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Carolyn's "Nutcracker Dancing Song" Circle Game. It's Musically Montessori!

JUST ABOUT EVERYONE LOVES THE MUSIC FROM TCHAIKOVSKY'S "NUTCRACKER SUITE," AND LITTLE KIDS WILL ENJOY THIS QUICK AND EASY CIRCLE TIME ACTIVITY FROM MY UPCOMING MINI-ECOURSE! 


Got kids? Got space to move? That is all you need!




Watch my one-minute video and learn how to do it! 




THE NUTCRACKER BALLET STORY

~ First, I like to introduce the children to the Nutcracker Ballet Suite by telling them the story of the ballet. There are many picture books, recordings, and videos that tell this story in many ways and for many different age groups. 

Here are some of my Nutcracker Ballet posts filled with resources from around the web:






Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky created a magical story, put it to music, and then a beautiful ballet emerged!

From "The History of Nutcracker" from the Moscow Ballet website:
The origin of the Nutcracker, a classic Christmas Story, is a fairy tale ballet in two acts centered on a family’s Christmas Eve celebration. Alexandre Dumas Père’s adaptation of the story by E.T.A. Hoffmann was set to music by Tchaikovsky and originally choreographed by Marius Petipa. It was commissioned by the director of Moscow’s Imperial Theatres, Ivan Vsevolozhsky, in 1891, and premiered a week before Christmas 1892.
Over the years,  I've presented the Nutcracker story to children in  several different ways. 

Sometimes, I have read "Nutcracker" picture books to the children. At other times, I've simply told the story and used stick puppets to engage the children. And, always, I have played short excerpts of the beautiful music when presenting the story no matter what format I choose.

One of the things I like best about this amazing ballet story, is that Tchaikovsky brought music and dance from around the world and wove it into a very delightful story that fits so well with the typical Montessori curriculum emphasizing the study of the cultures of the world.

For my upcoming Musically Montessori eCourse, "Nutcracker Suite for Little Kids," I decided to create a picture book of my own to go along with a set of one-minute recordings of the music. That way, I would have the story telling and the music integrated easily. I also wanted to make the battle between the Mouse King and the Nutcracker Prince less scary for little children. And, the "Montessori-teacher-in-me" wanted to highlight the world cultures brought to life with music and dance that charms me even after listening to this story a thousand times!

My "Nutcracker Ballet Story Book" is part of the many downloads for my students in my mini-eCourse. You can print off the pages, place them in sheet protectors, and then put it all in a little binder for your Book Corner! 

Here is how I start the Nutcracker Story in my Picture Book:
Clara was celebrating the season. Her favorite gift was a nutcracker shaped like a prince.

When it was time for bed Clara held her nutcracker toy in her arms and then she fell asleep.

Clara began to dream about magical dancers who were dancing to beautiful orchestra music.
Clara's dreaming gave me the idea for my little Nutcracker Dance Song and Circle Game Activity.

The story goes on: Clara dreams about the Land of the Sweets, meets her Nutcracker Prince, and watches the wonderful dances from around the world perform a grand and wintry show!

And, I've prepared more than a dozen, one-minute music mp3 downloads that go along with the story. These orchestra music downloads also go along with Nutcracker circle time activities I've designed for the children playing rhythm instruments, marching with flags, dancing with props, and moving puppets along with the music.


MY "NUTCRACKER DANCE SONG" CIRCLE GAME
First, gather the children together and invite them to play a Nutcracker Dancing game!
  • Introduce the "Nutcracker Dancing Song" to the children by singing it through once. Then, invite them to practice it by singing along with you a couple of times.
  • Say: "Here is how the game goes. Everybody please stand up!"
  • Explain that there will be a child in the middle of the circle who will pretend to be the "Nutcracker." 
  • First, the "Nutcracker" will pretend to be sleeping.
  • The other children will sing the "Nutcracker Dance Song" and when they get to the line, "Show me your dance", the "Nutcracker" jumps up and makes up a dance. 
  • At the end of the dance, the "Nutcracker" chooses a new child to go in the middle and be the next "Nutcracker." 
  • That is how the game goes along until every one has had a turn to be the "Nutcracker."
EXTENSIONS
~ There can be two children in the middle of the circle. One child is sleeping (dreaming) and the other child is the "Nutcracker." At the end, they can both do a dance.
~ You can change the words to "Show me your moves" and the "Nutcracker" can make movements like jumping, hopping, etc. rather than a dance.
~ When the "Nutcracker" makes up the dance (or movement) the other children can copy the "Nutcracker's" moves.
~ You can use an actual wooden nutcracker and pass it around the circle as everyone sings the song. When you get to the end of the song, the child who is holding the nutcracker, goes to the middle of the circle and does a dance. 

TRY SHOWING PICTURES TO OFFER 
A CHALLENGE TO THE CHILDREN

~ "Can you dance like this?"

Or this?

How about this?
Yes!

Love it!
This fun "Nutcracker Song" circle game is from the third session in my upcoming mini-eCourse. 


Here are a few of the materials my eCourse students will receive in Session 3:
  • A download of the Lesson Plan for this activity.
  • My mp3 music downloads of the song. 
  • Printables that can be downloaded and used for creating a fun Shelf Work for the children that goes along with this fun musical game.
CLICK HERE to see the Lesson List from this mini-eCourse.

CREATE A MUSICAL "NUTCRACKER UNIT" 
FOR YOUR GROUP

Over the past few months, I have created more than 30 free digital resources and music downloads for my newsletter subscribers at my Freebie Collection.   

There are several free resources featuring Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite in my Freebie Collection. Along with my Montessori Magic Friday posts filled with articles, videos and activities from around the web, you can have lots of fun putting all these freebies together to create a wonderful Nutcracker music unit for your group!


NOT FREE, BUT REALLY WORTH IT!


And, of course, I would love to have you join my upcoming mini-eCourse which starts on Nov. 6th! There are already students who have enrolled and used their 20% discount that I am offering exclusively to the folks on my newsletter subscribers email list. My 20% off coupon is good for the first 10 people who enroll and there are only a few slots left for this super deal! 

If you haven't yet subscribed to my email list, it is really easy to do so right here on the sidebar of my blog.
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Thank you again, for taking the time to visit my Blog today. I hope you have fun playing the Nutcracker Song Game with your group!


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