Saturday, November 12, 2016

parachute playtime

this month, I decided to try something completely new here: our first ever parachute program! 

after reading so much about this type of class at other libraries, i was curious to see how it would go.

first, i did a lot of online research for ideas. Some my favorite ideas came from these pages:

So Tomorrow: Parachute Playtime

So Tomorrow: Parachute Playtime Round Two
So Tomorrow: Sleeping Bunnies on the Parachute

Libraryland: Parachute Games

Libraryland: Parachute Games 2013 edition
Libraryland: Parachute Games 2015 edition

then, after many MANY hours spent carefully choosing songs and collecting props, this was my final playlist:

Intro Song: Shake My Sillies Out (Just me, no music)
Ring Around the Rosie
If You're Happy and You Know It (shake the chute, shake it high, shake it low, pass the chute) 
Moving in a Circle (song by MR ERIC)

BOOK BREAK: Row Row Row Your Boat (BOOK by Jane Cabrera)
Alabama, Mississippi (song by JIM GILL)
Five Little Monkeys (song by VANESSA TRIEN) -- with monkey puppets
Old MacDonald (song by MR ERIC) -- with cow, dog and chicken puppets

BOOK BREAK: Monsters Love Colors (BOOK by Mike Austin)
The Wheels on the Bus (song by MR ERIC)
Popcorn (song by THE BARENAKED LADIES) -- with mini beach balls
Sleeping Bunnies (song by KATHY REID NAIMAN) -- with small stuffed bunnies
Fireworks (song by KATY PERRY) -- with colorful foam balls and brightly colored sheets of copy paper that the kids balled up right before the song
Closing Song: The Wheels on the Bus (song by by MR ERIC)

luckily, i recently purchased a bluetooth player from Lakeshore Learning that sounds amazing and works pretty well with my phone. I limited this program to kids ages 3-6 which worked well but next time I might adjust it to age 7 since it appeals to such a wide range. We had about 12 kids attend which is amazing considering that it was nasty and raining outside. The program went about 35-40 minutes and everyone seemed to love it! One mom who stopped by the next day told me that her daughter was still talking about it!!

of course, as with any new program, i found a few improvements that i could make:
  • my small parachute really wasn't big enough to hold the props, they kept flying off. my program room is not large so i have to do some measuring to find one that is the right size for the space.
  • kids need rules before any shaking happens. i thought kids would be shy for some reason but a couple didn't listen to the music or instruction at all; they just wanted to shake the parachute as hard and fast as they possibly could. next time, i would set a few ground rules FIRST about listening.
  • recruit another staff member or specific parental/older sibling assistance from someone you can depend on because its hard to dj, handle props and keep everything on the parachute by yourself
  • i might try making the paper fireworks at the beginning of the program and stashing them in a bucket so they are ready for the closing songs. maybe even tell the kids it will be used for a special surprise at the end or something!
It was great to take a break and sit on the chute with a book a couple of times. Really any interactive stories or books about colors would be wonderful and i loved the Monster book that was recommended by another blogger. 

the kids loved the bunny song, we repeated it like three times. my favorite song was the firework song and also the popcorn one because it was so fun to bounce things really fast. For the Firework song, we started with just balls of paper on the chute. Then I stopped the song for a moment to regroup and we added colorful foam balls to the paper and continued the music. Finally, you could add ALL other props - beach balls, bunnies, monkeys, etc. - for a gigantic fireworks finale!!!!!

i'd planned to end with the Katy Perry song but it was great to calm things down a little bit with a listening song and the Mr Eric version was super fun and very upbeat.

i will definitely be looking for a few more parachute ideas to try with my next program. this is definitely something i will offer again!

baby & me: quiet & loud

Mystery Box: Inside our mystery box, we found two birds! What does a bird say? TWEET TWEET!

Puppet Song:
Two little birdies sitting on a cloud
One named Quiet, the other named LOUD!
Fly away Quiet.
Fly away LOUD!
Come back Quiet.
Come back LOUD!

Books We Read:
Baby Goes Beep- O'Connell
Quiet and Loud- Patricelli

Flannel Story: The Baby in the Cradle

The baby in the cradle goes ROCK ROCK ROCK!
The clock on the desk goes TICK TICK TOCK!
The rain on the window goes TAP TAP TAP!
& when the sun comes up we CLAP CLAP CLAP!

A great group of about 24 babies today!