A helper picks out one of the wooden figures and then while the group sings a verse the helper holds up the figure periodically to signal a different way to sing, i.e. sing fast, slow etc. (see the 'Ways to Sing' below) When they lower the figure again everyone sings normally. This is a real work out for the pianist, make sure he/she can see the helper.
I usually have a question to go with each figure about the song or gospel message we are singing about. For example: "Where does the song say we are supposed to serve?" "Is that the only place we can serve?" "How are we supposed to serve? Grumpily? Slowly?"
I'll ask one question and have all of the helpers give an answer. For example: "How do you serve your family?" or "How did you choose the right this week?" This is easiest for Junior Primary because they can be thinking way ahead of time.
Of course, I always say I'm looking for a helper that is singing their best to encourage them all to sing out.
NOTE: I try to be picky with the songs we sing with this activity. I don't want us singing goofy when we are singing about Christ or something especially sacred.
OPTION: You could just take out the figures that aren't appropriate ways of singing that song, or have them mean something else, like 'people wearing green sing.'
WAYS TO SING
- Cowboy Boot: only the boys sing
- Princess: only the girls sing
- Rabbit: sing fast
- Turtle: sing slow
- Robot: sing staccato (detached)
- Snake: sing while moving body like a snake
- Butterfly: sing soft
- Lion: sing loud
- Motorcycle: pretend hands are on the handlebars of a motorcycle, twist hands with the rhythm of the melody (like changing gears on a motorcycle)
- Monkey: act like a monkey, but in the rhythm of the melody
I bought the lunchbox and wooden figures at a craft store (Hobby Lobby.) The lunchbox was around $5 and the figures were under $1 each. (Not the cheapest way to make this!)
There are countless other figures and ways to sing. I'd love to hear what you do to review!