Monday, March 16, 2015

FAST FUN with RHYTHM - on the GO!

    I’ve always said we should have a song, fingerplay or chant “in our pocket” for that moment we need to fill when kids are squirrelly, waiting or at loose ends. Ta-dah!  Here are 4 sure-fire hits to fit the bill!
    Miss Carole of Macaroni Soup here in Chicago where the bulbs are popping up, the snow is almost gone and I just went outside without a down coat! Whoo-hoo!  I’m sharing these quick musical tidbits that you may find handy in a pinch! The children I work with love them – and you will, too!
You can hear them all on my “Polka Dots!” cd – available for listening HERE!

GROWING!  (spoken - picture above!)

A flower grows like this    (cup hands around face)
A tree grows like this       (shoot hands straight up)
A carrot grows like this    (put fingertips together                                                        and dive to floor)
And I grow like this: Ta-dah!    (strike a pose!)

   I’ve created a picture board for the children to “read” – left to right, then down to the next line and left to right.  See it above in front of me.  I’m not an artist, but they recognize the drawings!  
   Time elapsed – 10 seconds!  Do it AGAIN!
   You can hear it HERE.
SLOWLY/QUICKLY  (spoken tickle/fingerplay)

Slowly, slowly, very slowly, creeps the garden snail.
Slowly, slowly, VERY slowly, up the garden rail.
Quickly quickly, very quickly runs the little mouse!
Quickly quickly, VERY quickly all around the house!

   Again – having a visual helps identify what a snail and a mouse are to start.  I made the two animals out of felt (got clip-art patterns and transferred to felt) for my flannelboard (beside me in the picture above.)  
   Then demonstrate on a child by creeping your fingers up their outstretched arm as the snail, then a quick all-over tickle for the mouse.  Then ask the children to do it to themselves.  THEN they can pair up and do it on each other.  
    Hear it HERE!   Time elapsed:  15 seconds!  Do it again!
    Please emphasize appropriate touch – this should be fun and feel good, not be about poking or hitting.

             a name-game fingerplay  -->

Johnny, Johnny, Johnny, Johnny
Whoops Johnny, Whoops Johnny!
Johnny, Johnny, Johnny, Johnny.

   Admittedly a preschool and younger favorite!  Demonstrate with one child – use their name.  Starting with the pinky finger, tap each finger as you move toward the thumb as you say the child’s name.  The “whoops” comes as you slide down the pointer and up the thumb, tap the thumb and “whoops” back up to the pointer and tap your way back to the pinky. 
 SOOO much fun!  You can do each child while everyone says it with you, or you can pair children to do it with each other.  I like to have the class do my name at the end – so that I don’t find myself half-way through the year and still being called “teacha!”
   Hear it HERE! Time elapsed - you decide!

HANNAH BANANA!    (need room to move with this chant!)
Hannah banana plays the pian-na
Do the banana split, 1-2!

   That’s it!  Start standing, with feet together.  Sway with hands in piano-playing position until you get to “1-2”.  With each repetition, move feet a little further apart on the count!  When the kids are starting to lose their balance because they’re practically doing straddle splits, do it one last time and hop those feet back together!  I usually get 4-5 repetitions out of it!
   Hear it HERE!  Time elapsed - maybe 30 seconds!

Now you’ve got ammo “in your pocket” – have FUN!  
Yes, learning should be FUN!!!

Hey all - I'll be on tour in Ohio and Upstate NY - yes, coming to Greece and Rome - in late April/early May, and Cedar Rapids, IA in early April!  Want me to visit your school?  Contact me at 847-384-1404 or email me at
   A big thanks to Rindy Powell for the pictures of the cuties at St David's Nursery School in Glenview, IL. ... And to the Hannah Banana boys of my BIG MUSIC class!

Yours for a Fast Fun Song!
Miss Carole
Macaroni Soup! Active Music for Active Learners!

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