What to do with….Flea Song
(from Songs for Dancing and Brain Bop)
Flea Song teaches the Tactile pattern from the Developmental Movement Pattern Sequence (also known as the Braindance).
While singing the song, you do one tactile pattern up the body and down, and repeat three more times.
You can find a version of Flea in Early Childhood Warm Ups Part 1 on Brain Bop. I also have it as a stand-alone song on Songs for Dancing.
When I sing it live, I often short-cut the pattern to do one type of tactile up, a different one down and repeat that process, thus doing four tactile patterns but only two repetitions of the song.
I usually do this song as a part of my complete Sequence warm up.
Some people use the song differently.
I recently had a conversation with a teacher at Head Start in Savoy, IL.
She said she used Flea as a stand-alone ‘reset’ activity in her classroom, after coming in from play or during the first gathering time. It’s part of the daily ritual of class.
The entire group sits in a circle to do the song. One child, who may need a little ‘extra’ that day, gets to sit on her lap* and she does the patterns with him/her while leading the whole group activity. During the year, different children get honored with this special attention.
What I LOVE about this is that it provides an individual child with physical calming, focus and attention while simultaneously addressing the needs of the whole group.
A leader can establish eye contact with every child AND serve the needs of the individual at the same time.
* A word about laps. I teach my college students to NEVER allow a child to sit on his/her lap in class because that prompts a child to try to ‘own’ the adult. I believe very strongly in setting those boundaries. However, under this circumstance the children know that this is a special, one-time or rare treat. The boundary is clear: one child, one activity, and each will get a turn during the year.