When I was a primary music leader, I often taught simple hand actions to help the children remember the lyrics. They loved it so much that they would insist that we use the hand actions every time!
For a great way to introduce or review When We’re Helping in singing time this month, use this When We’re Helping Action Words activity!
These hand actions are sure to keep your primary kids engaged while learning this new song! In this post, you’ll find activity instructions, additional ways to use this activity, printable visuals, AND a demo video! It’s packed with lots of great things!
**See all When We’re Helping Singing Time Ideas here**
When We’re Helping Action Words
This activity can be a great way to introduce the song for the first time or to review it! If you are reviewing the song, start by singing through the first verse together. You can find our flip chart here!
If this song is brand new for your primary kids, start by having the pianist play the melody. Sing it once while the kids listen.
Then, explain that you’ll be learning some actions to help you remember the words of the song. Some of the actions we’ll be doing in primary today come from American Sign Language and some are just simple hand actions.
Start by demonstrating the sign for “help.” Can you try this action with me? Post the picture for the word on the board for a helpful visual. Then, make a big smile and outline your smile with your fingers. Sing the first phrase of the song!
I’ve created a printable with visuals for each hand action to help your visual learners! Post the visuals and demonstrate the actions for the next phrase of the song. You’ll use two actions for this phrase as well, “Sing” and “Go.”
Sing the next line of the song. We know one of these actions already! See if they remember the action for “help.” Once you have taught the actions for the entire first verse, sing the verse slowly and try all the actions!
For the last part of the song, I’ve created a simple movement pattern to correspond with the “La la”s in the song. For the first 6 counts, pat your knees. Then, clap your hands 5 times. Repeat this pattern twice so that it spans the both phrases.
When We’re Helping Actions:
- Helping – ASL sign for Help – Flat hand under fist, lift fist upward
- Happy – Draw smile on face
- Sing – Cup mouth or pretend to be holding a microphone.
- Go – Both hands point to the right
- Like – Nod
- Mother – ASL sign for Mother – Point thumb to chin
- Love – Draw heart or heart hands. Another option is to give yourself a hug.
- For La, la, la’s do Lap+clap 6-5-6-5
- Instead of singing the action words, use only the hand actions! Sing through the song and do the actions without singing those words!
- Post all the action word pictures on the board in mixed up order. During singing time, rearrange the pictures so that they are in the order as they appear in the song! For this game, you could print out two copies of the action for “help.”
- Be the teacher! Pass out 2 actions to each class. Have each class learn their action and teach it to the class!
When We’re Helping Action Words Demonstration Video
I’ve created this short demo video to show you what each of the hand actions look like for this song. Watch and follow along with me or watch it right before primary for a reminder!
For another fun similar activity, head over to see this I Love to See the Temple Action Words singing time activity!
When We’re Helping Printable Action Word Cards
This free in-post printable includes 1/4 page action word cards to help you teach each of the different actions for this song.
Join INSTANT Primary Singing for extended printables including 1-page actions poster and full page signs. You’ll find these bonus files included when the song When We’re Helping is the featured song of the month.
To access the free in-post printables for this post, you’ll just need to create a free account or login with the Grow.me tool. Then, confirm by email and refresh the page and ALL my free printables will automatically unlock in every post!
For more information on why I use a content lock or how to create your account, you can see the FAQ page here.
Head over to this When We’re Helping Song Story activity for another fun way to review this song!
What other fun ways will you use this singing time activity in your Primary room?