Elephant Conducting Wand

It sure was fun last week on Mother’s Day. I enjoy my little granddaughters so much. They are the light of my life. Here’s a picture my daughter snapped of us hanging out together last week.

Conducting helpers for Primary Singing Time…..not!

I thought this idea for a “conducting helper” was a real hit! It is an elephant poster with a circle cut out for the “trunk” and guess what the trunk is? Yes, that’s right, your arm as it is conducting the songs!

Made by Brynn & Tifany from Port Orchard, WA.

Email- thoeche@gmail.com

A link for a tutorial on how to make the conducting poster is HERE at Sugar Doodle. Those kinds of things are always so engaging for the kids that they sing and don’t even realize they are putting in a lot of practice because they all want a turn to do the fun activity. Another kind of conducting wand that may be even easier is HERE at the Crazy Chorister. She just tied ribbons to a dowel to make a “conducting wand”.  Either way it would be a fun way to get kids to sing with you and be engaged in the music as you drill those verses of this challenging song.

Bubble Gum Bessie - the size of the bubble increases as the kids sing better!
This is a cute one I saw on Pinterest and you’d just use a balloon and have somebody in back blowing it up. with a pump. So cute! 

Have 1 child from each class come up and conduct a verse of the song. Still working on Praise to the Man? This will be a great help to keep up some motivation.  A flipchart for Praise to the Man is HERE. You could teach simple 1, 2 conducting. Most of the 4 year olds on up can do it.  For a senior primary maybe try the 4/4 time conducting. It is good practice for the older kids to learn conducting. Plus they practice singing while they are concentrating on their conducting arms! So you get 2 birds with one stone. Yay! Have fun conducting.


Mother’s Day Singing May 1st

Mothers Day Primary Singing….so sweet for all the moms!


Of course we always sing to our mothers in Sacrament Meeting on Mother’s Day.  There are lots of songs to choose from in the Children’s Songbook on the theme of Mothers.  I’ve mostly done “Mother Dear I Love You So” and sometimes  “Mother I Love You” mostly because they are very easy for the kids to learn and remember. And you don’t always have a month to practice. But if you have more than 2 weeks I would go with “I Often Go Walking”.  It is one of my favorites and many mom’s favorite song too. A different flipchart from last weeks is found at the Jolli Jenn site HERE.

Sugar Doodle website has several flipcharts for the song. Just choose your favorites and make them up.  You will only be able to do about 10 minutes of mom songs so make it simple.  Then use the rest of the time to do “Praise to the Man”.  It is going to be a hard one with all the GIANT WORDS!!! A flipchart to make I found at Sugardoodle website…link HERE.

Another thing I found online is a spreadsheet from another chorister outlining here whole YEAR! What the heck! How do people do that? I could never be THAT organized. But let’s not reinvent the wheel. Use somebody else’s ideas they are lovingly willing to share! The link is HERE at Divine Secrets of a Primary Chorister. Have Fun!


Mothers Day Messages, Mothers Day Sms Messages
And don’t forget to give your mom a hug on Mother’s Day



Easter Sunday

I think it is imporant that on Easter we talk of Christ and the most amazing event in all of history. It bothers me as a former Catholic to talk about events in the old testament or something on the Sunday lessons instead of give the day up to the greatest gift we’ve been given; the atonement of Christ. 


Kids know parts of the story but it is a great opportunity to tell the story again in pictures, visual aids, songs, and questions and answers format.  You could make up a large red TRUE and on the back tape a large blue FALSE sign  on poster board or cardstock.  i would make up 2 of them. Then have 2 children from the same class come up and ask them a questions about Christ’s crucifixtion and resurrection from the scriptures. Then they decide and show either the TRUE or the FALSE sign. Hopefully they both get it right. A link to questions from the Easter story are HERE at bible-questions.htm. You could also make up some on your own.

The Good Shepherd

You could also do my favorite question game; Resurrection Eggs.  I would do eggs with the articles inside according to this website post called Resurrection Eggs and is found at this link.  Another link that I also liked was found HERE at Women Living Well.For instance for the dime inside the egg there is the scripture event where men drew lots to see who would get Jesus’s robe and clothing before he is crucified. Or a small thorn on a rose stem piece would represent the crown of thorns given to Jesus before he walked with the cross.  You could take out some that you think may be too hard. But most of them someone in primary would be able to explain what it respresents.    I’ve had mine for about 8 years and I have done them with my family and hope to do them with my grandkids.  A visual of the eggs is HERE at Churchhouse Collection.  It is the same one as above but goes into more detail.  Just pick about 7 or 8 plastic eggs filled with one of the items to do with the kids. In between each egg sing a song.

