Props: Give your Stories & Songs a little Pizzazz

When props are added to either stories or songs, they provide both a visual interest and new opportunities for movement and imaginative play when children interact with them.

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This prop, representing the moon, was used to enhance a song I wrote in connection with the children’s picture-book story, Carolinda Clatter, by Mordicai Gerstein.

I often like to challenge myself when making props to use items that I already have on hand, rather than going out and buying new things. I usually feel rather pleased with myself when I am resourceful in this way!

Moon Tambourine

This particular prop was made out of a tambourine covered in wax paper to represent the moon. I stuck it on a broom stick and drew a moon’s face on the wax paper. The gold and blue cloth was added to symbolize the moon’s rays and the night sky.

Screen Shot 2017-03-18 at 3.09.37 PM.pngThe multiple streamers also gave children an opportunity to interact with the prop all together at one time.

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This prop was made for a song – a lullaby … to a giant. The lullaby assures the giant that the moon, whom he is in love with, truly loves him too. I know… it’s complicated! But the children had already heard the story once through before the prop was introduced as part of a retelling.

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The song lyrics are:

Sleep Gentle Giant
The Moon is Smiling At You
Sleep Gentle Giant
The Moon is Smiling At You

I Sing This Song Now
A Song That is True
The Moon is Shining Sweetly
And She’s Shining on You

I’ll add the audio sometime for you to hear …

 

When adding props, movement possibilities expand tremendously. With this prop, for example, children can flutter the cloth in different ways, walk under it, walk it around in a circle, walk it in and out, etc.

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Modeling the various movements is one way to present it, creating a choreographed activity is another, and simply letting the children explore different possibilities on their own is also recommended. I usually like to do a bit of all of these: modeling, choreographing, and exploring.

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Props are especially useful for mixed age groups where the littlest ones may not be ready to digest or comprehend the story images, but can interact with the prop on par with the older children.

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Adding props also allows you to spend more time on a song than you would be able to otherwise.

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By repeating the song many times, children are better able to absorb and integrate the music, the lyrics, and the song images in their minds.

Please share your story prop ideas with us!

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