So, you just found yourself in a last minute singing time crunch? Or maybe you just want to keep it easy this Sunday! This list is for you! No matter the singing time situation you find yourself in, you will LOVE this list with over 60 favorite ZERO to little prep singing time ideas!
I’ve been teaching singing time for over 10 years. This collection contains easy and fun singing time ideas that I recommend and use!
Primary Singing Time Ideas
These easy Primary singing time ideas are categorized by type. Depending on what resources and time you have available.
If I had to pick a favorite category, it would be using the board as it’s definitely my favorite singing time teaching tool in a pinch!
But make sure to check out all the categories as you really can’t go wrong (click on the link to quickly jump to a category below):
And by all means, if you have an activity to add, please leave a comment!!
Zero to Little Prep Singing Time Ideas Printable
Click this button to purchase this list in a printable format:
What Songs to Sing?
These activities involve only the board and something to write with! The board is such a simple, yet versatile tool! If you have time, check out this post for fully utilizing the chalkboard.
1. 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.
You or Primary children draw a picture to represent the name or phrase of a Primary song. Once guessed, sing that song or phrase.
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!
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!
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.
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.
7. Eraser Pass
Write a group of 3 words on the board. One of those words is a keyword found in your song. The other 2 words are similar or opposite words (but not found in the song). Repeat using more keywords found throughout the song and 2 other words. Sing the song and have children 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.
Create a mad gab for your song titles and have children guess the titles then sing the song.
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.
Similar to Tic-Tac-Toe, divide the room into teams. One team goes first. The team sings the song with the piano. When the piano stops, the team must sing the rest of the phrase/line. If they can do it, they receive their X or O. Repeat until the first team gets 3 in a row.
Write the words to a song on the board with the below color key across the top. Have children blindly choose a color then perform that activity on the board. Sing as the song is marked. Repeat with new children and new markers.
- 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.
12. 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!
13. Music Theory
Draw arched lines to represent each phrase of your song. Then add rhyming words as they are discovered and write them in the correct spot between the lines. Ask questions relating to various words and write the answers in the right place. Finish by moving hands to mimic the phrase lines.
Divide the Primary into 4 groups. Write the words of your song on the board in 8 lines. Assign each group two lines. 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.
How else do you utilize only the board in singing time?
Singing Time Apps
Technology for the win! If you brought your phone to church, you can come up with some amazing singing time activities fast! Use these apps for a fun and simple singing time!
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!
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!
Download a decision wheel app and put in any decisions you want the Primary to make. Choose:
- what to sing (various songs, song phrases or verses)
- how to sing (actions, singing styles)
- 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!
Have the Primary 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.
19. 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.
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.
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!
This isn’t an app but a website so close enough ;). Display on a TV using your phone but make sure to allow the website to access your microphone. Have the children sing. The more volume they produce, the more the balls will bounce around. Thanks Aimee for sharing!
What apps have you found that are easy to implement in singing time?
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!
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.
24. 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.
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!).
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!
Have the children come up with actions that relate to the words in your song.
Children hold up their arms (like a “T”) as they sing. The last child to put their arms down is the winner. It doesn’t get any easier than that!
This one does require a prop but it can be ANYTHING. Grab a magnet, picture of Jesus, whatever you can find!
TIP: keep a musical note printable in your 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!
Have children lead the music while you sit in their seat. They can optionally direct the Primary using random items found around the Primary room, the ward building or from your home.
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 (or sing it loudly) when singing the song.
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 the order up to really give them a challenge!
33. 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.
Put chairs in a circle or sit on the floor 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.
35. Sit and Stand:
Have teachers sit up front and 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 and the teachers sing and the Primary sits without singing.
36. 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.
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.
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.
Find people in the hall and bring them into singing time. Have the Primary sing to them.
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.
The pianist stops randomly and the kids freeze. Choose a child. The child must complete the phrase by saying it correctly in order to unfreeze the Primary. If incorrect, the Primary must remain frozen for the remainder of the song. If correct, the Primary unfreezes and continues on with a new child and phrase to freeze.
Simply replace words with ASL signs or actions as you sing it. Songs with the same word repeated several times work best. Gradually add on more signs.
Do you have any other favorite no props singing time activities? Leave a comment with your ideas!
These activities require only a few simple items! Some can even 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!
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.
44. 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.
Assign each corner of the room a color. Use Uno cards (or a similar card game) and pass one 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.
46. 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.
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.
Have kids put stickers on you if they are caught being good singers by their teacher or by you.
49. Hot Potato
Pass a raw potato (or any 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.
49. 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.
50. 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.
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.
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. Everyone sings the song again, choose heads or tails then flip the coin. Repeat until only one person is left standing.
52. Hallway Singing
Send a child down the hall as the Primary sings. When they can no longer hear the Primary singing, they must put down a strip of tape. 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.
Print or draw the key on the board. Using dice, children must draw whatever corresponds to the key. The goal is to build a complete snowman before the song is finished. Repeat with new children.
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.
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!
Print and cut out the cards to have your Primary sing like some animals! Whatever song is chosen is how the Primary must sing the song.
Have the kids mimic the yoga pose they see on the card. Switch to a new yoga card after each phrase is sung.
Choose or spin a card and sing the song according to what is chosen.
Divide the Primary into 2 groups and have each group sing every other phrase, word or verse. Then repeat with new groups!
Children pick a character and lip sing the song as if they were that character!
Mimic these action cards with or without wands or scarves! Pencils work great too!
Stop the singing when the “mute button” sign is held up. When it’s put down, resume singing.
What are your favorite quick printables for singing time?
Looking for a Little More?
If you want MORE review activitities, check out my Singing Time Review Activities page? 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!
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!
Zero to Little Singing Time Prep Printable
Store this list for a rainy day! If you subscribe to Singing Time To-Go, a PDF booklet is included with your subscription! Get more details for subscribing for Singing Time To-Go:
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)
Primary Music Leader Gift
Such a resource makes for a fantastic gift! 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.