Another Favorite is Resurrection Eggs…This would be my 1st choice.

Since Mother’s Day is coming up I always had the kids sing a few songs to mother in Sacrament Meeting. So I would choose a few songs to practice today and for the next week too.  An easy one is “Mother Dear I Love You So”.  And my favorite is “I Often Go Walking”.  I would teach those today and do the Easter Story in pictures in between songs. Get visual aids from the Sugardoodle website link here. Happy Easter!


Musical Instruments in Primary

This week I would use one of my Musical Instrument ideas from January. I like to take out my BOYS SING and GIRLS SING signs and HUM and WHISTLE and some xlophone bells and tone bells or whatever you have.  I have tambourines, wood blocks, sticks, jingle bells, but the xylophone is the kids’ favorite. I bought 3 of these for my classroom and they work great in primary too! The link is here for Musician’s Friend 25 Bell Set. It is in a cool blue case that is great for toting back and forth.
Wood Xylophone-8 Note        8 Note, C-C         Bells Out Of Case

There are so many kinds of instruments like the ones above that are professional sounding and the kids love them. The last set is ideal because you can split up the notes and give different kids a resonator bell and it always sounds pretty no matter what they play as long as it is on the beat. It adds so much to music.

                              Girls SING!

      Boys Sing!

A link for the Xylophones or tone bells is at Musician’s Friend at this Music Website. For performance I figure out the chords and teach 2 of them to play coordinating chords that go with a chorus. Last year we did it on FOLLOW THE PROPHET and it added a little dimension to the song.

Also, the kids don’t realize they are resinging all the songs over and over because they are engrossed in watching whomever is up playing the bells. It’s a great drill week.


Songs in Easter Eggs in a Basket

Wasn’t conference last week great? I loved Jeffrey Holland’s talk. It is good to be reminded how hard the prophet works and how he’s got the same basic things he has to take care of in life that we do. I forgot about how much they sacrifice and their wives and kids sacrifice. I felt kind of sorry for his wife. I think it would be so hard to be that supportive ALL THE TIME. Those women must be absolute saints, and must also be very strong in their testimonies. Thanks Elder Holland, for reminding us of all the stuff President Monson does for us.

Easter Baskets filled with plastic eggs

This week would be a no brainer. Easter is next week and I think a very fun activity would be to put the songs for the day inside plastic eggs in a basket and then hide the eggs before the kids get into the primary room. Then call out one class at a time and they have to go hunting for an egg to know which song you are singing next. 

I have baskets of eggs all around the house!

I’ve got so many different kinds of eggs I could use. Just use what you have around the house. Or else go to Hobby Lobby where I bought 10 dozen plastic eggs for my classroom Easter Egg Hunt. They were on sale for half off of 77 cents! What a deal. 

Bring a hanging egg tree with songs on the backs of eggs…Add te giant Bunny egg just for fun!

Use the mirror ball eggs with a song on the back of each…

I had my grandbabies over for dinner last week so we put up all the Easter decorations around my house.  I think kids love to see all the symbols of Easter. But I would use up all the “cute stuff” this week and next week use the more Christ centered visual aids regarding the events leading up to the crucifiction and the glorious resurrection scenes.

Kids Easter Dinner Table…
The poor boy bunny got his eye bitten off by our naughty doggie Bruce…poor bunny!
My cute little Easter Chicky 9 month old Josie!

I made up an Easter Bingo for next week that has all religious symbols on the bingo cards. I will share that soon!


General Conference

This is a week off for anyone working in Primary and so it is an excellent time to make up something you can use for the rest of the year.  I loved making up song posters or flip charts for the next month so I’m not so pressed for time the night before. Some of you are not procrastinators like me but I usually always waited till I was rushed. This way you can get some quality stuff made up ahead of time.

When I first started doing chorister stuff I was also involved in a Family Home Evening Co-op in California. They were all the rage.  We would each take an area of family night and make up 10 of the same thing. Maybe it was a song, a flannel board story, puppets, games, scriptures, craft, we had a bunch of areas that we covered, I don’t even remember them all. Then we would come together once a month and get 9 things back in all the areas and we would give 1 thing back to the 10 women in the co-op. I was in 3 co-ops over the years and president of one of them. I have 2 filing cabinets filled to the brim with songs, stories, puppets and flannel board stories of every gospel story in the scriptures we could ever think of. 

