Monday, December 24, 2012

Singing Time IDEAS 2013

Well I just got a new calling as the Sunday School teacher for the 17 year olds or seniors. I think that will be really fun and rewarding. I hope it won't be too challenging!! Little kids are in some ways easier to keep involved in the lessons.

I pull sticks out of the can to be sure each child has a chance to come up and participate in the singing time games....
I will still post on this blog though. I think I've covered many of the things I used to do for singing time, but not all. And I will post as long as I am inspired to do so. I think there are a few important things I'd like to reiterate though; and they are all important as we start a new year.
I use lots of these kinds of things on sticks so I can call on kids to come up and help me lead the singing in fun ways....

We hold about 8 of these up around the room while singing "I am Like a Star Shining Brightly" as everybody  does the hand motions opening and closing their fingers like blinking stars.

I teach school and my motto has always been; if I'm bored, the kids are going to be bored too. Don't be boring. Do fun activities along with teaching the songs. I hope I never got stale. I always wanted to do fresh, fun things to get the kids involved.
Try a game of Going Fishing using each fish as a song (list songs in washable marker on the back) or you could use them to write small questions and tape them to the backs of the laminated fish. The pole is just a dowel with string and magnet.

The other thing is to always bring the spirit into the singing time. The songs most often do it themselves. But I always taught lessons along with the songs. I would bear my testimony about my work in the temple. I would tell the kids about how important it is to include others and be nice at school with stories of things I had seen that made me sad.
I have made dozens of these kinds of things where you pull a string on the back and the thing grows, or goes up as they do a great job singing.....they are always delightful fun. Try a rocket blasting off, a thermometer going up in red, etc. 

I encouraged them all the time that they could make a difference in their own families by instigating kindness  or exhibiting helpfulness to their siblings and parents.

You can't tell from this picture but the red tongue goes up as the kids sing louder or better. It is a funny one with the furry red head of hair on Lester. 

I would try to repeat things that were spoken about in the sharing time lessons when I had inspirations. The singing time is primarily a teaching time. So make it so.
I use lots of pictures and visual aids to go with all my songs. My favorite method to teach a new song is finding a flip book from Sugardoodle with words to go with pictures. 

If you'd like to start out the new year with a few cute conducting ideas to keep the kids learning and interested, check out these posts by some music experts in the trenches of Primary Music. Teaching kids how to conduct is always fun too. And if you don't know how, just read some expert blogs and copy them!

Here are a few ideas on leading singing from some experts in the field.....


Leading Sticks by Brooke Wakefield on Sugardoodle
It's All in the Hands by Ali Katherman on Sugardoodle
A Conducting Wand on Sugardoodle
Conducting Elephant by Tifany Hoecherl on Sugardoodle

Getting Ready for a Wonderful New Year!  Sitting down to set some new goals since I have 2 weeks off from teaching school starting tomorrow!  Yippee!  Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Once There Was a Snowman Singing Time

Well, it's about time we had a snowstorm in Utah.  So let's get prepared to sing some fun songs about Winter. It is around the corner.  And let's do some snowball activities too! That is always fun for the kids!
Here's a Link for Ping Pong Balls. These would make fine snowballs.....


  My sister-in-law also gave me a fun idea to do after the primary presentation when the pressure is kind of off to do the required songs, and you have more freedom to do some new tunes.

You could also use styrofoam balls for snowballs.....

Give each of the kids a piece of white scratch paper. It could have stuff on the back, nothing fancy. Then tell them to write their favorite primary song on it and crumple it up. Then tell them it's their once a year time when they can pelt you with snowballs! Yipee! They will love that.
Juggle your snowballs using old white socks tied in a knot or white marshmallows...giant sized! 

One class at a time can go and throw the snowballs at you. Then you reach down and pick one up! Whoever's snowball it is you will then sing their favorite song however you want to. Maybe they could try to "juggle" 3 snowballs while you get everyone to sing. (these could be white beanbags made with old white socks filled with rice or dried beans or popcorn, then tied in a fat knot and cut off. OR they could be some of those giant marshmallows they sell for a dollar at the market!  Or you could use ping pong balls. They are only a few buck at Walmart or Target in the sporting goods section. That is always fun! Or white whiffle balls would work great too. I've bought sets of 4 of those for a dollar at the Dollar store.
Whiffle balls could also be white snowballs! 


I thought you could be prepared with a fun little song taken from Primary-to-Go. Let's do a fun rendition of Popcorn Popping called "Snowflakes Falling"

 Popcorn Popping with a little WINTER TWIST!  
Snowflakes Falling on the Evergreen Trees.....

I LOOKED OUT THE WINDOW AND WHAT DID I SEE?
(Put your hands in round circles like binoculars around your eyes)


SNOWFLAKES FALLING ON THE EVERGREEN TREE.
(wiggle fingers from high to down low like snow falling)


WINTER'S BROUGHT ME SUCH A NICE SURPRISE,
(close both fists, then flick them open on surprise)


SNOWFLAKES FALLING RIGHT BEFORE MY EYES. 
(wiggle your fingers above your head and pass in front of your face)


I CAN MAKE A SNOWBALL, I KNOW I CAN,
(motions of making a snowball with both cupped hands)


THREE SNOWBALLS MAKE A BIG SNOWMAN.
(motion your arms to make the outline of a 3 circled snowman)


I KNOW IT'S REALLY SO, AND I'M GLAD TO SEE,
(nod yes, at the same time you  point to your smiling face)


SNOWFLAKES FALLING ON THE EVERGREEN TREES.
(wiggle your fingers from high to down low like snow falling).



Once There Was a Snowman...



Here are the guitar or autoharp chords if you want to play them instead of piano.  Use the xylophone above to get the kids to come up and play notes to the beat as you all sing. That is always motivating! 


  Another good song is Once There Was a Once There was a Snowman. Link to my post with pictures I did last winter.  Snowman Link. I made this above last winter. It's made from an old sheet. I choose a child to come up and scrunch down really little with it in their hands. Then when we sing tall, tall, tall, they make it grow. When it melts then the opposite of course. They let the snowman shrink back to a puddle again.


Have some fun when the weather changes again! In the meantime I'm gettin my new winter coat ready!
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