There was a bit of a mix of enthusiasm to start things off at Birkdale. Some kids ran to sit in the circle as soon as I arrived, but others were a bit more shy. One seemed reluctant to participate, and wouldn’t join us in the circle, so I encouraged his mom to participate even more to set an example for him. The more she sang, the more she clearly enjoyed being in the program. It’s always great to have more people actively singing, as it brings the energy of the room up in general, but it didn’t seem to translate to the shy one. That’s okay though; the music is for everyone, and now his mom will have lots of songs to sing to him until next week. Hopefully soon everyone will be out of their shell.
Things started off a bit patchy today, as some of the parents were in and out of the room for the first little bit of class. Luckily the staff were very engaged and helped keep things focused. However, there were some tears, and some excursions around the room, which had one of the parents talking to her child and telling him to focus on the music. I encouraged the grown-ups to lead by example and engage in the music as much as possible, and sure enough, by the end of the class, we went from tears to smiles and laughter, and the kids wanted even more songs. Hopefully we can start with that kind of energy next week!
We had a great class at Birkdale today with great attendance. The kids, parents and staff were so welcoming and excited to be singing. We had a really cute moment when we brought out a turtle puppet and the kids were anxiously waiting for “Timothy the Turtle” to come out of his shell. I was happy to see some really excited faces when we started to play peek-a-boo with the turtle. Lots of fun!
The RSF homecoming at Birkdale was a bit smaller than average, due to a larger than average case of the sniffles, but there was still fun to be had all around! The staff at Birkdale were committed to getting more folks to come out, and made several announcements around the building. Though we started with only two kids, they were excited to sing and even more excited to clap and dance! People gradually filtered in throughout the class. One parent came with his daughters who were slightly older, but were completely engaged. One of the kids had special needs, and her dad was very helpful with her, while the Birkdale staff were able to attend to the kids whose parents weren’t able to make it. Hopefully we’ll see more parents out next time!
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!
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!
Things were off to a bit of an awkward start, as one of the kids was mid-way through a serious crying session when I arrived at Birkdale. However, once her mom arrived, things calmed down, and we were able to focus on songs. It was a bit of a shy class, from both kids and grown-ups, but I found that with enough variety there was something for everybody to latch on to. One kid was very into clapping and body parts songs, and another, who seemed completely disengaged throughout the class, instantly perked up for the instruments and parachute, letting out a smile I hadn’t seen all class. It’s good to know that even if you can’t capture everyone’s attention in the same way for every song, that everyone can find their own joy throughout the class.
We had a “small but mighty” group at Birkdale today, but everyone was so engaged, the class felt very full. The parents seem to really enjoy and appreciate the program, and the kids are such balls of excitement and energy that it brings everyone’s energy up, especially the Birkdale staff! One of the kitchen staff periodically visited the room and clapped along with our songs, which were about motion today. Songs like Wheels on the Bus and Little Red Wagon gave way to a big train ride around the circle, which made the kids even more eager to bring out the “instrument train” at the end. Let’s hope the word spreads for next week!
Nobody had shown up by the time I arrived at Birkdale, so the staff made a couple of rounds of announcements until we had some latecomers. Despite the extra effort needed to get people to come out, the ones that did were enthusiastic from the start and were very clearly engaging with their kids, and not just watching from the sidelines. We had a slightly older sibling in the group, and his energy and participation set a great example for kids and grown-ups alike. Sometimes the older siblings are a bit apprehensive about engaging with the material, but this one came ready to sing, and the enthusiasm was infectious. Hopefully we have a larger group next week!
What a joy! In contrast to last week, we had lots of parents this week, and they were truly enthusiastic and happy to be there. It’s amazing to see parents light up when they see their kids singing along, and even more amazing to see them singing together. Everything was jovial, and even when things got a bit noisy they didn’t take too much time to calm down. The big hits this week were Put Your Finger in the Air and The Hokey Pokey. There was zero fuss during our sharing activity and the post jam clean up. I hope every week can be like this one!