioneer Day Singing Time was one of my biggest hits, ever. They LOVED it. That's the most feedback I have received from the 4 and under age set :) All of the children basically made their own butter that they shook as we sang various Pioneer songs and did various actions (including marching around the room). I also taught them about Pioneers so there are a lot of fun facts in this post from last year.
2. I had a Pioneer-day themed sharing time a few Sundays ago that I haven't posted about. Basically, I made a bunch of carts that could be used in numerous ways:
1. To show how well the children sang one song compared to another song.
2. To show how well the children sang various components of a song (change the title from song names to "volume," "lyrics," etc.)
3. To compete against each other, but I really have not enjoyed the singing times where I did this so I've pretty much decided it's not for me. Some other choristers love to do this but I really don't. :)
I used it to show them how well they knew the various songs, and asked another leader to help pull the carts along and explain to the children why the carts didn't make it all the way to the end.
How to build the singing meter:
1. First, I save stuff, like big pieces of cardboard, for opportunities like this one. I pulled out one of my cardboard pieces, and because it was very thick, used a hand drill to put holes through the cardboard, two holes for each cart. I used a thick drill setting.
2. I put string through each set of two holes and tied a knot. I repeated this down the cardboard, using a measuring stick to ensure my holes were somewhat even.
3. I drew, cut, and taped a drawing of a cart to each string. If you want to do this but don't want to draw your own cart, I found a few for you to use below :)
Handcart cut-outs from LDS.org:
This singing time inspired by