I brought a Native American Ocean Drum to Jessie’s Centre this week. The kids were so taken with it. They sat in awe as I slowly tilted the drum from side to side. I got them to close their eyes and imagine they were at the beach as they listened to the sounds of the waves crash. They all took turns holding the drum up over their head and tilting it from side to side to watch the little ball bearings float across the inside surface of the ocean drum.
We did a lot of counting today! We counted our fingers for I Have 10 Little Fingers; we counted 1-2-3 as we clapped, slapped, stomped, and beeped to the rhythm; we counted 6 little ducks and then “quack, quack, quacked!”; and, we counted how many hammers Johnny worked with – 5!
Our instrument this week wasn’t exactly an instrument… it was the spoons! Our kids were instant pros, and even our grown-ups were getting into it. And it was very fitting, as we had a request for a song about food right off the top! As usual, there was a lot of jumpin’, and a-shakin’, and a-dancin’ with our energetic group, but we got the most giggles out of parachute time when everyone grabbed on and shook it with everything they had!
Today our group participated really well! They are really starting to remember lyrics and clap along to almost every song we sing. They are getting especially good at singing/reciting the rhyme I Shut the Door, and I Have 10 Little Fingers. They are always eager to make their doors creeeeak open and then SLAM shut!
Our group was a little smaller than usual this week, but that doesn’t mean we lacked enthusiasm! In fact, it was a little difficult to pin our small friends down to participate, but with some gentle coaxing, we got our circle going. Catering to some favourite requests didn’t hurt, either! Again, our instrument was a big hit; the wooden frogs had everyone enthralled, and one of our older participants even called it cool… that means I’m cool by proxy, right???
This week’s class at Rosalie Hall was nice but rather short. Our low number of participants did not arrive until well after our start time, and unfortunately the class time could not be extended. We did, however, manage to sing our Hello and Goodbye songs, and have a quick jam. Hopefully our attendance will pick up next week!
Our class at Robertson House this week was highly energetic as usual! The moms at this location seem to be more enthusiastic than ever – this is a huge help to the success of the class! I am very impressed with how well the older kids in the group accommodate and interact with the younger ones. They always make sure the young ones are getting a turn when we are passing instruments or other shared items around the circle. One highlight of this particular class came at the end when I heard a mom turn to her daughters to ask if they had enjoyed the class and wanted to come again. This particular family had recently arrived at the shelter and joined the class for the first time this week. The two young girls eagerly told their mom that, yes, they wanted to come again to the class. Looking forward to next week!
We rocked out to some Latin music and beats today. I demonstrated the Guiro, and had each kid and adult try making fast scrapes with the stick along the Guiro and making slow, longer sounds. We made loud scraping sounds and compared them with soft scraping sounds. The kids really enjoyed having the independence of holding the stick and making the scraping sounds themselves. Then we danced to Latin music for the movement portion of the class, as well as for the parachute part of the class. The adults seem to really enjoy the Latin beats and sounds.
This week’s class was inspired by what was happening in the moment. Everyone was already bouncing when I arrived, so we had monkeys jumping on the bed! We sang about what day it was, what we were wearing, and the season outside. There was still time for some special requests – our group is quite partial to Wheels On the Bus and having lots of jam time. Everything slowed down from its usually hectic pace, when I brought out the kalimba to show everyone. Sharing and taking turns has been a big focus for us over this session, and I was very proud of everyone passing on the kalimba after their turn, and listening to the other kids playing it!