Tag: shake shimmy & dance

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 7/11

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan

Book
I used a book published in 2017 that I’m not 100% sure about Caldecott eligibility on so I’m going to refrain from posting about it just in case.

Props
Parachute!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Jump Up (It’s a Good Day) — Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could
Freeze Dance — The Fresh Beat Band
Dance With Me — The Not-Its
Moving in a Circle — The Learning Groove
In and Out (Take a Trip) — Laurie Berkner
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

Today was my birthday, so I picked a lot of songs that I knew would make me happy to be doing that morning when I planned back in May. For Jump Up (It’s a Good Day), we did a lot of jumping. Freeze Dance is self-explanatory, and Dance With Me is a song that I love to use to get caregivers engaged in the program. Each kiddo was instructed to find a grown-up that they wanted to dance with. Most of them chose the grown-up that brought them, but I did have a little group dance with me. 😀

I tried to use Moving in a Circle as we walked around the room holding the parachute. This would have varying degrees of success depending on the age of the kids, but my group did very well with it. I think with more practice, we might be able to stop, turn, and change directions someday.

In and Out (Take a Trip) was intended to have kids walk towards the center of the parachute and then go back out. The parachute would have been flexible enough to follow them and I had hoped it would create a cool billowing effect. The kids, however, had other plans and went under the parachute and some went back out (but that was only a few). I would definitely try to explain this differently if I decide to use it again.

(For an example of the Powerpoint and handouts that I made for each Shake, Shimmy please visit the original post.)

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance GOES POP! — 7/26

shakeshimmyanddance

GOES POP!
…what does that mean?

This was a special evening edition of Shake, Shimmy that I did twice during the summer. I used popular, mainstream music instead of children’s music in the hopes of reaching adults and families in a different way.

The Plan


Book
Every Little Thing by Bob Marley, illustrated by Cedella Marley
This book is another that has personal meaning to me — “Three Little Birds” the song is what I sing to myself when I’m having trouble or worries. It’s something that started shortly after I discovered the Elizabeth Mitchell version of the song. It really resonated with me and I have it saved on my work computer for this express purpose. I really wanted to show families the power of song using this exact one. Songs can improve our mood and help us through harder times.

Props
Scarves!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Can’t Stop This Feeling — Justin Timberlake
Shout Part 1 — The Isley Brothers
Shut Up & Dance — Walk The Moon
Sweet Caroline — Neil Diamond
Let It Go — Idina Menzel
Firework — Katy Perry
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

Since this was a VERY different kind of Shake, Shimmy program, I started with some announcements. I explained that children’s music songs are typically a lot shorter than regular contemporary songs, so if our group started to lose energy I planned to do a slow fade-out.

Our first song, Can’t Stop This Feeling was another familiar song for the majority of attendees and worked in the same way as Happy did in the 6/30 program to get immediate staff buy-in. And for this library, Trolls is a huge draw. This song was a free dance.

Next, we danced to Shout Part 1 and did the typical motions that you might see on a dance floor at a special occasion. Since we used these familiar motions, caregivers were all in for this one and I probably could have played Part 2 as well!

Shut Up & Dance was the one song that I waffled about for a while. Was “shut up” an appropriate phrase for kiddos to hear? Ultimately, since the playlists were available at the Kids & Teens desk prior to the event, I decided that caregivers could make that decision for themselves. I also advanced the slide before announced the title of the song, letting them decide if a bathroom break was in order. (No one left.) It was another free dance, this time with a grown-up that you care very much about!

And our last non-prop song was Sweet Caroline. I’ll be honest, four mainstream songs that range in three to four minutes of length prior to props is too much and I would change that in the future. I felt poor Sweet Caroline got cheated and I wound up doing a slow fade on it to move on to prop songs.

Scarves were used in both Let It Go and Firework. To differentiate the movements between songs, I had the kids pretend their scarves were Elsa’s sleeves. It worked!

