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Dads playing with kids
I love to watch the dads playing with kids outside.
Dads playing with kids can be very funny! On my beach walk today I saw a dad taking the baby for a walk in the stroller – nothing unusual about that you say, but Dad wasn’t walking, he was zig-zagging behind the pusher on his skateboard! And keeping a perfect line on the walking path so the pusher ran true – baby’s ride was smooth and the dad was having fun and singing as he sped along.
Dad didn’t grumble or shout at the kid — he just got out his phone
Meanwhile, back on the grass, another dad was gazing up at a low tree with his son gazing up with him – at a kite! Yes, the beautiful, red, fancy kite was hooked on a branch two arm’s lengths out of reach, as you can see. The toddler still had his and he was hanging back enjoying himself. Dad and the older son were morose – but not for long.
They talked about it in a matter-of-fact way and went off – Dad whistling – to find a long stick in the sand dunes. Dad tried that – oh no, not long enough! So he tackled the problem with a different tool – his mobile phone. By the time I’d reached home and asked my husband to go back with a longer pole, the kite was untangled and in the kid’s hands. The mobile phone ploy worked to summon the plumber friend with the tradie’s truck and the ladder – all good!
The point is, dads are out there with the kids and often it’s quite an adventurous time they’re having. I love seeing the different qualities that loving fathers bring to playing with babies and young children.
Songs with a large dash of male energy . . .
Here’s a list of songs and nursery rhymes that celebrate all kinds of men – why don’t you have a daddy day (and grandpas, uncles, ‘significant others’) and sing these (with gusto) – you will find all of them plus all the musical recordings in our Toddler Music program, Bounce and Sing 3 inside the lesson plan called The Marvelous Man.
Mother and Father and Uncle John
Mr Rabbit Mr Rabbit
Davy Davy Dumpling
This Old Man (he played one)
Clapping Land (I met a man and old was he)
The Grand Old Duke
Hush Little Baby
There Was a Crooked Man
Old King Cole
There are heaps more children’s songs with male names and if they’re in a book, you get the added bonus of looking at pictures of men with the kids. Let’s face it, it’s mostly, if not exclusively, women who are with children for most of the day, but at least we can bring in some male influences with the songs we choose. And if you’re like me, you’ll look forward to the day when we get to see more men, like these two I observed at the beach, working on staff in our early learning centers and spending quality time like these dads playing with kids.
Kids gravitate towards men at work!
One preschool music teacher from Turnerville NJ wrote to me that she was going to have a “daddy class” soon at her Play Café. She noticed that many of the kids gravitated towards her husband who works the café counter because ‘he’s a great guy ‘and likes to have fun with the kids. I’m not surprised – kids need fathers and father/grandpa/uncle figures in their lives. For many reasons, some very sad, they just don’t have them or have enough time with them.
Dads, kids and music- perfect!
You might have to think outside the normal timetable to get the men and their children together in your center. To cater for men who work all day you could run a special event on an evening or weekend but I predict it will be mightily rewarding – different, energetic and well worth it. Make sure you plan some great ice-breakers involving vigorous movement – men generally prefer ‘doing’ to talking. And take heart, you are providing a very seriously beneficial service when you make time for the men – it does them good to be connected through care-giving because giving is receiving.
Happy teaching on your very own “Daddy Day” – post a comment below!
P.S. If you want help to do a music lesson all about men, you can find the lesson plan called The Marvelous Man inside Toddler Music Program, Bounce and Sing 3.