I used the theme of weather in class today. We talked about the thunderstorm and heavy rain that came on last night, and how the rain at this time of year brings about growth of flowers and trees and grass. I brought a thunder tube and a rain stick, and demonstrated both. The kids especially loved the thunder tube!
We came back this week, and it was so exciting! There were lots of new friends to meet, and everyone was full of energy, ready to sing and dance. We had the most rousing version of Old MacDonald, plus all of our sillies got shaken around, but the biggest squeals and giggles came out with the parachute – there’s no substitute for that kind of fun! I’m really looking forward to what the rest of our sessions will bring.
We had a lot of fun swimming and singing for spring in class today. We began with 1 Little Minnow and Baby Shark. Everyone enjoyed the tickles, then the shark attacked. Later, we reviewed our seasons and talked about spring for The Tree Song. I brought the guiro as a special instrument, and the daycare kids enjoyed playing their fast and slow rhythms while the baby in class liked the vibrations she felt in her hand as the stick scraped the instrument. As always, there were lots of giggles and fun during the parachute!
We had a bit of a break this April, so this was our first class in three weeks. There were quite a few new faces, but fortunately the kids who live at Robertson House are so used to being around each other that any first-time nerves were swept away quickly as the Rainbow Songs Foundation experts led the way with a rousing rendition of I Wake Up My Hands. We practiced our opposites with Roly, Poly and Hands Together, Hands Apart, and marveled at how two of the babies have completely mastered the “do a little dance” part of the song.
We continued the animal theme of last class with Baby Shark and Elephants Are Marching. Even if the new kids and moms didn’t know the words, they were happy to be able to simply follow the clapping, marching, and animal noises. We sang about great places to see animals with Old McDonald, Listen to the Water, and Going to the Zoo, but this week’s highlight was definitely the parachute. Everyone was feeling relaxed and welcome by the end of class, so we let our inhibitions go and danced to La Bamba. Ritchie Valens might argue that to dance la bamba one needs una poca de gracia, but I think we proved that dancing with grace is no match for dancing with friends!
The kids were excited to see me again after we had a week off due to Easter Friday. I brought a Middle Eastern drum called the Darabouka. I had the kids and grown-ups keep the simple beat that I taught them, and then I added a second part on the Darabouka drum. Each person got a turn trying out the more simplified beat, and some of the parents and kids were really good at it! It was fun watching them feel so proud when they could get the beat.
We had a lot of fun singing through some of the kids’ favourite tunes. I led off with some clapping songs and then asked if anyone had any favourites they wanted to sing for our last class of the session. We sang Sleeping Bunnies and 5 Little Monkeys, before we made the sounds of a rainstorm with our bodies in a circle. I then brought out the rain stick and we took turns making rain sounds and singing songs about rain. We finished off with a medley of Somewhere over the Rainbow and What a Wonderful World, before bringing out the parachute.
Only two moms showed up with their young babies (2-3 month olds) for class at Rosalie Hall today, but we made the best of it. I took the opportunity to encourage more singing from the moms and taught them a variety of signs in songs like Clean-O, Sittin’ In My Highchair, and The Rooster Song, as well as a lullaby. I encouraged group input as well by asking the moms for their preferences for activities. It was a mellow class, but it was nice to connect more closely with the moms who attended. I hope it also gave the moms some good quality bonding time with their babies.
This week was a lot of fun. The group was a bit smaller than usual, so we were able to sit for a while and sing some good rhyming songs, including Down by the Bay, and Corner Master Store. Then we stood up and did a couple monkey songs: Do the Monkey, and 5 Little Monkeys. I introduced the clave, and the children did a great job sharing with one another. We finished off with a fun instrument jam.
Class started a bit late today and only the daycare kids came, but we made the best of it. We sang about swimming with minnows, pretended to be trees to sing about the seasons, and had fun with the freeze dance. I brought the wooden frogs as a special instrument, and the children shared them so nicely! I was impressed.
I brought and used the Rainbow Rope for the first time at Birkdale today and the kids loved it. Not only did it keep them calm, focused and sitting in the circle during circle time, but they were amazing at feeling the beat of the songs that I would play and moving the rope right in time. We practiced Roly Poly, Row Row Row Your Boat, and The Wheels on the Bus. Their favourite part was the crocodile verse in the Row, Row, Row, Your Boat song. They screamed so loud and so long, I think we woke up the whole building. Then, we stood up and did movement songs with the Rainbow Rope. Afterwards I showed them the Caxixi from Brazil, and had each kid stand up and take turns trying the Caxixi rhythm. They enjoyed taking turns and having the spotlight on them.