Friday, August 24, 2012

Happy Birthday, Primary!

This month we celebrate Primary's Birthday! 134 years ago Primary got it's start. Last year we celebrated in Singing Time with candles in a fake cake. The better we sang, the more candles went onto the cake. At the end we sang a birthday song to Primary and handed out mini-cupcakes for everyone. 

Here's an interesting little history of how Primary got started, taken from Wikipedia:
Primary was first organized in 1878 by Aurelia Spencer Rogers in FarmingtonUtah, and adopted churchwide in 1880 under the direction of Louie B. Felt who served as the president of the organization through 1925. Rogers was concerned because younger Latter-day Saint children had too much unsupervised time due to the long hours that fathers and older sons kept on the farms and mothers and older daughters in the home. In particular, Rogers felt that the younger boys in the community were becoming unruly and mischievous. With permission from church leaders and under the initial direction of General Relief Society President Eliza R. Snow, Rogers organized a Primary Association for her local Farmington congregation on August 11, 1878. Two weeks later, the first meeting was held on August 28, with 215 children in attendance. That day, boys were specifically taught not to steal fruit from orchards and girls were taught not to hang on wagons. In addition, they were given lessons on faithmannersobedience, and other worthy principles.
Here's what I did.

I frosted a piece of Styrofoam set in a cake holder for easy transportation. The Styrofoam works better than real cake because it's stiffer and will tolerate lots of candles. I also brought a little knife so I could smooth out the frosting after Junior Primary.

I brought lots and lots of candles. Lots. I asked the teachers to take turns putting the candles on the cake when we sang a song. A different teacher for each song. The better we sang, the more candles went on the cake. I asked the teachers to be tough judges, that way when the kids really knew a song they knew they earned those candles! Sometimes I'd ask the 'judge' for a second try; I'd say, "Now that we've warmed up and reviewed that song, I think we can do better. Can we have another chance?" We just kept adding candles with each song, so by the end we had a TON of candles. This was fun for the kids to see.

NOTE: Of course we didn't light the candles, that would be against fire code for the building.

At this point in the year, when we are reviewing a lot for the Sacrament Meeting Program, I like to have a picture to represent each song. These pictures come in handy for review activities and I use them as a visual reminder during the program to show which song comes next.
For this activity I put my 'song pictures' on the board and let a child pick a picture to determine which song we sang.

I baked and decorated lots of mini cupcakes and handed them out at the end. In Junior Primary, I put enough for a class on a paper plate and gave it to the teacher as they went to their separate classrooms. That way they could choose when to eat them and contain the mess a little. In Senior Primary I let the kids line up at the end of the block and take a cupcake with them. They are anxious to leave the building at that point so the crumbs were mostly taken outside.

Happy Birthday, Primary!

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