This is a list of favorite zero to little prep singing time ideas! And even better, a lot of the items you need to pull off these activities can be found at church! So, if you find yourself in a last minute singing time crunch, this list is for you! OR, if you just want to keep it easy this Sunday, refer to this often! Check it out as there’s something for everyone!!!
In addition, these singing time ideas work with almost any song! Some of these ideas stem from my website and some are ideas I’ve been gathering. If you have any more suggestions, leave a comment so I can keep adding!
This list is also available as a printable! Make sure to check out details on the printable list at the bottom of the post!
What Songs to Sing?
If you need help deciding what songs to sing in singing time, reference the current month’s Music for Singing Time, first (find the current year’s list HERE)! Instantly, that gives you 3 songs to sing that are relevant to Come Follow Me.
If you still need more to sing, reference the Come Follow Me – Primary manual HERE. There are almost always several songs there that relate to that week’s primary lesson.
Additionally, if there’s a holiday coming up or something seasonal, choose songs by topic using the Index in the back of the Primary Children’s Songbook. Such topics include:
- Father’s Day
- Mother’s Day
- Pioneer Day
Singing Time Ideas
I’ve categorized my list of Favorite ZERO to little prep singing time ideas by type including:
- Singing Time Apps
- No Props Needed
- Only the Board
- Simple Items
- Quick Prints
If you find I left something off the list, or you want to add to it, please leave a comment!!
Singing Time Apps
Technology for the win! If you brought your phone to church, you can come up with some singing time activities fast! Use these apps for a fun and simple singing time!
- Gospel for Kids app: This is the church’s app for, well, kids! Use it in singing time by playing any of the sing-along apps and have your primary sing along! Check out more details HERE.
- Decibel app: Download any decibel app (sound meter) on your phone. Have the children sing any song as the app measures how loudly they can sing. Then try it again and have them sing softly, medium, etc. Maybe even have them try to hit an exact decibel!
- Spin the Wheel/Decide Now apps: Download a decision wheel app and put in any decisions you want the primary to make. Either choose what to sing (various songs, song phrases or verses), how to sing (actions, singing styles) or who should sing (boys, girls, teachers, even/odd birthday months). Even better, let the kids help you make the decisions to put on the wheel, then spin and play! BreAnn used Spin the Wheel app HERE and said it was a total hit!
- Sing for the Camera: Have them sing as you take pictures of good singers using your phone’s camera! Then show them the pictures after singing time or post them to your primary’s social media page. Shannon shared her “Reverent Camera” HERE which is where this idea originates from.
- Video Recording: Video record your children singing. Then play the video back to them and ask them for ways to improve the next time you sing it, or what they did well, etc. Then sing it again while taking a new video.
- Metronome App: Use this app to play with the speed (tempo) of your songs. Pick slow speeds and faster speeds. Compare and contrast how the various speeds make the song feel after you sing it.
- The Ultimate Buzzer: Have 2 kids come to the front and face off. As the primary sings a song, have the piano randomly stop. The first person to buzz in and correctly say the next line of the song wins that round and remains to face off with a new challenger. Change the sounds on the app for an added effect! Idea found HERE.
No Props Needed
All you need to pull off these singing time ideas are primary kiddos! They are simple, fun and will keep your primary engaged all with little prep!
- Silent Singer: A child is called out into the hallway. The primary chooses another child to be the silent singer. They are to only mouth the words but make no sound (in essence, pretending to sing). The child in the hallway is called back in and must figure out who is the silent singer. My post HERE has a fun Christmas spin!
- Body Pitch Leading: As you sing a song, have the children stand and move their bodies up or down relating to how the notes move in the song. If the notes move up, the bodies move up and as the notes move down, bodies move down.
- Red Rover: My post HERE has a little more detail. But in a nutshell, divide the primary down the middle (with or without chairs) and have each side face each other. The side that sings the song better gets to pick someone from the other side to come over to their side. Keep repeating until none are left on one side (or most likely, until time runs out!).
- Name That Tune: This classic is pretty straight forward. Have the piano play a few notes of a song. Have the primary guess the song. Once guessed, sing it! If you bring dice, they can roll a number which will give you the number of notes they can try to guess but it’s totally optional (variation found HERE)!
- Actions: Have the children come up with actions that relate to the words in your song.
