Is your arm breaking off each week lugging your Singing Time supplies and lesson plans with you everywhere you go?
Today, I want to share with you some ideas for your singing time bag organization and storage! Plus, of course, share what’s in my Primary Singing Time bag!
Affiliate links are included in this post.
What’s in my Singing Time Bag?
When I was first called as a Primary Music Leader in 2016, I had a brimming full singing time bag I’d carry back and forth each week.
With a little extra effort, and the blessing of a very tidy Primary President, I ditched carrying extra supplies and took advantage of the Primary cupboard space for our ward.
My Primary President had cleared out all the excess, and there was lots of room. Really, I only needed to store one extra large bag with all my supplies, and sometimes a binder or two! My Primary stash takes up hardly any room in the cupboard and saves me a lot of effort in lugging things back and forth to Primary.
My Primary Singing Time Supplies Bag is shown above! It is full of:
- Ribbon Wands
- Egg Shakers
- Rhythm Sticks
- Dance Scarves
- Bell Bracelets
- Finger Lights
- Dry Erase Markers
- and lots and lots of magnets!
Everything is stored inside in large gallon or 2-gallon ziploc bags.
The only thing I don’t keep in the closet is my Hand Bells, as I purchased those with my own money and we only use them a few times a year.
Of course, some may not have any closet space to claim, or may have other concerns about their supplies being left at church. I’ll give tips for this scenario, too, since I’ve done it both ways!
Cute Primary Singing Time Bag Ideas!
Picking out a singing time bag to use is always fun! First, look around your home to see what bags you can repurpose! If you’re needing additional bags, here’s some fun ones to consider!
- Pick a large open tote bag! It should be large enough to fit a singing time binder! Plus, any additional props or supplies you need to bring.
- Grab zippered utility tote to stash all of your manipulatives and instruments in the Primary closet (or at home). I prefer one with a zipper on top to keep curious eyes OUT! If it’s open and they can see all the fun stuff inside, you’re more likely to have things “walk” off (like your dry erase markers!)
- A cute multi-pocket Garden Tote! This would be wonderful for holding all your basic Primary supplies – scissors, tape, dry erase markers, magnets, pencils/pens, crayons, etc!
- Use these plain Small Canvas Totes to pass out manipulatives to a row or class! I load them before Primary and hand them out to teachers (or one child in the row). Or, hang the bag with a magnet from the back of the chair! Personalize them with marker, paint, or embroidery!
Option 1: Leave Supplies at Church
If you have the luxury and the option to keep a lot of your supplies in the Primary room (or another abandoned closet), I highly recommend doing so.
You may need a few minutes prep before church or right before singing time to gather your supplies. Plus a few minutes after singing time to pack everything away. But you’d spend this effort at home, too, and this really helps save your shoulder!!
I have 4 boys ages 12-4 so I ditched everything I possibly could from my Singing Time bag!
What Goes in Your Weekly Sunday Tote
- Singing Time Binder… That’s it!
I use a Singing Time Binder (you can see all the juicy details about that over on my mom blog) that has the printed out sheet music for the program songs for the year all neatly arranged in tabs.
It makes it super easy to store my singing time song list, ideas for the month, activities I’ll be doing, and super quickly find the songs to flip to!
I ditched the bulky songbook a couple weeks into my calling and have never looked back!! I love it, to me it is life-changing!
Plus, when I have a sub, it is so incredibly easy for them to pick-up right where I was and run with the lesson plans.
You can get your Singing Time Binder organized and easy to manage with our Singing Time Binder Planner available in our shop!
- Weekly Extra Props / Printables / Lesson Plan
I add any extra printables or props I’ll need for the week to my singing time bag, as well. That excludes all the items below. 🙂
For example, that might mean a random 1-time prop of a mirror or a hand puppet, or whatever other shenanigans I might come up with! Or, like these cute printables from In My Father’s Hands lesson with Magnetic Clips!
This year, we are the first ward in the building. So I head to the Primary room before church starts and setup the room, gather any supplies I need, and I’ll even setup the whiteboard with printables or drawings I may be using that week!
