One of my favorite things about working with preschoolers is that I get to bring my love of music into the classroom on a daily basis. Music has so many wonderful applications in the classroom from storytelling to games or transitional songs. It’s nice to be able to share something I love with my students.
“The Dancing Song” is a fun game that we like to play outside. The game involves sitting in a circle and waiting for a turn to dance in the middle when your name is sung before sitting back down. After each person has gone, pairs of people are called until everyone has gotten a turn. It’s a silly little game and the song is likely to get stuck in your head, but it’s a nice way to learn new names, build confidence by dancing in front of peers, and build new friendships by dancing with new classmates. At the very least it’s a fun way to get some energy out.
Transitional songs are silly little songs that we like to sing to help our gaggle get from one place to another. They often sound strange like, “put your finger on the wall, on the wall, put your finger on the wall, on the wall…” (to keep from touching the food on the lunch table) but they are extremely effective. Waiting can be challenging for many students but singing songs or silly rhymes can be a fun way to fill the time. If you’re a preschool parent don’t be surprised if your child starts singing “make new friends” when you’re waiting at the supermarket, and if they’re talking about a jellyfish, don’t worry it’s a song not a new classroom pet.
We are very fortunate, in addition to Ms. Danielle’s fantastic collection, to have some instruments of our own in preschool. We have a collection of shakers and bells, xylophones, and drums. We also recently received a very generous donation of ukuleles that we’re excited to explore. One of my favorite games to play with the instruments is a “freeze dance”. Stopping with the music requires careful body control and self regulation which is great practice for us in preschool.
Our most recent addition to the preschool is a musical garden! You might be able to see it, or more likely hear it, on your way into school. Complete with hanging metal pots, pipe chimes, and metal bowls, the structure offers a variety of sounds for the children to try out. The garden is still “in progress” but so far the kids have loved experimenting.