I was in charge of our Primary Singing time at church a few weeks ago and decided to play a simple game of tic-tac-toe to help us practice a song. It was so easy to put together, the kids had fun, and we got a good practice on one of my favorite songs!
- Draw an X on a piece of red construction paper. Cut it out and trace 5 more onto more red paper.
- Draw an O on a piece of blue construction paper and do the same thing.
- After they're all cut out, put them in a bag with some tape and chalk and you're all ready to go!
I wanted to practice the song, "My Heavenly Father Loves Me" (Children's Songbook, pg. ). I think kids learn songs well when they sing them over and over. This game was a way to sing the song over and over and not get bored because we had a fun game going on at the same time!
First, I drew a tic-tac-toe grid on the chalkboard, and taped up the X's on one side of it, and the O's on the other side.
I split the kids into 2 groups: Team X and Team O.
Here's how it worked with the younger kids
(Jr. Primary, ages 3-8).
The younger kids don't know this song very well, and the song is kind of long, so I chose to break it up into parts. I sang the first 1-2 lines of the song, and then had Team X repeat those lines. Then I did the same thing with Team O. So the kids got to hear and/or sing the same line 4 times. Repetition is key. :)
After both teams heard and sang that line, then I chose 1 person from each team to come up and place an X and O on the board. Then we went onto the next line, and so on.
It took about 4-6 turns before one of the teams had won. At the end we sang the song all the way through.
We even had enough time to play another round!
*Note: A few of the younger kids are a little bit more sensitive to winning and losing, so I made sure to have each team turn to the other and say "good job" to show how to be a good sport. :) Luckily for us, both teams each won a round so everyone was happy.
Here's how it worked with the older kids
(Sr. Primary, ages 8-11)
The older kids know this song pretty well. They even know the second verse!
So instead of the repetition, I played a fill in the blank game with each team.
I went through the song in order and said a line to the song. Wherever I stopped the line, they had to tell me what the next word was.
"Whenever I hear the song of a _______,"
(the answer is BIRD)
After each team got a chance to fill in a blank, I chose 1 person from each team to come put an X and O on the board. Then I did it all again.
When the game ended, we sang the whole song all the way through. :)
Again, we had enough time to play another round, and AGAIN, both teams each won one round.
Hooray for Singing Time!