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I don’t know what it is, but every once in a while, the Primary kids get a little ….WILD! 

All the possible reasons run through my head, “Is it a full moon?  Is it the last week of school? A holiday coming up???  Murphy’s Law???!??!?”

No matter the reason (or no reason at all!), it can be intimidating to stand in front of ALLLLLL the children and gain order!!!!

So we thought it would be helpful to share some of the secrets we use to help get the sweet kiddos to calm down, focus, and bring the energy down to a level that can invite the Spirit.  If the Spirit is felt, the love of Jesus Christ can be felt through the Primary Song words, and their faith can increase.  And that, my friends, is a win!

HERE THEY ARE!!!!! (shhhhh)

1 - Go up the microphone and start WHISSSSPERING.  The microphone is my best friend when I need to regain order.  But whispering into it, makes it hard for the children to hear – so they quiet down to be able to listen.  That’s what we want people!

2 - Just going up to the microphone and folding your arms, and say “SHHHHHHH”, “SHHHHHHHHH” (pointer finger to mouth), and then walking around the room by the noisy side of children and flapping your folded arms (hinting for them to fold their arms) and “eyeing” to individual children (in a kindly stern way).  Always give them a thumbs up, wink or nod and thank the Primary Children for being reverent.

3 - Start naming/pointing out the children who are being reverent.  “Oh!  I see ______ is being reverent, and _______ is sitting nicely in their sit, and yep,  ___________ is listening etc.  Walk around the room with your arms folded and dramatically “squint look” (SEE who's being reverent).

4 - If the children need a good focus back to me as the chorister, I go up to the microphone and say, “If you can hear me, touch your nose.  If you can hear me, touch your head.  If you can hear me, pull your ears.  If you can hear me, fold your arms.”  I start with “touch your nose” in a loud (er) voice and end with, “fold your arms” in a quieter voice (like a whisper). 

I like to switch it up and say, "If you can hear me, show me your:
Book of Mormon hands (put hands together like a book)
Prayer hands (put hands palm to palm)
Steeple hands (touch tips of fingers together to make a steeple)
Lamanite hands (like BOM Stories put feathers on back of head with one hand in front of you)
Reverence arms (fold arms)
You can make up as many as you'd like.

The children not paying attention will wonder why others are doing these actions and will follow.

5 - Use Repeating Clapping Patterns.  Tell them to repeat your clapping patterns.  Mix different amounts of time you clap, rhythms and timing and then have them repeat.  You could end with, “Now, get your listening ears on and please fold your arms”.

6 - “I want to you pretend like you’re going to blow a REEEEEALLY big balloon with me.  So you’re going to need a big breath.  (Breath in deep together – fill your lungs all the way and blow out), do it again.  And one more time to make the balloon HUUUUUGE!  Good, now fold your arms.  Zip your lips."

7 - Keep the piano playing the WHOLE Singing Time! (so there's no time for chatting in between songs).  Introduce the next song to sing and softly explain the words/meaning (show song visual on poster or flip chart or even just displaying a picture of Christ).  In between singing songs, have the pianist play some music softly.  Ask the children what they learn from each song after it is sung. 

8 - Hold up a Reverence O Meter.  It’s like a Singing Meter – but measures their volume the opposite way!  The quieter, the better!

9 - This one I personally don’t use but I saw another chorister use and thought it was cute:
“Everyone make a bubble in your mouth (hold breath and puff cheeks out) and don’t pop it until the start of our next song”.  As song starts, use pointer finger to “pop” balloon so they can sing. This prevents chatting in between songs.

10 - Play Simon says or Sister/Brother __________ (your last name) says.
I like to play the sky says when they are really wiggly or at the beginning of singing time:
The sky says:
Twirl like a tornado
Clap like Thunder
Fingers fall like rain
Float up on toes like a cloud
Sway like the wind

11 - Have a Rainstorm!
Turn off lights. 

Rub palms together
Snap fingers
Pat legs
Tap toes
Stomp feet and pat legs
and then do this in reverse order.

12 - When I pick a choosing stick (popsicle sticks with each having a Primary kids names on it) I say, "Let me see if this person is being reverent..."  And I look all around the room and wait until everyone is quiet.  If the child is not being reverent I go stand right in front of them and shuffle the sticks in the choosing-stick-can loudly. 

13 - Start singing an Action/Wiggle Song where they mimic your actions.  For example, Do as I’m Doing, Book of Mormon Stories, Head Shoulders Knees and Toes, If You’re Happy and You’re Know it, etc.  At the end of the song, fold your arms so they mimic you and start speaking softly to give directions.

