February 4, 2010

YADA YADA YADA - Stories, Songs & More

Kids get restless when travelling. They are confined to a small space, whether in a car, train, plane or bus. Car manufacturers realized this was an issue, so many now provide video components for the children to watch while in the back seat. Airlines have provided this “perk” for years. We all know to bring along favorite “cuddlies”, toys, books, or perhaps hand held devices for travel with children, but what about just having a conversation? Or singing a song?

You don’t have to make up a story to tell all by yourself. You can have the child/ren join in.

Start off with a sentence: “Once upon a time there was a puppy dog who got lost…” or “I saw an elephant walking down my street….” or for older kids a more sophisticated beginning: “As I sat down at my school desk today, I realized something was different…” or “I heard about a boy who found a hundred dollar bill on the ground....”. Then ask the child/ren to make up the next sentence, and you follow with the subsequent one. This is great fun…no matter how many people are participating. The stories can be scary, serious, or just plain silly.

You can also tell a story about your great/grandchildren’s babyhood. Children are always interested in hearing about their early, early years. For example: "When you were a baby, I used to play on the floor with you, even before you could crawl. We used to gently bump heads together and that was enough to make you laugh and laugh”. For the older child, a more complicated story, such as: “I knew from the moment I met you, that I was the luckiest great/grandparent in the world. We made up words, songs and got silly together…”

“YOU SING A SONG, AND I’LL SING A SONG” (borrowed with love from Ella Jenkins’ famous song of the same title).
Just follow the famous children’s recording artist, Ella Jenkins', advice. Singing together, can be a truly rewarding experience. When you’re with your great/grandchildren, travelling or sitting in the living room, think about songs that are familiar to the children and invite participation. If you’re feeling particularly creative, you and/or the children can make up your own songs. You can also play a CD or watch Pete Seeger or Elmo on YouTube and sing along. We’ve listed some fun songs below***…check ‘em out.

Children love to explore, and an extension of that process invites some visual and observation games. I SPY is fun anytime, anywhere and for most any age. Look around for some object or color or word to identify. Then say “I spy someone with brown hair” or for the older child, “I spy the word ‘SALE’ on a sign”. Then it’s their turn to “spy”. How about a new version of that game? ”I spy an orange bus and who do you think is riding inside?”

Check out your environment. “How many taxis can you see along the road?”, or “How many pot holes can you find (probably too many)?”or “Let’s find all the red things in the living room”.

Don’t forget that you can YADA, SING and PLAY at home, because children get restless there, too.

You’ll Sing a Song, And I’ll Sing a Song by Ella Jenkins

We’re Goin’ on a Bear HuntKid's In Action by Greg & Steve

Willoughby Wallaby Woo - Singable Songs for the Very Young by Raffi

Juanito - Diez Deditos by José Luis Orozco

Abiyoyo - Stories & Songs for Little People by Pete Seeger

Blah Blah Blah: Stories About Clams, Swamp Monster, Pirates and DogBill Harley

If You’re Happy and You Know It
She’ll Be Comin’ ‘Round the Mountain When She Comes
Peanut Butter and Jelly
This Old Man
Miss Mary Mack
Do Your Ears Hang Low
On Top of Spaghetti

No comments:

Post a Comment