I know my Savior Lives: Primary Program Script & Tips

primary program script and tips

Putting on a Primary Program is a HUGE task!  Especially if you are new to your calling- trust me I can relate!  When I first got called a few years ago it was in August, I was clueless to everything and had no idea that most primarys already had a date and possibly even a script for their programs.  When I realized that I went into a full blown panic attack.  Thank goodness for some kind-hearted soul who put their script online and I adapted that to our ward (which was really hard in itself since I didn’t even know the children yet!).  Anyhow, time for me to pay it forward.

This is my third primary program, and I FINALLY feel like I am getting the hang of it.  We sat down to write the script and I included a few things from the other scripts floating around out there (especially the opening from The Mormon Home which I thought was beautifully written).  Here’s a few tips (some of them learned the very hard way) to help you have a successful and smooth rehearsal & program:

  1.  Have at least one extra part written in for each class, a part that is not necessary to the flow of the script, but something that you can throw at a kid that showed up out of the blue, or an overly confident visitor that wants to participate… (we have had that happen!  I can hardly get my kids to participate in OUR ward, I can’t imagine them wanting to go up in a ward they didn’t know!  But hey, more power to those that do.)
  2. Have the sunbeams say their names, then they know they can at least say part of their part perfectly! (UPDATE: so I was wrong, my son actually got up and said “my name is Jane…” which was the name of the little girl that went before him.  Yup.  Probably the best part of the program).
  3. Have some prompts, parts where the children need to fill in the blank or answer a question.  I would say about half of our program is made up of prompts, so that it adds some personalization & spunk!  You can send the prompts home to parents (maybe you’ll have better luck than us getting them back) or have them fill them out with their teachers during sunday school and collect at the end.
  4. We like to have a narrator who introduces each month’s topic and scripture, I feel like it adds cohesion and helps it flow.  Usually we pick a child who is about to graduate from Primary.
  5. We try our best to collect the talks from primary throughout the year so that come program time we can use their talks (in whole or in part) in the program.
  6. On program day have the children come early to sing prelude music.  The truth is most of them wont make it and you will probably be left with a small group singing the prelude music.  BUT, if you ask them to come EARLY then they will probably come ON TIME!! 🙂
  7. We like to have the children sit on the stage for the entire sacrament meeting.  I have seen wards that wait until after the sacrament and then have all the children come to the stand.  That can work too, I personally think its less disruptive to just have them all situated and up there from the get-go.  This does require help from teachers though to get through the first portion of the meeting before the program starts.  Just make your expectations to teachers clear.
  8. Print copies of the program AND THE SONGS and hand them out to all the teachers in folders.  Tell them to sing along!  And ask them to work with the kids in class to help them memorize their parts. The more they feel ownership over the program the more they will want to help ensure its success 🙂

Ok, ok…. enough jibber jabber, here is the script we are using (ya know, I made some changes before I passed it on to YOU), adapt it for you ward or just use bits and pieces… good luck!

primary program script 2015

Now the question is, how do we put the “PAR-TAY” into a primary program?  My Mom told me something about raffle tickets and dollar store prizes to help get through rehearsals.  I thought that was GENIUS!  The rehearsals are so long and tedious for those little munchkins…much akin to torture after sitting through sacrament meeting.  Head to the dollar store (of course) and pick yourself up raffle tickets (or these are really cute with a star on them) and an assortment of “prizes”.  Arm each teacher with raffle tickets and make your expectations VERY clear to both teachers & children.  I am going to explain that each child can earn up to 3 tickets per rehearsal.

primary program tips

  1. One ticket for good behavior.  If you are having your rehearsal in the chapel remind them that they need to be in top-notch reverent mode.
  2. One ticket for memorizing their part, or making progress towards memorizing their part.
  3. And the last ticket for singing all the songs (or putting genuine effort into singing all the songs even if they forget some words).

I am going to challenge the teachers to not just give out 3 tickets willy-nilly and have the kids really earn each one.  Then at the end of the rehearsal they can go into the primary room and trade their tickets for prizes.

