What better way to spend the holidays then learning some of our beloved and favorite Primary Christmas songs!! This year, we are working on Away in a Manger Singing Time so we have lots of fun ideas to share here!
We always plan on at least one Christmas Primary song, but usually in our ward the Primary is asked to sing for the Ward Christmas Party and the Sunday before Christmas Sacrament meeting.
It’s a good idea to start preparing 2-3 Primary Christmas songs so that when you’re asked (last minute usually!!) can the children sing for ____ event, you’re ready! There’s nothing worse than scrambling last minute to pull something together.
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With the fun variety of activities you’ll find here, you can work on Away in a Manger and add in another song or two each week and keep each activity short and sweet (5-10 minutes) and transition between 2-3 activities per singing time! You can see how we structure our lesson plans in this Example of a Typical Singing Time.
15 Away in a Manger Singing Time Ideas
Before we got started with any of these 15 lesson plans, we utilized this super handy song planner worksheet! We then were able to quickly plan out all of the activities with ease that hits all the different learning styles and provides so much variety of songs to teach, activities, and engagement!
Here’s a sneak peek at our planning in progress. Once you have that small nugget of an idea, the rest of the lesson plan actually comes together pretty quickly!
You can see how each of these little nuggets of an idea came to life in our full Away in a Manger singing time lesson plans!
Away in a Manger Flip Chart & Lyrics
A perfect first resource to get started and help you with your singing time is to grab one of our 3 available Away in a Manger Flip Chart options! It’s great to use for first introducing the song or for when you have guests or kiddos that can’t make it every week be able to participate and feel confident singing!
Plus, grab the lyrics including the special ending in the Primary songbook, it makes me want to start singing along already… “the little Lord Jesus lay down his sweet head…” my VERY favorite line, though, is “bless all the dear children in thy tender care…”. YES! That is what makes this my favorite Christmas song!
1. Away in a Manger – Dance Scarves
Let the gets getting moving and dancing along with this fun but easy Dance Scarves pattern for Away in a Manger! You’ll find a printable lesson plan with helpful symbols, a break down of how to implement the song with extension activities, and even a video demonstration!
2. Away in a Manger – Unscramble the Words
My Primary kids always love this activity! Grab this free printable to easily assemble a Lyrics Unscramble for Away in a Manger! Then, have the older kids work in groups or individually to piece together the song. There’s even ideas for other ways to play.
3. Away in a Manger – Guess What’s Next
Everyone will have a blast with this fun buzz-in game of Away in a Manger Guess What’s Next! Use either the fill-in-the-blanks style printable or for junior primary a picture for the blanks with our 2 lesson plan printables.
4. Away in a Manger – Trace and Draw
This flexible and creative Away in a Manger Trace and Draw activity gives you options! Do you want the kids to try to recreate it with a drawing style lesson or trace the picture or work as a group? You choose with this included watercolor printable!
5. Away in a Manger – Silent Video
Turn to the spiritual learning language to speak by the spirit in this Away in a Manger Silent Video lesson plan. We have a video ready for you to use and some prompts and questions to help fill in the lesson to make it engaging for kids (and adults!)
6. Away in a Manger – Partner Arm Swings
Have the kids work together, or use the social distancing adaptations, in this group activity of Away in a Manger Partner Arm Swings that’s a lot of fun! There are step-by-step directions plus a video demonstration to help you pickup on this fun activity for you Primary.
7. Away in a Manger – Paper Plates
Grab a stack of paper plates and you’ll have an instant band in this Away in a Manger Primary Singing Time Idea Paper Plates! Includes a pattern and a video demonstration that will help you engage with the kids. Plus, alternate ways to extend the activity, as needed.
8. Away in a Manger – Gifts of Christmas
Have the kids sneak a peek and try to guess what’s inside the bag in this aptly themed Gifts of Christmas activity for Away in a Manger. This hands-on activity will engage their sense of touch and have them making mental connections to deepen their experience learning this wonderful Primary Christmas song!
9. Away in a Manger – Sign Language
I love the movement and the fun of these ASL sign language that Rock Kids teaches us in this video. It’s perfect for adding in some movement and fun, but not being too difficult for the Primary children to pick-up.
10. Away in a Manger – Finger Drawing
Use some finger drawing symbols to draw out the song and watch as a magic picture emerges when you add all of the drawings together on the whiteboard! If the video doesn’t load, you can also see it here on YouTube.
11. Away in a Manger – Hand Bells
I LOVE using Hand Bells at Christmas time, it’s pretty much a must, especially in the Primary room! Merry Bells makes this fun interactive hand bells video (or printable chart) that the kiddos can follow along just like playing a game of Rock Band back in the day (or Beat Saber today).
You can pick up the Primary Songs Collection #1 which includes 30 songs including Away in a Manger. Bonus: if you need a set of bells, their kit comes with a free popular Christmas Songs DVD that can become a new family tradition!
Make sure you enter the promo code: PrimarySinging to save 10% off your purchase.
12. Away in a Manger – Sensory Bin
Unfortunately, this next post doesn’t seem to have their images working or loading, but I found this adorable idea on Pinterest (See my Singing Time Boards here!) Still, you can follow her step-by-step directions on the OT Toolbox and make a super cute egg carton Christmas nativity set and sensory bin the Primary kids will love acting out the Christmas story!
13. Away in a Manger – Hand Actions
The lyrics shared here have a couple of word swaps, but there are some fun easy ideas here for adding simple actions! If the video doesn’t load, you can see it on YouTube here.
14. Away in a Manger – Music Video
I just adore sweet little Claire Crosby. She’s a member of the church and 9 years old in this video, so super relatable for the children. If you’re looking for a beautiful video to get the kids excited to learn this song, you’ll love this video! If it doesn’t load, you can click to view it here on YouTube.
15. Away in a Manger – Arrangement
Monica Scott shares her beautiful talent with this little bit different arrangement for teaching Away in a Manger (and an adorable video with her children!!) If you want to teach this traditional song, but in a bit different style, check out her arrangement here!
10 More Away in a Manger Singing Time Ideas
Here are even MORE ideas of ways to teach Away in a Manger in Primary this year!
- Away in a Manger Basketball Beat Rhythm
- Away in a Manger Melody Map
- Away in a Manger Hand Actions
- Away in a Manger Arm Swings
- Away in a Manger Story of the Song
- Away in a Manger Divide the Chorus
- Away in a Manger Music Video
- Away in a Manger Nativity Visuals & Harmony
- Away in a Manger Picture the Manger
- Away in a Manger Waves of the Sea
Head over to this post next to see more than 100 LDS Primary Christmas Songs to help you pick out even more beautiful songs to teach this holiday season. Includes favorites from the Children’s Songbook like Little Lord Jesus and Christmas Bells plus other Christmas music from LDS composures and the hymn book (like Silent Night!)
What other fun ways do you have planned for teaching Away in a Manger? Share your ideas in the comments to add to this resource!