Herdwick Lambs

Our Herdwick lambs feature in their fourth adventure together in this week’s podcast in a story called “The Rescue.” The adventure was inspired by a true story where I read about s sheep in Wales getting stuck in a stream, unable to get out because of the weight of his sodden woolly coat.

Jared sings our first song where the rooster crows early in the morning. (In fact, it is the rooster crowing that awakens Fenton and sets off the whole Herdwick adventure.) It is a counting song, where you can count the “cock-a-doodles” for the time before the final “cock-a-doodle-doodle-doo.” This song works well with a group of children. I use a large die that each child rolls in turn, and we sing the number on the die for the time with the appropriate numbers of “cock-a-doodles.”

Anneliese sings the second song about mother animals searching for their little ones. I use this song as an opportunity to note that young animals often have a different name than the adults. Children find it amusing when they discover young goats are kids too! In the podcast, I give you an opportunity to think of your own animal to add to the song.

This podcast is available to subscribers, who have access to four original podcasts every month, at the cost of only $35. If you are not a subscriber yet, you are welcome to listen to the sample podcast free of charge. This one is called RABBITS and can be found on the main page or by clicking “samples” on the menu.

Skating

In our story this week, our group of school friends goes on an ice skating field trip. Zoe is usually good at everything and expects she will find ice skating easy. Things do not go as she thinks they will.

The first song is called “Skating.” I hope the waltz dance-like feel makes you want to pretend to skate as you “push and glide” along with Anneliese who sings this song.

Our second song is called “Five Little Snowmen.” It is a counting song, starting with five and counting down until our last snowman melts away. This song can also be an action song, with children taking turns at being one of the snowmen, melting at the right time, or even being the sunshine. I will put the words and suggested actions on the Crispy Crow page for you.

A Winter’s Day

The story I wrote for this podcast is called “Oliver Waits For Snow.” In this story I have used some repetitive and predictable language as Oliver tells about the things he wants to do – if only the snow would arrive. Children love to be able to anticipate some of the language in stories and say the words along with the reader.

I have also included a short activity for children just before the first song. We pretend to get ready to go outside to play in the snow, putting on snow pants, coat, boots etc., and get busy zipping and snapping. This is followed by Bethany singing the song “What Shall We Do When We Go Outside?” Children enjoy acting out the activities from the song. You may notice that Bethany sings about some of the things Oliver wants to do in the snow.  I encourage you to make up your own words. Many of the songs I compose for LISTEN TOGETHER PODCASTS encourage creative participation on the part of our listeners. The podcast just gets you started!!

The second winter song that Alex sings is about animals that hibernate in winter. I chose animals that really DO hibernate, as I always want songs and stories to be accurate. So we have frogs hopping, bats flying, snails crawling and snakes slithering around in summer and fall, and then hibernating in winter. This is fun song that I have used many times with young children from preschool age all the way up to third grade and they absolutely love pretending to be the animals and hop, slither, crawl and fly to begin each verse, and then hibernate in winter.

I really enjoyed putting this podcast together and hope you enjoy it too.

This podcast is available to subscribers, who have access to four original podcasts every month, at the cost of only $35. If you are not a subscriber yet, you are welcome to listen to the sample podcast free of charge. This one is called RABBITS and can be found on the main page or by clicking “samples” on the menu.

 

James has a birthday

Birthdays are usually exciting days, but sometimes things don’t seem like they are going to work out. In this podcast we have a story called James has a Birthday. His party is to be held at Yew Tree Farm where there is a petting zoo. James is very excited about his party. His friends will be there, and they all get a chance to ride a pony. But James in not sure he wants to ride the pony. And to go along with the theme, we have two horse/pony songs.

As a parent and teacher, I know birthdays do not always live up to expectations. Sometimes parents make “too big a deal” about the birthday activities. Children sometimes feel forced into participating in activities they are not really sure about. There are times when birthdays end in tears!!

What should parents do? My suggestions are:

  • keep the guest list appropriate. You know your child. Decide what’s best for your child. A good rule of thumb is one guest for every year of age.
  • destination party or home? Sometimes a small party playing with toys at home is all that’s needed. If your child is adventurous perhaps a busy outing will work, but it’s not for everyone.
  • outdoing others. Sometimes parents are tempted to match or even outdo their child’s friends’ parties, getting bigger, wilder, more extravagant. It should not be a competition. Keep the party appropriate. If you want to be somewhere other than home, consider holding it in the park. Playing on swings and slides, and playing games keeps most children happy.
  • family or friends? Sometimes, keeping the birthday celebration within the family is the right thing to do.
  • remember the birthday child. Most important is that you consider what’s best for your child when planning a party. After all, whose birthday is it?

Train Adventure

A train story, a train game, and a song where you can help with the lyrics feature in this week’s podcast.

Theo is a little steam engine in our story this week. Normally, he doesn’t have much work to do, but today he is asked to do a very important job. Theo is worried as it means he has to go through the tunnel. The tunnel is dark, and Theo is a little scared. Listen to the story to see what Theo does.

The first song, “The Train is going Slowly,” is also a game. Children enjoy being the train, starting off slowly, getting faster and faster, and then slowing down as the train enters the station. If you have space, children can move around your room pretending to be the train. I have also had children sitting down for the song using wood blocks to rub together to make the train sounds. Of course you can also rub the palms of your hands together for a similar effect.

Jared sings the second song, “What Lies Under the Ground We Walk On.” It is a very easy sing-along song. Jared sings about several things which can lie under the ground, such as trains, pipes, rabbits and bugs. Then you can put your own ideas at the end of the song. I wonder what ideas you have? I would love to hear about some of them.

