Rain Dance

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Happy Top 10 Tuesday y’all!!!

Tucson becomes unbearably hot during the summer.  We’ve been lucky so far and have had a pretty mild May.  Suddenly, our weather has changed, however, and the forecast says our days will be 105+ over the next week or so.  There is no relief in sight until our Monsoon season hits to cool things off.  This usually happens in July.

Tucson is also rich in Native American culture, so to embrace the spirit of this desert town, I thought it would be fun to have a rain dance this week with your kiddos.  Perhaps the magic will work, and the monsoon season will come early, too!!!

To start the activity, you will need two items:

(1) A hand drum

HandDrum

This one is available for purchase through Amazon.com.  Click HERE to check it out.

(2) A rain stick

Rainstick

I always like the see through ones for children, because they enable children to see how they work.  Click HERE to go to Amazon.com to see it.

The Activity

This activity is intended for preschool-aged children through early grade school students.  (K-2nd)

Begin by discussing Native American rain dances with your children and show them a couple of Youtube videos of tribes dancing with the hopes of rain.  Here are a couple of links to some good footage:

(1)  Thunderbird American Indian Festival:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2e1515l7Tc

(2) High Chaparral 2012: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7BK1KXnuBs

Point out that each of the dances has a strong drum beat in the back ground, chant-like singing and rain sticks.

Before you begin, to really get into the spirit, you can make a Native American head dress with your child.  Here’s a simple one from parentmap.com.

thanksgiving_indian_headdress

You will need construction paper, glue, crayons, a hole punch and string to tie the head-dress on.  Drying time will be necessary, too, so this is a project that should be done prior to your “rain dance” activity.

With head-dress in place, hand over the rain stick to your child.  Explain to them that you will be keeping a beat on the hand drum and singing “repeat after me” wishes for the rain.  Your child should dance with the rain stick, and sing the words back to you.  Here are some examples of some sentences you might sing to your child:

–“We are here today to ask for rain.”

–“Please let this dry spell end”

–“We need rain to grow fruits, vegetables and flowers”

–“We need rain so our gardens will grow”

–“Please send some rain down to Earth”

You can continue on until your child has had enough and has learned something in the process!

 

I hope you have enjoyed this week’s Top 10 Tuesday activity!  Next week, I will be on a camping trip and will have limited computer access.  So please check back here in two weeks for the next Top 10 Tuesday activity.  I do have an Archive of previous activities.  Please click HERE to view them and perhaps try one of these activities with your child next week.  For a complete list of the Top 10 Tuesday musical instruments under $40 that will help promote music education at home, click HERE  Until we meet again….play on!

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