Thursday, January 8, 2009


During Primary opening exercises each week, we sing a birthday song to at least one person. It sure makes the birthday person feel extra special when we jazz our singing up a bit.
Here's a few ideas to help:

(For birthday cake with removeable candles visuals go to for the Big Book of Super Singing Time Helpers.)

Sing "You've had a Birthday" (CS 285) in a round:
Divide up the room into 2, 3 or 4 groups. Assign a singing leader to each group. Following the breaks listed in the Children's Songbook, cue each group, in turn, to start singing the song (from the beginning).

Another variation: Prepare 4 different word strips (large enough for all to be able to read.) Break the children into 3 groups. Assign a leader to each group to hold up that groups' card for the group to see and follow. You hold up the last card for all to see (#4).

On card #1 write: You've had a birth-day shout Hoor-ay! (sing 3 times)
On card #2 write: We want to sing to you today! (sing 2 times)
On card #3 write: One year older and wiser too... (sing 1 time)
On card #4 write: Hap-py Birth-day to you! (everyone sings)

Start with group#1, they sing their line and repeat it 3 times. Group #2 comes in after Group #1 finishes singing their first line. They sing their line twice with Group #3 coming in after Group #2 sings their line through once. Then everyone joins in on singing the last line!
(idea adapted from Primary Music Workshop- General Primary Board)

While singing the Birthday song (songs on pages 283, 284 of CS work well for this), do the actions to whaddalyatchie; slap your lap with both hands twice, clap hands twice, then cross hands over each other twice. Repeat these actions through the song. When you reach the end where you sing, "Happy Birthday to You", change the motion to: slap thighs, clap hands then point to the birthday person(s) and SMILE and sing Happy Birthday to you! (idea adapted from Primary Music Workshop)

Select children to represent the number of years the birthday child is old. (For example, if the child is turning 8, select 8 children to stand up.) Instruct those children to put their palms together (like praying), raise them up above their heads and wiggle their fingers to make the actions of a flame. They are the candles on the primary cake and they are flickering (with their fingers). Invite the rest of the primary to stand. Instruct them to pay attention. When we get to the part of the song where we sing, "Happy Birthday", they are all to sit down, leaving the candle children standing, flickering. This will represent a birthday cake. At the end of the song, everyone repeats, "Happy Birthday!" and the Birthday child takes a deep breath in and "blows" his/her candles out. The children put their hands down to their side when they are "blown" out. (idea adapted from Primary Music Workshop)

Start out the birthday song by singing it in a whisper, clapping to the rhythm of the song. As you sing, increase the volume and melodic sound until at last you belt out with enthusiasm, "Happy Birthday to You!" (idea adapted from Primary Music Workshop)