Sing various primary songs while learning what different cultures do on New Years with this fun Celebrating New Years singing time activity! It’s perfect for home centered, virtual or live singing times!
I never love to delve right in to teaching new primary songs on the first Sunday of the year. It’s mostly because I’m still in holiday mode! But the first Sunday in primary tends to be chaotic or half the kids are still on vacation. Not to mention new teachers, new classes, new year, sugar rush, the list goes on!
This year it worked out that there are 5 Sundays in January so I have time to celebrate the new year in singing time! I have done this activity before but it’s been a while so I figured why not pull it out again?!
Find my original lesson plan for Celebrating New Year’s Around the World HERE. Below is the list of countries, their traditions and songs:
- 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 or The Family is of God
- 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
I’ve got a few modifications below for those of you who need a more home centered approach. If you run a virtual singing time, the original lesson plan can be used as is.
To cater this to home centered singing time, simply have your primary kids print or view an image of a world map. I created a one-page (8.5 x 11) document of the world map:
You can access my printables at my Resource Library. Instructions for accessing my Resource Library are found at the bottom of this post.
Once they have their map, give them the list of the country traditions and the coordinating songs. Instruct them to find the country on the map then watch that country’s sing-along video.
I created a YouTube playlist HERE that contains all the songs in the activity. If anyone wants to create better sing-along video for We Welcome You Today To Primary p. 256, I’m sure we’d all be appreciative.
Lynsie shared her primary’s singing time video of my singing time plan here if it helps! And I LOVE their primary’s birthday email idea! I think I may suggest it for our primary!!
All my printables are free and can be downloaded from my Resource Library. Access to my Resource Library is sent to you via email and not linked here. If you need initial access to my Resource Library or need access sent to you again, click on the button below, fill out your information then check your email. Instructions for accessing each printable on my Resource Library are below the button. Check out my email tutorial HERE for more help.
These printables are filed on my Resource Library page under Category Title > New Year’s Day