Then, I’ll leave my singing time notebook and bag in the Primary room, even! I literally grab one little quiet activity (that I rotate) for my 4 year old and one small snack and take nothing else into the chapel.
If you have a ward in their before you, just stash your bag at the back of the room before your block begins or bring it along with you to your pew.
In the Primary Closet:
- Pianist Music Binder
A lot of times my pianist will store her pre-assembled music binder right in the closet. Except for those weeks when she needs to practice new songs.
- Big ol’ Bag of Manipulatives
- Egg Shakers
- Ribbon Wands
- Dance Scarves
- Rhythm Sticks
- Hand Bells
At the end of last year, I was able to use the rest of my Primary’s remaining yearly budget to purchase the supplies I usually use in Primary!
I have my own personal supplies I’ve bought with my own money over the past 3 years, but I wanted the next chorister, and the kids, to have access to all these so fun tools so I wanted to be sure my ward had their OWN supplies.
Now, I just keep them right in the Primary closet! So much easier!!
I also have these 4 really cute canvas totes for passing out supplies to each class. I’ll divide up the supplies evenly (2 bags for my small JR or all 4 bags for my large SR Primary).
Then, when it’s time to use egg shakers or crayons or whatever, I just pass the 4 bags, when I hang on little magnet hooks, right to the teachers and they pass out the supplies and return them to the bag too.
- Singing Time Basic Supplies
- Magnets — Clip Magnets, Hook Magnets, Circle Magnets
- Dry Erase Markers
- Index Cards
I was ALWAYS hunting down dry erase markers and magnets. I got so sick of never having what I needed on hand that I just bought my own supplies!
I keep them tucked away, hidden in my supply bag, and I haven’t had a single magnet or marker go missing since I bought them 6 months ago!
I also find myself randomly needing scissors, tap, and other supplies, so I keep those handy and tucked away, too.
Option 2: Tote Your Primary Supplies
If you need to (or prefer to) take your stuff with you each week, these tips will hopefully help! I think organization at home can really make a big difference in toting less back and forth each week.
- Setup a Primary Singing Supply Station at Home
I completely understand limited space, but you don’t need a whole lot of room. Maybe a small filing tote and a bin for your supplies and you should be good to go for getting started.
Find space under a bed, in an out-of-the-way closet, or even in the garage, if your weather isn’t too extreme. I use an area of our home office for my supplies.
- Filing Cabinet of Lessons / Printables
Keep organized with your ideas, printouts, and supplies. I like using file folders with one for each song and stashing everything away that way. I also use binders for storing extra printouts of sheet music and other items that I’m not currently using, but want to save.
Just makes sure you label everything really well, so you can find it again later! Label binders, and file folders, and come up with a system so everything is organized and easy to find!
I put all of my printables from the 9 Singing Time Ideas for Baptism song in one file folder right with their lesson plans. It makes it super easy to find my supplies and use them again in the future!
- Packing Your Singing Time Bag
Each week, bring ONLY what you need for that week along with you. I usually only do one manipulative item on any given week – like only egg shakers or only dance scarves.
I still tote my Singing Time Binder and any weekly printables, but of course add any weekly props I need which will include those few extra items.
- Zipper Tote or Pencil Pouch of Basic Supplies
Find a cute old makeup bag or a large zippered pencil pouch you’re no longer using and re-purpose it for Primary! I used to include a couple of dry erase markers, tape, kid sized scissors (to save on space), and a couple of pens in this pouch.
Then, keep a smaller zippered pouch for your magnets! I would pull out my little tote of those and stick them right on the tray for markers! That made it super easy to grab them and I use magnets nearly every week!
- Clean Out your Singing Time Bag & Binder Monthly
At the end of each month, I rotate out old songs and put in new songs I’ll be singing for the month ahead. I just switch my song list once a month to keep it simple for myself and the pianist while still giving variety for the kids!
Use that time to make sure you take out old printables you are finished with and store those away and any lingering supplies you don’t need to tote each week.
Even when I was toting my supplies back and forth each week, I still (for the most part) had just one very full tote bag that fit everything I needed!
How do you organize and arrange all of your Singing Time supplies?