My blog address is "primaryimpressions" because it seems that my ideas sometimes will come as impressions in the middle of the night! Whether you are a new chorister, or have been in the calling as long as I have, you are always looking for new ideas!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Snowball Singing Time

This is one of the kids favorite singing times during the year!  Several years ago, I started this tradition to do every last Sunday of the year.  I give each child a piece of paper, then I ask them to write their favorite song on it with their name.  (Teachers help the little ones).  I then have them all at crinkle the paper into a ball.  I explain to them they now have a snowball and they are going to try to hit the target, ME!  They love this!  I work them so hard all year I like to tell them this is their chance to get back at me. Ha.  So on the count of 3, I stand in front and they can throw their snowballs at me! I then pick a snowball up, and open it up to see what song we will sing.  The Junior love it when I tell them I have to put my gloves on to pick them up because after all they are snowballs, and snowballs are cold!  I keep all the snowballs that we don't get to use in a bag, and we will pull them out and use them for a couple of months, or at least until the snow melts!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Nativity Song

I absolutely love this song.  The music is so beautiful and I love how it tells the whole story.  I tuaght this for the first time this year.  It seems there is so little time to do the songs you want.  This year I decided to make sure I taught this song though.  Our program wasn't till the end of November, so it really limited our time for Christmas songs.  I thought this book was a good way to teach it since it is a story.  I am going to go over the song and then I will have the children either act it out, or put up the pieces of the nativity as we go along.
It always depends upon time.  Dressing the children up does take much longer, but boy do they love it!  If I am in a time crunch, which happens more than I like, then I will just have them put the pieces of the nativity up as we sing the song. It is a long song, but is absolutely beautiful and well worth the time to teach.

Here is my book that I made.  If you don't want to make your own book then you can make a flip chart off this web site:

Picture A Christmas

A couple of Sundays ago, I started teaching the children "Picture A Christmas".  In the past I have used some hand signs to represent each part of the song, but this year I decided to do it a little differently.
I put items in a bag that represented a part of the song.  I went around the room and had several children pull them out of the bag.  As we sang the song, they had to figure where their object fit in.  They would then hold it up for everyone to see.  After singing through it once, the second time they knew when to hold up their object and it gave the children a visual to go along with the song.  The kids loved this and it was really very simple.
Here are the items that I used:

Picture a stable in Judea

Picture a sacred, silent night. (pillow)

And can you hear, the angels near

and see the star so bright.

Picture a little baby Jesus

think of his life and words so dear

 Sing praise to Him

Remember Him (a ribbon to tie on their finger or wrist to remind them)

as you picture Christmas this year. (hold up a picture of the nativity)

Picture the kind and gentle Joseph

Picture the mother, Mary, fair

And can you see, so reverently, the Shepherds kneeling there

(Repeat Chorus with same object)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hello Song

Each week we welcome visitors by singing the Hello Song.  To make it interesting and fun for the kids I do a couple of things.  I either have them sing Hello in another language, or I choose a color and if they are wearing it, they are the echo.  Here are some of the languages that we sing:
(These are written how you would say it)
Chinese:     Nee How
French:       Bon jour (Bon shore)
German:     Guten Tag
Greek:        Yah Soo
Hawaiian:    Aloha
Hebrew:      Shalom
Italian:         Chow
Japanese:     Kon nee chee wa
Russian:      Pree -vyet
Samoan:     Malo
Spanish:      hola
Sweedish:    hej (hey)
Taiwanese:   Li-ho
Vietnamese:  sin chow
ASL:            hand salut from the forehead (Sign language)
These are just a few that we have learned.  You can look up more, there are MANY ways to say hello!

Missionary Singing

Since the month of November focuses on missionary work, I thought of a fun singing time idea.  Most wards have several missionaries serving throughout the world.   Ask the parents of the missionaries to find out in advance their son's or daughter's favorite primary song.  You could then get a picture to show of the missionary and also a map showing where they are serving.  You could express your gratitude for that missionary and then sing their favorite song.  This could also be combined with sharing time and you could have the children write thank you letters that could be sent to the missionaries.  We LOVE our missionaries!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Christmas Handbells

This is one of my favorite things to do at Christmas for singing time.  I have a set of "Kids Play Hand Bells" that I let the children use to play some Christmas songs and primary songs.  I am excited because this year I have added an extension of the set so that we can now do other songs that weren't possible before because of the limited notes we were able to play.  Each hand bell is a different color and also has a number on it.I made posters with the song written by numbers and color.

 I teach the children how to hold the bells and how to ring them.  I emphasize that when they pick up a bell they are to see how quiet they can keep it.  I make sure that each child has a turn to play.  They usually get to do at least 2 songs each.  Last year I had the teachers all come up and take a turn, and the kids actually did a better job then they did! ha.  For the sunbeam age kids I have the presidency help by tapping them on the head when it is their turn.  They however caught on really fast and were ready to ring their bell when it was their turn.
Next year I plan to bring the bells out during the year and just do some primary songs.  These would be a fun addition to your singing supplies.  You can buy them on line from Kids Play.  I also pulled them out for our extended family Christmas party and the kids loved it.

Friday, October 26, 2012

We'll Bring The World His Truth

I am so excited for our Primary Program.  One of the songs that I chose for our program was We'll Bring The World His Truth.  This was so much fun to teach.  I taught them the story about the 2,000 stripling warriors.  I had a couple of children come up and be warriors and another be Helaman.  The Junior Primary children love to act out stories.  Use any kind of little props like a play sword or bow and arrow to help them feel like warriors.  Explain how much Helaman loved these young men and how they were taught by their mothers to be faithful and obedient.  Also explain the first part of the song which says, "We have been born as Nephi of old, to goodly parents who love the lord".  Have them turn to that scripture and read it. I really like to help the children understand the message of each song they learn.  They learned this song so fast and when they sing, it gives me goose bumps.  I love to talk to them about my son who is a missionary serving in Texas and how important missionary work is.  This is an exciting time we live in  and the Lord is counting on us to spread the gospel message to the world!  My son is the tall blonde missionary.  This was taken at the Houston Temple where he was able to enjoy being the escort for the man next to him who he baptized a year earlier.  What an amazing experience for him!
For our program I am going to have the children sing the first verse and when they hit the chorus I have asked the young men and young women in our ward to stand up and start singing with them.  I will then have the audience sing the second verse and the very last line of the song, where it repeats "To bring the world His truth", I will have the primary kids sing only.  I hope this will touch the hearts of all those who participate!