Monday, October 21, 2019


How about some ideas for geometry?  You can use these activities with young children or school age by adapting the shapes.  You might even “spy” some of your state standards here!!!

The Shape Song  (Tune:  "I'm a Little Teapot"- "October Happies")
I am momma circle round like a pie. (Hands over head in a circle.)
I’m baby triangle three sides have I. (Use 3 fingers to make a triangle.)
I am papa square my sides are four. (Draw a square in the air.)
I’m cousin rectangle shaped like a door. (Draw a rectangle in the air and then knock.)

I am brother oval shaped like a zero. (Make oval with arms over head.)
I’m sister diamond with a sparkle and a glow. (Touch thumbs and index fingers and extend.)
We are the shapes that you all know. (Make circles with index fingers and thumbs and
Look for us wherever you go. place around your eyes like glasses.)

Note! Explain that “rhombus” is the correct term for the diamond shape. Sing the song calling sister a “rhombus” instead of a “diamond.”

*Have children draw shapes in the air with elbows, feet, noses, and other body parts.

*Place foam shapes or 3-dimensional shapes in a bottle filled with sand or salt. Children spin it around and try to identify the shapes.  Can they draw the different shapes that they spy?

Body Shapes
Divide children into small groups and challenge them to lay on the floor and make various shapes with their bodies.  How many friends will it take to make a triangle?  A square?  A pentagon?  Take pictures and make a book.

*Make spyglasses for “spying” shapes by wrapping construction paper around paper towel rolls.  

*Cut geometric shapes out of construction paper and let children use them to make a collage.  Can they combine simple shapes to make larger shapes?

*Cut sponges into geometric shapes and have children dip them in paint and stamp on paper.

*Download highway shapes from  Children can drive around these with toy cars or they can roll play dough and place it on the shapes.

*Go on a walk and look for shapes in your school and on the playground.


Shape Book
Fold two sheets of paper in half and staple. Children decorate the front of their book with shapes. Next, they walk around the room and draw shapes that they see. Can they label the shapes?
*This would be a good homework activity to help children be more aware of the shapes around their home.

Play Dough Book
Draw lines, curves, and geometric shapes with a marker on file folders. Laminate. Bind file folders with rings to make a book. Children roll play dough and place it on top of the shapes.


Offer children pipe cleaners, Wikki stix, etc. and challenge them to make various shapes with the items.

Pretzel Shapes 
Give children pretzel sticks and pretzel twists and challenge them to make geometric shapes. How many pretzel sticks will you need to make a hexagon? How many pretzel sticks will you need to make a triangle?


*Challenge them to make letters with the pretzels.  This is fun to do with a partner as they take turns making letters and identifying them.

Sunday, October 20, 2019


What classroom doesn't have magnetic numbers? 

They are a plentiful, multi-sensory tool to develop number concepts!

You can hide them, sort them, touch them, and take a look...

Numerical Order 
Put numbers in order 0, 1, 2, 3… 

Tens and Ones 
How many tens? How many ones? 
Can you make 56? 

Fact Families 
Give children two addends and the sum and have them make and write the 

More? Less? Equal? 
Place numbers in a bag. Children pull out two numbers. Which is more? 
Which is less? Or, are they equal? 

Pick a Number 
Children choose a number from a bag and then make a set to equal that amount. 

*Let children choose a number and then lead the class in doing that number of jumping jacks, toe touches, or other exercises.

What’s the Answer? 
Write addition and subtraction facts on a file folder. Children answer with a 
magnetic number. 

Daily Number 
Put magnetic numbers in a bag. Each day select two from the bag and put 
them together on the board. What’s the number? Count forwards. Count 
backwards. How many tens? How many ones? 
Number Sticks 
Glue shapes and numerals to jumbo craft sticks. Children can match these up to shapes and numerals in the classroom. They can also use these as you count, tell number stories, or sing songs.


Little Red Number Box (Sarah Wilson)
Put magnetic numbers in a metal tin and then sing the song as you pull out a number. Then count to that number.
For example: I wish I had a little tin box to put a 6 in. I’d take it out and count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and put it back in.

