How to use these resources
My goal is to make a user-friendly set of resources for use in music time with the EYFS age group using Nursery Rhymes as a both a main activity and a starting point for a range of other associated musical activities. The pack is aimed at practitioners who may not have had much music training but are interested in creating positive and engaging musical environments and a range of appropriate musical activities for the children in their care. Nursery Rhymes are a rich base for music and literacy and are part of our Statutory Framework. Most adults know the songs already so I hope it will be a good place to start! The activity ideas can be adapted to other songs.
The most important thing is always to do the song and to enjoy it. I’m sure I don’t need to say that enjoying the song is much more important than “getting it right”!
Use positive reinforcement to help children with specific musical skills such as playing in time. It’s encouraging to start with a compliment, for example, “I like how you playing the shaker. Let’s shake our instruments together at the same time!”, then don’t worry if it doesn’t happen – it might do in a few weeks time…
Most little children have high voices so do use the indicated starting off notes to guide your voice to sing high enough for children to join singing in their range.
Perhaps choose one or two activities to do alongside the song. You don’t need to do every suggested activity for each song as long as there is a variety throughout the year.
Little children will enjoy repeating songs and activities from previous weeks but they also like new material so let their level of engagement guide the pace.
We can’t really expect children to do anything directed with instruments until they have had some time to explore through play first. Demonstrate the instrument(s) to be used in music time to children during carpet time and have these available for free play during the day(s) before the class activity. Keep them available after the session too so that children can have another go. This all requires a bit of planning ahead but teachers are very good at that!
If possible, it would be great to have two grown-ups (or more!) on hand to help with equipment, encouragement and for leading activities that are in two groups.