GoNoodle in the Library

GoNoodle in the Library

**this post is in no way sponsored by GoNoodle, although I did ask their permission to make sure they were okay with me posting it**


I may be a bit behind the bandwagon but I have recently discovered GoNoodle— and luckily in the middle of a 7 week music & movement session.  I first saw it mentioned on the Storytime Underground facebook page and immediately spent over an hour watching all of the different videos.

For those that have never heard of it, Go Noodle is a web site that “helps teachers and parents get kids moving with short interactive activities”.  It is originally designed for K-5 classrooms but I use many videos for my pre-k groups, although it takes more time to find those videos most appropriate for the younger crowd. When I googled ideas nearly all of them were for older kids in a classroom setting, whereas my focal point was the 2-5 year olds.  So, after a lot of ‘research’ I have compiled a list of some of my favorite GoNoodle songs for pre-school age.

Using GoNoodle in the Library | Miss Meg's Storytime

First, you will need to make a free (There is a paid plus account but I have no tried that yet) educator account.  A cool thing about GoNoodle is after you use it in a library program you can inform caregivers that they can  make their own accounts (as kids or parents) and keep on dancing at home!

In order to watch the videos you will need a computer, access to the internet, and a screen such as a projector or interactive whiteboard set up in your programming room.

*There is a paid plus account but I have no tried that yet*

After you create your account you will need to set up a classroom– I just named mine Music & Movement.  Up at the top of your page you should see a menu bar that includes “Explore”, “Categories”, and “Channels”.  These three areas are where you will find your videos.  I highly recommend just playing around to figure out how everything works.  It is a kid friendly interface, though, and not that hard to navigate. Now that you have an account let’s look at some of my favorites.  Each video has the name of the video and the channel you will find it in.

Miss Meg’s Favorite GoNoodle Videos

For ages 2-5 in a library program

Action & High Energy Videos

Wobbly Man- Koo Koo Kanga Roo

Slo-Mo Machine- Koo Koo Kanga Roo

Roller Coaster- Koo Koo Kanga Roo

Too Hot- Zumba Kids (especially good for a crowd of 4-5 year olds)

Om Petalhead in “William Tell Overture”- The Champharmonic

Dance Like This Dude- Awesome Sauce

Ants In Your Pants- Youtube

*as a bonus please watch Disco Brain by Awesome Sauce because it is really hilarious*

Cool Down & Calming Videos

Hug it Out- Maximo

Congratulations- Maximo

Belly Breathe- Youtube (from Sesame Street but on the Youtube channel)

Airtime- Game On (A little bit different concept than just watching a video… you pick grade level K-2 then where you are and breathe as a bubble floats as you breathe and then collect postcards as you go along)

Rainbow Breath- Flow

If you yourself ever feel the need to calm down and collect yourself before a program I recommend Chin Up by the Flow channel!

*another bonus: watch anything with Mr. Catman because also hilarious*


As you watch videos your ‘Champ’ will grow!  I have already been able to max out Om Petalhead:

gonoodle

Let me know if you have any other favorite GoNoodle videos in the comments!  I have yet to sift through them all and loving finding more songs to share in my Music & Movement program.

Music and Movement

Music and Movement

We are nearing the end of another successful Music & Movement session! If you are thinking of just starting something similar check out my first post about the logistics of it, as well as helpful tips (aka: bring deodorant).

Music & Movement

Music & Movement is an energetic, crazy, and fun program and is honestly my favorite part about my week while we are in session. It is open to kids 5 and under, but I see a lot of 2-4 year olds for the most part. I wear crazy leggings and I get to dance around with a bunch of small children.  Perfect.  This program can be lead with just one person but I find it invaluable to have another person with me to help change the songs on the iPod and handout props.

As they come in I have parents sign in their child as well as make a quick name-tag.  The kids come in and sit on an X.  These are just duct tape X’s that I have around the room.  I seriously think these X’s are what make M&M so successful: it helps kids stay in their area, it is easy to center their attention after an crazy activity (“Okay, let’s all find our X again!”) and it helps what I like to call “outer room syndrome” where everyone is too scared to sit right up front.

