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!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Voice

So today I found the secret to a successful singing time in the form of the Swivel chair.  While I have never actually seen the television show "The Voice", I understand, and like, the concept.  I thought I'd try it out with the kids today by having three judges come in to judge the kids' performance on the program songs.  

All I can say is "why, oh why, didn't I try this sooner"?  It was a smashing success and so very easy.  The primary presidency gave me the full hour to polish everything up with the kids.  For the first 25 minutes (before the judges came in), we ran through almost all of the songs, using our "Bubble gum Bob" (previous post) to help gauge how well we were singing.  Once we'd run through the songs, I called the judges in to put the kids to the real test.  THE KIDS.  WERE.  AMAZING!!! They knocked it out of the park.  I knew that Junior primary had it in them.  Originally I didn't have that same confidence with the Senior primary but they stepped it up in a huge way today.  Brought me to tears...happy tears.

How it all went down:  I tracked down three swivel chairs at the church.  Actually, my husband tracked down three swivel chairs at the church-I should give credit where it's due.  :)  I set them up at the front of the room.  I had the three judges come to the front of the room and sit down facing AWAY from the kids.  Once we started singing, the only way that the judges would turn around is if the kids "WOWed" them with their singing.  I told the judges to really make the kids work for it. The judges played the part up so well and the kids went right along with it.  After we finished the song, the judges would critique the work and give any constructive suggestions to help us improve the song.  So much fun.  So productive.  This is the kind of day that makes me love this calling oh so much!!!

*If you need swivel chairs, check your clerk's offices and bishop's office.  I'd imagine they'd be willing to part with them for a couple of hours.  After all, it's for a good cause.

"BOB" and his bubble gum

I'd seen this adorable bubble gum idea here.

While I loved the idea, I didn't want to make a completely new guy so I decided to do a little makeover on Bob instead.  He's kind of fulfilled his purpose this year in our singing time so I thought he deserved some bubble gum for all his hard work. :)

I just cut a dime-size hole in his mouth.
then inserted a pink balloon.
 I had one of the teachers come up and stand behind the poster where he blew the bubble for Bob.  As the kids sang the song, the teacher would blow it larger, and larger the better they sang.   I stepped aside at one point because I thought the balloon was going to pop, they were singing so well.

I inserted a new balloon for Sr. primary and had a new teacher blow the balloon for them.
To go along with the bubble gum idea, I also found this bubble gum machine in one of my F.H.E. kits that I did ages ago (those kits sure have come in handy with this calling).  I just put the name of each of the program songs on the back.  I invited a child who was participating very well to come up and pull a bubble gum off to see what song we'd sing next.   Turned out to be a very fun singing time but we were able to accomplish a lot in the process.  I love it when we can do those two things simultaneously.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Song Hospital

I had pinned this idea a while back and figured now was a good time to put it to use as we have a few songs that need to take a trip to the "Song Hospital" for some minor surgery.  

What you will need:
*White Lab Coat, Tongue Depressor, Stethoscope, Otoscope, RX pills

I had to adapt this idea as I only have a child size Dr. coat so I will be utilizing the children a little more than myself for this activity.

To begin, I will explain that we have a few songs that need to make a trip to the Singing Hospital where a doctor will evaluate our songs.  I will choose a child that sang the opening song very well, come up and put on the dr. gear.  I will explain to the dr. that they will be observing our song to see what needs to be done to make our song healthy and well.

Once the doctor is ready for the evaluation, I will explain to the children that there are three things we will be working on that day.

1-  When I hold up the Otoscope (I'm actually just using a little flashlight), they were to open their ears and listen to the words and message of the song.  This is where we will fix any tricky wording spots in the songs.  This will probably be our main focus as it's the second verses in a couple songs that we are still struggling with.

2- Once we've repaired the words, we will move on to the Tongue depressor.  When I hold it up, that is their cue to open their mouths and throat nice and wide to project as much volume and clarity as possible.

3- When I hold up the Stethoscope, that means I want them to feel the song in their hearts.  How does it make them feel?  How does the song make the Dr. feel?

As soon as we begin singing, I will let the dr. walk around the room with her stethoscope for observation out toward the children so that he/she can get a really good listen.  I am assuming that when the dr. is in a particular section, that section will really give it their all.  They love it when someone focuses in on them in particular. 

After we finish the song, the Dr. will give us their professional opinion as to diagnosis and treatment options.  Each time we sing the song, I will call on another child who has been very good about participating to come up and be the dr.

As the dr. is speaking, I will take notes of any parts of songs that still may need some extra attention.

Here's the dr. costume which I just so happen to have on hand from my son's preschool graduation program this year.  It's so cute!

If the kids do a great job with repairing our songs, they will get a little RX pill from the Song Hospital before they are discharged to help keep the injuries from returning. Whatever works, right? :)  
here's the song hospital label I made, if you want to right click and save it to your computer:

Saturday, September 1, 2012

College Football Kickoff

 With this being the kickoff week for college sports (it also seemed to be the kickoff for all of my kids sports as well-busy week), :) I thought it would be fun to pull our football field back out for a little friendly competition between the "Moroni's Musettes" (girls) and the "Army of Helaman Harmonics" (boys). We will continue to work on the program songs, as well as I may throw a few other songs in there as well to give a little variety.

This game worked wonders with the boys earlier in the year.  Some of the oldest boys are my biggest challenge in Sr. Primary (challenge meaning that they don't love to sing, they are REALLY great kids though).  I was lamenting over this with one of the teachers.  She has a son who falls into that same age group.  She suggested that it wasn't that the boys didn't like to sing but that the biggest issue is that the songs are so high.  Light bulb moment!  Truth be told, I even have a hard time with some of the higher songs as I am very much an alto.   I remember my brother not loving to sing at that same age for the same reason, his voice was trying to get a little deeper and so it cracked at any given moment.  I'm sure that's uncomfortable and embarrassing for those boys.  Oh the joys of getting older! :)  I will say that these boys sit so reverently though so at least they aren't disruptive in any way. Hopefully pulling the football field back out may encourage a little more participation tomorrow.

To give credit where it is due...long ago, I got the football field idea here.

here's the clip art I made for the teams if anyone wants them.  Just right click on the images and you can save them to your computer. They are nothing special but they work.

I have a ref shirt that I will have one of the teachers put on.  The girls will sing the song and the ref will determine how far to move them down the field.  We'll do the same thing with the boys.  Each time we sing the song, the ref will move the football further up the field, depending on how well the kids sing it.  When someone score a touchdown, mission accomplished!