Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Hickory Dickory Dock

    Hickory, Dickory, Dock

     One of my favorite nursery rhymes is Hickory Dickory Dock.  Recently I watched a version online that involved a mouse and also a snake, cat, squirrel, monkey, and an elephant.  My granddaughter was enchanted by this video and song, especially the elephant. Of course, at the end the elephant goes up the clock.  Then, the  clock begins to creak and becomes smashed under the tremendous weight of the elephant.
     So as usual, I decided it would be fun to have a felt clock and some animals to sing and retell Hickory, Dickory, Dock. As you can see, I made a very basic grandfather clock and mouse to begin the song.

          Here is a silly little cat to add to the fun.

      I also had a lot of fun making this elephant.

        These felt animals and the clock are small enough to fit into a sandwich size zip lock bag.  I wanted to make it easy and small enough to fit into a diaper bag. It also had to be a good size for toddlers little hands and fingers to play with.

       Please spend as much quality time with your children as you possibly can. You won't regret it.  Some day, when they have grown up and have their own children, they will say that they remember when you played with them and sang, "Hickory, Dickory, Dock"!

Today I am linking up with Forever in Fifth Grade  for January's Show and Tell Tuesdays. Check out all of the January ideas that are included this month.

       Please leave a comment if you have a minute.  I'd love to hear from anyone who reads my blog.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Five Little Monkeys


            Five Little Monkeys is such a wonderful finger play for the young toddler.  These children are beginning to listen and repeat actions and words. They love rhyming sounds and silly songs.  What better song than "Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed"?  
            I made these little finger puppets for my granddaughter. Riding in the car seat for a long trip can be very boring a for the child as well as the adults.  But I would rather hear Five Little Monkeys jumping on the bed than a child whining or crying unnecessarily.
           Some little distraction like this will definitely help with the sanity of the adults in your car. Spend a few quality minutes with your child instead of putting on a video. Remember that children benefit more from adult interaction than screen time. 

          As you can see, there is nothing fancy about these finger puppets, and you can whip these up quickly on a sewing machine with minimal sewing skills.

              As you can tell from my blog,  I am a proponent of being with and doing as much as you can with your young child as you possibly can.  Our children are young for such a very short time.  They grow up so very fast.  Don't let another opportunity pass you by.  

            Please leave a comment if you have a minute.  I'd love to read your thoughts.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Bubble, Bubbles, Bubbles

Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles!

           Playing with bubbles is always a great sensory experience.  I whipped up some bubbles using baby shampoo and a very small amount of water.   Then I scooped some of the bubbles in a small plastic cup to place on the high chair tray. If the bubbles happened to get splashed, the shampoo is gentle on the eyes.  My granddaughter really enjoys this activity.
           Not much water was used, so we didn't get very wet, but had a great time exploring with the bubbles.  The nice thing is you can do this activity during the winter without getting completely soaked.  Notice the plastic bib.
           I liked the idea of thick bubbles that would kind of keep their shape while while a child is playing. 

                Some green food coloring was mixed into this batch of bubbles. It is fun to add another color to see what color appears next.

            Here we got into a big bowl of bubbles for a different experience.
             We don't have to spend a lot of money or need an Ipad for our little ones to learn about their world.

        Please leave a comment if you have the time. I always enjoy reading your ideas.


Monday, January 9, 2017

Matchbook Summaries

        I was reading Melissa's blog, "Got to Teach".  She had posted a fantastic idea, Matchbook Summaries.  You should check out her blogpost on Matchbook Chapter Summaries for Novel Studies...

     Thank you, Melissa, for sharing your idea.

    I used Melissa's idea in my Social Studies class as an end of the chapter wrap up.  We just finished a chapter on early exploration.  So I thought this would be perfect. 

     I started explaining the project with a mock up and a rubric.  Melissa had a rubric which I edited to meet the needs of my unit. Instead of chapter summaries, I had the students write short four sentence summaries of each section in the chapter.

      My kiddos took off running full speed ahead. Each student took four index cards to begin with.  We did some paper folding so the matchbooks would be the same basic size. The section numbers titles were written on the small flap of each index card. They began writing their section summaries on folded index cards. I suggested that all the summaries be completed before they started doing the matchbook cover illustrations. At the end of our first work session, every student got an envelope to store the index cards.  The envelopes were stored in class so nothing would get lost.  I am happy to say we had no tears due to lost work. 
    At the beginning of the next class, each student would retrieve their envelope, get more index cards if needed( 14 matchbooks in all) and continue working.

     The second step was to work on the illustrations for each matchbook cover.
The art work had to represent the information written in the summary.


    The  final step was to work on the cover of the file folder. The students decided if the illustration would be horizontal, vertical, or split in half depending on the layout of the folder and matchbooks.

