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This article was written on 13 Sep 2011, and is filled under Babies, Music with Friends, Preschoolers.

Music with Friends Weekly Plan


This is the plan to follow each week in your own music groups. I’ve tried to make it as simple as possible, while including songs that will fulfill educational and musical goals. Click on the image for a larger version to print. Download the songs here: Moving Our Bodies

Take turns being the “leader.” Sit in a circle and start with the name song, sing every child’s name in the circle. Then choose songs from the middle boxes. You can go in any order you want. You may want to alternate between lap/finger play songs and active songs. Or you might want to do as many lap/finger play songs as you can and then jump up and do the active songs. Whatever works for your group and their attention spans! You’ll notice that some songs say (no music) and others (with music). No music means without any accompaniment or a’capella, just your voices. I know this can be intimidating, but it’s important for a child’s musical development to sing songs this way. Most of your music time should be without music (other than your voices and rhythm instruments). Most kids won’t sing for the first few weeks, so adults, get comfortable singing out! “With music” are songs that are harder to sing without music, they work better with the music track. They involve dancing and following commands. Just use a couple of them each week. Always end with a quiet lullaby. Put your child in your lap, snuggle them, rock back and forth and hum along.

Here’s a sample lesson plan:
Sit in a circle, tap our laps and sing The Name Song.
Stay sitting and sing Open, Shut Them, it’s a short one, so sing twice.
Stand up to sing Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. Sing it a few times, start slow and get faster on each repeat.
Stay standing, sing If You’re Happy and You Know It. Ask the kids to come up with other moods and movements (if you’re sad? if you’re grumpy?).
Turn on the music and dance to Three Blind Mice.
Sit back down, sing Where is Thumbkin? Little ones have a hard time singling out fingers so just sing thumb, pinkie and the whole family.
Still sitting, start Shake Your Sillies Out. When it’s time to “jump the jiggles out,” jump up! Lay down when it’s time to sleep and yawn.
Turn on some favorite world music and free dance.
Still standing, do the Hokey Pokey. Instead of putting right or left arms in just sing “put your arms in . . . put your legs in . . . etc . . .”
Turn on I’m Gonna Catch You and chase your kids around the room.
End with a quiet lullaby. Turn on Fais Do Do, hold and rock your child.

Coming this week: more information on using instruments and props, dancing songs, and helpful tips and tricks.

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4 Comments

  1. emily kate
    September 13, 2011

    This is great, thanks so much for sharing. It’s helping me out more than you know! Just pinned on pinterest.

  2. Jo
    September 14, 2011

    this is brilliant – thanks to design mom for the tip off. only problem is i can’t download some of the tracks from outside USA :( oh well will have to substitute – i’m sure it will still be fun though

  3. EJ
    September 14, 2011

    Just found your blog through Design Mom – LOVE that you’re willing to share your talents and work with the rest of us. Posted about your blog and Music With Friends here: http://toddlerapproved.blogspot.com/2011/09/diy-mommy-and-me-groups.html

  4. Erin
    September 14, 2011

    Emily Kate, I’m so glad you are finding it useful. Keep me updated with questions and suggestions, I want to make this useful for everyone. Jo, could you access youtube? I’ll look into putting video links of the songs up. EJ, thanks for the great post.

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