By Laura Drinan
Hometown Weekly Reporter
Story time, playing instruments, and dancing are some of the most enriching activities for children. They are activities that can be done nearly anywhere at just about any time with practically anybody. While the combinations of what, where, when and with whom are endless, preschool-aged children found themselves listening to stories, testing out new instruments, and dancing around the Wellesley Free Library’s Wakelin room on August 28 with instructor Deb Hudgins and their families for the “Sing and Swing” event.
Hudgins began the drop-in event with Eric Carle’s classic “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and used a small stuffed caterpillar to act out scenes. After the story, the children were eager to get moving again, so Hudgins passed out small lace scarves to toss in the air and twirl around with as they danced together. Hudgins incorporated the caterpillar’s transformation into a butterfly into the dance by telling the youths to try dancing like butterflies by flapping their scarves around. “Is everybody ready for the butterfly dance?” she asked, holding her scarf in one hand. “Let’s fly around the room like butterflies!”
Once they finished dancing with the multicolored scarves, Hudgins took out a massive box filled with an assortment of instruments. Before letting the children pick, she introduced each instrument and the instructions the children needed to follow in order to appropriately treat and properly play the instruments. As Hudgins instructed to children to stop their feet, stand on their tiptoes, and pretend to be caterpillars as they played their instruments, the youths played their drums, tapped on their tambourines, and waved around their hand clappers.
To give the children a break, Hudgins asked them to all sit down on the carpet as she read a pop-up book called “Snappy Little Bugs.” The kids spread out on the Wakelin Room’s floor, some of them cuddling with their parents and grandparents as Hudgins read the story and showed the magnificent pop-up pictures. Next, Hudgins shared a rhyme about bees in a beehive, during which she and the children counted to five on their fingers.
Before ending the event, Hudgins passed out ladybug paper plates, decorated with pipe cleaners for legs and tissue paper for wings. Together, they did a ladybug dance, after which Hudgins exclaimed how much fun she had with the group and gave out stickers for the children to take home as a reminder of a magical morning at the library.