Primary Program Chapel Review

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Help your primary program run smoothly by practicing in the chapel!  Use these simple primary program chapel review ideas to help your practice run smoothly and to keep the kids engaged!

Camille's Primary Ideas: Chapel Balloon Primary Program Review Helps
**This post contains affiliate links.  That means I receive a small commission from sales at no cost to you.  But know that I wouldn’t recommend this product if I didn’t LOVE it!
 
This Sunday our primary will be in the chapel practicing for our upcoming program.  It makes for kind of a long primary (as we’ll be using the full hour) but somehow we all manage and get through it.  I’d like to share a few little tips that I’ve used to help shake up the monotony of this practice…

Chapel Balloon Review

My favorite is to bring in this guy:

Camille's Primary Ideas: Chapel Balloon Primary Program Review Helps
Find them at any party story or online here (Amazon affiliate link):
Take it to your local party store and fill with helium.  Attach it to a REALLY REALLY long string!  Long enough so it can touch the chapel ceiling.
 
When the kids are singing, have have a counselor raise and lower the balloon contingent on how well she can hear the children.  If they are not loud enough, the balloon comes down.
 
If they are singing out (I try to not emphasize the word “loud” as that leads to yelling), the balloon stays high.  I like to tell the kids “never louder than lovely” and they have responded well to that.
 
If your primary needs more visuals for singing out, check out my post HERE to practice volume and breathing when singing.
Camille's Primary Ideas: Practice Volume & Breathing when singing

Post the Words

My second tip is one I tried out last year during the program and will be doing it again.  If you follow me, you know I like to post words in primary.  We sing a variety of songs that not everyone knows the words to and this is a simple method so all can sing (including the teachers!).
 
You can see how I post words in primary HERE and download all of the primary songs I’ve put into this format.
Camille's Primary Ideas: Help children and teacher sing by posting the words in singing time during your lesson plan
Most (okay, almost ALL) of my primary kids KNOW our program songs by heart.  But there is a handful of kids who only occasionally make it to church (split parents, semi-active families, etc.).  I don’t want them to be singled out as the child who doesn’t sing because they don’t know the songs.  Breaks my heart.
 
So for the program I still post the words like I’ve pictured above (plus, I have all reading pair of eyes on me – a total bonus!).  My kicker is I have the same words posted on the other side of the binder for ME to read!
 
It’s SO much easier to have these big words than the book (although I do use the book as a weight to hold the binder from falling over the back or just in case I totally messed something up!).
 
This way I know when to flip the page over.  What they see is what I see – it’s really nice to just flip the pages.  Also on my copy, I like to write the time signature to the song for quick reference:
With the words facing out, the kids also are able to know what song is coming up (of course none of this pertains to the little ones as they just mimic what I sing but that should go without saying, right?).  Try it during your chapel practice before your program so you know all your pages are in the right order :).
 
Have the first song we sing placed as the last song in the binder, with the 2nd verse in front of it (so it’s all backwards if you looked at it like a regular book).  Then all your pages to flip are right in front of you and as you go to the next verse or next song, you simply take your page you are reading and flip it over the music stand.  Clear as mud?
 
You can also check out some other of my program helps HERE if you like.

Where to Stand

As for standing to conduct, our primary is big enough to fill the choir seats with a few chairs in between.  So it works best for me to stand right in front of the first pew off to the side by the piano.
 
TIP: Every chapel is different so stand where you can be best seen by your pianist and by the children all while not blocking the audience’s view.  Every family wants to be able to see their child sing.
 
We have a riser that’s big enough to fit my music stand and myself.  When it’s time to lead the song, I stand on the riser, raise the music stand so it’s just above the privacy wall (can I call it that??) and so the kids can read the words.  When we’re finished, I lower the stand then sit back down on the first row.  Pretty simple.

After the Program

Camille's Primary Ideas: use Mini Children's Songbooks to Stump the Primary
Then for primary right after our program, I’ve got planned to use my Primary Music Memory HERE.  You can also check out all my After-the-Program ideas HERE (scroll through all the posts).
 
This is my FAVORITE time of year as the possibilities are endless!  Have your primary learn some oldies-but-goodies or sing all those fabulous fall songs!  Stay tuned and I’ll carry you right into the holidays!
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6 thoughts on “Primary Program Chapel Review”

  1. I followed your idea of posting the words to the songs during our practice and program. It worked wonderfully. The kids were all looking at me, and I noticed they sang louder. Also, I didn't realize how much this format helped me. With the words so big in front of me, I never lost my place 🙂

  2. Hi Camille! The description of the balloon you posted says it is 18". The Dollar Store in our area has 12" smileys – do you think that is too small? Did you choose this one for it's size also, or only availability?
    Thanks,
    Jen

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