I’m not sure when GOES POP! will be back on our schedule, but I still think it was a very valuable experience!

(For an example of the Powerpoint and handouts that I made for each Shake, Shimmy please visit the original post.)

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: GOES POP! — 6/30

shakeshimmyanddance

GOES POP!
…what does that mean?

This was a special evening edition of Shake, Shimmy that I did twice during the summer. I used popular, mainstream music instead of children’s music in the hopes of reaching adults and families in a different way.

The Plan


Book
What a Wonderful World illustrated by Tim Hopgood
This book holds a special place in my heart. It was a baby shower gift for my sorority sister a few years back. I just adore Hopgood’s bright illustrations to accompany this beautiful song. Now, this was a departure from the kind of books that I normally promote at the front of this program. I generally try to pick books that warm up the crowd, but this time I wanted to highlight our Picture/Play/Songs area of the collection and to show caregivers that we have a wide variety of titles there, including popular music.

Props
Parachute!
(Please note, this is our smaller 12′ parachute. I did not have a crowd big enough for the 24′ parachute.)

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Happy — Pharrell Williams
Dance, Dance, Dance — The Beach Boys
Riptide — Vance Joy
I Wanna Dance With Somebody — Whitney Houston
I Will Wait — Mumford & Sons
Here Comes the Sun — The Beatles
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

Since this was a VERY different kind of Shake, Shimmy program, I started with some announcements. I explained that children’s music songs are typically a lot shorter than regular contemporary songs, so if our group started to lose energy I planned to do a slow fade-out.

Our first song, Happy, was one that most of the participants (kids included) were familiar with. In fact, I planned it that way! I wanted a bridge for both age groups to get on board with the program. We danced our best “happy” dances during this song and it should be no surprise that a lot of clapping took place. Another free dance song was Dance, Dance, Dance immediately after. I purposely followed a newer song with a classic song.

Next up, we “swam” around to Riptide. This song was a surprise hit with caregivers my age (33), but I could tell that I lost some of the older caregivers who might not recognize this more contemporary artist. But they still knew how to swim around! I Wanna Dance With Somebody encouraged caregivers to dance with their kids. I saw some great partner dancing with kiddos spinning in their grown-up’s arms, holding hands, and really having a lovely bonding experience.

Finally, it was time to break out our parachute. I used the smaller version since our crowd was lighter than usual. We practiced moving the parachute slowly during I Will Wait until the chorus kicked in; we had done enough waiting and it was time to shake it as fast as we could. And Here Comes the Sun allowed the parachute to rise and fall like the sun. I also had a great opportunity to go along with the kids’ suggested play when one of them said the sun was hot and playfully yelled “OUCH!” A small chorus of ouches followed.

So…was the different version of this program worth it? I think that it really was. Caregiver engagement was up, and while I had some morning families at the nighttime version, every single one of them brought a family member that I had not met before.

(For an example of the Powerpoint and handouts that I made for each Shake, Shimmy please visit the original post.)

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 6/27

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan

Book
This was another Caldecott eligible book, so I won’t be talking about it on the blog.

Props
Scarves!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Like a Spinning Top — Alison Faith Levy
Jumping & Counting — Jim Gill
Blast Off — Joanie Leeds
Popcorn — Mr. Jon & Friends
Butterfly — Laura Doherty
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

Like a Spinning Top is a song tailor-made for gross motor practice. The kids and I wound up spinning, jumping, wiggling, and flying with such glee — it’s a great way to start off a program. Afterwards, we did some more jumping with Jim Gill’s Jumping and Counting. The kids never get tired of jumping and I love that this song also incorporates a math activity with some counting practice!

Our last song before I brought out the prop activity for the day was Blast Off. There are a lot of countdown/rocketship songs in children’s music and for good reason — the kids never get tired of them! I also like to pass on the caregiver tip that this is a great opportunity to lift smaller friends up in the air for maximum blast off potential.

