Tag: shake shimmy & dance

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 1/17

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan

flyblankyfly
Book
Fly Blanky Fly by Anne Margaret Lewis
This is a very easy read for Shake, Shimmy. The longest page spread is the first and it sets up the story. Then, I lead the kids and caregivers in following along with the motions that Blanky does. This morning, I decided not to demonstrate what a “whoosh” or “choo-choo” looked like and instead I asked the kids first to show me. This led to a lot of great movement and really encouraged their creativity. After a little bit, I did demonstrate a motion for the friends who needed some guidance.

Props
Activity Scarves!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Take the Sun — Caspar Babypants
Get Up and Go Go — The Fresh Beat Band
Rocketship Run — Laurie Berkner Band
Jump Up (It’s a Good Day) — Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could
Colors of You — Miss Nina and the Jumping Jacks
Popcorn — Mr. Jon and Friends
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

I kicked this dreary January day off with “Take the Sun” which I used as a stretching song. We stretched up and down along with the lyrics and then I let the kids stretch however they wanted during the instrumental part and end of the song. This was a good choice to start with as everyone seemed pretty sleepy this morning.

We then went straight into a free-dance song with “Get Up and Go Go”. This didn’t work as well as I wanted. My regulars were ready to go, but I could see that some of the newer friends needed more direction. I just worked with it and shouted out some suggestions and followed through with keeping up the energy.

Then came “Rocketship Run” and “Jump Up (It’s a Good Day)”, both of which have actions in the lyrics. Both of which are classic Shake, Shimmy songs and beloved by my patrons.

It was time for the activity scarves to come out with “Colors of You” and “Popcorn”. During “Colors of You”, I asked the kids to wave their scarves. I really love how that song can work two ways: with colored scarves and also in a social justice way. And for “Popcorn”, we bunched up our scarves and tossed them into the air. I saw lots and lots of giggles during this activity and will definitely repeat it, though I typically do popcorn themed songs with the parachute!

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

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 12/16

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan

igottherhythm
Book
I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison
This book is a favorite of mine for Shake, Shimmy, & Dance. It starts off slow, warming up the smaller body movements (eye blinking, nose sniffing, etc.) and then builds to moving a lot. Because of this, it’s a great book to get my patrons warmed up and ready to dance!

Props
Shaker Eggs!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Clap Your Hands, Clap Your Hands — Kathy Reid-Naiman
Jumping and Counting — Jim Gill
Spin Around — The Fresh Beat Band
Heartbeat — Laura Doherty
Milkshake Song — Old Town School of Folk Music
The Shimmie Shake — The Wiggles
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

I used a new song to kick-off today’s Shake, Shimmy program. “Clap Your Hands, Clap Your Hands” is a quieter song, but a great one for even the youngest of patrons to follow along with. During the school year, I see a majority of toddlers at Shake, Shimmy and I do adjust my playlists to best serve them.

And who doesn’t love jumping and spinning? This led to my next two songs: “Jumping and Counting” and “Spin Around”. “Spin Around” is a new Shake, Shimmy song and I loved it. The kids had a great time spinning and dancing to it. (We danced during the verses and spun during the chorus.) But I think what made it the most fun was seeing the kids holding hands and spinning together or the grown-ups picking up their kids to spin them in the air. And as always, “Jumping and Counting” provided great interaction as we counted until we could jump again.

My cool-down song was “Heartbeat” by Laura Doherty. Yes, this song has some large movements (dance, swim, jump), it also has quieter opportunities for kids to pause and listen to their heartbeats. It also incorporates science principles! And during the “when you love someone” chorus, I ask the kids to either hug themselves or to find a friend to hug. Some kids just choose to dance through it and that’s okay too!

This month, I just used two shaker egg songs: “Milkshake” and “The Shimmie Shake”. The “Milkshake” song has instructions in the lyrics and I try to lead the kids into following them. This is a storytime favorite here, so many of the patrons know it well. And I love the music of “The Shimmie Shake”. I know that some people dislike the television music like The Wiggles or The Fresh Beat Band, but I think it’s great engaging music for kids.

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

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 11/11

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan

ifyourehappyandyouknowit
Book
If You’re Happy and You Know It by Jane Cabrera
I had pulled another, newer book for Shake, Shimmy today and I just wasn’t feeling it. I will definitely use that book in the future, but reached for a tried and true favorite with If You’re Happy and You Know It. I know that it definitely lifted my spirits and I hope that it did for my families as well.

