March 21st is just around the corner and in addition to being J.S. Bach’s birthday as well as my beautiful sister, Dot’s birthday; it is also the first day of spring. While many areas are still having frigid temperatures and even snow, spring has already visited the desert southwest. The air is crisp and the wildflowers are blooming.
This is the time of year that school children are learning about different plants and start growing things, beans sprout in a baggie with potting soil, celery stalks change color when soaked in food coloring and water. Butterfly kits are set up in the classrooms so that we can watch caterpillars eat leaves, make a chrysalis and turn into butterflies. Lady bugs are released into gardens and we can watch flowers bloom and vegetables grow.
There are two books that I enjoy singing with my kids during the spring. The first is “The Seed Song” by Judy Saskie. It is a very simple melody about the life cycle of the seed. This book is no longer in print but can sometime be found at used book stores. I have done my own simple illustrations on index cards which we then put on our felt board. After the song is on the board we can sing it and even use body motions as we pretend to be a seed planted in the garden and we wake up and turn into a flower.
The second and my favorite springtime book is “Flower Garden”by Eve Bunting.The illustrations are beautiful! The book can be sung to the melody of “Frere Jacques” I added a chorus “Pretty flowers, pretty flowers, all around, all around” and use sign language with the chorus, while the rest of the words to the book fit into the melody. Click on the “Free Stuff” menu tab for the MP3 file of the instrumental track (the words are copyrighted so I can’t share them) and the American Sign Language pictures.
I have also written a caterpillar song and fingerplay and you can find it and other ideas for springtime songs in my book “Mind-Full Music: A Multi-Sensory Approach to Support Neurologic Development in Early Childhood.” So whatever spring weather you are experiencing, I hope you are enjoying it and making every day musical!