Monday, February 16, 2009

Raffi and My Inner Child

One of my favorite things about being a parent, is the opportunity it provides me to reconnect with childhood. Raffi is a constant source of entertainment for my inner child!

A children's singer and activist, his voice is like honey and instantly makes me feel five again. What a bonus that my daughter is equally as entranced by him! She likes to listen to him in the car on the way to preschool; and on more than one occasion, after drop-off, I find myself alone in the car continuing to listen and sing-along with him. I have a Raffi station! I find Baby Beluga running through my head in the check-out line at Sendik's..."Baby beluga in the deep blue sea...swim so wild and you swim so free..." At the dinner table, we often sing a round of Thanks A Lot, substituting our own words and experiences from the day. He's been the soundtrack to some of the most playful and sweet moments I've shared with my child.

And how lucky am I that I get to sing The More We Get Together every week with you?! Or that Knees Up Mother Brown has been so well received with with the little ones?!

So it's always surprising to me how many parents have said, "Who???" when I ask if they know of him. I recall one conversation when Bonnie thought I was talking about Ravi Shankar, the Indian sitarist. How funny! And then, last week after storytime, neither Jessica nor Susan had heard of him. Therefore, it is my intention that no one goes without a personal invitation into the RAFFI INNER CIRCLE of PARENTHOOD...

On the left, you'll find RAFFI in concert. This is a series of consecutive youtube clips from his Young Children's Concert from the 70s. Watch them (the shots of the children in the audience are so great!), or just shrink the clips down and enjoy listening, singing, and dancing to the music with your child. Either way, be sure not to miss "Thanks A Lot," my absolute favorite!

I hope your inner child enjoys him as much as I do!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Only You

"When sunlight shimmers, warm and gold...
I love your hand in mine, to hold."

That beautiful line from this month's Only You by Robin Cruise reminds me of this photo from the Parkway storytime days. How lucky I was to capture this special, candid moment between them. Little Ari's hand in Lola's as they share a book together - priceless.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Love and Friendship

"A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words." - Unknown

This February, we'll celebrate LOVE and FRIENDSHIP! What an exciting theme for our group considering there always seems to be so much of both in the room every Tuesday morning!

We'll read...

Will You Be My Friend? by Nancy Tafuri
Only You by Robin Cruise
Somethings Go Together by Charlotte Zolotow
My Bear and Me by Barbara Maitland
Mommy Loves Her Baby/Daddy Loves His Baby by Tara Jaye Morrow
What Grandmas Do Best/What Grandpas Do Best by Laura Numeroff
I Love You As Much by Laura Krauss Melmed
Animal Daddies and My Daddy by Barbara Shook Hazen
Corduroy by Don Freeman
I Like Me! by Nancy Carlson

We'll sing...

Besides our counting song, we'll have fun substituting different names of our friends in this song. Does anyone else remember this fun one from childhood?

"Move Over and Make Room"
Move over and make room for ____,
He/She doesn't take very much space,
Since ____ is one of our very best friends
We surely can find him/her a place!

Our February Fingerplay...
"Heart Shape" (more of a whole-body slow stretch than a fingerplay)
My hands are on my heart. This is where I'll start...
Up and out...around and down.
Now make the point right on the ground!
Now bring them back out...up and in.
Back on my heart, right under my chin!

We'll also learn/practice how to say "I love you" in sign language.

Finally, we'll have plenty of books for you and your child to choose from for one-on-one reading after our whole-group session.

Looking forward to warming up in February with everyone!