Friday Favorites: {The Lion Sleeps Tonight, Parachute Style!}

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If you’ve followed the blog for any time, you will know that both Lyndie and I have an abounding love for the Laurie Berkner Band’s songs. Today’s Friday Favorite is a cover the Laurie Berkner Band does of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”. The song is on their albums Whaddaya Think of That and Laurie Berkner Band’s iTunes Essentials.

Goal areas covered in this intervention are self-regulation (fast/slow), anticipation of the pattern, following directions, cooperation with peers, and gross motor movement. For this intervention you’ll want to have a parachute that fits the size of your group and 2-3 little stuffed lions and even a larger mama or papa lion.

Here are the lyrics:

In the jungle, the mighty jungle, 
The lion sleeps tonight 
In the jungle, the mighty jungle, 
The lion sleeps tonight 
Wimoweh! 

In the village, the peaceful village, 
The lion sleeps tonight 
In the village, the peaceful village, 
The lion sleeps tonight 
Wimoweh! 

Hush my darling, don’t cry my darling, 
The lion sleeps tonight 
Hush my darling, don’t cry my darling, 
The lion sleeps tonight 
Wimoweh! 

In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight 
In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight

Introduce the song by telling the children that we have to be very quiet (shhhh!) because the lions are sleeping. You can place the lions in or pass them out to the children and have them place them gently in to address goals of following directions and the concept of “in”. Start the song and go from rocking the lions on the parachute to sleep and waking them up with large movements up and down. The nice part about this song is the story that already says the lions are sleeping. Therefore, when the song is over, have the children help you roll up the lion’s big blankie so they can go back to sleep in your bag/cart/box.

There are many different ways you can adapt this song with the recording or live.  I’ve also seen other music therapists use this song without a parachute and have children “sleep” during the quiet parts of the song and wake up and dance during the loud parts. We hope it can become a staple in your repertoire like it has become in ours. Happy Weekend!

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