Friday, March 18, 2016

Musical Kids (for Ages 3-5) 3/18/16

It's been several months since I've blogged about my ongoing Musical Kids program. This is one of my favorite programs (if not my all time favorite one), so I felt like another post was overdue.

This reoccurring program is done in three 30-minute sessions per week: 6-16 months at 10:00, 17-35 months at 10:45, and 3-5 years at 11:30, for either 3 or 4 weeks in a row. In this case, it was 4-weeks in a row. All of the sessions are very well-attended, with a core group of wonderful regulars who I've been getting to watch grow up. Today, specifically, every class was amazing! It must be the opposite of a full moon (a new moon?) out. It all just worked! This time, I am blogging about my oldest crew, the 3-5-year-olds, which was also my smallest group of the day.

Here's my playlist (red = ipod, blue = sing):

1. A New Way to Say Hello by Big Jeff
2. Shake Your Shakers (shakers) *
3. I Know a Chicken by Laurie Berkner (shakers + chicken puppet)
4. The Scarf is On My Head (scarves + handouts) **
5. Popcorn Kernels (scarves + handouts) **
6. B-I-N-G-O by Lynn Kleiner (circle dance) ***
7. My Grandfather Clock by Bob McGrath (rhythm sticks)
8. Bread & Butter (rhythm sticks) ****
9. No More Monkeys by Asheba (drums)
10. Rocketship Run by Laurie Berkner (rockets + handouts) #
11. Thunder & Lightening (parachute) ##
12. Slow and Fast by Hap Palmer (parachute + beach balls)
13. Merry-Go-Round by Wee Sing (parachute) x2 ###
14. Blow a Kiss by Laurie Berkner

* Shake Your Shakers is an easy song to sing. It's to the tune of London Bridges and goes like this:

Shake your shakers, shake, shake, shake
Shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
Shake your shakers, shake, shake, shake
Shake your shakers
Shake your shakers high, high, high
high, high, high, high, high, high
Shake your shakers, high, high, high
Shake your shakers
Shake your shakers low, low, low
low, low, low, low, low, low
Shake your shakers low, low, low
Shake your shakers
Shake your shakers, shake, shake, shake
Shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
Shake your shakers, shake, shake, shake
Shake your shakers

If it's not totally obvious, we hold the shakers up high in the air for "high, high, high," and down by the ground for "low, low, low." Easy peasy! Here's a picture of high, high, high:

** The handout for The Scarf is On My Head & Popcorn Kernels 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. Popcorn Kernels goes to the tune of Frère Jacques and, for this one, we start out by waving our scarves over our heads, then crumpling them into balls in our hands (the pot), then we shake them up in their crumpled balls, and then toss them up in the air for them to "pop." It's fun. I've done a handful of different scarf songs with all 3 age groups but these two seem to stand out as the overall favorites. It also seems to work out that every time I decide to mix it up and do something different with the scarves, I hear one kid ask their mom if we're going to do The Scarf is On My Head and then feel bad that we aren't. Variety--can't live with it, can't live without it!

*** B-I-N-G-O is one of my very favorites. I picked it out mainly to be a song to use with my first group (the 6-16-month-olds) but then realized that it's actually fun for all ages! I first saw it on Lynn Kleiner's DVD that came with this instrument kit but there's no video for it online! I've scoured and scoured and it's just not out there. SO. Just the song is on YouTube (below), and I will do my best to explain the actions:

For the verse part, everyone marches around in a circle. Then, at the chorus, everyone stops marching and faces inward. For the letters B, I, N, and G we all take a step in, one letter at a time, so by the time we're at G, everyone is really close together. Then, for O, everyone runs back and the circle gets big again. When we're in the middle, everyone has a good giggle at how close and silly we all are. (When I do this with babies, the parents hold their little ones and, when we get to the middle of the circle, it's a great chance for the babies to do some facial recognition). If you can visualize how this works, I totally recommend it with all ages!

**** Bread & Butter is a Jbrary favorite of mine. It can be seen below:

For this one, I did loud, soft, fast, slow, and nicely, in that order. It was wonderfully quiet during "soft," I have to say.

# I write about Rocketship Run every time I blog about my middle or oldest Musical Kids group. It's an absolute essential. I can't do this class without it. The kids are obsessed with it. When we do this song, I hand out rockets-on-sticks for them to zoom around with, and then also, I hold up signs for all the places we "travel" to. Here is a picture of my gear:

When I hold up a given sign, the kiddos all run up and touch their rocket to the sign, like they're really "going" to the sun/moon/etc. I'VE NEVER TOLD THEM TO DO THIS, and yet every week, it happens. It's so funny! They totally invented it and it's continued on from week-to-week and from class-to-class. Additionally, this song always gets the loudest end-of-song cheer from both the children and the adults. A++!

## Thunder & Lightening is a short parachute song to the tune of The More We Get Together. We start out by shaking the parachute low and fast for the first verse, then lift up high for the second. It goes like this:

There's thunder and lightening and wind and rain,
There's thunder and lightening and wind and rain,
Come under my umbrella, umbrella, umbrella,
Come under my umbrella, it's starting to storm.

### Like Rocketship Run, Merry-Go-Round has become an essential part of my Musical Kids repertoire for the oldest group. For this, we lay the parachute down flat on the ground and the kids crawl into the middle and sit down flat. There are usually 1 or 2 kids who are either afraid of this or who would just prefer to stand outside the parachute with the grown ups, but the majority of the group likes this part the best of all! When the kids are all in all seated in the middle, the grown ups pull up from the parachute's handles and we all walk around in a circle, giving the kids a ride. I play the song twice (it's only 28-seconds long) and we change directions for the second time around. Here they are on their ride (apologies for all the backs):

What worked least: Two weeks ago, all three Musical Kids classes were weird and off-feeling. I like to blame things on the phases of the moon, but honestly, I was probably just tired or stressed or sad or in a brain fog or something. Everything about the classes that week was just a little not-quite-right... culminating with me bumping into a 2-year-old and accidentally knocking her down (she didn't cry and was totally fine, but STILL). So, while not every single moment of every single Musical Kids class is a perfect success, today's class totally was. Additionally, sometimes when I have a group on the smaller side (8 kids in total for this one), it loses some of it's pep but not today! Nope! The pep was in full swing! I'm proud and happy to blog about this one. This was my A-Game Musical Kids.

What worked best: I always wind up answering this the same way-- Rocketship Run. However, while Rocketship Run was totally its usual awesome self, I felt like it didn't compete with the giggles that came with the parachute this time. So, to change things up for once....what worked best was the parachute! So much cute laughter! Plus I had my first younger sibling join in for the Merry-Go-Round song (pictured above in navy blue) and she quite enjoyed it!

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