Great New Resource for Kids Songs

Let’s Play Music is a phenomenal resource!
http://www.letsplaykidsmusic.com/free-kids-songs-directory/

The site is developed by Sara Mullett, who has 15 years of experience teaching kid’s music classes. There are over 150 songs on the site, and for each, she includes lyrics, sheet music, videos of her playing the tune on a xylophone, circle time ideas including puppets, movement games, etc.

You can also follow her page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/personalisedlullaby, where she shares her own posts and also puts links to other helpful resources on the web.

For my other favorite resources for kids songs, look here, and for links to lyrics for, and videos of, my favorite kids songs, look here.

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Fun with Toddlers: Duck Theme

duckEach spring in our classroom, we have a spring theme with rain, raindrops and flowers, and on week 3 of the theme, the ducks appear! There are tons of great picture books about ducks, so in this post, I include lots of book recommendations and ideas for activities to accompany those books.

Songs to Sing

Five Little Ducks Went Out One Day
http://tmas.kcls.org/five-little-ducks-went-out-one-day/

Five Little Ducks went out one day, over the hills and far away.
Mother Duck said, “Quack, Quack, Quack, Quack,” but only four little ducks came back.
Four little ducks went out one day… …but only three little ducks came back.
(Repeat counting down to “but no little ducks came back.”)
Sad mother duck went out one day, over the hills and far away
Mother Duck said, “Quack, Quack, Quack, Quack.” Five little ducks came running back.

Six Little Ducks that I Once Knew http://tmas.kcls.org/six-little-ducks/

Six little ducks that I once knew, Fat ones, skinny ones, fair ones too!
But the one little duck with the feather on her back,
She led the others with a quack quack quack.
Quack quack quack. Quack quack quack. She led the others with a quack quack quack.

Down to the river they would go, A wibble wobble, wibble wobble, to and fro.
But the one little duck with the feather on her back,
She led the others with a quack quack quack.
Quack quack quack. Quack quack quack. She led the others with a quack quack quack.

Duck Picture Books and Activities they Inspire

Five Little Ducks by Raffi. The words from the song (above) in a book with illustrations. And Ten Rubber Duckies by William Winburn. These are both countdown songs/stories, and they have a really great rhyme and rhythm – easy for kids to predict what will happen next and easy to memorize!

  • Sing the song, and act it out with rubber ducks or handmade puppets. These are great for learning to subtract and learning about zero.
  • You may also use foam numbers – put 5 numbers on the table (or on the wall of the tub). As each duck disappears, take away a number to see how many are left.

One Duck Stuck by Phyllis Root. (Be sure to get the full version, not the board book – it’s abridged, and you miss some of the great language.) Fabulous rhyming, rhythmic words. And a counting book. And lots of fun marshland creatures.

  • Dramatic play: make masks or finger puppets of the animals in the book. One child pretends to be the duck and says “Help, Help, who Can Help.” Other kids (or the parent if you’re playing this one-on-one at home) come to the rescue.
  • Sensory play in muddy muck: give child a bag of dirt (or collect dirt from yard). Spend time exploring the dirt, describing it, looking at it through a magnifying glass. Add a little water. Explore some more. Then add more water till you’ve got gooey mud. Get a toy duck stuck.
  • Find photos of real ducks, real marshes, and real marsh-land creatures.

Ten Little Rubber Ducks by Eric Carle. Based on a real-life story of a shipping carton of rubber ducks that fell into the ocean. Ten ducks float off in separate directions and encounter a variety of sea life.

  • Art: Make 10 paper ducks. Label 1 – 10. Your child glues them to a blue paper ocean
  • Numbers: Collect 10 rubber ducks, or use paper ducks. Child rolls dice, counts the dots, puts that many ducks in the tub to show “how many fell into the ocean?”
  • Talk about ordinal numbers and directions: the first duck swam north, the second duck swam south, and so on. Play a game where your child goes in the direction you say: “the little duck swam left, the little duck swam right, the little duck went up the stairs.”

Have you Seen My Duckling? by Nancy Tafuri. A mother searches for her baby.

Little Quack by Lauren Thompson. A book about a duckling who overcomes his fear and learns to swim. It would be a great read in the weeks before starting swimming lessons!

Even more great picture books about ducks:
http://homeschool.rebeccareid.com/2014/08/26/duck-picture-books/

More ideas (and source citations) at: www.pinterest.com/bcparented

photo credit: shot_1305563005476 via photopin (license)

Great Resources for Songs for Kids

Each week in my class, we have a circle time where we sing lots of great songs that toddlers love. Circle time is a lot of fun for the children in the room and for the parents, but beyond that, singing songs with your children helps your child to learn in many ways, and enhances your connections as a family. Singing builds:

  • Musical skills
  • Mathematical and spatial skills
  • Vocabulary
  • Memory
  • Connections to traditions
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Attachment

Learn more about music and development.

