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Wednesday, May 31, 2023


A favorite book that I read several years ago was called THE MIRACLES OF SANTA FICO. It was the story of a beloved priest in a small village in Italy. His dying wish was to witness a miracle, and so all the villagers faked a miracle by gluing leaves to a withered fig tree. Of course, the priest wasn’t fooled, but his parting words were profound to me…

His life stretched out before him and for the first time he
realized that it had all been a miracle –everything—
every day—every accident—every coincidence—every
disappointment—every joy—all of it…It was all a miracle.

As teachers and parents we witness miracles every day. Children are born knowing nothing, and yet they miraculously learn to speak, walk, laugh, and sing. They come to school knowing very little, and they learn to read, share, write, cooperate, play games, and love learning.

As we say good-bye to this school year, think about all the miracles you've seen as you've polished your little stars!

THE STAR POLISHER (Source Unknown)

I have a great job in the universe of occupations.

What do I do? I’m a “star polisher.”

It’s a very important job. If you want to know how important, just go out at night and look at the stars twinkling and sparkling. You see, I’m a teacher, an educator, a mentor. The stars are the children in my class. My job is to take them – in whatever shape they come – and shine and buff them and then send them out to take their places as bright twinkling beacons in the sky. They come into my room in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes they’re bent, tarnished, dirty, crinkly or broken. Some stars are cuddly and soft. Some are prickly and thorny. As I buff and polish, I train and teach my little stars. I tell them that the world cannot do without them. I tell them they can be the brightest, shiniest stars in the sky and the world will be a better place because of them. Each night as I look at the sky, I’m reminded of my very important job and awesome responsibility. Then I get my soft buffing cloth and my bottle of polish in preparation for tomorrow…for my class of little stars.


Tuesday, May 30, 2023


As the school year ends, I wanted to share some thoughts on what administrators can do to help teachers LOVE their jobs and be excited when the school bell rings again.

1. Let your teachers TEACH. Give them autonomy to do their jobs and TRUST them to do what’s best for their students.

2. Be a real person and a good model for your teachers. Visit each classroom and do something FUN by reading a book, teaching a song, telling a joke, or doing a magic trick.

3. Support your teachers. Be careful not to let a single parent’s request sway what’s best for their child and the other children in the classroom.

4. Believe in the WHOLE child. A test score is a number. “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” And, sometimes, you can’t see that wonderful little person because of “data.”

5. The word “rigor” is not appropriate when talking about instruction for young children. The world keeps changing, but children are still children. They don’t all grow up in the same way at the same time, and they should not be expected to accomplish skills according to some master plan.

6. Please don’t give teachers any more "paperwork." Assessment and reports are driving instruction and consuming their day.

7. Teaching is a video not a snap shot. Is it fair to walk in a classroom, observe for 10 minutes, and then make negative comments to the teacher? Compliment teachers for what they are doing well. Give positive suggestions instead of critical remarks.

8. Listen, listen, listen to your teachers. Problem-solve, ask for their input, and collaborate on goals and issues. Instead of TELLING them, ask for their help and suggestions.

9. Don’t take away their JOY! If the children are engaged and enjoying an activity, do you have to ruin it by requiring “observable evidence”? Let it be! It’s O.K. to read a book without dissecting it with questions about the author’s purpose. It’s O.K. to take a walk outside to enjoy the peace and beauty of nature. It’s fine to sing a song or use a brain break to make children smile.

10. Remember that for some of your students “school” is as good as it’s going to get for them. You never know what’s going on at home, and school should be a wonderful world where they feel accepted, successful, and are excited about learning!

P.S. Remind parents that they are their child's first and most important teacher. Good manners, respect, kindness, and self-control all start at home!


Here's a positive goodie bag that some teachers in Fargo shared with me several years ago. Wouldn't it be a great surprise for your teacher friends when school begins?

Monday, May 29, 2023


For most of you Memorial Day means that summer is here and it’s time to get out those white shoes, the sprinkler, and the grill. However, I think it’s important to take a minute today and think about the real meaning of this holiday.

Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day because people decorated the gravesites of those who died during the Civil War. After World War I, it was extended to include all the women and men who died during military service.

The poppy has become a symbol of Memorial Day due to Moina Michael’s Poem “In Flanders Fields” (1915). 

We cherish too, the Poppy red

That grows on fields where valor led,

It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

Attending parades, visiting military gravesites, or decorating with flags are traditional ways to remember those who died serving our country.

Check out this website to learn more about Memorial Day:

*The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation.


Here's a link you can share with your families for some summer FUN!

