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Songs as Cues
Songs are a great preschool classroom management tool. It is easy to use songs as cues for children to anticipate transition times in your daily schedule. Using the same songs every day will help children become familiar with routines and therefore feel at home in your classroom. Try some of these preschool song ideas at transition times to prepare children for what will come next:
Sung to the Grand Old Duke of York. Best used to end an activity:
And now it's time to stop,
But just before we do,
Everybody join your hands,
And squeeze a hug to you.
This song is best used as a transition from busy activity to a quieter activity such as snack or circle time and can be sung to the same tune as the above song:
You twiddle your thumbs,
And clap your hands,
And then you stamp your feet.
You turn to the left,
You turn to the right,
And make your fingers meet.
You make a bridge,
You make an arch,
You give another clap.
You wave your hands,
You fold your hands,
And put them in your lap.
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There is no shortage of websites available for musically challenged preschool teachers. Try some of these teacher favorites for preschool song ideas:
http://www.kididdles.com/: This website has the melodies and lyrics to hundreds of best loved children's tunes. You can search by song subject, making thematic planning a breeze. There is also a link to printable lyric sheets. Build your music library by printing the lyrics to the songs you use the most.
http://bussongs.com/: Bus songs has a searchable database of over 2,000 children songs from lullabies to nursery rhymes and camp chants. You can search alphabetically, or by song subject.
http://www.kidsmusictown.com/ Kids Music Town has a searchable database of children's songs separated into 25 subjects including school songs, nature songs, and finger plays.
http://www.songsforteaching.com/index.html Songs for Teaching is a sister site to Kids Music Town and includes songs for every subject across the curriculum. The lyrics are available to view, and you can listen to a short clip of the song, but you must pay to download entire songs.
http://www.theteachersguide.com/ChildrensSongs.htm: The Teacher's Guide does not include as many songs as some of the other websites, but it does have a decent searchable database. You must know the song you are searching for before visiting this website, as the only way to search here is alphabetically by song name.
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Change The Lyrics
It is possible to change the lyrics to many well-known nursery rhymes and childrens songs in order to fit the song into your daily plan. Some easy melodies that will not leave you tongue-tied include the Alphabet Song, Mary Had A Little Lamb, Jingle Bells, and Ring Around The Rosy. Simply insert your own words to the song to create a song that is right for your weekly thematic planning. For example, if you are planning a field trip to the zoo at the end of the week, sing this song on Monday morning:
Sung to the tune of Ring Around The Rosy:
We're going to the zoo
Can I come with you?
Five more days!
As the week progresses, count down the number of days until your zoo trip. It does not matter that it doesn't rhyme, the children will appreciate your creativity and will easily be able to sing along.
You are only limited by your imagination when using music to enhance your preschoolers classroom experience. Remember that not all songs have to rhyme, and the children will appreciate your creativity and will easily be able to sing along. Preschool song ideas can come from anywhere, tap into your own musical talents and have fun!
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"500 Five Minute Games"; Jackie Silberg; 1995