Music is becoming an increasingly important part of our play. Music is great for dance parties and altering sour moods. But it’s great for so much more, too. Music is good for learning, bonding, communicating, and creating! As we have gotten to know various albums, specific songs have sparked art projects, gifts, and parties. With so many opportunities to review and share new music here on the blog, I’ve felt inspired to explore and elaborate on the connections we’re making between music and other early childhood education activities.
Welcome to Week Three of Mixed Media!
In each Mixed Media post I’ll share a song and a creative project that was inspired by the song. My hope is that you will be inspired to share music with your little one in a way that gets you two (or three or four!) connected to each other and to your creative sides. This week’s song is Love Is A Superpower by Ben Rudnick and Friends. This song combined with The Family: A Proclamation to the World to inspire a family tree project!
“I got love behind me. I’ve got a family tree. I got love, love, LOVE!” For quite sometime I’ve tried to figure out how to visually portray our family tree. When Brent and I married we each brought the same number of family members to our new family. He had 2 parents and 7 siblings. I had 4 parents and 5 half or step siblings. As our siblings have started their own families and we all live so far away from each other, it’s grown increasingly difficult for our children to keep them all straight. So I sent tons of texts and emails and got current pictures from everyone. Facebook saved the day on some :)I printed them all out, including our family of 5, in contact size which is 35 to a page. Including my brother’s dog, we filled the entire page!
While we listened to Love Is A Superpower we talked about family and how awesome it is to have all these people we love who love us. We talked about our superpowers. I think Elli said hers was dancing. Sammi’s was jumping. And we decided Scott’s was climbing. Of course they all demonstrated their superpowers throughout most of the activity!
Because I have two sets of parents and we have siblings with families we taped two pieces of 12″x18″ paper. The next step was we put grandparents at the top making three groups and filled everyone in under them. We tried to keep it organized going from oldest at the top to youngest but with spouses and children it got complicated. So we devised a coloring system. Black lines between two people showed they were married or together. Orange lines go from grandparents to children then brown lines go from children to grandchildren. The girls love this because they can easily identify their cousins and aunt and uncles.
After we glued everyone into their place and the glue was dried, Sammi went back and decorated all the cousins. It was so cute to see her name them all while she was decorating. We went on to name all her aunts and uncles, too. I added to quotes to the family tree to remind us of the importance of family and the love we share.
The family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children. The Family: A Proclamation to the World
Love is a superpower. Ben Rudnick and Friends
We extended our use of the family tree to a Family Home Evening lesson and activity. We talked about what the Proclamation is and why it was given. Then we read the first paragraph and focused on why we are organized into families. Then each person took a turn while I gave them a name of someone to find. They loved this part! Scott ran up and pointed repeatedly to Brent, “Dad! Dad! Dad!” The time we put into organizing our family and decorating their pictures really helped us bond with our extended family even though we don’t see them as often as we’d like.
Additional ideas: I’ve printed off another set of the little pictures. I’m going to laminate them and cut them into little cards. I envision matching games: drawing a card off the top and finding its match on the family tree then naming the person, matching cousins with their parents.
My ultimate goal is for the faces and names of our extended family to be as familiar and loved to our children as the names and faces of our immediate 5.
How do you keep your little ones connected to family who are far away?
p.s. Today is the last day to enter the giveaway for Love Is A Superpower by Ben Rudnick and Friends. Win it before you can buy it and get inspired to bring the power of love even more into your family!