While at story time with my youngest last week, i watched the teacher do an activity with sticks. She gave each child 2 short sticks (about 6-8 inches long). She had them beat out a rhythm as she chanted a poem, read a book and then said their names. Initially i thought the kids were too young to understand her beating out the syllables in their names but they weren't! They loved it and all wanted their names to be done. The teacher would call on someone-ask them their name-then show them how many syllables. She'd beat it out first then have them all say that child's name and beat it out together. For example, "Britt-ney", "Em-ma", "Jack". On the one syllable names, she had them beat that one syllable really loudly. They loved it.
I'm sure you see where i'm going with this....as choristers, we rarely see things without wondering how it can relate to singing time, right? Anyway, since i will have "new" sunbeams on sunday, i thought this would work well to help us learn their names. I found short sticks at a craft store used for making suckers and i'll give everyone 2 sticks. I'll have the new sunbeams come up and we'll "beat out" their names so that we can all get to know them. We'll probably throw in some teacher and older kids names too. Maybe we'll even sing their names to a familiar song tune. Or sing, "here we are together" while tapping out the rhythm and adding their names.
I'll bring my toy musical instruments to add pizazz and keep them interested. We'll take turns using those as well as our sticks and have them work on beating out rhythm for different songs like "Book of Mormon Stories", "I am Like a Star", etc. Hopefully this will not only allow us to learn the new names but will keep all the children engaged.