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Click here to listen to a new song on my rhyme & fingerplay podcast page. teapotYou and the kids can be either a teapot (with a surprise 2nd verse) or you can be a pumpkin!

If you’d like a copy of the words, scroll down the left-hand column and click on the rhyme’s name or click here.

Have fun!

Babette

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These are primarily for ages 3ish to 6 ish.

Scroll down in the left column to the pages for Singing Games which will give you the words and directions.

Listen here for the tunes.

Have fun!

Babette

The Three Bears is a great rhyme and fingerplay for developing narrative three-bearsskills. At each stage of the rhyme, a child has to ask, “What comes next?”

Pairing actions with learning is also a fun and effective way to build learning. The brain loves this kind of pairing up of different learning modalities.

Performance hint: Make the ending lighthearted or some of your more softhearted kiddos could get a little frightened. 😉

Scroll down the left column and look under “Rhymes & Fingerplays” to find the page with the words and instructions.

Have fun!

Babette

jumping-girlReady to burn off some energy AND build sequencing skills? Check out these two circle games, “Jumping Beans” and “Boom!” Remember, jumping (and other) directions follow at the end.

Check back to Rhymes and Fingerplays Pages for the words; I’ll get them up as soon as possible.

Three new fingerplays on podcast, all about fingers and thumbs and even a heavy dose of phonological awareness for the letter “f.”fingerpaint-hands1

So play away!

musical-note1Another week and it will officially be Spring! So let’s celebrate with little bugs and such.

Click here for “I’m bringing home my baby bumblebee” and “Caterpillars.”

Remember, click the green play button to hear the podcast you want.

chicks-singingSinging songs helps children hear that words are broken down into smaller parts (from Every Child Ready to Read website).

Phonological awareness is all about being able to hear small units of sounds in words. It’s about being able to tell the difference between those smaller units. And English has at least 44 of these small units!

In later school years when children have trouble with reading, most often the trouble is rooted in a lack of phonological awareness.

You don’t want to try to teach these sounds; you simply want to provide opportunities for your children to learn these sounds. Talking with them works; letting them talk works; and playing with rhymes, nonsense words and songs works best!

Check out the Rhymes & Fingerplay podcasts; click here and then scroll down the page for a complete listing. Remember, you can listen to them from a computer but you can also download them for free onto your MP3 player and take them with you!

(Thanks to The Graphics Fairy website for the great clip art.)

It’s rhymes and fingerplay time–and hopefully it will be every Thursday. safari-hat

Check out these with animals; and remember, the instructions are at the end of the podcast.

There was a great article in the New York Times the day before Inauguration Day talking about the influence of books and reading on Barack Obama.

But no mention was made of the books he read as a child. And it got me to thinking.

snowy-day

Take a listen here to Obama and The Snowy Day.  (Pssst, this is not a fingerplay!) And thanks to Anita Silvey for the history lesson in Keats’s Neighborhood.

PS: Some folks have asked for the “visual” version as well as the above “audio” version.  So here it is:

Did President Obama read The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats when he was a child?

I know I did. And I read it to both my boys. The oldest just voted for the first time this fall–for Obama—who just happens to be black.

The little boy in The Snowy Day just happens to be black too. And just happens to have the distinction of being the first black child ever shown in a full-color children’s picture book.

Obama and I share birth years, 1961, the same year The Snowy Day was published. I don’t think those dates are a coincidence.

I grew up in Atlanta, raised by parents who simply stated throughout my childhood that “the color of a person’s skin doesn’t matter.” We had no long discussions about racism or bigotry or even civil rights that I remember. Just that statement, a fact presented to a child like “It’s raining outside.”

I remember someone reading me The Snowy Day. I remember reading it later to myself. I do not remember noticing anything special about the little boy. I just knew he was having fun in the snow, something we rarely had in Atlanta and never in those vast quantities.

Now fast forward forty-something years. Exactly a year before the election, I happen to read the history of The Snowy Day. And I cried. In the late 60’s and the 70’s, Keats received such harsh criticism concerning The Snowy Day that he quit writing and illustrating children’s books. (He did return to it at the urging of New York City librarian, a librarian who just happened to be black). A person who had grown up facing both poverty and anti-Semitism, Keats simply loved children, loved books, and wanted books to be for everyone—in pictures as well as in words.

One of the New York Times’ book editors wrote the day before the inauguration about the power and importance of books, language, and ideas in the development of Obama’s “voice.” I am not a reporter, and I do not have the means of finding out if, as a child, Obama ever read (or had read to him) The Snowy Day. But I firmly believe that, if he did, that children’s book shaped him deeply too, down to the core, when he could see himself in that little boy in the snow.

What if Obama didn’t read it? It really doesn’t matter. For, I read it, and my children read it, and millions of children over the past forty-eight years have read about Peter and his snowy day.

And I cried again last week. Every time I saw a picture of an inauguration event, I cried thinking about how many millions voted in this past election for a man, who like Peter in The Snowy Day, just happens to be black.

Babette Davis Reeves, MA, is Children and Youth Librarian at Southern Peaks Public Library in Alamosa, Colorado.

I can be reached at 719-587-3065, 719-589-6592 or by email at babette.reeves@gmail.com.

Source: Keat’s Neighborhood, An Ezra Jack Keats Treasury, 2002

From the Introduction by Anita Silvey

pp. 8, 10

boat3

Here are two action versions of “Row, row, row your boat.”

I’ll try to make Thursdays “Add a Podcast” Day. 🙂

Santa and his friends along with other fun things about Christmas are featured in these podcasts. As always, any instructions needed are included at the end of the podcast.

Have fun!

In honor of snow today in Alamosa, here’s rhymes for snow times (or pretend ones).

On the first one, pretend to be a snowman stretching and growing tall; then shrink as you melt.  The second just uses wiggly five fingers.

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Contact Info for Babette

email babette(dot)reeves(at)gmail(dot)com
snail mail
73 State Avenue
Alamosa, CO 81101

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