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Kids jump for joy at music hour

By Lauren Schiavone
Hometown Weekly Staff

Rainy days were made sunnier when Deb Hudgins visited the Sherborn Community Center last Thursday, entertaining children with songs and energetic dance.

Deb Hudgins of Deb’s Sing and Swing has been working with preschoolers since she was a teen at the YMCA. “I really love my job,” she explained. “It’s not even a job; it’s just fun. I was also an aerobics instructor for many years, so I love to incorporate dancing and finger-plays and any type of movement.” 

Children were on their feet and dancing with new friends in no time as Hudgins, a regular visitor to Sherborn, played upbeat music that had kids clapping and dancing early in the morning. A fall-themed routine consisted of running, jumping and letting out the silly energy.

She then read aloud Kevin Henkes’ “In the Middle of Fall” for a storytime. Kids giggled along and helped her out, making sound effects for gusts of wind. She also included a fall-themed guess-the-animal game with pictures of squirrels, turkeys and autumnal critters. Accompanying herself on guitar, she sang as children galloped like deer and gobbled like turkeys.

Hudgins surprised everyone in the room by bringing her parachute — and a squirrel stuffed animal. Using the colorful parachute as the basis for an educational game, the kids shouted out which color the squirrel would land on as they waved the parachute and played underneath it.

More props, like autumn leaves attached to a stick, were used for enriching songs.

Parents and children alike enjoyed both the gentle movement and exciting fall stories and songs. “I’ve had kids come for many years and now they’re grown. They bring children when they used to come to my preschool classes,” Hudgins recalled. “Some kids go on to take guitar lessons or become dancers.”

The reward she feels for her work is admirable and noticeable — as are smiles spread across faces of the little ones with whom she works.

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