"Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature can not do without." ~Confucius

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Row, Bounce, Turn & Sway Your Boat

Nothing like adding a little creativity to an old classic!  This time, we're taking the ever-faithful "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" and adding a little more activity to it.

Songs with motions and movement are excellent for toddlers, Pre-K'ers, Kindergartners, older kids, etc., because movements enhance learning. Those who may not be so quick to pick up a melody may still be able to do simple motions in rhythm, thus still providing great training in musical ideas and patterns.

So, for this activity, grab your kiddo/s and sing through "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" (If you don't know it, just type the name into Google. I would have put a link on, but they're all so cheesy I couldn't bring myself to do it. So, find one if you need to... and I apologize in advance for the cheesiness).

There are tons of things you can do with this simple nursery-rhyme song, but today we used it for some 'pretend play' in boats.

Here's what we used:
1. Laundry baskets (if you're doing this with a class or more kids than you have baskets for, you can stop into any wholesale club like COSTCO, BJ's, etc. and grab some of their many empty, low-sided boxes)
2. Stick for the mast (wrapping paper role or a stick from your yard)  
3. Paper and markers for creating a flag or sail.
4. "rowing" devise (large wooden spoon, etc.)
5. Clear packing tape.

After the kids know the song, have them create a flag for their boat and then tape flag to their mast, and tape mast to boat.

If you have a blue blanket of some sort, that would be great for water. Ours was a little small, but it still worked OK.

 Have kids 'man' their boats and sing through the song - in a round if they're old enough - and do the motions. Then, use some different motions instead of "row" - like sway, speed, drive, shake, run, bounce, turn, tickle, etc. They can make up more as they go. You can help by showing the motions for each word as you all sing it.

Here they are with "hide" your boat, I think... or maybe it was "sleep" your boat...

You certainly don't need a boat to do these - they will be just fine being creative with this no matter what!

After we were done singing, the boys continued to play in their boats for a while - it was neat to listen to their imaginative play. :-)

Be creative and have fun! :-)

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