Away in a Manger – Unscramble the Words

I love using word games in primary. Word games are great because they help reinforce problem-solving skills as well as hand-eye coordination. They are also just a fun way to see if your primary kiddos really know the song! This fun Unscramble the Words activity is a great way to review the lyrics to “Away in a Manger!”

When I first started leading singing time, I would place little strips of paper with the song lyrics around the room and have children find the lyrics and put them in order on the board. They absolutely loved it! Junior primary especially enjoyed finding the strips hidden around the room, and Senior primary enjoyed the puzzle of putting the words in the correct order. This activity is a little bit of both!

Away in a Manger
Unscramble the Words Review Game

This activity is super simple. All you need to do to prepare for this activity is cut out strips of paper with short phrases of the song written or typed. Arrange the strips of paper on the board and invite children to take turns placing the words in order.

How to Play Unscramble the Words:

  • Cut out small strips of paper with short phrases of “Away in a Manger”
  • Mix up the strips and arrange them on the board
  • Invite children to come up one at a time to place the phrases in the correct order
  • Start with the first phrase and see if the children can continue in the correct order
  • After the strips have been arranged correctly on the board, sing the song. If you need a reminder for the words, use this handy Away in a Manger – Flip Chart
  • After singing, invite a child to come up and mix-up the words and play again. Try to improve speech each time.

Additional Ways to Play

Class Competition:

Another fun way to play this game is having each class compete to see who can correctly order the lyrics the quickest! Start by giving each class their own set of words in an envelope. Start a timer and see which class can unscramble the words the fastest! You can play first without teachers, then allow teachers to help for the second round!

Teacher Competition:

I have noticed that my primary kiddos LOVE it when they get to see their teachers compete. If your primary teachers are willing, do a “Teacher’s-Only” round to see which teacher can place the words in the correct order first. Encourage children to cheer on their primary teacher!

Extension Activities:

  • When the children have unscrambled the words, sing the song together, removing strips as you sing. Allow children to pick a strip to remove from the board
  • Pass out a complete set of word strips to each class. While singing “Away in a Manger,” see which class can unscramble the words quickest.
  • Pass out strips of paper until each class has a few. Classes sing only the phrases that they have on their strips of paper – “Popcorn Singing”
  • If you have larger class sizes, give a set of words from one verse to a group and give the next verse to another class. Classes only have to sing the verse they have.

Away in a Manger
Unscramble the Words Printable

This free Away in a Manger – Unscramble the Words Printable includes all 3 verses of the song divided into short phrases that would be easy to remember. Simply print out the verses you want to use and save the rest for another activity!

Away in a Manger – Unscramble the Words Printable

If your primary kiddos love word games, check out this Away in a Manger – Guess What’s Next game to continue reviewing this song.

How did your primary kids like this fun unscramble the words game? Any feedback? Share in the comments!

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