Then it was time for the scarves to come out! For Popcorn, we bunched up the scarves and popped them into the air. And for Butterfly, the caregivers helped the kids pinch the middle of their scarves to turn it into a butterfly. Talk about some great fine motor skill practice! This program really does it all.

(For an example of the Powerpoint and handouts that I made for each Shake, Shimmy please visit the original post.)

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 6/20

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan

Book
The book I used is Caldecott eligible, so I won’t be commenting on it.

Props
Parachute!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Wake Up & Shake Up — Rolie Polie Guacamole
Let’s Get Together — Bari Koral Family Rock Band
Head Shoulders — Mr. Jon & Friends
The Shimmie Shake — The Wiggles
Under a Shady Tree — Laurie Berkner
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

I started today with a song with great energy — Wake Up, Shake Up — to get the kids and caregivers up and moving. My instructions to the group was to stretch and free dance during our opener. Afterwards, I launched into Let’s Get Together which I really like using for imaginative play. The songs asks friends to pretend that they’re different animals and my friends never disappoint me with their creative movements.

I rounded out with a new rendition of a classic song, Head Shoulders. This song is a great way to draw in caregivers since it’s something that they recognize. It’s also fun for kiddos because it challenges them to practice body identification in a fun and engaging way.

Then, it was time for our giant parachute! We did two songs with this prop (both Shake, Shimmy classics). The first was The Shimmie Shake which lets the kids get all their energy out by shaking the parachute as fast as they can. Towards the end of the song, the group does tend to get tired, but our next activity always gets their re-energized quickly.

During Under a Shady Tree, I let the kids run underneath the parachute while caregivers raise and lower the chute over them. This is everyone’s favorite parachute activity and I make sure to always include a part of the program where they can explore underneath. Today, I wound up having to join them underneath when I had a few friends who wanted to hold the parachute down.

(For an example of the Powerpoint and handouts that I made for each Shake, Shimmy please visit the original post.)

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 6/13

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan


Book
I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison
I like to think of this book as wonderful for a lot of reasons: STEM connections (five senses), diversity, music & movement, and just plain fun. I had a very large crowd today and they really got up to show me how they had the rhythm. As I read this book, I also like to talk about different ways that the children are moving and try to vary my movements. I want everyone to know that it’s okay to move differently from each other!

Props
Shaker Eggs!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
The More We Get Together — Rolie Polie Guacamole
Everybody’s Jumping — Aaron Nigel Smith
Heartbeat — Laura Doherty
The Shaker Song — Rocknoceros
I Know a Chicken — Laurie Berkner
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

Both The More We Get Together and Everybody’s Jumping have instructions in the lyrics which are helpful for caregivers to follow if they get stuck for ideas on how to move. I thought that the familiar The More We Get Together was a great opening song for storytime since it gave the grown-ups immediate buy-in. Everybody’s Jumping is always a kiddo favorite because of its high, high energy. Afterwards, I played Heartbeat as a slower song before transitioning into our prop songs.

I used a new song — The Shaker Song — to start the prop time this class. This song probably would have worked better as a second song, since the kids were too involved with shaking to listen to the directions of the song. I’ll have to remember that for next time. And then, an old favorite made its debut for the first time this summer: I Know a Chicken. This is my favorite way to have kids practice self-regulation!

(For an example of the Powerpoint and handouts that I made for each Shake, Shimmy please visit the original post.)

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 6/6

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan


Book
If You’re Happy and You Know It by Jane Cabrera
I cannot say enough wonderful things about Cabrera’s singing books. I find that they always get a crowd involved and that the magical benefits of choral singing with a large group get everyone to pay attention. This book, in particular, works for Shake, Shimmy because it gets the kiddos ready to start moving with me.

