Monday Music and Movement: {Alphabet Soup}

alphabet-soup

Image credit

We have been on a food kick lately with the blog posts, so I’ve decided to add one of my favorite interventions to the list! Today’s Monday Music and Movement activity focuses on improving academic skills like pre-reading and letter identification. To begin, collect the appropriate letters for your group. For mine, I printed out this alphabet, laminated the sheet, and cut out each letter. If you want to get really fancy, you can add a small magnetic strip to the back of each letter and make a laminated cut out of a spoon After attaching a magnet to the underside of the spoon, you can “catch” each letter that is requested.

The lyrics are sung to the tune of “Mary Had a Little Lamb”:

I have a bowl of alphabet soup,

A letter for me and a letter for you.

Sip sip sip on the alphabet soup,

What letter should we eat? 

There are many ways to adapt this game depending on the number of children and level of development. For more of a challenge, request the first or last letter of a word, or show visuals of animals or objects and have them choose what letter it starts with. If you have a large group of children, give each of them a lowercase letter, and on their turn, have them choose the capital letter that matches theirs. To make the game easier, print out a second set of letters. During the individuals turn, hand them a letter, and tell them to find the match.

While kids are playing, they are also making secondary gains like improving receptive language, turn taking, self-regulation, and sensorimotor skills. It just so happens that all of these goals are prerequisite skills for full inclusion kindergarten classrooms!

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Friday Favorites: Beanbag Alphabet Rag

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Image via Bear Creek Paw

We believe in engaging children in therapeutic music interventions that meet their sensory needs to help them focus in during the session. This is one of the many lessons we learned from observing and co-treating with occupational therapists. Today’s Friday Favorite provides an opportunity for sensory input using a beanbag.   By moving the beanbag on the body and balancing one’s body throughout the song, children get tactile and proprioceptive input. Textured beanbags, like the ones pictured above for purchase at Bear Paw Creek  provide additional tactile input from the different textures.

Hap Palmer has some wonderful songs for gross motor movement. The Beanbag Alphabet Rag is no exception! I prefer to use a recording (it’s only $.99 on iTunes) for this therapeutic music intervention because the musical cues are excellent and hard to replicate by oneself.  I also model the movements for little ones throughout the song. They are pretty self explanatory and the lyrics are provided below. I never manage to do all the movements successfully so this intervention is always full of laughs while everyone tries their best to maneuver with a beanbag!

A – Arm, put it on your arm
B – Back, put it on your back
C – Catch, throw the bag and catch
D – Drop, drop the bag and dance
With the Bean Bag Alphabet Rag

E – Ear, put it on your ear
F – Foot, let it fall to your foot
G – Grab, grab and grip the bag
H – Hop, hold it on your head and hop
With the Bean Bag Alphabet Rag

I – Ice, imagine it’s made of ice
J – Jump, jiggle the bag and jump
K – Keep, keep it on your knee
L – Leg, lift it with your leg
With the Bean Bag Alphabet Rag

M – March, N – Neck,
Put it on your neck and march

O – Off, let it ooze off your neck
P – Pat, gently pat the bag
Q – Quick, quickly make it quiver
R – Run, run around the bag

With the Bean Bag Alphabet Rag

S – Slide, slide it up your side
T – Toes, tap it on top of your toes
U – Under, undulate under the bag
V – Vibrate, vibrate very fast
With the Bean Bag Alphabet Rag

W – Waist, wipe it on your waist
X – X-ray, look through it with X-ray vision
Y – You, you make something up
Z – Zoom, zoom around the bag
With the Bean Bag Alphabet
The Bean Bag Alphabet
The Bean Bag Alphabet…rag

We hope you have a blast moving around to the Beanbag Alphabet Rag!