Props
Parachute!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
When I Woke Up Today — Laurie Berkner
Get Your Move On — Mr. Jon & Friends
Clap Your Hands — They Might Be Giants
Take the Sun — Caspar Babypants
Popcorn — Joanie Leeds
All You Need is Love — Caspar Babypants
Wheels in the City — Laura Doherty
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

As long-time readers know, I generally do not use the parachute during the school year because many of my preschool and kindergarten friends are not at Shake, Shimmy to help hold it up for our baby and toddler friends. But when Shaky, Shimmy coincides with a day off of school, it’s time to break out the parachute!

Our first song was “When I Woke Up Today” which is off of Laurie Berkner’s new album. I love the positive energy of this song and I have to admit that I do get excited about Shake, Shimmy mornings and seeing my kiddos. Our next two songs: “Get Your Move On” and “Clap Your Hands” are tried and true Shake, Shimmy hits. Also, the kids stomped so loud that our security monitor came upstairs from the Adult Services department to see what was going on!

On to the parachute songs! During “Take the Sun”, we raised the parachute up and down. I normally save the song for raising the parachute as my last song for the day, but decided to change things up. It definitely got the caregivers involved from the beginning! “Popcorn” included my traditional white crumpled paper as popcorn on the chute, but I asked the kids to go underneath and pop the popcorn up. This worked out so much better than just shaking the chute!

“All You Need is Love” was our third parachute song (if you take the parachute out, make it worthwhile!). I had caregivers place the chute on the ground and passed out foam hearts. The kids walked on top of the chute and passed around hearts to each other. If you ever need a life-affirming moment, I highly recommend this activity. It was a privilege to watch the children sharing representations of love with each other in such an open way.

I should have skipped our last parachute song because we were over time and I could sense that the crowd was nearing its endpoint. It was also a rocky transition to get the kids off of the parachute and to pick it back up to pass around in a circle for “Wheels in the City”. Lesson learned!

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

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 10/21

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan

canyoumakeascaryface
Book
Can You Make a Scary Face? by Jan Thomas
A book guaranteed to get kids up, moving, and laughing. I loved watching all of my friends trying to get that pesky bug out of their shirts. Today was a day off of school for some of our districts, so I had more preschoolers and kindergarteners than usual which was great because they understood the humor!

Props
Wrist Ribbons!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Jump Up! (It’s a Good Day) — Brady Rymer
Dance With Me — The Not-Its
At the Bottom of the Sea — Ralph Covert
Up & Down — Miss Nina and the Jumping Jacks
De Colores — Old Town School of Folk Music
There’s a Little Wheel a’Turning in My Heart — Laurie Berkner
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

Our first three songs were: “Jump Up! (It’s a Good Day)” that has instructions in the music, “Dance With Me” which we did as a free dance, and “At the Bottom of the Sea” where we pretended to be swimming in the ocean. Today’s activity songs were: “Up & Down” where we practiced waving our ribbons up and down, “De Colores” where we wave our scarves around, and “There’s a Little Wheel a’Turning in My Heart” where we turned our scarves around for the wheel.

There is something about “There’s a Little Wheel a’Turning in My Heart” that really gets me choked up. I have to actively avoid thinking about what I’m saying when I’m leading the group in the song! The kids LOVED swimming in the room. I had such enthusiastic friends during that number! And excellent jumpers during “Jump Up! (It’s a Good Day)”.

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

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 9/16

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan

ahopisup
Book
A Hop Is Up by Kristy Dempsey
I snatched this book off of the new books cart and immediately set it aside for today’s Shake, Shimmy, & Dance program. I love the opportunities for movement and interactivity that this book allows. The kids had a great time playing along with me and also really enjoyed the fact that they were the FIRST people to ever read this book!

Props
Activity Scarves!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Great Day — Play Date
Bouncing, Hopping, Jumping — Jim Gill
Rocketship Run — Laurie Berkner
Hello, Goodbye — Caspar Babypants
Suzuki Twist — The Learning Groove
Butterfly — Laura Doherty
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

We did free dance for our first song “Great Day”, and then followed the instructions during “Bouncing, Hopping, Jumping”. During “Rocketship Run”, we pretended to be rocketships and the kids really enjoyed when their grown-ups lifted them up in the air. Then it was time for our scarf songs. We practiced waving hello and goodbye with our scarves during “Hello, Goodbye”. We twisted with our scarves during the “Suzuki Twist”. And then we made butterfly by pinching the middle of our scarves to make butterflies during “Butterfly”.