Saturday, October 19, 2019


Oh, my! Those little hands may not be ready to write numerals, but the curriculum says they should. Believe it or not, 20 years ago we didn't even teach children to write numbers in kindergarten. We saved that for first grade. Now, we are expecting pre-k children to write numbers. I can't change your curriculum, but I can give you some songs and activities that may make it a little more positive and meaningful.

The Numeral Song (“Sing to Learn” CD)
This song goes to the tune of "Skip to My Lou." Have children stand and use their index finger to write in the air. Everybody's writing will look "good" when you do it in the air!

Come right down and that is all. 

Come right down and that is all.
Come right down and that is all
To make the numeral one. (Hold up 1 finger.)

2 – Curve around and slide to the right…
3 – Curve in and around again…
4 – Down, over, down some more…
5 – Down, around, put on a hat…
6 – Curve in and around again…
7 – Slide to the right and slant it down…
8 – Make an “s” then close the gate…
9 – Circle around then come right down…
10 – Come right down, then make a zero…
We can sing the “Numeral Song”…
And make numerals all day long!

*Let children do air writing with other body parts, such as their elbow, foot, etc.  

They can also practice writing on their palm or a friend's back.


*Squirt shaving cream on a safe surface so the children can practice making numbers.

*Have children practice writing numbers in salt, sand, and other sensory materials.

Number Chant
Children can associate numbers with the amount with this song and video. Encourage them to hold up the appropriate number of fingers as you sing.


Theme Books (Beth Cordier)
Let children make books for whatever theme you’re studying. Make a word wall with words from the theme. (Put magnetic tape on the back so children can take them off and copy them.) Children choose a different word for each page and illustrate it.

*Older children could write sentences with the words.

For example: Fall Theme
Page 1 “Pumpkin”
Page 2 “Leaves”
Page 3 “Squirrels”
Page 4 “Footballs”


Here's another song where children can stand and practice writing numerals without getting frustrated.

Chant and Write (“Totally Math” CD)

(Children echo each line.)
Zero is where it all begins- (Slap thighs to the beat.)
Curve down around and up again.
Number one is so much fun—
Pull straight down and you’ve got a one.
Number two is easy to do—
Up around down and across makes two.
Number three is simple to see—
Draw two humps sideways and that’s a three.
Number four I do adore—
Go down, across, then down some more.
We’ve reached five, now let’s not stop—
Pull down, circle round, put a hat on top.
Number six is easy to fix—
Big curve, small loop will give you six.
Number seven is really sizzlin’—
Straight across, slant down, and that’s a seven.
Number eight isn’t very straight—
Make “S” then back up for an eight.
Number nine I think you’re fine—
A loop on top of a long straight line.
Number ten we’ve reached the end—
Put a one by a zero and count again:

Highway Numbers
Children can trace over numerals with toy cars or they can roll play dough and place it on top of the numerals. 


Friday, October 18, 2019


Rhymes are words that end with the same sound. Rhymes are common in poems, songs, and many children’s books. Cat, hat, rat, and bat are examples of words that rhyme. Being able to identify words that rhyme is key to developing phonological awareness.
Now, teaching children to identify words that rhyme doesn’t happen in one day. The curriculum guide may say, “The children will learn to rhyme today,” but you and I know it takes many, many, many activities where children listen, speak, sing, and chant to develop that skill. Traditional nursery rhymes, songs, and books are the most natural way to nurture rhymes, but here are a few more activities where children can rhyme in a “playful” way.

Handy Rhymes 
Have children extend their arms as they say pairs of words that rhyme and sing to the tune of “Skip to My Lou.”

     sun (extend right hand)
     fun (extend left hand)
     Those words rhyme.
     sun (extend right hand)
     fun (extend left hand)
     Those words rhyme.
     sun (extend right hand)
     fun (extend left hand)
     Those words rhyme.
     They both end with “un.” (Roll arms around as you say this.)

*As they progress, the teacher says a word as children extend their right hand. Children say their own rhyming word as they extend their left hand.

Rhyme Detectives
Tell the children that they will get to be detectives and listen for words that rhyme. You’ll say two words, and if they rhyme they put their pinkies up. Pinkies down if the words don’t rhyme.
For example: Cat - hat (pinkies up), run - dog (pinkies down).

Rhythm Rhyme
Start a beat by slapping legs two times, clapping hands two times, and snapping fingers two times. On the first snapping beat the teacher says a word. On the second snapping beat the children say a word that rhymes.

