This is my little friend, the crab. He has been visiting us here the past two weeks and we have sung about him in our morning circle storytime. Click Click Clack, Along the Track. Click Click Clack, Forward and Back.
(This past week, little Ned has spent time everyday saying his “click click clacks” and walking the side by side steps. How deeply things sink in!)
I remember in the weeks before I had Ned, I was teaching a movement and song circle about the ocean, and once again, little crab appears. These were 5 year olds so of course, we had to become little crabs. There I was, belly in the air, down on all fours, clicking and clacking my way across the floor in crab walk.
My assistant Jemma was in fits of laughter, and all I could do was ensure no little ones would get an eyeful!
I always take our friend the crab out of his shell, but quickly hide him away as he is very very shy!
He always seems to find the side of my bra a lovely warm spot! (or maybe I need more pockets on my skirts). He is just made from a little knot of fleece, with a small piece of pipe cleaner twisted through the knot to form his antenna, whilst the fleece is divided into 6 sections (4 feet, 2 claws) and twisted.
Can you see him?? The children can! Simple things leave room for the child to imagine.
We then pass the shell around, and let the children have a listen.
One by one, they have a turn. (Everyone always gets a turn. After a few weeks, they learn to be patient and wait, trusting in this process they have come to rely upon and believe in. Even the little ones.)
When they finish their turn, they go off to wash their hands. You could do the same to send children off to bed, or to brush teeth.
What can they hear? The waves, the boats, mermaids splashing, a pirate looking for treasure….only they can tell.
We sing: “Little shell, little shell, tell me about the ocean.
Little shell, little shell, tell me about the sea
Little shell, little shell, tell me about the ocean
Tell me the special thing you can hear….”
At first, the little ones are super reluctant to even put it up to their ear, but the second week, they are ready and waiting!
Safe, predictable patterns (through music, song, daily chores…) help the children to grow safely and to trust what they are given.
What a gift!