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By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff
On June 21, parents and their kids met for the last playgroup of the season at the Needham Library. The playgroup sat in a circle, with children sitting next to their parents or in their laps, eager for fun and laughter. The group began with a rendition of “The Bippity Song.”
"Bippity, bopppity, bumble bee, can you say your name for me?” led Nathalia Hernandez, the playgroup facilitator. Each child took turns sharing their names, slowly making their way around the circle, clapping along with the beat of the song. “Abigail, what’s the name of your brother?” Hernandez asked one girl, her baby brother giggling next to her.
“Colin!” she exclaimed. Hernandez made sure to include those who entered the circle a little late or weren’t feeling ready to share the first time around.
Hernandez then moved an activity that had the energetic kids up on their feet in seconds. “Reach all the way up to sky!” she told the kids, as they raised their arms over their heads. “Can you go all the way down to your toes?” she asked. The kids promptly acted, stretching to their feet.
With the kids up and ready, Hernandez had them and some of their parents line up for a sing-along of the classic “Wheels on the Bus” song. "The doors on the bus open and shut/ Open and shut/The doors on the bus open and shut,” sang everyone as they made their way around the room, like a children’s version of a conga line. The song ended with “The mommy on the bus says I love you/ I love you/ I love you,” at which point some of the kids left the line and went back to their moms to give them a hug of gratitude.
Hernandez then brought out a box of instruments, filled with maracas, jingle bells, rain sticks, and even a couple of triangles. “Make some noise!” said Hernandez, before the children started clanging their instruments in excitement. “And stop!” All noise ceased.
Using their instruments, the group began singing their ABCs. Completing that task, the kids, their parents, and Hernandez began singing “Bingo,” hitting their instrument to annunciate every letter of the refrain.
The final part of the program was the most exciting. What better way to celebrate summer than with bubbles, and what better way to make sure kids get to pop as many bubbles as they want than with a bubble machine?
The second Hernandez flipped the switch, the kids were in fits of laughter, following her around the room to catch the floating orbs. “Can you count how many bubbles you can pop?” Hernandez asked, sending the children jumping and dashing to pop their targets.
Along with a copy of the book of the week, “Alphabet Under Construction,” the kids went home tired and ready for their afternoon naps.
Parents, meanwhile, seeing their kids so thoroughly happy and occupied, returned home wondering if they should buy bubble machines of their own.