I love last minute singing times. Last minute anything, actually, since I'm a bona fide procrastinator. Here are a few ideas for those of you who are having a hard time finalizing your Christmas extravaganza for tomorrow!
1. Snowball fight. This can be a great way to end your singing time. Just hand a piece of paper to each child, and have them write down their favorite song(s). The reason it's a great way to end, is this: don't sing them this week! Take them all home in a garbage bag, and tally up the votes. Write the top ten on paper strips, and number the back of the strips in order. Then, on New Year's Day, do a "Primary Top 10" and sing them in order from 10 to 1, 1 being the most favorite-est song. Easy, and you don't have to worry about planning anything when you should be out partying on New Year's Eve.
2. A hand's on nativity. Gather up a few items that the children can pass around while you sing songs about Christmas. Try to find things that aren't breakable or noisy. Children learn best when all of their senses are engaged, so this is a great teaching tool. Here are some examples for some things that apply to different songs:
star ornament or cutout
stuffed sheep toy
sawdust (good for smell, touch, and sight)
drawstring sack with items hidden inside (to represent bread and cheese)
picture of nativity scene or infant Jesus
hay or straw, you may have some of this in your own nativity scene
baby Jesus from a nativity scene
linen cloth, tea towel, or bread cloth (to represent swaddling clothes)
small wrapped gift
miniature Christmas tree
palm frond or branch from a fake tree in your house (I know some of you have these! use it to represent Hosanna! Hosanna!)
any type of decoration that you have in your house that looks like an urn, dish with a lid, treasure box, etc. (to represent gifts from the wise men)
3. Nativity scene. Assign a song to each piece of a nativity and sing them to assemble the whole scene, with Jesus coming last.
4. Hand bells. If you have them, bring them out for some easy-going fun.
5. Hymnbook sing-along. I explained this activity in this post.
6. Christ-centered singing time. Go to lds.org and search for quotes from the prophet/general authorities on the Savior. Read their testimonies between songs.
7. 2012 preview. Play an MP3 recording of As a Child of God, have them sing or listen to the other songs from next year's outline. They won't know some of them, but at least a few should be fairly familiar. Get them excited about next year's theme and songs!
8. Remove the "centerfold" of the December Friend magazine. If you have alphabet magnets, put them in a bag or jar to be drawn out by a primary helper. If you don't, just write letters on slips of paper. Have a helper draw a letter, and read the accompanying scripture passage. Sing a song between them, or do a couple in a row and then sing the child's favorite Christmas song.
What are you doing for the last singing time of 2011?
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