Winter 2011 - Brian at Redwood

Week 1

A fun start for the winter session at the Redwood Shelter.  There were eight children, but I was a little disappointed at first when there were only two parents.  Come to find out, four kids belonged to one mother, and four to the other.  And a good time was had by all.  If we get another family or two of similar size we'll be happily overcrowded.

Songs included "Clap Your Hands, Now Sing 1, 2, 3", "Apples and Bananas", "Sticky Bubblegum", and "Listen to the Water".  And the bag of instruments and parachute proved to be big hits.  Looking forward to next week.

Week 2

One of the two families from the previous week attended, then a mother and her baby came in toward the end of the class.  The four children who returned remember the songs that they did last week, and enjoyed some new material.  They have a way of keeping things interesting, especially when it comes to naming animals that required sound effects for "Old McDonald", like a T-rex and a yak.  They also provided a challenge of trying to find rhymes for apples and oranges in "Corner Grocery Store".  Other songs included "Mama Don' Allow"/"Oh When the Kids" and "What are You Wearing?".  Everyone also enjoyed the Thunder Tube.  Being an older group, everyone, including the mother, was very adapt at producing the louder and softer sounds.

Week 3   

The family that was present at the first two sessions has gone on to other things.  But the other family that attended the first week was back again.  And they brought friends!!  So we had 4 adults and 9 children singing and carrying on.  The enthusiasm from the family that had missed last week quickly spread to everyone there.  We did several songs in preparation for animal week, including, "Itsy, Bitsy Spider", "Listen to the Water", "We're Going to the Zoo", and "Three Little Birds".  We even had time to fulfill a request from one of the children who remembered doing "Sticky Bubblegum" the first week.  With this momentum, Animal Week is going to be a blast.

Week 4

We were smaller in number with only one parent and three children, but we still had lots of fun.  One child was a veteran while the parent and other two children were new.  After a brief geography lesson with one boy, we sang and clapped our way through songs which included "Sticky Bubblegum", "All de Nations Like Bananas", and "Corner Grocery Store".  The jam session included songs "Jamaica Farewell" and "Three Little Birds" for a Caribbean flavour adding to the warmth of the class on a cold winter day.

Week 5

Was greeted by my geography student from last week, who immediately made a request from "Sticky Bubblegum".  There were also two other children and two adults who were back for more.  As well, a new child joined the festivities.  Other songs included "I Shut the Door", "All de Nations Like Bananas", "BINGO", "Corner Grocery Store", and "Jamaica Farewell" and "3 Little Birds" for the jam session.  The instrument of the week continues to be of great interest to both adults and children, this week being the clave sticks.  They really enjoy hearing about them and trying them out

Week 6

Turnover at Redwood again reduced our numbers.  There was one mother and baby who had attended previously accompanied by two ladies and one child who were new.  The young boy who had been there before continues to stare in fascination at the goings on while the young girl wiggled and danced to the music in her mother's arms.  Gearing toward the babies, we sang, "I Wake Up My Hands with a Clap, Clap, Clap", "Hands Together", "Itsy Bitsy Spider", "I Had a Rooster", "Elephants Are Marching", "I'm in the Mood for Jammin'", and "Twist 'n' Shout".  While glad that families have the opportunity to move forward with their lives, one does miss those who had become regulars over the first few weeks.  But we'll all continue to have fun with the ones who do show up.