I keep talking about the activities I’m doing for the 8-11 year old girls at church, so I figured I might as well round up all of my fun primary activity ideas for kids in one place. Some of these also make great girl scout and cub scout activity ideas.
Fun Primary Activity Ideas for Kids
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Sharpie Dye Scrunchies
The girls wanted to tie-dye, which I know is pretty messy. I compromised with these Tie Dye Technique Alternative- Sharpie Dyed Scrunchies. Super easy to make, so cute, and a lot less mess. I toyed around with the idea of adding some kind of lesson about color, dye, or ??? I couldn’t think of anything relevant, so we just made the scrunchies and played around after.
For this activity, we had a small lesson on friendship. I asked them things like, “How can you be a good friend?”, “What kinds of things should you look for in a friend?” Then we made friendship bracelets using my method of How to Make Friendship Bracelets. I told them to take supplies home and make a second one to give to a friend.
Then we made some friendship treats. To do this, I purchased a box of Lucky Charms plus ingredients to make Lucky Charms Treats from this recipe. Before the activity, separate the marshmallows from the cereal into different, smaller bowls. At the activity, tell the girls what part of friendship each marshmallow represents as they take turns pouring them into a big bowl to make the treats. You can make up your own ideas for what the marshmallows represent or use the ones in this lesson. Let them all take turns mixing in the melted marshmallow mixture to make the treats, then enjoy!
Detective Fingerprinting Activity
This was such a FUN activity! I originally just thought it would be fun to fill out a worksheet to analyze their fingerprints. Well, one thing lead to another, and I came up with a full blown Detective Fingerprinting Kids Activity, complete with a cookie thief, a creepy recording, and secret messages. The girls loved it!
DIY Flower Press
This was a great activity that produced multiple activities centered around one theme. Best to do this one in spring (or whenever you have a bunch of wildflowers in bloom in your area.) First we learned How to Make a Flower Press, which took up an entire activity. I told the girls to bring them to the next activity where we went on a nature walk around my neighborhood and collected flowers to put in our presses. You could also help the girls learn to identify some of the flowers they collect. At another activity 3-4 weeks later (enough time for the flowers to be done pressing) we used their pressed flowers to make bookmarks and cards. I provided paper, glue and scissors. My friend had a laminator, so we also laminated the bookmarks. If you don’t have access to one, you could also use contact paper or packing tape instead.
Someone from church gave me a stack of journals to use, so we had a journal activity. I gave each girl a journal, a bookmark, and the overview sheet from this lesson here. I taped each of the questions from the lesson under their chairs to make it a bit more exciting. Then I showed them some of my old journals and told them how much fun it is for me to go back and read them. They loved laughing at the old pictures of me, and I told them some of the funny drama things I wrote in there as a 6th grader. I had them use the first page in their journal to write the auto-bio poem from the lesson, and then they got to take their journals home. I will say this all got a bit boring for the girls, so maybe some wiggle activities in between parts would have made it more bearable. I heard from some of their moms that they are filling up their journals with writing though, so at least the idea behind it worked.
Master Chef Treat-Making Competition
For this activity, I went to the dollar store to get a bunch of random treats I thought the girls could use to make other treats. I got things like graham crackers, frosting, chocolate chips, pudding cups, cookies, marshmallows, pie filling, wafers, etc. I also brought some items from my pantry like, sugar, sprinkles, cinnamon, jelly, etc. I split the girls into 4 groups and had them draw numbers to pick ingredients. They each had to use at least 3 ingredients in their recipe, and they had to make enough of their treats for each girl in the room to sample one (so bite size). I set a timer, and once it was up, they all went around the room sampling each other’s creations. Then they all voted on which one they thought was the best, and they couldn’t vote for their own. The winning team got some plastic medals that I also got at the dollar tree and “The Golden Spoon” (a wooden spoon that I spray painted gold and tied a ribbon around.) So fun!
Loop Yarn Scarves
This was actually a virtual activity that we did via Zoom because of COVID. I do NOT recommend doing it this way. The girls definitely needed some hands-on help that I couldn’t provide across the internet. Once they got the hang of it, they all loved making these loop yarn scarves though. Each girl will need two skeins of yarn to make one scarf. You can let the girls keep them or find a place to donate them. Here’s the video I made for them to learn how to use the yarn.
Conversation Heart Game and Compliment Valentines
This activity makes the most sense when done around Valentine’s Day. First we played this fun Conversation Heart Valentine’s Day Game for Kids. It helped them get to know each other a bit better since lots of them were new to primary activities.
Then we made compliment valentines. I cut out a bunch of paper hearts on my Cricut, and brought pieces of cute scrapbook paper, pens and glue sticks. The girls picked a piece of scrapbook paper, wrote their name on it, and put it on the seat of their chair. I handed each of them enough paper hearts to write something nice about each of the other girls. They delivered the compliment valentines to each of the chairs. When they were done, they each glued their compliments to their piece of scrapbook paper and took it home with them.
