Incorporating nature and our senses activities might not be the most obvious choice. However, it can be a really powerful tool for bringing real life meaning to the songs and helping them be easier to relate to.
Today, I’ll share with you some ideas on how to incorporate nature and senses activities into your singing time lesson plans!
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Awareness of Nature and Senses
Activities for Singing Time
Use visualization or vivid images or videos to bring to life how our eyes can be such a blessing to us. Look for specific visual cues in the song that can be drawn to the kids attention.
Ideas for Sight Activities:
- Hide objects in a bag and have kids to guess what they are, by shape, then reveal them.
- Show a video of nature or people that speak to the song’s message.
- Have the kids pretty to be blind and use their other senses to guess what the item is.
- Bring in full color pictures and make a match game.
Example of a Sight Activity Lesson Plan:
- My Heavenly Father Loves Me – Sights & Sounds Videos
- Baptism – Picture the River
- Kindness Begins with Me – Stoplight Singing
- I Feel My Savior’s Love – Things We See
- Teach Me to Walk in the Light – Hide & Seek
- I Am a Child of God – Mirror Pass
Use their sense of sound to bring an object lesson to life! You can bring in a variety of sounds or play a sound track of the song with a pretty arrangement or with instruments only for variety. Find ways to connect the lyrics with the sense of sound.
Ideas for Sound Activities:
- Listen to audio clips of different sounds.
- Play a special arrangement or instrument track for the song.
- Have a hidden guest and have the kids try to guess who it is by their voice!
- Listen to different types of instruments.
- Sing the song without piano, then with one hand of the piano, then full accompaniment. See how the sound differs and the feeling, too.
Example of Sounds Activity Lesson Plan:
- Choose the Right Way – Warning Sounds
- The Holy Ghost – Quiet Calming Sounds
- My Heavenly Father Loves Me – Sights & Sounds
- Tell Me the Stories of Jesus – Listening Activity
- Choose the Right – Lion & Mouse Dynamics
Activate their sense of smell with vivid imagery or items that carry a vivid smell. Let the kids come up in small groups or by class to smell the different objects. Ask them to try to explain the smell (what a challenge!)
Ideas for Smell Activities:
- Bring in essential oils to smell.
- Use fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, or other fragrant props to highlight the lyrics.
- Talk about the link of smells and taste. Try tasting something with your nose plugged. Does it taste different?
- Visualize smells – ask them to think about what the beach smells like, picture the setting and smell in their mind. You can do this with a big variety of smells.
Example of Smells Activity Lesson Plan:
Bring in small objects to taste and explore the differences in taste and texture! How does taste correlate with the songs you’re learning? How can taste be a blessing to you?
Ideas for Taste Activities:
- Have a “magic” kitchen. Mix ingredients together as a group, then they’re magically baked to enjoy!
- Sample things that are the same, but different – like a variety of apples or crackers that seem so similar, but can taste drastically different.
- Bring in those jelly beans with the yucky flavors. Some are good, some are bad, and it’s a surprise.
- Bring in a variety of spices with similar colors. Have the kids smell/taste them and try to name the spice.
See a fun Taste singing time idea here:
Think of ways you can accentuate the sense of touch – to bring it to the forefront. We touch things all day long, but how often do we stop to think about how that touch affects us?
There are so many symbols of touch throughout the primary songs that we can bring to life with a meaningful activity around the touch sense!
Ideas for Touch Activities:
- Bring in a variety of textured fabrics – cotton, minky, silk, etc.
- Have them use their hands to feel hidden objects to try to guess what they are.
- Feel things that are hard, cold, soft, smooth, squishy, etc.
- Go on a texture hunt around the room. Feel the soft carpet, scratchy walls, smooth whiteboard, rough piano wood, etc.
Example of a Touch Senses Lesson Plan:
- Come, Follow Me – Hands & Feet
- My Heavenly Father Loves Me – Matching Senses
- I Love to See the Temple – Touch the Temple
- Search Ponder and Pray – Feel the Spirit
It’s really important for children to learn how to identify and recognize a variety of feelings and give them names. We can pull out some of those strong feeling words in the song by talking about contrasting feelings and how different things might make us feel.
Ideas for Feeling Activities:
- Talk about how different things feel – a hug, kiss, rubbing/scratching your back, bee sting, bitten tongue, or a paper cut.
- Different ways we feel the holy ghost.
- How do different emotions make you feel? Sad, happy, scared, lonely, afraid, tired, etc.
Explore your feeling senses with these singing time ideas:
- I Know My Father Lives – What Makes Someone Alive
- Love One Another – Recipe of Love
- He Sent His Son – My 3 Friends
7. Sensory Bins
What better way to engage several senses all at once – smell, sight, touch are easily engaged with a sensory bin.
You can fill a small plastic tote with a filler item and then add in a few special objects for the kids to try to find within the sensory bin.
You could fill the sensory bin with:
- Popcorn kernels
Then simply add meaningful objects to be found within the sensory bin. Discuss each one briefly, as they’re found, then sing through the song again.
Example of a Sensory Bin Activity:
More Activities by Learning Styles
This is the fourth post in a series of posts on teaching by learning styles! The next post will share ideas on using People Interaction activities in Singing Time!
You can also head back to the previous post on Living Music Activities!
You can see all our posts that use Nature and Senses Activities under this category landing page.
Grab the free printable Song Planner Worksheet to make planning engaging activities a cinch — here!
What other awareness of nature and senses activities do you use in Singing Time?