Based in San Francisco, is an early childhood education blog by Tiva Lee Samaru. HER posts explore; through videos and other resources - original early childhood education curricula and ideas for enrichment classes, as well as, tips and tricks for classroom management and general childcare.

What is Carnival?

What is Carnival?

Well, Carnival is an annual festival|event held on the islands of Trinidad and Tobago and has even expanded to other Caribbean Islands, Canada, Miami, Houston, London and New York City to name a few. It is a festival|event that children are exposed to from a very young age and has been a part of Tiva's upbringing from a very young age.

The event is held before Ash Wednesday in Trinidad and Tobago on the Saturday & Sunday (for children) and Monday & Tuesday (for adults) and involves colorful costumes, soca music, and other exuberant celebrations. There are also many other celebrations leading up to the main carnival festivities, that make up the "Carnival Season" such as band launch fetes, carnival fetes, stick fighting, limbo competitions, steel pan competitions and Dimanche Gran to name a few. (read more

Although the Carnival celebration in Trinidad and Tobago for 2017 has already passed, we still thought it would be nice to create, explore and share ideas related to this theme, especially since it is not a theme that is synonymous with early childhood education, especially here in the United States. 

That said we wanted to create a story time activity which could impart information about this incredible festival|event in a fun way, so we decided a simple hand motion|interactive song would do just that. When you think of hand motion songs, the very popular "Wheels on the bus" comes to mind and this song is both informative and fun and definitely, helps children learn while working on their human developmental skills.

With all those benefits on our side, we figured sticking with a hand motion song was the best way to go!

This activity is a simple one and includes some of the things you see, do and hear during carnival time in Trinidad and Tobago. With an easy and catchy melody, and fun and interactive motions, it is an activity that truly depicts and captures the essence of the festivities during carnival time. The focus of this activity is to help educate students about the carnival culture of Trinidad and Tobago while allowing children to participate in and explore their bodies and communication through movement and music.

How did it go?

With most hand motion songs students may take a little while to warm up, especially if it is one they have not heard before. Once our students got used to the song and the hand motions they were able to participate with ease and even added their own little flair and in no time they became confident enough to sing and move along loudly and proudly.

One suggestion we have to ensure success is to run through the song|motions first on your own without any expectations that your students will jump right into it. Then repeat it asking them to join in. Sometimes with these types of songs, it just takes you as the teacher showing them what they need to do before they actually do it themselves. 

Take a look!

If you are on the hunt for a new hand motion|interactive song then be sure to watch our video! You will be able to learn the song and the associated hand motions and may even be inspired to come up with your own ideas and ways to add your own flair to the movement.


Get Moving,

Tiva & Randa



Pan man

Pan man