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Saturday, November 24, 2012


I hope each of you had a glorious Thanksgiving!  Were you in the crowd that stayed up until midnight to get those bargains?  Some people play tennis.  Some people run races.  Some people enjoy the thrill of getting a good deal! 

My husband and I were on our way to our son’s for Thanksgiving and I started singing, “Here we go…”  He finished by singing, “Up a row to a birthday party.”  Then we both sang, “Dolly dear, sandman’s near.  We will soon be sleeping.”  Now this won’t mean a thing to most of you, but anyone who took piano lessons in the 50’s or 60’s probably started with a book called “Teaching Little Fingers to Play.”  The first songs we learned were “Here we go…” and “Dolly dear…”  My husband and I have a hard time remembering our names some days (just kidding!), but isn’t it interesting that music we learned over 55 years ago is still alive inside our heads?  That’s why singing is such a magical way for children to learn. 

We’re having a neighborhood party this week and the theme is “Leave It to Beaver.”  We’re having “retro” foods from the 50’s and 60’s (congealed salad,  meatloaf, mac and cheese, pudding, etc.) and I’ve ordered a “Sing along with Mitch” DVD for entertainment.  Oh, what fun we used to having sitting around and singing with Mitch as the little ball bounced over the words!  Talk about fluency fun! 

But nobody sings any more, and that’s a sad thing because these children need a song in their hearts!  So to start off the holiday season, here are a few songs to share this coming month.  And although your students might forget 90% of what you teach them, I bet these songs will stay in their brains a long time!

Jingle Bells
Jingle bells, jingle bells,                     (Pretend to hold bells and shake.)
Jingle all the way.
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh.  Hey!        (Fist in the air.)
Jingle bells, jingle bells,                     (Pretend to jingle bells.)
Jingle all the way.
What fun it is to ride and sing
In a one horse open sleigh.

Dashing through the snow,                  (Pretend to hold reins and drive
In a one horse open sleigh                  sleigh.)
Over the fields we go,
Laughing all the way.                           (Hand on stomach and laugh.)
Bells on bobtail ring,                           (Pretend to drive sleigh.)
Making spirits bright.
What fun it is to ride and sing
A sleighing song tonight.  (Chorus)
Here’s a book to go with the song:

Sleigh Riding – Have children sit on the floor facing the same directions.  Demonstrate how to hold the person’s waist in front of you.  As you sing the song sway forwards and backwards to the beat as if riding a sleigh.

Jingle Bells – Let children thread several jingle bells on a pipe cleaner.  Twist the ends together to make a bracelet children can shake as you sing.

Jingle Bell Painting - You will need an empty cheese ball container or similar cylinder shape with a lid.  Cut a piece of paper so you can roll it and put it in the cylinder.  Take two jingle bells.  Drop one in red paint and the other in green paint.  Use a spoon to transfer the bells to the can.  Put on the lid, then shake up the can as you sing “Jingle Bells.”  Take out the paper and you’ll have a jingle bell painting!
(Tune:  “BINGO”)
There is a jolly bearded man          (Put arms out in front of you
And Santa is his name-o.                like Santa’s tummy.)
S – A – N – T – A,
S – A – N – T – A,
S – A – N – T – A,
And Santa is his name-o.

He lives at the North Pole…             (Clap instead of saying “S.”)
His wears a suit all red and white…   (Clap for “S” and “A.”)
He makes toys for girls and boys…    (Clap for “S,” “A,” “N.”)
He drives a sleigh with 8 reindeer…  (Clap for “S,” “A,” “N,” “T.”)
He’ll visit you on Christmas Eve…       (Clap for all letters.)
Here’s the link so you can download this book:

S–A-N-T-A  - Write a different letter on five sheets of paper.  Draw a hand on the back of each sheet. Choose five children to hold these as you sing the song.  Explain that as you sing the song, when you turn over the letter and see the hand they should clap.
Santa Star – Give children red stars and a few cotton balls.  Can they make a Santa out of the star?  Add their name, date, and a piece of yarn for a hanger.  This makes a great ornament for them to take home and hang on their tree.

My Dreidel
(Traditional Tune)
I have a little dreidel,                  (Pretend to hold out palm with a dreidel.)
I made it out of clay;
And when it’s dry and ready,
Then dreidel I shall play.
Oh, dreidel, dreidel, dreidel,         (Clap as you dance in a circle like a top.)
I made it out of clay.
Oh, dreidel, dreidel, dreidel,
Now dreidel we shall play.

My dreidel is so playful,                (Pretend to hold dreidel in palm)
It loves to dance and spin;
A happy game of dreidel,
Come play, now let’s begin.
Oh, dreidel, dreidel, dreidel,         (Clap and twirl around.)
Come play now, let’s begin!
And when it gets all tired
It drops and then I win.               (Fall gently to the floor.)

What songs do you remember?  “Up on the Housetop,” “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” “Frosty the Snowman”?  Keep those memories alive by singing with your students over the next few weeks.  It might also relieve some stress!