We love using Jingle Bells in Primary! They’re fun, and bring an exciting sound into the Primary room, and they are something everyone knows how to use without a learning curve! I most often will use bells by picking out the beat, rhythm, and words to give a variety of challenges and ways to shake along with the song, just like I’ll do in this The Holy Ghost Jingle Bells activity!
See even more living music activities, for other fun ideas for using instruments and jingle bells in Primary!
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The Holy Ghost
Jingle Bells Activity
I highly recommend Jingle Bell Bracelets. They are pretty sturdy and hold up to a lot of abuse! I’ve used them in Nursery every week and I’ve only lost two bells, which I plan to hot glue back on when I get a minute. 🙂 You’ll want enough bells for at least half (or maybe 1/3 or 1/4 if you have a HUGE Primary) of your kids. If you have 20 kids, for example, a set of 10 or 12 jingle bells would work great!
How to Use the Jingle Bells:
- Sing through the song first.
- Shake the bells on the steady beat.
- Now, can you shake on every note?
- How about shaking the bells on at the beginning of each word?
- Finally, let’s shake as fast as we can throughout the whole song — ready?
If your Primary only has enough bells for half the Primary, no worries! Just do each activity twice. Skip one of the patterns, if you’re short on time. It gives you a really good excuse to repeat the song even more times!
You can also extend the activity by calling up kids that might like to show off the patterns up front.
For a challenge round, try each pattern for just one line of the song until you’ve made your way through the whole song switching through all 4 patterns!
The Holy Ghost
Jingle Bells Pattern Examples
Jingle Bell Patterns Example:
- Steady Beat: Christ / on / ear- / th / prom- / he / se- / nd / Ho- / Ghost / Com- / us
Start with the steady beat. It’s the easiest pattern for kids to follow. It’s the steady background beat behind the song that is always the same, no matter how the lyrics change. For this pattern, shake every 1st and 3rd beat.
- Each Note: Christ / was / on / the / earth / he / prom- / ised / he / would / send /
the / Ho- / ly / Ghost / to / com- / fort / us
When you transition to each note, you’ll now need to shake up to 4 beats per measure, but will hold the bells when you hold a note. For example, you’ll only shake once on earth and hold the bells still while you hold out the note.
- By Word: Christ / was / on / the /earth / He / promised / he / would / send /
the / Holy / Ghost / to / comfort / us
Finally, the trickiest pattern is to try to shake the bells just once per word. It’s easy to mess up, and don’t worry if you do just laugh at yourself when it happens! 🙂 The words that get spread across several notes often trip you up – like “promised”. It feels like you should shake again with the second half of the word, but this time through you’ll shake just at the beginning of the word. This is a fun challenge to help them pick out the words, rather than the notes.
- Speed Shake: Shake as fast as you can with the bells, while still singing at a normal pace!
It can be a little tricky to not try to speed up your singing, while you’re shaking the bells quickly. Kind of like when you are asked to tap your head and rub your belly at the same time. Your brain wants to keep the speeds the same. But mostly, this round is just for fun!
What other patterns or activities would you use to extend or add variety to this activity?