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

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Usually at the end of the month I like to review program songs in a fun way.  Since this is the first month of the year and we only have one program song under our belt, I thought we would review some other songs along with “As a Child of God” (we may be a bit rusty on this one since we missed a week with Stake Conference being last Sunday) as well as a couple of wiggle songs for the JR Primary.  So this week is a Choose & Review Week.   
We have had a dry winter here in Utah.  We really haven’t had any snow.  Not that I miss it really, but it would have been nice to have some for Christmas and now and again to help clean out the air.  Being in the Wasatch Front Valley area, we can get a lot of inversions trapping in all those lovely pollutants.  
       Oooo, Bad, Yucky air.  
The ski resorts have been pretty busy making their own snow this season since Mother Nature hasn’t cooperated.  But FINALLY, we got snow this week.  Ahhh, we can breath a little better now.  So in celebration of the snow, here is the
Mr. Singing Snowman  I made.  He has a bit of a frightened look on his face. Maybe it is because of the pom-pom snowballs that will be flying at him come Sunday.  OH MY!

I don’t have a pattern, but I can give you general dimensions and instructions in case you feel you need a little Singing Snow Fun.  The snowman poster was pretty easy to make.

  • I just used one of those tri-fold project boards so it could stand on a table on its own.  I may put an extra one I have behind it leaving some space between the two to help corral the snowballs that make it through the holes or maybe I will just have the kiddies take turns being helpers in picking up the snowballs. 
  • I cut the snowman out of 1 ½ sheets of white poster board (on sale for 4 sheets for $1 at Hobby Lobby—got the blue project board with the 40% coupon too.)  The body circle was cut from the full sheet of poster board and is about 21 ½” in diameter and the hole is 10 ¼” diameter.  His head is about 13 ½” diameter with a 6” hole for the mouth.
  • For the body I used a hand-made version of a compass to make a large circle; pencil and string.  I measured the poster to find the center from top-to-bottom and side-to-side then tied a pencil on each end of the string so I had about 10 ¾” of string between both pencils.  Stuck one pencil in the center and drew the circle with the other pencil keeping the string taunt between the pencils. The other circles I just scrounged around my house to find something circular to trace that would work.  I ended up using two different plate sizes and a pot lid.
  • I chalked around the outer edges of the circles with a light blue chalk to help give the body some depth.  Sprayed the chalk areas with a Fix-it sealer but you can use a fine aerosol type hairspray to put a protective layer over the chalk or don’t worry about it since there isn’t that much chalk and it won’t really be handled much.  You could also just use a crayon or not even worry about coloring the edges at all.
  • I placed the white circles on the board to mark where I needed to cut the holes.  Then I removed the circles so I could cut the marked holes with an Exacto knife.
  • I glued the body on first then the head.  I used a spray adhesive since that is usually easiest for large areas, but of course, any adhesive that is handy should work.  (Nothing like standing out in the freezing cold to spray the adhesive on and then to quickly run inside through the living room then to the dining room table zig-zagging around all the furniture to hurry and glue it on before it dried.)  Brrrrrrr, it was cold outside.
  • I cut all the clothes and body features out of glitter craft fun foam, because . . . well. that stuff is just plain ol’ fun to use.  Also, I thought it would give a little dimension to him; although you really can’t tell by the picture.  But, paper works just as well.
Here are some rough dimensions to help give you an idea.
  • Arms are about 14” long.
  • Hat is about 10 1/2'” wide for the brim and the top hat width is 7 ½” wide x 8 ¼” tall.
  • The blue hat trim is about 1 ½” high and the width of the hat.
  • The eyes are irregular circles since of course, coal is not perfectly round.
  • And let us not forget the google eyes to give him a little life.  I cannot live without google eyes.  I use them all the time for all the fun things I make for the kids.  They are sooooooo much fun and bring a smile.
  • For the carrot I just cut out a long, skinny shaped triangle with wiggly edges and took an orange Sharpie to line around the edges and draw detailed squiggle lines inside the carrot to help make it look, well, more carroty.  You probably can’t see the detail from the picture, but the simple details help to bring the carrot to life.
  • The scarf I just freehanded a template on paper first until I got it how I liked it and then traced it onto the fun foam.  I cut the end of the scarf to resemble fringes.  I also cut some circles out of fun foam and glued them onto the scarf for a “designer” look.  Some fun, patterned scrapbook paper would make a cute scarf too.
  • I had some white, glittery, plastic snowflakes from Christmas decorations of looooooong ago that I adhered to the board with Self-adhesive Velcro.  The snowflakes are numbered on the back for the songs to sing that I’ll have listed on a key sheet (not enough room on the snowflakes to write the songs.)  There are more snowflakes than what we will have time to sing, but just had to add more ‘cuz it just looked better. Paper snowflakes will work just as well using painters tape to adhere to the board so the tape won’t tear the board.
  • I cut the shanks off of two buttons and then glued them on the snowman to give him more of that GQ look.
  • Oh yes, I also glued a snowflake on his hat to make it stylin’.

