Sunday, December 18, 2011

Snowballs and Cookies!

For Junior Primary, I started out with singing a Sugar Cookie Fun to Do song for our opening wiggle time. This definitely set the tone for our activity! We did fun Christmas songs again but they correlated to a cookie cutter! I brought 5 or 6 cutters and the idea was for the kids to come up with their own song that went with the tree or star or heart...etc. However, for Junior, it was a little harder for them to come up with songs that worked with the cutters. So, I let the class help them out. We did this a few times until we started practicing our Focus Song. Picture a Christmas. I put up the words and the kids had to match the picture with the words. They all seemed to enjoy it.

Senior, we had little more fun. Since I knew they all could write, I handed out half sheets of white paper and little pencils at the beginning of primary and had them write their name on it. For singing time, they were all ready to do something with this paper. So, I told them, we haven't been having enough snow and if they could help me out. They crumpled up the paper and threw it infront of me. It was a fun way to pick helpers for the day! Because of the difficulty with Junior and the cookie cutter idea, I decided to let the kids pick their favorite primary song. They rolled the dice for how to sing it and it was really fun! We also did the focus song and it sounded so lovely. I'm beginning to see that having the words helps but then the kids don't watch me I'll have to figure out the balance there!

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Joy of Christmas in Primary

Seriously, I forgot to blog after last week and really I can't recall that much what I did. I know we reviewed Reverence is Love again and I mixed up the pictures and had the kids figure out where they all went. Oh yeah, we did Primary Colors again and did the same thing. We did Hot/Cold game for the first time in Senior and wow, those kids love that game. They really get into it. I can tell though it can get a bit irreverent if not controlled.

So, yesterday was really fun! Of course, because it's Christmas! My favorite time of year because of all the christmas songs and spirit of Christ in the air. I kind of did a combination game of Stockings and Symbols. My first thought was to take things out of the stocking that had to do with Christmas, but I expanded it to have the True Meaning Of Christmas through certain symbols.

Tree - Everlasting Life - Joy to the World
Candy Cane - Shepherd's Staff - There was Starlight on the Hillside
Candle - Light of Christ - Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus - I chose this song to teach this month. However, it's so hard to pick which songs to teach because there are so many great ones with great messages. The Senior primary knew it pretty well and I'm thinking about teaching a different one for them.
Gift - Gifts of the Wisemen and the Gift of the Son of God - He Sent his Son - I had all these items in a gift box and we sang this one last to bring the spirit and emphasize the greatest gift we have is our Savior.

I'm learning through trial and error what songs the kids know and which they don't. But, that's okay. Next week, I really want to teach the Hillside song. I really loved the sound of it. I also looked at the Friend new song but without a piano it was pretty hard to figure out. The Friend also has a whole library of songs in the Friend way back.... i found some good ones too. Too many good songs...not enough time! :) I think that's why it's so important to feel close to the spirit in choosing the songs. I'm learning and making mistakes and learning and changing. It's good. Can't wait for the next couple weeks! They are going to be so fun!

coming up....Christmas Snowballs. :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hymn Chase Turkey Day

This last Sunday was fun! I obviously focused on Thanksgiving a bit. So for the JR primary, we played Disguise The Turkey. I brought a hat, mustache, boa, glasses and sign that said I'm not a Turkey. The kids absolutely LOVED it and laughed the whole time! My only thing I need to figure out is how to keep the reverence while still enjoying the music. This time, I controlled that by making sure the sign went on last and it was for the "Reverence is Love" song we've been learning all month. Also for each song, we roll the "fun to sing" dice but i think i'm going to revise the choices on was from a prior chorister. The kids really love being able to sing it a certain way because it keeps things interesting.

For Senior, I did something a little different. At home, I drew a large turkey and cut out paper feathers to attach to the turkey but to get the feather......
This idea came to me on my own and I think i'll for sure use it again. Hymn Chase. I was thinking about how fun it is to do scripture chases and learn while doing it. So I picked 6 songs out of the hymn book that related to reverence or gratitude. I gave the hymn number and first person to get there got to put the feather on, which correlated to a specific song to sing. The kids really enjoyed it. They like the competition. (You have to gather all the hymn books first...don't forget.) After someone got to the right page, I had them stand up, say what the song name is and what it means to them. I love hearing the children's testimonies. It was fun and can be used for a lot of different themes. :) Thanks for Heavenly Father for that inspiration! On to next week..... gotta figure it out!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Mad Gab

Last Sunday was so fun. We did the gratitude tree and picked songs from the leaf colors. For Senior, I played a game called Mad Gab. I first had one child come from each class and find a leaf in the room. The leaf had a number which correlated to the song. I wrote silly wording for each song and the kids had to figure it out and then when they did, we sang the song. The child would roll the 'how to sing dice' and they seemed to love it! Man, those kids are smart too. I'll attach the list for those of you who don't want to come up with your was a little tricky. But the kids enjoyed it so much, I think I'll do that again for sure! 

