The Snapdragon Room Update

April 15th, 2020

Being home with a busy toddler can leave parents wondering: What do I do with this little ball of curiosity and energy? Understanding the need to keep little ones entertained and engaged, we have shared some simple developmentally appropriate activities to do at home. Here a few examples of ways to engage children through music and movement:Animated photo of children singing

Child love to hear familiar songs, but it can be fun to sometimes change up the words we use in our favorite songs! Using new words in songs is great way to build on your child’s vocabulary. Repeating often, paired with exaggeration and adding gestures or actions to accompany new words helps to reinforce the meaning of words. Here is a song that not only gets you moving (great for gross motor development!) but you can incorporate a variety of new words:

Shake Your Sillies Out

(Stand up and get moving for this one)

Person Dancing                                        Adult dancing

[IO[ [[

We’re going to shake, shake, shake your sillies out.

Shake, shake, shake your sillies out.

Shake, shake, shake your sillies out.

Wiggle your waggles away.

We’re going to jump, jump, jump your jiggles out

jump, jump, jump your jiggle out

jump, jump, jump your jiggle out

Wiggle your waggles away.

We’re going to clap, clap, clap your crazies out.

Clap, clap, clap your crazies out.

Clap, clap, clap your crazies out.

Wiggle your waggles away.

(sing quietly and pretend to fall asleep)

We’re going to yawn, yawn, yawn your sleepies out.

Yawn, yawn, yawn your sleepies out.

Yawn, yawn, yawn your sleepies out.

Wiggle your waggles away.

**Try adding any other actions you and your toddler can think of at home.

Here are some examples of actions: stretch, hop, skip, climb, run, dance, spin, etc.

Recognizing emotions and building empathy can also be fostered through songs. Being able to recognize the facial expressions, gestures and actions of others helps your child understand how others are feeling. This is important for the development of your child’s social skills. As you sing you can talk with you toddler about the kind of things that make you and your child happy, sad, angry, excited, etc.

If You’re Happy and You Know it

Smiling adult                          Adult clapping

If you’re happy and you know it,

clap your hands (clap clap)

If you’re happy and you know it,

clap your hands (clap clap)

If you’re happy and you know it, and you

Really want to show it

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands (clap clap)

Angry……stomp your feet (stomp stomp and make angry face)

Sad……cry “boo hoo” (boo hoo and wipe your eyes)

Excited……shout “Hooray” (hooray and lift your arms up to the sky)

Tired……give a big yawn (stretch and yawn)

Feeling full of love…blow a kiss (kiss kiss)

Scared…..ask for a hug (“Hug, please”)

Along with building language skills, gross motor development and emotion recognition, music and movement activities also foster early mathematical skills. Being able to listen and keep the rhythm of songs is a form of pattern recognition. The Cowboy Song, which is always a fan favorite at Youville Centre, requires children to pat their legs to the beat of the song, just like a horse riding along! After we sing this song in the Snapdragon room, we like to explore making the horse go fast and slow, loud and quiet. This is a fun learning opportunity to expand on a favorite song. Try it at home!

Cowboy Song

(Pat your lap)

Horse with child on its back

Riding along, singing a cowboy song.

Riding along, singing a song.

O-lee O-lay, O-lee O-lay. O-leee O-layy.

My boots are made of leather,

And I wear a cowboy hat.

I climb upon my saddle [Insert photo: Riding along]

And I swing my lariat.

Riding along, singing a cowboy song.

Riding along, singing a song.

O-lee O-lay, O-lee O-lay. O-leee O-layy.

Yeehaw!

During these unprecedented times it is important to keep moral up, and letting children and families know that they are not alone. Here is a great song to remind us that we are all in this together:

The More We Get Together

(Incorporate sign language for “more” and “together”)

Adult signing More

“More”

Adult signing "Together"

“Together”

The more we get together
Together, together
The more we get together
The happier we’ll be

‘Cause your friends are my friends
And my friends are your friends
The more we get together
The happier we’ll be

We miss our children and families dearly and supporting them through this uncertain time is so important to us. One way we stay connected with our young mothers and children is by posting photos and videos of activities. Each day a Child Development Program educator posts an activity, story or songs. The response from our families has been overwhelmingly positive. Parents are getting ideas to foster learning with their little ones at home, and the children are getting to see a glimpse of their beloved educators carrying out activities they enjoy so much at daycare.

Adult on floor with violin in her lapElisa books croppedAdult with book and toy duck

Here is some of the feedback the Snapdragon room has received from our families:

A. loved this so much! The second he saw the video turn on he rushed over and sat down to watch! Thank you so much Mandy and the rest of CDP for recording these videos and helping during this tough time. You guys are the best! 

Thank you for sharing. R. loved it. Watched it 5 times in fact. Haha. Hope to see you all soon. Me and R. miss everyone.

K. had an absolute blast with this, especially the Cowboy Song. 

I. was so happy to get to see you in the video, she loved hearing the violin.

D. love dancing along as I sing along with her. She loved hearing the Cowboy Song. 

S. love the Cowboy Song and the Emotions song! Please keep going, these are amazing.