But in all the things I got back in the area of music the ones that were really large posters have gone by the wayside. And the reason is that there is no good place to store them. So I have a personal opinion of using giant posters to teach songs. You will not be able to keep them forever. When you move, they will go in the trash. And with all the time and effort you put into these things, my recommendation is that you do 81/2 x 11 size things. The kids can read the words just as good if you flip a chart as if you point to a poster. Plus, it is so easy now with the website called Sugar Doodle. Everybody put stuff on there in the areas of flip charts so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel! It’s done for you!

So take time this week to make up some song flip charts for the next few months, color them and glue them on construction paper or on poster board and put them on rings. You can get the rings from Walmart as well as poster board or colored card stock.  Then just prepare some of your games for the next few months. Get some balloons for putting songs inside, get a tic tac toe made up, Get some plastic Easter eggs, and make up some little handheld signs with “Boys Sing” and “Girls Sing”. These are the things that make Primary fun. And these will keep the kids engaged the whole singing time. Good luck!


Sing a Line of Song!

One fun idea I had a while back was getting different classes to sing different lines of the songs. It is a good way to get them to learn fast because everyone will be listening to see if they get the words right. This will be so helpful as you lose so many kids that just can’t stay focused unless they are very involved in what’s going on.  So try this one of the weeks in April.

Each class sings a different line of the song.

After you introduce the new song and have sung it through a few times to your flipchart.  Then give each class one of the flipchart pages to practice as you sing the song for them along with the piano. When it gets to their part you can point to them and they will start to sing it along with you. Do this several times till you feel like each class is getting the song. And it is so fun to make a big deal of pointing to the class that is singing. They will crack up a little at first and then tentatively sing along.  Everybody gets into this fun activity.

My cute grandbaby playing piano…

Then have the kids classes do it by themselves while you go around and simply point to the class. They can read the words on the chart. It’s a lot of fun introducing things this way.

Now a variation on this can be done next.  Have the first line people then sing along with the 2nd line people.  The best way to do this would be to have one person from each class come up in front holding the flipchart page. Then when it is their classe’s turn they hold it up high and sing along. Then they sing along with the one next to them going around till everyone is singing the last line.  Here is how it would look;

    Primary music is so much fun!
  • The first group to start singing on the first line of the song.
  • The second group joins in singing on the second line of the song.
  • The third group is to join in singing on the third line of the song.
  • The fourth group is to join in singing on the fourth line of the song.
  • If the song then has a chorus everyone will be singing together for the chorus.

Have fun this week!  Hopefully you have drafted out the program songs by now and made all the decisions.  I was released a month ago, but I would try to think at this point of musical instruments you could add, maybe a sign language addition to one of the songs, duets or trios you could have for 2nd verses, that adds a lot the the program. Spice it up a little bit now, while you have the time.  Good luck!


Want to Know My Favorite Primary Song?

I remember when I had just finished Ricks College with my Associates Degree and was deciding between the U and BYU and Utah State for my undergrad. I had been accepted all 3 places and was leaning toward BYU. But I had found a good job working up at University of Utah and I was living in a singles ward just off 21st South and 9th East on Herbert Avenue in Salt Lake City. (I ended up going to BYU of course…I know you were worried).  I had 3 roommates and we were all paying around $50 dollars a month to live in a furnished basement apartment near the U. I was given the calling to be the Sunday School Chorister. But in a singles ward it is much more fun than any other type of chorister. Because you got to teach a song a week as well as direct the songs of the meeting to the whole congregation.  So, if you know me you know that I took every bit of creative license allowed me and I did something radically different each week.

After all I was a new convert and could get away with it, right?  So one very creative week I still remember what I did. I got tired of all the young adults on the back row not singing. They would just talk and poke each other and laugh and stuff. So I got up and read that scripture about “the last shall be first and the first last in the Kingdom of the Lord”. And I told the whole front row to go sit on the back row’s seats because the whole back row  were coming up to the very front of the chapel to “give service” to the ward and help me teach a new song. So all these big burly guys several from the football team got up amid a chorus of laughter they swaggered up to the pulpit area. And this is what I did. I still think it was a brilliant idea. And it is one you can use to teach a new song every week. Use PICTURES AND VISUALS!

I took the words of the song “Whenever I hear the Song of a Bird” that one… and I gave the first big guy a little silk songbird. He looked kind of funny holding it. Everybody cracked up. The next guy got a poster of a blue, blue sky for the line “Or look at the blue, blue sky…”

 Then next one got a picture of the rain and wind happening for “Whenever I feel the rain on my face, or the wind as it rushes by…”

Pictures are an easy way to teach songs
The 4th one got a “velvet rose” for “whenever I touch a velvet rose”  but it actually was just a silk rose.:D
Or visual aids  to depict words of the songs.

