Welcome to my little corner of the world wide web. :) What a blessing modern technology is. I'm so grateful for the websites and ideas that others have shared that have helped them to be successful in their homes, their service in the church, or in life in general. Thought I'd pass on a few things I've learned along the way on my life-long mission to become a better wife, mother, and in my service in the church. Thanks for stopping in!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

"Tricky or Treat" music time

For our music time this Sunday I am doing a "Tricky or Treat" theme. :)  I was trying to come up with an fun idea to work on the problem spots in some of the songs we are doing for our program. 

I decided to make a bunch of little cards that say "Tricky" and some that say "Treat".  I will put all of these cards into a pumpkin basket, or witch hat or something like that.  I will have a reverent child come up and pull one of the cards out.  On the back of each "Tricky" card will be listed the song (or part of the song) that we are having a "tricky" time mastering.  We will review the part of that song.  The kids love to be able to participate up front so I think while we are singing, I will also have a child up by me holding up the little ghosts I made which say "A little bit Spooky" or "BOOtiful singing" depending on how we are doing (just for fun).

Once we've mastered the area, we will move on and another child will come up to pick a card. I think the kids will work hard at mastering the "Tricky" cards so that they can then have a chance to choose a "Treat" card.  For every "Treat" card that is drawn, I will give the kids a candycorn after primary.

NOTE: There are a lot more of the "Tricky" cards in the mix than the "treat" cards.  I do want the focus to be on fixing our little problem areas BUT I know that I will need to break up the monotony and I think this will do the trick-at this stage of the game, I am not above bribery to get these songs polished for the program. :)

(Here are the cards I made. If you'd like to copy them, just right click on the images below and you can save them to your computer).  Four cards will fit on an 8 1/2" x11" page.
some of our tricky spots...
" work on the 2nd ending of "If I listen with my heart"

"Practice watching the director to stand/sit"

 "work on wording on the 3rd verse of "Praise to the Man"

My Ghost Signs- I printed these out on cardstock and I plan on laminating them to make them extra durable.  You can save these to your computer as well by right clicking on them.  I sized these to be about 6" tall each.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"Super Warm Fuzzy" Music Time

Earlier in the year, our primary presidency held a primary activity based on a thought that President Monson had shared on giving Warm Fuzzies.  Anyway, my husband(who happens to be extremely charismatic, and super fun)  is THE go-to guy for everything in our ward.  If there's a need for a Santa at the Christmas party, he's it.  If an auctioneer is needed at the YW fundraiser, he's the man.  So naturally, when the primary needed an appearance from the superhero "Super Warm Fuzzy", he was called to the rescue. :)  

Anyway, I have been playing with the idea for awhile of having "Super Warm Fuzzy" pay a visit to our Primary music time.  The kids have been working so hard on our program and in the past few weeks everything has really started to come together.  It has made me feel a little warm and fuzzy myself.  

At the start of music time, we talked a little bit about the different senses and how they are used:  hands-we use to touch, eyes-we use to see, nose-to smell, etc.  I asked them what we use our heart for.  The kids of course said love but I also explained that we can "feel" with our heart as well-and described it as a warm, fuzzy feeling in our heart. I bore testimony that music invites the spirit.  We can sing all day long, but unless we believe and have conviction of what we are singing, the message doesn't translate the same.  We needed to make sure that we had that conviction before our primary program so that their parents and visitors would be able to feel the spirit through their music.  It was their goal to make the congregation feel warm and fuzzy inside as well, which led me into the introduction of our visit from "Super Warm Fuzzy".  

I explained that I'd run into "Super Warm Fuzzy" just the other day and that he'd asked about all of our primary children.  I assured them that I'd told him how wonderfully they were doing with their preparation for the program.  He asked if he could come for a visit on Sunday to see for himself.  In preparation for his visit we needed to make sure we could make him feel warm and fuzzy with our singing. 
To begin, I had two children come up and sit in two chairs.  I put a "super warm fuzzy" cape on each of them (you wouldn't need to have these, it was just an added bonus as my kids kids had gotten from the primary activity earlier in the year).  Then I blindfolded the two children.  I asked them to listen to the children singing and focus on how it made them feel.  They did a very good job with this and reported that they felt peaceful and warm inside.  

After we'd polished the song, we were ready for our visit.  "Super Warm Fuzzy" made his appearance.  The Jr. Primary in particular was mesmerized with him and sang so powerfully.  Definitely another warm fuzzy moment for me.  He gave each of the children a little warm fuzzy that they could trade in after primary for a little treat-I just did a Hershey's hug because hugs make us feel warm and fuzzy too. :) I wanted to do the pop rocks because they make our mouth feel warm and fizzy but they were a little pricey.  With our large group I decided that it was an unnecessary expense but if you had a small group, that could be fun.

Sr. Primary could tell that it was indeed my husband but they humored me and went along with it.  This turned out to be such a success and I think it helped the kids to recognize the importance of "feeling" the music and the power contained therein.

Truly such a great group of kids-all 100+ of them. :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

A bad Case of the "Singing Bug" Music Time

With our Primary Sacrament presentation just a few weeks away, I need to really get some energy from the kids.  The kids in our primary are great but there are still a few that have yet to catch the "Singing Bug" :) so we are going to work on them this Sunday.

What to do:

I made a big 18" ladybug.   On the back of each spot on the ladybug , I put the name of the songs we're singing in the program.  I'll place the ladybug up front on the board.   I'll explain to the kids that while there are lots of cold and flu "bugs" going around this time of year, there's an even more contagious bug going around- the "Singing Bug".