Here are a few of my favorite resources for kids’ songs:

The King County Library has produced videos of librarians singing LOTS (hundreds!) of classic children’s rhymes: http://kcls.org/content/. If you’re trying to remember the tune of any childhood song, this is a great place to look!

Jbrary is a channel on YouTube featuring two children’s librarians singing songs, lap songs, and finger rhymes from library story times: www.youtube.com/user/Jbrary/videos. I LOVE all their videos.

Nancy Stewart has gathered lyrics and made audio recordings (.mp3) of lots of traditional songs, including her Baker’s Dozen of songs every child should know and a collection of campfire songs: http://singwithourkids.com/song-library.htm. She also has lists of recommended books which include songs, or have rhythmic text that can be sung to children, to reinforce both music and early literacy skills: http://singwithourkids.com/bookshelf.htm.

Let’s Play Music was developed by Sara Mullett, based on 15 years experience teaching kids’ music classes. It includes over 150 songs – each has lyrics, sheet music, a video of the tune being played on a xylophone, and activities / motions to go along with the song. http://www.letsplaykidsmusic.com

YouTube has a huge collection of animated videos featuring traditional and new children’s songs, in a wide range of languages. For example, not only would you find countless versions of the traditional alphabet song, plus many variations in melody (like ABC Rap), plus many elaborate alphabet songs (Animal Alphabet, Alexander Alligator, etc.), you can even find several different songs each dedicated to a single letter of the alphabet. (Even Q has 8 or more songs!)

As with everything on YouTube, the quality ranges tremendously, and there are some that are frankly inappropriate for children; however, it’s worth searching through and finding some of the great ones and setting up your own playlist. I will includes links to some good ones on my “favorite songs” page. Most kids love watching the videos along with the song, but if you’d rather not expose your child to videos, you can easily find a free program online which will allow you to convert videos into .mp3 audio files. (I use YTD Video downloader)

Music Connections offers some great posts on teaching rhythm and a steady beat to kids age birth to five: A Parent’s Guide to Beats and Rhythms, Developmental Progression of Steady Beat, and “Catching” a Steady Beat with Very Young Children.  This includes tips like: help your child experience steady beats by singing with them, dancing with them, or tapping on their knees in rhythm. When they’re doing repetitive movements, like tapping on something, sing or dance along in a steady rhythm that’s similar t o their rhythm. Have them walk or march to a beat.

Click here for my favorite songs to sing with young children.

Link

Play-Based Learning and Music to Boost Brain Development

Here are some great videos and articles to check out about how children learn while playing, and how we can support them.

Play is Children’s Work: a brief YouTube video on the benefits of play.

Also, check out my post from October 9 for a link to Penn State’s handout on nurturing learning through music and play.

Supporting make-believe play: www.toolsofthemind.org/parents/make-believe-play/. This is a great article that covers the benefits of imaginative play, gives concrete tips for make-believe games to play with different age groups, and gives tips for choosing pre-schools and children’s activities that encourage make-believe.

Ready to Learn: Dramatic Play. A YouTube video to learn more about dramatic play.

Ready to Learn: Singing Helps Children Learn. A brief video on the benefits of music. For lots more info on music and brain development, look here.

 

Rhymes and Songs from Circle Time

Here are some rhymes and songs we’ve done in class in the past few weeks:

Ring Around the Rosie. lyrics and motions

Humpty Dumpty. words and variationsvideo

Round and Round the Garden (rhyme) words and motions – we use variation 3

A welcome song: “I roll the ball to _____, s/he rolls it back to me.”

Are You Hiding? Done to the tune of Frere Jacques: “Are you hiding? Are you hiding? Yes I am. Yes I am. Now it’s time to come out, now it’s time to come out. Peek-a-boo! Peek-a-boo!”

And the peekaboo puppet song, also to Frere Jacque: “Someone is hiding, someone is hiding, who can it be? Who can it be? Now it’s time to come out….”

Check out lots more rhymes and songs here. And learn about the benefits of singing with your child here.

This Week’s Songs

Each week at circle time, we do songs and rhymes with the toddlers. (To learn more about the benefits of rhymes and music for your child, read this.)  Here are this week’s songs:

The More We Get Together: lyrics and mp3 audio; learn it with sign language

I Bounce You Here: words and motions

Popcorn, Popcorn: words and motions

Criss Cross Applesauce: words and motions

Shake and Stop: Oh, we shake and we shake and we shake and we stop. // Oh, we shake and we shake and we shake and we stop.// We shake and we shake and we shake and we stop. // Oh we shake and we shake and we stop. // Shake them up high // Shake them down low // Shake them on your tummy // and way down on your toes.