I love to pull out our Dance Party program multiple times a year. You may remember a past post from here. They work really well in between story time sessions or during the summer. They serve the great purpose of bringing kids (and their families) into the library, while highlighting our cd collection. Plus, we all have fun.
In our building we have to register, especially for young children's programs. I set our cap at 25 children for this program, because they all bring their entourage with them (parents, siblings, grandparents, etc.). We could easily have 75 people in the room and I have to plan for both space for the children to dance and safety so they aren't tripping over each other.
Due to the amount of people we have in the room, our cd player just won't cut it. I have to bring in our iPod and hook it through our meeting room speakers. By having more control over the sound, I have an easier time holding control over the group. The music isn't too loud that it will scare the kids, but it isn't too quiet that a screaming baby or a mom talking on her cell phone will ruin the program.
If you haven't done a music program like this before, an important consideration is the mix of music. You want a good combination of fast and slow songs. I like songs that encourage imagination or highlight specific actions. If you do all fast songs, you will lose control of the group and will end up with a roomful of toddlers just running around. If you do all slow, they will get bored. Also, think of this as an educational program. Yes, it is fun, but we are working on gross motor skills. Songs that highlight actions like stomping, clapping, etc. all help the children work on these skills. I also like to throw in some of our story time songs as the kids already know those and this helps them to be comfortable doing something new.
Discography (aka The Song List)
1. If You're Happy and You Know It by Old Town School of Folk Music on Songs for Wiggleworms
2. Drivin' In My Car by Ralph Covert on Ralph's World
3. Rockets by Steve Roslonek on Music Time with SteveSongs, Volume 1
4. Dance, Freeze, Melt by Mr. Eric and Mr. Michael on Rockin' Red
5. The Airplane Song by Laurie Berkner on Whaddaya Think of That?-We make airplane puppets to "help" the kids fly. Check here for an example.
6. The Monkey Dance by The Wiggles on Yummy Yummy
7. Super Silly Tango by Mr. Eric and Mr. Michael on Yummy Yellow
8. Wiggle Your Lah-De-Dah by Ralph Covert on All Around Ralph's World
9. Beep Beep by Mr. Eric and Mr. Michael on Bouncy Blue-We made paper plate steering wheels from Storytiming.
10. Jumping and Counting by Jim Gill on Jim Gill's Irrational Anthem and More Salutes to Nonsense
11. The Goldfish by Laurie Berkner on Victor Vito
12. The Mack Chicken Dance by Greg & Steve on Big Fun
How It Went
We had a great group of kids for this program and everybody had a great time. They liked that they could take the 2 props home (airplane and steering wheel), which I think encourages them to reenact our songs at home. Plus, you can't beat the cuteness of having 25 toddlers pretending to sleep in The Goldfish or driving in a line behind you while playing Beep Beep.