I'll have one of the kids come up and pick a spot off the ladybug. We'll begin by singing that song. With the help of the Primary presidency, we will walk around the room with the dots (garage sale stickers) and place one on each of the kids who are really putting an effort into singing.  Once they get a dot, it means that they are infected with the "Singing Bug" and the only cure is the "S" pills (Skittles) in my jar.  We will continue to put a dot on each of the kids for each one of the songs we review.  I am hoping that even the kids that usually don't participate much will jump on board and become infected with the "Singing Bug" as well.

By the time we are done going through all of the songs, hopefully the kids will be covered with dots and they can trade those in for the "S" pills after primary. 

UPDATE:  Huge success today!  Kids loved it and sang their hearts out.

Lost Sheep Music Time

The Primary theme for September was on missionary work.  I was trying to come up with a fun way to help the kids understand the importance of spreading the gospel and finding Heavenly Father's lost sheep.  At the same time I also wanted to review all of our songs for the program, as time is winding down.

What I did:

I created sheep with the songs from the program listed on the back of each one.  I started out by reading the scripture that went with the theme,  "This gospel shall be preached until every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people" D&C 133:37.  A reverent child was invited to come up and pick a sheep off of the board.  Two other children were then called up to be our "missionaries".  The two missionaries were excused from the room for a moment while the first child hid the sheep.  After the sheep was hidden, we started to sing the song that was on that sheep. The missionaries were invited back into the room.  They had to stay together as missionaries always go out in pairs.  As they got closer to the object we sang louder/further from the object, we sang quieter (same as the hot/cold game).  We did this until the lost sheep was found.

We talked about how the missionaries throughout the world go about searching for the lost sheep the same way.  They use the spirit to guide them to the sheep, just as we guided our missionaries to finding our lost sheep. This seemed to be a very effective activity and one that the kids wanted to do again in the future.   

Dice Game Music time

We needed to learn one of the songs for the primary program and I was trying to think of a way to teach it that would engage the kids.  I saw an idea for the dice game on here that I thought would be effective.   I just took a square box (I used a tissue box), covered it in paper, and then added stickers onto each side of the dice (numbered 1-6).

I wrote all of the words to the song on the blackboard. I had to improvise a little with Junior Primary and use pictures (where many of the children don't read yet) but for the Senior Primary, we ran through the song a couple times until they felt comfortable with it.   I would then have a child come up and roll the dice.  Whatever number they landed on, we had to erase a word (so if they landed on a 5, we would erase every 5th word).  This worked so well and the kids didn't seem to tire of it.  By the time we'd rolled the dice several times and had the words erased, the kids had it mastered.  Very easy activity and yet so effective.

David and Goliath Singing time

On my second week as Chorister, I was trying to come up with a fun way to get the kids ready for our Primary Sacrament program.   To be honest, at the time the thought of the program felt like a Goliath to me as there was so much that needed to be done so I thought I'd run with the whole Goliath idea.

I'd found a 4-ft Goliath in one of the F.H.E. kits I'd made years ago (YEAH!).  I brought him out for the Primary kids and explained that we had a Goliath before us-referring to the Primary program.  I quickly shared the story of David and Goliath and how David had faith and the help of the Lord and he was able to conquer Goliath. I made sure to stress that our Goliath's are not always a bad thing. The primary program is a good Goliath but just a monumental, huge task that would require a lot of work on our part but just like with David, with the help of the Lord we would be successful.

I'd gathered up a bunch of stones from my back yard and numbered them 1-10, each one corresponding to one of the songs we're singing in our program.  I put the stones in a bag and let a child come up and pick a stone.  We then sang that song.

Here's the fun part, depending on how well they sang the song, they got to take a shot at the target on Goliath.  If they sang the song just okay, I let a child come up and try to hit Goliath with a small marshmallowt.  If they sang it really well, they got to use a large jet-puffed marshmallow.  If they did it perfectly, they could use one of the jumbo-sized marshmallows (these are kind of new but they are at a few stores here).

While this activity could have gotten a little rowdy, the kids were really good about keeping a reverent tone.  It definitely engaged them and got them singing. I think we did a pretty good job with conquering Goliath! :)

Celestial Singers Music Chart

I was just called as the Chorister in Primary.  I was a little overwhelmed by the timing as our primary program is coming up quickly.   I really needed to be able to gauge where the kids were at with each of the songs for the program.  I saw a "Celestial Singing" idea here and I thought it was the perfect way to help me keep track of the kid's progress, and a great way for them to have a visual of their progress as well.

What I did:

I created my own version of the "Celestial Singing" poster with the star (representing pretty good job), moon (representing very good job), and sun (representing excellent singing or Celestial Singing).  For each of the songs in the program, I also created a star with the name of each song.  At the beginning of singing time, I'd have a reverent child come up and pick a song for us to run through.

To engage the kids, I bought a couple star shakers from the dollar store.  I had a couple children who were being "celestial singers" come up and do the shakers while we sang the next song.  I also had a child that was being a "shining" example of a celestial singer come up and help me conduct using a glow stick.  I called up new children for each of the songs.  They all really seemed to enjoy getting to participate so much. 

After we'd sing each song, we determined where we needed to place it on our chart.  Over the weeks, the stars have started moving up the chart and we are well on our way to become "Celestial Singers".