We have been having so much fun learning about the Nutcracker this month! Songs we have studied include the Overture, March, Waltz of the Snowflakes, Trepak, Mother Ginger, and Waltz of the Flowers! We took turns leading the class in showing how to keep a steady beat with the Overture. Students got to play jingle bells and egg shakers while other students marched and galloped with giant candy canes to "March". We went paper plate ice skating to the Waltz of the Snowflakes and learned two scarf routines to Trepak and Waltz of the Flowers. We also got to play with the colorful stretchy band to practice bouncing to a steady beat to Mother Ginger's song.
The version of the Nutcracker we have been studying is from the New York City Ballet with George Balachine's choreography. You can watch it for free on YouTube! My morning classes have gotten to watch some of the ending where the Prince and Marie (Clara in other tellings of the story) go to the Land of Sweets and they absolutely loved it! Feel free to add this to your list of merriment over our long winter break! Follow the link below to watch it at home! For higher resolution, I would recommend renting the video on Amazon, Google Play, or iTunes if you can find it and are willing to spend a little cash!
Paper Plate Ice Skating! Do it at home!
Do you have extra paper plates laying around? This is a super cheap way to entertain your children! Carpeting works best, but all you have to do is put some music on and slide around on paper plates. Instant fun!
In music class this past week we have been working on songs/games/chants all about numbers! We have been practicing many familiar chants and songs and it has warmed my heart to see how many children know about different number rhymes!
Students at Pike Lake were SO excited to learn that they could play some of these games at home if they ask very nicely for permission! I've been very tickled to hear how many students bring music class home with them (whether you want them to or not!!!). Here's another way to bring a little bit of music class to your home!
This activity ties really well into your child's mainstream math curriculum. Number sorting can be challenging for some kids at this age, so this activity is a wonderful way to practice sorting and also keeping a steady beat!
All you need are number flashcards or homemade number flashcards from 1-10. This could be a fun rainy day or weekend craft!
One, two, buckle my shoe
Three, four, shut the door
Five, six, pick up sticks
Seven, eight, lay them straight
Nine, ten, a big fat hen!
Say the rhyme above. Ask your child/ren: How fast can you sort the numbers? Can you put them in order from 1-10 before the rhyme is done?? Try saying the rhyme slow at first. Then start to say it faster each time. The goal is to sort the numbers before the rhyme is done! Show your child/ren how fast YOU can sort the numbers!!
Did you try this at home? I would love to hear all about it! In music class we didn't have enough time to let every student have a turn in class. When I told the students that they play this at home with some help, they were STOKED!
The music curriculum that I am using this year incorporates a wonderful game that teaches Kindergarten students how to:
I introduced this game with just two colors and have added one color each time we play. When students become pros at each movement, we will play with seven colors at one time! Students are so excited to add a color each week and they are always curious to what new movement we will add next. This is a very easy game that you can play with your child/ren at home! Keep scrolling to find out how to play and for some easy DIY for making your own version of the Color Game at home.
The Colors, Movements, and How to Play:
Red - STOP
Green - WALK
Yellow - JOG
Blue - TIPTOE
Purple - JUMP*
Pink - HOP**
Brown - GALLOP
*Jump on 2 feet
**Hop on 1 foot
The game is simple: one person is the conductor and the rest of the crew follows the conductor's directions. The conductor is equipped with 7 color cards (see DIY below). Students do the movement associated with whichever color card the conductor is holding up (see above). For example, if the conductor is holding up blue, students tiptoe, if the conductor switches to red, the students stop and freeze their body. Student have to pay extra good attention because the conductor does say when they are switching colors!! This is a wonderful game to practice focus, gross-motor skills, and self-control! As the parent, you can start out as the conductor first! But after a few turns, give your child the option to be the conductor and you do the movements. Your child will love being in charge. And you get a free cardio sesh. Everyone wins.
DIY: Color Cards
Below is a picture of the cards I use for the Color Game that were included in the music curriculum classroom visuals kit. Making your own is as simple as finding some loose construction paper in your house. Other options would be to find some colored card stock from Target, Michael's, Walmart, Hobby Lobby, etc and to cut squares from those to create a sturdier option.
Want to get REALLY fancy and go the EXTRA mile?? You will need:
The word is your oyster. Be as crafty as you'd like to be with this. You can even make this into a fun craft for your child as well and skip the technology. The point is to have fun and connect with your child doing something that they've learned in school.
Comment below if you have tried this at home! I'd love to hear all about it.