Friday, July 10, 2015

4 Ways to Boost Stale Wiggle Songs

He's all made of hinges!
"Popcorn Popping;" "Hinges;" "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes."  Oh, how we love our Primary wiggle songs!  The only problem is when you have smart kids. Or older kids.  They get really tired of the wiggle songs.  Wait, is that actually a problem? We love our smart, older kids!  They think they're too cool to move with the music, but they're still young enough to need to move their bodies in order to learn.  Here are 4 ways to give your wiggle songs a boost.

1.  Child-led

Sometimes it's fun to bring a child up front to lead the actions.  Sometimes I'll ask the birthday child or the visitors to come up and choose different actions for "Roll Your Hands" (p.274) such as stomp your feet, turn around, swing your arms, etc.  Reluctant children are more likely to participate if a peer is leading them.

2.  Funny voices

Why does playing pretend draw children's attention so well? I don't have a clue; I only know that it works!  Why not try singing "Hinges" (p.277) with voices such as cowboy, opera, English butler, or SCUBA diver?  You could even stylize your actions some.  One note on this style:  I only use funny voices with purely fun songs, never with doctrinal songs.  My mom corrected me on that when I was eight, and it's a lesson that obviously stuck.  Thanks, Mom. :)

3.  Animals

Children are fascinated by animals.  Sometimes I'll say, "I went to the zoo recently, and I was just thinking, let's try singing in some animal styles."  I'll ask for animal ideas, and then I'll pick one for "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" (p.275). Things like cheetah and turtle are easy--you just go fast or slow--but the kids will still like it more when you make it a pretend game instead of just announcing the song will be a different speed.  The trickiest animal suggestion I got was a sloth.  Hee!  We acted like we were lazy and tired, and the kids ate it up.

4.  Sports and Activities

Lots of older Primary children are involved in sports or other extra-curricular activities.  Participation in these activities helps form their self-image, and they are typically very eager to share what they are doing.  You could say, "Let's sing, 'Do As I'm Doing' (p.276), and for our actions, I want to hear some of the activities that you do on the weekend or after school."  Take a suggestion, and then quickly choose an action to demonstrate it.  Added bonus:  you get to learn more about the children!

These are some of my favorite ways to boost a wiggle song that's lost some of its charm.  I'd love to hear what's worked for you, as well. :)

Happy singing!

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