Class started as usual by singing the ‘Hello song’ which is a good to way to settle children new and also regular members to the session and get their focus. I use it as an opportunity to sing hello and welcome each child who attends.
We started with the finger play rhyme ‘Johnny, Johnny’. We first had to check how many fingers and toes we had and played the game, sweeping in between the fingers on the words ‘Whoops’ when the rhythm changes. I then continued with the game but each child got a turn at bouncing on my Swiss ball and sliding off on the word ‘Whoops’. Child A was a little reluctant to sit on the ball at first but with some help from his Childminder he enjoyed the activity. In this rhyme, the name Johnny can be omitted and have the child’s name inserted instead. This continues the idea following on from the Hello song of personification, where each child who attends gets a sense of their own identity forming.
We followed this with class’s favourite song called ‘Jack Be Nimble’, which is a bouncing song that both babies and toddlers enjoy especially at the end when we toss the kids into the air. Older toddlers like Child A at this stage can also jump at the end which enables their physical development to grow. For this song we used a musical game where my doll Jack is bounced on the lycra to the beat and then tossed in the air at the end on the word ‘whee!’. Child A enjoys this part and was able to follow my different speeds.
Another favourite song was used next, which was ‘See Saw’. This was used as a rowing activity rather like ‘Row, row your boat’ that builds awareness of pulse but also of pitch with its simple two note melody (so-mi). I wanted to continue using the Swiss ball so Child A watched the other children lie on the ball as they were rocked. When it came to his turn, he wasn’t so confident so I decided to develop the game slightly and asked the children to beat the ball with their chosen speed. Once Child A got a sense of what he had to do, he very enthusiastically banged the ball with a very definitive pulse.
I moved to another activity using another song that has been used a lot this term called ‘There’s a Spider on my toe’. This involves tapping the beat of the song on various parts of the child’s body, starting at the toes and gradually climbing up the body. When I revealed the toy spiders to use in the game Child A said using a scary voices “Spiders”, just at the point where I had asked a newcomer if they were afraid of spiders and mentioned that these were only pretend and not to be scared of. This means to me that Child A is engaging in play and developing his sense of characterisation as well as the different voices that require various emotions and pitches that we have been working on this term e.g. low voice, squeaky voice, witches voice etc. This exercise builds up awareness between the speaking and singing voice.
Our last activity was the song ‘Mouse, mousie’ which is a chasing game rather like ‘Duck, duck goose’. Children take it in turns to be either the mouse which is a finger puppet or the cat which is a glove puppet, thus encouraging sharing and learning to take turns. We always have a slot for the end of the class where children can request their favourite song such as ‘Twinkle, twinkle’ and ‘Incy, Wincy’. We closed the session with the Goodbye song where I also sing goodbye to each of the children. The children and adults have the choice to stay for a complimentary drink and snack that Child A has started to enjoy the routine of which further encourages socialising for both adults and children. He comes up to me personally for a drink but needs some prompting from his Childminder to ask me verbally.