Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Make an Opera

Making an Opera

You will need plastic letters for each child.
The word “opera” printed on a chalk board or poster.

The more you use language with your children the better their brains will grow.

Singing is another way to use language that will help your children focus on words and what they mean.

Play a recording of any opera in English. One song is enough.

“The Telephone” by Menotti is a suggestion. This gives the children an opportunity to hear how words are sung instead of spoken.

Tell the children that you are going to have an opera at lunch. You will sing everything

Instead of speaking words like “here is a potato, or “would you like some milk,”, etc....sing the words.

Practice with the children sing the names of foods they will have at lunch.

Ask the children to take their plastic letters and copy the word “opera.”

Ideas that take this activity to the next level:
For building confidence :
You have a nice singing voice.
For developing the idea: What songs do you like to sing?
For moving forward: Instead of saying “I like peanut butter and jelly” can you sing those words to me?

Now you are singing opera!


Waggle Dancing  Music by Rimsky Korsakoff – Flight of the Bumblebee

You will need pictures of bees and their hives, and honey for tasting.

Honey is a very healthy and nutritious food.             

Bees make honey and this dance is about the bees.

Bees do the Waggle Dance to communicate with each other.

Select an area of the room for the hive.
The direction they fly when they return to the hive lets the other bees know where pollen has been located.

Bees also will circle around an area where food has been located. They wiggle their bottoms and circle the area. This is the Waggle Dance.

Place a flower or a replica of a flower on the floor.

Play the music.

Invite the children to spread their wings (arms) and circle the flower while wiggling their bottoms to the music.

After a few minutes change the location of the flower and invite the “bees” (children) to follow.

After changing the flower three times, fly back to the hive.

Music adds to the fun.

Ideas that take this activity to the next level:
For building confidence:
"I like the way that you do the Waggle Dance."
For developing the idea: "Have you ever eaten honey? Honey is very sticky. What did you have it with?"
For moving forward: "Let’s make up a story about a bee flying from flower to flower. What would be a good name for the bee in our story?"

Suggested Products from Discount School Supply®:
Multicultural Velour Soft Babies (ALLFOUR)
Fuzzy Bee Book (NBBK18)
Easy-Grip Puzzles (PEGAP)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Let's Play Dress Up!

Playing dress up gives children an opportunity to express their feelings, use language, and imagination.

You will need a basket filled with shoes, hats, scarves, gloves, jewelry and belts.
A full length mirror makes this game even more fun..

Pick out a hat and put it on your head. Then give another hat to a child.

Stand in front of the mirror and say or do something different with the hat on. For example, pretend to be another person and use a different voice.

Encourage the children to do something different in front of the mirror.
Ideas that take this activity to the next level:
For building confidence:
Say to the child “When I have on a cowboy hat, I say “howdy partner. Can you say that?”
For developing the idea: What would you say to me if you are wearing gloves?
For moving forward: Can you make your voice sound different when you put on the different clothes? Let’s put on some scarves and change our voices

Recommended book - We Love Dressing Up by Caroline Uff


Winter ClothesTell the children that you are going to pretend that it is cold outside with lots of snow and that there will be a pretend snowman in the room.

You will need mittens, scarves, hats, boots, and other winter clothes.
Choose one child to be the "snowman."
Tell the children that you are going to dress the snowman.

Ask the class, “What shall we put on first?”

Proceed putting on a hat, scarf, mittens, etc. on the snowman. 

Ask the children to look very closely at the clothes the pretend snowman is wearing. 

Now ask the children to close their eyes. While their eyes are closed, change one clothing item ( e.g.. put a different hat on) or take a piece of clothing item away.

Ask the children to uncover their eyes and guess what is different about the snowman. 

Encourage them to use complete sentences. Example: “The snowman’s hat is dfferent.”

Say the following snowman poem.

A Chubby Snowman - Author unknownA chubby little snowman
Had a carrot for a nose.
Along came a bunny
And what do you suppose?
That funny little bunny
Was looking for his lunch.
So he ate the snowman’s nose,
Nibble, nibble crunch!

Ideas that take this activity to the next level:
For building confidence:
Say to the child “Changing our clothes is something that we do often. When do you change your clothes?
For developing the idea: “When you dress yourself in the morning, what clothes do you put on and what clothes do you take off?”
For moving forward: “Can you tell me three things that you wear every day?”

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Exploring Texture with Infants

These games will help to grow the brains of infants and toddlers. Whether it’s through singing, dancing, cuddling, rocking, talking, smelling, or tasting, you can encourage the pathways of their brains to make new connections.

Babies need a variety of tactile experiences to become familiar with their world. An infant spends the majority of his first year of life learning through these tactile experiences.

Babies need touching experiences to “grow” the brain and “grow” the body. It is as critical as nutrients and vitamins.

Exploring texture is something that babies love to do. You can uses silky cloth, materials that are fuzzy, smooth, and furry.

Another lovely tactile experience is to take a hair dryer and blow gentle air on different parts of the baby’s body.

Here is a wonderful tactile game that you can play with your baby.

Using your index and middle fingers, gently tap on different parts of your infant’s body. As you tap, name the part of the body.

Use the following poem as a guide:

Tap, tap, tap
On my baby’s (or use baby’s name) cheek.
Tap, tap, tap
On my baby’s cheek. (take his hand and put it on his cheek)

Repeat this little poem, tapping on different parts of the body.

Ideas that take this activity to the next level:
For building confidence: Each time you tap a body part, clap your hands and shout “Hooray!”
For developing the idea: Reverse the game. Take your baby’s fingers and tap them on your body.
For moving forward: Play the game with a stuffed animal or doll.


Through songs and fingerplays, many important skills can be taught which are vital in the development of the brain.

The following rhyme develops sensory perception and fine motor skills. Say the rhyme as you touch your baby’s fingers one by one. On the final verse, wave your baby’s hand.

Tommy ThumbTommy thumb, Tommy thumb,
Where are you?
Here I am, here I am.
How do you do! (wave baby’s hand)
Peter pointer, Peter pointer,
Where are you?
Here I am, here I am.
How do you do! (wave baby’s hand)

Continue on with Toby tall, Ruby ring, Sally small, and fingers all.

Your baby will respond to your touch and your voice.

Ideas that take this activity to the next level:
For building confidence: Each time you touch your baby, kiss the finger you are touching.
For developing the idea: Reverse the process. Put the baby’s hand on your fingers.
For moving forward: After you play the game, add the song “Where is Thumbkin” to play with the fingers.