I was a music teacher this week. I volunteered to help at White’s Chapel VBS (Vacation Bible School) that took place this week. I volunteered so that my kids could attend the program. Most VBS programs don’t include preschool aged children. White’s Chapel, where I attend MOPS (Mother’s of Preschoolers) has a preschool VBS program, but in order for kids to attend their Mom or Dad must volunteer to help with VBS for the week. My friend Lauren was the preschool director this week. She did a great job with this young kids and the whole week ran smoothly. She recruited me to volunteer and asked me direct the music for the preschool age group. We decided I would do 30 minute music sessions/classes for each of the four preschool classrooms, every day this week (Monday-Thursday).
Rather than just have the kids sit around and sing I decided to make it interactive. I learned a great deal from our Mommy and Me music classes at Kindermusic and Family Music Time. My Kids have taken MANY music classes in Fort Myers, FL and Southlake/Grapevine, TX. We have had some wonderful teachers- especially Miss Kat and LouAnne Dunfee. I drew from my experiences at these music time classes to plan my music sessions for VBS this week.
I selected the music for the preschool VBS. The music that they were using for the school aged children for VBS was too complicated for the smaller kids to learn. Since preschoolers can’t read they needed simple songs that were easy for them to follow and learn. I found some great songs. One of the kids favorite selections was J-E-S-U-S which is sung along to the tune of B-I-N-G-O. We have lots of kid’s Christian CDs at our house, so I pulled the songs from four different CDs. One of the CD’s that had some of the best songs was called “Little People Sunday School Sing Along”. It’s great because they have kids singing the songs!
I decided to make the songs interactive. For each song we would either do motions with the song (which I taught to the kids the first day), use egg percussion shakers, use play scarves, or use musical instruments. I used upbeat songs for the times when we used percussion and instruments. For the songs that were more like ballads and a little slower we used the scarves so kids could do lyrical movements with the songs as they sang long. For our final song each day, which was Jesus Loves Me, I found a very slow and soft acoustic version. For that final song we did it as a lullaby, turned out the lights, many kids laid on the floor, and they were able to calm down from all the music activities before I turned them back over to their VBS teachers.
I purchased the musical egg/ percussion instruments off eBay. I purchased 3 sets of 12, so even if there were 12-15 doing music time in a classroom there were plenty of eggs for each person to use two each. Here are the eggs I bought- http://www.ebay.com/itm/291741039405?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
The scarves were a hit too! I bought those on eBay as well: http://www.ebay.com/itm/351599807933?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2648&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
I purchased three sets of scarves. Each set had 14 scarves. They were really much better than I even imaged. The kids loved these scarves! Buying from China paid off. I ordered over in a month in advance, as they take 3-4 weeks to arrive when coming from China. The scarf sets from the US were far more expensive unfortunately.
Here is a pic of my wagon that I had loaded with the supplies I took to each classroom everyday during VBS. The wagon came in handy! It’s our beach wagon, but I guess we can now also call it our VBS wagon.
We had plenty of instruments in our playroom including tambourines, drums, xylophones, and a variety of percussion instruments. They came in handy this week! I don’t think we had ever used these instruments that much before! All the kids loved them. Each classroom had a different “favorite” instrument that the kids all fought over. For one class it was a little drum I picked up while Justin and I were on vacation in Curaco. Another favorite was the pink princess xylophone that our nanny Taylor gave Brielle for Christmas. Each class had a different favorite that caused a few disagreements among the small kids. All in all, the kids were really good and well behaved. They all seemed to enjoy music time!
Here are some of the photos from our VBS music time:
It was a fun week, but I admit I napped after VBS three our of the four past days. I was worn out! I kept the classes high energy and moving fast, since the attention span of preschoolers is limited. I guess I did a good job, since I was asked by White’s Chapel staff to lead their three-year-old preschool choir program in the fall. We shall see…