Here are some ideas and suggestions to help:
You can make your own or go to www.creativeconnectionz.com for one.
Fold up the rainbow cutout like an accordian, so that only one color is visible. When you use the cutout, unfold it slowly. You may need a second person to help you hold it up as you unfold it.
Prior to singing the song, instruct the children to look at what color of clothing they are wearing. If their clothing is multi-colored, have them pick out one of the colors and remember it. Invite them to watch you as you unfold your rainbow. Tell them to watch for their color to be revealed. When their color is unfolded they get to add their voice of color to the musical rainbow and sing the song-but not until they see their color!
You may want to repeat sing the song again once you have everyone's full attention.
Variation: Have the children first stand and "aah" to the song when their color is shown -the first time through. Then repeat the song and have everyone sing it through.)
(idea adapted from Primary Music Openhouse held in Salt Lake City, Utah by the General Primary Board)
Stand up in front of the children. Using a softer voice and good eye contact with the children, instruct them to:
- "Touch your ear if you can hear me." Allow the children to respond.
- "Touch your nose if you can hear me." Allow the children to respond.
- "Put your hands on your head if you can hear me." Allow the children to respond.
- "Smile if you can hear me." Allow the children to respond.
- "Nod your head if your happy you can come to primary." Allow the children to respond.
- "Fold your arms if you can hear me." Allow the children to respond.
By this time, you should have everyone's attention.
"You did a wonderful job of following directions! We're now ready to start. Please join me in singing......."
(idea adapted from Primary Music Openhouse in Salt Lake City, Utah)
Take a gift box that has a removeable lid. Put a bow and ribbon on it to decorate it and make it more appealing to the eye. Attach a mirror to the bottom inside of box. Reattach the lid.
When you're ready to get everyone's attention, hold it up for the children to see. Tell the children that as they sing the song, "Kindness begins with Me" (CS p. 145) you will walk around to each of the children and let them peak inside your gift box to discover "something very special and kind that can be very kind" (the children's own face).
Another variation: Insert other items or pictures that introduce or relate well with another song you will be singing. Then let the children guess what song it will be that they will get to sing!
To attract and direct children's attention, hold up a large picture (so those sitting furthest away can also see) and ask a directed question about the picture and then give a short explanation then lead into singing your desired song.
If you use a picture of the Salt Lake Temple, you could tell an interesting ancedote about it. The story of John Rowe Moyle is powerful. He was a stone mason who had immigrated to Utah from England with his family. He was called by Brigham Young to be a stone worker on the temple. He would walk 22 miles from his home in Alpine, Utah to Salt Lake City each Monday morning. He would leave his home in the early morning when it was still dark between 2 and 4am so he could get to the temple by 8am to begin working. He would stay in Salt Lake during the week then walk home on Friday night getting home at about midnight. Then he would take care of the work that needed to be done on his 150+ acre farm on Saturday. When his leg had to be amputated due to a bad break, he carved himself a new wooden leg and went back to walking to Salt Lake City again. He would climb the high scaffolding next to the temple each day. He did this for 20 years. It was he that carved the words "Holiness to the Lord...." on the Salt Lake Temple. (taken from the history of John Rowe Moyle and the video about him)
Small stories like these help deepen other's testimonies about gospel principles etc.
"How many of you have found yourself singing a primary song this week?" (have children who raise their hands name one of the songs they have sung.
"Who can guess what song we are going to sing today...here's a clue....(give some clues then let children guess the song)."Who can guess what song we are going to sing today...Listen while Sister (pianist) plays the first two notes of our song. (Add a third, fourth or even fifth note until children correctly identify song, then invite them all to sing the song with you.)
"Boys and girls, how do you do? Let me sing a song to you. Then I'll listen reverently while you sing it back to me." (from "How to Teach a Song" video)
SENSE STIMULATING VISUALS
(adapted from "the Joy of Children's Music" book)
Bring a real velvet rose, or branch of lilac blossoms (or room fresheners that smell like these), fall leaves, a branch of spring leaves, bird's nest etc. Things that the children can touch, smell, see. This works especially well in a song like "My Heavenly Father Loves Me" CS p.228
(Be sure you check for any possible allergies with individuals in your primary before doing so.)
(idea adapted from Primary Music Workshop in Salt Lake City, Utah)
Direct the children's listening by showing them a word strip with the words to the song you will be singing (or clue words that will lead up to a song that will be sung) or written in scrambled form. Allow the children a moment to see if they can quietly, mentally unscramble the words. Instruct them to raise their hands when they think they've figured out the song. When they figure it out, turn the word strip over to show everyone the correct words/ name of song to be sung.