It’s becoming something of a tradition for Eric Engblade to kick off the week of spring break with a concert at Sandcastles Children’s Museum.
So it was on Monday morning, as Engblade took to Sandcastles’ first-floor stage — as he did in March 2022 — to sing some songs and encourage kids to get up and move around during a Music & Movement concert.
The musician welcomed kids and families, and asked them to celebrate the return of sunny skies after a blustery, wintry weekend.
“The sun is coming back, and I’m so excited,” Engblade said. “We had some wintry weather here this last week, but now it’s springtime, so that means the sun is coming back and we’re getting more light every day.”
Engblade had his roughly 18-month-old son Zephyr at his side as he prepped for the concert, getting out his guitar, his kazoo and a host of drums, keyboards, shakers and other instruments for kids, which they used to play along.
He led the kids in several rounds of a game of hide and seek, during which young volunteers looked for hidden items, with onlookers playing louder when the seeker was getting farther from the item, and softer as they closed in on it.
Engblade used the game as an opportunity to teach kids some music terminology, explaining that when the kids played loudly, that was called “forte,” while the softer playing is called “piano.”
Engblade strummed his guitar and sang songs including “Mr. Sun,” “John the Rabbit,” “Shake the Sillies Out” and more, along with a few he wrote himself.
Museum manager Cathy Dalton said about 150 people came through the museum Monday morning. They came not only to see Engblade, but also to get a look at Sandcastles new Michigan Woodlands exhibit, which opened Friday.
The children’s museum will have fun offerings throughout the week, including sensory table activities from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday; rainbow crafts from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday; 3D printing from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday; rock painting with Deb Borema from noon to 1:30 p.m. Friday; and Spanish with Ana Quinteros from 11 a.m. to noon on Saturday.