Props
Wrist Ribbons!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Rise & Rhyme — Culture Queen
Clap Your Hands — Red Yarn
Lizzie Spins — Joanie Leeds
The Tempo Marches On — Jim Gill
Up & Down — Miss Nina
All My Colors — Ralph Covert
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

All of my instructional/free dance songs this week were new! I like trying out new music to keep this program fresh and exciting. “Rise & Rhyme” is off one of our new CDs in the library, I Like Me!. This is a great introduction song for a program because it focuses on getting ready and stretching. “Clap Your Hands” is a traditional song that asks for listeners to clap along, etc., but it ALSO has a chorus that I used as a free dance opportunity.

“Lizzie Spins” is a new song, but a favorite Shake, Shimmy artist Joanie Leeds. This song talks about different friends and what they like to do (dance, spin, jump, etc.). It was pretty much adored by everyone in the room. And then, I capped off this portion of the program with Jim Gill’s “The Tempo Marches On”. I challenged the kids to start as slow as they could because the song would keep getting faster as we went! I love watching them during that slow portion because they’re so proud at how slow they can go. I had one young friend who kept telling me that they weren’t even moving, they were going that slow.

Afterwards, it was time for wrist ribbons. We practiced our opposites with “Up & Down”, which does run a little bit long. I try really hard to find songs that are under 2 minutes, 30 seconds, but it’s also good to stretch their attention spans’ with a longer song from time to time. And finally, “All My Colors” by Ralph Covert. I am still heartbroken that this CD is out of print and am eternally grateful that I have a digital copy. The kids took their wrist ribbons and found a friend to make a rainbow with to conclude today’s program.

(For an example of the Powerpoint and handouts that I made for each Shake, Shimmy please visit the original post.)

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 5/26

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan


Book
Monsters Love Colors by Mike Austin
Another favorite of my crowd. This crowd really got into mixing up the colors and the kiddos were pros at telling me what colors we were making! This title is a great way to incorporate STEM ideas (color mixing) into your preschool and toddler events/storytimes. Also, it goes great with our prop, too.

Props
Activity Scarves!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Music (Keeps Me Movin’) — Fresh Beat Band
Wiggle Your Lah-de-Dah — Ralph Covert
Dance With Me — The Not-Its
Beep Beep Beep — Dan Vapid
Colors — Play Date
Fireworks — Laurie Berkner
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

Since we’ve had a few weeks of Shake, Shimmy to re-acclimate to moving together, I started today’s class off with a free dance! I absolutely adore the energy of the Fresh Beat Band and I really appreciate that they have diversity in their group (unlike many of the other TV show adult singing groups), so “Music (Keeps Me Movin’)” was an awesome choice. Then, a Shake, Shimmy song that hasn’t been used in quite some time: Ralph Covert’s “Wiggle Your Lah-de-Dah”. This song really works best for preschool, so I probably should have held off until the summer when my crowd ages up.

“Dance With Me” is one of my favorite ‘trick’ songs. I always introduce the song by having my friends find the best grown-up to dance with. I remind caregivers that the kids *like* dancing with me, but they *love* it when their familiar grown-ups join the group. And then it was time for a new Shake, Shimmy song called “Beep Beep Beep” by Dan Vapid. I told the kids today was a special day that they got to drive around the room. And believe me, they took off!

For our props today, I used two brand-new Shake, Shimmy songs. I started with “Colors” by Play Date to encourage the kids to look at the different colored scarves around the room. If this hadn’t been at the tail end of a germy couple of weeks at the library, I would have had them practice exchanging scarves with a friend to share their colors. For “Fireworks”, we tossed our scarves up in the air to simulate fireworks. (And yes, my arm mysteriously hurt the next day from this activity, ha!)

(For an example of the Powerpoint and handouts that I made for each Shake, Shimmy please visit the original post.)

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 5/12

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan


Book
Can You Make a Scary Face? by Jan Thomas
This is a classic Shake, Shimmy, & Dance book that always manages to get my preschools and toddlers up and engaged. I think that the silliness and pretending aspects of the book are absolutely fantastic and that preschoolers in particular love the twist ending.