14 - In the microphone, start counting down slowly, “5…4…3…2...1 aaand reverence”.  Fold your arms to show the example.

15 - Bring some hand bells, a rain stick, fun leading wand (tap it on the music stand), anything that makes a noise or grabs their attention.  Not too big of a noise, but noise.  

I once said, “I have a challenge for you.  Let’s see if we can hear this push pin drop on the floor.  Shhhhhhhh. Listen for it.  Are you ready???? Here is goes!”  It was probably to most quiet they've EVER been!

16 - Before our closing song, I usually end with something like this, “Now everyone stand UP! Jump three times, turn around in a circle.  Now reach way up high and take a deep deep breath in.  Bring your arms down as you breathe out.  And do it one more time.”  Do the actions with the kids.  Then fold your arms so they are ready for the closing prayer.

17 – Recite a quick reverence poem.

Here is an example: (author unknown)
I wiggle my fingers.
I wiggle my nose.
I wiggle my shoulders.
I wiggle my nose.
No more wiggles are left in me.  So I will be still, as still as can be.

Or the Butterfly poem CLICK HERE.

You can recite this poem in the microphone before the closing prayer, at the very beginning of Singing Time or at any time you’d like them to settle down.

18 – Show a picture of Christ.  

Say, “Stand up if you know who this is.  Clap twice because He is the Christ.  Jump three times because He is your Brother.  Sit down, He is your Redeemer. Take a deep breath for He is The Life.  Fold your arms in reverence, He is your Savior and the way back to our Father in Heaven”.

"Now, let's sing a song from our hearts for Heavenly Father and Jesus so they can feel our love for Them".

Now, trust me, I’ve had some train wreck Sunday’s.  Some Sunday’s just don’t come together for some reason or another.  But hopefully you can feel prepared and armed (ha!) and not feel helpless when you can feel the energy in the room going crazy and out the roof!  Hopefully one or two of these ideas can help you with restoring and keeping REVERENCE during your Primary Singing Time.  Have confidence in yourself!  If YOU have confidence in YOU, the children will have confidence in YOU.  You can do this!!!!!

(*Last side note: If you feel your children are extra irreverent every week, speak with your Primary President and make sure to enlist the Presidency’s help, the teachers, the Bishopric, or even the Stake Primary’s.  Make sure ALL are on board with the reverence expectancies and that they model and are examples themselves.  Communication is key so that you don’t feel alone.  All leaders and teachers in the Primary room should be your advocate for respect and reverence!)


Present Pass

Bring 6 small, wrapped presents to Primary with a song title in them.  (Six is how many songs max I usually sing on a Sunday.)  Also bring 6 per singing times.  So if you have a Junior and Senior Singing Time, bring 12 presents.

Start by singing a song and have the children pass the present around the room as they sing.  At the end of the song, whichever child has the present gets to open it and reveal the next Christmas song to sing!  Repeat with each song and present.

Remind them that the best GIFT we ever received was the gift of Christ and His sacrifice for mankind.

(You can also use gift bags, to make it easier .. because some Saturday nights come quicker than others ;))


Candy Cane Lead

This is a fun way to end your Christmas Singing Time this Sunday!

Hand out a candy cane to each child and teach them the "time" and to lead the last song in Primary (ie 4/4).

Let them lead as they sing!!

Have them turn the cane around to make a "J" and tell them to remember Jesus everytime they hold a candy cane and that He LEADS our church.  Turn the candy cane up-right like a crook and tell the children, He is also our SHEPHERD who will gather us back to heaven.

For a Printable of these handouts, CLICK HERE.  Print, cut and attach to the candy canes :)

Let them take the candy candy home to eat and share this message with their family's during their CFM-FHE lesson!


Choose the RIGHT Way

One of the suggested songs for this month is Choose the Right Way, so we thought we'd share a visual we've made for this song and how we plan to sing it on Sunday :)

There's a RIGHT way to live and be HAPPY!!!!!

It is choosing the RIGHT everyday!!!!

I am learning the teachings of Jesus, they will help me and show me the way.

Choose the RIGHT way, and be HAPPY.  I must always choose the RIGHT!!!

Pass out 3-5 smiley faces to the children as they are sitting down (or one per class).

Sing the song and every time the word "RIGHT" is sung, have the children pass their smiley face to the child sitting next to them on the RIGHT.

When the song is over, whomever is holding a smiley faces gets to come up and hold it up during the next time you sing it.

Pass out 3-5 more smiley faces and repeat (sing song again, passing smiley faces on the word RIGHT).  Whomever is holding a face, comes up and holds it up as you sing the song again.

This is a short and easy song, so do this a few times and move on with another song!