Something learned - I need to know both verses of the song for Senior Primary. I really couldn't remember the second verse of I hope they call me on a mission. How sad is that? It was fine though. I'm pretty laid back and asked the kids to help teach me! We had a great time. But the thing this, as soon as it's over I start getting stressed about what I'm going to do for next week. Anyone feel that way? 

Also, I need some nursery ideas. I know they are easy to please but I've never been given any instruction as to what I teach them, if it's just for fun, do I teach them reverent songs too, how long do i do it for? I brought instruments for the kids to play but they were all too young to really have fun with them. 

One thing that was interesting was we wanted to end on the focus song of the month: Reverence is Love Someone actually did choose that one but it was about 3 minutes before we finished. So the last leaf I made sure was another reverent one as to not lose the spirit moving into sharing time--which was in the chapel. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

First Time

K, so yesterday was a bit crazy and unique because they only had me do Junior Primary so all the women could listen to the Visiting Teaching Conference for R.S. It went okay. I only had about 7 minutes so I ended up only starting to teach Reverence is Love. Got some good feedback that instead of the flip chart, it's better to have the kids more involved so holding each picture up individually. That makes a lot more sense. I just need to print them on harder paper then. Also, I know there are tons and tons of ideas on how to have kids pick the songs... dice, apron with strips, pop sticks, cut outs with numbers. I'm just a little confused on how to prepare for that. So, do I just have like 5 or 6 songs prepared to teach them or do I only do that with songs they already know. And the problem there is I have no idea what they do or don't know. It's easy to do that for the wiggle songs but for opening song, we sang one they didn't know. I guess if any of you out there have advice on that, it would be great! I feel like I have all these expectations to live up to. Yesterday, half of the kids sang, but the other half just stared at me. :) Our pianist said I should give kids something to wear or hold each time they participate. I'll have to think on that. I'm really hoping and praying that creative inspiration will flow to me soon. Maybe it's because I haven't been set apart yet. I need that!!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Reverence Week 1

This month's theme - Reverence.

Because I'm new to this calling and to the children, I thought a fun gratitude getting to know you game would be appropriate this month. I cut out a bunch of leaves for our Gratitude Tree. I'm going to call up 4 REVERENT helpers to choose a leaf from the basket. It's like the M&M game. According to the color of leaf, they answer a question about themselves. Then they say something they are grateful for. Put it on the tree. We'll then learn the song, Thanks To Thee. (flip book of pictures)

Since I'm not sure how fast time will really go being my first, I planned three songs to sing/learn. My next activity will be the Recipe for Reverence. A helper will tell me what their favorite food is and then we disect the ingredients....what are the ingredients for Reverence. Quickly name a few and then learn the song, Reverence is Love. Talk abou the meaning and the words and why it's love? Teaching through hand actions and gospel picture art. (reminder. need a notebook)

Lastly, if there's time, learning Our Primary Colors. I think the kids will really enjoy this one. If they don't already know it they, will soon :) This is easy. Colored papers and we'll use the Stop, Go and Slow Signs.

Please Please Please if you read this and have a tip or input or a comment, let me know. I love constructive criticism. At first I was gonna have them learn a new song every week but I learned that it doesn't usually work that way. I'm used to adult choirs :) I am really excited for this opportunity to strengthen the testimony and faith of these children. However, I believe they will be the ones strengthening mine.

November Schedule

After my first day, I think I'll be changing a lot of these songs to just doing some really fun ones until we start learning the new ones in January!!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Starting Out

It seems silly that I'm starting a new blog for my calling but I have found so many great blogs to help me out that I thought I should probably document my own experiences and perhaps help someone else out too. So....I'm the new Primary Chorister! To tell you the truth, I'm getting pretty excited but still nervous. It's Stake Conference this Sunday, so I have another week to fret and another week to prepare. I already figured out what me biggest issue with this calling will be....balance!!! I could spend hours researching games and activities and make elaborate signs and posters and cards and on on an on.... But the one thing I do know is that I have to stay within my limits. I'm a a mom of 3 and also have two stay-at-home jobs. Needless to say, my time is precious and I'm gonna have to be very careful and considerate of it. I will soon post my monthly schedule. Thanks to I came up with a simliar layout. So cross your fingers for me that my first Sunday goes well! Have a happy day!