From The Montessori Music Room: Four Ways To Move With A "Stretchy Band!"

YOUR PRESCHOOL GROUP WILL REALLY ENJOY MUSICAL ACTIVITIES WITH A "STRETCHY BAND" AND HERE ARE FOUR WAYS TO DO IT! 

Photo by Jeri-Jo Idarius for Magical Movement Company 

Every once in a while, my Montessori music classes just really enjoy group movement activities with a "stretchy band", and we get lots of practice working together as a preparation for ensemble playing on another day. 

You can make a DIY stretchy band by tying together lots of colorful scarves as you can see in the picture above. Or you can purchase one, too. I have used both, and the children always love the activities and ask for more! Here are some of my secrets for success.


FIRST, PREPARE THE CHILDREN
I store my stretchy band in a nice cloth bag and this adds to the mystery and creates the fun atmosphere that is so engaging for little children.


My favorite stretchy band for large groups of children is the one from Bearpaw Creek at this link: "Stretchy Band" My large 24 ft. stretchy band came with a nice cloth bag and the children can't really see what is inside the bag. 

So, I have fun pulling it dramatically from the bag. I call it my GIANT-RAINBOW-ELASTIC as I slowly remove it from the bag. The children agree that it is giant since it takes so long for me to get the whole thing out! Then, of course, it's got the colors of the rainbow which they love. Then I show how when I pull on a portion, it is stretchy like elastic. So, we have a fun name for our movement prop for the day.

Next, I comment on how nicely everyone is sitting around the circle and make sure that they are sitting flat, with crossed legs and backs straight. 

At this point, the stretchy band is in a pile before me, and so I pick up a portion and hold it between my two hands and show how I can bounce it over my lap and then how I can move it from side to side, too. That is why we all need to be sitting flat so that we can all grasp the stretchy band and hold it over our laps.

Then, I explain that I will be spreading the stretchy band out so that it is closer to everyone. I tell the children that I have a rule: "No touching the Giant Rainbow Elastic while I am spreading it out." 

Next, I go up on my knees in a kneeling position and say: "Now, I want you to go up on your knees and creep over to the Giant Rainbow Elastic, grasp it with two hands, and then creep back to your place!"

Photo by Kiran at Kiran's Montessori School

When we all get back to our places the band stretches out and the children are all holding it across their laps. 

Now, we can practice moving the band together! 

1. PRACTICING RHYTHM PATTERNS
I like to begin with rhythm patterns that my groups are already familiar with: "Ti-ti ta, Ti-ti-ta, Ti-ti ta, Ti-ti ta..." and also "Ta ti-ti toe, Ta ti-ti toe, Ta ti-ti toe, Ta ti-ti toe...". You can learn more about how to do rhythm patterns with children at my website HERE: 

Watch my quick video to see this activity in action at Kiran's Montessori School:

AV Rhythm patterns with rainbow stretchy band from Carolyn Lucento on Vimeo.

2. SINGING A FAMILIAR SONG WHILE 
KEEPING THE BEAT WITH THE RAINBOW STRETCHY BAND

Choose a familiar song (ex: "Twinkle, Twinkle") and sing it together while bouncing the Giant Rainbow Elastic to the steady beat of the song. 

Photo by Kiran at Kiran's Montessori School
Then, choose a different song (ex: "Itsy Bitsy Spider") and sing it together while moving the stretchy band side to side while keeping the steady beat of the song.
Or...
Choose a familiar song and sing the first line of the song while bouncing the stretchy band and then move it side to side during the second line of the song. 

3. SING & DANCE "RING AROUND THE ROSEY"
Start by inviting the children to stand up together and then to move in a clockwise manner while you sing the song, "Ring Around the Rosey".
Photo by Jeri-Jo Idarius for Magical Movement Company 

When you get to the last line of the song everyone sits (falls) down together while holding on to the stretchy band.
Photo by Jeri-Jo Idarius for Magical Movement Company

4. REINFORCING FAST AND SLOW DYNAMICS 
IN MUSIC WITH THE STRETCHY BAND
After your group has experience with the concepts of fast ("presto") and slow ("largo") in music class, it is fun to sing a song like, "The Old Grey Cat" while using the Giant Rainbow Elastic. 

In this song, we start out by not moving the stretchy band while the cat is sleeping.

Next, we move it slowly side to side when the mice are creeping.

Then, we bounce it quickly when the mice are nibbling and scampering.

You can develop many activities about slow and fast in music with my newest TpT Musical Montessori Activity Pack: "Fast & Slow in Music with Rimsky-Korsakov and Mozart."


This TpT Activity Pack has more than 40 pages filled with Lesson Plans, Printables, and even some Music mp3 Downloads for lots of fun with TEMPO in your Montessori Music Circle. 
AND...
IT'S ON SALE FOR JUST $2. UNTIL Tuesday, April 25th! 
Photo by Carolyn from my Musically Montessori eCourse

I came up with one more activity idea for having fun with the stretchy band prop at your music circle...A little bonus with a wonderful video to watch how it is done!

5.  SING A STORY WHILE MANEUVERING 
IN A CIRCLE FORMATION AND HOLDING THE
STRETCHY BAND

Watch this video from Tamara O'Brien to see an Orff-Schulwerk style performance piece using  a stretchy band. 



This is a beautiful piece that I have simplified and adapted for my 4-6 yr old groups. It makes a lovely end of the year celebration activity!

My Blog article here is part of the Montessori Monday Link-up at the Living Montessori Now site and this week Deb Chitwood has curated a collection of free videos about the Montessori Method. Check it out by CLICKING HERE


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Thank you for visiting my Blog today. I hope you have lots of fun with these activities and your group!


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