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.

ABC Tumble down D

ABC

Here is a nursery rhyme that is not very well known:

ABC, tumble down D,

The cat’s in the cupboard

And can’t see me.

You can have a lot of fun changing different elements of this rhyme. Here are some suggestions:

  • Think of different animals to use instead of the cat
  • Think of different places for the animal to be instead of the cupboard – such as in the sink, under the chair, behind the curtain etc
  • Use three different letters instead of ABC. They don’t even have to consecutive letters in the alphabet, just three letters your child knows
  • Put your child’s name in the rhyme –he will think it is so funny to be in the cupboard!!

Enjoy!

SCHOOL

September is the month when school often starts up after the summer break. You may be going to school for the first time, or perhaps to a different classroom with a new teacher. In our story, Flora is going to school for the first time. You can hear what her family does to make her first day go smoothly. The podcast is called SCHOOL, and we have a song composed by my friend Linda called “I Can’t Wait” and it’s all about going to school. Were you excited for the first day of school? Did you have a backpack or a new lunchbox to take along? Then after the story, Alex sings the ABC song. I expect you know that one, so don’t forget to sing along with Alex.

ABC

ABCs

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!

 

Enjoy!

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.

HOP! HOP! HOP!

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.

Goats

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.