Every month I eagerly await the new issue of The Friend magazine. This month's Friend is fabulous! Even without the usual Sharing Time Ideas, the January, 2010 issue gave me several good ideas for singing time.
I liked the poem "Precious Gifts" by Dorothy Elam on page 16. I thought I could prepare a couple of paper gifts to post on the board with songs written on the back. I would choose songs from the "friends", "cheerfulness", "example" or "kindness" sections of the topical index of the Children's Songbook. After briefly discussing it with the children I would invite them to choose a gift, sing the song and discover how the principle taught in the song illustrates God's love. Since I am currently teaching the new song "I Know That My Savior Loves Me", I will only have time for a couple of extra songs. But, this will give the children some variety and I could even use more gifts and spread it over a couple of weeks as we learn and review "I Know That My Savior Loves Me."
I also liked the "Thankful Hunt" on pg. 3. I think it would perfectly match the theme for the end of this month: Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ Love Me. I might use the following cut-outs from the Primary Visual Aids Cut-Outs: eye, ear, lips, and hands. For a nose, I would need to cut a nose out of a face in a magazine. I have many other pictures that illustrate things in each category that the children would be thankful for such as a kitten, sunshine, a teddy bear, a soft blanket, a hug, a flower, the rain, food, candy, a bird, someone singing, the temple, the scriptures, someone smiling, listening to music, etc. I would organize the eye, ear, nose, hands and lips across the board in categories with plenty of room underneath each one. The other pictures would be hidden under the children's chairs. I would introduce singing time by leading "My Heavenly Father Loves Me" (CS-228) and invite the children to listen for the different ways we experience Heavenly Father's wonderful creation. After showing the categories, I would invite the children to look under their chairs and bring the pictures up to sort under the different senses. Then we would sing an appropriate song for each of the senses. I'll use this idea at the end of the month if we finish learning our new song. Or, I could use it later in the year.
"Choose the Right Words" by Anna Culp on page 9 would make a great emergency singing time. I need something to prepare and put in the closet at the church for someone else to use if I get sick or snowed in - a distinct possibility at this time of the year. I will put each of these scenarios on a card with an appropriate song. The children can choose a card, choose the right response and then lead the Primary in singing the song.
The pictures from "Detective Mya Heritage" on page 28 and 29 could be printed out and enlarged and used with an appropriate song on a week with a happy family theme as a choose and review presentation. This one will definitely go on my "future ideas to develop" list.
I love The Friend. I appreciate the creativity and hard work of those who produce this magazine. It is such a blessing to me. Primary music is so much easier because of The Friend! If you don't have a copy, go here to LDS.org and find it in Gospel Library and then Magazines there.