- Endure to the End: Mary shared her idea HERE which involves having children hold up their arms (like a “T”) to the side as they sing. The last child to put their arms down was the winner. It doesn’t get more easy than that!
- Hot-n-Cold: This one does require a prop but it can be ANYTHING. Grab a magnet, picture of Jesus, whatever you can find (I like to keep a note printable in my binder!). A child goes into the hall while the rest of the primary hides the object. The child comes back into the room and the primary guides the child to the object by singing louder and softer. If they are getting closer to the object, the primary sings louder. If they are getting farther away, the primary sings softer. Repeat with new finders and hiders! More details are HERE if you need.
- You Be the Conductor: Have children come to the room to lead the music while you sit in their seat. They can optionally direct the primary using random items found around the room, building or your home. More details are HERE.
- Charades: Pick keywords, phrases or song titles to have the children act out. Once guessed, sing the song! If guessing words, a fun variation is to omit that word when singing the song.
- Slap Clap Snap Thumbs: Have children keep the beat by slapping their thighs, clapping their hands, snapping their fingers then shooting thumbs over their shoulders. Choose 2 movements for 2/4 time, 3 movements for 3/4 time and all the movements for 4/4 time. Switch them up to really give them a challenge! More details can be found HERE.
- Lights Off: Sing when the lights are on and listen (don’t sing) when the lights are off as the piano continues playing. Choose good singers to switch the lights on and off as the rest of the children sing.
- Duck, Duck, Sing: Put chairs in a circle. A child walks around the room tapping heads. The pianist plays the song and stops randomly. The person who was tapped on the head last has to say what the next word or line of the song is. If they get it correctly, they get to be the next one to go around the room. Idea found HERE.
- Sit and Stand: Get enough chairs for teachers up front to face the primary. When you sit, the teachers sit and don’t sing as the primary stands and sings, when you stand, the teachers stand as you all sing and the primary sits without singing.
- Jack in the Box: All the kids are in a pretend box. Think of a word in your song (preferably one that repeats a lot) and don’t share it. When the secret word is sung, give two thumbs up to the kids. The kids jump up when they see your thumbs. At the end of the song, the kids have to tell you what your secret word was.
- Magic Crayon: Tell your primary that you have a magic crayon. Pretend to take it out of your pretend pocket and hold it up in the air. Ask the children to take out their magic crayon. Tell them your color and ask them to choose a color. Continue to lead with the crayon by pitch leading, moving to the rhythm, overhead, to the right and left, etc. Change colors routinely and repeat. More details are HERE.
- Who’s Missing: Send a child into the hall and pick 2-4 kids to hide together behind the piano (or bring a blanket or sheet). The child from the hall returns and has until the end of song to figure out who is missing from their seat. Idea found HERE.
- Reverse Caroling: Find people in the hall and bring them into singing time. Have the primary sing to them. A Christmas version can be found HERE but the idea is still the same.
- Wrong Words: Using your primary’s microphone, sing the song and purposely sing wrong words and/or phrases. Have children raise their hands when they hear you sing a word wrong/phrase. When the song is finished, ask what words were sung incorrectly. The child chosen gets to come to the microphone and say the correct words instead. Repeat with new words and new children. Idea adapted from HERE.
Do you have any other favorite no props singing time activities?
Only the Board
These activities involve only the board and something to write with! The white or chalk board is such a simple, yet versatile tool! If you have time, check out my post HERE for fully utilizing the chalkboard.
- Erase a Word: Write the words to a song on the board. As you sing, choose good singers to come erase a word. They can optionally draw a picture in its place to represent the word.
- Pictionary: You or primary children draw a picture to represent the name of a primary song. Once guessed, sing that song.
- Pictures: Similar to the actions above, except you have children come up with pictures for your song. For younger children have them tell you what to draw – and you DON’T have to be an artist! An example can be found HERE.
- Music Madness: Draw brackets on the board using 8 songs. 2 songs “compete” and the kids vote on their favorite. The winner moves on to the next level. Sing the losing song. Repeat until you have a winning song! More details are HERE.
- Song Chain: Link primary song titles together. A word in one song title must be in the next song title and so on. Write the song chain on the board.
- More details are HERE.