The last guy happened to be this ginormous dude, he was easily 350 pounds of height and heft. I gave him this little twig to represent the “or walk by a lilac tree“. It was the most hilarious thing and so unplanned. We all just laughed at this huge guy holding this tiny twig. 

And the last big guy had to hold a picture of the world for the line “I’m glad that I live in this beautiful world, Heavenly Father created for me“.  Then we sang this most beautiful of primary songs that thanks the Lord for the beauties of Spring and this beautiful world.

I think this is a perfect time to introduce some new songs about Spring that we all love. That one happens to be one of my very favorites. It’s called “I Know Heavenly Father Loves Me“. I get it mixed up with the new
song, but it is an oldie but goodie  from the old Children’s Songbook. It was sung at my baptism and I have always loved it ever since. I hope we see a little bit of Spring peeking out of all this snow this weekend! I’m so ready to see some spring tulips, some warm sun, and to do some gardening. And yes I know Heavenly Father Loves Me!  


I have done bingo for lots of the seasons. For Christmas I do J-E-S-U-S , and for Easter I do BIBLE and for Thanksgiving we do T-H-A-N-K-S.  Just make up some clip art pictures of 16 OR 9 OR 25 items that have to do with the season. Then I cover each of the pictures with just colored paper squares or wrapping paper squares. Then put a number on each square that covers each picture.

Christmas Bingo Game – Make your own BIG ONE!

A FREE downloadable bingo card from DTK for Kids is fun and easy to do. The link is HERE. It will give you ideas for every holiday under the sun. And if you have a color printer it will be CUTE TOO! That’s always high on my list. hehe.  They have a Bible bingo that might work too. I copied the calling cards printables and the link is HERE. Just peruse their topics, decide if you want pictures or words (vocabulary option) and then PRINT! I use them a lot in my classroom for theme days too.

I have pocket charts from my classroom so that is an easy way to put the pictures up. Another is to put a little piece of magnet on them. Our primary chalkboard is magnetized. You can get small circular magnets from Roberts or Michaels for a few dollars. They will last you a long time too and are very convenient for putting posters and stuff up on the board.

Fun Spring Bingo Games – choose 9, 16 or 25 spots

 Then we choose a child to come up and I will ask a gospel question or a “finish this line” in one of our new or presentation songs.  If they guess the answer a gospel or music question they turn over that number on the bingo board.  Object is to try to get a whole class bingo 4 or 5 in a row. Or you could make it easier and just do 3 in a row and have 15 pictures or phrases covered up. They have cute holiday and seasons bingo pictures that would be cute to make up for holidays. You ask the questions.

Easter Bingo Game

Then sing a song.  Or pick 2 children and questions then sing a song.   You should be able to pick about 8 or 9 kids and hopefully get a bingo even  if you have a huge primary. Have fun with it!


Primary Super Heros & Hats

I got released from my primary calling but I will still continue doing the blog as long as I have ideas to share that I’ve done in the past.  So here is another idea that I’ve done before that might work for this week.

Silly Glasses, hats and goggles!

Since Thursday is St.Patrick’s Day get a black hat of any sort or just use some black construction paper and make one. Then go around your house collecting funny things to put in the “HAT BAG” that would be funny to wear. Here are some ideas; Ski goggles, Hobo Kelly Glasses, Funny Jester hats, Boingy hairband hats,
bunny ears, etc. and place them all in a trash bag.

This hat wiggles, that would be a hit!

Pokemon and Superhero hats are good!

The idea is that when you pull a child’s name from one of the sticks they get to go pick out a hat to put on somebody else’s head in their class or on their teacher’s head. Then we sing the song. It is funny because the kids love to do this to one of the kids in their class. 

Now what teacher wouldn’t want to wear THIS!
You could make a PRINCESS HAT  with just paper and a little fabric hanging off the top!

Cat in the Hat was from the Dollar Store!

Some years Ihave also included a Superman cape and they have to wear that and run around the room while we are singing. It’s kind of small though, so it is even funnier if they do this to a male teacher. It’s like a size 3 for a toddler.

You can call it “Crazy Hat Day” and have a lot of fun with it.  Then I just have them sing the prescribed songs that I need them to learn for the program. Intermixed with a few old favorites or activity songs. Popcorn poppin on the apricot tree should be one coming up in the next weeks since we are almost coming into the Spring season! Have fun!