SINGING TIME ORGANIZATION SERIES Part 8 – Limited Resources or Time

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This SINGING TIME ORGANIZATION SERIES post focuses on limited resources or time.  Is it possible to magnify your singing time calling when you have little time or money?  Do you have to sacrifice one to have the other?  Keep reading for the answers!

Camille's Primary Ideas: SINGING TIME ORGANIZATION SERIES Part 8 - Limited Resources or Time
Must you invest a lot of time and money into being a Primary music leader?  I firmly believe the answer is no!  You can still have a quality singing time lesson every week even when your time and/or resources are limited.
 
From the outside, this calling appears to use a lot of resources and even more of your precious time!  Which can be very daunting if either or both of those are limited for you!

Don't Feel Inadequate Because of What Others Share

If you do a little online searching, you may find yourself feeling like you are falling short in comparison to what others have posted, shared, created and taught their Primaries.  
 
Heck, I have a whole website dedicated to teaching singing time.  And the lesson plans occasionally are complex.  But the key word being OCCASIONALLY!
 
If week after week I was trying to outdo my last week’s singing time performance, I’d be completely overwhelmed.  I wouldn’t be able to last in this calling as long as I have.  And no one would enjoy any of my singing time content ;).  

What if I Don't Measure Up?

What most Primary music leaders fail to notice (especially new ones!) is that most don’t share that singing time lesson plan they whipped up while sitting in sacrament meeting (we all know this happens now and then, right?).
 
The one with a few songs hand-written on the backside of the program, torn into strips and squished into your child’s snack cup for a make-shift “choosing time.”  It worked fine and you made it through the 20 minutes.
 
But obviously this lesson plan won’t make it to your latest and greatest Facebook post with the most “likes.”  You don’t need to feel pressure from other resources to spend lots and lots of time and money with this calling.
 
I read a post on the Primary Music Leaders Facebook page from a sister who stated that she was a young college student, newly called as Primary music leader with absolutely no equipment (like a printer), very little time and even less money.  She was struggling coming up with lesson plans every week with her VERY limited circumstances.

Simple & Effective Singing Time Supplies

My advice to those who find themselves in a similar situation is to arm yourself with just a few simple supplies.  These ultimately can be used for teaching almost ANY song (and this is assuming you have access to The Children’s Songbook!).

Gospel Art Book

This VALUABLE resource is not only church-approved, but very versatile!  It’s simple to use and children love looking at pictures.  A picture tells great stories, easily enhances the appearance of a simple lesson, and it’s relatively cheap!

Camille's Primary Ideas: Gospel Art Book is probably THE best singing time prop you can buy
Find it online HERE.  See if your Primary has room in the budget to purchase a copy.  When you are released, keep it with the calling for the next Primary music leader.

A Children's Songbook Companion

This is also a VALUABLE resource.  The lesson plans are, for the most part, simple to implement (lots of Q&A type things) and there is a lesson plan for every single song in the songbook.  

A Children's Songbook Companion - A great resource for singing time

This entire book is now available in a digital format for FREE available only on Camille’s Primary Ideas!  Check out more details HERE.

The Board

Camille's Primary Ideas: Families Can Be Together Forever Singing Time Lesson Plan Idea using only the chalkboard
Most Primaries have something to write on, no matter where you are teaching in the world.  The versatility of the board is amazing!  Create simple games, children LOVE to come draw pictures of their own as part of learning, and it’s a simple way to portray a visual to the kids!
 
President Boyd K. Packer stated:
“I think that no teaching aid surpasses, and few equal, the chalkboard: first, because it is simple to use, and next, because it is universally available—everywhere in the world you can get a chalkboard. You can use it to focus the eyes of your students while the main lesson is presented audibly. As you talk, you can put just enough on the board to focus their attention and give them the idea, but never so much that the visual aid itself distracts them.”  
Find his entire talk entitled, Chalk It Up to Learning, a talk given on using the chalkboard HERE (it’s a really good one!).

Zero to Little Prep Singing Time Ideas

I created a HUGE list with singing time activities that require zero to little preparation!  It’s a resource that comes in handy! 

It contains singing time activities in various categories that include:

  • Singing Time Apps
  • No Props Needed
  • Only the Board
  • Simple Items
  • Quick Prints

Find more details HERE.

No Printer, No Problem!

A lot of the lesson plans found throughout my website can be catered so no printing is required.  Get creative!  If you don’t have the time to make homemade items and/or drawings, include others!

Youth groups including the Young Men and Young Women, Primary Boys and Girls Activity Days, even the Relief Society are ALWAYS looking for service projects!  Simple supplies can be charged to the ward budget if need be.

Create a quarterly activity and come up with a list of items you need help each quarter.  Trust me, their leaders will THANK YOU for helping them plan a service project that hits so close to home!

YOU Are Your Best Resource

Remember, YOU are your best resource.  Your attitude and how you present yourself to the children will speak more loudly than your top-notch props.  

What are your talents, strengths and resources you do have?  Focus on those instead of what you lack!  What items do you have around your home that you can turn into some clever singing time supplies?

Then learn simple actions to teach, feel the spirit together and have fun!  The more you enjoy being in singing time, the more the kids will too!  They will never know that you didn’t spend a lot of time and money on them.  All they need is your love!

Singing Time Doesn't Require a lot of Time and Resources

So to sum up, if you are feeling over burdened financially or have no time, using these simple methods to form your lesson plans will help you not feel overwhelmed!
 
For me personally, I try to go back and forth from mostly simple to an OCCASIONALLY over-the-top lesson plan.  It keeps it interesting (and that’s mostly just for me!).  But then, I may have a few more resources at my disposal so going “all out” isn’t a burden.
 
Lastly, don’t judge others who may appear to you as going all out each week.  That’s okay too.  They are simply magnifying their calling with the resources and time that they may have in this season of their life.

How to Teach a Primary Song

You might also be interested in my post HERE called How to Teach a Primary Song.  It utilizes a VERY simple method for teaching ANY Primary song.

Camille's Primary Ideas: How to Teach a Primary Song in singing time

Singing Time To-Go

If you still need a boost to your calling, I HIGHLY suggest you join Singing Time To-Go!  You will want access to a printer to get the most out of this membership.  But even then, modifications can ALWAYS be made.

Find more details about Singing Time To-Go here:

How Do You Teach with Limited Time and Resources?

I’d love to hear your input on this on this subject.  How do you try to keep things simple with your lesson plans, while engaging your Primary kids week after week?  Leave a comment below with more ideas!

More Singing Time Organization

These posts are part of my Singing Time Organization Series.  You can find all my posts in this series HERE

Camille's Primary Ideas: Keep Track of Singing Time - Part 9 Singing Time Organization Series
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Camille's Primary Ideas: Easter Sing-a-Story Primary Singing Time Ideas

Easter Sing-A-Story

Children love a good book and will enjoy reading and singing this singing time Easter Sing-A-Story!  Tell the Easter Story with Easter Primary songs and beautiful artwork!

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    Hundreds of printables organized by song title and category that coincide with my singing time lesson plan posts!