FALL

We meet James and his baby brother Jack again in this podcast called FALL. You may remember them from another podcast where James is so excited when he learns he is going to be a big brother, then so disappointed when baby Jack can’t do anything. In the story today Jack does lots of things.

The first song is called “Things I can Do” and you get to do all those things with me. The song uses a different letter for each verse. For example the first verse has things I can do beginning with P. I sing “I can pedal,” “I can paint,” “I can paddle,” and “I can play.” I also include the letters S, T and D. I’m sure you can think of lots of ideas for the song.

Anneliese sings the second song called “Walking, Walking, Walking,” which has lots of actions you can join in with. And of course the song lends itself to allowing you to come up with some different actions. If you have listened to several podcasts, you will know I often have action songs included. A new action, in both songs, is keeping still. This is quite hard for young children to do, but gets better with practice (just keep singing the songs!) as children learn to control their bodies.

This is definitely an action-packed podcast. Enjoy!

SQUIRREL

A while ago, we were able to watch a squirrel perched on a sunflower head, munching on the seeds. From this observation, a whole podcast grew. I wrote the story of squirrel watching the sunflower grow, waiting for the delicious seeds. As you probably can guess, it is not quite as easy as Squirrel expects.

The first song has the little grey squirrel going up, up, up the maple tree, then down, down, down the maple tree. You may notice how the music moves up the scale with the squirrel and down the scale as he ascends and descends the tree. This is one of those songs I love to sing with children as it allows us to get creative and think of different trees for the squirrel to go up and down.

The second song is a very gentle song about flowers and is incredibly easy to sing along with. We begin with a sunflower, then sing snapdragon, primrose, wild orchid and end with an opportunity for the listener to add a couple of flowers of their own choice.

I hope you enjoy this podcast.

SPIDERS

I think this podcast called SPIDERS is one of my favorites. The first song is a nursery rhyme you will know, “The Incy Wincy Spider,” so please sing it with Teri. Singing this nursery rhyme with children we often change the words and sing “the teeny tiny spider” or “the roly poly spider” and make our actions and voices match the spider.

Our story features a spider called Webster that unknowingly becomes a “pet” for William. I have written several stories that involve a group of children who are at school together. Sometimes the story is about the whole class and their teachers, Miss Emily and Miss Hannah, and sometimes about one of the children in the class. William is in this class. Perhaps you recognize  William’s friends – James, Flora, Katie, Tom and Zoe – from other stories?

The song “The Busy Spider” is one I composed and is a song I enjoy very much. The words for the chorus are:

I am a busy spider

‘Cos if I want to eat

I have to build a spider web

That’s strong, and sticky and neat.

I hope you sing this part along with Bethany. Now not all spiders make webs, but many do, and that’s what the spider in our story does. I did some research about spiders and building webs and used the information I learned for the lyrics in the song.

Apples

Apples are a delicious fruit, come in all kinds of colors and have wonderful names. Most of us buy apples at the grocery store, but in the fall, if you are lucky, you might have a farm nearby where you can go and pick your own apples – straight off the tree. Zoe and Tom go to Yew Tree Farm to pick apples with their parents in our story, and have lots of fun bobbing for apples and even go on a hay ride.

This podcast is called APPLES, and our first song is about apples. It is a song I composed and I hope you will sing along.  It’s very easy! The second song called “Goin’ on a Hay Ride” was composed by my friend Linda and is sung by Bethany.

Apple Tree

 

HERE WE GO ROUND THE APPLE TREE

Here we go round the apple tree,

The apple tree, the apple tree.

Here we go round the apple tree

So early in the morning.

 

  1. This is the way we climb the ladder
  2. This is the way we pick the apples
  3. This is the way we wash the apples
  4. This is the way we peel the apples
  5. This is the way we chop the apples
  6. This is the way we cook the apples
  7. This is the way we eat the apples
  8. This is the way we eat apple pie

 

Listen to the accompanying mp3 audio file for the tune – you will probably know it – “This is the way we__.” You can make up actions for each verse and use as many of the verses as you like, plus others you can make up depending on whether you are just eating apples, making pie,  making applesauce …

Mr Wolf

WHAT TIME IS IT MR. WOLF?

