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Music & Movement: or, how you can learn from my mishaps and also not be smelly

Music & Movement

According to the internet, “music and movement is the use of rhythmic song and dance, thought of as beneficial for childhood development¹”.  Kids can lean important school readiness skills from being exposed to music and physical movement at an early age.  In a time of schools getting restrictive budget cuts to the arts and often spending more towards meeting standardized testing goals, the library can be a place to fill this necessary part in child’s education.  In a study from 2008, it was noted that “the arts can train children’s attention, which in turn improves cognition²”.

But really, I just wanted to boogie with a room full of toddlers.

and so, I set off to create a music & movement program for my community.  I’ve read great things from other librarians that have done something similar so I was very excited to start it here. So, I got the word out.  I told a bunch of parents I thought may be interested.  It was in our fall newsletter.  It was in the town newsletter.  It was on our sign out front.  I put signs at the adult circ desk.  I set up registration to have a max of 25.

I figured, “oh, I’ve got this… just pick some songs… some stretches… I’ll be golden”
So I did that.  I had an outline and songs ready to go on the smart board. I researched some good stretches to do with kids and figured out how I was going to introduce this new class. Mostly, I did keep to my outline but also improvised a bunch, and we ended up jumping around a lot more than I had planned for (or dressed for).  So without further ado, my plan:

Music & Movement!

“Music and movement is supposed to be noisy and a little bit crazy!  Parents, you are encouraged to participate with your young one to model the importance of active play. We hope to learn some new concepts including following directions, rhyme and rhythm, and creative play!” (side note: while I would have loved more parent participation it was a full room and we were very active so I understand)

Then we worked on trying to keep a beat by singing our ABC’s, counting to 10 forwards and backwards while also clapping, and marching in place.

Before being too active we of course have to stretch… and work on controlling our breathing!
Straddle, reach hands up and forwards and to each side
Arm swings
Lay on our bellies and fly
Lift up with our arms
Downward dog
Cat, Cow stretch
Lay on our backs, leg lift
Jump 5 times on command
5 Jumping Jacks

Then we moved onto actually getting up and dancing… I had these two songs up on the smartboard for us to dance to:

 

Then I attempted to create a circle and we were going to do some circle songs but that 0% worked.  So, instead I passed out some egg shakers and we shook our eggs all over the place (on our heads, bellies, etc..) and then danced to Icky Sticky Bubble Gum by David Landau– which is a HUGE hit with the storytime kids as well and worked great here.

Since we practiced our marching at the beginning I had them do some more marching exercises… We marched to The Grand Ol’ Duke of York and The Ants Go Marching.

And then, Miss Meg was exhausted.  I was sweating.  So, we ended about 20 minutes early and just did some cool down stretches.  By this point we had been jumping, moving, dancing, and singing for 40 minutes.  AND, in the future I will have someone else in the room with me but she was gone this first week.

I also have egg shakers, a parachute, scarves, and wrist ribbons for the future!

SO NOW, HOW CAN YOU LEARN FROM ME?!

My class went pretty well… As long as you are willing to adapt and have backup songs and activities you will be fine.  And if you’ve been doing storytime’s for awhile you probably already have tricks up your sleeves and go-to songs and activities.

You will also want to wear comfy clothes. Bring a backup to change into afterwards.  If you have a class like mine where the parents aren’t being active you really need to be a good role model in being active and doing what you’re asking the kids to do.  If it’s winter make sure you bring a t-shirt to change into because you will be sweaty and hot.

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Sometimes I need to dress professionally at work and sometimes I need to dress like I’m going to spend my morning stretching, dancing, and jumping with a room full of toddlers. #childrenslibrarian #librarianwardrobe #reallife #ilovemyjob

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Have water in the room with you and easily accessible.

  Bring extra deodorant.  Or go a step closer and just always have extra deodorant. 

 

If you’re feeling extra exhausted and need to cool down do some breathing exercises with the kids!

Don’t make any assumptions. Maybe you have a kid in class who isn’t moving and dancing at all.  I had one little girl like this in my class and her nanny let me know beforehand that they were mostly just there to be social because the little girl can’t really move around on her own yet due to a genetic disorder.  That’s okay!  The great thing about the library is we accept everyone!

And, if you’re female… the most important thing to remember:


¹ and by ‘internet’ I of course mean wikipedia. “Music & Movement” (page last modified on 6 June 2014)

² Arts and Smarts: Test Scores and Cognitive Development.  http://sharpbrains.com/blog/2009/04/16/arts-and-smarts-test-scores-and-cognitive-development/

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Bee Storytime- PreSchool

Buzz Buzz!  Our storytime theme last week was BEES!  I wore black, white and of course yellow in honor of our theme :)

Our opening song was VERY relative to our theme today… We always start with the rhyme Rickety Tickety!

Bee Picture Books

buzz said the bee
Buzz Said the Bee by Wendy Cheyette Lewison, illus. by Hans Wilhelm
Little Bee
Little Bee by Edward Gibbs
Bear and Bee
Bear and Bee by Sergio Ruzzier
Buzz off I'm Busy
Buzz Off I’m Busy by Christine Tagg, illus. by Bill Bolton

Bee Songs & Fingerplays

Here is the beehive
source: HCPL

Here is the beehive, [clench fist]
Where are the bees?
Hidden away where nobody sees.
Watch and you’ll see them come out of their hive
[bring out fingers one at a time]

one, two, three, four, five.
Buzz, buzz, buzz.

A Bee is on Your Nose
source: The Storytime Spot

A bee is on your nose.
A bee is on your nose.
Hi ho just watch me blow
A bee is on your nose.

(Repeat the song using different body parts.)

I also did an activity that I called Bee Subtraction!  I printed out 6 different bees and then we counted them and did some simple subtraction.

Full disclosure:  I did this storytime in the middle of a HUGE shifting project so it was all very last minute!  Sorry for a short one this week!

 

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Pirate Party: Make a Pirate Name!

We have our pirate party coming up this Friday in celebration of International Talk Like a Pirate Day (Sept 19).  As I was planning our party I kept finding fun pirate name generators- but I never found one that was really kid friendly…So I made my own!  Feel free to use this in your own pirate adventures, just like Hafuboti already has! I wanted to share this early in case anyone else has pirate-y things planned this week!

 Click the image for a PDF version of the Pirate Name Generator or HERE for the google doc link :)

Pirate PNGYours truly, Miss Swashbuckler :)

 

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Quote

so I keep seeing stuff on pinterest for www.picmonkey.com and I decided to check it out myself today! I am pretty pleased with the results– this was a web application that was very easy to use! I will definitely be using it for promotional materials and for making things things to share on our facebook page (which is what I did with this image).  It is completely free so go check it out

children are made readers

 

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Fizz Boom Read: Connecticut Animals Storytime- PreSchool

Baby Bear Counts One

For our last Fizz Boom Read storytime of the summer I focused on animals that are native to Connecticut, where we live.  I told the kids that every animal we hear in the books and songs today can be found in Connecticut.  This was a really fun storytime because the kids liked sharing what animals…
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