The ABC song is one used in homes, schools and daycares all over the country. And at some point, we do need to know the letter names. But of far more importance and use for young children is to learn the letter sounds. We need to talk about the sounds the letters make. For example, what sound does the letter B make – buh. You get the idea.

Here are some ideas to get you using letter sounds with your little ones.

  • Play I spy looking for something beginning with _____ but use the sound rather than the name of the letter.
  • Choose a sound and name things in the room beginning with that sound.
  • Go on a walk looking for things beginning with ____.
  • Sing the ABC song using the sounds instead of letter names. This is quite hard!



The Zoo

I wrote a song called “I’m Riding on a Double Decker Bus” a long time ago and finally got to use it in this podcast called THE ZOO. Sometimes I write songs with a specific podcast in mind, and other times the song just happens and later on I find a home for it.

In the story, our group of school friends go on a field trip to the Zoo and get to ride on a double decker bus going from one animal exhibit to another. The trouble starts when Henry gets off the bus at the wrong place and finds himself all alone. However the story has a happy ending.

After the story we have a song about zoo animals called “P P Pretty Flamingo.” This is a song where you can add your own words. You just need to think of an animal, and a descriptive word to go with it. I used pretty flamingo, gentle giraffe, happy hippo, tiny turtle, kind koala and golden eagle. What ideas can you come up with? When you hear the song in the podcast, you will know how it works. I’d love to hear from you if you think of an animal and what it is doing in the song.


Our podcast this time is called HOP! HOP! HOP!   Our story features animals that hop, or jump. I spent time reading about animals that jump or hop and chose specific ones that worked for my story. In the story, when a new animal comes along, he needs to be able to hop further than the previous animal. So that’s how we ended up with Tiny Flea, Jumping Spider, Grasshopper and Tree Frog.

The first song has lots of actions for children to do – including hop, hop hop! The second song has all the animals from the story included, plus an opportunity for you to add another animal. Can you think of an animal that hops or jumps? Don’t worry; if you can’t think of one, I give you some ideas in the podcast. The melody is very catchy, and the words as easy as can be! Be sure to sing along.

Little _______ sitting on a log,

Little ______ going hop, hop, hop.

Little _______ sitting on a log,

Little ______ going hop, hop, hop.


We have a podcast called GOATS this week. It features my friend Linda re-telling the old folktale –“The Three Billy Goats.” Folktales are well-tested stories for youngsters, and have been around for generations. Children love the repetitive nature of stories like this where they can predict what will happen next and even join in with the story.

There are two goat songs that I have included in this podcast. The first song on the podcast is one I composed called “If the goats are grazing on the green.” I tried something in this podcast that I don’t do very often.  I took part of the song, the chorus, and practiced it so that children can learn it and then sing along every time it happens in the song. Here it is:

“and if they see you standing there

they might even nibble on your hair” 

Did you know goats will eat almost anything? Alex sings about lots of things goats eat. Once you get to know the song, it is easy to add your own ideas.

The second one is an adaptation of BINGO. In this version we sing “There was a farmer had a goat and BILLY was his name-o.” It’s a fun sing-along.



Do you still have some clothes from when your child was a baby? Or a toddler? Select a few items of baby clothing and a few obviously bigger clothing items. Ask your child to sort the clothes into two piles. Baby clothes and big boy/girl clothes.

There are lots of variations for this activity:

  • Add adult clothes and have three piles
  • Sort into types of clothes, socks, shirts, sweaters etc
  • Choose one type of clothing, such as sweaters and sort according to size, arranging them from smallest to largest

Use words such as small, smaller, smallest, big, bigger, biggest.

Ask your child:

  • to find one bigger than this one
  • smaller than this
  • hold up two and ask which one is the biggest


Talk about what it was like when your child was a baby and wore tiny clothes. Children love to hear stories about when they were babies.




Our podcast this time is called BABIES. Do you have a baby in your family? Or perhaps you are the littlest family member. I have lots of brothers and sisters. In our story this week, James learns he is going to be a big brother. He is very excited and can’t wait to have a new play mate. But baby Jack is not quite what he expected.

Our first song is a well-known lullaby, “Rock-a-bye Baby.” Do you know this song? Perhaps you would like to have a baby doll or stuffed animal ready to rock when Teri sings for us. The second song is a fun song I composed called “I Won’t Go to Bed.” The song is a conversation between a child and a grown up. It is fun to sing your own part Children also love to pretend to be the grown up in the song. When I am with a group of children singing this song, we have lots of hands on hips and stamping feet as they are acting as the child or pretending to be the grown up!!!