Sunday, December 6, 2015

Lesson Plans: December 2015

1.  Jesus Christ came to earth, as promised by the prophets

2.  Jesus Christ is the savior of the world.
3.  Jesus Christ will return to the earth some day.
4.  I can live with Jesus Christ Again.

Any time this month:

Friday, November 13, 2015

2015 Primary Song Snowflakes

Back by popular demand!  Print out the document linked at the bottom of the page, fold, and cut out the patterns.  Glue snowflakes to heavy paper or card stock to reinforce and show contrast.  Use in one of the following ways... or find your own.

-Display the snowflakes on the blackboard.  Write the names of the songs on the board.  Ask the children to match the flake with the title, then sing the song.
-Have Junior Primary choose a flake.  Tell them the name of the song that it represents.  Ask them to tell you how the shapes symbolize the themes in the song.  Sing.
-Display the flakes around the room.  Have the children choose one at a time and think of a song which corresponds to the shapes in the flake.

For the previous two years' flakes, click here and here or download the document with all three years' flakes at the bottom of the page. Keep in mind, I've suggested songs that I think will work well, but since I've used very basic symbols, there could be many options that will fit.  

Chapel and "I"
"I Belong to the Church of Jesus Christ"

Arrows with two sets of footprints
"Come, Follow Me"

Mangers and star

"The Holy Ghost"


Christ and Hearts
"I Know That My Savior Loves Me."

For this year's snowflakes:
For all three years:
(Coming Soon)

Friday, October 30, 2015

Lesson Plans: November 2015

Weeks 1 and 2:  Jesus Christ taught us how to serve others.
Teach "I'll Walk With You"

Week 3:  When I serve my family, I serve God.
Review "I'll Walk With You" or another song of your choice with the Family Game or Family Pictionary

Week 4:  When I serve my neighbors, I serve God.
Review a song with the People in my Neighborhood activity.

To celebrate Guy Fawkes Night (UK), let the children select songs by choosing from these fireworks.

To celebrate Thanksgiving, try teaching one of these songs about gratitude:
Can a Little Child Like Me
My Heavenly Father Loves Me
Children All Over the World
or use one of these activities:
Hot (sweet)Potato
Thanksgiving Turkey

Get ready for Christmas by practicing one of the following songs:
Picture a Christmas
Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus
The Nativity Song
When Joseph Went to Bethlehem

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Armor of God

I created this art specifically to be used in introduction of the second verse of "Scripture Power," but it could be used with any scripture theme.  If you do use it for "Scripture Power," you should know that there is a small discrepancy.  In the song, it mentions the "Sword of Truth," while Ephesians calls it the "Sword of the Spirit."  My personal feeling is this- if you use this activity first, followed by the second verse of the song the next week, the children will likely have forgotten what the sword represents and won't notice.  If you're very concerned about them learning the incorrect terms, my only second suggestion would be to change the words in the song.  If you do choose to change the words, make sure to first have it approved by your Primary President.  It's possible that the "incorrect" wording is deliberate and I'd hate to miss teaching an important point of doctrine.  If you have strong feelings one way or the other, please do share them in the comments.
ANYWAY, for this activity, you'll need to print one of the documents at the bottom of the page.  There is a color version and a black and white version which you can color yourself or ask the Activity Days children to color for you.  Cut out the boy and paste him together at the seams. Post him at the front of the room. 
Cut out the pieces of armor and post them in different areas around the room. 
Begin by explaining the concept of the Armor of God.  Ask the children what armor does.  How are the scriptures like armor?  Read Ephesians 6:11 "Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."
Have children choose a picture of a piece of armor from around the room. Read the scripture reference, name the armor, and add it to the boy at the front of the room.  Then sing the corresponding song.  My suggestions are listed below.
Remember that singing time is not sharing time.  It's fine to teach the children a quick lesson, but the emphasis MUST be on the singing.  Make sure to use the vast majority of your time on music. 
As a final note, there ARE several church-approved images of the Armor of God.  I created these because I wanted something large enough to be seen by all of the children.  If you have a smaller Primary, you may choose to use the church resources.
Girdle of Truth
Ephesians 6:14

Shoes- the Gospel of Peace
Ephesians 6:15
 I Belong to the Church of Jesus Christ
Breastplate of Righteousness
Ephesians 6:14

Helmet of Salvation
Ephesians 6:17

Shield of Faith
Ephesians 6:16

Sword of the Spirit
Ephesians 6:17
The Holy Ghost
The Still Small Voice
Listen, Listen

for the color version:
for the black and white version:

You might choose to print a copy of this black and white page for the children to take home and explain in Family Home Evening.  This also satisfies a Faith in God requirement for the older children!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Family Pictionary

I can't remember where I first saw this idea, so I don't know to whom I should give credit.  If the idea was yours, feel free to e-mail me and I'll add your name to the post.

