Hands-on Singing: “Song Sticks”

Music.  I love it.  It’s our best teaching power tool!

I recently visited a Nursery class in my stake and learned a clever idea.  The Nursery leader, Sarah, had chosen a bunch of songs that she wanted to sing with the children on a regular basis.  She created a “stick” for each song.  The kids knew them as their “song sticks”.


Left to right: Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam; Book of Mormon Stories; Once There was a Snowman; I Am a Child of God; I am Like a Star Shining Brightly; Popcorn Popping.


How to Create Song Sticks:

  1. Draw or trace a simple picture on a sheet of Shrinky Dinks plastic. (Do you remember these from your childhood?  They are still available at craft stores).
  2. Follow the “shrinking” instructions on the packaging.
  3. With a hot glue gun, adhere the very sturdy picture onto the end of a large craft stick (tongue depressor). (These are also available widely at craft stores).
  4. Write the name of the song on the back of each stick if you’d like, but the kids will know the songs by the pictures in no time at all.
  5. Consider making 1 set for the whole class and handing each child a stick at circle time, or for smaller classes, you could create a set for each child so as you sing a particular song they can each hold the corresponding stick.  You could make a set and put in a jar, and have a child draw out one to see what song to sing next. Whatever works for you!  These sticks can double as a conducting baton, kids love to conduct and you can sneak in some rhythm training without them even knowing it.


Nursery is a foundation for Primary preparation.  By learning Primary songs in Nursery, children are getting themselves ready to transition smoothly into Primary when they become a Sunbeam.  Remember, children can learn a Primary song just as easy as they can learn a secular song like Wheels on the Bus, and invite the Spirit at the same time. A lot of these secular songs are fun because of their traditional actions.  Primary songs can easily have actions too; just learn a few basic, simple American Sign Language signs such as Jesus, Commandment, God, Praise and Love and you are off to a great start!

These “song sticks” could also be used as a helpful transition in January for the new Sunbeams.  Pass a set of “song sticks” on to the Primary Music Chorister so she knows which songs the Sunbeams are really familiar with and so she can hand them to the Sunbeams to help keep those fidgety hands occupied in the first few weeks of the new year.

~Michelle, with guest contributor Sarah



Filed under Music, Nursery, Transitions

2 responses to “Hands-on Singing: “Song Sticks”

  1. Pingback: If You Chance to Meet a Frown | Primary in Zion

  2. Pingback: Music in Nursery: Teaching the Gospel | Primary in Zion

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