I tried to mimic the CTR shield with this poster and printed the flipchart visual from Jolly Jenn's flipcharts HERE.

Before you sing this song, you could talk about how we feel when we make wrong choices (pretty crummy).  How do we feel when we make good and RIGHT choices?  (good/happy!).  Who likes to be happy???  Let's learn how to be happy and choose the RIGHT, by learning the words and tune to this song, "Choose the Right Way".

In the end, bare your testimony how how we can have a happier life by choosing good choices and striving to be like Jesus.

You could send them home with this CTR maze to do with their family and sing the song for their CFM-FHE lesson :)  This shield maze is found HERE on lds.org - designed by Regina Thompson.

Thanks for stopping by!!!!!


Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

You’ve taught them the new song for the month….

now you need to REPEAT aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand REPEAT it!!!

Children (and adults) learn best with repetition so we thought we’d compile a list of ways to repeat a song without the children hearing,

“One more time” and “Play it again” or “From the top”.

The best kind of Singing Time when repeating and reviewing a new Primary Song is the one where the kids don’t realize they’re singing the same song over and over again! 

This is also great for them the repeat the words again and again, learn and melody, and feel/understand the message of the song.

So you wanna know the ways to do this for your Primary?  We came come up with this list as a resource for you to draw from!!!

Alright, here is the list, “from the top” :

1-Play Hot Potato. 
Pass an object around the Primary room as they sing the song to review.  The child that ends up with the object gets to say something they love about Primary.

Hot Potato Option 2 – Have the Piano play and children sing and pass the “hot potato”.  Arrange for the pianist to stop suddenly during the song at different times.  The child who has the potato when the music stops says the next word or line to the song (they can get help from the Primary, if needed).

2-Voice Changer. 
Let the children pick a different voice to sing the song.  For example, have them change their voice to sound like:

-Computer Robot (staccato)
-Baby Voice (sweet and lispy)
-Underwater (plug nose, or move pointer finger up and down in lips)
-Grandma Voice (pinch a small piece of your neck and move away and then back toward your neck really fast) 
-Opera (self-explanatory - use hand actions too!)
-Feather Voice (whisper)
-Bee Voice (Hum)
-Chipmunk Voice (sing high, tighten neck and show teeth)
-Ninja Movie Voice (move mouth in between words and pauses)
-Giant Voice (sing deep and low)
-Cowboy Voice (like a country singer)

These voices can be chosen from paper strips on the chalkboard, punch out board, rolling a dice (each number represents a way to sing), spinner wheel, or any of our holiday/seasonal pick-and-choose activity.

For our Ultimate list of Different Ways to Sing (over 50 ideas) CLICK HERE.

3-Singing Meters. 
Most kids love a challenge.  They like to see how well they’re doing, so Singing Meters are perfect for that.  Singing Meters can control their speed, volume, and overall how well they all are singing. 
A helium balloon as a meter or Eddie Spaghetti, Billy Bubblegum are great for this.  Also our Racecar Singing Meter.

4-Stop/Go, ooooo ahhh, boys sing/girls sing Signs. 
Hold up a sign that tells the children who or how to sing.  Switch them during the song so they have to pay attention.

5-Different Lead Sticks. 
Bring a variety of leading wands/sticks and display them on the table.  Choose a child to pick one and lead the song.  Tell the children you will be watching to see who is singing their best, and you will pick another child to pick a wand and lead.

6-Hot N Cold. 
Choose 2 children.  One is the hider and the other is the seeker.  Have the seeker go into the hall.  Have the seeker hide a small object in the Primary room.  Call the seeker back into the room and have the children start singing the song.  The closer the seeker is to the object the LOUDER the children should sing.  The farther away from the object, the QUIETER.  If they find the object before the song is over, KEEP SINGING!  My Primary children never get sick of this activity!

7-Silent Singer. 
One child goes out in the hall.  Another child is chosen to be the “Silent Singer” meaning that child “lip sings” the song.  Have the child in the hall come back in and all children sing – except for the silent singer who is lip singing.  See if the child that was in the hall can guess who the “Silent Singer” is.  Finish singing the song even if they guess before it’s over!

8-Rubberband Primary Band.

Have some recycled instruments displayed on the table.  Pick a child for each instrument.  Sing that song as those children with their instrument keep the beat.  At the end of the song, have them pass their instrument onto another child.  Sing the song until each child has had a turn.

Some examples of instruments are, oatmeal tube as a drum, egg carton and stick as a Guiro, 2 paper plates as cymbals, comb (scratch fingers across), spoons back to back (hit knee and hand), tap 2 wood spoon together on the stick part, large and wide rubber band around an open box or Tupperware bowl, etc.

