Monday, September 12, 2011

We All Sing for Ice Cream

We are starting to practice for our program which will be held at the end of October.  It still seems a long way out, but we have a Stake and General Conference on the calendar, and after some discussion with our Primary Presidency, I plan to teach the kids (maybe just "refresh" the memory of the older kids) Scripture Power, which I don't believe they have sung for several years.

To celebrate an awesome job on preparation and presentation of the Sacrament Meeting Program, our Primary Presidency plans to have an ice cream party for the children.

SO.... I took a few ideas (herehereherehere, and here) and mashed them together... my specialty.

I really wanted to make something that would last longer than October, though.  Something that could be repurposed and reused again and again.  Hmmmmm.....

I have an "Elmer the Elephant" poster that a friend in my FHE group (a group of moms who got together every-other-month to swap FHE lessons and ideas) made for me almost 20 years ago.  I have used trusty Elmer not only for FHE, but countless times in Primary and Nursery.  He has always been a favorite with the kids (even the big ones).

He's still around. 
 He has had hundreds of hands, big and small, inserted into his trunk over the years.  He certainly holds the key to durability, I figured.  So what if I used the same ingenuity my friend had for a punch game?
(The back of the Elmer poster.)

So here's what I came up with:

First I retrieved a pre-purchased (bought when Hobby Lobby had them 50% off) display board (black).  Then I cut the sides off another display board (white) and trimmed the edges, so it was about 1/2" smaller on each side.

I traced circles on the white cover board for the punch holes.  I didn't really space plan, just randomly put them on the board, leaving space at the top for a header of some kind.

I used an exact-o knife to cut the circles out.  A sharp blade is very helpful.

Then I traced the circle pattern from the white board onto the black liner,

then cut them out also.  Yes, the cutting is a little tedious, but the end product will be awesome.  I promise.

Then I took tube socks, cut them down a bit, cut notches along the edges ( a tip for you:  I didn't check out the sock-gluing technique used on my Elmer poster prior to this -- I wish I would have -- I think doing it that way would be easier.  Plus my holes are maybe a little on the big side, making gluing those socks a little trickier too), turned the sock inside-out (so when the kids punch through it, they feel the smoother outside of the sock instead of the fuzzy, lint-y side),
 and hot-glued them around the holes.  I only got 4 burns.  It's been a while since I've used my old friend, the glue gun, also pert near 20 years old.

This is the back-side of the liner board:

Then I decorated the front of the cover board with our ice cream theme.  Like I mentioned, I didn't really space plan ahead of time, but after a little trimming here and there, it all works out, right?

Then I added self-adhesive velcro strips strategically around the edges of the cover board.  Once they are placed, put the other piece of the velcro on top of the pieces you've placed, remove it's adhesive, center it on the liner board, and press it on... that way they are all lined up perfectly :-)
VERY IMPORTANT:  put your strips with whatever (choose a song... choose how to sing...) into your socks.  Then I taped on pieces of tissue paper, and made a header.

I also quickly made ice cream scoops and a cone to use this week.  I had put the songs we were going to practice (along with several that said "Punch again!") in the socks, and figured we would use the ice cream scoops as a scale.

I chose a helper from the choosing sticks (with the threat that IF you were selected and were NOT being reverent, I would choose another stick -- our kids were wound up yesterday and that totally helped them keep themselves in check), and that child would get to come punch out a cone.  Then they would stay up front to help judge the performance of that song.

If the Primary sang the song well, but needed the flip chart to help with words, they could earn 1 scoop.
If they could sing the song well without pictures, they could earn 2 scoops.

Simple and easy.  (Although making the board was anything but.)

I took extra sheets of tissue paper and quickly un-velcroed the cover from the liner and re-taped the punched holes in between Jr. and Sr. Primary.  It took 5 minutes.  

The board was a smashing success (literally).  The kids L.O.V.E.D. it.  I plan to use it in a variety of ways the next month and a half... maybe I'll

have a boys vs. girls cone-building game
have a Jr. vs. Sr. cone-building game
put "how to sing" inside the punch outs
put small items related to the songs inside and have the children guess the song
have the children try to earn a "cherry on top"

the possibilities are limited only to my creative and/or internet-searching skills.

The very best thing about this board:
I can make new and different cover boards, with whatever theme I want, and reuse that sock-lined-punch-out liner board FOREVER.  Or hopefully for at least 20 years.


  1. This is an amazing idea! Your blog is saving my life!! Thanks for all the fantastic ideas!!

  2. This is a great idea! Thank you! How did you use the original elephant board? he is so cute, I would love to make one like him!

  3. I am so excited to try making one of these, I think it'll help our primary be able to focus a little more! I have to ask the same question as Aelysium, How did you use the original elephant board?

  4. Awesome! I am totally doing this for my singing time. But I have a question- you said you would've glued the socks on the same way the elephant was done, so is the only difference is that you did much smaller and more 'tabs' while the elephant only has 4 larger ones?

  5. I'd love to hear the responses to the above questions too, especially how the gluing of Elmer was better.

    1. Yes, I think it would have made for easier gluing to have fewer tabs. It looks like some of the edge where the tabs are cut had been cut away on the Elmer poster. It was just tricky to glue the tabs on the ice cream board - I'm not very coordinated with a hot glue gun :-) The original elephant board is most often used as a music conductor. You can check out my Elmer the Elephant post for other ways I have used him. Hope that helps!