Thursday, September 20, 2012

There is a TREE

Children shouting "Boo" at the end of There is a Tree song.  The kids & their parents had a blast!
With fall just around the corner and a beautiful tree outside the window, we are thinking about one of our favorite movement songs for kids.  Click here to download a printable PDF. 

Song Activity Ideas for the CLASSROOM:  
Interactive Writing, Morning Movement Gross Motor Skill Development--Touche' Yoga, Reading, Literacy Center: Have students copy the song lyrics, illustrate & read aloud to a partner


There is a Tree 

(Children Standing)
There is a tree
At the bottom of my yard
It has big branches
That look like arms
(Children: Stretch out Arms)

(Children: Wiggle Stretched out Arms)
It has big bushy leaves,
(Children: bring arms up over your head and into a circle)
and stands real tall.
(Children: Stand on tip toes)
When it gets cold,
the leaves start to fall.
(Children: Flutter hands down—all the way to the floor)

Sing Softer
There is a squirrel
That lives in the tree
(Children: Put arms in an animal position and start to stand)
I always see him spying on me
(Children: Put hand above eye and look around)
So I fill my hand with a pile of food
(Children: Put hand out)
And when he gets close
(Whisper) I shout
(Yell) “BOO”

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Perfect Pumpkin Pie

Editorial Review:

 "Pumpkins, Pumpkins, Pumpkin Pie! I must have one before I die. It must be round and brown as toast, or I'll haunt this house a hungry ghost"... are the words i look forward to chanting each Halloween.  Who do I read this wonderfully spooky picture book to?  Everyone!   From mid-September to the end of October,  I could be caught carrying, "The Perfect Pumpkin Pie" with me just about anywhere.

Written and illustrated by Denys Cazet, The Perfect Pumpkin Pie" is the "perfect" Halloween read- aloud for children (and adults) of all ages.  With laugh-out-loud funny illustrations such as the one on the cover showing an extremely picky and ever so grouchy Mr.  Wilkerson, the words in the story have a contagious and irresistible way of flowing off the tongue.  Those that listen will have no choice but to chant along!     

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Pizza Party...Pirate Style

    Thus far, our blog posts seem to range from educational topics to family fun  as we find our way in the wonderful world of blogging.  This post is about throwing together a few ideas to create a memorable children's party.  I wasn't planning on blogging about it, but I thought it might serve as a bit of inspiration for busy parents.
    My son, Preston's third birthday was nearly two weeks away.  I hadn't planned a thing!  Was it too late?  During a quick shopping trip to Target, an adorable birthday party invitation caught my eye.  The cover showed an image of a pirate boy.  Hmm... I thought for a moment, and plopped a few packs into my cart.  Preston likes pirates.  Can I turn "PIRATES" into his theme?  What will we eat?  Where will it be?  All sorts of questions went through my mind, and then, the answers all came together to form a plan.
    I was able to rent a room at a local pizza shop.  They would provide the pizza.  All I needed were some decorations, drinks, cake and ice-cream.  I was almost there!  I began to think like a pirate--a "pizza-eating" pirate!
    First, the cake:  I took the invitation to a local bakery for inspiration and this is what they came up with:     

I thought it was cute...especially for being so last minute.  The drinks were easy: some bottled water and soda placed in an icy treasure chest for easy access.  The decorations...coins, beads (the loot and treasure), lots and lots of red and blue balloons, and some red, blue, and map covered table cloths.

    Then, the goody bags:  I wanted to use them as sort of a decoration, so I made the pirate boy from the invitation and stapled a friendly little face to each of the bags.  I also tied a balloon to each of the bags.  They turned out pretty cute!  You can see them in the background of the photo above.  Next, I had to come up with a hands-on activity for the kids and some giveaways (of course).  I decided to turn the kids into little pirates by giving them an eye patch and a bandana.  I also armed them with swords.  For the activity, I had the kids create their own thumbprint ocean designs.  All we needed was ink-pads, some markers and some tiny fingers.  Thumbprint octopuses....little orange's amazing what a kid will come up with!  They loved the activity, and it was a nice keepsake for the moms and dads.

That's Preston the Pizza Eating Pirate on the right!


    Since I sent out the invitations last minute, they served more as a reminder.  I made phone calls and used FaceBook to get the word out!  Everything turned out great...except, we were so busy visiting and making fingerprint pictures that we didn't have time to get any super good photos.
    The kids are still talking about the party and from what I hear, they're looking forward to the next one.  I better get planning!!  In the mean time, my little pirate is causing me to "Shiver Me Timbers" as I try to type this post.  I'm about to make him "Walk the Plank!"