This week, for a change at Gathering Time, I placed my Folkmanis puppets out on the blanket, along with new, different instruments that the children had not seen before. It was interesting to watch their reactions. At first, all the attention was directed to the puppets ( I know! Who can resist Folkmanis puppets?! Look for their website on the right sidebar.) But then you could watch their attention slip over to the instruments, almost see them do a double-take, like: “Wait! What’s that? That’s new!” I have to confess to an almost devilish glee in piqueing their interests. 🙂
We had our lowest attendance of the entire camp this week due to one family’s vacation, another in the middle of a move into a new house, and the last one to a family crisis. Our class of nine energetic, rambunctious little bodies became a fairly calm, at times, almost lethargic class of four. The synergy of the group was distinctly different. Amazing, when you think about it!
As we moved into our greeting time, singing “Ahoy There, Mates!”, you could sense the children settling into the routine of our Hello song.
Next, we talked about the kinds of boats we had seen so far in our stay at the beach – sailboats and rowboats. And with a “row, row, row, row” we were back at sea, rowing and fishing for our supper – one for father, one for mother, one for sister, one for brother. And we all liked to finish up our chant with a big YUM, YUM! 🙂
This particular class is a young class in many ways. I have learned that sometimes we really need to dial down the energy to keep from implosion of little people. With this class in the late afternoon, they have already dealt with a fairly long day. Consequently, our next activity was to simply sing a lovely tune – “Come Sailing With Me” – and enjoy rocking our boats with our moms. Our waters were fairly calm this week! No storms or falling out of the boat!
Our favorite part of class came next. We brought the ocean back into the house on Davis Street and enjoyed “making waves” and watching the water go up and down, up and then down. This week, our youngest classmate really got excited, focused, and involved in this activity! Our music? “Over the Waves” – of course!
And, magically, the beach balls were back! We didn’t see where they came from, at first. But then we spotted Miss Merri tossing them into our ocean. They were rolling and bouncing and leaping up into the air! Sometimes, they even jumped out of the water and we had to throw them back in!
Some of our waves were so big that they tossed the balls right out! Luckily, we had our expert ball retrieval specialist with us today!
Naturally, after this high-energy activity, we had to again dial back down the energy level. “The Water Is Wide” is, I think, one of the favorites of this class – both of moms and children. It’s a lovely song with an easy rocking rhythm that lends itself to special bonding time between mother and child. So nice to just slow down, relax and enjoy each other.
Some of us were so relaxed, we were almost ready for a nap! But, instead, we heard a new song – “Going over the Sea” – that helped us learn where “over ” is and where “under” is. Scarves were ever so much fun!
with a one-two-three!
Next, we listened to how dolphins talk to each other. It was really, really neat and we learned how to leap out of the water, glide smoothly through the water, and talk happily together – just like they do!
For storytime this week, we listened to Miss Merri read “Sea, Sand, and Me” by Patricia Hubbell. It’s a really neat book that we loved hearing from about “flippy-floppy sunhats” and “wiggly-waggly toes”.
Treats (for our Australian friends) or snacks (as we Americans say) were the next on our agenda. To celebrate our theme this week of “Riding the Waves”, we had really, really BLUE jello to enjoy with “Shark Bites” (gummy sharks) floating inside. YUM!
For our youngest class member, it was her very first encounter with Jello and she seemed to find it quite tasty!
We followed this with our craft for the week – making our own wave drums with our moms’ and Miss Merri’s help, of course! Here’s a picture of Miss Merri’s – ’cause we wouldn’t turn ours loose and took them home instead!
We took our wave-drums over to our circle and explored all the different ways we could shake them, wave them, bounce them, tap them, thunk them and anything else we could think of before Miss Merri turned on “Mary Ann”.
Some of us just used our wave-drums to dance with; some wanted just the sea-shell castanets. Still others wanted both! 🙂
~~”All night, all day, Mary Ann; Down by the seashore, sifting sand”~~
All these little children sure do love Mary Ann!
We finished our class with our Sailor’s Jig and then sang our Good-bye Song:
“Good-bye now, Mates! Good-bye now, Mates!”
to one of our friends who won’t be back next week because he’s going to the seashore at Cape Cod! Have a great vacation!
All in all, we had a great day at the beach on Davis Street,
’cause we like the beach!
See ya next week!