Jesus Once Was A Little Child Singing Time Ideas

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These singing time ideas for teaching Jesus Once Was a Little Child will help your primary understand that Jesus was once just like them!  There are several suggestions here so pick the one that is right for your primary.

Camille's Primary Ideas: Jesus Once Was a Little Child Singing Time Ideas using scarf actions

As you are planning for singing time, watch this endearing video for Jesus Once Was a Little Child performed by a children’s choir:

Scarves

Musically speaking, the feel of Jesus Once Was a Little Child just merits using scarves!  It sways almost like a lullaby – which makes sense since it’s all about Jesus as a baby and youth.  These scarf actions are easy to learn and implement in singing time!

Check out the lesson plan details HERE that also tells about the stories of Jesus as a child. 

Mirror Flip

Camille's Primary Ideas: Jesus Once Was a Little Child Singing Time Ideas using scarf actions

This one is great for a quick review!  Julie shared this idea HERE on the PML FB that is going viral!  Children hold a mirror that has a picture of Christ on the back.  They flip it back and forth depending on what is being sung.  When the song is talking about Jesus, they flip it to the side with Jesus’s picture.  When it’s comparing them to Jesus, they flip it to the mirror side.

Here are her details:

We have an especially wiggly group of sunbeams coming in this year … I decided to get a bunch of these little plastic mirrors and glue a picture of Jesus on to the back of them. The song will play out like this:

“Jesus once was a little child” (They look at the picture of Jesus on the back of the mirror)
“A little child like me” (flip mirror around and look at themselves)
“And He was pure and meek and mild” (picture of Jesus)
“As a little child should be” (look at themselves)

Sharla Dance

Camille's Primary Ideas: Jesus Once Was a Little Child Singing Time Ideas using scarf actions

Sharla Dance has some ideas for catering to younger and older children HERE including:

  • Picture Concentration Match it Game
  • Scarves
  • Down-u-down hand patterns with freeze
  • Definition Concentration Match it Game
  • Sway and Freeze here:

Simplified ASL

Simplified ASL is always a great way to teach any song!  Check out this video here for some demonstrations:

Jesus Once Was a Little Child Song History

This information comes from Stories from The Children’s Songbook by Sister Pat Graham (more information on that book HERE).

[Author] James R. Murray, the son of Scottish immigrants, studied with fine musicians in the Eastern United States. After serving as a Union soldier in the Civil War, he taught music in the public schools and worked for music publishing houses. He composed many Sunday School and gospel songs and anthems, and compiled and edited many collections. He headed the John Church Company publishing department and edited the monthly magazine, the Musical Visitor.

[Composer] Joseph Ballantyne was born in Ogden Valley, Utah, and is the son of Richard Bailantyne, the founder of the Sunday School of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He studied music in New York and with musicians from Chicago, New York, London, and Paris. He directed the Ogden Tabernacle choir, and then chaired the music committee for the Deseret Sunday School Board. During this time, he wrote many children’s songs, including “Jesus Once Was a Little Child,” which was printed in 1905 in The Primary Song Book and the Deseret Sunday School Songbook.

When he moved to Long Beach, California, he directed the Los Angeles Stake choir and the choir at St. Anthony’s Church. He also taught private voice lessons.

A Children's Songbook Companion

A lesson plan for Jesus Once Was a Little Child also exists in A Children’s Songbook Companion.  Find out more details on this fantastic singing time resource HERE.  It’s now available to download completely FREE from Camille’s Primary Ideas!

Camille's Primary Ideas: Jesus Once Was a Little Child Singing Time Ideas using scarf actions

Access this in my Resource Library.  Instructions for accessing my Resource Library are found at the bottom of this post.

More Singing Time Ideas

Check out a few more ideas for teaching Jesus Once Was a Little Child HERE and HERE.

Then make sure to scroll through all of these 2023 Music for Singing Time posts HERE.

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2 thoughts on “Jesus Once Was A Little Child Singing Time Ideas”

  1. I love all these ideas for this song! Thanks for compiling them in one place. I’m curious about the activity you described in the introduction… Playing in the snow? I didn’t see it described when I clicked the link. Could you share that also?

    1. Hi Michelle!

      That intro was for another activity that I somehow placed on this post. Thank you for helping me correct that! I have a winter scene singing time review activity that will be available at the end of February or it’s available now in my PREMIUM subscription for February. I hope that clarifies and thank you for helping me keep my head on straight!

      ~Camille

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Camille's Primary Ideas: Jesus Once Was a Little Child Singing Time Ideas using scarf actions

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