You could also use bells, shakers, etc.

and to finish the song, have a special helper be the finishing cymbal and clap two chalkboard erasers together!!!

9-Hat Review.

Display different hats on the table.  Sing the song and whichever class sung the best gets to pick a hat from the table and have their teacher wear it!

You could also have different categories such as:
The class who is sitting up the straightest and folding arms.
The class that is smiling the most.
The class that is the loudest.
The class that is singing the most enthusiastically.
Which class know the song the best without the visual?
The class that is overall the best in all categories.

10-Missing Mystery.

Send a child in the hall.  Pick another child to be the “missing mystery” – meaning they hide behind the chalkboard (or piano) for the song.  Call the child back out from the hall and have the children start sing the song.  See if the child from the hall can guess who’s missing before the song’s end.  If they guess who it is, too soon, keep singing until the end of the song!

Choose some words that are sung in the song and write them on an index card size paper.  Call up a child who is up for a challenge.  Put a headband (like a basketball sweatband) around their forehead.  Clip the index card with the written word to the band.  The child should not be able to see the word. 
Have the Primary children start singing the song.  When the word on the card is to be sung, have them skip over it (don’t sing that word).  Have the child with the headband try to guess what word is on their forehead.  If they don’t guess it the first time, sing the song again and this time have the children sing that word LOUD and obvious, make sure they sing all the way to the end of the song.

12-Musical Measles. 
All you need for this one is some small round dot stickers.  Be careful the measles are contagious!  Original post HERE.

13-Guess the Leader. 
Have one of the members of the Primary Presidency go out in the hall with a child (or by themselves, depending on the child).  Choose another child from the Primary to be the “leader”.  The “leader’s” job is the have the other Primary children follow their actions during the song.  Have the child in the hall come back in and all start singing.

The leader starts doing different actions such as clapping, rolling arms, pat head – all the children follow.  Have the child who was in the hall try to guess who the “leader” is before the end of the song. 

14-Class action. 
Each class is assigned a secret word (such as the, am, I, etc.) from the song.  As a class, they decide on an action to do or sound to make when this secret word is sung in the song.  Examples of actions are, jump up off their chair, clap, dab, meow like a cat, etc.  Sing the song until all secret words are figured out for each class. 
Option 2 – Pick some different words that get repeated a few times in the song such as “I or to”.  Tell the children NOT to sing that word but to replace it with an action or sound (examples are above).  You can replace a different word every time, or have them build on each other each time to make it a fun challenge! 

15-Mindful Singing.

First, start by having the kids rub their temples on the head to get their “minds ready.”  Next, have the children sing the song - to refresh their minds.  Then, have the pianist play the song and tell the children to sing the song in their head (mind).  Have the pianist stop suddenly and see if the children can say what the next word or line of the song.  Have them raise their hand if they think they know it.  Sing the song out loud again all together, then play mindful singing.  Make sure to give your pianist a heads up on this singing activity before it starts!

16- Heads or Thumbs. 
Before you sing the song to review, have the children stand up and either put their hands on their head or give a thumbs up – whichever one they want to choose. 
Sing the song, after the song is sung, flip a coin.  If the coin lands on heads, those with their thumbs up, sit down.  If the coin lands on Tails, those touching their head, sit down.

Start over with those still standing.  ALL children sing.  Flip the coin at the end of the song.  Repeat and sing until there is one child standing!

17-Switching Seats. 

Have one child go out in the hall.  Have another 2 children from the Primary switch seats.  Have the child in the hall come back, primary start singing the song, and before the songs end, see if the child that was in the hall can guess who switched seats!

Well, now there you go!!!!  You have 17 ways to REPEAT a song in a fun way!  We hope this helps you feel empowered to help the Primary children review any song.  Keep in mind that not every one of these work for every song. Some songs are longer than others and may not work, or some songs are to be sung more reverent than others.

Thanks for visiting our site and be sure to check out our other pick and choose review ideas and following our Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook pages!!!


Christmas Bells Are Ringing

Just a super simple Christmas idea today!  Bring some bells on a string (you could have 3-5 sets or enough for each child to have one).

Call up some children to shake the bells during the Christmas songs you sing on Sunday!  Call up new children for each song.

I told, ya it was a super!!!!  Sometimes just the little things that you do different in Singing Time helps switch things up and fun for the children!

You can make your own bell shakers with pipe cleaner and bells!  Just twist them around!

I plan to sing "Christmas Bells are Ringing" with my Primary with these shakers and first ask them, "What do Christmas Bells say to you?"