 I made pom-pom snowballs out of white yarn.  These are easy to make.  I just made me several one night watching TV.  You only probably need about 2-4 snowballs.  I just got carried away having fun making them.  They are about 3 3/8” in diameter.  I almost wished I had made them 4” but that might have been a little big for those tiny hands.  I used a pom-pom maker tool by Clover (the gadget in the picture) but you can easily make them with a piece of cardboard.  In fact, in the August 2011 Friend magazine, there are instructions on making the “Warm Fuzzies” on page 3.  Just make them bigger.  You can also search the Internet on how to make pom-poms.  There are actually quite a few methods floating around, even one using a CD and popsicle sticks.  I bet I’ve got you wondering on that one!  If you don’t want to do pom-poms, you could use wadded up paper shaped into a ball or Styrofoam balls for the snowballs.

The object of the game is to have the children take turns throwing the snowballs at the snowman trying to make it through one of the holes.  I'll probably just give them two snowballs per turn to throw.  Take some masking tape to mark where the throw line is (make it closer for JR).
  • If they get a snowball in the big tummy hole, they can pick a song snowflake.  If they get a snowball through the smaller mouth hole, they get to pick their favorite Primary song to sing.  
  • You could also list the songs on the snowflakes on one side of the poster and the snowflakes on the other side could be ways to sing the song, e.g. Boys vs Girls, Loud vs. Soft, Sing vs. Hum, etc.
  • Maybe you could have the children write their favorite song on a piece of paper then wad it up and have them try and throw them through the holes.  Then pick the songs to sing from the snowballs that made it through the hole.

I found this cute little 2 gallon bucket at work that was going to be thrown out and my Primary Singing Brain just started churning to figure out how to use it for singing time.  I’m always thinking of how I can use those odds and ends that I find around; it’s one of those side effects you get from being the Primary Music Leader!  What can I say???  Anyway, a thought came to me about how fun it would be to use it to carry my snowballs in and for the kids to pick up the thrown snowballs from the ground and put them back in it.  I think they had just as much fun picking up the balls and putting them back into the bucket as they did with the snowman.  I just printed and cut out some of these snowflakes and the “For Sale” sign and adhered them to the bucket.  I probably should have put something like “Snowballs for Sale for a Song” instead.  Oh, there really isn’t that many snowballs in the bucket as portrayed in the picture.  I just put some stuff inside the bucket so I could place the snowballs on top for the picture.  

What other ideas can you think of for using this for singing time?

I hope you have Snow Much Fun with this!


  1. Oh my gosh, girl!!! You are incredible! Such talent in art and creativity is to be admired & I'll bet your primary kids LOVE you:)

  2. I wish I could be like you! But I'm just curious--how much money do you think you spend on this calling? I don't know if I can do that.

