Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pioneer Day Possibilities

Pioneer Day is coming up!!!

Here are some ideas that we have used throughout the years!  (Don't get scared, but there's A LOT)

Bonnets and Hats -
Put up a clothes line of different pioneer hats, bonnets, or clothing.  Let a child come and pick one and then sing a song!

Pioneer Pack the Wagon -
Set different essentials that the pioneers may have needed for their journey on a table.  Let a child come and choose one item and put it in the wagon.  Sing a song for each item packed.
(You could also unpack the wagon and tell the children what things they may have used.)

Here is a picture of the bones :) if you wanted to make a wagon for your primary!  We used a radio flyer wagon, pipes, strapping tape, and a white sheet.

 Here come the Oxen -

 All you need for to make these are brown paper sacks!  Cute holes for the eyes, cut out the neck (on the bottom), and slits for the ears.  Let the children take turns being the oxen while you all sing!

Barrel of Beans -

Pour some beans in a barrel and hide different pioneer objects in them.  Choose different children to come and find an object, then sing a song.

Here are some examples of objects and songs that you could use:
Snake -  "Pioneer" Fun to Do (found here)
Candle - Come, Come ye Saints
Rock - The Oxcart
Pioneer doll - Pioneer Children Sang as they Walked
Cow - To be a Pioneer
Covered Wagon - Covered Wagons

Don't worry, you can still use this idea if you don't have a barrel!  Just use a bucket!

Buffalo Bowling -
 Tape a picture of a buffalo on the front of 6-8 pop bottles.  Pick one child to come up and use a ball to knock the "pins" down.
You can either set them up like regular bowling pins (in a V) and let the number of how many pins they knock down represent how they sing the song (ideas found here).  Or you can put the pins in a straight line and which ever one that gets knocked down is the song to sing (put a number on the lid).

Pioneer Pockets -
This is a fun pioneer memory singing time game!  Cut out 12 jean pockets and on the front put a picture of a pioneer and a number.  The idea of the matching game is to match the picture of the thing the pioneer used, to the picture of what we use today.  We found our images from Google images - or you could just write the words instead of having pictures.

For example:
Cooking over a fire - Cooking on a stove/in oven
Playing with sticks and stones - Playing with balls and bats
Riding in a handcart - Riding in a car
Growing your own food - Shopping at the grocery store
Using a lantern - Using a lamp (with electricity)
Sewing with a needle and thread - Sewing with a sewing machine
Using a washboard and tin bucket - Using a washing machine and dryer to do laundry

So have them try to match the old to the new and sing a song!

Cowboy Boots -
This is a quick and easy pioneer singing time (how I like it sometimes).  Get an old pair of cowboy boots and put song titles in them.  Let a child come up and pick a song!

Pioneer Trek -
This idea isn't new but here is how we used this idea:

Draw an outline of the United States and draw a line mapping the pioneers journey.  Move a paper handcart to each X (you will need 7 stops).  For each stop you will read a paragraph on a card...

So here is what I made up for my primary.  Feel free to use the same thing or modify it for your primary ;)
Tell your children you are going on a Pioneer trek, just like the Pioneers did!
Stop 1 -We are following the Prophet, Brigham Youngs', revelation to move westward.  We've packed our things into our handcart and we're ready to go!  Tie up the oxen and let's get pushing! (sing Follow the Prophet).
Stop 2 - The pioneers traveled 10-15 miles per day while crossing the prairies and about half as many crossing the rocky mountains.  A lot depended on the weather and the terrain being traveled.  Do you think the pioneers ever got tired?  What did they do to enjoy themselves? (Stand up and walk in place - Pioneer Children Sang as they Walked)
Stop 3 - Looks like a storms coming in!  No time to waste though we need to cross through the Missouri River by nightfall.  We may get a little wet... (Turn lights out and while you sing, The Oxcart, spray them lightly with a spray bottle)
Stop 4 - We've reached the halfway point at Fort Laramie.  Lets take a break and read our scriptures.   (sing Book of Mormon Stories)
Stop 5 - We've been traveling for awhile now.  And tomorrow is Sunday.  Lets set up camp and observe the Sabbath.  Sleep well around the campfire (sing Come, Come ye Saints)
Stop 6 - It's now Monday morning. At 5 a.m. everyone is awakened.  Our families have family prayer, cook breakfast, and feed and harness the horses and oxen.  We are ready to move by 7 o'clock.  By noon we are ready for something fun to do. (Sing Fun to Do "pioneer style" found here).
Stop 7 - Despite all the disease, bad weather conditions, hunger, suffering, and pain we've made it to the Salt Lake Valley!!!  All together, we have traveled around 1100 miles!  We need to stop and thank our Heavenly Father!!! (Sing I am A Child of God or Reverently, Quietly)

So hopefully one of these ideas can help you for your Singing time this week!  Thanks for your comments!!!  And Happy Pioneer Day!


  1. thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been looking and praying for an idea that I felt good about to use for a combined sharing/singing time this Pioneer Sunday. Yay!! You gals have great ideas. :)

  2. i like the idea of pioneers "crossing" the board and songs for each stop. simple, fun, and educational. oh, hallelujah. thanks!

  3. LOVE the pioneer trek idea! I am definatley using that one and the kids will love it. Thanks for making it so easy and for the great idea!

  4. I'm totally doing this too! Thanks for the great idea! I should dress up like a pioneer....

  5. I totally did this! It was amazing...only instead of drawing a trek on the board, I taped the stops around the room. I had two children dress up like pioneers and lead the rest of the primary around the room as we sang each song. We made sure to stop at the next stop each time read about the pioneers. The kids loved it and it was something totally different for them to do. Also, they got a tiny bit of an appreciation for how much the pioneer children walked, and walked, and walked and walked! Thank you so much for this idea, it was a life saver!