Here are a few games and activities I like to use with my music classes in February. They are low-prep, and students love them! There are even some easy-to-implement ideas for non-music subs and centers.
“Love Somebody” by Lynn Kleiner
If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you know that I love Lynn Kleiner! Her activities are usually a big hit with students, especially the younger ones. “Love Somebody” is a fun movement song where kids can choose the movements.
You can also use this song to teach different aspects of movement, such as whole body versus isolated body parts, high, middle, and low, tensed versus relaxed, strong versus gentle, and more. Wondering where I got these movement examples? Check out “The Book of Movement Exploration” by John Feierabend and Jane Kahan. You can ask a student to make a tense movement while asking the next student to make a relaxed movement. Please model some examples before starting the activity.
“I Love You Too” by Ziggy Marley feat. Rita & Cedella Marley
Here are a few ways to use this sweet song so that you can change it up every week:
Play an Instrument
I do this with my 2-year-olds. This year I gave students cluster bells to play along with the song. Once they were comfortable, they followed me around the room shaking their bells. You can also tell students to “freeze” when they hear “I love you too.”
Follow the Leader
Kindergarten can enter the room follow-the-leader style, and every time they hear “I love you too,” they should draw a big heart in the air with their index fingers. During the verses, you or your students can choose how you’d like to move around the room (jump, gallop, etc.). The leader can choose the movement, and there can be a new leader for each verse.
My 3’s classes love using this. It helps to have another adult holding the stretchy band if you are using it with 2 and 3-year- olds. Simply walk, skip, march etc. during the verses and walk to center and back out during the refrain. I like to start things off by saying the first “hello” during the refrain. The kids will start greeting others will a friendly “hi” and many times will start saying “I love you” to their buddies.
I use the beloved parachute with Pre-K and up. Before students enter the room, I have the parachute spread out. When they come in, they are to sit down directly by a handle. We’ve had a lot of absences this year from illness, so if the group is small, I’ll tell them to hold onto two handles. If a student is pretty short, they can hold one as they may have trouble with both.
For the parachute, walk, skip, march etc. in a circle for the verses and make it billow up and down during the refrain. The refrain repeats for a while at the end, so continue lowering and lifting. When it’s almost over, I let the kids get under the chute.
If you are looking for more lesson ideas for early childhood/primary grades, check out my Friendship Rocks lesson! Real or imaginary rocks welcome! I use “this “I Love You Too” as the entrance activity for the lesson.
Gio’s Heart by Amir Alexander
I love this book. It’s the story of a boy named Gio, and the author is his mother, Amir Alexander. She dedicates it to “all of the children with congenital heart defects.” As I read this board book, the children make a “lub-dub” heartbeat sound on a drum. You can pass out individual frame drums or use a gathering drum. If you’d like to see a very short clip of me reading this to Kindergarten, you can view it here on my Instagram.
Here are some questions I ask students as I read the book:
- What sound does your heart make? (boom boom, lub dub…)
- Have you ever been to the hospital?
- How do you treat others when you aren’t feeling well?
- What can you do for a family member who is not feeling well? (bring them food, give them a hug, one of my Pre-K kids said that you could snuggle with them <3. )
- What does your family do for you when you aren’t feeling well?
- How do you feel after you give love to others?
- What makes you special?
The next thing that I like to introduce about the book is that both of Gio’s parents are musicians. Here is a link to Amir Alexander’s (AKA Lady Heat) song, “Good Morning.” Gio’s dad, Robert Young is an accomplished classical saxophonist and I like to play clips from some of his YouTube videos.
This book and the music are also great for celebrating contemporary artisits for Black History Month. For more information, I highly recommend following @britthawthorne on Instagram, especially the following posts:
- Skip Chocolate Me!
- Early childhood ed. Black History Month
- 4 Ways to Approach Valentine’s Day
- 32 Activities for Black History Month
Something for Centers and Substitutes
If you’re running centers or need something easy-to-use for subs, this Valentine’s Music Activities set I’ve put together is great because it can be used with multiple grade levels, and there are a variety of activities. Subs really like using the spinner games because it keeps the kids engaged while they monitor the class.
If you are looking for something that’s more straightforward, there are plenty of color-by-music pages included in my Draw and Color by Music set. It includes rhythmic symbols in US and UK terminology, as well as treble, bass, and alto clef notes for those with band, orchestra, or piano students. There are also a few pages for meter, dynamics, and tempo. Just print and go!
This is a genius freeze dance video where students choose a dance move and get imaginary candy. It’s sure to be a hit!
Thanks for visiting!