In this one the cover is divided in half.

       The children were very interested in the project that was completed in school by the majority of my 88 students. I was extremely impressed at all the hard work my students put in completing their matchbook summaries.  One girl ask if we were going to make one from every chapter. 

Here is part of my students' work in the hall. The kiddos love to see their work on display.

     Hi kids, do you see any of your work? You did a great job!

     Thank you again, Melissa, for sharing this super project. My 5th graders loved it! 

   Please leave a short comment if you have a minute.  I would love to hear from you. 


Felt Old MacDonald Had a Farm

                A felt Old MacDonald Barn sounded like a good idea when my 18 month old granddaughter wanted to watch a "Old MacDonald" video over and over, and OVER again.  I wanted her to be able to have a more hands on experience with Old Mac Donald Had a Farm than just screen time.
            So,   I found a little candy box, about  4 by 4 inches.  Covering with felt to resemble a small barn was done with Tacky glue  to adhere the felt to the box. I know this is a Very basic barn.

       Then I worked on  some small felt animals to fit into the barn. You will have to excuse my hand sewing because it is really not very good, but I think they are kind of cute. 
           A duck is always a popular animal on the farm, with a quack, quack here, and a quack, quack there.

            A chick, chicken, or hen makes a good sound in the barnyard," Peep, Peep"!

                 This quiet little lamb makes a nice Baa- Baa sound on the farm.

          You can't sing "Old MacDonald had a Farm" without a pig.  The Oink- Oink here is very special to little ones.

      Last but not least is a cute brown cow that says Moo.

         Singing the Old MacDonald song is  a staple in every child's young learning life.  The tactile experience of opening the barn to pick up the next animal is enriching. As we sing the song, and make the animal sounds, each animal moves around the farm.  Then the barn is opened for the next animal in the song. This animal can be the next on the pile or the choice of the child.

         I feel this type of experience is more beneficial to the young child than watching the videos.  Watching videos for our children is so much fun, but screen time should be limited and not over done.

        Please, interact, sing, dance, and read with your young children. These are so very important event in their lives. They are young for such a short time.  They will grow up so very fast and this experience will be gone forever.

        I remember my mother and grandmother singing a song to me"When I was just a little girl, I asked my mother what would what would I be? Would I be pretty , would I be rich? Here's what she said to me. Que sera, sera, what ever will be, will be. The future's not ours to see, Que sera, sera."  This song is from 1956 written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans. Doris Day sang it so beautifully.

       Please leave a message if you have a minute to spare in your busy day. I'd love to hear from any readers.


Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Detroit Zoo during the Winter

                  We took a ride to the Detroit Zoo last week between Christmas and New Years.  Not many animals were out frolicking in the cold.  Not even the Polar Bears!  
           The Detroit Zoo opened the new Polk Penguin Conservation Center that was perfect on a cold winter day in Michigan. When you first walk in you can view the little rock hopper penguins swimming around and diving under the water. The guide instructed us to walk down the ramp to view the penguins swimming under water. The ramp is surrounded by a 360 degree video of Shackleton's  ship and icebergs. 
           These penguins at the end of the tour were having a great time walking around on the ice and diving into the cold water.  My granddaughter really enjoyed watching these entertaining birds.

            There were many beautifully colored peacocks was strolling around the grounds of the zoo even thought it was about 30 degrees and windy that day.  This fellow just wanted to show off his lovely tail feathers.

           We also found a nice warn place to visit with the giraffe family.   Here are three of the four family members. The baby giraffe is up front with mother giraffe peering over the baby's head. The father giraffe, the tallest on the right, was in a separate area but could visit anytime he wanted.
           As you can see the sign on the right says "QUIET".  The giraffe don't like a lot of noise.

           The Detroit Zoo is a great place to take "children of any age".

Enjoy the winter season wherever you live. 


Friday, January 6, 2017

Felt Christmas Tree

             I saw a stuffed felt Christmas tree on Pinterest and was intrigued.  It looked like something I could make for my grandchildren and nephews. 
           I made a form from cardboard which is about two feet tall.  I used tacky glue to fasten the felt to the cardboard tree. Then the tree form was filled with styro-foam packing peanuts to keep it light yet firm.  The bottom felt was stitched in place to keep the tree together. 
          An old Advent calendar with little felt ornaments happened to be in my basement. The ornaments were the perfect size for little fingers and my tree.

           My granddaughter is 18 months old. As you can see, she spend a lot of time arranging and rearranging the ornaments on her little tree. 

               We all need those quiet moments to reflect on the real meaning of Christmas, even the very small child.

           I have linked up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for the Five for Friday Weekly Linky Party.  Lots of great ideas for the new year and winter months.
Please leave a comment if you have a minute. I'd love to hear from you.