My grown-ups LOVED the Beatles cover by Caspar Babypants. Seriously, it was like Beatles fever all over again. “Butterfly” worked really well as a cool-down, lots of kids landed their butterflies on each other which was really sweet. And I think “Bouncing, Hopping, Jumping” will become a Jim Gill standard!

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

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 8/16

This was a special August edition of Shake, Shimmy, and Dance to help draw a crowd for our first ever Preschool Fair. I hosted this event outside using our portable CD player because our meeting room was set-up for the Fair that started immediately afterwards.

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan

ifyourehappyandyouknowit
Book
If You’re Happy and You Know It by Jane Cabrera
If you really want caregivers to participate, you need to bring out this book. The grown-ups were dancing around and helping me build suspense as I prepared to turn each page. The movements vary from large to small and kids love guessing what each animal will do.

Props
Shaker Eggs!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Can’t Wait to Celebrate — Jim Gill
The Wheels on the Bus — Mr. Jon and Friends
Freeze Dance — Joanie Leeds
Music Keeps Me Movin’ — Fresh Beat Band
I Can Shake My Shaker Egg — The Learning Groove
I Know a Chicken — Laurie Berkner
Give a Hug — Bari Koral Family Band
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

This was a really fun experiment and I’m glad that I tried it! It was a little weird being outside and not having an enclosed space, but I asked caregivers to have their eyes on their kiddos at all times. There was only one time that a kid left the grass area and their caregiver was immediately on it.

(For an example of the Powerpoint (although this outdoors version did not have Powerpoint!) and handouts that I made for each Shake, Shimmy please visit the original post.)

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 7/26

It’s summer time again, which means eight weeks straight of Shake, Shimmy, & Dance! This was our last week for this summer!

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan

musicclasstoday
Book
Music Class Today! by David Weinstone
I thought that using this book as a closer to the Shake, Shimmy, & Dance session would be a fun idea to review all the things we had done together. The kids really seemed to enjoy the page spreads that showed activities we do in Shake, Shimmy like shaker eggs, singing songs, and even the clean-up page got “We do that!” cheers of excitement. The other reason that I like using this book is that it reassures caregivers and more hesitant children that it’s okay to do things at your own speed. And I really liked ending on “Come back another day” for the last week.

Props
Wrist Ribbons!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Get Your Move On — Mr. Jon & Friends
The Airplane Song — Laurie Berkner
Jump, Jump — Joanie Leeds
Your Own Dances Moves — The Learning Groove
Got the Wiggles — Michael Plunkett
All My Colors — Ralph Covert
Train Song — Bari Koral Family Rock Band
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

I went with a lot of tried and true favorites for this last Shake, Shimmy of the summer season. The first three songs: “Get Your Move On”, “The Airplane Song”, and “Jump, Jump” all have instructions in the music which makes it easy to follow along and for grown-ups to participate. And I still believe that nothing beats doing “The Airplane Song” with seventy-six people.

“Your Own Dance Moves” was new to me and I had the families do a free dance to the song because the lyrics involved a lot of different movements. Some of the caregivers listened and helped their child to follow the song, but it also worked as a free dance.

Our props today were the wrist ribbons. “Got the Wiggles” has instructions and I have to say that it was not as successful as I wanted. While I really enjoy direction songs, I find that the Michael Plunkett CDs through Kimbo are not always loud enough to catch the attention of my large group, even with our sound system. During “All My Colors”, I asked kids to find a friend or a few friends to make a rainbow together with their ribbons. I enjoy promoting social skills in the program! Finally, we formed a train around the room, heading into station clean-up! As the kids reached the front table, I asked them to put their ribbons away. It worked like a charm!

An excellent wrap to the Shake, Shimmy summer season. I’ll be doing a stand-alone event in August outside for the first time! Look out for that write-up coming soon!

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

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 7/19

It’s summer time again, which means eight weeks straight of Shake, Shimmy, & Dance!

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan

nosetotoesyouareyummy
Book
Nose to Toes, You Are Yummy by Karen Beaumont
This is a very similar book to Eric Carle’s From Head to Toe and a positive addition to the Shake, Shimmy books. I had a lot of babies in the audience today and we talked about how this could be modified for babies by touching the body part that the book is talking about. Also, any book that gives a chance to reaffirm children that they are loved is a plus in my book.

