Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Musical Kids (for ages 30-months through 5-years) 3/17/17

It's time for another good ol' Musical Kids post! Can you ever have too many of these? Possibly, but we're not there yet!

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--not a bad problem to have! This all goes on for 3 or 4 weeks in a row, takes a week or so off (or sometimes doesn't!), then starts again for another 3 or 4 weeks in a row. I love Musical Kids and, even more 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 kids and parents regularly.

Today I'm writing about last week's session with my oldest crew, the kids who are 30-months through 5-years-old.

Here is my playlist from that class: (red = ipodblue = sing)

1. A New Way to Say Hello by Big Jeff
2. Wave Your Scarf  (scarves) *
3. Row, Row, Row Your Boat by Rob Newhouse (scarves)
4. Anyone Can Sing by Playdate (shakers + cat puppet)
5. Rocketship Run by Laurie Berkner (rockets) **
6. One Little Froggy Goes Hop (drums) ***
7. Yellow Submarine by The Beatles (drums)
8. My Ball Rolls Over the Ocean (parachute) #
9. Stop & Go by Greg and Steve (parachute) ##
10. Wheels on the Bus (parachute) ###
11. Blow a Kiss by Laurie Berkner

* Wave Your Scarf comes from, you guessed it, Jbrary! It's to the tune of London Bridges and goes like this:

Wave your scarf up and down, up and down, up and down
Wave your scarf up and down, wave your scar-arf.
Wave your scarf left and right, left and right, left and right
Wave your scarf left and right, wave your scar-arf.
Wave your scarf fast and slow, fast and slow, fast and slow
Wave your scarf fast and slow, wave your scar-arf.
Wave your scarf around and round, around and round, around and round
Wave your scarf around and round, wave your scar-arf.

** I write about Rocketship Run every time I blog about my middle or oldest Musical Kids group. It's an absolute essential with these kids. I can't do the class without it. When I do this song, I hand out rockets-on-sticks (which I made, probably, three years ago at this point) for them to zoom around with, and then also, I hold up signs for all the places that 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. For years! Additionally, this song always gets the loudest end-of-song cheer from both the children and the adults. A++ for Rocketship Run! Here are a few pictures of the kids last week as they "traveled" to the sun:

*** One Little Froggy Goes Hop is a song I stole from this video (at the 9:30-mark):

I didn't have access to the recorded song above so I just sang it myself. It was SO GREAT. It was especially good for getting the kids to work on paying attention and following rules. I told them we were going to "make a big deal" about the word "stop." And encouraged them to not only stop playing the drums when I sang "stop" but to also to freeze. And if there's one thing a 4ish-year-old likes, it's a freeze dance song. (You want kids in silly poses? Freeze dance!) Unlike with the recorded version, singing the song myself also allowed me the luxury of varying the spaces of the pauses. It's fun to throw a really silly, long pause around occasionally.

# My Ball Rolls Over the Ocean is a variation on My Bonnie. In the song, we rolled the ball around on the parachute from person to person. It was my first time trying it. The idea came from the video below and can be seen at the 4:33-mark:

It was fun, but hard. The grown ups were better at the actual ball rolling than the kids and the kids seemed a little competitive about grabbing up the ball every time it fell off the parachute. I think if my group was even a little bit brattier, this may have lead to a problem, but luckily they were a fairly easy going bunch who shared and didn't complain when other kids took a turn with the ball. That said, it was fun to try to roll the ball around from person to person... even if it was slightly more fun for the grown ups than the kids. Here's a picture of me explaining what to do:

## This was the first time I used Stop & Go as a parachute song and all I have to say is: What took me so long? Is there any combo better than freeze dance and being under a parachute? I don't think so! Folks, if you need a new song to do with the parachute and you don't already do a freeze dance song, DO A FREEZE DANCE SONG. It works.

### My parachute version of Wheels on the Bus is a song where the kids get to go on top of the parachute. 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 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 as we sing the first verse of Wheels on the Bus. We do 4 verses in total: 

1. The wheels on the bus go round and round (walk around counter clockwise)
2. The wipers on the bus go swish, swish, swish (swish the parachute around the kids)
3. The doors on the bus go open and shut (pull the parachute down then snap it closed around the kids on the word "shut")
4. The wheels on the bus go round and round (walk around clockwise)

The kids love this and, of all the on-top-of-the-parachute songs in my (rather small) repertoire, Wheels on the Bus may be the overall favorite, since it includes several different actions for the grown ups to do around the kids.

What worked least: My Ball Rolls Over the Ocean was, I guess, the least successful song of the day, but it was still fun for a change and the kids definitely got a kick out of using the big ball (aka "chasing after the big ball").

What worked best: This was a super fun playlist full of successes. I'm going to call it a three-way-tie between Rocketship Run (which is always a favorite), Stop & Go, and Wheels on the Bus.

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