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Something different - any ideas please?


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We want to do something different with our 2,3 and 4 year olds at the end of this term. We usually do a little Christmas play with children dressing up (which they enjoyed doing by the way) They also sung songs they had learnt over the last year after the play.

 

This year though, I have realised that we have so many younger children and our older ones are not keen on dressing up. I am sure it would be a non starter.

 

I must admit that staff have sometimes been a tad stressed in the past - will it be OK, etc. It always does go well, with some funny things happening. Lots of parents and families come to watch and are really excited and pleased with the whole event. Before you say anything about whether the children enjoy it - they have like doing it in the past and felt proud to show their parents what they had been practicing on the stage.

 

Parents have been asking about our "play" already this year and I have told them that it will not be in the usual format. Some are very disappointed to say the least.

 

What do you do? We have 27 children. We will be having our Christmas party and whatever we decide to do - instead of the play - on the same day.

 

We have thought about sitting in a circle and asking parents to come and join in with our "festive" songs. Quite a few of our younger ones don't sit for long though. Any other ideas, thoughts please. This will be a real change for us so I want to make it really successful obviously but we are struggling for ideas. We have a couple of songs - some with instruments and some funny little songs (the usual ones). I will be very grateful if you can offer advice and ideas, not just songs but how and what, if anything, you actually do.

 

Thank you so much in advance - beginning to stress out myself now :wacko: - more so because it will be changing after SOOOOO many years of the "old" way of doing it.

 

V

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Verona, this is off the top of my head because we have not done any type of show for a number of years. But, just a thought, how about asking parents to supply their child in whatever dress up they wish and if not, just dressing up in best clothes (this then puts the stress on the dear old parents) and letting the children go on some kind of Christmas hunt - based on something like Bear Hunt, all the children involved as they move about the room searching for Santa or something like that, or maybe he has lost his reindeer, gloves or something which they have to hunt for, when they do track down said item getting together to sing some of their songs.

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I stopped doing the play a long while ago - children rally did not enjoy it,got staff all stressed and took up far too much time for the benefit it gave- I know others will be happy to continue and the children can enjoy it, but I hated it.

 

We did have an end of term party for all, I had a local entertainer for about half an hour.. but was very lucky in that we had his children attend the setting and he just kept coming each year when they left at a much reduced rate.. sometimes free..

 

We asked children to come in fancy dress if they wanted and staff all dressed up, had a large story time where we included songs into the story. So if there was a Christmas tree or angel, reindeer, snowman etc etc. we sang a song about one at that point, Usually about 10 songs. . We had some children who wanted to join us and sing in front of the group, others sat with parents, all their choice. Depended on the story but we had one where the children decorated a tree and they all wanted to join in with helping so became quite interactive. Sometimes we included some action songs for everyone to join in.. the sillier the better.. parents always needed a big push to join in but we repeated it if we noticed they needed a bit of practice first..

 

Add in a visit from Santa and a fundraising raffle that paid for small food boxes we supplied with a few snacks and a drink in a bottle not a carton( no spillages)

 

Took little time to organise, songs we all ones we would sing anyway, fun was had by all and parents helped clear up at end.

 

Would suggest a song sheet for parents.. no excuses not to join in then!

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Old school me.... This will be our 25th Nativity!!!! We must have alot of "show-offs" in our village cos they nearly all love it!!

 

The little ones join in at the end - if they want to. Think our Parents would lynch me if I said 'No not this year......."

 

.....besides its THE Christmas Story and I know it backwards now!

 

.........still get stressed though. ha ha

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Yes we also invite all our parent/carers in for a concert and over many years have sung songs, retold the Christmas story, bought productions from out of the ark etc. However it's always punchy, fun and a jolly great time. Pitch to the cohort you have now, and all enjoy it is what I would say. Parents can't dictate how you go with this even if they are a little disappointed. One of the other lovely things we do is a Christingle Service. We generally go up to the church and the children and parent/carers love it. Could you ask your local vicar to come and do this for you.

