Back in November I had attended the American Music Therapy Association‘s National Convention in Cleveland, OH.  While going to many different concurrent sessions, I also had the opportunity to meet Marcy Marxer and Cathy Fink who are pretty fine uke players.  They are also song writers, and so is their friend Michele Valeri.  The CD is Little Ditties for Itty Bitties, and it is full of great tunes.  There are many things I look for in songs that I use for my clients and now, for my daughter:

1) Simple Lyrics, really Simple Lyrics, super simple lyrics.
2) Repetition, Repetition, Repetition
3) A Catchy Theme (animals, colors and action words are among my top favs)

This CD has all of that. And for the last two months I have been testing it out with my daughter. Every morning we wake up and go through some of the songs. Normally I would sing them with her, but I am usually picking out her clothes and getting her diaper stuff done during this time. After two months, my daughter can pretty much say every major word in almost all of the songs and begins doing actions before the words tell her. I would say that Farrah has met the goal of this disc and I am happy to start using some of these songs LIVE with my clients!

While I was completely under the impression that Marcy and Cathy were singing the songs on this album, it appears that it is indeed Michele who rocks out throughout the CD. Either way, it is awesome and I love it!

One of our favorite tunes is “Fishies in the Water” (some lyrics are posted at the end of this post) and most recently, it inspired my hubs and I to make this wonderful fishing hole game/activity!

Materials:

Colored Foam Sheets
Wooden Dowel (approx. 1/2 inch)
Small Circle Magnets
Hook Magnets (Close up shown in the pics below)
Glue/Glue Gun
String or Twine
Metal Eye Hooks
Plastic bin (or anything to serve as “the pond”)  We are using a kiddie pool.

What to Do:

The dowel will most likely come in a three or four foot length.  Cut in half.  These will serve as your fishing poles. Each pole should be about 18 to 24 inches in length.  Screw in a metal eye hook to the end of each one.  Cut and tie your twine to the eye hook (we made ours about the length of the fishing pole) and tie to the hook magnets. BAM! Your fishing poles are complete.

Next, Trace or draw your own fish shape and a separate circle on each of the colored foam sheets.  We made about 7 or 8 different color fish/circles. Cut them out.  Glue circles to fish or different colors (mix and match your fish with red on blue, pink on green, etc.).  Glue small magnets (mating side up, you do want them to stick to the other magnets right?).  TADA!  You are done!

Optional: Glue some googly eyes to your fish.

We love to catch fish, make them jump and fly, say hello and goodbye, just like in our song!

Fishies in the Water

©2009 by Michele Valeri
Chorus: Fishies in the water Fishies in the water
Fishies in the water like to swim
Fishies in the water Fishies in the water
Fishies in the water like to swim
Fishies like to swim
That’s when they wiggle, wiggle, wiggle
Fishies play with friends
They make me giggle, giggle, giggle

(More lyrics are available when you purchase the CD)

This is a great and inexpensive activity to do with your kids.  Not only are they having fun but they are also working on their hand/eye coordination, concentration and attending behaviors.

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