For a simple way to add purposeful movement as you sing Mary’s Lullaby this Christmas season, use this fun Mary’s Lullaby Sway & Sing primary activity!
This song has such a great “swaying” feel! Whenever I sing the words to this song, I imagine a young Mary rocking baby Jesus to sleep. For this activity, have the kids stand as they sing. When they sing the word “lullaby,” have them sway back and forth!
How to Play:
- At the beginning of primary, start by reviewing both verses and the chorus of Mary’s Lullaby (flipchart here!).
- Then, give the kids a challenge and ask them to count how many times the song says the word “lullaby.” The answer is 6!
- Invite the children to stand up and sing through the song again. This time, have the children sway while pretending to “rock a baby” by rocking their arms back and forth every time they sing the word “lullaby.”
- Sing through the song a few more times, swaying when you sing “lullaby.”
- Then, choose another keyword for the children move to in addition to “lullaby.” Some examples might include the words “little” or “child.”
- Continue practicing the song as you move and sway along!
This activity is so simple to plan and requires no extra prep materials! It is also a great way to add some movement into singing time. Having the kids stand up and move around a bit helps keep their attention during primary.
Since this activity is very simple, you’ll want to add some additional ways to play as you practice Mary’s Lullaby in singing time. I’ve included 4 different extension ideas for this activity later in this post to add some extra fun!
At the beginning of primary, review the first verse to give the kids a reminder of how they song goes. Then, have the kids stand up! Have them start swaying back and forth at their seats by taking small steps to the left and right.
Then, choose a keyword. I recommend starting with the word “lullaby” since it comes up most frequently in the song. Have the kids stand still and explain that whenever they sing the word “lullaby,” they have to rock back and forth.
You could also do it the oppositive way and have them sway during the entire song EXCEPT when you sing “lullaby.” So many different variations!
Choose additional words to move to or add in some friendly competition! There are lots of ways to use this simple activity in primary!
Another fun thing to add to this activity is a “STOP” or “FREEZE” sign! You can create one of these signs in less than 10 minutes with some popsicle sticks, tape, and cardstock! Write the word “FREEZE” on the paper and cut it out to a small rectangle or circular shape.
Tape your sign to the popsicle stick and you’re ready to go! During the activity, hold up the sign! Anytime the sign goes up, the kids have to stop what they’re doing and look at you.
- Have each side of the room take turns swaying back and forth! Each time you sing the word “Lullaby,” point to one side of the room. Have that side sway back and forth while the other side sings the words. This requires the kids to pay extra close attention as they sing!
- Instead of swaying, have the children stand up each time they sing “Lullaby.” Have them sit down while they sing until this word comes up. You could even make it a game and see who stands up the fastest!
- Come up with another fun way to isolate a single word in the song. Instead of singing the word lullaby, you could hum, clap, or even tap the word!
- Switch off swaying each phrase. Have the children sway for the first line of the song, then stand still for the second. Then, have them start swaying again for the third and standing still for the fourth. Continue throughout the entire song!
For another fun “sway and freeze” activity, head over to this When He Comes Again Sway and Freeze!
Mary’s Lullaby Sway & Sing Printable Lesson Plan
This one-page printable lesson plan is a great way to prepare for Sway and Sing! I’ve included lots of ways to use this activity, as well as the basic details for the lesson.
I always like to print out these lesson plans to give me lots of ideas for future years! Tuck this sheet away or bring it to singing time to help keep the activity moving along!
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Try this sweet Mary’s Lullaby Nativity Scene activity next!
How do you incorporate movement into singing time? Did this activity help you feel more prepared for primary?