Trepak from the Nutcracker

Hi all!! Happy December! Here in Colorado it hasn't felt much like Christmas until last week. It's been unseasonably warm, but we're making up for it now!!

Today I thought I'd blog about a parachute activity that I learn sometime in my teaching that I do with the Trepak/Russian Dance from the Nutcracker

The kids love it and it's great to teach form ABA form and when we use it with the older kids we talk about the bridge from the B to the second A section.

Before we use the parachute we doing some movement in the classroom where they follow me:
A Section:
Beats 1-4: giant leaping jump, straight up
Beats 5-8: another giant leaping jump, straight up (arms up, legs like you're attempting to do the splits in the air.... but you could do "Rock star" jumps or your own take on it)
Beats 9-16: "firecrackers" in your hands, where you start with a fist and explode the fingers out, for 8 counts, the micro beat of the song)

Repeat this, so you perform it a total of 4 times (it'll match what you hear).

"B" section:
"Wacky Jacks" to the beat- this is what my pe teacher calls them, they're like jumping jacks but you put your right arm parallel to the ground and the left arm straight up while the left leg kicks out and the right leg is on the ground then you hop and switch so everything is vice-verse.  This is done for 16 macro beats (big beats, until you hear the "bursts" of the bridge)

Do those BIG jumps on each explosion of sound, so it's two slow jumps, two medium speed jumps and 4 fast speed jumps)

"A" section:
Repeat above but add the wacky jacks at the accelerando at the end and finish with a big, giant jump.

Then we learn the parachute movements, sans the parachute.  This doesn't take long to learn as they're familiar with the music and the motions match really well.

Then we add the parachute (sorry in advance for the poor resolution):

My kids love to add the snowballs or baby grinches from Oriental trading. It's GREAT fun.

If you're looking for a parachute, this is the parachute I use. Simply click on this affiliate link:

I'll be honest that since I'm not teaching right now, my student teacher is soloing and I'm slowly taking back over, we haven't done much with the Nutcracker.

I did, however, make this set of playing cards for the Nutcracker- you can use them for Old Maid and Go Fish and work GREAT in a sub tub or for centers (and were surprisingly fast to print and cut out!)
click on the images for more information

There are colored cards....

And black and white cards
These turned out so well I'll be making a Peter and the Wolf set and a Carnival of the Animals set for my sub tub!!

If you're looking for more Christmas ideas, check out these bundles, three are from this year: 

The Christmas Songs from Around the World has rhythm and melodic games for every melodic and rhythmic element plus song PDF and games for each song.
The 25 Games for Christmas and Beyond is finishing up the 10 games for Christmas and then will have winter and anytime of the year games.
And this is the second year I'm doing a Bursting Christmas Day Bundle- these are things you can use all year, NOT Christmas related at all!

I hope you all are having a WONDERFUL December!!

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