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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Busy Little Bee finger play

Fingerplays serve several purposes in the lives of young children. Not only are they fun for little ones who first reach out to the world with their fingers, fingerplays encourage both manual dexterity and cognitive activity. While the child manipulates their fingers, hands, and body movement through imitation and repeated movement, thereby improving fine motor skills, they are also learning to observe rhythm of language, develop listening skills and increase vocabulary.

For both the parent and child, fingerplays can ease transitions within the daily rhythm, by providing a repetitious end of one activity and beginning of a new activity. Fingerplays can also prepare a child for a new adventure or remind them of fun times past. Here is one we used with our sons last summer:

Busy Little Bee

As I was walking, I saw a little bee

(Move pointer finger to resemble a flying bee.)

He was flying from flower to flower in front of me.

(Bring fingers of one hand together & touch one side of your nose then the other – the ASL sign for “flower”)

He was making golden honey on this sunny summer day.

(Hold arms above head with fingers touching to resemble the sun.)

I watched him fly and buzz until he flew away.

(Move pointer finger in zigzags away from you.)

Friday, August 27, 2010

This moment

A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemama.
A single photo.
A moment to treasure.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I'm a little choo-choo (finger play)


I’m a little choo-choo,

(Extend 2 fingers in a V-shape on both hands move one set of fingers across the other – the ASL sign for train.)

I puff down my track.

(Bend elbows & move arms back & forth like train wheels chugging.)

See me go forward,

(Take 3 steps forward while chugging.)

See me go back.

(Take 3 steps backward while chugging.)

Hear my bell ring,

(Pretend to hold the string of a bell pulling up & down.)

Here my whistle blow.

(Hold fist up to mouth & pretend to blow a whistle.)

I make great noise wherever I go.

(Cover ears with hands.)

Friday, August 20, 2010

this moment

 A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemama.
A single photo.
A moment to treasure.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Play silk fun

It seems that the majority of blogs that have crafts for kids include dying play silks in their posts. I am now, no exception. Today, after a nice long walk to the nearby fruit/vegetable stand, the oldest and I dyed play silks using kool-aid. We followed the instructions found at make baby stuff.

We started out by putting all the silks in a large pot that had 3 cups of white vinegar and 5 cups of hot water. Since I was working with a child, I put a splat mat in my work area to make clean up easier.

While that sat, we prepared our dye. We had 6 different colors and 10 play silks of various sizes.

Depending on the size of the play silk(s) we used for each color, we put 1 parts vinegar to 2 parts warm water in 6 bowls and mixed in 1 or 2 packets of kool aid. Naturally, the darker shade the water/vinegar mixture is, the stronger the color of the silk will be. We also added a couple of drops of food coloring to the yellow and green and used only food coloring for the blue. An added bonus: the kool aid made our kitchen smell fruity!

Next, we put our play silks in the dye making sure they were well and evenly covered with the dye. If you do not want them to look splotchy, try to get out all of the air pockets so no part of the silk is floating on top. (We figured this out after they dried, but we kind of like the various shades.)

We let each silk sit in it's dye for several minutes then rinsed each one separately in cool water until the water ran clear.

Next we laid them out to dry. Cloth diapers were hanging on the line so we used our deck chairs, making sue the silks did not touch so dye would not bleed off one onto another. After a couple of hours the silks were dry and ready for play.

Our home was quickly converted to a superhero's playspace!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Little Bluebird fingerplay

Little Bluebird

(Begin with one hand palm up for the tree branch and other fist on top for the nest & bluebird.)

Little bluebird rests in a tree.

(Thumb stick out of fist as a bluebird.)

Little bluebird looks at me.

(Nod thumb.)

Little bluebird chirps, “Hello.”

(Tap thumb and index finger together to chirp.- the ASL sign for “bird”)

Spread your wings and away you go!

(Cross hands, hook thumbs and wave fingers to “fly away.”)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

WIP (work in progress) Fairy Treehouse

I started this fairy treehouse for Aidan's birthday in June, with help from my father in-law who provided the branch, and my husband who cut the platforms.  It is still a work in progress, but for now, it is where our fairies reside and play, especially on rainy days when our time outside is limited.  (I will show progress with stairs, ladders, hammocks,a fairy ring, a pond, felted friends, pulleys and more in future posts.)  
If you want to see more fairy habitats, check out  The Magic Onions' annual fairy garden competition.

Friday, August 13, 2010

this moment

 A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemama.
A single photo.
A moment to treasure.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Inspiring Blogs

There are so many blogs that inspire me to guide my family toward simple, in-the-moment living that I thought I would share a few.

Syrendell - a lovely blog of a family with a wonderful theme: Love, Abundance, Peace, Health, Happiness (LAPHH)

The Parenting Passageway - resource for peaceful parenting for a hectic world

Rhythm of the Home - an online magazine that encourages family warmth, celebration, play and connection.

The Magic Onion - (as the author writes) "Where the magic of nature and the wonder of childhood collide to make each moment a precious gift." - I couldn't agree more.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sleepy Caterpillars

During the summer months, we find ourselves outdoors for most of the day. This is a wonderful opportunity to use fingerplays to relate to nature. As we observe the natural world, our little ones, who feel akin to nature and are deeply rooted in their bodies, can fully engage the world around them with nature-based fingerplay. We can make them up on the spot, or memorize a few favorites to have ready during our daily walks or outdoor adventures. Here is a simple one to get you started:

Sleepy Caterpillars

Let’s go to sleep the caterpillars said…

(Wiggle fingers)

As they tuck themselves into their beds.

(Make a fist)

They will awaken by and by,

(Open hand one finger at a time)

And each one will be a lovely butterfly.

(Cross hands, link thumbs & wave fingers like wings)

Friday, August 6, 2010

this moment

 A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemama.
A single photo.
A moment in the past week to treasure.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

At the Beach - fingerplay

My boys have always enjoyed fingerplays so I thought I would share some of our favorites with you every Sunday. (They are a fun way to develop a child's fine motor skills and imagination at the same time.)

Seeing as it is summer and we all enjoy vacations at the beach,  I will start with At the Beach, found in A Child's Seasonal Treasury

At the Beach

Build a sandcastle to the sky,                  
(Pat air, move hands upward.)
Make a moat so when waves roll by,
(Make a big circle with arms in front of body.)
The castle will stand with its sandy wall
(Hold arms upright with fingertips touching.)
'Til high tide comes and then it will fall.
(Fingers flutter at rooftop, and slowly flutter downward to lap.)

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