My prep children love to sing and dance and in our classroom we have a Singing Tree. The tree has little fabric bags on it and the children like to choose a bag off the tree, open it and take out what is inside. The object will either be very specific to a song or nursery rhyme, or will be something more open such as a frog or a duck, allowing the children to choose a song from their repetoire about this object.
Most of the objects are Wade Whimsies which are small ceramic figurines which I bought on eBay. The children really like them because they are small and very tactile.
To begin the year, I usually have familiar nursery rhymes and songs in the bags and as we learn new songs during the year we add more bags to the tree. I have found, at the start of the year, that it is very useful for practicing turn taking, waiting, and encouraging the children to participate in group times as they all want a turn to choose a bag.
The children often incorporate the tree into their dramatic play and they have used it as the provocation for a series of concerts that the children planned and performed over a week during play time.
The first Singing Tree was an artificial tree but one of the leg stands got broken and so it has now been replaced by a real potted tree with butterfly lights in it. I’ll have to see what the children think about it next week when they come back from holidays. Hopefully they’ll like it even more!