Learning Sign Language!

Today we had a great time singing and playing! We focused on a number of animal songs today, including Old MacDonald, the highlight of which was when one of the staff members at Jessie’s grabbed a bin of small toy animals and we were able to look at each animal, learn the sign language for that animal and then use both the toys and the sign language when we sang. It was a great way to bring together visual cues and vocabulary in 2 different languages–English and sign language! Our parachute time was also well-loved today with the toddler in the crowd running in and out of the parachute the whole time–she was unstoppable!

What a Feeling

I was delighted to be back at Robertson House this evening. Last Monday was Family Day and I was ill the Monday before it, so I hadn’t been there in a while. I had planned to have animal week on the day I had to cancel class, but decided not to do it this week because I hadn’t been there in so long, so it looks like it will get pushed to next session if classes continue at Robertson.

Nonetheless, class was awesome tonight! I arrived at the shelter and got an exciting feeling as I was setting up for class and moms began trickling in with their children.  I just knew class would be a lot of fun this evening and I was right –  participation was the best it has been yet! Many returning moms came to class today and everyone sang loudly and participated. There were a few older children who had returned and it was fun to have them be able to sing and do actions on their own.  Next week we’ll be wrapping up the session and I’ll be giving out quite a number of completion certificates for moms who attended 4 or more classes which I’m very happy about!

Up, up, up! and down, down, down!

Today we had a whole bunch of great singers! The students who attend class at Jessie’s Centre were able to join us today and, although we had a few students who were pregnant or whose babies attend daycare elsewhere, they still sang and participated for the whole class, which made things even more fun for the kids who were with us! We had one toddler who was quite happy to show off her skills when finding and touching different body parts, so we sang a number of songs that she could really get into like Hands Together, Hands Apart, Head & Shoulders, and Put Your Finger in the Air. We also had a great jam session with Goin’ to the Zoo and a silly song about going fishing! The parachute was definitely the highlight of today with the toddler running in and out and smiling and laughing as the rest of us (including the babies who were there!) shook the parachute and made it go up, up, up! and down, down, down!

Wonderful to be back!

It was so wonderful to be back at Jessie’s Centre again! After a long hiatus due to the holidays, bad weather and the exam period, it was great to be back in the centre! Because it is a new semester, there will be a new crowd of moms and babies and toddlers to work with. Unfortunately, many of them were away today, but we did have one very enthusiastic toddler with her mom, and a number of very enthusiastic staff members ready to sing and play. One of the highlights of our class was when we got out the djembe and listened to the different sounds it made depending on whether we tilted it to the side when we hit it, or left it sitting flat on the floor. Our little toddler absolutely loved the hand drum and spent the rest of our jam session banging out some unique rhythms!

Music and Spirit!

It’s great to be back at Beatrice House, and I was so happy to see many familiar faces mixed in with many new ones! I started the class off by asking all the moms to sit on the carpet (which they all did!) but as soon as we did any movement based songs, the kids took over and the moms were pushed to the sidelines.

Since I was dealing with many new people, I wanted the repertoire to be easy/popular so everyone could participate. We started off the class with Wake Up My Hands and then took a journey with Wheels on the Bus, Row, Row, Row Your Boat, and Zoom, Zoom, Zoom. The jam session ended with a big hand clapping, belt out version of Little Little Birds. We definitely had a large number of women from Jamaica who were very excited to sing Bob Marley’s classic hit.

Greeted with Hugs

After last week’s full and energetic class, I was very excited to get back to Robertson house. This evening I was greeted with unexpected hugs from a couple of returning children, which was so sweet. I began class by encouraging the mothers to participate and sing as much as possible, and it was so great to see that most of them did. I focused on animal songs for this class, to prepare everyone for Animal Week next week. Everyone very much enjoyed lying down and jumping up for Sleeping Bunnies, as well as singing along for Elephants Have Wrinkles – most of the children remembered it from last week. I brought the Agogo for the instrument of the week and it got everyone excited – even the moms! I’m excited to see more reactions to the various instruments as the weeks go by. Looking forward to next Monday and Animal Week!