Back when I used to lead a music and movement program at my old library, I looked and looked for something new to do besides the same old scarves and shakers. I also wanted something I could use with huge storytime groups, so the typical parachute wasn’t going to work.
Bear Paw Creek’s Connect-a-Stretchy Band came to the rescue! Each brightly colored band fits approximately 10 children and can easily be adapted for use in large or small groups. Why do I love it so much? It’s…
- Quick and easy to connect.
- Machine washable.
- Great for building gross motor, cooperation and active listening skills!
- Excellent core muscle exercise- and as we all know, kids need a strong core to write!
- Great for getting the grown-ups involved.
- Super duper fun!
In no particular order, here’s a list of some of my favorite songs to use with the stretchy band! I have to thank my wonderful former coworker Miss Janelle for helping me discover so many:
I’ve found that most parachute songs can typically be adapted for use with the stretchy band. And tons of traditional songs work well with the stretchy band, too, such as:
- Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush
- Ring Around the Rosie
- Row, Row, Row Your Boat
- Skip To My Lou
- Little Red Wagon
- The Wheels on the Bus
The lyrics to these traditional tunes can easily be changed to work with a variety of themes. For example, we’ve used the stretchy band to sing…
- Here We Go Round the Pumpkin Patch
- Little Red Sled
- Ring Around the Puddle
- The Waves at the Beach
Here’s some lessons I’ve learned from using the stretchy band so far:
- Sit down songs work best with toddlers, especially if they can sit in a grown-up’s lap. Walking and holding onto the band is difficult for most toddlers, but the preschool crowd can manage pretty well.
- Sit down songs are also best with mixed age groups with a wide range of motor abilities.
- Grown-ups should stand behind or alongside their child to help guide movement.
- Letting go of the stretchy band can be a challenge! Sing a clapping song and ask a grown-up or staff member to help you collect it while the kids are clapping. I just used “Hands are clapping, clap/clap/clap” today and it worked like a charm!
Looking for more fantastic ideas? Check out these inspiring blog posts- you seriously have to see the nutcracker dance!