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  • Writer's pictureSheena at Playsongs

It's teamwork

In the very many conversations I've had recently with everyone who is using the new Grand Playsongs series, I'm reminded over and over again of how reliant I am on you ~ you the person who uses Playsongs. The reason is that playsongs are interactive ~ they're 'doing' songs ~ and they need to be lifted off the page and put into action.

A song is silent without the singer. A rhyme is redundant without the speaker. A game is pointless without its players. In order to make them all come to life, we need you in the team. We can give you all the performances, wonderfully imagined and brought to life by Playsongs People. But you are the person with the little baby, toddler or small child, on whom we rely to take that child in your arms and make our Playsongs play.

Sound is deeply entwined with movement in a very young child's life. Later, much later, they may sit, silently, motionlessly listening to music. But in early life sound is movement. We don't need anyone to tell us to put a crying baby on a shoulder and bob, walk, jig, pat ~ move. And often we're quietly singing to la, speaking rhythmically, shushing soothingly. We do it automatically.

But it takes just a little bit more effort (and maybe a letting go of inhibition, even shyness) to do this with a playsong or rhyme. The rewards, however, are measurable ~ they are in the sparkling eyes and engagement of a tiny baby, almost jumping out of your arms with excitement when you play Catch him crow together; they are in the hand held out for more when you play Let's eat an apple; they are in the word 'again' from a tiny toddler when you sing Pat a cake and trace on their palm the letter B; they are in the laughter of a little child going Whoopty-doo down the street with you; and it's in your bigger child saying 'No, daddy/mummy/Nanna, don't you sing,' and then sings the song them self. (Believe me it happens and it's a sign of success, no matter how deflated you feel at the time!) In those three or so brief years from birth, when your little baby or toddler needs the physical participation of you, their grown up, to enjoy a playsong or rhyme with them, you are the team leader.

So, here we are. We can make all these playsongs and all these playrhymes available, and we can describe the games inside them, but without you they are less than whole. You are the one who engages with them, tries them out, finds your baby's favourites, and lifts them out of our pages and audio and into your baby's life.

Thank you, team leaders.

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