Card Writing Activity
You can never go wrong with a service activity. I utilized the website Just Serve to find an age appropriate activity for the girls to do. This was during the height of COVID, so I dropped off a blank Christmas card and stamped envelope to each of the girls addressed to a hospice and nursing care facility. I instructed the girls to write a letter or draw a picture to send to one of the residents. I also dropped off some inexpensive Christmas socks to each of the girls to bring the some cheer during COVID Christmas. I got the tag printables here. You could definitely do this one as an in-person group too.
The Symbols of Christmas Activity
I did this Symbols of Christmas Primary Activity a couple years ago, and it was so cute. I got each of the girls a little Christmas tree and velvet zipper pouch from the dollar store. I also bought some specific items to decorate their trees that represented Christmas symbols. Each girl got a set of the decorations and a printout of what they symbolize. They loved having their own little tree to take home and set up in their rooms. Then we had a scavenger hunt around my decorated house for different symbols of Christmas.
Nature Appreciation Activity
This activity was all about appreciating nature. I played this video of My Heavenly Father Loves Me for them. We talked about how Jesus created the Earth for us and how we can show appreciation and respect for nature. Then we made some bird feeders out of tin cans following this tutorial. I assembled the feeders ahead of time (minus the string), and we painted them during the activity. I sent each of them home with their feeder and a little baggie of bird food. I also gave them each a copy of the lyrics of the song. You can download that free here.
Admittedly, we did not use this manners game for any of our primary activity ideas for kids yet, but I thought it would be good to put here. This would be the perfect addition to some kind of etiquette night for learning about table manners. I’m planning one of those for the future, so I’ll probably use this Teaching Table Manners to Kids game at that time.
This was a really fun activity. We watched this video about the world record paper airplane. The guy shows how to make and adjust different paper airplanes, including the one that won him the world record for distance. I gave the girls a stack of paper and told them to fold and test different planes. Some of them folded their own and some chose to follow the video and fold the world record plane. At the end of the activity, I had them all fly their planes to see whose went the furthest. The winner got a prize.
The girls wanted to have a cooking lesson, and I knew I needed to keep the recipes fairly simple. We ended up making this rainbow spaghetti, garlic bread, and banana split bites. I don’t recommend trying to get all of that done in an hour, unless you cook the spaghetti noodles ahead of time. It was just a lot of chaos. If I had to do it again, I probably would have just done the spaghetti and called it a day. They loved it though, and the spaghetti noodles really did turn out this bright. I gave them each their own bag, and they got to pick the food coloring and shake up some noodles. Be sure to do that part outside if your kids are as crazy as the ones in my group. I told the parents to send them hungry, and they all got to enjoy their creations at the end.
Halloween Painted Rocks
It was close to Halloween, so I decided to have the girls do a fun rock painting activity. I collected rocks at the river that looked the right shapes to make pumpkins, ghosts, and monsters. To make things easier for the girls, I spray painted the rocks orange, white, and green ahead of time. At the activity, they used black acrylic craft paint to paint the rocks using toothpicks and cotton swabs. After they finished painting, we let them dry while playing some fun, outdoor group games. I sprayed them with a clear coat after they were finished drying. I encouraged the girls to leave the rocks around their neighborhood or on a hiking trail to give other people something cheerful to find.
Primary Activities Initiation
I did this activity at the beginning of a New Year, but you could do it any time and call it something else. I gave each of the girls this confusing checklist, and they had to participate in a bunch of challenges to check off each item. I wrote a post all about our New Year primary activity that you can read here.
Fleece Tie Blanket
For this activity, I taught the girls how to make a tie blanket from fleece and donated it to Project Linus. These blankets are ideal because multiple kids can be working on one together. There are also lots of places to donate. I took ours to my local Joann Fabric store and put it in their donation box.
Skits from a Basket
This was a really fun one that the girls loved. I broke them up into three groups (you can do more or less depending on the amount of girls you have) and filled three laundry baskets full of random costumes and toys from around my house. Then, I printed out a blank paper dice and wrote different emotions on them: sad, angry, surprised, excited, tired, and wounded. Each group got a basket and they were told to make up a skit to perform for everyone.
After performing their skits the normal way, each group then rolled the dice and had to perform it again, but deliver every line with the emotion they rolled. It was so funny! If you have more time, you can have them swap baskets and come up with new skits to do all over again.
I hope you get some inspiration from the fun primary activity ideas for kids. I’m still in that calling, so I’ll update this page as I come up with more ideas for my girls. I’d love to get ideas from you as well. What’s the best primary or scout activity you’ve ever heard of or been a part of? Leave me a comment and let me know!