Elmer’s Band

What’s the book Elmer’s Band about?

Join Elmer, everyone’s favourite patchwork elephant, and his jungle band for a noisy day! Poorly Wilbur has lost his voice, so to cheer him up Elmer decides to bring together all the jungle musicians to play in a band. Come with Elmer and Wilbur as they recruit each member of the band – from Lion with his huge roar to Frog with his little croak. Only when they are all gathered does Wilbur find out he’s really important, even if he has lost his voice – his loud footsteps are the drum beat that will keep the whole band together.



Week 1

We’ve been getting all musical and making shakers out of items found around the house.

We managed to use spoons, rice and tape to make a noisy shaker that the babies seemed to find easy to grab hold of and rattle. The parents also made simple bottle shakers filled with lentils, rice and pasta and listened to the different sounds they all made.

Such an easy task made for great musical fun.

We read through the audio sound book, Elmer’s band and in our last session are hoping to play our handmade instruments to some music. Some of the young parents are getting in some extra practice at the Wellington Centre’s Little Voices sessions that run on a Friday.


Week 2

Keeping with our musical theme we’ve been making nursery rhyme characters on to paper plates and singing along to well known verses such as Humpty Dumpty and Incy Wincey Spider.

The young parents had fun making things out of items that can be easily found around the house and that entertain their babies for hours.

Our parents are really growing in confidence and getting stuck into the activities. They engage positively with each other and allow their children to get together and play.

Next week the parents are looking forward to meeting in the Providence Room – a new space for them to socialise and their children to play and learn.


Week 3

Week three of Elmer’s band was our first week in our new parent and child room. YMCA Suffolk’s Providence Room has been carefully redecorated by our Maintenance Team with support from Helen, Accommodation Team Leader, over the last few weeks to create a warm, friendly and supportive environment for our young parents and their children to spend time.

We believe that every family should have the support they need to develop and lead more fulfilling lives.

YMCA Suffolk wants our accommodation to be welcoming, safe and inspiring for young people. The newly decorated Providence Room now provides an area that parents can engage with their children, and meet as a group, to build their confidence as parents – and for their children to develop. The Providence Room is equipped with carefully chosen toys and resources as well as comfortable seating.

The residents were provided with the resources to create Elmer picture, using lovely bright coloured paper.

As with each week, we sat and read the book with the residents babies and got them listening to all the different sounds that the book makes.

The residents and their babies really enjoyed spending time together in our new room, giving them a space and secure environment to encourage babies development, growth and interaction with others.


Week 5

Easy Peasy Pods are a few weeks into the latest book Elmer’s Band. It creates fantastic opportunities for musical sensory play – making instruments, making noise, and singing songs together.

Week 5 of Elmer’s Band and this week we created drums using plastic cups and balloons.

Each week we have created a different musical instrument ready for our singing session we are going to do next week.

The mums created their drums by placing balloons over the cups and encouraged the babies the feel the different textures.

We sat and read Elmer’s Band to the babies, who enjoyed listening to the different sounds the book made and joining in with the drums.

Some of the young parents have also been visiting Wellington Children Centre’s Little Voices sessions that run on a Friday.


Week 6

It is the final week of reading Elmer’s Band audio book. We showed off our musical talent and used the instruments we’ve been making over the last 6 weeks.

Over the last few weeks we have made musical rattles and bottle shakers with rice, pasta and lentils for all kinds of different sounds.

The young parents now meet in the new Providence Room – the social play space recently created for them. It is a fantastic space that brings all the young parents together to support each other. With access to comfortable seating, books, toys – and space enough for the parents to play with their children – the Providence Room is a great meeting point for them.

For this week’s Elmer’s Band activity, we put on a CD and made some noise. The young parents and their children bashed the bongos, clanged the cymbals, and shook the maracas. Having this safe space to make noise and explore sound is brilliant for child development.

Easy Peasy Pods had previously spent a week singing nursery rhymes and songs – and visiting Little Voices sessions at the Wellington Children’s Centre – and we had a singing session after the instrument playing. We have some lovely voices, and you could see the babies enjoying their parents singing. They did a great job singing and a few babies were soothed to sleep.

Taking time each week to make some musical noise and sing, either to your child or just for yourself, is a wonderful way to well-being for all involved. It’s clear the children enjoyed it over the last 6 weeks and they’ve shown great interest in the singing, the musical instruments and each other.


Activity Cards