Termly Training March 2013
As well as the usual training on many class elements we also had a guest speaker, Helen Winter. Helen is a speech and language therapist and she gave a very interesting talk on how she believed MAD Academy supports children’s communication development. You can read her hand out here>>>
Trish demonstrated aspects of this beat competency element. With the horse quaver you can tap the beat on the floor if you find the children and parents are flagging and unable to maintain the energetic trot.
Encourage the parents to more rhythmically as well so the children can see and feel it too.
Feel free to develop the range of movements each character does! E.g.
- Polly – you could catch fish, e.g clapping 1, 2, 3, 4, or jump on 1 and clap 2, 3, 4.
- Milly – move legs to swing; stretch to pick a banana, peel a banana (bending knees as you peel), grabbing branches
- Tortoise – move your head in and out of your shell
Just ensure that whatever your movements, they are rhythmically enforcing the beat.
Remember to always do Polly Penguin and each week she brings a friend along. You can easily do this activity for a whole term.
It can be a nice one to theme, such as making Harry Horse a reindeer at Christmas.
Walk About Talk About
Challenge parents to talk about each picture for 30 seconds. It usually works with up to 4 pictures. Instructors should keep quite during the talking sections. You don’t have to do all 4 repetitions – 3 is usually sufficient. It is possible to do this activity sat down if you need a sedentary activity in you planning. Remember if your parents struggle to know what talk about you can put the top tips cards around the walls as prompts.
Let’s Go Shopping
Make sure parents put up the small cards in different places around the hall so that they are evenly spread. Also make sure that they don’t place them too high – they need to be at a small child’s eye height.
Make sure parents swap their lists once the cards are up so that children don’t know where the objects they are finding are. If parents seem reluctant to start swapping, you can always stand in the middle of the room with a list and shout out “Is anyone ready to swap with me?”
Ensure any backing music does not have too many vocals as these can be distraction. At the end bring everyone back into the middle and get them to match their cards with their lists, sticking them back on. This activity is very easy to theme with different pictures. It’s good for parties and you can easily use pirate pictures or fairy ones.
Supermarkets are selling smaller hessian bags for life for only a few pence which are ideal for this activity.
Many of you use props to make these songs more fun and engaging. For example, Sophie lays down a ‘road’ of kitchen roll when doing ‘Cross the Road’ (a roll of lining wall paper would also work well). Trish always gives children a wooden spoon when doing ‘Bake a Cake’.
Make sure you set the scene before singing your song to provide some context and understanding for the children.
During the instrumental parts of the song take more time to put in more detail about the activity you are doing and you can add more actions.
Count it, throw it
Ask parents to count the dots first with the children at the number stations.
There are lots of different ways you can organise this activity. Trish runs it by having two pairs of parent and child on each number station. One child holds the bucket and 1 child throw while both children count. Each number station has different numbers and different props to throw (e.g. bean bags, quoits, balls) so you don’t need so many of each items.
You can choose which numbers to do, so you can focus on numbers of 5 or under id you want first.
The party plans Trish has put together are just a suggestion to get you all started. When you do the pirate parachute adventure you could have a treasure chest for the children to put all the gold coins into. Don’t forget to dress up in the theme when you attend the party – parents really seem to be impressed by the effort!
The Pirates of the Caribbean theme tune is a great piece for the warm up, as is the dance version of Drunken Sailor.
Emma often themes her guess the sounds too, using things like a bird, a plane for superheros. She also themes obstacle courses and relay races with themed objects. Another idea was to use power rangers on the wall when doing the colour sorting song.
MAD ABCs can also be adapted easily, for example ribbons for fairy’s (wands) or bean bags for princesses (deportment at princess school).
Mixed age-range parties can be tricky, but try to keep the different groups in different areas of the room, so for example have the non-walkers together to one side. Then you can give dual instructions.
Lots of songs and rhymes from the Wriggle and Giggle CD are good for this. Other good songs are:
- Incy Wincy
- Wind the Bobbin
- Tommy Thumb
- Roly Poly
- 5 Fat Sausages
- 5 Cheeky Monkeys
- Slowly Slowly