If you are not a Listen Together Podcast subscriber yet, you can find a podcast called RABBITS on the samples page and also on the home page. It is there for everyone to listen to. Perhaps it will persuade to join our subscription holders who have access to four unique podcasts every month for a cost of $35.

Snow Day

The second podcast this month is called SNOW DAY. In our story Levi finds out what it’s like to stay home when school is closed because it’s a snow day. The day is not quite what he expected.

We have two great snow songs, one about building a snowman, and one about falling snow. They are both fun action songs. In the first song, “I Can Build a Snowman,” Bethany sings about the snowman getting tall, tall, tall, and then small, small, small as it melts in the sun. Children love to be the snowman as we sing, showing how tall they can be, and then slowly melting to the ground.

The actions are obvious in the song “Snow is Falling All Around” where you can show the snowflakes landing on the roof tops, the ground and on your head, hands and toes. When children know this song very well, we will “sing” it silently, keeping the words in our heads and only doing the actions. This requires a lot of concentration. It is also a very adaptable song where instead of snow falling all around you can have:

Rain is falling,

Wind is blowing,

Sun is shining,

Be creative!

This podcast is available to subscribers, who have access to four original podcasts every month, at the cost of only $35. If you are not a subscriber yet, you are welcome to listen to the sample podcast free of charge. This one is called RABBITS and can be found on the main page or by clicking on “samples” on the menu.

A new year!

A new year and a brand new podcast called MITTENS.

The first podcast for January features a story about a little girl called Flora who needs new mittens. Her old mittens don’t fit any more, and Flora is very unhappy. We will meet Flora and her school friends in lots of stories.

Most podcasts begin with a “hello” song, and then have two other songs – one before and one after the story. This podcast has three songs! The first song is one I composed about mittens. Bethany sings about some of the many colors mittens can be. I wonder what color you would choose? The song after the story is a well-known counting song which has been adapted in many ways. Here we sing “One Little, Two Little, Three Little Fingers” to fit the theme for this podcast. My friend Linda helps with this song. You can point to each finger as we count up to ten and back down to one if you like.

This is an extra-long podcast because the story is quite long. So part way through the story we take a little action break to sing an extra song “Get Up and Get Moving!” with Teri.

This podcast is available to subscribers, who have access to four original podcasts every month, at the cost of only $35. If you are not a subscriber yet, you are welcome to listen to the sample podcast free of charge. This one is called RABBITS and can be found on the main page or by clicking on “samples” on the menu.

Have fun!

MICE!

The last podcast for December is called MICE. Anneliese gets us started with a hello song called “Everybody Sing With Me.” Next is Jared singing an action song called “I Can Wiggle My Fingers,” which has lots of actions you can join in with, including falling down at the end of the song. Make sure you fall safely!

Most of the stories in the podcasts are ones I have written, and a few are well-known folk tales. But this podcast has two short stories, both about mice, and both are true. The events in the stories actually happened in my house and with my family. Just a warning – in one of the stories I mention that our cat, Tiger, had died, and that it made us sad. If you have pets, you know you will have to deal with a death at some point. Perhaps this story will prompt some discussion.

Anneliese sings the last song where you can pretend to be a mouse. First the mouse creeps through the house, then dances, crawls and even strides through the house – not our usual mouse-like movements, but fun to do in the song.

Enjoy!

Are you a subscriber to LISTEN TOGETHER PODCASTS? If so, you know you have access to four podcasts every month. Still thinking about it? Listen to a sample podcast called RABBITS. It’s an action-packed podcast with a sweet story and two rabbit songs where you can hop, hop, hop!

 

Let’s be friends

The third podcast for December is called FRIENDS. The story features a group of children who are at school together. I have written many stories which involve the children in their class, and several children “star” in their own stories. This story is about the imminent arrival of a new little girl who is coming all the way from France to join the class. How will they communicate when they speak English and she speaks French? Who is going to be her friend causes a little uproar.

One of our songs is the well-known “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes,” where you are encouraged to sing along and do the actions; and the other song is one of my compositions called “Let’s Be Friends,” and has lots of actions that friends can do together.

Enjoy!

If you are not a Listen Together Podcast subscriber yet, you can find a podcast called RABBITS on the samples page and also on the home page of the Listen Together Podcast website. It is there for everyone to listen to. Perhaps it will persuade you to join our subscription holders who have access to four unique podcasts every month for a cost of only $35 for the whole year. If you go to the Crispy Crow page, every now and then you will find an activity for everyone to enjoy.

 

I’m not a rhinoceros!

I had a lot of fun with this podcast. Several years ago, a young boy asked if I tell a story about unicorns. He was fascinated with them. I found I didn’t know very much about unicorns and so did some research. Much to my surprise I discovered that in some parts of the world, unicorns were thought to resemble rhinos! Nothing like our western idea of a unicorn being more or less like a horse with a horn!

My next round of research involved finding out about rhinos. I discovered they can run very fast over short distances and have a keen sense of smell. I used this information, plus other things I learned to create the song “Rhinoceros” that Teri sings, where the chorus is:

“A unicorn, a unicorn,

Inside I’m a fleet-footed unicorn.”

Another result of the research was the idea for a story of a rhino who thinks she is a unicorn. That’s how this story about Nellie came about.

The second song is called “Mud.” It is a slow song and I hope you can feel the idea of rolling and wallowing in mud. There are some very descriptive words about the mud – like oozy and goozy, mushy and gushy; plus the opportunity for you to add your own squishy, squashy muddy words. I hope you enjoy this podcast.

If you are not a subscriber yet, I hope you will listen to RABBITS. This podcast is available for everyone to listen to, and can be found on both the samples page and the home page of the web site, and of course there are a variety of activities on the Crispy Crow page as well.