Primary Program Review

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Dr. DiagnosisThis idea is courtesy of my creative friend who is also a chorister.  Have a man in your ward dress up like a doctor…we were fortunate to have an actual doctor in our ward who was willing to participate.  He brought his own bag and instruments.  However, a toy doctor kit would also work.  Outfit the doctor with a white lab coat and a clipboard.
Print out a form for each song beforehand with instructions on how the song needs to be improved…this is for the chorister’s and doctor’s eyes-only!  Introduce “Dr. Diagnosis” to the children and explain that he heard some of their program songs were “sick” and needed a doctor’s special attention.  Present the doctor with a patient (song) to be diagnosed (give him the form for the chosen song).  As you sing each of the songs, have Dr. Diagnosis wander around the room…he can listen to the children’s hearts with his stethoscope, shine is light in their mouths, feel their foreheads for fever, check their ears, pretend to give shots, etc.  After each song, have him give his diagnosis.
Songs may need the following:Shot:  ” shot of enthusiasm”Alcohol:  “to clean it up…a little sloppy”Blood Pressure Cuff:  “pump it up”Pills:  “relieve the pain” (doesn’t sound like you are enjoying it)Tongue Depressor:  “lazy tongue…say words clearly”Stethoscope:  “work on breathing”Ointment:  “rub on face to smile more”Thermometer:  “too hot…too loud…calm down a little” etc.
An incentive poster can also be made.  Title the poster “Primary Song Hospital”.  Write 3 categories across the top of the poster:  Intensive Care Unit, Recovery, and Discharge.  Make slips of paper with song titles and tape them down the side of the poster.  All songs start out in the Intensive Care Unit.  As improvements are made, songs can move to a higher ward in the Primary Song Hospital.  Once all songs have been “discharged”, the children get a reward…a sucker, bouncy ball, or other prize given at a doctor’s office would be cute.
The Greatest Show On EarthWho doesn’t love going to the circus?  This idea was originally seen at www.iheartprimarymusic.blogspot.com.
Introduce the activity by saying, “Tickets please, tickets.  Step right up for the greatest show on earth…The (Your Ward’s Name) Primary Program!”
Place the names of your circus acts and/or games on a spinner.  Have a child spin to see which activity he or she gets to do.  If you don’t have a spinner, adhere names of acts to the sides of a large die or put them on strips of paper in a sack/container.  After the child completes the activity, sing a song.
Possible Circus Acts & Games include:Duck pond – Place 3 rubber ducks in a row on the table. Have a child choose 1 duck.  If the duck with the “x” on the bottom is chosen, he or she gets to pick how to sing the song (use “Sing like a…” discs found at http://divinesecretsofaprimarychorister.blogspot.com/2008/11/sing-like.html).  If not, sing normal.
Tight Rope – Lay a rope out on the ground.  Have a child pick a paper strip describing how to perform tricks on the rope (while the group sings a song).  Tricks can include:  normal, sideways, backwards, one arm in air, toe to heel, eyes closed, etc.
Lion Tamer – Tape paper flames around a hula-hoop.  Pick 2 children…one to hold the hula-hoop while the other throws a stuffed lion through it. Give 3 chances…if all 3 go through the hoop, the child chooses how to sing the song. Clown Alley – Have a child dress up like a clown & lead the song.
Pin the nose on the clown (Hot-n-Cold) – Place a large picture of a clown on the chalkboard.  Blindfold a child and give him or her a red nose to pin on the clown.  Tell the other children to sing loud when the child is near where the nose should go and soft when he or she is far away.
Ring Toss – I found an inexpensive ring toss game at Toys-r-Us.  However, 2-liter bottles and a diving ring could also be used.  Have a child try to toss the rings on the stakes/bottles.  Determine how many rings the child has to get on to win…if he or she succeeds, have him or her pick how to sing the song.  If not, sing normal.
Juggler – Have a child try to juggle while the rest of the children sing a song.
Guess Your Weight – Bring a scale from home.  Pick two children…one to step on the scale and the other to guess how much the child weighs.  If the child guesses within 5 pounds of the actual weight, he or she gets to choose which program song to sing.
Milk Bottle Game – Place a stack of cans or bottles on a table…I used plastic bowling pins.  Have a child throw a ball and try to knock them all over.  If he or she succeeds, have him or her pick which program song to sing.
An incentive poster for passing off songs can also be used.  Title the poster “The Greatest Show on Earth”.  List songs down the side of the poster.  The object is for all songs to earn 3 tickets each.  Each one starts out with zero tickets.  As improvements are made, tape tickets beside the song titles.  Once they’ve all received 3 tickets, the children earn a “circus treat”…for example, a pixie stick, candy circus peanuts, or tootsie rolls.
Primary Singing OlympicsChoose who gets to come up by passing a torch around the room while the pianist plays (hot potato style).  I fashioned my torch out of a flashlight and colored cellophane.  This was fun because you could actually turn it on and it looked like flames.  Another idea is to make one out of a toilet paper roll and tissue or construction paper.
Place each of the game titles in a sack or on a spinner. Have each child who receives the torch draw or spin to see which game he or she will be participating in.  Once a game has been chosen, remove it from the sack or spinner (if using the spinner, add another game after one has been removed). 
The following activities serve as your “games”: 

Basketball- I used my Little Tikes basketball hoop but an over-the-door hoop would also work.  Have the child try to make a basket.  If it’s made, he or she gets to choose the song.  If not, you choose it. 

Long Jump – Place three papers spaced evenly in a row on the floor that read “Chorister’s Pick”, “Teacher’s Pick”, and “Your Pick”.  Have a child see how far he or she can jump.  Whatever paper the child lands on or closest to determines the song. 
 
Swimming- Have the child lead the group in “Do as I am Doing” swimming (swimmer’s arms).  This would also work for running, rowing, Equestrian, Taekwando etc.

Archery- Wal-Mart & Target sell inexpensive bow and arrow sets.  Make a target and place it on the bulletin board.  Have a child try his or her skills…if the target is hit, he or she picks the song.  If not, you pick the song.  You could also make a target that has different ways to sing the song on it.  Whichever one hit is how you sing.  For example: hum, stop/go, fast/slow, quiet/loud, etc.  I have visuals I’ve made that say each of these…the child gets to raise and lower them while everyone else follows.  This would also work for shooting using a Nerf gun.

Volleyball – Have the children pass a beach ball around the room while singing. A balloon would also work. 

Diving – Have the child stand on a chair and try to drop a Polly Pocket into a mason jar or other container with a smaller opening.  Another idea is to use a clothespin.  If the object goes in the jar, the child gets to choose the song.  If not, you do.
Gymnastics- Sing “Hinges”.  Gymnasts definitely have to have hinges!!!

Javelin- Have the child throw a swim noodle.  Again, you can place distances on the floor using tape or papers to determine how to sing the song or which song to sing.

Discus- This is the same thing as the javelin but with a paper plate “discus”.
Karate- Have the child karate chop a plastic Easter egg or other object that breaks open easily.  Have the name of the song to sing inside.
High Jump – Put song titles on small squares of paper and stack them high on the wall.  Have a child jump as high as he or she can to grab a song.
Shot Putt – Put numbers representing songs in the bottom of a muffin tin.  Have a child stand at a line on the floor and see if he or she can toss a cotton ball into one.  Sing the corresponding song.
Give each child a “gold medal” at the end.  Gold candy coins or Rolos work well.