- Connect Four: Draw a grid with 6 rows and 7 columns on the board. Divide into 2 teams. Assign each team a shape to draw in the squares (or use X’s with different colors). Each team draws their shape in one box with the goal to try to connect 4 in a row (vertically, horizontally or diagonally). In between turns, sing a song. More details are HERE (including an optional printable).
- Eraser Pass: Write a group of 3 words on the board. One word is a keyword and the other 2 words can be similar or opposite (but not found in the song). Repeat using more keywords found throughout the song. Sing the song and have children come erase a word NOT found in the song. Then they quickly pass the eraser to another child to repeat. Continue until all the non-song words have been erased leaving only the keywords.
- Mad Gab/Music Mumbles: Create a mad gab for your song titles and have children guess the titles then sing the song. You can find ideas for Mad Gab song titles HERE.
- Tic-Tac-Toe: Draw a Tic-Tac-Toe grid on the board. Write the names, phrases or verses of songs in the grids. Have teams choose a grid and sing the song. If they all sing, they receive an X or an O in its place. Repeat until someone gets 3 in a row. Original idea found HERE.
- Markers: Write the words to a song on the board with a color key across the top: Red: cross out a word with an X and don’t sing these words, Blue: underline a word to hum, Green: replace a word with a drawing Orange: put a box around a phrase to sing with eyes closed Brown: make up a sign for a word and put a star around that word Purple: circle a word then share a way you can share gospel with others. More details HERE with variations for non-readers.
- Points Don’t Matter: Divide the kids in 2 groups. Tell the kids you are playing a game, but do not tell the name of the game until the very end of primary. Sing songs and give out points to each team for their singing depending on how each side is participating. Start small (1 point for first song) and build up, giving 1,000 points a song towards the end. The kids get really excited. Then at the very end the team with more points thinks they won. Then you announce the name of the game!
- Music Theory: Draw lines to phrases on your song. Then add rhyming words as they are discovered in the right place. Ask questions relating to the words and write the answers in the right place. Finish by moving hands to mimic the phrase lines.
- Flash Mob: Divide the primary into 4 groups/colors (use Uno cards to create groups as an option). Write the words of your song on the board in 8 lines. Assign each group/color two lines (optionally, write the 2 lines to match the group colors). The first group stands and starts singing the two lines, then the next group stands and joins singing the next 2 lines, then the third, and then the fourth. Repeat with new groups (pass out new uno card colors as an option). Idea found HERE.
How else do you utilize only the board in singing time?
These activities require only a few simple props. Some of the items can be found at your church building so take advantage of the kitchen, the library and primary cupboards! You’ll be amazed at what you can find!
Or, keep a few of these items on hand so you can whip out these activities any time!
- Doubles: It’s a simple dice game. Several variations can be found HERE. But the simple way to play is to have everyone sit on the floor in a circle. Everyone gets a turn to roll 2 dice. When doubles are rolled, that child must come up with the rest of the phrase of the song.
- Snowball Toss: Write songs on pieces of paper, ways to sing or activities to do when you sing a song. Have the children wad them up and throw them into an empty can (a trash can works great!). Sing the songs or do the activities that make it into the can.
- 4-Corners: Assign each corner of the room a color. Using Uno cards or a similar card game, pass out a card to each child. Children move to the corner that corresponds to their card. Have each corner sing different phrases, verses, or words of the song. Find more details HERE
- Button Button: As the primary sings, the children secretly pass a small item (a button, magnet, etc). A child goes around the room to try and find who has the button before the song ends. For younger children, use a bigger object such as an eraser.
- Word Nerd: Have a child go out into the hall while the primary choose a word from the song. Write that word on a sticky note or piece of paper with tape. Have the child come back into the room and put the paper on their forehead. Make sure they can’t see the word. The primary sings the song EXCEPT for that word. The child must guess the word on their forehead. Repeat with new kids. Find more details HERE.
- Musical Measles: Have kids put stickers on you if they are caught being good singers by their teacher or by you. More details can be found HERE.
- Hot Potato: Pass a simple item around the room as you sing a song. Have the piano randomly stop. Whoever is holding the hot potato must say the next word or phrase in the song.
- Build a Song: As the primary sings a song, a child (or several) try to build a tower any way by stacking plastic cups. The tallest tower at the end of the song wins. Good singers get the next turn.
