Hi, I'm Shelley

Welcome to Rocking the Playroom!

Here you'll find songs for babies, toddlers and preschoolers that you can sing whenever you feel like it.

There are also more structured Playschool Activities that parents or teachers could do as a playtime activity.

And finally, there are the Playschool Lessons, which group a few Playschool Activities together and follow the themes that the kids are doing at my local playschool.

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Lesson: Valentine's Day

Lesson: Valentine's Day

Every week, I share a music lesson I've done with the kids at playschool. Parents can do these lessons at home as a fun musical activity, and preschool/playschool teachers can use them for their music rings.

It's Valentine's Day, so we'll sing a fun song called "Oh my Darling Valentine", accompanied by the rhythm sticks. We're also learning about our pets, so we'll sing B-I-N-G-O.

Welcome Song

Sing the Rocking the Playroom Welcome Song.

Rhythm Instruments: Rhythm Sticks

Oh My Darling Valentine (tune: Oh My Darling Clementine)

From Shake, Rattle and Roll (page 28), and explained on Abigail Connors's blog here.

Oh my darling, oh my darling,
Oh my darling, Valentine
It's so lovely to tap together,
Oh my darling, Valentine

Repeat the song with a different way of playing the sticks each time - tap, scrape, hammer, slide, and draw.

Singing: B-I-N-G-O

Sing Bingo:

There was a farm that had a dog
And Bingo was his name, oh
And Bingo was his name, oh

Repeat the verse, but clap on the "B" (without singing it), then on the "B" and the "I", and so on.

Dancing: Meerkat Serenade

Show the children a picture of a meerkat. Ask them what they think it looks like, a squirrel... a cat... a rat...? Point out the meerkat's long tail and its claws that it uses for digging holes, called burrows, where it lives underground. Meerkets eat bugs that they find underground. They are very social animals - that means that when you see one meerkat, you'll probably see a lot more, because they live in big families. Explain that meerkats don't make good pets because they like to be with other meerkats and they can also be very nasty (aggressive). So meerkats are best left in the wild and there they are very happy and loving animals.

The song that we're going to dance to today is called Meerkat Serenade and it's a cute and funny song about two meerkats who love each other!

Get the children to copy you as you dance to the music. Use the following moves from Dance 'n Beats to dance to the song:

Intro: "I knew things would go my way..." - shoulders "I stretched up high" - tippy toes
Instrumental: twist
Verse: Male vocal - shoulders, Female vocal - tap, alternate tapping feet with male and female vocal
Pre-chorus: "Stand on your hindlegs..." - tippy toes
Chorus: twist

Wind down: Song of Love

Ask the children to bring a soft toy to school. Because we are also learning about pets, if they could bring a soft toy that is also a pet (like a dog or cat), that would be great.

Play Song of Love from Beautiful Me and just let the children cuddle their toys. They can lie down if they want to, or just sit quietly and listen to the music.

How did it go?
The lesson seemed a bit more chaotic today - I think at least in part because of the soft toys! I'd like to write a bit more about how I'd use the soft toys in future (learning from the challenges of today's lesson!), but suffice to say that I underestimated how much the children love their own special cuddly toys and so they were a bit distracting in the lesson!
 The rhythm sticks worked well and I think with a little more practice, all the kids will be playing them quite proficiently. Because we didn't have quite enough for the whole class, I got the kids to get into pairs and then share a set of sticks. We sang a verse of the song, then they swopped sticks and we repeated that verse. This did disrupt the flow a bit - because not only did I have to make sure that all the children swopped, I also had to make sure they handed over both sticks to their partners! Some kind kiddies immediately gave one of their sticks to their friends - great sharing, but not as effective as a musical instrument! :)
Singing B-I-N-G-O was a bit tough for some reason, maybe because they're all pre-spelling and pre-writing! I didn't even attempt clapping out the letters! Maybe this one is best left to Barney! ;)
Dancing to Meerkat Serenade was possibly the best part of the lesson! The kids copied the movements well and they seemed to need to get some of their energy out with a bit of dancing!

Looking for more fun musical activities to do with your kids?

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