Monday, September 16, 2013


Introducing the Great Big Ball to the class.
     Hi from Miss Carole at Macaroni Soup:  Active Music for Kids!  In 24 years of teaching Music and Movement, I have yet to find a child who doesn’t like balls!  One of my son’s first 10 words was “BALL!”  after Mama, of course!  His eyes would light up and his hands would reach for any ball in sight!  
So what could be better than a

     To start you need a very large ball.  I have used medicine balls, but prefer an inflated beach ball because it weighs less, can be transparent and is familiar to children.  Google “giant beach ball” and you’ll find lots of options for 42”-48” balls ranging from $5.95 – 23.95.  The one you see in these pictures is a 48” ball that was about $12.  (Even has them!) Also, it’s the end of the season, so check out your local stores for clearances on Summer beach toys.

    Learn the song – the lyrics are VERY simple!  I don’t have an author credit for this song- I don’t know who wrote it or even where I heard it about 15 years ago!  But it stuck in my head – and it will in yours!  If you know who wrote it – please contact me!

Who’s gonna get that great big ball as it rolls around the room?
Who’s gonna get that great big ball as it rolls around the room?
Who’s gonna get that great big ball as it rolls around the room?
We’re gonna find out soon!                                                                          

Passing practice - before singing!

Jessie’s got that great big ball                         
Rolling from her head to her toes
Rolling from her head to her toes
Rolling from her head to her toes
Jessie’s got that great big ball
Rolling from her head to her toes
But look out, Jessie – here it goes!

Once passing is going well, start singing!
    What to do:  Introduce the ball to your children once they are sitting in a circle on the floor.  Stand in the middle of the circle to keep the ball moving as the children pass it all the way around the circle once.  Tell them that when you stop singing, whoever the ball is in front of lays down and you will roll the ball up and down their body, from head to toes!  BEGIN!

    Believe it or not, I did this last week with my classes of 4 year olds at the first music class – and they LOVED IT!  If you have some shy violets, they can sit in someone’s lap, and you control where the ball stops – don’t stop at someone who looks the least bit fearful.

    Helpful Hints:
  • Get a battery-powered or electric pump – it makes for easy inflation/deflation.
  • Remember – passing is a learned skill, not something children innately know how to do.  Take a moment to teach passing.  It will make this activity run smoothly.
  • Sometimes a child holds onto the ball – that’s why you’re in the middle – to keep it going!
  • If there are more than 10 children, have them lay down 2 at a time – “Joe and James have got that great big ball…” or “2 girls have got that great big ball…

2 boys have got that great big ball...
...rolling from their head to their toes!


What is learned?  Cooperation can be fun!  Especially at the beginning of the school year, learning to “share” by passing is an easy thing when done to music!  We’re also saying the names of the children – another chance for classmates to identify each other.  We also create shared experience, or community.  Look at the boy’s face in the left picture above as he shares the excitement with a friend – priceless!

   As you see in this last picture, I have EVERYONE lay down and I pass the ball over all of them.  Each child does not get a chance to be singled out with a verse each time we do this song, so this final “EVERYONE LAY DOWN” verse solves the “…but I didn’t get a turn” whine!
    One of the funniest things is how the ball bumps along their tummies - because they're laughing!

To hear the song, click here.  It is also available on my newest cd,
SEASON SINGS!, which includes 30 great songs like this one!  To purchase it, go to the Recordings page on my website.    

Yours for a Song – and a Great Big Ball!

“Miss Carole” Stephens


  1. This is a great strategy for physical learners. thank you for sharing!

  2. You're welcome, Rennie! I like to think of ALL children as physical learners - that's why movement is SOOO important in the EC setting! Thanks for your insightful comment!

  3. What is the tune of the song please?

  4. Hi Miss Carole. I love this, I am setting up my own sensory group and I would like to use this, would that be ok? x


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