With the first day of Summer on June 21st, I am session planning with the theme of "Summer" this month. Keep reading to learn my favorite songs I use during this season in early childhood.
"Watermelon, Watermelon" by Stephanie Leavell
No fruit reminds me more of Summer than cool, pink watermelon! This a cappella song was written by another board-certified music therapist and works great with body percussion or drumming. Kids work on steady beat as they imitate the "pat-pat-clap/snap" rhythm that accompanies the song.
Summer is when it is time to head to the sea. This simple and traditional song pairs well with pictures or props of the different sea creatures mentioned in the song. I pause at the end of the musical phrase to let the kids identify which sea creature the sailor sees next.
This traditional finger play song is about fishing and also pairs well with a fish puppet or prop. I go around the circle with a fish bath toy and let it "bite" the finger we are singing about of each kid. The song teaches counting to 10 and identifying body parts. As I go around the circle, I may exclaim, "Oh no! It got your thumb!" to reinforce this concept, or ask the kids which finger he "bit" on my hand.
This traditional song is also about sea creatures swimming in the ocean. I teach the accompanying motions with the song and it is always a big hit with kids. Sometimes I pause before the end of the musical phrase to encourage the kids to fill-in-the-blank with the last, "gulp".
"You Are My Sunshine" reminds me of the warm Summer sunshine during this season. This adaptation was created by the board-certified music therapist, Rachel Rambach. It is an effective cool-down and transition song that lets the kids know it is "almost time to say good-bye".
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