Use this activity to repeat songs about home and family multiple times. As the children sing the song, you (or another adult) draws a picture of one of the children's family.  At the end, choose a super singer to guess which family it represents. 

Remember to be sensitive to children whose families are non-traditional or are struggling, but don't exclude them. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Help Me, Dear Father

For a while, I've wanted to teach a song about repentance.  My favorite from the Children's Songbook is "Help Me, Dear Father."  Because I wouldn't spend much time memorizing this song, I've included the lyrics on the flip chart.  If you prefer a chart without lyrics, feel free to make your own with my clipart.  Just right click on each image, then copy and paste into your choice of format. 
Help me, dear Father, to freely forgive

All who may seem unkind to me.

Help me each day, Father, I pray;

Help me live nearer, nearer to thee.
Help me, dear Father, to truly repent 

Making things right and changing my ways.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Lesson Plans: October 2015

Before I share my ideas for October, I wanted to leave a quick reminder.  We all enjoy planning seasonal or holiday-themed activities from time to time and I agree that they can be a great way to engage children.  Be careful, though, that the theme is incidental to the activities that you plan, rather than the focus.  Our first responsibility is to teach the children the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to help them feel the Spirit.  We should not do anything that would distract from this focus.  Please understand that I list on this site every idea I can- but that I wouldn't necessarily recommend using ALL of them every month.  In the same vein, I try not to plan activities based on secular celebrations.  For example, Halloween and specific sports events would, in my opinion, be inappropriate for inclusion in Primary activities.

  • Use inexpensive glow wands available this time of year as a substitute for ribbon wands with THIS activity

Week 1:  Following the prophet will help us come unto Christ

Week 2:  Sharing the gospel helps others come unto Christ

Week 3:  We come unto Christ by repenting when we make a mistake.

Week 4:  Temple work helps me and my family come to Christ.

Primary Songs featured in October Conference:

How Firm a Foundation
Come, Follow Me
I am a Child of God
If The Savior Stood Beside Me
I Think When I Read That Sweet Story
Search, Ponder and Pray
I Stand All Amazed
I Know That My Savior Loves Me
Beautiful Savior
Love One Another
I Feel My Savior's Love
Primary Children's Choir music including the medley of "Search, Ponder and Pray" and "I Think When I Read That Sweet Story"

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Lesson Plans: September 2015

Weeks 1 and 2:  I show love for Jesus Christ when I keep the commandments

Week 3:  My love for Jesus Christ grows when I pray

Week 4:  My love for Jesus Christ grows when I study the scriptures
Primary Program Prep

My Gospel Standards


Print or find a copy of "My Gospel Standards."  Print the document at the bottom of the page and cut out each of the pictures.  On the back, write the corresponding standard and the name and page number of a song which relates to the subject.  I've listed my suggestions below.  Have the children choose one picture at a time.  Read the Gospel Standard and sing the song.


I will follow Heavenly Father's plan for me.
I Lived in Heaven
I Am a Child of God
I will remember my baptismal covenant and listen to the Holy Ghost.
The Fourth Article of Faith
Listen, Listen
The Holy Ghost
The Still Small Voice
I will choose the right.  I know I can repent when I make a mistake.
Choose the Right (Hymns)
I will be honest with Heavenly Father, others, and myself.
Jesus Once Was a Little Child (verse 2)
Our Primary Colors
I will use the names of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ reverently.  I will not swear or use crude words.
I Know That My Savior Loves Me
I will do those things on the Sabbath that will help me feel close to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
The Chapel Doors
When I Go to Church
I will honor my parents and do my part to strengthen my family.
When We're Helping
I will keep my mind and body sacred and pure, and I will not partake in things that are harmful to me.
The Word of Wisdom
I will dress modestly to show respect for Heavenly Father and myself.
Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
I will only read and watch things that are pleasing to Heavenly Father.
Books in the Book of Mormon
Search, Ponder and Pray
I will only listen to music that is pleasing to Heavenly Father.
Fun to Do
Lift Up Your Voice and Sing
"Give," Said the Little Stream (verse 3)
Child's favorite primary song
I will seek good friends and treat others kindly.
Kindness Begins With Me
Hello, Friends!
I will live now to be worthy to go to the temple and do my part to have an eternal family.
I Love to See the Temple

