Feeling crunched when it comes to finding enough time to planning and preparing your sessions? Here are 4 shortcuts to help you.
Shortcut #1. Block-out time
Seriously, block out the time on your schedule. Make it a non-negotiable. It is a commitment to your work.
Maybe you only get 20 minutes to plan and prepare. Block it out!
When possible, make it the same time every week. Yeah, EVERY week. Do it far enough ahead you can pick-up any last-minute supplies you need or create any props you need. While rough planning at least a quarter at a time is important, you still need time to take charge of the details.
Shortcut #2. Reduce the session preps
Unless you only offer services to one person or group a week, explore ways to cut the preps. (Hint: This is one place where overlapping themes can help you.)
For example, if you have an early childhood group, an intergenerational groups, 4 senior living groups, and a couple of individual clients figure a way to combine the planning. Use some of the songs and props from the early childhood group in your intergenerational group. Modify a movement and an instrument play from the intergenerational group and use it in your senior living group. Use some of the same visuals and music selections from your these groups with your individual clients.
Shortcut #3.Reuse past session plans and materials
Reusing session plans and materials from a past year or a related theme can save you a TON of time.
Those flowers and flower songs? Use some of them with a garden theme.
Doing a transportation theme? Dig out those car, boat, airplane, and road materials from the past.
Shortcut #4. Repeat
Look, familiarity with materials can increase participation. And, it is highly likely you are serving some new folks.
Repeating can be using a hello and goodbye song for a month, a theme, a quarter,…
Repeating can be exploring frame drums for several weeks or repeating the same instrument play intervention on different instruments.
Repeat a game (like this one) with new songs or a new twist.
Consider repeating a way to stretch your creativity.
Add you shortcuts in the comments below!