Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Feel the quiet

I don't know about where you live, but here in Chicago it gets insanely dark insanely early once we are forced into submitting to the archaic daylight savings time.  Right now at 3:25PM, cars are driving by with their headlights on. 

At the end of the day, the dark tricks everyone into thinking they should be going to bed even though they aren't tired.  This is especially tricky for the little ones in our lives.  I know that I want my house to start winding down and getting a bit quieter once the sun goes down, but I have learned many times that an early bedtime can make for an extra early morning.

So, you may want to do an art activity, a puzzle, play camping or  do some yoga with your kids.  Here's an idea that I witnessed today at Glencoe Junior Kindergarten.  One of their amazing teachers had a small group of children laying on the rug in a darkened room.  The teacher had a chime a whole lot like this one, but any instrument or item that makes a resonating tone will do.

She asked the children to close their eyes and "feel" the sound, then open their eyes when they sensed the sound went away and they "felt the quiet."  She then asked the children to reflect on where they felt the sound in their bodies the most and also if they felt the sound of the chime or the "quiet" more in that body part.  Children were also asked to instruct their peers to "feel" the sound in specific body parts.

I love this activity!  It slows children down by asking them to concentrate on specific sounds and body parts while also promoting body awareness and the idea of tone in music.  I loved hearing the children say they felt the sound in their hair or their fingernails and watching them quietly listening for the sound of silence.

Younger children may not be able to last for very long with this game, but you could always modify it to ask children to close their eyes, be quiet and label all the sounds they hear.  You could even have a bag of "soundmakers" to ask them to try and decipher. 

Any more ideas for some "quiet" games?

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