World Book Day activities: Dancing with the Creepy Crawly Calypso band

We had so much fun with this musical activity – dancing with the Creepy Crawly Calypso band!

Dancing with the Creepy Crawly Calypso

I found this in our library and am so pleased that I checked it out. The book introduces various creepy crawlies such as ladybirds, spiders and crickets playing a selection of instruments traditionally used in calypso music. The illustrations are bright and cheerful, with some short, simple text introducing each bug and its instrument. As the bugs increase in number, from one spider to ten centipedes, you can also use the book to help your little one learn numbers and counting, although ToddlerGirl is still a bit young for this so we didn’t focus on this aspect.

The book is a good read all by itself but even better when you play the accompanying CD, which features several tracks: the creepy crawly calypso song, some information on the instruments used and then an instrumental version.

You can check out the Creepy Crawly Calypso book here (this is an affiliate link – thank you!).

To help bring this alive for ToddlerGirl, I sat us down with her basket of musical instruments, which basically includes lots of different types of shakers with beads and bells, a wooden castanet and a couple of rainmakers. We also have a wooden xylophone and I brought out two baking tins and wooden spoons from the kitchen to use as drums. To create the feeling of being in a band, I used a few of her soft toys and little Happyland people!

We’d already read the book and listened to the CD a few days before so we skipped to straight to the last track, which is the instrumental version, and just let loose! I do a music class with ToddlerGirl so she is familiar with the idea of banging and shaking different instruments along to music. I joined in and also ‘helped’ the toys join in by pretending that they were picking up the shakers etc. There was a very sweet moment where ToddlerGirl was sharing her xylophone beater and shakers with her toys, handing them over so they could use them; that really made me smile!

Musical instrument activity with the Creepy Crawly Calypso

After a while, we got up and started dancing and jumping round the room to the music, still waving our shakers and beating our drums every now and then. This was a lot of energetic fun and ToddlerGirl absolutely loved it. Every time the track finished, she ran over to the CD player to restart it!

Once we had played the song quite a few times, I got the book out and we read through it alongside the first track on the CD, which sets the text in the book to the music. Then we read through it again a couple more times listening to the instrumental version. I played imaginary versions of the instruments as they came up – a trombone, a guitar, a piano, some congo drums. ToddlerGirl seemed to find this really funny and interesting, so we did this for another little while and then just did a mixture of everything: dancing, real instruments, imaginary instruments, referring back to the book. It was infectious and joyous and had us both squealing with laughter (and, as our front curtains were wide open, probably had our neighbours wondering what on earth I was doing waving and jumping around like a mad thing!)

This was an incredibly easy activity to do alongside the book and really brought it to life. For something so simple, we got a lot of mileage out of it, probably an hour’s worth of play, which I consider to be pretty good going with ToddlerGirl.

I’m tempted to purchase this book as I think it will have a long shelf life; alongside the counting aspect, there are pages with information on the different bugs and the instruments used and of course the information and music on the CD, so an older child would be able to learn more from this. For us, it was just great fun for a Monday afternoon and a good start to our World Book Day celebrations!

p.s. I have discovered that the Creepy Crawly Calypso song and an accompanying video are available to view on YouTube, so take a look and be prepared to do some wiggling :)

(This post is part of our week’s worth of activities to celebrate World Book Day.)

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