By Julie LeBlanc
Toddlers and pre-schoolers love to enjoy music in many ways – singing, dancing, clapping and actions. At Glebe Cooperative Nursery School, music and movement is a big part of circle time.
Children are quite familiar with the routine and jump into their “Good morning” song as they pass a djembe around eagerly to say their name as they drum. “Good morning, good morning, good morning to you. Good morning, good morning, and how do you do?” “Hello (child’s name), hello (child’s name), hello (child’s name), it’s fun to say hello!
Children continue with learning about the calendar as they sing “Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. These are all the days of the week. Then we start again.”
Music helps grow creativity and stimulate brain development in young children. Shakers, clapping toys and bells are favourites at GCNS. Singing songs together is a wonderful way to engage children and reinforce various topics they have been learning about. Singing also supports early language development.
Throughout the fall, the children loved the song “Five little pumpkins” and the props and actions that went along with it. They had lots of fun seeing the pumpkins roll away, making the sound of the wind and clapping their hands for the lights going out.
“Five little pumpkins sitting on the gate
The first one said, “Oh my it’s getting late”
The second one said, “There are witches in the air”
The third one said, “But we don’t care.”
The fourth one said, “Let’s run and run and run”
The fifth one said, “I’m ready for some fun”
Oooh went the wind and out went the lights and the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight!”
Music is also a great motivator during transitions from one activity to another. As the children end their circle time together, they sing, “Our circle time is over, is over, is over. Our circle time is over, we’ll sing another day.”
Singing instructions can help encourage little ones to follow along. It can also help with tricky tasks like cleaning up or brushing teeth. Children at GCNS sing tidy-up songs while putting their toys away.
“It’s time to put our toys away,
Toys away, toys away.
It’s time to put our toys away,
On this (day of the week) morning.”
Glebe Cooperative Nursery School children have been busy learning and practising their winter songs. The holiday season will certainly give us all many opportunities to enjoy music and singing with our little ones at home!
Julie LeBlanc is a Glebe Coop Nursery School parent and is responsible for communications.