Props
Stretchy Band!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Can’t Wait to Celebrate — Jim Gill
Get Your Move On — Mr. Jon & Friends
It’s a Doo Da Day/You Are My Sunshine — Wendy & DB
Roller Coaster — Bari Koral Family Rock Band
Rainbow — Milkshake
Row, Row, Row Your Boat — Charity and the JAMband (Putumayo Rock N’ Roll Playground)
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

One of two May editions of Shake, Shimmy, & Dance! Since we were on hiatus in both February and March, I scheduled two events to take place in May. And for the first event, I decided to try out our stretchy bands. We purchased bands (two XL Latex-free bands) last summer and one of my co-workers has used them in outreach events to much success. I used the stretchy bands in our Romp & Rhyme program (more info on that program coming soon!), and also had great feedback. It was time to try it as a Shake, Shimmy prop.

To start our day though, I picked another classic Jim Gill song, “Can’t Wait to Celebrate” that gave me an opportunity to pass along a great caregiver tip about using this song as a game to practice patience and waiting. I continue with “Get Your Move On” by Mr. Jon & Friends, which also has directions in the lyrics.

For “It’s a Doo Da Day/You Are My Sunshine”, I encourage the kids to find a grown-up to dance with for a free dance. “Roller Coaster” involved me leading a group of kiddos around in a circle as we lifted our arms up during the “wheeee!” lyric of the song.

And then it was time for the stretchy bands! Since we have two of these bands, I asked one be a less active band (aka babies and young toddlers) and one be a more active band (older toddlers and preschoolers). My less active band sat down on the floor and my more active band had grown-ups on the floor, kiddos standing. My groups did a great job splitting up and using these new props!

During “Rainbow”, I had the kids practice working together with the stretchy band and lifting the band up and down in the air as the song played. And for “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”, they pretended to row a boat while pulling the stretchy band back and forth. This was a fun activity, and I was happy that I had separated the groups as my preschoolers tended to pull much harder than my littles.

(For an example of the Powerpoint and handouts that I made for each Shake, Shimmy please visit the original post.)

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 4/21

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan

Since I’m on the Caldecott committee, I won’t be writing about the book that I used in this storytime since it is eligible for the award.

Props
Shaker Eggs

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Reach for the Sky — Alison Faith Levy
Hands Are for Clapping — Jim Gill
The Airplane Song — Laurie Berkner
Go! Go! Go! — Caspar Babypants
Shake & Sing — Little Miss Ann and Amy D
I Can Shake My Shaker Egg — The Learning Groove
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

For our first Shake, Shimmy, & Dance after tax season (when our meeting room is taken over for tax help), this was an excellent turn-out. I wish I could talk about the book I read because it was an excellent introduction to the program.

“Reach for the Sky” was a good warm-up song. I like that it’s instructional and gives the kids an idea on how to start moving. Often times (especially after a re-launch), I have to get everyone comfortable with moving around again and this song worked well. And I went straight into a classic Jim Gill with “Hands Are for Clapping” to keep that momentum going. I pulled out one last favorite: “The Airplane Song” before I segued into some new Shake, Shimmy material. “The Airplane Song” also gives directions in the lyrics and it is beloved by all of my patrons.

“Go! Go! Go!” was our first new song today. It is by a classic Shake, Shimmy artist though! I had to work to get motions for each of the lyrics (For example, I asked the kids to find a friend to dance with during “just met a baby with an entourage”), but I thought the song went over really well. I love the music, because the “go, go, go” part is really easy to dance to.

And then, I introduced Little Miss Ann and Amy D to my storytime audience, with “Shake & Sing”. They had shaker eggs for the song and really just enjoyed using their instruments with some great tunes. I also used “I Can Shake My Shaker Egg” and later had a kiddo come up to tell me that that song “sounds like HALLOWEEEEEEEEEEEEEN”. Needless to say, it was probably my favorite moment of the day.

(For an example of the Powerpoint and handouts that I made for each Shake, Shimmy please visit the original post.)