I hope everyone is enjoying time with their family and friends this week.  Last week, in many of our Kindermusik classes, we had a lot of fun reading and singing “Over the River and Through the Woods”   My FAVORITE book featuring this song is a Scholastic book by the same name, illustrated by John Steven Gurney. (It also comes with a recording of the song.)  After reading/singing it through once, we always go back through and talk about all the fun winter activities that are going on in the beautifully illustrated winter scenes.   Since we live in Florida, it helps to have a good reference into this mysterious world.

In Kindermusik, we even brought out the towels, and the students were able to have their own “sleigh rides” while we listened to a great rendition of the song on the Kindermusik Imagine That!  “Hello Weather” CD.   These pictures are of the families in the Fall Semester 2008 !  Sing the song as you watch.

Click to play Over the River 2008
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Over the River and Through the Woods

Written by:  Lydia Maria Child 

Over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go;
The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh,
Thru the white and drifted snow, oh!
Over the river and thru the wood, Oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes, and bites the nose,
As over the ground we go.
Over the river and through the woods, trot fast my dapple gray!
Spring over the ground like a hunting hound!
For this is Thanksgiving Day!

Over the river and through the woods, now grandfather’s face I spy.

Hurrah for the fun!  Is the turkey done?  Hurrah for the pumpkin pie! 

More ideas for fun while singing this song:

  • Use fingers to trot around on your child or on the floor
  • Use a long scarf as reigns for your little horse.  Wrap the scarf around the front of their body and under their armpits, with the long ends trailing in the back for you to hold onto.  Have your horse lead you around the room, or even the yard.
  • Use a blanket or towel and pull your child around
  • Have the child use a blanket to pull their favorite stuffed characters around.
  • Make up your own words to express what Thanksgiving is like for your family.  “Coloring placemats for Uncle Tom, with turkeys and some corn…”
  • Make some homemade instruments, and have a Thanksgiving parade.
  • Cut strips of colorful paper to make a paper chain.  Have each member of the family write something they are thankful for, and sign it, just before adding it to the paper chain.  Then hum the melody, or make up new words, as you drape the chain “over the couch and around the lamp”.  Right before bedtime on Thanksgiving day, read over all the things people were thankful for. 
  • If you’d like to expand on that idea, take a picture of every family member, and make a book with each of the strips, written in their own handwriting, and place it with that person’s picture.  This could become a great family tradition.

 My strips of gratitude would read that I am very thankful for: 

  • The many families with whom I get to share music this semester. 
  • The many families that I have been able to get to know during the last 9 years of teaching here in Lakeland 
  • Amy Foltz, who has been doing a wonderful job of teaching in the Winter Haven area this year
  • The directors of the facilities where we teach, who have made us feel at home .
  • My family, who support me in doing what I love to do, and who are the heart of who I am.