I came across this idea called Celebrating New Years Around the World HERE
on the Primary Music Leaders FB group. Since New Year’s Eve falls on Sunday this year, I thought it would be totally appropriate!
This idea is from The Friend
. You can download my map and have it printed at Costco as a 20×30 poster for $9.99 or Amazon sells a cute kids’ version here:
Hang the map on the chalk board. Explain that we will be learning how Heavenly Father’s children around the world celebrate the New Year! Point to each country, quickly reading each country’s custom so more singing is done than talking ;).
DENMARK: In Denmark, kids save broken dishes all year to smash on their friends’ doorstep for good luck. “Do As I’m Doing” page 254 and pretend to be breaking dishes
ENGLAND 1: Families clean their house to get a “clean slate” for the New Year. Give each child (or a class) a wipe and they clean their own chair while we sang Saturday p. 196
ENGLAND 2: When they hear the church bells ring they open the doors to let good luck in. Our Door Is Always Open p. 254
IRELAND: People believe that they will have good luck all year long if their first visitor is a tall man with dark hair. Get a tall dark male to knock on the door then sing We Welcome You Today To Primary p. 256 (1st half only).
ITALY and FRANCE: People give each other gifts for New Years. One of the best gifts we can give people is to be kind and be their friend. We Are Different p. 263 verses 1 and 3
BELGIUM: Kids sneak all of the keys to the house and then, on New Year’s the kids lock the adult out of the room and won’t let them back in until they get a gift. Do As I’m Doing p. 276. Pretend to lock doors.
ZIMBABWE: People like to come together with friends and family and eat and laugh and have fun! I’m Trying To Be Like Jesus p. 78
GERMANY: There is an old tradition that on New Years, people try to live that day like they want to live each day of the new year. I like to think of it as being the BEST you can be! I Like To Look For Rainbows p. 102
SPAIN: In Spain, for each stroke of midnight, people eat 12 grapes! Count in Spanish: uno, dos, tres etc to twelve (bring grapes if you like!). We love to speak other languages and so does Heavenly Father! Children All Over The World p. 16
JAPAN: They give money to the kids. In this custom, parents give a decorated envelope to the children. The amount of the money, which the Japanese offer to the children, depends upon the age of the children. Bring pennies and have the kids place a penny in a tithing envelope then sing I Want To Give The Lord My 10th p. 150
SOUTH AFRICA: An older custom explains how people used to fire shots in the air at the stroke of midnight and then in some neighborhoods, they would arrange to throw old refrigerators over the balcony! Then the government thought that might be too dangerous so they don’t do that anymore. Keep The Commandments p. 146
ESTONIA: Estonians followed a custom of trying to eat seven times on New Year’s Day, to ensure abundant food in the coming year. For Health and Strength p. 21
UNITED STATES: People like to kiss the person next to them, like moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas, uncles and aunts etc. Daddy’s Homecoming p. 210
END: Introduce January’s song (I mean play it for them once so they can hear it, NOT try teaching it to them), you could say something like “all of these people in all of these different places are children of God, just like you and I are. Here is a song about how each of us is a child of God and about how much He has blessed us with.” I Am a Child of God p. 2
Check out my other New Year’s singing time lesson plan ideas HERE