Props
Parachute!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Kidquake! — The Not-Its
If You’re Happy and You Know It — Songs for Wiggleworms
Mr. Eric’s Jumping Song — The Learning Groove
Reach for the Sky — Fresh Beat Band
Popcorn — Joanie Leeds
Fast and Slow — Laurie Berkner
Take the Sun — Caspar Babypants
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

A very bizarre attendance spike happened today. Last week, we hit a low of only 51 in attendance. This normally happens in July between the hot weather and families taking vacations before school starts again in August. But today, I had 81 in attendance. Thumbs up!

For our first song “Kidquake”, I had kids dance until they heard the word SHAKE and then they were encouraged to shake their hands or bodies. The next two songs both have instructions in them and we followed them. I made sure to tell caregivers that “Mr. Eric’s Jumping Song” was a harder song for the preschoolers in the audience. If their child could only jump/bounce, that was perfectly fine.

And then I had the best parachute day I’ve had. We popped crumpled up white paper popcorn on the chute to “Popcorn”; shook fast and slow during “Fast and Slow”; and raised the parachute up and down while the kids went underneath during “Take the Sun”. My caregivers were AWESOME during the clean-up of the parachute and really helped the kids. I need to get more paper popcorn going though because I had to go under the chute to help it stop gathering in one particular spot.

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

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 7/12

It’s summer time again, which means eight weeks straight of Shake, Shimmy, & Dance!

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan

aintgonnapaint
Book
I Ain’t Gonna Paint by Karen Beaumont
I think the parents and caregivers laughed the loudest I’ve ever heard right before we almost said “butt”. It seemed to be one of those days when the book and the crowd were perfectly matched. The kids had fun pretending to paint themselves with their imaginary paintbrushes and it was good body identification practice. It was a good warm-up before we started dancing.

Props
Shaker Eggs!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Hands Are for Clapping — Jim Gill
Everybody’s Jumping — Aaron Nigel Smith
Heartbeat — Laura Doherty
Milkshake — Old Town School of Folk Music
I Know a Chicken — Laurie Berkner
Maraca Cha-Cha — Monkey Monkey Music
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

This was an ambitious playlist. I wound up skipping the song “Maraca Cha-Cha” because we were already over time and still had to say goodbye. I typically aim for my playlists to be between 16-18 minutes. With the book, introductions to each song and time to pass out/collect the prop, this works out well 95% of the time. Sometimes we end a little early and sometimes we have to skip a song.

Today’s first three songs all have instructions in the lyrics. My favorite was definitely Laura Doherty’s “Heartbeat” and I really enjoyed watching the caregivers/kids hug during the chorus of the song. My ultimate goal for this program is that parents and caregivers love it just as much as the kids!

For our shaker eggs, I pulled out two classics: “Milkshake” and “I Know a Chicken”. The kids loved these and really enjoyed hearing some favorites. “I Know a Chicken” is just one of those perfect Shake, Shimmy songs.

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

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 7/5

It’s summer time again, which means eight weeks straight of Shake, Shimmy, & Dance!

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan

tiptipdigdig
Book
Tip Tip Dig Dig by Emma Garcia
It occurred to me during storytime this past spring that this book would be an excellent Shake, Shimmy book because of the active movement that all the construction vehicles go through. So the kids got up and dug, mixed, lifted, tipped, pushed, and rolled along with me and the book. It was also a good choice because of the short length of the book — after a holiday weekend with lots of excitement, the kids were ready to move!

Props
Activity Bells!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Stomp the Floor — Monkey Monkey Music
I Just Want to Dance — They Might Be Giants
We Are the Dinosaurs — Laurie Berkner
Are You Happy? — Alison Faith Levy
Shake With You — The Learning Groove
Oh Children Ring Your Bells — Kathy Reid-Naiman
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

Today’s SSD saw lower numbers than normal, but I expected that coming off of a holiday weekend. But everyone that attended had a really great time!

We did a lot of stomping in “Stomp the Floor” — loud enough that our first floor computer bank heard us. “I Just Want to Dance” was a silly, fun free dance opportunity for my families. I challenged my grown-ups to teach the kids a dance from their childhood. I then proceeded to demonstrate the Macarena, mashed potato, and YMCA. I led the kids around the room during “We Are the Dinosaurs” and had everyone sit down during “Are You Happy?” to practice our emotion faces. (Full disclosure: this was the least successful song of the day, more preschool than all-ages.)

The bells today were used during “Shake With You” and “Oh Children Ring Your Bells”. Both songs have instructions in the lyrics, although “Shake With You” does say shakers and not bells. No one seemed to mind!

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