Sunday, May 28, 2023


It’s almost summer, and that means the planes will be full of some happy children, some screaming children, some bored children, and some entertained children! I’m writing this blog in hopes that teachers can share these ideas with families of children they teach. You can put this on your class website, blog, or send it home with a summer fun packet.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when you travel with children. And if you’ll read these tips, I bet your fellow passengers will thank you for being on top of the game! Take advantage of the one-on-one time with your child by giving them 100% of your attention. After all, isn’t family time the best part of any vacation?

Planning Ahead
Several days before the trip start talking about your adventure and give details about what is going to happen. Have children close their eyes as you describe the trip – checking in at the airport - going through security - waiting for your flight to be called – getting on the plane and fastening your seatbelt – taking off – looking out the window – landing – how much fun you’ll have on your vacation, etc. Explain that there are many other people who will be sharing a small space on the plane and that everyone needs to be respectful and use their best manners and quiet voices. The pilots and flight attendants are there to keep everybody safe, so you will have to listen carefully to them.

Let your child pack a bag full of special objects that they want to carry on the plane. (You’ll have to give some guidelines for this so they don’t try and bring their entire collection of stuffed animals.) A few books, a tablet and markers, a card game, a bedtime buddy or blanket, and some healthy snacks should do the trick. You might also suggest a change of clothes, tissues, and bandaids in case of emergencies.
Note! I did not suggest a computer or IPad. Parents, you can pack this in your bag and save it for emergencies. Too often children play with these while waiting for their flights to take off and then they are bored by the time they get on the plane.

After going through security, walk around and look out the windows at the other planes. Look at all the passengers and guess where they might be going. Talk about special things that your child hopes to do on the trip. If the flight is delayed you can play “I Spy,” “Tic Tac Toe,” “Hangman” or another quiet game. Oh, and don’t forget a last minute stop in the restroom!

Taking Off
When boarding a plane, you’ll find most pilots enthusiastic about meeting children and letting them take a “peek” inside the cockpit. Can your child find her own seat? Once seated, encourage your child to explore her space. (It’s fine to open and shut the window shade a few times, look in the seat pocket, talk about the airsick bag, etc.) Playing with the flight attendant call button is NOT ALLOWED! When the boarding door has closed, then everyone must buckle up! 

Up in the Air
Once you are in the air, it’s time to open the backpack and read some books, play a game, draw some pictures, or eat a snack. If a beverage is served, show your child how to put down their tray and discuss their selection. Keep on talking and engaging your child.

O.K. Now, it’s time to get out the iPad or computer and watch a movie. Wait until the last possible moment to do this. This is like the 8th inning stretch on the plane. (I might also recommend a bag of M & M’s – for emergencies only!)  

Before you know it you will hear those magic words, “Please fasten your seatbelts. We will be landing shortly.”  

Remember, YOU are the parent and you are directing this event. With a happy, positive, attitude you’ll have a great flight and the other passengers will as well! How many opportunities do you have to give your child 100% of your attention? That may be the best part of your trip! 

Wishing you safe and happy travels!

Saturday, May 27, 2023


Father’s Day isn't until June 18th, but here are a few ideas for those of you who like to plan ahead. Your students, children, and grandchildren can all use these to make it a special day.

Breakfast in Bed
Give each child a 2 ½” circle and ask them to draw their father’s face when he is sleeping. Glue this to the top of the flat side of a paper lunch sack. Next, cut 4 ½ ” x 6” pieces of plaid or striped wrapping paper or wallpaper. Let children glue this to the sack under the sleeping head so it looks like their dad is in bed. Finally, let children make a card with this poem:

Breakfast in Bed
Since it is Father’s Day
I have something to say.
Don’t lift your head.
Have breakfast in bed!
In the bag you will see
Breakfast prepared by me!

Let children make muffins or another breakfast goodie and place it in the bag. Punch a hole in the top and tie on the card with a piece of ribbon.

Shirt and Tie Card
Fold a sheet of paper in half. Cut in several inches from each end about 1” down from the fold as shown. Bend each corner down to look like the collar of a shirt. Add buttons, a tie, and a special message inside.

Belt or Key Rack
You will need scraps of wood (2x4x10 works well), nails, and hammers for this project. Let children decorate the wood with paints or markers. Next, let them hammer 4 or 5 nails in the wood. Attach a hanger to the back.

Tie Holder
Let children cover a cardboard roller from paper towels with masculine wrapping paper. Insert a 24” piece of string and knot the ends so it can be hung from a nail to hold ties.

