We had a big crowd at our Robertson House class today! There was dancing and singing galore with kids from ages 0-5. The kids were very mindful of sharing when we were passing our instruments around, and the grown-ups were very engaged! I couldn’t help but grant the wish of one child when he enthusiastically requested Wheels On The Bus. His hands were already doing the rolling action so away we went!
We had a great range of ages today in our Robertson House class with great participation from the parents. It’s always so nice to see the young babies especially responding to the sounds of the music. We had a lot of fun snapping our castanets for our rendition of Crocky Crocodile. Everyone was snapping with the tempo! Looking forward to next week’s class.
The last class of the session at Birkdale was full of energy and positivity, with lots of spring sunshine coming in through the windows. Though the kids weren’t the most focused during The Hello Song, Roly Poly worked its magic, and from that point on everyone was engaged with the music and actions. We went on a bus ride, a rowboat ride, and a rocket ship ride. We turned into sharks, frogs, and monkeys. But at the end of the day it seems like Put Your Finger in the Air is the fan favourite at Birkdale. Hopefully I’ll be able to come back soon and sing it with everybody again!
We had lots of fun with animal songs this week! Some highlights included Listen to the Water, where the kids got up on their feet pretending to be the animals we were singing about, and Five Little Monkeys. One enthusiastic boy insisted we do a Five Little Dragons afterwards, as dragons are his favourite animal. They also enjoyed Sticky Bubblegum, The Great BIG Spider, and pretending to ride bicycles and stop and go in I Have a Little Bicycle. The Redwood director came in towards the end of the class as well and introduced herself to me. It was nice to meet her, and she shared her appreciation for our classes.
We had a fun class with our CultureLink participants this week. I was very impressed with the skill they showed when practicing all sorts of hand signs. From letters to animals, they were all putting in a great effort to get all the signs right. Their dance moves were also stellar! Lots of fun.
We had a small but fun class at Robertson House this week with another class of all babies. We had many laughs during our time, the greatest of which came when we were singing a clapping song. We noticed that a few babies couldn’t help but blink each time we clapped. It’s always great to see the kids physically reacting to the music! Funny too!
Even though the class was surprisingly small today, the kids who did show up had more than enough energy for the whole room. They also played very well with each other, much to the delight of their mothers. During Sleeping Bunnies they both cuddled each other while lying down on the ground, and similarly spun and walked and jumped together during songs like Walk and Stop. However, one of the kids had to leave early, which meant a private class for the one who remained. He was as excited as could be! By that time what remained was the instrument of the week and jam, so I took the opportunity to go through all the instruments in the jam bag with him one by one, though he seemed most interested in the drum. Hopefully next week we’ll have a larger group!
This week at the Redwood was energetic as always and the kids were particularly enthusiastic. I overheard them asking, "When is the program going to start??" Some highlights included Jelly Fish, which they had a lot of fun with, as well as the Instrument of the Week, which was the Kalimba or "thumb piano." We passed the Kalimba around for every child to play with and, as each child had their turn, most of the other kids sat patiently and listened. I have never seen them so focused before! The Instrument of the Week is such a great tool with this group. They also really enjoyed Circle Scales, in which we held hands and marched into the middle of the circle saying "Hello/Goodbye," counting to 8, and then walking in a circle to Shoo Fly. We had never done such an exercise before and I think it really captured their attention. It also fostered a real sense of togetherness!
We had a great class at CultureLink this week. It was nice to see some new participants settling into the class. One baby was so focused on the guitar the whole time, we couldn’t help but have a little laugh about it – too cute! We also all enjoyed a moment when one boy did a great impression of “shaking like jello” during our rendition of What Are You Wearing? Looking forward to more great classes!
This session at the Plaza ended as happily as it began. I’ve enjoyed seeing the abundant energy and enthusiasm of some of the kids throughout the session, but it was particularly gratifying to see some of the shy kids come further out of their shells than they were at the beginning, now participating without much prompting. Though some of the grown-ups were still a bit shy in singing (which is understandable, given the language barrier), they were nevertheless quite engaged in all of the actions and movements, especially when it came time to dance. We had an extra long jam, and one of the staff members at the Plaza made our ABC song even better by accompanying it with the full ASL alphabet. The kids loved the clappers at the end, and it was definitely a good call to give them all the same instrument at the end of the session. Both staff members said they hope that their program gets extended, and if it does, I would love to return!