Just had a fabulous time doing our “Christmas is Here” program, particularly with the drama activity for “Away in a Manger“. I took a quantity of hay enough for a child to lie on. We made a manger out of an instrument tub and filled it with some of the hay. I pretended to be a sheep eating from the manger. Then I placed the baby doll “asleep on the hay”. After singing the song I spread some hay on the floor and invited children to try out sleeping on it. Quite a few had a go. There was a bit of mess to clean afterwards but well worth doing for the understanding they gained of the lyric. One child said “That was a lovely song.” However, once was enough, he didn’t want to repeat it. This is so often the case with three year olds, especially if they have concentrated “really hard”. Their growing brains need a rest.
The next day one mum wrote: “The kids loved it and R has been making his own mangers and singing ‘Down in a manger’ all day (obviously the Away bit made no sense!).” I love the fact that he’s playing with the ideas. There might just be a few well-informed preschool kids in Adelaide who know what a manger is when they see Christmas Nativity scenes over the coming weeks.
We repeated that lesson today but I couldn’t stand the thought of cleaning up another pile of hay on the last day of term. So we just made use of the yellow scarves from our dancing supplies and popped the baby doll on some pretend hay. Just as well because the child who’d been playing mangers all week didn’t want me to bring out the vacuum cleaner again. He obviously recognizes my true calling!
On a more ethereal note, they were also very sweet as Ten Little Angels and strangely calm during the lullaby A La Nanita Nana. I think I’m finally learning how to do more with less. More puppetry, less props. More singing, less talking. More listening, less instructing.