I had a great Primary Singing Time this week. It was about as much fun as I have ever had in this calling and that is saying a lot!
It was based on this this website that I love. She has activities that work with my personality and strong points. I found this use for an ipod. I also found this cookie making idea. I then combined them for my singing time yesterday. I also changed them so that the chance for success was much better. I don't like setting children up for failure and then rewarding them for that failure.
The activity had 2 facets as do most of my singing time activities. The first facet was a game that we played between the boys and girls. I would have a representative from each group come up one at a time and I would let them listen with the earbuds to the song from the Sacrament Meeting Presentation on the ipod. They would then hum to it. I didn't limit the number of notes. Instead I let them hum until I saw looks of recognition on many faces and hands going up. I learned as I was standing there that many children cannot hum a tune, even if they can sing it. (Side note: If you ever want a totally quiet Primary, have a child hum and have the children try to recognize the song. There was NO extraneous noise at all!) I let one 3 year old hum the entire song and even I couldn't recognize it, so I told him to sing it and they all knew it then. As this was preliminary to the main event, I didn't make this particular part of my singing time very hard or time-consuming.
For the second facet of our singing time, I had this posted on the board...
I told the children that I was going to make cookies based on how they sang the song that they had just recognized. If they sang well, I would put the good ingredients (the black words) into the bowl. If they sang badly, I would add the bad ingredients (the red words). I would then make the cookies and we would have them as a snack at the end of Primary.
I made cookies before I came to Primary to hand out, since I knew that there would not be enough time to cook them.
Those children sang their hearts out! It had been a long time since they had sung many of the songs, but they tried sooo very hard. I started out with easier songs to remember, then moved on to the harder ones.
I had a 3 year old who would sing an ahhh sound as loud as she could if she didn't know the words. I ended up mouthing the words to her so she would sing them and she did!
We ended with more ingredients to add but I told them that I would finish them in the kitchen. There was not a bad ingredient in the batch. I had planned it so it would end up that way. I knew those children would respond to this challenge in this way.
I will probably do the second facet of this activity again, as we get closer to the Primary Presentation for Sacrament Meeting. I will be much harder on the kids and I will redo my recipe so that if they earned the bad ingredients with a poor performance, I could cook it up and give it to them to taste. I don't think I would give them the good cookies. I would then do the same thing a week or two later and see how they did, since they would know what my standards were at that point.