Drama, Music and Movement

Drama, Music and Movement

Tissue Dancing

Our YMCA Child Care team is bringing you a music and movement activity this week! All you will need is a music player and tissues. Place a tissue on top of your child's head and play music so that they begin to dance. Play a variety of songs at different tempos and have them dance to the different rhythms. The goal is to dance as much as they can without letting the tissue fall to the ground. To add an extra challenge, try placing the tissue on different parts of the body like a hand or shoulder. 
 
"Between ages five and six, the child has developed a sense of rhythm that enables him to respond to action songs, to clap repetitive patterns and to distinguish such musical concepts as high, low, soft, and loud. His body movements become more controlled, and he can reproduce actions such as walking like an elephant and creeping like a mouse." (Martin and Huggins, YMCA Playing to Learn, 2015)

Musical Hide and Seek

For this YMCA Child Care activity, your children get to do all the seeking for a game of hide and seek, with a musical twist! All you will need is a musical device (a speaker, phone, or a toy that plays music will do). Have your child close their eyes while you place your musical device somewhere in your home or back yard. Let your child know that as soon as they hear the music start, the game has begun, and they can follow the music to discover where it is hiding. For younger children, you can do this by placing a musical device low where they can crawl and see if they will follow the music. For older children, you can place items in higher places to encourage climbing and more gross motor activity.

"Music provides the child with:

  • A powerful means of expressing feelings
  • An enjoyable social activity that promotes co-operation and positive interaction
  • The opportunity to learn how to control body movement and develop grace." (YMCA Playing to Learn, Martin and Huggins, 2015)
Music and Movement

The leaves are certainly changing and falling to the ground as we move into October. Why not use this beautiful season for some musical inspiration to learn more about the season! No need to worry if you do not have any fall-inspired children's songs memorized. Your YMCA Child Care team has found a great resource by Karen Cox with different fall-inspired songs to get your children singing and moving. You can find it by clicking here.

"The arts are a language that cuts across cultural and social barriers. The arts help children understand their own unique abilities and perspectives, and open the way to understanding others. To produce art, the child needs to evoke an experience, idea or feeling, and find symbols to express it. This is one aspect of education where there is no one right way of doing things." (YMCA Playing to Learn, Martin and Huggins, 2015)

Musical Scarves

Want to be creative, get outside, and enjoy some different types of music? Here is a fun YMCA Child Care activity that will allow your child to do all of these things! Here's what you'll need:
🎶 Scarves
🎶 Speakers and a device to play music

Directions
1.    Take your scarves, speaker and device to a large space outside.
2.    Pick a variety of different songs and create some dances around how the music makes you feel. You can try different genres, speeds and volumes.

“Responding to music comes naturally to children and provides a constant source of joy”(YMCA Playing to Learn, Eden and Huggins, 2001)

Make Your Own Harmonica

Does your child love to make music? You can provide musical instruments for them without having to go out and buy the real deal. Get crafty with this YMCA Child Care activity and learn how to make your own harmonica!

Click here for instructions!

“Provide a collection of rhythm instruments, both commercial and home-made, that the children can use.” (YMCA Playing to Learn, Martin and Huggins, 2015)

Homemade Wind Chimes

Our summer days have been very windy this year, so let's take advantage of it and make some beautiful outdoor sounds! For today's YMCA Child Care activity, we're learning how to make rainbow wind chimes from different sticks that you can find while out on your next walk. After the wind chimes are made, your children can explore how their body moves in response to the wind. Click here to get started!

"Responding to music comes naturally to children and provides a constant source of joy." (YMCA Playing to Learn, Martin and Huggins, 2015)

Musical composer

Get ready to create and compose a musical masterpiece with today's YMCA Child Care activity! For full details and instructions on how to get started, check out activity number one in this blog. If you're feeling adventurous, there are 18 other fun musical games to play with your children as well!

“Experiencing music through listening and participating can help a child grow not only in musical ability but also in other areas. 
Music provides the child with:
•    A powerful means of expressing feelings
•    An enjoyable social activity that promotes co-operation and positive interaction
•    The opportunity to learn how to control body movement and develop grace.” (YMCA Playing to Learn, Martin and Huggins, 2015)

Animal Feet

We're creating our own animal feet and heading out for a walk around the neighbourhood using the motions and behaviours of our favourite animals!

Materials:

🐾 Empty tissue boxes
🐾 Sponges
🐾 Paint
🐾 Glue

Directions:
🐾 Paint the tissue boxes the colours that you'd like your animal feet to be
🐾 Cut the sponges as toes or claws and glue these to the ends of your boxes
🐾 Put them on your feet and go exploring!

