Jingle Bells and Snow Music Games Activities
One of our bright rays of light during 2020 was the birth of our ninth child! Our little one just turned six months old and one of her favorite songs has been "One Horse Open Sleigh/Jingle Bells."
She has been the inspiration for the blog post featured here. We have music, books, and a fun craft to share. To make it extra special, we had our first snowfall that gave the kids enough to actually play it. And even even better - it was packy snow that makes great snowmen!
Introducing......Nana Carol's Corner
My very favorite parts of building my website and connecting to our customers is the connections I have made and continue to make. A few weeks ago I had a lovely repeat customer, Carol Hartery, reach out to me and ask for a recommendation on one of our products. We have chatted in the past, but this time it has been extra special. Perhaps it's because of the Covid19 shutdowns we have all been experiencing with the limiting of the personal connections that we all crave and need in our lives. I myself have been blessed by it and I hope that in the upcoming year, many of you will be as well!
Carol retired 3 years ago after teaching in the early childhood world for 42 years. Now she spends her time doing music and movement activities with her almost 10 month old granddaughter. When they play music, her granddaughter responds by "babbling along" and shaking her body to the beat. She knows from my experience as an early childhood educator that music and movement activities benefit a child's fine and gross motor skills, listening skills, and language development as they burn off some energy and have fun!
Carol has started to share her ideas and tips with me and we have come across the idea of featuring Nana Carol in some of our blog posts in the upcoming year! On a side note, another one of my favorite connections, Carole Stephens, is another mutual connection we share! The second song on Nana Carol's playlist is from Carole Stephens and can be watched on her YouTube channel.
Nana Carol shares some ideas to use with jingle bells:
First a review...As someone who has been in the early childhood field for more than 40 years, I have owned many different jingle bells. The jingle bells on wrist scrunchies from Bear Paw Creek have the best musical tone of any bell I have ever heard. They come on sturdy scrunchies in a rainbow of colors. Kids can hold the scrunchie in their hands or put it on their wrist or ankle. Kids love shaking their bells and singing "Jingle Bells" at any time of year. When I taught summer programs "Jingle Bells" was always popular on a hot day in New England!
The scrunchies can be strung along a stretchy band and used for music and movement activities. In addition to using the bells for music activities they can be used to help children with color recognition. Ask the child who has a scrunchie that is the color of the sun to go find something else in the room that is that color. What color do you have? If you are holding a scrunchie that is the color of the sky, stand up.
Books, Snowball Fight, and Sensory Play
We had fun with our connect-a-stretchy band sleigh with wrist jingles on it, riding through our indoor snowballs! After our quick ride through with the traditional song, I read the kids a couple of books. Iza Trapani's "Jingle Bells" book features her wonderful creating a piggy back song that takes you around the world. From the USA to Mexico, Sweden, Philippines, Poland, Italy, Kenya, and back to the USA, Iza weaves in some culture and tradition in her words and illustrations. She is one of my favorite children's book author!
Next we had a snowball fight using Miss Carole's "The Freeze" song from Dancing Scarf Blues! This is always a grand time. You can check out a video we did a few years ago and see the fun.
We then read "Snowmen at Night" by Caralyn Buehner. This is a delightful story that shares what the snowmen do at night to make them look a little different when you wake up in the morning. It's a fun snow adventure!
I wanted to make this wonderful snow slime recipe...which was a fail (I'll try again!) so we used shaving cream for our sensorimotor play. Some added a little glitter for extra sparkle. I used to run a home day care, and this was one of my favorite activities to do before water play! This time we headed out into the snow instead!