Note! This is a great opportunity to talk about different kinds of families. Some children may not have a father living with them, so those children can make a gift for a grandfather, uncle, or other special friend.

Friday, May 26, 2023


Happy, happy Memorial Day weekend! Remember last January when you thought you'd never been warm again? Time to pack a picnic and enjoy the sunshine!

Going On a Picnic
(Children repeat each line - similar to going on a bear hunt.)
We’re going on a picnic. (Slap hands on thighs to the beat.)
We’re going to pack a big one. (Arms out wide.)
With sandwiches, cookies, and lemonade, too. (Pretend to pack in your basket.)
Look over there. (Hand over eyes.)
It’s some tall grass.
Can’t go over it. (Hands up in the air.)
Can’t go under it. (Hands down low.)
Can’t go around it. (Circle hands around in front of body.)
I guess we’ll go through it. (Shrug shoulders.)
Swish, swish, swish, swish! (Brush palms against each other.)

Look over there. (Hands over eyes.)
It’s a lake…
I guess we’ll row across it.
Row, row, row your boat. (Pretend to row a boat.)

Look over there. (Hands over eyes.)
It’s a swamp…
Ooeey, gooey, ooey, gooey. (Pretend to tiptoe through mud.)

Look over there. (Hands over eyes.)
It’s a park. (Pretend to point at different things.)
It’s nice and shady.
It’s got a picnic bench.
We’re all so hungry
Let’s go eat! (Pretend to eat.)
Mmmmmmmm! (Pat tummy.)

*Let children make a map showing the different places they passed on the way to the picnic.

*Talk about healthy foods. Give children a lunch bag, grocery flyer, glue and scissors. Have them cut out foods and pack a healthy lunch.

*What kind of foods are good to take on a picnic? Why? What would happen if you took spaghetti or ice cream?

*Prepare a dramatic play kit for a picnic with a tablecloth (or towel), cups, plates, napkins, and plastic cutlery.

*Brainstorm all the fun things you can do on a picnic.

Thursday, May 25, 2023


How about some yummy snacks today?

Fire Cracker Sandwich 
Peanut butter, jelly, or other favorite sandwich filling 
Clear plastic wrap 
Yarn or ribbon 
Cut the crusts off the bread. Flatten the bread with a rolling pin. (The children just like to "smush" it with their hand.) Spread on your sandwich filling. Roll up tightly like a jelly roll. Wrap in a piece of plastic wrap. Twist the ends of the plastic wrap and tie with a piece of ribbon. It will look like a firecracker! 


Edible Mud Pies 
Instant chocolate pudding 
2 cups cold milk 
Flat bottom ice cream cones 
Plastic container with tight sealing lid 
(Place the pudding mix in the plastic container before starting this activity.) Ask the children if they've ever had mud pies. Tell them you have and they're delicious. Show them the container and explain that it's dirt. Pass it around and let them smell it. (Be cool and don't let on!) Build vocabulary by talking about how dry the dirt is. What's the difference between dirt and mud? Suggest adding a liquid and pour in the two cups milk. Seal tightly, then pass the container around the group, encouraging each child to "shake, shake, shake." Open it up and have the children describe what happened. Serve in the ice cream cones. 
Adaptations: Add seeds (sunflowers) and a worm (gummy worm). 

*If you can find pistachio pudding you can make alligator pie.

Trail Mix 
pretzel sticks 
fish crackers 
chocolate chips 
ice cream cones  
Mix all the ingredients together and serve in an ice cream cone.  
Yippee ti yi yo! No mess because you can just eat the cone when you’re through with the mix. 
*Use cheese crackers, sunflower seeds, M&Ms, or other dry cereals in your trail mix. 

Ants on a Log 

peanut butter 
Take a stalk of celery (the log). Spread peanut butter (mud) in the celery. Place raisins (ants) on top of the peanut butter. March the ants into you mouth! MMMM!  
*Use cream cheese instead of peanut butter to make “birds in the snow.” 

Ice Cream in a Bag 
1 gallon size heavy duty zip bag 
1 sandwich size heavy duty zip bag 
1 cup whole milk 
1 heaping teaspoon of sugar 
1 squirt chocolate or strawberry syrup 
2 handfuls of ice 
1 tablespoon rock salt 
Pour the milk, sugar, and chocolate in the sandwich bag and zip. Place that bag in the larger bag, and then fill with ice. Sprinkle on the salt and zip shut. Throw the bag up and down for about 10 minutes until it starts to harden. 
*Wear mittens or gloves to keep your hands warm.  
*You can also make homemade ice cream with a small and a large coffee can. Fill the smaller can with the ice cream mixture. Place it in the larger can and pack with ice and salt. Children can “kick the can” until it freezes. 