After we have all found our X’s, I begin by talking to the parents:

Music and movement is supposed to be noisy and a little bit crazy!  If you have a little one who is shy then feel free to join in yourself!  You are your child’s best role model and I can guarantee no one in this room will look sillier than me! If you aren’t comfortable joining in that is completely fine I just ask that you keep outside conversations to a minimum so as not to distract the kids. We hope to learn some new concepts including following directions, rhyme and rhythm, and creative play as well as fine tuning our motor skills and coordination.

After this we all sing our ABC’s!  If the group is doing a really awesome job, or we still have some stragglers coming in we may sing it a couple times.

We then go into some simple stretches and coordination/balance exercises– this part usually lasts around 15 or so minutes.  I want to make sure they are warmed up before we start dancing and jumping!  We also focus a lot on our breathing while doing the stretches.  Through the program I am also having the kids do big deep breaths (and sometimes this is just so I can catch my breath)

Stretches:

Toe touches, together and each side
Butterfly
Arm swings
Lay on our bellies and fly
Lift up with our arms
Downward dog
Lay on our backs, leg lift

Coordination:

Stand completely still
Stand on one foot, then the other foot
Jumping jacks

Keep a Beat:

This is just a couple short exercises to help us practice keeping a beat. (sidenote: I have the worst rhythm ever. But I try)
March in place
March while counting
Clap while counting, forwards and backwards

I begin each program with stretching, coordination and keeping a beat and then we alternate between different dancing songs and props…Here are some things that have worked for me:

Dancing!

 I primarily use recorded songs although once in awhile I will just sing or use a song on youtube.  Here are some good options you could look for:

Icky Sticky Bubbly Gum by David Landau (album: Kids & Kitties)
Jump Up, Turn Around by Jim Gill (album: Moving Rhymes for Modern Times)
Wiggle It by Koo Koo Kanga Roo (album: Rad-Trospective)
Hip Hop Body Rock by Mr. Eric and Mr. Michael (album: Rockin Red from the Learning Groove)
Walking, Walking by Anne-Marie Akin (album: Songs for Wiggleworms)
Twist and Shout by the Beatles
The Goldfish by Laurie Berkner (album: Victor Vito)
Shake Your Sillies Out by the Wiggles (album: Yummy Yummy)
The Number Dance (Disco) by Mr. Eric (album: The Big Silly with Mr. Eric)
The Hands are for Clapping by Jim Gill (album: Jim Gill Sings the Sneezing Song)
Freeze, The by Greg & Steve (album: Kids in Motion)
we also do a lot of Kidz Bop songs:
Uptown Funk, Shake it Off, Party Rock Anthem, Who Let the Dogs Out

Depending on what props we use I do about 5 recorded songs each session.  I don’t do them all necessarily in a row but may alternate with prop activities.

Other songs:

The Ants Go Marching
The Hokey Pokey

Dance Any Way You Want To:

source: Jim Gill Song
Dance any way you want to,
Dance any way you please
Dance any way you want to,
But stop when I say FREEZE
(alternate verses: jump, hop, skip, wiggle, etc)

Head, Shoulders, Knees, Toes
If You’re Happy and You Know It
The Wheels on the Bus

Favorite Props:

Egg shakers.  Right after Easter I bought some clearance plastic eggs and made a bunch of egg shakers for the kids to take home.  We have some official ones as well but I thought this would be a fun incentive. It also gave parents some ideas on what to do with all of those extra eggs they may have!  I usually just put on a song in the background and we shake our shakers fast, slow, on our heads, etc… but Jbrary has some great shaker song ideas on their pinterest page!

The egg shakers I use in M&M don’t have any markings on them and I am unsure where they originally came from but I recently bought some of these and they seem very sturdy and would work well:

Parachute. I always feel SO AWKWARD when I use the parachute but it is always a huge hit so I continue on.  We do Ring Around the Rosie and then just simple up, down, fast, slow stuff.  There are actual songs you can do but again, I’m awkward so it doesn’t happen.

