This week we did a music theme because what could possibly be more fun than singing and dancing around all morning? I started, as usual, with my opening song: “If You Want to Hear a Story.”
Then, we jumped right into our first book: Violet’s Music by Angela Johnson
I was surprised that there weren’t many books for this theme that I liked. I used several good books for my dance theme a while ago, so I assumed that music would be even easier to find cute books for! I wasn’t correct in that assumption. Though there are plenty of children’s books about music, very few of them seem like books the kids will really get into. I wasn’t really sure about this one, to be honest, until I read it to my first group. This was one I liked pretty well, but I figured the kids would either like it or hate it. I was right. Some groups just sat there impatiently for me to finish reading so we could sing, and others got into it commenting on how Violet was growing up so quickly or that it was sad that she couldn’t find any friends to play music with her. Overall, I’d say this book is so-so. Given the selection I had, it was one of the better books.
Next, we all stood up so we could sing “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.” And sing it we did! One group insisted that we keep going faster and faster; we must have gone through the song ten times. I know I was tired!
Then, I taught them “Apples and Bananas” (Raffi’s version):
I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas.
I like to eat, eat, eat, apples and bananas.
(Repeat with different vowel sounds in “eat,” the first syllable of “apples,” and the second and third syllables of “bananas.”)
I guess I didn’t remember how hilarious this song was when I was a kid because it was a huge hit! Most of them hadn’t heard it before, and they were squealing with laughter during the second verse. They thought it was the silliest thing ever!
After we all calmed down (and Miss Kat caught her breath after ten rounds of “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”), we all sat back down for our flannel this week. I’d like to note that this was not a flannel I made. It was left behind by the youth facilitator before me, so I decided to use it this week since it was “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” I assume she originally found the idea at Recipes for Reading.
They seemed to like this flannel, but I wish I would have had the time to make other colors for it. Gray is a difficult color for some of my age groups to identify.
Then, we all got settled for our next book: I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison
This was one of the books I knew the kids would like. It has a nice rhythm (as one might assume, given the title), it’s interactive, and it’s pretty fun to act out.
After we caught the rhythm, it was time to stand up and march for “The Ants Go Marching.”
Once we were all marched out, we sat back down for our next book: The Seals On the Bus by Lenny Hort
The kids liked singing along with this book since everyone obviously already knew the tune, and they thought it was hilarious that the people were trapped on a bus with seals, tigers, snakes, rabbits, sheep, and all sorts of other animals.
For some groups, three books was enough, and I went ahead and did my closing song, “Goodbye Goodbye.” For others, they demanded one more book, and that book was Jazz Baby by Lisa Wheeler
This was another book that I wasn’t sure about. I liked it and thought it was fun, but the kids often have very different opinions than I do. However, this week, we were in agreement. This book has good rhymes and rhythm, highlights different aspects of music, and is pretty sweet at the end.
Our craft this week got all the kids very excited, but I will warn you that it is a lot of prep! I was inspired by Oriental Trading Company’s DIY Paper Guitars. However, I didn’t think my budget would allow for me to spend $20 plus shipping for all the guitars I would need. So, I found a picture online, drew my own template, and cut out 20 guitars out of poster board. Then, because I knew the kids would want to play with them for more than the five seconds it would take for their new poster board guitar to fall apart, I cut strips of cardboard and glued them on the back of the guitar to make it somewhat sturdier. They turned out very cute too.