Our Junior primary has been OUT OF CONTROL the past few weeks! To the point I've been dreading teaching them. Mostly the Sunbeams - their teacher recently got called as the new Young Women's President so she's been replaced...and she has been missed by more than just the kids.
Anyway, last week, as they were entering into primary, I could tell it was going to be another one of "those weeks." So I scrambled to the primary closet, found some colored construction paper and quickly cut out some eggs (they looked horrible but the kids didn't notice!). When it was time for singing time (and I was right - they were awful all through opening exercises), I held up the eggs and told the Sunbeams that if they could keep their eggs warm, under their pockets and "hatch" their egg, I would give them a surprise after sharing time (so they had to sit on it for both singing and sharing time). But if the presidency or their teachers saw their eggs, we'd have to take it. As a surprise I had a bunch of random stickers that I use for nursery.
It worked like a charm with those Sunbeams! I have NEVER seen them sit like they did and so reverently! However, the rest of the Junior primary was really upset they didn't get an egg (mostly my 5-year old daughter - grrr - why is it that my own kids are the worst?) so after primary was over, I gave everyone a sticker on their way out the door and told them that next week everyone would have an egg to sit on.
My idea came from OCD Chorister's post HERE. But again, like everything I do, I wanted to motify it so I made my own eggs. I wanted each child to have their own favorite colored egg, be able to write their name on it, and just cut around squares because I'm lazy like that:
There are 2 of the same colors per page and I printed as many of the colors that I needed. I also printed mine on white card stock, wrote their name with a sharpie marker at the bottom then laminated.
Download my document HERE.
I also created a few blank ones for visitors. You could omit writing their names on each egg but I wanted names so we can assign seats if need be! Before they come into primary, we will quickly place certain children in certain chairs (not next to chatty neighbors, next to their teacher) as needed.
Then we will remind the kids that they need to keep their egg warm. If the presidency or teachers see their eggs, they will take them (we will probably follow the 3-strikes you're out rule but we'll see). Those who still have their eggs at the end of primary will be able to "hatch" their egg and get an animal surprise. I will be very serious about obeying this and will not be afraid to take eggs. They've got to know that I mean what I say.
And since I didn't want to be constantly giving away stickers (it can get costly with needing 30 every week), our primary now owns these great animal stamps from Amazon:
And a whole bunch of individual colored ink pads:
Every Sunday I'll just pick an animal and a color and everyone will get the same thing - the surprise will be which animal and which color - how's that for exciting?! Some of you may feel that we shouldn't be stamping kids' hands at church (I personally don't have a problem with it - obviously!) so if you don't want to do stamps, other surprises could include stickers or treats (like Sweedish Fish, animal crackers, goldfish, gummy worms/bears, etc.).
I'll be storing everything in a basket and keeping it in the primary closet - no way am I toting this to and from church every week!