Whatever you decide have fun.:)

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We still do a nativity and even with many young ones it's never too stressful as we don't rehearse for ever , they dress up if they want too and take part but if they get upset they are lifted off and given to parent to watch, we change the lyrics to some of our well known songs . We have a stage in our hall and the children love having the opportunity to go up there but it really is about their enjoyment and what they get from it , we give roles to our older ( leavers) and it's all kept quite short. We follow with a fundraiser and an opportunity for parents , carers to have a cuppa and mince pie with us.

I was asked by the previous supervisor a few weeks back - have you started rehearsing yet ? Oh no I said , a couple of weeks before hand and that's it!

But saying that don't be afraid of change , I'm sure whatever you do will be fab .

 

I have written our ' nativitree ' again this year but our traditional characters will be changed and are animals and forest rangers , last year we did Father Christmas needs a wee ' based on the book .

Edited by lashes2508
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We took the plunge a couple of years ago, and now only have a short interactive concert type thing with our 'leavers only'. The first year we had a few moans but held our ground and now it the 'done thing'. What we actually do depends on the current cohort.

 

Our day goes - Concert for older followed by entertainer again the older group only- then everyone turns up for a party with lots of dancing, games and food. Its a full day for the older children and half day for the youngers.

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Thanks for the ideas.

 

Inge, when you say you tell large group stories do you make them up or have you any particular stories that you could pass on to me please?

I also like the idea of a Christmas hunt and lashes, what is your "navitree"?

 

We have an entertainer coming who we have had for a long time, he gets the children so involved and they laugh and laugh. Then we will be eating - that was a good idea about the food boxes, will definitely think about that. Then I was intending to do the group thing with parents, followed by a visit from Santa.

 

With hindsight I should have had the large group "singalong/play" at the beginning because possibly the children will be getting tired by that time. But hey ho, the entertainers time cant be change....next time perhaps.

 

Like you Rafa, I have been doing a Nativiity for over 30 years !!!!!! so this is a big thing for me to change it - reading some of the comments on here I started doubting my decision but I have made the decision and we will see how it goes.

 

Thank you all again

 

V

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My ' nativitree' is a rhyming story I have written for this year Verona , my daughter has suggested I do a blog !? Where I would find time I don't know ! When it's completely finished I will be happy to share , I'm sure I shared my version of ' Father Christmas needs a wee' too on here last year , not sure where though it is on here

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The stories were both books we found and made up ones.. cannot remember any particular titles, we often went to the library and searched out a suitable book , it was really a case of reading them and seeing how we could fit songs into it- a mention of Santa and we had a song about him, same for a tree, penguin anything really.. We did nativity story as well one years, depended on our children as we often had such a mix we sometimes had to avoid the traditional so as not to exclude several families. .. many a time we searched for song - we found some lovely songs .

 

You could use a favourite - I tended to find a story and the children all learnt some songs,just as they usually do in a session.. They only heard the story on the day with the parents.. with me inviting them to join in with a song at an appropriate point.. sounds odd when writing it down but everyone used to enjoy it..

 

You do need to be confident enough to read a story or tell one to a very large group.. with parents and children and grandparents we often had 70-80 people.. I was often surprised at how quiet it all got and how they all listened.

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With hindsight I should have had the large group "singalong/play" at the beginning because possibly the children will be getting tired by that time. But hey ho, the entertainers time cant be change....next time perhaps.

 

 

 

V

We do our 'sing along play' at the very beginning as early as possible simply because that way most parents can watch then shot off quickly if they work. For our setting this means most of our 'dads' can watch without needing a full day off work.

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Sorry it was as a doc sent in my messages , I have saved to drop box now on iPad so can either upload but forgot how to do it or email you directly , mescsage me x

To upload a file open the more 'reply options' box for posting, then at the bottom is an attach file , choose file and then attach this file..

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