Sunday, August 17, 2008
A and I have been tuning in to the Beijing Olympics almost daily. (Note: it is pronounced bay-jing, with a hard j sound, not to be slurred like the sound in leisure...)Then, at my family reunion in Paris, Idaho, my cousin J, who is the primary chorister in her ward, told me about this idea she had used before and was planning on doing again this year. She made an Olympic torch and had the kids pass it around until the song ended, then that kid had to do something embarrassing in front of the primary. I took this idea and adapted it. I had a torch, made from a paper towel roll covered in red paper, and stuffed with orangey-yellow tissue paper, and had the kids sit in a circle on a blanket on the floor to pass. When the song ended, whoever was holding the torch got to choose the next song from a list I made of a combination of "fun" songs and primary program songs. It was pretty fun, and then I told the kids that this was just the start of our Primary Olympics. This week, we had "training," where I told the kids the primary president wouldn't let me bring my Olympic-sized pool, my uneven bars, and my volleyball net, so we'd just have to play differently. I had pictures taped up all over the room representing different Olympic sports, some well known like gymnastics, some unusual like sailing and judo. I drew the name of a child (I have popsicle sticks with their names written on one end, the other end painted either green or yellow, depending if they are in junior or senior primary) and that child went and found a picture, and then we sang a corresponding song. I didn't plan enough to make them actually correspond, I just had a list of songs, and some ideas of games to play with them, and I just made a choice of what we'd do. One of the funny things I did with Jr. and Sr. primary was the three-headed primary singer. I chose 3 people who claimed they knew the song pretty well, and had them try to say the words, the first person saying the first word, the second person the next word, and so on. Sr. primary was pretty good, Jr. was struggling, so I had them sit down and send up their four teachers. This was even funnier, because the teachers should know them better than the kids. Another game we did was to test their volume abilities was "hide in plain sight," as my family always called it, the kids know it as "find the note." I don't have a note for them to hide, I have cartoons of a little boy or little girl. Probably the funniest game was one I did with the Jr. kids. Someone picked the picture for swimming, so I had them sing "underwater." Usually, in primary, if I ask the little kids to do something funny like whistle or sing underwater, it's a huge struggle for me to not laugh and actually get through the song. This time, I did well till about the last line of the song, when I looked at the sunbeam teacher, who was laughing uncontrollably herself. I lost it. Those kids are so adorable! Next time we're going to have the real games, we three special-guest judges (probably the ward music guy, the bishop, and a funny parent) who will award the kids either a gold, silver, or bronze medal for each song, depending how well they do on volume, words, and tune. So far it has been boatloads of fun, I can't wait for next time!