Monday, May 25, 2015

It's a Stretchy Band Jam!

It's A Stretchy Band Jam
Summer Programs are beginning.  Sometimes, it changes our program slightly - maybe it's a little more low 'key' (Get it?  Music term)  Anyway, there are a lot of suggestions of manipulatives out there for use with children.  To name a few :
                 Bean Bags
                                         Jump Ropes
                                                  And ~ ~ STRETCHY BANDS
What works with Music?   Most music teachers would answer - anything!   Classroom teachers!  Parents!  I want you to think the same way.  Get out this summer and play with your children.  Join organized programs together AND do things on your own.
You can have fun with any of these items.  Take 15 minutes each day, choose one, put on some music and have some fun.  That's it - 15 mins.

Brain Fact - Giving children 15 minutes of undivided attention reduces negative behavior by 50%
This blog is focusing on how to have fun with a STRETCHY BAND and why.
First, what is a Stretchy Band? The answer is below.  Call Janet at Bear Paw Creek. She makes these right here in the USA!

I learned about Stretchy Bands from my friend, Miss Carole - Macaroni Soup.  Here is a picture of her playing with some families using the Stretchy Band.  You can click on her name to get to her website.  (If you read this blog regularly, you know who Carole is - and, probably already love her!)
Teachers - after Carole's workshop at NAEYC - were coming to our table asking for Stretchy Bands.  I needed to find out more.

I researched with OTs and found out they've been using these for years.   The benefits are many.  For the last six months, I've used the stretchy band with children varying in age from 18months to 6 years old.  Some things I tried - JUST TO SEE.
Here is what I've learned :
  *Two year olds can only use the band IF a parent is guiding them OR it is a one-on-one      using the smaller Connect-a-band.
  *When using the band with mixed ages, it is better to be seated
  *When using the band with mixed ages and standing, it is best for the adult to stand        behind the child and guide the child's movement.

Stretchy Bands-----
     Teach vocabulary
     How to follow directions
     How to work together
     Teach the concepts of push, pull  and resistance
     Strengthen muscle areas
     Allow for personal and group development
     Foster creativity
     Create confidence and a sense of accomplishment

This inspired me to set to writing two songs using the stretchy bands.  The CD they are on has not been released yet; however, the songs are available as downloads.
                      Click here - Stretchy Band Songs - Music with Mar.

Who Can Pull the Stretchy Band?  is a fun song that can be done with adults and children together - all standing up.  Just follow along.
Stretchy Band Jam - adults should stand behind children and help them to move their arms at the different levels.

Both of these songs were written with the input of an OT and a PT.  Videos will follow soon.  For now, the Bear Paw Creek website has some videos of the stretchy bands being used.  I will be uploading my songs - soon.   Until then, there is a lot here to work with.

Begin your Summer with some 
movement, music and fun with your family.

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