Last week was busy, busy with a workshop in Columbia, SC, and the NAEYC Conference in DC. There was a lot of “stuff” in the exhibit hall. It is tempting to get caught up in the materialism of early childhood and to believe that we need the latest and greatest technology, toys, and equipment. Mary Blenner really touched my heart when she remarked, “Teachers think they have to have great activities that are super fun to make school fun. The reality is that teachers have to be FUN and school will be FUN for the children!” Amen!
There were several exhibits with natural equipment (tree trunks as benches and limbs for climbers) at the Conference. I loved these forest crowns made with sentence strips, double sided tape, and leaves and natural objects found on the ground.
Magic Bag (Towson University Students)
Bring in an empty bag and tell the students it is filled with shoes. The students have to pull out a pair of shoes and act out what the shoes are. For example, they could pull out ice skates and ice skate around…ballet shoes and dance…fins and swim…etc.
A New Handshake (David Bedard)
Burger – Bump fists together.
Fries – Fingers up and back of hands together.
Shake – Arms up and shake around.
Turn and Talk (Holli Grolosky)
When children share with a partner they say, “Eyes to eyes and knees to knees.”
When reading with a partner they say, “Elbows to elbows and knees to knees. I read to you and you read to me. The book’s in the middle so we both can see!”
Can-Have-Are (Macon Turner)
Make a flip book with three sections. Write “can,” “have,” “are” on the front. Children open and write descriptions for animals, plants, and other topics you are studying.
Peanut Butter Plus (Sara Jane Campbell)
When doing the song, “Peanut butter, we like peanut butter,” do different exercises on the chorus. For example, toe touches, jumping jacks, twists, run in place, etc. After practicing the song several times let students lead and pick movements to do during the chorus.
*Write the motions on cards and randomly pull them out.