Here is a game that was popular in the school yard when I was a little girl. We would play with quite a big group, but it can be equally successful with only two – you and your child! Mr. Wolf stands away from the children, leaving a gap for at least several steps. The child/children chant:

“What time is it Mr. Wolf?”

Mr. Wolf replies:

“It’s ___ o’clock.”

Then the children take that “o’clock” number of steps towards Mr. Wolf and then chant again. This continues until someone is quite close to Mr. Wolf and this time Mr. Wolf replies:

“It’s time to eat you up!”

And chases the children back to the start.

I would always start with the adult as Mr. Wolf. This way the adult can use numbers appropriate for the children participating. Help the children count the steps. Some children will take tiny steps because they do not want to get close to Mr. Wolf. Others will stride ahead because the chasing is fun!  Some will want to be caught, yet for others, this will spoil the game.

As always, take your cue from your children.

Time

A grandfather clock features in a song on our podcast called TIME. Long ago when grandfather clocks were very popular, they would usually stand in the hall of a big house and would be made of wood. The face of the clock would be glass so that you could see the numbers, and there would often be a glass panel showing the pendulum moving from side to side, making the tick tock sound. Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock goes the grandfather clock – just like Alex sings in the song!

This song has different times for different meals, like breakfast, lunch etc. You could use this opportunity to talk about what time you have lunch or supper in your family. You could look at the times on a clock. It is a very simple song where you can easily put in new times and new activities. I love songs where children can create their own verses.

Our story is about Flora (who we meet in other stories) waiting for her Aunt to visit. Flora has not seen her for a long time and is a little anxious. Will she recognize her aunt? Will her aunt know who she is? Sometimes, what we think of as a short amount of time seems like FOR EVER to youngsters.

When I ran my own preschool, we would always give a five minute warning whenever we were close to transitioning to a new activity – such as cleaning up for snack, or getting ready for outside play. Children have no concept that the transition is close, and it is very frustrating to have just started something new and then immediately be told to clean up! I wish I’d thought to be consistent with this with my own children when they were youngsters.

The second song is the well-known nursery rhyme Hickory Dickory Dock. Alex goes on to sing times other than one o’clock, and I have inserted chimes in the song so that children can practice counting along with the chimes.

FOX

I had a hard time coming up with a name for this podcast, and ended up calling it FOX, even though there are lots of other animals in the podcast. The story is called “The Lazy Fox,” but you will have to decide if you think Fox is lazy or clever! The first song is also a game and begins with rabbits playing in the meadow, then along comes fox. In the podcast I explain how to play the game and show how the music changes when fox comes along. I have played this song-game many times with children, sometimes with large groups of children. Some children like to be one of the rabbits and play in a safe place the whole time. Some like to be one of the rabbits that get chased by the fox. Some children enjoy being a fox, moving slowly, carefully, sneaking up on the rabbits. You will need to decide what is best for your situation. There is no right or wrong way to play, EXCEPT there has to be safe place for rabbits. I think you will enjoy this game.

The second song features animals from the story plus other animals, and allows children to participate by deciding what kind of sound the animals make and put the sounds in the song. Like many of my songs, once you know the format, you can make up your own verses. Be creative!!

What’s the weather today?

Growing up in England the weather would always be a surprise. It could be warm and sunny in the morning, raining by lunchtime, then cold and windy in the afternoon. What’s the weather like for you today? As I am writing this, it is warm and sunny where I live. Our podcast this time is called WEATHER, and the first song Bethany sings is called “What’s the Weather Today?” The story is called “Picnic in the Park” and teachers Miss Hannah and Miss Emily take their class to the park and have quite an adventure. Teri sings a well-known song called “Rain, Rain, Go Away.” Do you know it? Teri sings the names of the children in the story in the song. Perhaps you would like to put your own name in the song too. If you don’t know the song, you will quickly learn the words and be able to sing along with Teri.