|Break out those egg shakers!|
This week marked the first such program at my branch, and it was a HIT. I got to work in a few early literacy messages along with the fun, too: I reminded caregivers that establishing an internal rhythm helps prepare children for the cadence of reading, and I mentioned the increased exposure to word sounds and vocabulary offered by songs. Bonus: many of the library's best children's music CDs were checked out after the program, signaling continued musical fun at home for these kids. This really is a home run of a program; I hope you'll steal my playlist and offer the program at your library. (You can even take advantage of the music's funky nature and tie it into summer reading--can you dig it?!?)
Preschool Dance Party
Song: "Dance, Dance, Dance" by The Beach Boys
We warmed up to this song, doing lots of stretches and simple movements in time to the music to get ready for the rest of the program. All shyness had dissipated by its end.
Song: "I Like to Swim" by The Kerplunks
We did the motions in the song, which include swimming front stroke, backstroke, and butterfly. We also laid down on the floor when the lyrics talked about floating in the water.
Song: "Come On, Get Happy" by Daddy A Go-Go
I passed out rhythm sticks for this tune. We tapped the sticks above our heads, behind our backs, and using the floor as drums.
Song: "We Are the Dinosaurs" by Laurie Berkner
What kid wouldn't want to march-stomp around the room pretending to be a dinosaur? The song ends with a fabulous RRRRROOOOAAAAAAARRRRR!
Song: "The Shaker Hop" by Carole Peterson
I passed out egg shakers for this tune, which includes a good balance of motion lyrics (putting shakers in and out) and free shaking time.
Story Break: The Man from the Land of Fandango by Margaret Mahy and Polly Dunbar
Before kids settled onto the story time rug for our story, I handed out small cups of pretzels and glasses of water. After jumping around for almost 15 minutes straight, they were ready for a bit of rest, hydration, and energy boost. This book is the perfect length for a story interlude, and its rhythmic language and dance theme made it an easy choice to include in this program.
Song: "Clap Your Hands" by They Might Be Giants
This song boasts a mere three different lines of lyrics: 1) Clap your hands! 2) Stomp your feet! 3) Jump in the air! Children happily oblige.
Song: "Barnyard Boogie" by Greg & Steve
I brought out our 12-handled parachute for this one. With an older crowd, you could get the children to do specific actions with the lyrics. My younger group was so excited by the parachute, though, that we just made waves.
Song: "I Really Love to Dance" by Laurie Berkner
I asked the grownups in the room to take the handles of the parachute for this one, giving the kiddos a chance to dance underneath the parachute. We finished the song--and the program--by letting the parachute fall over everyones' heads like a tent. Happy squealing ensued.
What are your favorite songs to share with preschoolers?