Hello! Today I'm in the mood to blog about my favorite recurring program-- Musical Kids! I do Musical Kids so much that I could fill my entire blog with weekly posts about it but, for the sake of some variety, obviously, I don't. In fact, I'd taken a little (8 month!) break from writing about it! But two weeks ago, I had SUCH a wonderful baby class that I just have to blog about them! And no, it's not just because my own sweet Sadie was there to join the fun...although that might be part of it. Maybe.
If you haven't been to my blog before, allow me to briefly explain Musical Kids: This is a reoccurring program done in three 30-minute sessions per week: 6-16 months at 10:00, 17-29 months at 10:45 (this used to be 17-35 months), and 30 months-5 years at 11:30 (this used to be 3-5 years). We did a bit of age group modification recently due to overcrowding in the middle group, which is not a bad problem to have! This all goes on for 3 or 4 weeks in a row, takes a week or two off (or sometimes doesn't!), then starts again for another 3 or 4 weeks in a row. I love Musical Kids and, even more than that, I love the relationships that I've formed with the patrons who attend it! I am so so lucky to get to work with such wonderful families regularly.
So on to my baby class two Fridays ago. I'll be honest, when I was planning the various weeks of activities, I'd saved some of my favorite stuff for this 4th and final session because I knew my husband and daughter were coming and I wanted them to get the best of the best. You'd do the same if were you!
Anyway, here's my playlist (red = ipod, blue = sing):
1. A New Way to Say Hello by Big Jeff
2. Alabama, Mississippi by Jim Gill (shakers)
3. We're Going To The Market by Kathy Reid-Naiman (shakers)
4. Faith by Stevie Wonder and Ariana Grande (tambourines)
5. Popcorn Kernels *
6. Smile for the Camera by Datarock (scarves)
7. Five Little Monkeys (mitt) **
8. Heartbeat Drumbeat by Joanie Bartles (drums) ***
10. Whole Lotta Lovin' by Fats Domino (drums)
11. Peek-A-Boo (parachute) #
12. Popcorn by Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights (parachute + balls) ##
13. Alphabet Song by Josh Levine (parachute + balls + letters) ##
11. Blow a Kiss by Laurie Berkner (parachute + balls + letters + bubbles) ##
* Popcorn Kernels: About two years ago I was in a scarf-rut and, to combat it, heavily researched new scarf songs for a few days. Then, of course, I wound up introducing a whole batch of new songs all at once. As time passed, the two that stuck around most prominently for the long term were called The Scarf is On My Head and Popcorn Kernels. The handout for both of these songs can be downloaded here. The Scarf is On My Head goes to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell and is possibly the reigning favorite scarf song (We did it the week prior to this one in Musical Kids. I can't save ALL the best stuff for the last week). But Popcorn Kernels, to the tune of Frère Jacques, is a close second favorite! It goes like this:
Popcorn kernels, popcorn kernels (wave the scarf around above your head)
In the pot, in the pot (crumple the scarf into balls in your hands)
Shake them, shake them, shake them (shake your tightly wrapped scarf around in your hands)
Shake them, shake them, shake them
'Til they pop, 'til they pop (toss the scarf up in the air and watch it fall slowly to the floor)
*** Heartbeat Drumbeat: I got the idea to do Heartbeat Drumbeat from a library program I took Sadie to at my local library. The (real) song, however, is a little long for kids, and if I am remembering right, the library programmer who used it wound up just cutting the song off when it got too long. I just can't do that. I am too particular. Enter... YOUTUBE 💜💛💚. I've encountered this dilemma a few times over the years (mostly when I do holiday programs, actually) and, when I do, I turn to YouTube. I found the PERFECT version of Heartbeat Drumbeat here. A little finagling and it's made its way into my playlist. It even has audience applause at the end, which is a fun bonus!
Where are you hiding?
Where are you hiding?
I can't see you
I can't see you
Are you over here?
Are you over there?
It winds up being a fun little game for parents and babies to play together and is particularly good for the babies on the younger side of the 6-16 month age range. There is such a difference in ability between a 6-month-old and a 16-month-old, I like to make sure I get in at least one thing that is especially for the littler ones.
## Popcorn, Alphabet Song, and Blow a Kiss: The end of the babies Musical Kids class is always the most fun part (albeit probably best for those who are 10-months and up). Here's where, really, I just throw a bunch of stuff on the parachute and let the babies go wild. It's so simple, yet it is always the highlight of this class. Our parachute time and parachute songs vary from week to week, but they always end with some time like this. Here's how parachute time usually happens:
a. 1-2 structured parachute songs (in this case it was Peek-A-Boo. Other favorites are The Colors Over You, Come Under My Umbrella, If You're Happy and You Know It, The Grand Old Duke of York, or Wheels on the Bus).
b. 1-2 unstructured parachute songs where we throw the beach balls in the middle of the parachute and just let the babies go hog wild (in this case they were Popcorn and The Alphabet Song). Some weeks we may toss alphabet letters (as seen here) or something else in the parachute too, but always the beach balls.
c. The goodbye song, which is always Blow A Kiss. I've found it best to use this as additional parachute time and also, because clearly there needs to be MORE STIMULATION, I also blow bubbles at this time.
What worked least: This was such a fun week but I'm not sure if Smile for the Camera was the best scarf song possible. It was my first time using it and may (or may not) be my last. But also, sometimes ya just need a little variety after a lot of the same things from week-to-week.
What worked best: In this class particularly, with this small but really really great group of babies (and parents), the end of the program felt like the best. Everyone (including me!) got in on a fun baby photo op (see the picture at the very top of this post) and I kind of felt like maybe, some real mom friendships were genuinely formed here. Such a great group, seriously!