"Let's Play Pretend!"

There were a couple of new faces at Birkdale this morning, so after some introductions we sang Hello. We started with the finger chant "My Thumbs", a new song that practices wiggling each body part one at a time, beginning with the thumbs, arms, toes and finally whole body. I saw a couple big yawns and was feeling a little sleepy myself, so I said to the class "Let's play pretend and re-wake up all over again!?" This brought about a number of responses like, "tuck me in mom!" and "turn out of the lights!". It was hilarious to see the kids role play! After waking up, I asked the kids "what should we do next?!", to which one child yelled out "BRUSH THE TEETH!". Great answer! We sang "Brush Your Teeth" and hopped on the bus (Wheels On The Bus) to get to "school" on time. Once at school, I asked "what are some of the things we learn at school?" Some of the answers were math, science, writing, reading, days of the week and colours. I took two of those answers and quickly incorporated them into our very own Rainbow Song lesson plan! Together we sang "Days Of The Week" and "What Are You Wearing".

IOTW was the Cabasa, a percussion instrument that is constructed with loops of steel ball chain wrapped around a wide cylinder. The cylinder is fixed to a long, narrow wooden or plastic handle. The player places his non-dominant hand on the metal chain, to provide pressure, while holding the wooden handle with the other hand and twisting the instrument back and forth as per the rhythmic pattern desired. Another interesting piece of information that I shared with the group is that the Cabasa is frequently used in music therapy, particularly with individuals who have physical/neurological disabilities as it requires minimal hand movement to produce a sound. I taught them all the signs to "Clean-O" and we sang it slowly all together, using the Cabasa to mimic the sound of us scrubbing each body part. It was really fun to hear a new layer of tone color provided by the Cabasa.

We jammed to "Clean-O" to reinforce the learning of the lyrics and signs, and to have an opportunity to pass the IOTW around the circle. Considering how beautiful the weather is today, I was also inspired to sing one of my favourites, "Mr. Sun!" We brought out the parachute and danced around to "Some Like It Hot" and sang goodbye all together. My time at Birkdale is FLYING by! It crazy to think we are about half way through the spring session.