Puzzles, like those typically found in the Funstuff features in The Friend Magazine, make a fun singing time for Primary. The last several days I've been working on writing down directions for the puzzles I have used for singing time. I think I may need help on technical writing! :o) Hopefully a picture really is worth a thousand words.
This puzzle is a typical acrostic, but is already written out, prepared and made easy for singing time. It seems to take so long to choose a child, invite them up, hand them chalk and let them stand there and decide on something! I just find it easier to do as much of that as I can ahead of time, so that we can sing more songs.
To create a puzzle for singing time, begin by choosing a word that describes the monthly or weekly theme, or a seasonal word, or even just a general word like "gospel". The example in the picture is SPRING, because I am so ready for spring! Next choose several words that match the puzzle word in some way. Choose one word for each letter in the puzzle word. These words should have a letter in common with the puzzle word. As you think of words, cross off the common letter in your main word. This will help you know which words you still need to come up with. Write these sub-words on a word strip, with the common letter highlighted in some way. Use a capital letter or use a different color, or both! Assign an appropriate song to sing with each word strip.
When you're ready to sing, post the word strips on the board in a column, in the order that will reveal the main word as the children turn them over. Have the children turn the word strips one at a time and then sing the song. As they turn the strip, have the children line up the colored letters to gradually reveal the main puzzle word. They can choose any word strip, just have them keep it in proper order in the column.
If you think you'd like to try this, some other examples of words that match upcoming themes are: "gospel" (tithinG, Ordinances, Service, rePent, prayEr, tempLe) "principle" (Prayer, scRiptures, faIth, repeNtance, serviCe, tIthing, baPtism, Love, obediencE) "restored" (pRayed, josEph, viSion, propheT, bOok of mormon, tRanslate, gospEl, appeareD) and "miracle" (Manna, faIth, poweR, Ask, peaCe, heaL, blEssing).
If you want to use a word that has more letters than you have time to sing songs, simply put a song on some of the word strips.
I really like to use puzzles for singing time. They are readily adapted to different themes and the kids like doing them because it seems like a game. It also makes a quick activity to prepare ahead for an emergency or to plan for a substitute. I have several more puzzles that I use and am trying to write down directions that make sense. I'll post these in upcoming weeks.