“Seasons for Berries”

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In this Theme, children learn that berries grow for animals and for people.  They grow in the forest for animals and in gardens or berry orchards for people.  There are many ways to eat berries, fresh picked from the berry bushes, canned as jam or jelly, dried, and in pies.  That way you can eat berries in all seasons.

The process of growing berries begins with planting them, picking them, eating them, pruning the berry canes, raking the mulch over autumn and winter, and then watching for the new leaves that signal the new berries are getting ready to grow again in the Spring.

There is a page of cards to cut up and distribute to the children in your playgroup or Sunday School who are learning to sing the songs.  It is fun to build up a personal library of cards which show which songs the child has learned to sing.

© 2014 Kathryn Hardage

“When It Rains in the Country”

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Although I happily taught “Old MacDonald Has a Farm” to my pre-school musicians, I found a new song coming to me as I took a drive in the country with my husband one wet afternoon.

It became “When It Rains in the Country”.  My students enjoyed singing it because it conveys the humor of the obvious.  “When it rains in the country, the cows get wet.”  The anticipation for each of the other animals keeps building with every verse.   And so does the anticipation for the crops and the farm equipment.

It gives us something to laugh at, with the predictability of the rain having the same effect of everything.

The word cards are for early readers.  Learning to read with the anticipation of the humor gives everyone a good time.

There is a page of cards to cut up and distribute to the children in your playgroup or Sunday School who are learning to sing the songs.  It is fun to build up a personal library of cards which show which songs the child has learned to sing.

© 2014 Kathryn Hardage

“Young Animals” Chant

Part of the fun of our language is naming.  In “Young Animals”, young children get to learn the names of animals and their babies.  Every type of animal in the ocean, land or air, has a special name for its baby.  Some baby animals have the same names even though their parents have different names. (Rabbits and cats both have kittens.)  The rhythm of this chant helps you to remember the names of parent animals and baby animals.

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There are word cards to cut out at the end of the chant.  You may read a parent animal  name and ask your child to answer with the baby animal name or read the baby animal name and receive the parent animal name that matches.  You may help your child match the parent and the baby names as he learns to read.  As you repeat this process may times during the month, with your child sitting next to you and helping you with the cards, you will both feel the excitement as she gets involved with the reading process.

© 2013 Kathryn Hardage              www.MyMusicalMind.com             kackymuse@gmail.com          “I have a musical mind, musical indeed.”–Kacky Muse

“Spiders”, a Theme for older children

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The “Spiders” Theme uses scientific facts to tell us about spiders.  With tens of thousands of spider species, it was hard to choose what to talk about.  The Chant is called, “About Spiders”.  It tells about different kinds of web shapes and patterns and colors which identify spiders.  The Fingerplay is called “Graceful Spider”.  It tells about spinning a web.  There is a little extension for the pinky finger’s part while we all count the eight legs of a spider.

The jazzy shuffle rhythm of the song, “Spiders Are Part of the Natural World”, swings us into the melody with a rhythmic pronunciation of scientific vocabulary, a sure way to keep it in memory.  Here is how I wrote it.   As I read my words, I realized I wanted it to have a shuffle beat.  So I just started kind of singing anything as I read and the tune that “happened” is so very simple and almost silly.

But who am I to question the Universe?, especially as It is so very generous!  So there is this cute, hokey melody, with scientific vocabulary in this theme for older children.  Bet they’ll never forget the scientific terms once they’ve spoken them in the Chant and sung them to this rhythm!

© 2013 Kathryn Hardage     www.MyMusicalMind.com  “I have a musical mind, musical indeed.” — Kacky Muse

“Birds in North America”

A few years ago, my husband gave me a book about drawing birds.  I am a beginning artist and I liked the five steps presented for each bird.  I loved the short introduction about each bird and that is what gave me the idea for this Theme.  The Chant is called “North American Birds“  and begins “What they look like,  Where they live,  What they eat,  What they do”.  The Fingerplay is called “Birds Live In…Birds like To…” and describes where birds live and what they like to do.  The Song is called “Such Beautiful Birds” It names many birds from North America and describes their coloring and habitat.

Here are some of my beginning drawings.



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When I taught this Theme to my pre-schoolers, I brought a finger puppet of a bee with me.  I handed each child a guiro to play the “buzzing” sound.  You can see how focused they are on the puppet.

The Chant is called, “Bees Are Buzzing”.  It begins, “Bees are buzzing in summertime, summertime, summertime…”.  The fingerplay is called “What Do Bees Do?”  Five activities introduce new vocabulary.  The Song is called, “Bees Make Honey”.  The repetition in this song makes it easy to memorize the more you sing it with your child.  Later, it makes it easy for your child learn to read it.

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“Bird’s Nests”

My pre-schoolers and I were enjoying several other songs about birds, when the idea came to me for this one  (“Bird’s Nest Building”).  We all collapsed in laughter at the chorus with it’s punch line:  “Tweet, tweet, tweet.  Tweet, tweet, chirp!”  I brought a special puppet with three baby birds in a nest, which was a great hit.

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I wrote the song first, then added the Chant, “To Build a Nest”, and the Fingerplay, “What Builds a Bird’s Nest?” for the next year’s classes.

© 2013 Kathryn Hardage   “I have a musical mind,musical indeed.”  –Kacky Muse www.MyMusicalMind.com

Themes for Songs, Chants, Fingerplays

There are five different types of themes for very young children.

The topics are Family and Community (F&C), World of Gardening (WOG), Seasons and Celebrations (S&C), World of Nature (WON), and Spiritual Treasure (ST).

Each Theme has a Chant, a Fingerplay, and a Song.

As you spend ten minutes of daily dedicated time with your child when you say the Chant, work the Fingerplay and sing the Song, your child will learn them with you.  Built on the intimacy between parent and child, these valuable ideas, vocabulary, humor, and charm will become part of your child’s personal concept of him/herself.  These will be the activities and values which you share together.

© 2013 Kathryn Hardage                                                                                                                   “I have a musical mind, musical indeed.”–Kacky Muse                                                                                kackymuse@gmail.com                                                             www.MusicandBooksforChildren.com