- Human Spinner: Find an office chair that spins (try the clerk’s office). Place song titles, phrases or ways to sing around the chair. Spin the child and wherever their feet land is what you sing or do.
- Uno Review-O: Using a deck of selected Uno cards, call on a child to come pick a card from the top of the stack (face down). Number cards: Sing the song that matches the color of the chosen card that number of times. Reverse: Everyone turns to face the back wall and sing the song that matches the color of the chosen card. Skips: Skip every other word. Wilds: Choose a favorite song. More details HERE.
- Heads or Tails: Have all the kids stand. Sing the song. Tell them to put their hands on their head for “head” and on their hips for “tails.” Then flip a coin. If they choose correctly, they stay standing. If they are wrong, they sit. Sing the song again, choose heads or tails then flip the coin. Repeat until only one person is left standing. Original idea HERE.
- Hallway Singing: As the primary sings, a child goes down the hall to see how far they can get and still hear the primary. They put down a strip of masking tape or something similar. Repeat with another child and more tape. See if they can go farther. Try to reach the Bishop’s office or somewhere opposite the primary room.
- Roll-a-Snowman: Print the “key” found HERE (along with more details) and place on the board (or draw the key). Using dice, children must draw whatever corresponds to the key. The goal is to build a complete snowman before the song is finished.
- Fermata: Draw or print out a fermata sign. Sing the song. When you hold up the fermata sign, the primary holds out whatever syllable they’re on until you put the sign down. More details HERE.
Are there other singing time activities that use a simple?
These activities involve a quick printable with minimal cutting. Print them ahead of time so in a last minute situation, you have something to fall back on!
- Sing Like A: Print and cut out these cards HERE to have your primary sing like some animals! Whatever song is chosen is how the primary must sing the song.
- Primary Yoga: Your primary will never get bored with Primary Yoga cards HERE! Simply have the kids mimic the pose they see on the card.
- Singing Styles: Susan fitch has everything just about covered with her Singing Styles cards HERE. Simply flash or spin a card and sing the song according to what is chosen.
- Review Necklaces: Belonging to a group was never more fun with these Review Necklaces HERE! Divide the primary into 2 groups and have each group sing every other phrase, word or verse. Then repeat with new groups!
- Lip Sync: If you or your primary love to lip sync, they will love this activity HERE. Children pick a character and can lip sing the song as if they were them!
- Wand or Scarf Actions: Mimic these action cards HERE with or without wands or scarves! Pencils work great too!
Looking for a Little More?
Have you visited my singing time review activities page is HERE. This list isn’t necessarily low prep. But you’ll still find ideas that are simple to be sung with any song(s). A few of which are already listed above!
There are also some other great lists out there including:
- Kami’s Primary Music Ideas HERE
- The Primary Chorister HERE
- The Idea Door HERE
- Primary Singing Time HERE
- Primary Music Leaders posts HERE and HERE
If you know you are going to be in last-minute situation (either because life gets in the way or you are a back up to someone else), utilize this list for such an occasion!
I suggest storing this list for a rainy day! If you subscribe to my Singing Time To-Go, a PDF booklet is included with your subscription! The booklet is also available to purchase in my shop:
Print the 18 page booklet as a 2-sided document. Then I suggest printing the associated printables on card stock (NOT as a 2-sided document) and laminating!
With the booklet printed, place it in a 3-ring binder or have it bound at your local music store or favorite printer. Then store it in a bag along with several of the items listed above along with the mentioned printables. Items to add can include:
- Dice (doubles)
- Blank sheets of paper (snowball toss)
- Sticky notepad (word nerd)
- Note printable (hot ‘n cold)
- Chalk and/or dry erase markers (board activities)
- Large button (button button)
- Stickers (musical measles)
- Uno cards (uno review-o)
- Coin (heads or tails)
- Pencils (use to conduct or wand actions)
- Printables (detailed above)
Stake Music Training Gift
Such a resource makes for a fantastic gift from the stake! Pass out binders and bags at a stake primary training meeting to each ward. What primary music leader or primary presidency wouldn’t love to instantly be prepared with some last minute singing time ideas?
How can you add to this list? Leave a comment with your Favorite ZERO to low prep singing time ideas!
Looking for more singing time help? Check out my Singing Time Organization Series HERE.