Amanda Panda, an early childhood performer, played music and danced for children and residents at the Maine Veteran’s Home on Nov. 1. Amanda “Panda” Parkhurst said that many residents will come to watch each week. Catherine Bart

SCARBOROUGH — Residents at the Maine Veterans Home watched and sang along with children’s performer Amanda Panda and her young audience as they danced to nine different educational songs on Friday, Nov. 1.

Amanda “Panda” Parkhurst, who founded Amanda Panda, is a children’s song performer, musician and artist. She said that she has been visiting the Maine Veterans Home for the last year, usually performing on a Friday morning.

Using different techniques like puppetry and singing, she invited children to sing and dance, and the residents, watching in a circle around them, also sang and clapped along.

The concert was free for parents and was a way for young children and toddlers to meet each other and play together for a half an hour.

On Nov. 1, Parkhurst invited her partner Rob Duquette, of Kind Kids Music, to play ukulele near the end of the concert. The two performed a song about friendship while the children were enchanted by “Muffy,” a blue marionette.

“There’s always something nice about a small group,” Duquette said. “You really can connect with the kids.”

While Parkhurst works primarily with children from infants to age 6, Duquette’s music targets children from 7 years old to middle schoolers.

“We’ve joined forces,” Parkhurst said.

The children and residents were able to introduce themselves to each other, and the children were excited to offer egg shaker instruments to the group for one of the songs.

“I love seeing the intergenerational group,” Parkhurst said.

Duquette, who said he travels for many different kinds of performances, has noticed more buildings opening up that allow younger children to mingle with senior citizens and adults, like preschools inside of nursing homes.

This allows the kids, parents and residents to make some special friendships, Parkhurst said.

Amanda Panda CD’s were up for sale, too. Parkhurst said she has a Kickstarter for a multilingual coloring book called “I Am Peaceful,” which goes along with her song of the same name. She hopes to reach the fundraising goal by Nov. 11.

For every two coloring books purchased, one book will be donated to a foster family in Maine, Parkhurst said.

Many parents use Parkhurt’s music at home, she said.

“I feel that it’s empowering to parents,” she said, “the way the music and games help.”

Parkhurst said she will be touring in cities like Los Angeles, Portland, Oregon, and Austin, Texas, within the next year.

Duquette and Parkhurst write all of their own songs, and Parkhurst said many of the ideas she has came from raising her own children.

Besides the Maine Veterans Home, Parkhurst said that she has a consistent presence at Birth Roots Community Supported Parenting in Portland.

To see upcoming shows or support Amanda Panda, visit

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