The book on animal sounds must have been too complicated, because the under-2s weren’t paying attention to it.

Puppets to the rescue! Here’s what I did:

a) 3 or 4 animals were sleeping under a small blanket.

b) I started singing “Old McDonald had a Farm” a cappella, and as I sang, I put one of the puppets on my hand.

c) The “…with a ____ here” part is when I inserted the sound that animal makes.

The way it worked for me, the little learners were soon interested in which animal was going to wake up next and what sound that animal made, and feeding fingers to the puppets was much more exciting than sprinting from wall to wall.

And that E-I-E-I-O part of the song is awfully catchy, yes?

Oh whew.

Skidamarink (2011)

The under-2’s haven’t yet grown into the gestures for “Skidamarink”: their arms are still too short to reach over their heads, and any bending to the right or left invariably causes them to tumble over.

Still, these little ones have gotten remarkably better at getting rough versions of the gestures where they need to be, and they all blow kisses at the right time.

When the song ends, we instruct them to say, “I love you, Mommy/Daddy!”, and the parents set to hugging their children and repeating the phrase to cajole those 4 little words out of their mouths.

Usually we get smiles and squirms, but nothing more.

Hugging and cajoling paid off today!

“I wub you!!”

Parental squeals all around the room. *awwww*

Now to see if they’ll say it again next time……


Curious Chefs for young chefs

Toddlers and knives? Such a heart-clutching combination!

But this morning I was watching this video on how to make fruit kabobs, and oooh! What kind of knife is she using? Must find!

Maybe 10 seconds later I was wandering through the pages of Curious Chef, which appears to be the go-to site for children’s cooking utensils. The utensils are for budding chefs ages 4 and up.

Mock me later for not having known about this company before. I just know now both what I want for my birthday and what I’m getting everyone else for their birthdays for the next year! (I’ll start with that Sundae Sleepover kit. Thank you.)

I is for Insect

Eh? Not all insects are bugs?

It’s that time of year again, summer, when most of my students are laser focused on the world of bugs.


Every year I get quizzed on the specific English names of bugs I’ve long been content to lump together as bugs, beetles, and/or insects. No, it’s not that “they all look alike”. They certainly don’t. It’s just that somehow between shapes, colors, and blueberry muffins, I just never got around to learning many of the individual names.

And now I learn that they’re not all to be lumped together as bugs. Says the helpful book below, “…[T]rue bugs are a particular group of insects with special mouthparts that can pierce and suck.” Ah. Right.

Just please oh please oh please: no large images of ゴキブリ.


Flying Watermelon Seeds

We just finished our food unit, and for the umpteenth year in a row, I forgot to polite-ify my gesture for watermelon.

You know, nice big wedge, chomp chomp chomp, and every few bites spit out the seeds.

‘Cept that’s not at all how parents want their children eating watermelon here, and the gesture is thus received with glorious blank stares.

So should I teach them about flying watermelon seeds?

You know, get a watermelon seed, squeeze it between your thumb and finger until it flies. More fun: aiming the seed at an opponent.

No, we don’t want to teach the children that, do we? ‘Specially not with those watermelon prices, right?

*blink blink*

Yes…we do!!

Thanks again, Nancy Blakey! Go outside!

Math, the Hopscotchulator Way

I don’t remember playing much hopscotch in elementary school but I do remember learning the multiplications tables by studying my flashcards (future topic: 101 uses for index cards).

Call your friends, find chalk, and review your math outside.

Draw a nice big calculator on the pavement.

Start with 1.

Think of an equation that will give you 1 as your answer, for example 1=3-2. Or 1= 0+1.

You have to hop to each key in the equation. Rules: one-footed hops on odd numbers, two-footed hops on even numbers and symbols.

Your friends can help check your equations. (But maybe each friend wants her own calculator?)

More complicated math? Sure, you can draw a nifty scientific calculator and solve for z. Don’t know how you’d check those kinds of equations, though.


%d bloggers like this: