Tuesday, December 27, 2011

SOUP in January

JANUARY is right around the corner and what a great time to enjoy soup and explore the months of the year!

No better book for celebrating both than Chicken Soup With Rice by Maurice Sendak.

Combine Sendak's words with the singer/songwriter talent of Carole King (a voice that was a huge part of the soundtrack of my childhood) and you get I'm Really Rosie a record which included Chicken Soup With Rice in song. By the time I was my daughter's age, I had read, listened, and sung them both a million times.

Of course we have the book, but (despite still having a record player to play it) had long ago given the album away to a little girl I met named Rosie. So I was beside myself with joy while Christmas shopping for Zoe this year to find the Maurice Sendak Scholastic Video CD Collection (which includes 4 songs off the Really Rosie album, including Chicken Soup with Rice!!) Words, song, AND artwork come together in the best $5.99 ever spent! My favorite gift to my daughter this Christmas.

Easy to sing and engaging rhyme means fun for all ages. So whether you remember it or not, please turn up the volume and enjoy reading, singing, and rhyming about the months of the year to Chicken Soup With Rice!

And then go have some warm soup...

Peace and love to all this holiday season!


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A COLOR of his own

"If I remain on a leaf
I shall be green forever,
And so I too shall have a color of my own."

I love this story of transformation and friendship by Leo Lionni. Read it and then enjoy some fun CHAMELEON facts together...

Chameleons are REPTILES and members of the LIZARD family. Like all reptiles (such as turtles, snakes, alligators and crocs) they have hard, dry scales.

Their tongues are twice as long as their bodies. Show me your tongue! How long would your tongue be if it were "twice as long" as your body?? What do they use their sticky tongues to do? Catch bugs! Pretend to catch bugs with tongue, while rocking back and forth...

"They move very slowly with a rocking movement grasping a branch with feet and tail." * Their tails are PREHENSILE which means they can grip with them. Continue rocking back and forth and then grip the branch with your tail - reach back with one arm and pretend to grip branch!

They have "flattened" bodies with bulging eyes that move independently. Make binnoculars with your hands around your eyes and move them around separately.

And of course, chameleons change color! Insert fun color activity here such as: using different colors of construction paper, have your child stand in front of each while you ask, "What color are you now, Chameleon??"

Side note for grown-ups about color change in chameleons:

The changes in skin color, seen in certain other lizards as well, are under hormonal and nervous control. They are not affected by the color of the background but by stimuli such as light, temperature, and emotion and are used most dramatically in contests between rivals and to attract a mate. *


Finish things off with a craft by making polka dots on something, anything, the possibilities are truly endless, but if you want to tie-in to the resolution of the story, make sure your dots are white on something red..

"And so they remained side by side.
They were green together
and purple
and yellow
and red with white polka dots.
And they lived happily ever after."

sources: zoo curriculum and *encyclopedia.com

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I Love You, Sun, I Love You, Moon

I love you, stars.
I love you, water.
I love you, wolf.
I love you, moon.

The simple structure of this book will have you hooked the very first time you read it.

Read it very, very slowly before nap or bedtime. Or read it chorally and pause to talk about the topics that interest you.

We love this book and think you will too...

Some of our favorite act-along moments after first reading once through, uninterrupted:

Sun - rise and set your sun overhead.
Sheep - learn sign for sheep, make sheep sound.
Wind/Tree - make wind sound while bending your tree branch arms.
Bird - learn sign, fly like a bird, balance like a flamingo.
Fish - sign, breath like a fish, opening and closing your gills.
Flower - be a flower growing from a seed.
Rabbit - sign and talk about how they can't move their feet separately but have to jump everywhere they go, jump like a rabbit.
Stars - shine stars above head and sing Twinkle
Wolf - learn sign and howl like a wolf.
Moon - sing a moon song, rise and set moon over head.

Have fun reading and being!