"Kristen does a great job of engaging the kids balanced with a command of the group. She incorporates educational aspects of music that are particularly appropriate for PreK kids - it's very exciting to watch! She uses active and quality songs that kids continued to sing, even after the class is over. The children are SO excited when they realize it is Ms. Kristen (music) day! I think she provides a balanced and exciting musical experience for the kids and is an asset to The Chapel's preschool program."
"Beep, Beep! It's Dan! The Tax-i man!" A fun modern book about a funk band getting ready for their big show, and getting picked up by their friend Dan. Kids will encounter multiple musicians who share the sound of their instrument that is easily imitated. Aural Skills, Gross Motor, Improvisation
2. My Aunt Came Back
"Oh my aunt came back, from Guadaloupe. She brought with her a hula hoop!" Go on a world tour of where your 'aunt' (ant) travels and brings back a treasure that has a great motion! Toddlers can imitate their parents' movement while older children layer each motion until they are doing all motions at once! Fine Motor and Gross Motor, Sequencing, Multitasking are some skills developed through this song's movement.
3. We're Going on a Bear Hunt
"...Honey, Honey, Honey..." Children get the chance to create their own motions to follow the story as it is read aloud. Steady beat is reinforced throughout. Some of the concepts involved in the story are five senses, descriptive words, rhythm and repeating skills, directions and basic geography, sequencing and order, and even facing fears. Not only that, but Bear Hunt encourages physical activity and creativity!
4. Walking Through the Jungle
This is a lovely book with all sorts of movement opportunities! Before reading Walking through the Jungle, you could introduce the story by brainstorming the topic of wild animals. How many different animals can they think of? Can they think of one animal for each letter of the alphabet? How does that animal move? To generate interest, put a few plastic or soft toy wild animals in a bag and slowly take them out, one by one, only revealing a small part of the animal at a time. Elicit guesses about the contents of your bag. Draw on your children’s background knowledge of different habitats. What animals would they see in a jungle? In the ocean? On top of a mountain? In a river? In the desert? In the Arctic?
5. Peter and the Wolf
My all-time favorite! Here are a few movement activities we do during our Mommy and Me Music classes. Dramatically retell the story, using the orchestral accompaniment. Easily found on YouTube for free. Imagine you are running away from a wolf? Act it out but run in one spot. Listen to the story and make up movements to match each character. Then, use that particular motion each time the character is mentioned.
6. Carnival of the Animals
Have you had the pleasure of hearing this suit? Camille Saint-Saens was truly a mastermind when he first composed these movements - each focuses on a different animal and certainly the music almost mimics the true sound of that particular beast! Tortoises, Kangaroos, Lions, Chickens, Donkeys and more are featured. Can you move to the music in the spirit of that animal? Who can roar the loudest? For added fun with older children, cut out pictures of each animal found within the composition. One person skips around the recording and plays different pieces of each movement while the other pastes down the picture of the animal heard. Now you've just composed your own variation!
Rabbityness tells the story of a rather unusual rabbit, who, beside being a normal rabbit with normal rabbit habits, also had some unrabbity artistic passions: painting and making music. His passions made him so happy that he became an inspiration for all the other rabbits, who joined him in filling the woods with color and music. Take turns personifying the characters and moving around the room like them. Older children can use a random collection of instruments (even pots and pans) and create 'motifs' (theme song) for each character.