I know why they call it Spring. As in ice melting and water running. Stored energy bursting forth. Ok, what I really want to say is that my kids are bouncing out of their chairs. Spring as in boiiiing! Talk about a renewable energy source.
This is prime-time action season. The more the kids can be and become the music…become the story- the better. There’s so much to bodily act out and dramatize… and then build on. Here are some ways to capitalize on all that energy through total body involvement in making music!
Springing a song: sing it, talk about it, make up your own additional verses, assign characters and act it out- adapting it so every one has a part, make finger/hand motions, use puppets and drawings, kids can illustrate a song or verse within and then sequence the pictures in the correct order. Make a book!
Springing instrumentally: make your own instruments, play instrument songs either on a CD or live, play along loud or soft (vary the volume) stop and go (press play and resume,) pass instruments around the circle, put them in a box then close your eyes and choose one, name the instrument without looking at it. Use instruments to play rhythms and then use your body as an instument (clap, stamp, tap etc.) Make patterns with body percussion alone. Have a “blind walk” and have the children follow the sound while blindfolded.
Spring and Dance: dance with large groups, small groups, take turns, Dance quietly or loudly. Dance with small or large movements, dance if you meet a certain condition (if you’re a boy, girl, or if you’re wearing red…) Assign a leader and the other kids follow, pass the leader role down the line so everyone has a turn. Make a sequence and have a group do the first part, then another group do the next and so on. Have a group of two work together one being the right side of the body and the other being the left. Dance and freeze like whatever character or animal you may be studying about.
Here are a few good Spring rhymes/songs to act out, though I confess I do not know the sources. This particular bunch is for tots.
1. Tune: Each phrase is a note in the scale. Words: Peck, peck, peck on the warm brown egg. —-Out comes a neck. —Out comes a leg. Then comes a wing—- with a flap, flap, flap.—- Happy Easter/Spring —-everybody—-what do you think of that? (Peep, Peep, Peep, Peep, Peep, Peep, Peep, Peep. Shh!)
2. Funny little bunnys go hippity hop. They wiggle their nose. And twitch their wiskers. And their ears go flippity flop. or….
3. Tune of Bunny Hop: First you wiggle your nose. Then you move your ears. Then you shake your tail and you go hop, hop, hop. (repeat 3x) (Use an instrumental version of the Bunny Hop. During the musical interlude (between the verses), hold hands and circle right then circle left. (Do what fits.)
4. I love you. I love you. I love you so well. (sign the words) If I had a turtle, I’d put you in the shell.
5. Tune: Miss Lucy. Words: I had a little frog. His name was tiny Tim. I put him in the bathtub to see if he could swim. He drank up all the water. He ate up all the soap. And he burped last night from a bubble in his throat.
Margie La Bella is a music therapist and special educator with over 24 years experience working with pre-school and school-aged children.
Check out her excellent albums for ages 2-10:
Move! – Action songs about understanding directions and following through with them. (Receptive language)
Sing! – Action songs with sounds, words, and simple phrases. (Expressive language.)
Mixing it Up – More interactive songs about following directions, vocalizing, singing, moving and playing simple instruments. This album contains Margie’s spring song, Tweet Little Birdy
Listen to a short sample of The Caterpillar in the audio player, below.