Planting the Magic Rainbow Seed Circle
Movement is a key element of helping children and adults to switch on their memory, and also aids in building the synapse pathways in the brain. Movement suggestions are in bold.
Props: A plain silk ribbon attached to a wand stick is wound up, and tied with a rubber band. A bunch of ribbons sits in the centre of the circle, one for each child in the family or class/group, covered with a green cloth.
(All songs are in italics)
Walk around in a circle, clockwise, swaying arms above heads in the shape of a rainbow, from left to right.
Way up high in the midday summer sky
topC D E F F G A B G C (top c)
A rainbow dances by, A rainbow dances by
topC G A F G G G E F D C (lower c)
She leaves her colour on the sky, as her feet trip and trot
D C C C C G G G C C C G G G
From one side to the other, she never ever stops. (X 2)
D C C C C GG F EE DD C (all lower c)
Take a partner, nearest to you, and spin around in a pair, or three.
She takes the hands of Roland Rain, and together they take a spin
D C C C C G G G G CCC C C C G (all lower c)
Dancing the tango, laughing and grinning
CC C GG EE D DC (all lower c)
All run around on tippy toes, in a clockwise fashion.
And when Sunsparkle does appear, with her sequins glowing bright
Rainbow, and Roland Rain, do quickly take flight
Arms move in big circular motions, like train wheels going forward
But one day, Roland dipped Rainbow a little lower, as they danced about
And from her pockets, magic rainbow seeds did all fall out
Bending down, make the shape of a figure 8 with both your hands, repeating it and letting the 8 shape grow bigger each time
And hiding in the soil, they began to sprout and grow
The magic seeds became rainbow wands, just waiting for a dip in the rainbow, so they too could glow
Skipping around the edge of the circle, clockwise
(to your own tune)
One very warm day, some children came
All the way to “_____________” (Moondew)
To laugh and sing and nibble and run
And play with their great friends too…
The children who are named in the verse come into the centre to unveil the ‘treasure’ and then hand a wand to everyone in the family/group.
And then one day, ____________ (eg Ned) saw to his/her great surprise
Something hiding among the trees
_______________** and _______________** followed him/her
And together, they set the treasure free.
( **if you don’t have enough children or adults, use the name of their favourite toys)
Everyone can remove the rubber band, unravel the silk ribbon and begin to fly it in the sky.
A magic wand for everyone, 1 and 2 and 3,
To catch the rainbow high in the sky, and bring it down to thee
Dancing with the plain rainbow wands
Rainbow, Rainbow, come visit me
G C G C A CC G
We would like to catch your colours, happy are we
topC C B B A A GG EE D G
Rainbow, rainbow, High in the sky
G C G C A C C G
We’ll paint our wand ribbons so, they can fly
top C C B B A A G E E lower C
The children’s favourite move in this circle is the running around on tip toes at the line “Rainbow and Roland Rain do quickly take flight”!
It allows the children to run and burn off energy and speaks to the sanguine nature of little children but is a happily contained movement, (for parents and teachers), bringing children back to walking (and sensibility) as they transition onto the next movement.
I LOVE story-movement circles. My irreverent name for this kind of thing- a mix of story and circle- is “Stirkle”. (Traditionalists might want to strike me down)
A ‘stirkle’ is such a wonderful thing for the little ones in playgroup, who are not yet able to sit for a story of any substantial length, but who can be immersed in story when there is movement involved.
It is not as complex and doesn’t have the amount of thoughtful reverence as one might assign a traditional morning circle, but is just perfect for that in-between stage.
As someone working with the ages of 1-2 on a regular basis, I find a ‘stirkle’ to be an absolute godsend.
When really young children first come to an oral storytelling time without the aid of a picture book or visual support, even a story of 1-2 minutes in duration can be an excruciating time, and definitely not an enjoyable time for the parents! Yet, by offering them some form of story (such as a ‘stirkle’) on a regular basis, they soon come to enjoy this time and learn to be able to sit for short periods.
I try to alternate my story scenarios- one fortnight with a short sit-down story, the following fortnight with a ‘stirkle’. It seems to work.
I’ve seen it many times- beautiful story preparation that has been ‘ruined’ for the group by the noise and agility of toddlers and three year olds. The frustration of pointless storytelling has been clear on the faces of the storytellers and puppeteers for all to see!
But the simple truth is that these little ones were just too young to sit and watch for any length of time so it is up to us, as parents and teachers, to ensure what we offer does match THEIR capabilities. A “stirkle” can help in this transition.
As children develop the skills of sitting still, and listening, (which also comes with age), we must find ways to work with little ones to help develop these skills.
I believe that when children have this ability, it is then possible to bring a new set of wisdom filled, wonderful, rich and imaginative stories and lengthy puppet shows to children and adults.
But preparation must come first, or we can find ourselves frustrated that our efforts are not valued or appreciated.
What is your experience of storytelling with young children??