We had yet another very energetic class at the Beatrice House. Sadly a few of my long time mothers/children had moved out but I was delighted to see some new faces in the crowd. We started off the class with a few warm up songs: “I wake up my hands”, “Head and Shoulders” + “If you’re happy and you know it” before moving onto a few class favourites: “What are you wearing” and “Sleeping bunnies”. Again, the children just loved pretending to sleep like bunnies before anticipating the big wake up! We also added sleeping crocodiles and T-Rex. We rocked out in the jam session with some Christmas classics: “Let it Snow”, “Jingle Bells” and “Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer” before giving out the certificates and clappers. A lovely ending to a fun filled session.
I had a great time filling in for Rebecca Jess today at June Callwood Center. The moms were at a parent meeting elsewhere within the building, so it was the staff bringing the kids to class today. There were five children with their respective staff caregivers. At first the class seemed kind of low key and sleepy (I think they were due for a nap), but once I brought out the instrument of the week, the Agogo from Brazil, they came alive – both kids and grownups! I played them some recorded Latin music which they seemed to really like, had them practice clapping the cowbell beat with their hands, and each took turns soloing with the Agogo. They proved to be quite musical and seemed to really enjoy seeing the Agogo, as they told me it was the first time they had seen and played one. This flowed nicely into our lively jam session and parachute time. I was also able to catch up with Barbara after class. I hadn’t seen her since I last worked at Jessie’s over a year ago, so it was a nice little reunion.
Although it was a small group this week, there was a mix of familiar faces and some new ones. I was so happy to see that both moms seemed comfortable sitting with us on the floor, so after making some introductions we started the class with The Hello Song.
I took the group through tons of material including Roly Poly, Where Is Thumbkin?, Open Em Shut Em, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Mr. Sun, Listen To The Water, Five Little Minnows, I Had A Rooster, Old MacDonald, The Wheels On The Bus, Row Row Row Your Boat, The Bicycle Song and Zoom Zoom Zoom.
We also made sure to Roll The Ball, and once successful, we also attempted to share with our neighbour as we sang Pass The Beanbag. One child was having difficulty but her mom was incredible prompt in helping her. It made a huge difference and I made sure to applaud her efforts. Leading by example is truly the best way for any child to learn a new concept!
For the instrument of the week we passed around the singing bowls from Tibet. While I was demonstrating one mom exclaimed, “This is so relaxing.” I told her to feel free to lie down with her child, close her eyes and think some positive thoughts. Chanting and humming along to the soothing sound of the bowl can help center the mind and allow the body to release negative energy simply by taking deep breaths.
We jammed to Three Little Birds and Baby Beluga with the newest member of our group laughing along the way. She was adorable and VERY musical! At the end of class (after the parachute, of course) the two older children had a tough time saying goodbye so we got ready all together, making up a song about putting on our coats, boats, hats and mittens. This seemed to send them off with a smile!