Fun Activities for December in the Music Room

I'm having a hard time believing that it's December!!!  First, we went to Disneyworld for Thanksgiving so it doesn't feel to me like we've had that holiday yet.  Second, it's SO WARM here in Colorado. In fact, many of the days that we were in Florida it was hotter here at home! 

But, the show must go on and I must accept this is actually December, right?!!    So, I'm teaming up with my friend Aileen Miracle of Mrs. Miracle's Music room to share some things we're doing in our classroom this month.  I do have some traditions that I do in my class every year that I love to keep from year to year and I thought I would share some of them with you, as well as some of the new things we're doing this year.

The first is the holiday version of Bow, Wow, Wow, called Ho Ho Ho.

If you don't know the song or dance, it's really sweet and the kiddos eat it up! 

Formation: single circle, with all students facing a partner.

  1. Phrase 1: pat partner's hands three times (on the text, "Ho, ho, ho!"
  2. Phrase 2: pretend to be looking at Santa Claus
  3. Phrase 3: trade place with partner (I have them place their hands on each other's hands or hold hand.
  4. Phrase 4: pat partner's hands three times and jump a half-turn on the rest so that they are facing a new partner.

I love doing this with my first graders and I've also done it with my kinders, as well as my 2nd graders (for 2nd grade it's a great prep for re in that nice descending line of mi-re-do at the end.  For the firsties, it's great for rhythm and for my kinders it gets them up and moving in a single circle with partners.  With the kinders I start with one partner and model the dance as the rest of the class sits down.  Then we add the jump turn at the end.  With that the student that was my partner and I both have a new partner. This cumulatively goes until the whole class is up and moving. If there's an even number of students I set out so that they all have a partner.

The next activity that I LOVE teaching my students each year are the dances to Jingle Bells. Here are my 5th graders from last year performing a concentric circle dance:
I also do a dance with my littler students that is very similar, using a parachute.  They all hold onto the outside of the parachute. On the verses they go with their right foot "heel, toe, heel, toe- slide, slide, slide slide (to the right)."  Then they do the same thing to the left and then repeat the whole sequence. 
On the chorus, they touch their toes three times, touch their knees three times, touch their waist three times (all while holding onto the parachute), then lift the parachute over their head. I call a color and students holding that color turn in place.  As they get better at it I do let them run under the parachute and switch places with the person across from them.

Speaking of parachute, here's another activity that I do with the Trepak from The Nutcracker:
We've been known to throw plush snowballs and other fun things on the parachute and bounce them off... it's great fun!

To keep students reading, writing and practicing I'm diving into a few of my sets. Here's my 2nd graders reading "Reindeer Flying Lesson" PDF from this set, while adding body percussion and movement:

And here's my 3rd graders practicing ti-tika via part work with my Nutcracker Rhythms Game that is in my Christmas Around the World set:

Speaking of the Christmas Songs Around the World, we were using some of the games and songs from that set today when my 5th graders recalled learning "Caga Tio" last year and they got the biggest kick out of it.  If you don't know, it's a Catalonian song in which the children feed the Yule long nugget and cover it with a blanket during the holidays and on Christmas Eve they sing a song while they strike the log with a stick. If they did a good job taking care of the log, feeding it and keeping it warm with the blanket, the log will have "pooed" gifts, which are left under the blanket.

There's actually a recording of Nora Jones singing this song. The boys think this video is a riot!

And then you really have to watch this little, they're singing a different version of the song:

And with Star Wars coming out with a new movie we're also doing RHYTHM WARS!!!  My kids LOVE these and I know they are as excited as me about the new movie:

My son and I actually have tickets to go see it on December 14th, the night before it opens. We think we're pretty cool, lol!

I hope that December brings you a lot of joy and good times in your classroom!  If you're looking for some easy, fun go to games, check out my Reindeer games:

And you want to make planning easy, grab this set that has games for the whole year round!

Have a GREAT week everyone!

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