     Slap, slap, clap, clap, snap, snap.
     Slap, slap, clap, clap, mitten. (Teacher says.)
     Slap, slap, clap, clap, kitten. (Children say a word that rhymes.)

Rhyme Ball
You will need a ball, beanbag, or other object to toss for this game. Children sit or stand in a circle. The teacher says a word and then tosses the ball to a child. As the child catches the ball, she must say a word that rhymes.

Rhyming Puzzles
Glue rhyming pictures on opposite sides of a 3” x 5” index cards. Cut a puzzle shape between pictures. Mix up and have children put rhymes together.

*Make games with socks, mittens, shoes, etc. where children use clothes pins to put the rhyming pictures together.


*Mr. Google has some great free printables with rhyming pictures.

Riddle Rhyme Game
Let children make up their own rhymes in this game. First, they choose an object in the room. Next, they say a word that it rhymes with, along with another clue.
For example: “This rhymes with hair and it is something you sit on.” “This
rhymes with look and it is something you read.”

Rhyme Bag Homework
Give each child a paper lunch bag and ask them to bring in two objects from home that rhyme. As children share their items the following day encourage them to think of other words that rhyme.

Thursday, October 17, 2019


You know it makes me sad that so many of you are not allowed to cook in your classrooms any more. When I think of the cooking experiences I had with my students it makes me smile. One of my favorite memories was when we were making pizzas. I said, “Let’s put them on the pan so I can bake them.” Floyd, a precious red head said, “That’s O.K., teacher, I’ll just eat my raw!”

Years ago a teacher sent me these recipes to tie in with nursery rhymes.  I wish I could remember who to give them credit to!  Even if you can’t have food in your classroom, you might enjoy making these with your own child, a neighbor, a scout troop, or a grown friend!  They are too "sweet" to be forgotten!

                                                 Ole King Cole’s Coins
Every king has a treasure trove filled with coins so why not make these healthy coins to fill up your students.

Fresh carrots
Ranch dressing

Have the students wash and scrub the carrots with a vegetable brush. Now slice them up so that they look like coins. Let the children dip their coins in the Ranch dressing.

Name Cakes
After singing the ABC’s the children can eat them with me!

Rice cakes
Peanut butter, cream cheese or frosting
Alphabet cookies

Find the letters of you name and place them on the table. Spread the topping of your choice over the rice cake and decorate with the letter that you name begins with.

Jack Horner’s Thumbprint Biscuits
Jack Horner stuck in his thumb and pulled out a plumb, but your children will get a kick out of sticking their thumbs in a biscuit.

Canned biscuits
Grape jelly

Give each child a biscuit and tell them to stick their thumb in the middle. Let them fill the hole in the middle with a spoonful of grape jelly. Bake according to directions on the package. Have your children say, “What a good (boy, girl) am I!

Moon Pizzas
The cow jumped over the moon and the astronauts landed on the moon. This recipe will add a whole new dimension to the rhyme or a study of the solar system.

English muffins
Pizza sauce
Shredded mozzarella
*Pepperoni, olive slices or cheeses shaped liked stars or moons are optional

Toast the English muffins ahead to time - especially if you like your pizza crust crunchy. Now spread the pizza sauce over the surface of the moon (English muffin) and add the mozzarella and other toppings of your choice. Bake at 350 degrees until the cheese melts.

Little Miss Muffet
Cottage cheese is very similar to curds and whey, so add a little fresh fruit to cottage cheese for snack.

Itsy Bitsy Spider Sandwich

Use a large plastic cup to cut a circle out of a piece of bread. Spread peanut butter, cream cheese, or Nutrella on the circle. Add eyes (raisins or chocolate chips), a mouth (M& M or cinnamon candy), and legs (pretzels, carrot sticks, or Cheetos).
*For a sweeter spider, put icing on a large sugar cookie and use licorice twists for legs.


Muffin Man Zucchini Muffins
The Muffin Man didn’t have this recipe in his cookbook, but now you do.

½ cup grated zucchini
1 egg
2 Tablespoons of oil
¼ cup of honey
¼ cup of grated lemon peel
¾ cup of flour
½ teaspoon of baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cinnamon

Add the first five ingredients and mix well. Now add the rest and pour into muffin tins that have liners added. Bake at 400 degrees for twenty minutes. I’ll bet the Muffin man steals this recipe.

