Yes, indeed, Kansas teachers were awesome last week when I visited Garden City. I didn’t see Toto or the Wizard, but I did bring back some great ideas for you!
You Made My Day (Cheryl Degenhardt)
Make a poster for your door that says “You Made My Day.” When children do something special write their name and date.
Balloon Song (Pameal Tuller)
Ask the child to tell you their name, a color, and if they choose loud or soft.
Sing this song to the tune of “Itsy Bitsy Spider” inserting their name, color, and loud/soft.
Child’s name had a color balloon
And so he/she blew and blew. (Blow, blow, blow.)
Until it got all big and fat
And grew and grew and grew. (Spread hands demonstrating balloon growing.)
Child’s name tossed it in the air
And never let it drop
Until it landed on the ground
And softly or loudly clap it went POP!
Crocodile – Crocodile (Lindsay Barta)
Add crocodile features (mouth and head) to a green bucket Write sight words, letters, blends, numbers, etc. on cards and place them in the bucket. On one or two cards write “Snap! Snap!"
Say this poem and make the motions as you begin the game:
Crocodile, crocodile (Open arms wide and clap hands.)
Down by the lake (Make arms in a circle.)
I’m going to reach in (Put hand in the bucket.)
And see what you ate. (Fingers to mouth like eating.)
If children draw the “Snap! Snap!” card everyone snaps and they put their cards back in the crocodile’s mouth and start all over again.
Pretzel Hug (Chelsea)
Cross arms and clasp fingers. Breath as you bring clasped hands down, under, and up towards chest. This helps children center themselves and relax.
Purchase a laser pointer with the end cap that can be changed to create a star, heart, mouse, etc. Dim the lights and point at sight words, letters, numerals, shapes, etc.
b d Confusion
As you say “a b c d” make these motions.
“A” left hand on thigh flat.
“B” make a “b” with fingers on left thigh.
“C” right hand on thigh flat.
“D” make lowercase “d” with fingers on right thigh.
Arm out and rotate as you go “/sh/ /sh/ /sh/.”
As sprinkler returns to start go “/ch/ /ch/ /ch/.”
Feed the Shark (Heidi Cundiff)
Make a shark out of foam board and tape two back to back.
Cut out a mouth and tape on white foam teeth.
Put a bucket in the back to catch the fish.
Cut out fish from cardboard and write letters, colors, shapes, numbers, words, etc. on them.
Children stand behind a line and try to “feed the shark” by tossing the fish in his mouth. They must say what is on the fish before tossing it.
Room Spray (Megan Ford)
When your room needs a fresh smell, spray and call it “magic dust” or “brain food.”
Silent Hoorays (Megan Ford)
Cheer wildly silently.
Mighty Oh Yeah
Kids clap big and say, “Oh, yeah!”
“Brush it off” as you swipe your shoulder.
Fly Swatter Game (Melissa Dahlke)
Buy a giant fly swatter at the dollar store. Cut out fly shapes and write letters, words, names, colors, etc. on them. Children identify the information as they swat the fly.
Couth and Sneeze Song (Tune: “Farmer in the Dell”)
When you have to cough and sneeze
Use a Kleenex, if you please.
Use your elbow or your sleeve,
Don’t be disgusting.
Emotion Blocks (LaShaina Lee-Flax)
Buy to wooden cube blocks. Paint one green and one red. On one block write emotions on each side. On the other block write an animal on each side. Children take turns rolling the blocks. They act out what they roll. For example: sad monkey or angry elephant
Good-Bye Transition (Haley Jackson)
This idea is from I LOVE YOU RITUALS and could be used for your own children or children with separation anxiety.
You’ve been gone.
You’ve been missed.
Here is an angel
With a “Hello” kiss!
*Use a stuffed animal, your hand, or an actual kiss.
The Russell Child Development Center sponsored the family concert and teacher workshop. They are a beautiful example of what can happen when a community joins hands and works together for children. Check out this website and facebook page to learn more about what they are doing.