All the Feels For Our Last Class

Wow! We had a very special last class at the Redwood last night. After a three-week hiatus due to renovations, staff training and illness, everyone seemed happy and excited to resume the program. The children were calmer than I'd seen them in weeks, and they seemed eager to suggest songs when I announced that I'd be taking requests. Song suggestions included Shut the Door ("Can we do the spooky song??"), Old MacDonald and Sticky Sticky Bubblegum. I also made sure to add all their favourite movement songs, such as Shake Your Sillies OutThe Hokey PokeyZoom Zoom Zoom (We're Going to the Moon) and Walk and Stop. We also enjoyed a quieter/more pensive moment when we brought out the Ting Shaw bells as the Instrument of the Week. It was nice to see the calming effect it had on the group and they shared the instrument with each other very well! 

At the end of the class the staff and I gave out participation certificates and instruments as prizes, and we applauded each child when they received them. This felt very significant as I'm not sure how often they get to feel celebrated. After the presentation we also ended up having an impromptu dance party while Ngasseu gave out popsicles. One of the most special and heart-warming moments of the night, however, came when a mother in the class (who has four children) thanked me for giving out the certificates. She said (referring to the certificates), "These are so thoughtful. We have other programs that come here but you are the only one that gives these out. I'm going to keep this as a memory for my children. Do you know if I can get them laminated? I loved the program." She said this with such gratitude and authenticity. One of the volunteers also told me that the class was one of the highlights of her week. Though our time at the Redwood was sometimes chaotic, I'm grateful that I got to see the deep impact the program had on the children and community. It was an honour to teach there this winter. :)

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Frog Face Fun

We had a great time with our Robertson House participants this week. We had a small but enthusiastic crowd of kids aged 0-5 with their parents. I always love doing our Little Green Frog song, as it gets the kids and their parents acting a little silly together. One girl in particular did a great job sticking out her tongue for our silly frog face as we sang, which her mom quite enjoyed. It's always great to see parents and children having fun together!

A Busy Bus!

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!

Snap! Snap! Snap!

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.

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Goodbye My Friends!

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 SongRoly 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!

From Monkeys to Dragons

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.

Clap and Blink!

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!

Small But Very Mighty

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!

Instrument of the Week For the Win!

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!

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