Thursday, March 31, 2016

Toddler Storytime Planning Series: Stretchy band!

Are you familiar with the stretchy band?? It is so much fun! It is like a parachute, but with no mess of fabric in the middle to worry about. Storytime music superstar Jim Gill sang their praises at a workshop we attended, and we knew we had to have one of our own! Fortunately, we work with a talented seamstress, and she whipped one up using all sorts of different kinds of lycra in no time.
Bonus-- the band doubles as a fashionable scarf till you're ready to use it!
Stretchy bands are good for starting storytime or group activities when you want everyone to sit in a circle as they arrive-- one way to bring parents in and encourage them to engage in the activity with their child. I use it as a fun music and movement tool at the end of storytime. Using the band can help teach concepts (like up & down, slow & fast, in & out), build upper arm muscles, and gives them practice sitting in a circle (a crazy difficult skill to master!). Ours is just big enough for all the kids to stand around it and hold, with their adults behind them. 

I give them simple prompts to orient them with the band when we first bring it out, like "raise it over your head!", "bring your hands together!", "lean back!", "shake it fast!", etc.

There are so many songs that work with the band! Here are some of my favorites:

Sticky Bubblegum (I found this on jbrary's channel and tweaked it, replacing the word "hands" with "band"!)
Sticky, sticky, sticky bubblegum, bubblegum, bubblegum
Sticky, sticky, sticky bubblegum, sticking the band to our head 
Ready.... unstick!
(repeat with as many body parts as you want, and end with sticking the band to the floor!)

Row, Row, Row Your Boat (I assume that you know this song, but do you know any extra verses?)
Have kids practice "rowing" with the band before you start:
Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily merrily merrily
Life is but a dream.

Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
If you see a dinosaur
Don't forget to roar! (ROAR!)

So many possibilities! If you see a mouse, squeak/ If you see an alligator, scream, etc etc etc.

Wheels on the Bus (again, you probably already know this one, but it is super fun with the band!)
Roll band in a circle in front of you:
The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round
The wheels on the bus go round and round, all through the town.

Wave band in front of you like windshield wipers:
The wipers on the bus go swish swish swish...

Push band in front of you like a horn:
The horn on the bus goes beep beep beep..

Sit-ups while holding band if they are an older group/capable of it, otherwise raise arms all the way up above you and back down:
The windows on the bus go open and shut...

Bring two hands together like you're clapping:
The people on the bus go in and out...

Have you used a stretchy band in story time? Are there any other songs or activities you've used with it? It is so much fun!

Here are some more helpful posts on using bands in storytime:

Happy storytiming, friends! ~Emily

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this great round up new ideas for the stretchy band! I'm sharing over on our blog at Bear Paw Creek.