I've been serving as the primary music leader for a year now.
Someone once asked me why I don't blog about my singing time ideas. There are many reasons for that, one being that a lot of my ideas don't go over well. Half my calling has been troubleshooting and damage control. Now that I'm a year into it, maybe things will get better, who knows. But thus far, singing time has been one, big, dreadful experiment.
One time I hid Easter eggs around the room. That was a horrible idea because every kid who walked in the primary room went straight to an Easter egg and tried to take it. They couldn't focus on anything else... because EASTER EGGS! Then they wanted to lynch me when they finally got to search for eggs, and the eggs had no candy in them.
Another time, in junior primary, I let the kids take turns going out in the hall while another kid hid under a blanket. The first kid would come back in the room and have to guess who was missing from primary. Turns out they can't keep quiet about who's under the blanket. Kid #1 would come back in the room, and five other kids would immediately yell, "Gideon's under the blanket!"
I've done a fishing game with a broken pole, a golf game where no one could get the ball in the hole, a bean bag toss where no one could hit the target, a memory game with pictures that had no matches, and a nativity puppet show where the cow's head fell off.
Most recently, I made a saran wrap ball with the songs wrapped inside. The kids took five-second turns unraveling the ball to find a song. Several of them attempted to hold the end of the plastic wrap and then swing the ball around their heads. I made a strict "no lassoing" rule, but they still managed to nearly knock the head off the front row teacher time and time again, and they were so ineffective at unraveling the ball that it took us two weeks to get it done.
My most infamous flop happened last year when I was fairly new to the calling. As spring rolled in, I planned a few singing times in a row with a spring theme. We talked about Jesus Christ and the resurrection and how plants become green again in the spring. I taught three sections of singing time - junior primary, senior primary, and nursery. I had the kids plant some beans - one plant per group -and then every week, I brought the plants back to church so the kids could sing to them and see how they'd grown.
Well, one of the plants refused to grow ( I blame the ten cent Walmart seeds). After the first week of failure, I planted some new seeds. Those ones didn't grow, either. So after two weeks of showing the kids that their plant hadn't grown yet, I went to the greenhouse and bought a green bean plant. Then I took it to church in what I refer to as the Green Bean Scandal of 2018.
I showed the kids that their plant grew. They were amazed by just how much, and I told them it was because they were singing so well.
Yep, I lied.
Then, I let a kid have the green bean plant because it was his birthday. He snapped the stem in half before he even left the building with it.
Primary isn't the only place I lie to children. Last week I had to lie in Family Home Evening.
For a few years I've been wanting to do the Emoto rice experiment. If you're not familiar with this, there are a million different versions, but the gist of it is, you take two jars of rice and you speak kindly to one and you verbally abuse the other across a time span of a few weeks (that's right, you talk to the rice). The one you're mean to is supposed to get moldier and nastier than the one you're nice to, and after a few weeks, you get to tell your kids they have to speak kindly to one another, or they'll make their siblings rot from the inside out because, see? The rice.
There are all sorts of articles and blog posts in support of this experiment and in opposition to this experiment, but I know several people who have succeeded in doing it, and it seems to make for a great object lesson.
Only... ours didn't work. BOTH our jars of rice went equally moldy (I can only assume that it's because my kids fight so much, and our poor rice jars were both exposed to their verbal abuses. There was never hope for the rice in our house!) So what was I to do?
Well, obviously I had to swap out the moldy rice in the "nice" jar for fresh rice.
I made dinner with just enough extra rice to pull off my little swap while the kids were at school the next day.
A few days later I revealed our rice jars to the kids, and they were none the wiser.
On that same day, I taught a FHE lesson on faith from Alma 32. We planted seeds. That was a week ago. There's no sign of growth yet.
My fingers are crossed!