Music and Movement: Snow

[written way back on February 1st]

One of the fun and a little bit non-traditional things I offer at my library are 30-minute Music and Movement classes for 0-5. These are separate from the storytimes I have, and I require registration so I can keep a better handle on numbers. Other than space concerns (we don't have a separate programming space here, so I do programs in a large open area in our J Fiction section), I have a very limited selection of instruments (shakers and some bells on pipe cleaner handles I've created) so in order for each child to have one to play with, I have to cap the classes. I do the same class back to back. Registration for each class caps at 15 kids (plus their caregivers and a couple infant siblings), both classes are full, and I actually let 18 kids into the 10:15 class!

Anyway, I thought I'd start posting what I do in these classes to share what I've been up to and maybe inspire some new programming ideas for your libraries.

I do a lot of sourcing from blogs and books and listservs, so I'll try to give credit where credit is due, but sometimes I honestly can't remember where I saw something first, so my apologies for any mistakes!

Music & Movement: Snow!
February 1st, 10:15 and 11am

Opening Song: Glad to See You by Peter and Ellen Allard
"When I'm glad to see all of you, I like to clap my hands, stamp my feet, I especially like to shake my hips (wiggle, wiggle, wiggle!), I even like to nod my head, and then I like to see how many times I can blink my eyes."

Book: Oh! by Kevin Henkes

[In the first class, I did the next section activity, rhyme, rhyme, pass out sticks; in the second, rhyme, pass out sticks, rhyme, activity... I just go with the flow]

Activity: Angels in the Snow by Georgiana Stewart
Prior to the program starting, I laid out our big parachute on the floor. I had the kids lay down on top of the parachute. I told the parents they were off the hook on this one since there wasn't enough room. Most of the kids could do this on their own, but it was easy for the parents of the littles to move their arms and legs for them. Note: the recording never says "angel" anywhere.

Learn: Snowflakes Falling Down (Tune: Row, Row, Row Your Boat)
[I adapted Stacy's rhyme a little to make more sense to my recollection of how the tune goes]
Snowflakes falling down. (Lower hands while fluttering fingers)
Falling to the ground.
Big, white, fluffy flakes (Make circles with thumbs and index fingers)
They don't make a sound. (Shushing motion; finger to lips and shake head)

So here's how I teach rhymes like this: I tell them the tune, sing a little bit, ask if they know it, generally get lots of head nodding and/or yes'!. I sing through the whole thing once. Then I ask them what kinds of actions we could do. So in this case, I said "what could we do with our fingers to pretend they were snowflakes," etc. Then we sang and acted the whole thing together as a group twice.

Snowflake Dance (Tune: Frere Jacques (Are You Sleeping?)
Dance like snowflakes, dance like snowflakes
In the air, in the air
Whirling, twirling snowflakes, whirling, twirling snowflakes
Here and there, here and there.

Song: Waltz of the Snowflakes from The Nutcracker. (This idea was inspired by Jedda from ABC and 123)
By now all the kids had their snowflake sticks. We listened to the music for a while, and once I could sense they were itching to move, we got up and danced around like snowflakes.

[The first group is a little older than the second, and was more amped up after finishing being snowflakes. To bring them back, we repeated Snowflakes Falling Down which conveniently ends in a hushed way. Didn't think about that when I planned, but it worked out well! LOL]

Book: Snow by Uri Schulevitz.
[Cover]I pointed out the shiny silver circle on the front of this book and explained that it meant that the pictures in the book were so good, the person who made them got a special award called the Caldecott medal, and also that this was one of my favorite books about snow. Yay print motivation! :)

Song: Skaters' Waltz from World of Parachute Play (This idea I adapted from a lady named Colleen B. who contributed to this PDF from Early Learning Activities. Her initial idea was to use shaving cream on top of taped down tablecloths and skate around, but since we have carpeting, I did not think my director would be crazy about that idea, so we used the slippery parachute as our skating rink instead)

Note to future self: if ever doing this again, remember to have the kids take their shoes off. The first group had a much harder time gliding and sliding because they had their shoes on still. The second group had a much easier time.

Closing Rhyme: (borrowed from the librarians at the Ames Public Library)
We read a book / We sang a song / Let's blow a kiss / And say so long.
Teach sign language for book & song, mimic blowing a kiss, wave for so long.



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