Practice Makes Better

I was looking forward to repeating a couple of songs and activities this week; mainly the Meringue movement portion of the class. After singing the "Hello Song", we practiced counting and clapping to "Clap Clap Clap Your Hands" and woke up all our body parts with "I Wake Up My Hands". Using the hands, we rolled 'round and 'round to break down the opposite actions to "Roly Poly". It was amazing to see that ALL the children knew the words and were able to sing along, further developing their small motor locomotive skills. One little girl yelled out "What about Hands Together, Hands Apart? It has opposites too!" It was awesome to see them make the connection between opposites in both the songs.

I decided to repeat a couple of animal songs from last week. First thing was to review animal sounds, so I made a bunch and asked the children yell out the answers; pig, cat, chicken, dog, duck, cow, etc. Then we sang "Old MacDonald", using the sounds to reinforce the learning. I then asked the group "What sound does a frog make?" After hearing some "ribbit ribbit", I asked the group, "How does the frog move from lily pad to lily pad?" One of the older children demonstrated leaping up and down, and encouraged the younger participants to try. Some of the moms/shelter workers were laughing SO hard that it was hard to get through the "Little Green Frog".

Standing up, we practiced bending the knees and swaying our hips side to side. I put on the Meringue track and we dancing around for the duration of the song (marching in a circle, socials - in towards to the middle and back out again, turning on the spot, etc). Then, I brought out a pair of Clave Sticks and the Agogo and again demonstrated how to play different rhythms (both beginner and more advanced). I made sure to hand each instrument to a grownup and encouraged the grownups to share with their neighbor. I realize that because the children are so enthusiastic, the grownups sometimes miss out on the IOTW, and its important for them to have an opportunity to imitate and improvise on the instrument independently. Then, I brought out the Jam Bag and we sang "All De' Nations" and "The Lion Sleeps Tonight".

After a loud and rather demanding request for the parachute (they know who they are! LOL), I played a couple of Latin tracks and we practiced shaking the parachute up and down, and all around! It is always fun to lie down all together and look up at the colorful sky. Some kids wanted to cuddle and hug under the parachute, which I find SO sweet!

Singing goodbye was uneventful and yet some of the children were rather upset that the class was over! It is always flattering when this happens, but I had to help dry and few tears and give some reassuring hugs that I would return next week; same time, same place!