#1-it engages the children. I've noticed my senior primary LOVES to learn about things, like trivia or other tidbit information and if i can find a way to relate that to singing, then it's golden. This idea is great for that...i mean, how many children are going to know much about the Chinese New Year?
#2-i like to recognize different holidays during singing time since sharing time tends to focus more on other things. Singing time facilitates itself well to doing a fun holiday activity while at the same time being able to bring in the spirit through the song. With this activity, they can not only practice our new song, but also learn that "tidbit" information they seem to crave, all while trying to recognize the spirit through singing.
#4-It's new and different enough to capture their attention
#5-It's easily adaptable for junior and senior primary.
That being said, here's what i plan to do:
For senior primary: we'll play that famous Chinese game, Rock, paper, scissors. We'll do it one of 3 ways. Or a mix of all 3. I'll probably play it by ear and do it depending on how reverently they respond....
First option: i'll have one child play against me, like "I heart primary music" suggests. If I win, we review "As a Child of God", it they win, they pick a coin that has a song title on the back.
Second option: (this one uses all the primary children at the same time and therefore may be less reverent so make sure you state explicit expectations of their conduct for playing it this way) Anyway, I'll have each primary child turn to their neighbor (and have the teachers make sure they all have partners) and play rock, paper, scissors. Before we start i'll tell them the rules, "no shouting when you win, hands stay down, stay in your seats, we do it together, etc". Then i'll count to 3 and say "rock, paper, scissors" so we're all doing it at the same time and it's not chaotic. Then i'll say, "if you won with paper, raise your hand", or "if you won with scissors, raise your hand". If there's exactly 8 winners for whatever i called out (8 is a lucky number for chinese), then i'll call on one of the 8 to pick their favorite song for us to sing, (or pick a coin with a song on it). If there's not 8, then we'll review "As a Child of God". (This might be tricky to get exactly 8 so be prepared to be flexible and if there's never 8 but you really want to give them the chance to pick the song, you can do like "The Price is Right" game show and say, 8 or less but not more)
*A tie voids that partnership from having a winner. No "do overs".
Third option: I have a dragon beanie baby (since it's the year of the dragon) and we'll pass it around while singing. (if senior primary can handle it, sometimes they get too out of control with this kind of thing...) Whoever ends up with it at the end of our song will be the one to play "rock, paper, scissors" with me next.
For Junior primary: My daughter made 4 dragons (as shown) Here is the link for the chinese dragon craft.
We'll play rock, paper, scissors as listed above (most likely option #1 or #3), and I'll choose 4 children at a time to have a chinese dragon parade while we sing each song. I like using 4 children so that several children get the opportunity to participate (we have a large primary) yet it's not too many to get out of hand. They'll go up and down the aisles...walking, not running. I don't want to detract from reverent songs so we'll probably sing songs like, "Wise/Foolish Man", "Fun to Do", "Book of Mormon Stories", "I hope they call me on a mission", etc.
When/if I win "rock, paper, scissors"-we'll review "As a Child of God", and i'll have them hold the dragons up front standing by me and practice waving them to the melody.
Anyway, thank you "I heart primary music" for sharing your ideas! You have certainly helped me!