2016 Songs Have Been Announced!

March:  "Stand for the Right"
April:  song of your choice from CSB
May:  "Praise to the Man," verses 1 and 3
June:  song of your choice from CSB
July: "I Love to See the Temple"
August:  "The Lord Gave Me a Temple"

For the medley of "I Think When I Read That Sweet Story" and "Search, Ponder and Pray" from October 2015 General Conference, click here

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

"Follow the Prophet" Matching Game

To review the song "Follow the Prophet," I created this easy matching game.  Prepare by printing two copies of the document below.  Card stock or heavy bond paper is best so that the pictures cannot be seen through the back, but regular printer paper will work.  Cut out the cards and shuffle them.  Display the cards on the board at the front of the room in three rows of six cards each with space between the horizontal rows.   Each card should be upside-down and backward and taped along the top edge so that they can be flipped up (as though on a hinge) and the picture will show correctly.  Number the cards with large numerals 1-18.  

Have a reverent child choose two cards by telling you the numbers.  Flip the cards up.  If they are a match, remove the cards from the board and sing the appropriate verse.  If they are not a match, choose another child to have a turn.  Continue until all of the matches have been found or until time is up.  

Remember, games in Primary should not become so competitive that feelings are hurt or the Spirit and message are lost.  Stress to the children that you are all working together and encourage them to be happy for one another.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Spotlight: Nathan Schaumann

Allow me to introduce you to one of the finest musicians I've ever heard- and he's only fourteen years old!  I met the Schaumann family last year while we were attending the Wassenaar, Netherlands Branch.  All of the children are sweet spirits are excellent musicians.  Now Nathan has started a YouTube Channel where he posts covers of his favorite pop songs.

Here, he covers Coldplay's "Paradise" with his sister, Emily.

And in my favorite, he covers Sia's "Chandelier."

Do yourself a favor and give him a listen.  I promise you'll love it.  Then do ME a favor and "like" his Facebook page.  

Lesson Plans: January 2015

As of the first week of January, I have not completed artwork for the new song, "I Know That My Savior Loves Me."  My son, MP, has Autism, ADHD, and severe anxiety which has been causing hallucinations.  He hasn't been able to go to school and needs constant attention.  If you can, please remember him in your prayers this fast Sunday.  If we can get him back on his medication, I'll have much more time to devote to art.  I may have a flip chart ready for next week, so check back if you haven't taught the song yet.  Otherwise, enjoy the following ideas.  Thanks for your service in this beautiful work!

1.  Introduce the new theme "I Know My Savior Lives" by talking about the Character Traits of Christ.

2.  Have a Primary Song Showcase.  Ask members of the ward to come perform each of the new songs for 2015.

3.  Spend the first week singing the favorite song of each new Sunbeam to help them feel welcome and get them involved.  Make sure to read the article "How to Help New Sunbeams Pay Attention."  You might also want to try these reverence eggs.

4.  Celebrate the new year with the Resolutions Activity or the Fireworks Activity.

5.  If you're in the Northern Hemisphere, try out the Primary Song Snowflakes or Snowball Fight Activity.  If you're in the Southern Hemisphere, try the Gather Sunshine Activity.

New Years Resolutions

As people all over the world make New Years Resolutions, you might want to make some with your Primary.   Make and draw strips with the following resolutions and/or others you might think of.  As the children draw a strip from the hat, read the resolution and see if they can think of one or more songs that relate.  My suggestions are written below.  At the end of Singing Time, ask the children to choose two or three of these resolutions to adopt as a group for 2015.

Make sure that everyone feels loved and included.
Jesus Said Love Everyone
Love One Another
Kindness Begins With Me

Keep reverence during lessons.
Reverently, Quietly
To Think About Jesus

Recognize when the Spirit is present in lessons.
The Holy Ghost
The Still Small Voice

Learn as much as possible about Christ and develop a testimony of Him.
Jesus Once Was a Little Child
Tell Me the Stories of Jesus

Look for blessings and reasons to be grateful.
For Health and Strength

Say meaningful prayers.
I Pray in Faith

Listen for ideas we can share with our families.

Try to find opportunities to invite our friends to Primary.

Remember to bring our scriptures
Search, Ponder and Pray
Books in the…  Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon

Memorize the Articles of Faith
(any of the Articles of Faith songs)

Be cheerful and happy
If You're Happy and You Know It