Humpty Dumpty
What could be better than hard boiled "Humpty Dumpty" eggs?  Let children draw Humpty on a hard boiled egg, crack the shell, eat the egg, and then try to put the shell back together again.  

Wednesday, October 16, 2019


Did you know that October 16th is Dictionary Day? It's actually Noah Webster's birthday and a perfect day to let each child make her own personal dictionary.


Materials: pocket folder, prepared pages with alphabet letters, markers

*Here’s a link where you can download the pages with letters:

Directions: Ask students to tell you what they know about dictionaries. Brainstorm the many uses of dictionaries. Model looking up words and reading definitions. Explain that each of them will get to create their own dictionary that they can use to help them the rest of the school year. First, let the children decorate the outside of their pocket folder. Insert the alphabet pages. As you add new words to the word wall or have new spelling words, ask the children to write them in their dictionary.  These would also be a meaningful way to introduce vocabulary words.  Encourage students to use their dictionaries when they write independently. 

Hint! You might want to go ahead and type your core sight words on the pages before running them off.

Here are some other activities you can play with their dictionaries.

*Play “mystery word” where you give clues about words.
Can you find a word that starts with /m/ and ends with /d/?
Can you find a word that is the opposite of “fast”? 

*Play the “rhyme” game.
Can you find a word that rhymes with “bike”?
Can you find a word that rhymes with “log” and is a pet? 

*How many one letter words can you find? How many two letter words? Three letter words? 

*Ask children to clap out the syllables in words. 

*Can they match up words in their dictionaries with words in the classroom? 

*Sort words that refer to people, things we do, describing words, etc. 

*Have children find a word that starts with each letter in their name. 

*Have children make up sentences (oral or written) with the words. 

*Ask children to illustrate words or find magazine pictures that match the words.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019


You can take any rhyme and reinforce reading skills in a natural and meaningful way.  Here are a few ideas you can adapt for large group or small group instruction.


Choral Reading – Read together as you point to the words.

Shadow Reading – The teacher reads a line and then the children repeat the same line.

Take a Turn – The teacher reads a line and then the children read the next line and so forth.

Magic Word – Select a special word in the text. Every time you come to that word the children clap their hands or shout it out.


Rimes - Make a list of words that rhyme. Circle the letters that are the same. Can the children think of additional words that end with the same sound?

Syllabication - Clap, jump, or snap to the beat of the rhyme.


Use a highlighter to circle capital letters and punctuation.


When you come to unfamiliar words in rhymes model looking up definitions in a dictionary.


Story Elements - Discuss the characters, setting, problem, resolution, etc. in the nursery rhyme.

Sequence - What happened first, next, last? What do you think will happen next?


Track the words from left to right and top to bottom. Identify letters in the rhymes.


Identify high frequency words in rhymes.


Compare and contrast rhymes.

Describe the relationship between illustrations and rhymes.


Jack and Jill
Trace around the puppet pattern on heavy paper. Challenge the children to make the puppet look like “Jack” on one side and “Jill” on the other side. Attach a straw and use as a puppet.

What happened after Jack fell down? Here’s more to the story!

So up got Jack
And said to Jill
As in his arms he took her.
You’re not hurt, brush off that dirt.
Now, let’s go fetch that water.
So up got Jack and
Up got Jill to fetch that pail of water.
They brought it back to mother dear
Who thanked her son and daughter.

Humpty Dumpty
Give children the oval shape and scrap paper. Have them tear the scrap paper into little pieces and then glue it on the oval to make a collage. Attach a stick and use it as a puppet.

What happened to Humpty Dumpty?
So the good children got
Some tape and some glue
And they fiddled and faddled
Til’ he looked like new.
Then they carefully placed him
Back on the wall
And said, “Humpty Dumpty,
Please don’t fall!”

Baa Baa Black Sheep
Cut the sheep and the tops of the 3 bags of wool from the front of a file folder. Insert colored paper starting with black. Remove the black paper and then fill in the appropriate color word. (This would be something for the teacher to make and use with the children.)
Baa baa green sheep
Have you any wool?


Would you like patterns for the above craft activities?

Here are some good websites where you can download free nursery rhyme posters: