advent activity calendar / Rhyme Sack

DAY FIVE: Make a Christmas rhyme sack and sing the songs.

Rhyme sacks are a regular feature of work with under 5s. Go to a Sure Start Centre, Library Under 5s session, toddler group etc. and you’ll find young children selecting items from a bag that indicate which song they would like to sing. Be it figures specially created for this purpose (Humpty Dumpty / Incy Wincy Spider / Dingle Dangle Scarecrow) or everyday items that suggest the song (cotton reel for Wind the Bobbin Up / bath boat for Row Row Row your Boat) there are lots of things you can put in a rhyme sack.

The Puppet Company have great nursery rhyme puppets.

When G was a baby I created a rhyme sack for us to use at home. Now with 2 boys it is a very tatty but well loved feature of our playtime. But I’ve also used it in a lot of the work I do – in creches, working with Churches wanting to link with Sure Start Centres and more.

Last Christmas I ‘branched out’ and created a few Christmas Rhyme sacks. One had well known Christmas songs in such as Jingle Bells, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. This was used mainly by the children on their own or with parents as it was easy for them to see which song to sing.

One had songs in based on the Nativity story and was used by the Under 5s group I have on a Sunday morning. Each week we used the song bag as a group and added new songs as we moved through the Christmas story. Some were well known songs (Little Donkey – despite the lack of a donkey in the Bible this song is great to encourage little ones to use instruments.) Iused a couple of Nursery Rhymes (Twinkle Twinkle of course!). As the children told me the songs they were learning in school and nursery we added these to the bag. And there were a couple of songs putting new words to familiar tunes.

Later in the session when the children had the opportunity to choose the activities they did the song bag was available for them to use.

I also worked with a Church running a regular song time who took the song bag idea on at Christmas. They included both faith based and secular songs to great success.

So this year the rhyme sack has been included in the activity calendar. Below are some of the songs and items we used.

Reindeer – Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer

Bells – Jingle Bells

Santa – When Santa got stuck up the chimney

Bauble – We wish you a Merry Christmas

                                           Snowman -Frosty the Snowman

                                           Angel – I have come with special news

There is also ….               Donkey – Little Donkey

                                           Star – Twinkle Twinkle

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