New and refurbished ideas for LDS Primary Music Leaders (a.k.a. Primary Choristers)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Here is a flip chart for
"pioneer children sang as they walked"

If you prefer to post the flip chart on the board, you could cut the feet out so you can make the feet "walk" to the next page whenever the "walked and walked" parts come up spreading the flip chart and feet out in a flowing zig-zagging pattern on the board as if it is a trail to follow as you sing. Depending on the size of your board, you may not be able to spread the feet too far apart. I've included a set of feet that go in the opposite direction if you decide to post the song on the board. Hope that all makes sense.
There are also some blank feet in case you want to use those for something like putting them around the room for the children to walk on. If you are strictly going to use the feet as is in a flip chart, there is a half page at the end for the last "and walked". You cut that page in half and tape it to the end of the set of four feet, so when you flip the page to the last page, the half sheet will flip down at the bottom of the page and you'll have all five of your "walked" footsteps.

As the children are learning the song, you could do a musical chairs type thing.

  • Write one number on each piece of paper starting with number 1 up to number 6. Repeat numbering 1-6 on your papers until you have a piece of paper for each child in your primary. 
  • Randomly place the papers around the room in a circle. It doesn't matter if the same numbers are sometimes next to each other. 
  • Have the children walk around the circle as they sing the song. For SR you can have them only walk on the words "walked". JR will have a more difficult time with this since it can be a little much for them to concentrate on when to walk and stop, walk and stop, walk and stop.
  • When the song is finished, they should be standing on a number.
  • Roll a big die or have the numbers 1-6 on pieces of paper in a container to draw from. Roll or pick a couple of numbers. The children standing on those numbers get to sit down in the middle of the circle if you have moved your chairs out of the way, which I sometimes do for Pioneer singing time, or they can sit back in their chairs.
  • Instead of numbers, you could draw simple shapes on the pieces of papers like squares, circles, crescents, triangles, Xs, half circles, etc. so it is easier for the really young kids that can't read numbers yet. Of course, you won't probably have a die with those shapes, so you will need to do the drawing from a container thing.
  • Repeat this as many times as you want. 
  • Let a child or two that sat down on a previous turn help roll the die or draw the numbers.
  • Do not play until there is only 1 child left. Stop when there are about 4-5 children left so it doesn't get into a competitive thing especially for the JRs.
  • If you are just learning the song, you could stop after each phrase and do the numbers/shapes or even if you want to speed it up after singing it a few times. 
Another activity is to have them walk in a circle around the room on the words "walked" and when they are not walking, you do the obvious actions in the song or use sign language or just have them walk in place.

This song also lends itself to props as well in teaching the song.

Here is a list of actions and props you could use. Of course, you do the walking action on the "walked" parts. The first under each phrase is the action and the second are props:
  • They washed at streams: 
    • wash hands
    • towel/wash cloth, soap and or bucket.
  • And worked:
    • digging with a shovel, chopping wood or mixing something in a bowl
    • small shovel, hammer, mallet or mixing bowl and spoon
  • And played:
    • bounce a ball, jump rope or patty cakes
    • ball, bag of marbles or jump rope
  • Sundays they camped:
    • make a tent shape with your arms and hands above your head
    • a little lantern/flashlight, small blanket or some other small camping equipment
  • And read:
    • make a book with your hands together and palms open
    • book
  • And prayed:
    • fold your arms or clasp hands together in a praying fashion
    • a picture of a child praying
This song is also great to do Chair Hopping with since there is the word "walked" in it several times. This is more for SR, but I have used it for JR. You may not get as much singing out of JR though. Again, it may be too much concentration for them to sing and chair hop, but it is still fun to do it at least once with the JRs unless most of them are really young. 

In case you don't know what Chair Hopping is, the children must move over one chair each time the special word is sung. In this instance, the special word would be "walked". You need to make sure everyone knows in what direction they need to go. Starting in the back and moving forward, the back row moves to the right, the next row moves to the left, the next row moves to the right and so forth. The person at the end of each row will move to the row in front and the person at the end of the first row moves to the back row. Basically, they are zig-zagging in the chairs. If you have an aisle down the middle, you can either bring the chairs together to get rid of the aisle (that could be time consuming to do) or they just need to make sure they know to move to the chairs across the aisle.

Another variation of Chair Hopping is to have enough empty chairs to one side for how many times they will need to move over for each phrase. For example, in this song "walked" at the end is sung 5 times, so make sure there are at least 5 empty chairs at the end of each row on the same side. When the first phrase is sung, they will move over 4 chairs to the left. On the next phrase, they will move back over to the right 4 times and on the last phrase they will move over 5 chairs to the left. This version may be easier to do if you only have a couple of long rows or for JR.

Hope this gives you some fun ideas to use with this song.

Pioneer Children Sang as They Walked


  1. I did the chair hopping game on Sunday with my Senior Primary and it was a huge hit! Thanks so much for all of your fantastic ideas. :)

  2. That you so much for your ideas. After serving as Primary Chorister (best calling ever!)for at least six times, I sometimes feel a little idea dry.