    1. Oh heavens no! Please don't be like me. I love the diversity of talents everyone has and I'm sure you have many wonderful talents. Believe me when I say I did not feel I had any musical talent for this calling, but as with any calling I've had, I've learned to develop new talents or grow more in what I do have, and I do feel I am growing in my musical skills. I suppose one of my talents that I felt I had some skill in that I could bring to this calling is doing crafty things. I am definitely not the queen of making things, but I do okay with simple shapes and have learned a lot of techniques over the years that have made me better. So, I thought sharing with others something I can and love to do, that they may not feel comfortable in doing or would like to learn to do or do not have the time to do, or for whatever reason, this is a way I can share the little talent I have. We all have different talents, so it is wonderful when we all share in our own way.

      As for cost, I don't spend as much as you may think. I can be very frugal and have learned some ways to stretch a dollar or reuse things. I'll admit I did splurge and buy the project board for the snowman, but that is actually the first time I have ever bought one but I did use a coupon, so it only cost me a few dollars. Normally, I make my own from cardboard or this really thick posterboard-like board I pick up from work that gets thrown away and the rest of the snowman was from stuff I have accummulated over the years, so I'm glad to use it up. If I didn't have any fun foam, I would have just used paper. I use paper mostly in my visuals; it's cheap. You do bring up a good point though; it is easy in this calling to get carried away with buying things. I have been in Primary for about 20 years and have learned some things, so your question has got me to thinking that maybe I should do a post sometime sharing some tips and tricks and resources to use that I have learned over the years. Thanks for sharing.

    2. I would love to see a post on tips and tricks to using resources in a money-smart way.

  3. You are awesome!! Thank you so much for taking the time to post your ideas online! I really appreciate it.

  4. Made this and used him on Sunday he was a huge hit with the kids. Thank you so much for making me look good, you are amazing and I really appreciate you putting all the measurements down it made it so much easier for me. Thank you again, I check your blog all the time and LOVE all your ideas.

  5. Cecily and Chris/Janeil
    I'm so glad you have enjoyed my blog. It always makes you wonder if someone out there is finding this stuff useful. And Janeil, I'm so glad your kids loved the snowman. Mine did too. The new Sunbeams really opened up this Sunday and got even more involved with singing. I'm glad the measurements helped. It is tough to look at a picture and then try to figure out how big something should be, so I'm happy it helped.

  6. I found this on Pinterest the other day and loved it! Just finished making one for a Santa Party my family is hosting. My three year old is already in love with it! Thanks!

  7. Very cool! I just finished making this for my son's kindergarten holiday party this Friday and I absolutely LOVE it! Thanks for the idea and tutorial!

  8. This is great. I'm having a snow-themed event with my Kindermusik studio this weekend and this will be a super-fun addition to all the activities I've got planned.

  9. Thank you for this awesome idea! I featured it in my blog!

  10. This is adorable. Doing it this weekend for my daughter's birthday party.

  11. I made this last winter for our primary, it was a big hit. I will be taking it in this Sunday for a second year. I used it once a month over the winter. I used velcro to attach the snow flakes and thought I would switch to hearts in Feb. and Shamrocks in March but I didn't get around to it. Such a great looking prop and I love how mine turned out. I agree that you are great at making us look good!! Thanks so much!

  12. Just so you know, I would pay $15-$20 plus shipping for this kit!

  13. Hi! Are all of the parts really glitter foam? From the photo it looks like just the hat parts are. I saw red glitter at the store and it is REALLY shiny. This looks more like the plain red and blue foam. Just curious. Thanks! And GREAT!!!!! project!!!!!!

  14. Once again you are my go to person! My Toddler class is going to love this. I bought the board with this in mind-yet your scene and snowman has so much personality- I knew it was the look I wanted. I thank you for measurements. I like the idea of the pom poms also- lighter to the touch-just in case ones off course. Wishing you and your family a happy healthy holiday season.

  15. How did you structure your choose and review? They got to throw the snowballs and if they made it what happened?

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