I love Musical Kids! I have blogged about this program in the past but it is, was, and always will be my favorite part of my whole job. So it's getting another post today!
This is a reoccurring program done in three 30-minute sessions per week: 6-16 months at 10:00, 17-23 months at 10:45, and 3-5 years at 11:30, for 3 or 4 weeks in a row. They're probably the most well-attended program in the department and I seriously love the relationships I have formed with our core group of regular parents and children. Today I am going to write about my baby group (again) who I see first at 10:00.
When I first started doing Musical Kids (about 6 or 7 years ago as a librarian trainee helping another librarian), I did not care for this baby group one bit. The idea of a singing and dancing program with babies intimidated me because, well, babies can't exactly sing or dance. It took me a LOT of time (like, 5 years) to get comfortable with them and even longer to actually enjoy it. But I started to get into this age group once I figured out one key thing--with babies, you get to do an entire category of songs you can't do with the older crew: lap songs! Once I found my lap songs rhythm, I started to love the 10:00 group! You can do so much with them that you can't do with the walkers. They're actually really fun!
Anyway, Friday morning was my second class in a 4-week session. Here's my week 2 playlist: (red = ipod, blue = sing)
1. A New Way to Say Hello by Big Jeff
2. The Moon is Round (lap song)
3. We Wave Our Scarves Together (scarf + handout)
4. My Scarf, It Has Four Corners (scarf + handout)
5. Scarf Dance by Mary Jo Huff (scarf)
6. Where is Thumbkin by r-H
7. I Know a Chicken by Laurie Berkner (shakers + chicken puppet)
8. Milkshake Song by Anne-Marie Akin (shakers)
9. Yellow Submarine by The Beatles (drums)
10. Elevator Song by Mary Lee Sunseri
11. You Be the Ice Cream (lap song + handout)
12. Round and Round the Garden (lap song + handout)
13. She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain (lap song + handout)
14. Go In and Out the Window (lap song + handout)
15. Blow a Kiss by Laurie Berkner
As usual, this program was made better because of good ol' Jbrary, specifically, their Babytime Story Resources playlist, which has pretty much everything you could ever need for a successful baby program.
I like to hand out the words to the parents when I do certain songs that we sing together and I usually do this for my scarf songs. I have a few different scarf songs handouts that I rotate between. I like the handouts because there are always new parents and I think signing together helps everyone feel involved in the group and like they're getting the most possible out of the program. Here is a link to the PDF for the two scarf songs that we sang on Friday, We Wave Our Scarves Together and My Scarf, It Has Four Corners.
I also have a handout for the four lap songs we sang toward the end of the class. Here is a link to my lap songs PDF, which includes You Be the Ice Cream, Round and Round the Garden, She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain, and Go In and Out the Window.*
*I make the parents sit in as tight of circle as possible for Go In and Out the Window so the babies really get a chance to check each other out when they go IN the window. It's really cute and wonderful. Here's how it's done:
I think the lap songs and the end, might be both mine and the group's favorite part.
I haven't bothered with a handout for The Moon Is Round (sung in the beginning) because it's really, really easy. Here are the words, if anyone wants 'em:
The moon is round as round can be
Two eyes, a nose, a mouth like me.
1. Singing helps children to hear the smaller sounds that make up words, because each note gets its own sound.
2. Moving, marching, clapping, and playing instruments helps with children’s motor skills.
3. Singing helps children build vocabulary through song lyrics. For younger children, “naming songs” where you are singing a list of animals, foods, or any other objects are beneficial.
4. Singing different pitches helps children think spatially because the notes of the melody move up and down.
5. Singing different rhythms helps children think mathematically because the beats are timed and precise.
6. Singing with young children helps them to learn critical communication skills such as reciprocal dialogue, speech sounds, and how to associate sounds with objects, events and feelings.
What worked least: I was really on my baby game on Friday so this particular session really worked well. But, as a bonus and so I don't look like I'm trying to cop out, here's something that didn't work in my 17-23 months class at 10:45: I had the group gather in a circle to sing Shoo Fly, Don't Bother Me and one mom, to get her twins into the circle formation said, "Like Ring Around the Rosie!" So then, in an act of trying to please everyone, I suggested doing Ring Around the Rosie next. BUT, oops, I didn't remember the song or the motions at all. Like, I completely blanked. So I just looked kinda dumb and unprepared. I've said this before but I am very lucky to have regular parents who appreciate my usual preparedness and probably understood that this was just me trying to be spontaneous. But darn you, spontaneity! Oh well.
What worked best: The lap songs are great. They're perfect for parent-child bonding and, in the case of Go In and Out the Window, even child-child bonding! Plus, like I said earlier, they're also what makes my 10:00 session special, so I really enjoy them.
Maybe I'll get another post in about one of my other age groups in the upcoming weeks. I'm so happy programming has picked back up to it's regular pace for the fall!