Pudding Pops 

1 large (4oz.) package of regular pudding mix (not instant) 
3 cups milk 
large marshmallows 
popsicle sticks 
paper cups 
aluminum foil 
Stir the pudding mix and milk until well blended. Fill cups half full with the pudding mixture. Put a marshmallow on the end of the popsicle sticks, then insert them in the cups. Cover with foil to keep the marshmallows down. Freeze and enjoy! 
*For healthier frozen treats, freeze fruit juice, yogurt, or smoothies.

Life Preserver Sandwich
Cream cheese
Blue food coloring
Fish Crackers
Add a few drops of blue food coloring to the cream cheese. Let the children spread the cream cheese on one half of a bagel. Decorate with 4 or 5 fish crackers.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023



That's particularly true when it comes to children. Things your grandparents enjoyed, your parents enjoyed, and YOU enjoyed as a child will also be special to children in 2023! Tents are a good example of "TIMELESS FUN."

Children love to build tents, hide in tents, read in tents, and take imaginary adventures in tents. You can make these inside or outdoors. All you need is a blanket, box, pillows, and let those engineering skills begin!

Card Table Tent
Drape a blanket over a card table or picnic table. Spread a sleeping bag on the ground for a cozy retreat.

Porch Railing Tent
Pin one end of a blanket to the railing of a deck or porch. Pull out the opposite end and secure at an angle with bricks or rocks. This is a "cool" place for a game or book.

Cardboard Castle
An appliance box or other large box can be a "castle" to a child. Cut out doors and a window with a utility knife. (An adult will need to do this!) Let the children decorate with paints, markers, or crayons.

Back Pack
You will need a grocery sack, a small piece of Velcro, and two strips of fabric cut 2” by 24” for this project. Cut off three sides of the sack half way down. Fold down the remaining side and secure with Velcro. To add straps, cut four 2 ½” slits on the back. Thread the strips of fabric through that and tie the ends in knots. Let children decorate with markers or crayons. Perfect for a healthy snack or lunch!

Dress Up
Do you have an old suitcase in the attic or basement? Find some old shoes, hats, jewelry, nightgowns, or other old clothes and let the children play dress-up in the tents.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023


How about some outdoor art activities? These activities can be adapted for field day, a beach party, or summer camp.

Dirt Painting

Materials: dirt, water, plastic container, brushes, paper
Directions: Mix the dirt with water to make a thick liquid. Paint a picture with brushes or with fingers.
Adaptations: Look for different types of soil to create different shades of “dirt” paint.

Ice Cube Painting
Materials: plastic ice cube tray, paint, craft sticks, paper
Directions: Pour paint in ice cube trays and insert a craft stick in each section. Freeze. Pop the “paint cubes” out of the tray and swirl around on the paper. As the paint melts, it will create a design.
Adaptations: Make similar ice cubes with water and liquid water color.

Wheel Painting
Materials: toy cars, trucks, and other vehicles with wheels, paint, newsprint or large sheets of paper, paper plates
Directions: Put a small amount of paint in the paper plates. Dip the wheels of the vehicles in the paint, and then “drive” them across the paper.
Adaptations: Give children rubber fishing worms and dip them in paint. Wiggle across a sheet of paper to make designs.


Food Color Dip
Materials: 4 small cups, food coloring, paper towels, water
Directions: Take the cups and put water and a large squirt of food coloring in each cup. Children take a paper towel and fold it into a small square. They dip each corner in a different color. Open and dry.

Fence Painting
Materials: large sheets of paper, clothespins, paints, paint brushes
Directions: Attach large sheets of paper to a fence with clothespins.
Children can freely paint on the paper.

Fly Swatter Painting
Materials: butcher paper, fly swatter, paint, paper plate
Directions: Tape a large sheet of butcher paper to a fence. Put a small amount of paint on a paper plate. Let children dip a fly swatter in paint and then “swat” it on the paper.
*Let children make bugs out of thumbprints on the paper before using the fly swatters. 

Window Painting
Materials: shaving cream (non-menthol)
Directions: Squirt shaving cream on windows and let children fingerpaint. Clean up is easy with a hose.

Monday, May 22, 2023


Can you imagine sitting around a campfire and singing? Talk about a vanishing activity! No CD…no play list... no big screen…no musical instruments…just an engaging song and friends! My daughter and I were reminiscing that nobody sings like that any more. If you ever sang around a campfire as a child, it's a happy memory you will never forget.

