My little students should be experts at counting to 5 by now, because we have included a song for that goal in every single one of our early childhood music classes since August. So far we’ve counted apples, pumpkins, and trees.
This session we’re counting snowflakes, and of course we have our visuals (laminated snowflake cutouts) to accompany the song. Our kiddos love gathering around and pointing to each snowflake as we count, and then they ALL want to help take one away at the end of each verse. It’s times like this that I’m happy to have my intern, Alisabeth, by my side managing the chaos ;)
We have another counting song in the works for our next session, which begins in mid-February. At the end of the summer, it will be so neat to have an entire collection. In the meantime, if you want a colorful and musical resource for counting to 10, check out this resource I put together a few years ago.
Members of Listen & Learn Plus! have access to all of the above in our shared Dropbox folder. Membership includes just about everything else in my resource library and collection — come over and join us!
I’ve been on a seasonal counting kick these last few months, which you know full well if you’ve been in a music therapy session or early childhood class at Music Therapy Connections this fall. In September we counted apples, in October we counted pumpkins, and right now we’re counting trees.
In keeping with the theme, we use five laminated “trees” cut of of green construction paper to accompany the song Five Tall Trees, which always brings our helpers to the front of the room during class (my son Parker is usually the first to run up and assist in counting!).
Each time we take away a tree, we count the remaining trees, so our students get a lot of practice counting up to 5, 4, 3, 2, and then 1. We point to the trees as well as hold up the correct number of fingers, which encourages them to do so as well.
This song template is super simple, but it is a favorite in every session. Time to start planning counting songs — and making the visuals to go with them — for the winter months!
Members of Listen & Learn Plus! have access to this song along with just about everything else in my resource library and collection — come over and join us!
Earlier this week as I organized all of my singable stories on the bookshelves of our brand new studio, I took note of my favorites and those that have been most effective in classes and music therapy sessions. Five Little Ducklings ranks in the top 10, although if you ask my son Parker, he will tell you it’s #1.
I’ve shared other Melanie Gerth books here on the blog before, but this one takes the cake for a few reasons. First of all, the ducks: they are big, colorful, and fuzzy. They’ve stood the test of time (I’ve had this book for 7+ years!) and still look good as new. Second, there’s counting involved as in all of her books; I like that there are only five ducks to count and therefore it’s a bit shorter than the others. This fits my younger kiddos’ attention spans — or lack thereof — quite well.
And third, the familiar melody is easy for little ones to learn and remember. I think Parker had the entire song memorized after one or two listens, and he’s 2. (Of course, at this point he could sing it in his sleep, as we listen to it on every single car ride.)
I have used this singable story in my early childhood classes, both with the book and as a standalone song. If you don’t have the actual book, you could make picture cards to go with it or even have your students “act out” the story. Another way to get creative with it is to change the ducklings to other animals and replace “quack, quack, quack” with the appropriate sounds.
I’m on the hunt for some fresh new singable stories to add to my collection, so please share your favorites with me! You can find a whole heap of singable stories I’ve shared right here.
During a brainstorming session for an upcoming early childhood class, my partner Katey mentioned that she had written a song about monkey sounds. She suggested picking up some cute stuffed monkeys to use as props, which sparked the idea for this song.
I’ve been a longtime fan of the book Eight Silly Monkeys ever since adding it to my singable story collection during my internship. So I took the tune I use for that book and changed up the words, which resulted in a fun new instrument song for our younger kiddos.
Since our early childhood classes have more than five children in them, we usually up the number of monkeys in the song to reflect our class size. I took a quick video of Katey putting this song into action last night:
The monkeys are a huge hit, if you couldn’t tell from the video! We ordered them here, and we use our Remo Gathering Drum (though I think it’s time to invest in an even bigger one!).
P.S. Did you know that you can gain instant access to a vast collection of over 200 songs (mp3, lead sheet, and instrumental track), videos, tutorials, and visual aides, plus ALL new releases from Listen & Learn Music?
My first Thanksgiving post of the season! I love, love, love this time of year and the songs and activities I have to go along with it. The 10 Days of Thanksgiving is my favorite of all, which is why I blog about it year after year.
This time around, I decided to do something new; I took the visual aide I created and set it to the music, as you saw above. My students love using the iPad in our sessions, so now I can play the video if I don’t feel like using the good ol’ fashioned paper version.
Every time I sing this song, I’m reminded of all the goals and objectives that can addressed: counting, memory recall, reading and sight words, singing along, attention to task, and more. In addition to all that good stuff, I love that it gets everyone excited for the holiday.
The video is available on YouTube, but members of Listen & Learn Plus! get the download (so that it can be used without an internet connection) — along with an instrumental version so that you and your students can sing without me.
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