April: I Belong To The Church of Jesus Christ

i belong little kid Pinterest

 

WEEK ONE 

(click on the name of the activity to go to that page)

Younger: 7 Hops Around the World

This movement activity has the children hopping 7 times, stopping, then swinging their arms around and over their heads 4 times as you sing the song.  It gets them engaged, participating, and usually enthusiastic. Click the name of the activity for more information.

Older: Rhythm Stick Patterns

This movement entices the older children to follow a pattern with the rhythm sticks.  It is challenging, fun, and rhythmic.  You demonstrate the pattern and sing, having them use imaginary rhythm sticks.  When you have finished singing through the song doing the patterns, you set the boundaries for the activity (if you use these inappropriately, I take them and they are too fun to do that), then you pass out the rhythm sticks.  Sing the song again as they do the pattern with the rhythm sticks.

WEEK TWO

Younger: Directional Marching

This movement activity challenges the children to march in different directions as they follow the special guest’s movements to the song.  Added challenge and fun is to follow the special guests hands, also. It is a great way to emphasize and practice steady beat while having fun.

Older: Put the “I…” Statements in Order

There are nine statements in this song beginning with “I…”. This activity asks the children to put the phrases in order as they listen, then to sing only those phrases and not the rest of the words.  Switch and only sing the other words, and not the “I  …”phrases. They have to sing the song silently in their head as they sing only some of the words, a very strong way to learn a song.

WEEK THREE

Younger: Picture Concentration Matching Game

This visual activity is a good contrast to the movement activities of the first two weeks.  The children try to find the matching picture, lifting up only two pieces of paper from the choices that are set in a grid while you are singing the song.  This concentration game only uses pictures so that the three and four year olds can participate fully. Matching pictures from lds.org images that show children being members of the church, and matching pictures of the Savior are wonderful. The children hear the song over and over again as they try to match up the pictures.

Older: Concentration Game

This visual activity is a Concentration Matching game that helps explain some of the deep truths of this song in a fun way. The children have to work together to find the matches, and the matches are not exactly spelled out.  (What does “I am a child of a powerful and loving Heavenly Father” have to do with “I know who I am?”) Click the name of the activity for more information.

 

WEEK FOUR

Younger: Paper Cup Pop

Paper Cups make moving the beat more fun.  Each child has a paper cup that they move to the beat as you sing.  The children follow your paper cup as you beat 8 times in different places.

Older: Paper Cup Pop (Older)

Paper Cups and moving to a pattern makes this a challenging, rhythmic, and fun activity for the children.  You demonstrate the pattern and sing, having the children follow you with imaginary paper cups.  When you finish the song, pass out the paper cups.  Sing the song again and do the patterns with the paper cups.  The children are moving, challenged, and participating… and it is fun!

16 Responses

  1. Mandy Conner

    Can I please be you when I grow up?! You’re amazing and I want to learn everything you know! Thank you for sharing your genius.

    • Sharla Dance

      You’re fun, Mandy, and your comment made me smile. I’m sure you will know More than I know someday! Take care, Sharla

  2. Michelle Smart

    I love the concentration game for the older kids! I’ve done the picture-only version before, which is great, but I can tell that my oldest kids, especially, will love the mental challenge you describe. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Katie Shelley

    Thank you so much for putting all of this together! I have just been called and struggled with making junior primary fun! Thank you for being an answer to prayer!

    • Sharla Dance

      Dear Katie,
      I’m working on 8 ideas for junior Primary that I will post the 1st of May. I’m hoping that will help, too. Take care, Sharla

  4. Jessica

    Thank you so much for being so awesome! I greatly appreciate you sharing these wonderful teaching ideas and for being organized enough to have them planned ahead of time. Thank you! Thank you!

    • Sharla Dance

      Dear Jessica,
      I sincerely am grateful for these words. Most of these ideas are gathered over 30 years of trying to really touch the children. At one point I didn’t realize that anyone was using the ideas and I got discouraged. Thank you for saying something so that I know! Take care, Sharla

      • Kathy Gifford

        Oh, Sharla, I’ve used your ideas for years and have encouraged new music leaders to look to you to learn

  5. Gina Jackson

    Thank you so much for all you do to help us teach the children! I have relied on this blog heavily since I was recently called, and I agree like someone mentioned above that you were an answer to prayers to know how to teach children primary music. I feel like the activities I use from your blog engage the children so much and really help to make singing time a wonderful time for us all! Thanks for all your work!

  6. Jennifer Kozak

    This is a wonderful resource. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

  7. Melissa

    I use your ideas ALL of the time! It has brought enjoyment back into the calling for me. Thank you.

  8. Norma Galo

    Thank you for this wonderful way to introduce the music in primary, we have a very energetic primary and is been hard to keep the reverence. I can wait to try this technic and help the children learn the music and use the energy more efficient. Take the advantage of that energy and be able to keep them busy. The other issue we have is that our primary is bilingual, some our new and dominated one language better than the other. Any suggestion? I will appreciated

    • Sharla Dance

      Movement and visual activities cross the bilingual boundaries. They would be good for both languages. I have a huge list of movement activities in my book, and I will try to post more here. I honor you teaching with both languages in your Primary! When you look at this blog, there is a category for movement activities. You can check all the posts that give ideas.

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