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One of the things that makes my teacher heart happy is that I get to plan activities and lessons that celebrate all the seasons and holidays. I get to bask in the joy of it all right along with my students and I get absolutely giddy for each new season as it comes. I’m pretty sure my husband thinks he married a crazy woman when I make him walk with me down the back-to-school aisles in July or the Christmas aisles in October, ooohhing and aaahhing and giggling the whole time. I just get SO excited! He doesn’t quite share in the excitement but he hasn’t yet refused to walk next to me, so I call that a win.
And having a job where I actually get to act like that in public? Every day? It’s gotta be the best thing ever! Double win!
Unfortunately, I can’t go walking down the seasonal aisles at Target every day, no matter how badly I want to. And I definitely don’t think a field trip to Hobby Lobby will get approved by my principal, so I have to settle for other ways to bring that excitement into the classroom.
One way I do that is by using music! Every morning as students come into the classroom, I have a YouTube playlist going that’s filled with songs that relate to the time of year and/or promote positivity. I keep it running while they work on their fine motor morning work tubs, creating a cheerful start to the day.
And parents, these playlists aren’t just for classroom use. They’re perfect for at home too!
Keep in mind that I don’t show the videos (zombie kindergartners anyone?), I just let the songs play over the sound system in my classroom.
And I highly recommend subscribing to YouTube Premium so you can skip the ads. It’s $11.99 a month, but it’s so worth it when you don’t have to listen the ads play before every song (and I’ll be honest – I’ve had a few less-than-appropriate ads show up in the past)! FYI – I’m not an affiliate of YouTube or anything, I just think it’s the way to go!
The best part about these monthly playlists is that every song is 100% appropriate and (hopefully) it’s not the kind of children’s music that makes you want to bang your head against a wall.
By appropriate, I mean no violence, no lyrics with double meanings (do teachers really play that Flo Rida Whistle song in their classrooms?!?), no negative self-talk, and no songs about romance. The songs I’ve added focus on kindness, friendship, growth mindset, learning concepts, and seasonal topics. I’ve even kept holiday music on separate playlists for those of you who don’t (or can’t) celebrate holidays.
So what are you waiting for? Click the image below to head on over to YouTube and give my playlists a try!