Thursday Thoughts: Ode to My Stretchy Band

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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.
  • Durable.
  • 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:

Around and Around and STOP by Miss Carole

Up and Down by Miss Carole

Green, Yellow, Red by Music with Mar

Ladies Ride by Old Town School of Folk Music

Running in a Circle by Willy Fisher

The Tempo Marches On by Jim Gill

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!

http://prekandksharing.blogspot.com/2013/03/stretchy-band-my-new-favorite.html

http://prekandksharing.blogspot.ca/2015/05/its-stretchy-band-jam.html

https://create.piktochart.com/output/1736510-group-movement-activities-with-b

http://lisaslibraryland.blogspot.ca/2014/08/the-giant-dance-scrunchie.html

https://theinspiredtreehouse.com/gross-motor-activities-stretchy-band-bear-paw-creek/

http://ofortunaorff.blogspot.com/2017/01/stretchy-band-activities.html

Do you have a stretchy band?  How do you like to use it?  Please share!

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