I was going to put together an invitation for you to download (we like to hand out 2 invites to each child 2 weeks before the program and challenge them to invite their non member friends or family) but Sheena already did a fabulous job and I couldn’t imagine topping it.  So head over there to Little LDS Ideas and you are all set for a great program.  And remember, in the end all anyone cares about is seeing those cuties up on stage 😉  What are your tips for surviving the primary program?  What is your favorite part of watching them?

For more primary ideas check out my free baptism preview printable handouts and my primary newsletter template.  And if you are getting ready for the new year check out my sharing time assignment cards with the 2016 theme!  Follow me on pinterest to keep up with all my primary ideas & free printables!

UPDATE: 2016 script now available here with even more tips 🙂

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27 thoughts on “I know my Savior Lives: Primary Program Script & Tips

  1. We have over 150 kids in our Primary and it feels like all the adults have a primary calling so it pretty much turns into a ward program! It’s always been my favorite Sunday of the year and I’m most excited for it this year since my daughter is a Sunbeam!!

  2. Thanks for the ideas! We are a new presidency so any ideas for the program are appreciated! I love the raffle ticket ideas! With 100 kids it can get overwhelming for us and the teachers!

  3. Great idea to have extra parts just in case. This year the Primary Presidency in our ward gave the assignment to each of the teachers so I have to figure out what my class is doing for the program. I have no idea yet since I don’t know how the rest of the program is going. I’m going to check out your script for ideas! Thanks.

  4. I did the raffle ticket thing (reverence tickets) as a general reverence program when I was Primary President. Then we did the prizes and a pizza party at the end of the year and it was a huge hit!

    Thanks for writing a script, I always appreciated those who shared their hard work since it was one of the harder parts of my calling for me! Pinning this.
    Lara recently posted…What To Do When Decluttering Really Hurts

  5. Love these ideas!! Thanks for all the help. I love collaborating with all you wonderful ladies that are willing to share your ideas. Couldn’t do my job all by myself!!

  6. We practice in the Chapel 2 weeks in a row… Would you do the raffle ticket two weeks in a row… getting prizes each week? Or see how many tickets they earn for 2 weeks? It just seems like kids need INSTANT rewards to keep them interested? Just wondering what you smart ladies would do?

    1. Hi Sheri!! My plan is to to do prizes both weeks. They can earn up to 3 tickets each practice and every prize will be worth 1 ticket. So even if they only earn 1 ticket that day they can still pick out one prize. I am going to say they have to spend all their tickets and they can’t save them for the next week. Otherwise I think i’ll end up with kids in tears the second week “i lost my tickets” etc. So they can earn 6 prizes total in the end, 3 each week. Am I making any sense??

  7. I love all your ideas especially the raffle, grrat reward idea. I am a convert and when I first got assigned to write the program I was like what are you talking about. Never seen one before. I went to the Internet and found a ton of wonderful primary presidencies that posted their programs. The first one was a learning experience. The second one I was ready for. I started writing it at the beginning of the year so I wasn’t so slammed when the time came. The changes I made to make it run smooth were quite a few.

    So I designed a seating chart of the stage in the chapel and assigned seats according to parts. We had about 60 kids and each one had their own part. I did each section according to the classes. The valiant 10 and 11 kids had to write a 1 minute talk, I gave them the topic and they wrote it and brought it to me so the Bishop could approve it. So at the end of each section one of the big kids would come give a talk.

    I also made a filp chart that me and another counselor would hold in front of us to tell the kids what song we are singing next and which class would come up next. We also asked a volunteer to help the chorister to motion for the kids to stand and sit, so we had one person on each side so everyone could see. We had two sets of step stools for the kids because the small one was not big enough for the little sunbeams. I also put name tags on seats for rehearsal so it was less hectic.

    And lastly we had the valiant classes sit on the stage for sacrament so the only ones that had to come up were the little kids. That worked out great and was very quick.

    I just got called as president 2 months ago and I am actually looking forward to another program and getting to put my spin on it. This will be my 5th one in 6 years, not as president yet but as a counselor and secretary. Good luck everyone and thank you so much for making life easier by posting this stuff. Thank you

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