I am so excited to bring this Keep the Commandments Paper Plates activity to primary! This activity is designed to be a low-cost, low prep activity that your primary children will love! This fun movement activity is a great way to practice Keep the Commandments this month!
I love to have a few easy activities on-hand for those busy weeks. When I need a quick singing time activity, I usually go straight to movement activities! Movement activities are wonderful because they keep kids engaged while singing.
This week, I decided to use something I always have on hand : paper plates! All you need for this activity is a set of 2 paper plates per child. Seriously, that’s all! Paper plates can be an inexpensive way to incorporate rhythm and movement to help as you practice the song.
Keep the Commandments Paper Plate Demo Video
If you need some inspiration to spark ideas for this paper plate activity, this video is just for you! I created this simple demo video that contains 4 main rhythm patterns for Keep the Commandments. This pattern can be adapted in many different ways, but these 4 patterns should do the trick!
Simply click on this link for a Demo Video or watch below!
If you’ve never used paper plates for rhythm before, the easiest way to use the plates is to hold each plate by the rim with the bottom of the plate facing outward. This will make for a louder sound when using the plates.
Before I introduce a movement activity in primary, I always like to make sure the kids are somewhat confident in the words. It can be difficult to add actions if you are still shaky on the lyrics. You an quickly review the lyrics using this Keep the Commandments Flip chart.
For another super FUN singing time ideas using Paper Plates, see our Paper Plates Pattern for When I Am Baptized over here!
Keep the Commandments Paper Plates Pattern
Once you have the words down pretty well, you can start introducing the paper plate pattern! There are 4 simple actions you’ll need to know.
Since this song is in 4/4 time, each pattern will be divided into four beats. Since the song is fairly short and only has one verse, you should be able to get through the pattern twice throughout the song.
*If you are using the version from the Primary Children’s Songbook, there are actually 2 verses to this song. If you choose to teach the additional verse, the paper plate pattern should work for the second verse as well.*
1. Tap-Tap-Tap-Tap: For this action, tap the backs of the plates together 4 times. I plan to use this pattern for the first 4 beats of the song.
Ex. Keep the comm- (2 taps for keep and one tap for each word (commandments will be split into two different actions for this pattern) or He will send
2. Swish Plates Together: For this action, simply rub the plates together to make a “swish sound.” Use this action after doing 4 taps. This will typically finish the 8-bar phrase.
Ex. He will send Blessings (4 taps for “he will send” and swish on “blessings.” You can also use this action for the refrain “Keep the Commandments” toward the end of the song.
3. Tap High: For this action, simply tap the ends of the plates together overhead. You can use this action after doing the “swish” action. This action will typically fall on a part on an “echo” part of the song, so we will add another action to switch it up!
Ex, “In this there is safety”
4. Tap Low: This action is very similar to the one above, except you will put the paper plates low to the ground and tap them together. You can use this action for repeated sections.
Ex. “In this there is peace”
Again, you can adapt this pattern however you’d like! You can also have your primary kids come up with rhythms to add to the pattern.
- Begin by reviewing the words to Keep the Commandments (flipchart here!)
- Introduce the activity by passing out paper plates and demonstrating the 4 actions in the pattern.
- After introducing the pattern, allow children to try the pattern a few times before adding music.
- Start singing the first verse and try out the paper plate pattern!
- After a few run-throughs, you might invite children to come up with their own ideas on how to change the pattern.
- After singing the song a few times, choose a “signal” word that is used throughout the song. Every time you sing this word, have the children jump up and tap their plates! (Some examples might be the words, “Commandments,” “keep,” “peace.”
- Have a class share! Have each class come up with their own plate pattern and teach it to the class!
- If you have time, use the first 2-3 minutes of primary to let the kids decorate their plates. This can be a fun way to personalize their “instrument!”
We have so many fun activities to review Keep the Commandments! If you are looking for another great review activity, try out this Keep the Commandments Taste Test Activity!