In order to keep the moms engaged today I decided to shift gears and use some familiar favourite songs during parachute time. We all enjoyed doing some disco dancing during parachute time to Staying Alive, and then flashed forward to the 1980s and shook the parachute out to Caribbean Queen by Billy Ocean. I demonstrated the chime bars today, and we practiced taking turns as we passed them around while singing Hurry, Hurry, Drive the Firetruck.
Today I brought the Cuban clave sticks and taught the kids, caregivers, and staff the clave rhythm. They were excellent at keeping the beat to the point where I could split up the group and have 2 groups doing different complementary rhythms. I then taught the grownups how to do the Batchata Latin dance during parachute time. They loved the dancing aspect of the class and the kids hopped around happily to the music.
It was nice getting to see people who I have not seen in a long time at Jessie's. Some of the moms were there again with their second child and a lot of the staff were the same. The staff were all quite enthusiastic, and this got the moms and kids excited to join in on the fun. I focused heavily on Latin rhythms today and showed them the Agogo and the Cowbell. I challenged them and showed them some complicated rhythms and they handled them like champs!
I was happy to be filling in at Jessie's for Rebecca today. The class was very small, just two toddlers, and they both felt like wandering a lot today. I tried a variety of songs and activities to reel them in. Participants did a great job with Head and Shoulders. We got the instruments out early and jammed for a good portion of the class, which everyone seemed to enjoy. The class had a strong finish with the parachute, which got everyone giggling!
Our first class back at Jessie's Centre in a little while was a good one. One of our keen participants knew what was in my large black bag and kept pointing to it and implying that we should open it up. After many failed attempts to have her sit with us in the circle, we decided to mix things up a bit! Instead of getting out the instruments from the instrument bag at the end of class, we got them out at the beginning and opened things up with some jamming!
We were a small but mighty group today!! I brought the Rainbow rope for the first time, and the kids, moms and staff enjoyed making circular motions, rowing their boat, and going up and down with it. I also brought the Tingsha bells from Tibet, and they brought a certain peace to the room for the kids and moms.
I brought a Native American Ocean Drum to Jessie's Centre this week. The kids were so taken with it. They sat in awe as I slowly tilted the drum from side to side. I got them to close their eyes and imagine they were at the beach as they listened to the sounds of the waves crash. They all took turns holding the drum up over their head and tilting it from side to side to watch the little ball bearings float across the inside surface of the ocean drum.
We rocked out to some Latin music and beats today. I demonstrated the Guiro, and had each kid and adult try making fast scrapes with the stick along the Guiro and making slow, longer sounds. We made loud scraping sounds and compared them with soft scraping sounds. The kids really enjoyed having the independence of holding the stick and making the scraping sounds themselves. Then we danced to Latin music for the movement portion of the class, as well as for the parachute part of the class. The adults seem to really enjoy the Latin beats and sounds.