When I Am Baptized: Hand Bells for Older Children

I used the guitar chords to make this Hand Bell chart to use with the Older Children.

(You can also use it with younger children, but you will have to have an older child paired with each three and four year old child.)


To use this chart effectively, the children need to be introduced to the song for at least two Sundays before that.  That way the words to the song are running through their heads as they play the chords to the song.

One way to have words happening as they play is to have half of the room be the singers, and half of the room be the bell ringers, then switch as you sing it another time.  The children love to also switch bell colors so that they get a chance to do more than one color.

If you sang it twice with each side of the room (once with their first color of bell, and once when they switch colors), you will have sung the song 4 times with this activity.  And it is fun!


Here are the bell charts:

These chords come on the words:

like, rain-, -ever, rain

ponder, beauty, earth, again

(Notice the chord note sequence is the same for both phrases.)

The chords come on these words:

want, be, earth, rain

want, best, live, God, again

(The only difference in the sequence of chords comes on the very last line.)

When you see a black handle sticking our from the colored dot, that means that this handbell is a sharp or a flat.

14 Responses

  1. Debra Thompson

    Thank you for this, so fun! Do you have any printable bell notes, the colored circles, to make my own charts? Seems like I saw some once. Thanks! Debra

    • Sharla Dance

      Dear Debra, I cut mine out with a very large hole punch so that they are large enough for a large Primary to see. Yes, I’ve seen them on the Facebook page, too. Unfortunately, I just do it by hand. Thanks for asking!

  2. Sally

    Hope your grandbaby is doing well!
    I was reviewing for Primary tomorrow and suddenly realized that I had heard the terms and some ideas before. I have been Primary Chorister of and on for many years. I was looking in my 1999 edition of “The Drawing Board” and there was your name!! (I didn’t see it on subsequent years). Thank you for all the great ideas.
    So I have been using some of your ideas for years but until Youtube I wasn’t using them as effectively as I could have been. I think I am finally getting it! What I am not getting however, is how it all goes together.
    For instance, I have used 3 different methods for each of 3 weeks for each of 3 verses of Nephi’s Courage. Now to sing all 3 verses at once do I choose a 4th method for each verse OR one 4th method for the 3 verses together and IF the former, can you suggest how to make a transition between the verses?

    • Sharla Dance

      Dear Sally, I grinned as I read this. It’s as if you caught me. Yes, Andrea Burgon and I published The Drawing Board together for a few years long ago! It was great fun working with her.

      To sing all of the verses of Nephi’s Courage one right after the other, it would be helpful to the children to have some kind of symbol to spark their memory of how they learned the song, whether it is a hand signal, or something on paper, or a movement. You don’t need a 4th method of the whole song together, but you do have to have a challenge to each verse. (During this verse, can you do….?) Sometimes the challenge is just remembering, sometimes it is a different movement to each verse, sometimes it is leaving out certain words, etc. That keeps the children’s brains engaged as they review and keeps the experience fresh and new for them. Thanks for asking!

  3. Megan

    Is this using just the basic 8 bell set? I think that’s what you are showing with the picture, but I’m not sure.

    • Sharla Dance

      Dear Megan, I am using the 13 bell set which has flats and sharps. This song has only one flat in it (Bb), so if you could get some kind of tone bell or chime (or hand bell) that plays Bb, you could use this chart. The song is in the key of F with a Bb in the Songbook, and this chart corresponds to that. Thank you for asking!

      • Julie

        Is this the set you would recommend
        The Kids Play C-c, 13-note chromatic handbell set consists of the 8-note diatonic set and the chromatic add-on bell set

  4. Renee Hart

    Camille’s Primary Ideas has some printable notes you can cut out. I have done that and laminated them. I then laminate poster boards and put laminated song word strips on them with the laminated notes. Everything can then be reused.

  5. Samantha Willie

    This is great! I recently bought big hole punchers to make polka dot buntings, and I didn’t think I could really do anything else with them. Now I have a new project! Thank you!

  6. Dantzel

    Could you post the actual guitar chords? I’m transcribing to chimes and need to come up with my own color system since I don’t know what notes the hand bell colors correspond to.

    • Sharla Dance

      The chords all land on the first beat of every measure, except for the penultimate measure. They are listed right above the staff in the Children’s Songbook

      F Am Bb C7
      F Am Bb C7
      F Am Bb C
      F Bb Gm C7 F

      • Dantzel

        THAT is what those are for?!?! While I learned to play both instruments well, my piano and viola lessons didn’t include enough music theory- I’ve entirely ignored those my whole life. Thanks!!

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