A rhyme to enjoy

Here is a bouncing/rocking rhyme to enjoy with your baby, toddler or preschooler.

 

Tick, tock, tick, tock,

I’m a little cuckoo clock,

Tick, tock, tick, tock,

Now I’m striking one o’clock.

CUCKOO!

Some ideas for different ages:

  • You can say the rhyme, or sing along with the accompanying melody. Rock baby or toddler side to side on your lap as you “tick tock.”
  • Change the number from one, and lift baby in the air as you count.
  • With bigger children, hold hands facing each other and rock on feet side to side as you “tick tock.” Then jump in the air as you count the number.
  • This will also work with several children standing in a circle. (Just don’t hold hands.)

GREY CAT

We have a new podcast called GREY CAT which features a story about Grey Cat and Scraggly Kitten. We get started with a hello song with Anneliese called “Everybody Sing with Me,” where you can sing, jump, clap and do lots of other actions. Next Jodi sings a song about Grey Cat and all the things she does. You can pretend to be a cat if you like. As with many of our songs, you will have a chance to think of something for Grey Cat to do in the song.

I sing our last song called “Miss Mary Mary Martha.” This is an echo song. This means I sing first, then you sing back to me, and at the end we all sing together. I sing about Miss Mary Mary Martha who has a lovely little kitty, and Mr. Michael Michael Murphy who has a lovely little doggie. I wonder if you can think of a name and a pet to put in the song? The kitty and the doggie have wonderful names too. I would love to hear from you – tell me your ideas.

Have fun being creative!

Just Listen

CLIPBOARD WALK LISTENING ACTIVITY

I often suggest using a clipboard for various activities with young children. There is nothing like a clipboard to make a child feel important!! In our school we often gave little jobs to children where they could use a clipboard, such as finding out who wanted cream cheese on their crackers for snack, or doing a survey – who has a pet, who does not.

If you don’t have a clipboard, you can make one quite easily from a stiff piece of cardboard with a bulldog clip on the top. However, clipboards are often available at the dollar store, and so, of course, are very cheap.

So – a clipboard walk. Simply go on a walk and mark down on a clipboard when you hear whatever it is you have decided upon.

Suggestions:

  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Birds
  • Cars

Of course you can adapt the clipboard walk to marking things you see.

Suggestions:

  • Choose a color
  • Things beginning with a letter
  • Things that rhyme with —
  • Cars
  • Cats

Colors

We live in a colorful world and our podcast this time is called COLORS. After the action-packed “hello” song, Joshua sings about animals and their colors – but these colors are very unlikely. He sings about a red porcupine, a green chimpanzee and a blue kangaroo! The words for the song are taken from an old nursery rhyme I found, which is why the language is somewhat archaic. We don’t use the phrase “full well” in modern English, but it is something interesting to discuss. For each verse, all that needs to change is the animal and its color:

I’ve never seen a red porcupine,

I really don’t want to see one,

But this I know and know full well,

I’d rather see than be one.”

You can see how easy it is to make up your own verses.

The pink crayon in our story causes all kinds of problems for twins Tom and Zoe. They argue, and both end up doing something they know they shouldn’t – all because of a pink crayon. This story was inspired by a real situation when I ran my own school. One little boy would slip a pink crayon into his pocket and take it home. This went on every day for several days. For my story, I deliberately kept the crayon pink, to help children understand there are no boy colors or girl colors. This story is also a little unusual in that it doesn’t have a satisfactory ending. But it gives the listeners an opportunity to discuss what they would do in the same situation, and voice what they think about Zoe and Tom’s actions. Food for thought!!

Teri sings another song about colors – but this time colors we might be wearing:

I see somebody wearing green,

I see somebody wearing green,

Show me where you are wearing green.

Again you can see how easy it is to create new verses in the song. I sing this song frequently with young children and use it as an opportunity for them to show me with actions where they are wearing the color, rather than telling me with words. This is quite hard for young children at first, but they soon catch on. Children have to use self-control to refrain from blurting out their reaction.

Enjoy!

Earth Day

To help celebrate Earth Day, the podcast called Earth Day is available for everyone to listen to – but only today!

Click here:

 

We have a special Earth Day podcast. An Earth Day story is accompanied by two songs to go with this week’s theme,

Teri gets us started with “Can You Sing Hello with Me,” a song with lots of actions you can join in. Next Scott and Jared sing “Don’t be a Litter Lout” which is all about litter – trash – and picking it up. The words are very easy and YOU get a chance to put your own ideas in the song. What kind of trash do you see lying around? I give some ideas to sing about in the podcast if you need help.

We meet our group of school friends again in the story, along with their teachers Miss Hannah and Miss Emily. The class decides to do something for Earth Day and meet in the park to pick up trash. But poor Zoe has an accident.

Our last song is a very short one reminding us all to “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” Sing along with Teri friends! If you do something special for Earth Day, please tell me. I’d love to hear what you do.

Earth Day

Earth Day is just around the corner and so we have a special Earth Day podcast. An Earth Day story is accompanied by two songs to go with this week’s theme,

Teri gets us started with “Can You Sing Hello with Me,” a song with lots of actions you can join in. Next Scott and Jared sing “Don’t be a Litter Lout” which is all about litter – trash – and picking it up. The words are very easy and YOU get a chance to put your own ideas in the song. What kind of trash do you see lying around? I give some ideas to sing about in the podcast if you need help.

We meet our group of school friends again in the story, along with their teachers Miss Hannah and Miss Emily. The class decides to do something for Earth Day and meet in the park to pick up trash. But poor Zoe has an accident.

Our last song is a very short one reminding us all to “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” Sing along with Teri friends! If you do something special for Earth Day, please tell me. I’d love to hear what you do.

Putting on a good show!

As parents, we want to be seen by others as “good parents.”  We sometimes put on a good show. Have you found yourself saying to your child “be nice; share your toys.” However, sharing is not always appropriate. An example I would often give to parents is this.

Jack is sitting at the table working on a puzzle. It is quite a hard puzzle and he’s been working on it for quite a while. This particular puzzle has far more pieces in it than any he has finished before. Finally he is down to just three pieces left to fit in the puzzle, when along comes Sally saying “I want to help.” Sally picks up a puzzle piece and is about to insert it when Jack yells ‘No!” and grabs it back.

A parent or teacher seeing this might well say, “Jack, you have to share.” But this is not an appropriate sharing opportunity. Jack is on the brink of a major achievement and wants the completion of the puzzle to be his own work.

So what is the right adult reaction?  Gather facts. Let Jack explain. That’s all it takes for an adult to realize this is important to Jack. Explain the situation to Sally. Once the puzzle is done, Jack may well be ready to do it again with Sally’s help, or turn the puzzle over to Sally entirely.

In my preschool, rather than telling children they have to share, we would encourage Sally to ask if she can help, and respect Jack’s answer if he says no. If Sally really wants to work on the puzzle, then her next question should be, “can I do it when you’re finished?” And the problem is usually solved.

So often adults are ready to jump and fix things without giving young children an opportunity to work things out. But children need the tools first. They need to know it’s OK to say no. They need to practice using the right vocabulary to resolve the problem. Our job as parents and teachers is to help and guide children to become problem-solvers, and resist the temptation to do everything for them.

It’s Game Time!

Come and play my game friends! Listen to me sing, then sing back.

 

This activity gives children an opportunity to listen carefully, and then replicate what they hear. With practice, children will get better and better at this activity and they match different tones with me. Participating in activities such as this, children will begin to sing in tune more easily and even get a little exposure to solfege.