Make the sounds and actions that match your animal, and try to find some sand to step in to see your footprints!

“Dramatic play is not play as grown-ups understand it – acting out a role – but a natural entry into the world of make-believe. While the child may be engaging in make-believe, it is done within the boundaries of everyday life experience.” (YMCA Playing to Learn, Martin and Huggins, 2015)

Music games for development

Our YMCA Child Care team is always adding music to a child's day. They do this because music is important not only for development but for mental health as well. As we spend more time at home, our mental health is more important than ever. To help your family, we found some fun activities to help you incorporate music into your child's day! Click here to get started!

“Young children should experience music every day as they sing, listen, move and respond. There should be many kinds of music in their world – traditional children’s songs, contemporary melodies, classical pieces and music from other cultures.” (YMCA Playing to Learn, Martin and Huggins, 2015)

make your own instruments
Explore creativity, music and rhythm with your child when you create your own marching band instruments at home. We found some easy-to-make instruments that your children can use to create music wherever they are — some of them are so simple!

Some extra suggestions:
🥁 Use a string or strap so they can carry them while playing
🥁 Take the instruments outside
🥁 Take the instruments on a walk around your neighbourhood and pretend you're in a parade
🥁 Have children play by themselves or have music in the background to play along with

Click here for instructions on how to make drums, tambourines, xylophones, guitars and more.

"By age two, children usually become activated by music as they rock, march and respond with their whole bodies. At this stage, 'singing' is chaotic combination of tonal fragments accompanied by whirling - moving quickly with little control over where the body is going. The child can begin moving on command but finds it difficult to stop. He can clap quickly but not slowly. His free play with instruments is random and exuberant.

Between ages five and six, the child has developed a sense of rhythm that enables him to respond to action songs, to clap repetitive patterns and to distinguish such musical concepts as high, low, soft and loud." (YMCA Playing to Learn, Martin and Huggins, 2015)
Explore Music
Our YMCA Child Care team encourages you to explore music with your kids! Click here to find the lyrics and melodies for all types of children's songs. Infants and toddlers can experience how their bodies move and respond to the music, and older children can work on mastering their performance!

More musical activity ideas:
🎵 Create a stage to perform on
🎵 Record the performance to look back on or send to someone you haven't seen in a while
🎵 Make costumes for your music show
🎵 Have the whole family join in

“Young children should experience music every day as they sing, listen, move, and respond. There should be many kinds of music in their world – traditional children’s songs, contemporary melodies, classical pieces and music from other cultures.” (YMCA Playing to Learn, Martin and Huggins, 2015)
Freeze Dance Party
If it's raining outside, why not have an indoor dance party? Here are some instructions and tips for incorporating a game of Freeze Dance into your dance party:

🎵 Put on fun, uplifting music
🎵 Have your child find a space in the room and start dancing
🎵 When you yell out "freeze!" everyone must freeze on the spot and hold their pose

Here are some actions that you can have them complete:
🎵 Free Dance
🎵 Hop
🎵 Skip
🎵 Twirl
🎵 Jump

“Ensuring children have access throughout the day to gross motor activities indoors and outdoors is critical to healthy gross and development.” (YMCA Playing to Learn, Martin and Huggins, 2015)
physical literacy with cosmic kids
We know that physical literacy and exploring imaginations are both really important! Here's a resource that has both covered: Cosmic Kids can take your child on a fun adventure through storytelling that integrates yoga, dancing and mindfulness exercises. Click here to try it!

“Ensuring that children have access throughout the day to gross motor activities indoors and outdoors is critical to healthy growth and development" (YMCA Playing To Learn, Martin and Huggins, 2015).
Ribbon Wands
Make your ribbon wand to use while dancing and twirling inside or outside to some of your favourite tunes. All you need is:
👯 wooden dowel, or if you want to create something with nature find some sticks that are on the ground and use these for your wand.
👯 different colours of ribbon cut to 36 inches long
👯 scissors Once you have collected your supplies tie the ribbons one at a time, tying at the halfway point on each ribbon, to the end of your dowel or stick.

Tie about 5-7 ribbons around your wand so that you end up with 10-14 pieces of ribbon hanging from the end. You are now done and ready to incorporate your ribbon wand into movements with music. Try some of these:
🕺 have a dance party
💃 draw numbers or letters in the air
🕺 play catch with it
💃 make a swirling tornado with the wand
🕺 shake the ribbon wand at different levels of high, medium and low and speeds of fast, medium and slow
💃 run around and see how the ribbons move in the wind
🕺 create your fun movements or dance based on the rhythm and beats in the music you are listening to.

“Responding to music comes naturally to children and provides a constant source of joy" (YMCA Playing to Learn, Eden and Huggins, 2001).