Sunday, March 15, 2015

Fall Program Recap: Carol Sing-Along

Last year during our storytime break, I held a preschool dance party. This year, I wanted to do something just a bit different. I love singing carols and I knew there were probably patrons who did as well, so why not host a sing-along at the library? That's exactly what I did!

I'd say the program was a success and it was a lot of fun and easy to run. I greeted everyone at the door with a printout of the lyrics (because even if you think you know the words, you might forget them - trust me!) and I played "Wonderful Christmastime" as families entered and got settled. Then we got started. Here's my playlist!

"Frosty the Snowman" - Laurie Berkner
"Jingle Bells" (with handbells!) - Laurie Berkner
"Jingle Bell Rock" (with handbells!) - Bobby Helms
"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" - Donald Duck and Goofy
"12 Days of Christmas" (with stick puppets) - The Muppets and John Denver
"Rocking Around the Christmas Tree" (with a miniature Christmas tree to dance around) - Brenda Lee
"Let it Snow" (with some corresponding actions) - Donald and Daisy Duck
"Deck the Halls" (with scarves) - The Muppets and John Denver
"Santa Claus is Coming to Town" - Susie Tallman

 - A Few Notes: they love, love, LOVED shaking the bells along with the music and probably would have been happy to do it for the entire program. However, I assure you: two songs with bells is QUITE ENOUGH.

- I initially wanted to do "12 Days of Christmas" with actual puppets but after using the stick puppets, boy howdy, am I glad I didn't! I didn't think the song really moved that quickly, but once you get into it, it definitely does. I tried to show all the puppets every time they were mentioned, but I had to give up around the sixth day.

- next time, I would not do both scarves and bells. It's too much of a hassle to hand out and then collect two different kinds of props, especially if you have any kind of crowd. Thankfully, I had a manageable number (and no children who refused to give up their props), but it still dragged the momentum a little bit.

- I opted to use the most family friendly versions of songs I could find. I liked using the Disney characters and the Muppets because they were voices the kids were likely to recognize and definitely stayed family friendly. I had early qualms about using "Let it Snow" in the program, but I decided to make it into a cuddle song - caregivers "held [them] tight" and gave kisses goodnight, and we used out hands to make it snow.

To finish up, I played "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" on repeat as we did our simple craft: reindeer headbands. I just had long strips of brown paper and lighter brown handprints for them to attach as antlers. I also provided stickers for extra decoration. They loved it, it was really simple, and they looked adorable wearing them.

Overall, I think it was a successful program. I had a lot of fun with it and I got a lot of compliments from parents in attendance. I'd love to repeat the program in the future!

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