Regardless, here we are using the parachute this past week:

 

Wrist Streamers.  Awesome! Especially with Shake It Off!  We have some store bought ones but it was also super simple to make them with ribbon and elastics for the wrist part.

Scarves.  Another favorite of mine.  I usually do the same thing I do with the egg shakers instead of using a scarf specific song but again Jbrary has some choices if you want to do a specific song!

You Do You

I’ve done Music & Movement for two 6 week sessions now and am obviously still learning about failure/successes every week.  If you are already well versed in doing storytime’s then you know it is important to gauge your group.  If you have a younger group than scrap the more complicated songs.  If they are especially crazy one week but seem to be really receptive to one song then don’t hesitate to repeat that one again (seriously, we do Jump Up, Turn Around at least twice each week).

For this type of program I think it is also important to be having fun yourself.  In such a high energy program the kids will feed off of you. Do what you enjoy doing. If you aren’t comfortable jumping around a bunch then don’t do it.  If you feel awkward doing the parachute then it’s okay to not use it.  Honestly, I am still learning how to use props really well so I think the strongest parts of my program is dancing and stretching.  But you might be a pro at using props and do way more than I do.  That’s great. You do you.

**we also made some pretty cool tshirts with the graphics used in our marketing (all from openclipart.org I believe) and iron on paper!**

Music & Movement | Miss Meg's Storytime

Music & Movement: the plan

Music & Movement: the plan

We are now in the fifth of sixth weeks in our music & movement program.  I blogged about it previously here, where you can learn from my mistakes and mishaps. Now I am going to go more in depth on what we have actually been doing in the program.

Music & Movement

To start off, I have an awesome assistant, who we will call Lady Barnacle as requested, who helps pass out props, does the motions, assists in reading stories, and changes the songs when need be.  I also have an iPod that has helped tremendously with this program.  I can just add the songs I want to a playlist and don’t have to scramble with switching CD’s.  It’s also great to be able to just pick out specific songs on iTunes that I want instead of buying an entire album.

As I mentioned in my previous music & movement post, I start out each time with a little spiel about what the parents should expect from the class:

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!

My last post also discusses our stretches and warm up but I am going to re-post them here- sorry for any repetition!

Keeping a Beat:
Sing your ABC’s
Count to 10 forwards and backwards
Count again while doing clapping our legs to the beat with our hands (can someone tell me what this called!? we just had a discussion at work and cannot figure out a term for this activity)
March in place

Stretches (while working on 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 (side note: teaching small children jumping jacks is very amusing)

After we are all warmed up and have our heart rates going we get into the dancing!

I have a few really good recorded songs we’ve been using but if you have any recommendations for what worked with your group please pass them on!

Jump Up, Turn Around by Jim Gill is a huge hit and a great opener because it goes slow enough but also gets us into the following directions mode.

We also have really enjoyed Dancing Face and Hop Hippity Hop by Justine Clarke.  Dancing Face is a good one for working our face muscles!

The Chicken Dance and Hokey Pokey were also big hits once we learned the dance moves.

Kidz Bop has a version of Thriller which we danced to with scarves, and Party Rock Anthem where we used homemade wrist ribbons.

Last week we learned the Robot and danced to that!

We have also been using props such as the previously mentioned scarves and wrist ribbons, egg shakers, musical instruments, and a parachute.

The program usually lasts around 40 minutes, combining songs, activities, and props.  I have been ending with an active storyand that has been working really well to cool the kids down. The stories we have done are:

Can you make a scary face is everyone ready for fun You are a Lionsleepy little yoga

After our story we do the same warm up stretches and then we say goodbye!


I have been getting a lot of positive feedback on this from parents and kids.  I definitely think it was a need in my community and plan on doing another 6 week session in the spring.  Always looking for more ideas so send anything you have my way!

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

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/