The great thing about children is that you can still give them that special memory in your classroom or out on the playground. One day we built a fake campfire out of sticks. (I would have had the fire marshall after me if we built a real fire.) The kids found sticks, stuck marshmallows on the end, and pretended to roast them in the fire. It was hysterical, because they were totally into the experience. We then sang some of our favorite songs.

Little Cabin in the Woods
Little cabin in the woods.
(Make a square in the air with index fingers.)
Little man by the window stood.
(Hand over eyes.)
Saw a rabbit hopping by
(Two fingers up like ears and hop hand.)
Knocking at my door.
(Knock in the air.)
“Help me! Help me! Help me, please.
(Throw hands up in the air.)
For it’s cold and I might freeze.”
(Wrap arms around self and shake.)
Little rabbit come inside
(Motion “come.”)
Safely you’ll abide.
(Stick up 2 fingers on one hand and stroke with other hand.)

(Tune: “Sailing, Sailing, Over the Bounding Main” - Happy Everything CD)
Swimming, swimming, (Pretend to stroke arms.)
In the swimming pool. (Take index fingers and make a square in the air.)
When days are hot (Pretend to fan self.)
Or days are cold, (Rap arms around your self and shiver.)
in the swimming pool. (Make a square in the air.)
Back stroke, (Stroke arms backwards.)
Side stroke, (Swim to the side.)
Fancy diving, too. (Palms together and pretend to dive.)
There’s no place (Shake head “no.”)
I would rather be
Than in the swimming pool. (Make a square in the air.)

*The second time through hum the first line as you make the motions.
Third time hum the first two lines and make the motions.
With each verse omit the words and hum as you make the motions until you are just humming the song.

Yogi Bear
I don't know why I always liked this song so much, but check it out:

Here are some other favorite campfire songs:

Little Bunny Foo Foo
Found a Peanut
Coming Round the Mountain
Baby Fish
The Wheels on the Bus
Chica Boom Chica Boom

What songs do you remember singing as a child? Share them with your children.

Sunday, May 21, 2023


There are lots of fun games you can play outside with homemade equipment.

Take several water bottles and arrange them in a triangle. Children stand behind a line and roll a ball, trying to knock down the bottles. Count how many they knock down. Let children can take turns rolling the ball and setting up the bottles for each other.

Goofy Golf
You will need several small cardboard boxes. Turn the boxes upside down and cut an arch out of the bottom similar to a mouse hole. Set these up on the grass and let the children practice hitting golf balls in the holes. 

*You can also make a golf course with hula hoops.
*Use small brooms and tennis balls instead of golf clubs. 

Paddle Ball
To make paddles, place two paper plates together and staple ¾ of the way around. Insert the hand and use like a paddle. Roll up a scrap piece of paper to make a ball.

Balloon Tennis
Bend two coat hangers into diamond shapes. Stretch the legs of panty hose over the diamonds and knot at the end. Bend up the hook of the hangers and tape it to make handles. Blow up a balloon and you’re set of a tennis match!

Can Catch
You will need a tennis ball and empty Pringle’s can for this game. Children bounce the ball and try to catch it in the can. They can place this game by themselves or with a friend.

Bouncy Ball Lane
Draw a path on the sidewalk with chalk. Children take balls and try to bounce them on the designated line.

Saturday, May 20, 2023


You can integrate reading, writing, math, and exercise with a learning/fitness trail.

Materials: cardboard rectangles (8” x 10”), markers, tape

Directions: Have your students brainstorm different “body” and “brain” exercises and write them on the board.

For example:
10 jumping jacks
say a nursery rhyme
8 windmills
count backwards from 20
12 squats
name your city, state, and country
15 toe touches
name 5 insects
run in place
sing the ABC’s forwards and then backwards
count by 10’s to 100
hop on one foot – hop on the other foot

Divide children into small groups and let them choose an exercise, write it on a piece of cardboard, and decorate it.

Tape the exercises around the playground and let the fun begin.

Hint! Invite other classes to participate in your learning/fitness trail.

Note! If the weather is bad or you don't have an outdoor area you can create a similar challenge inside using paper plates.

You can use water bottles for weights, or just fill an empty bottle with beans or popcorn kernels. Your kids will LOVE them!

Friday, May 19, 2023


O.K., it’s almost the end of the school year and you’re just trying to hang in there. I’ve got a simple holiday that you can celebrate to engage your students.

May 22 is “Buy a Musical Instrument Day,” but I’ve changed it to “Make a Musical Instrument Day.”

Tin Pan Band

Get out the junk box and invite children to create a musical instrument.

*For homework ask families to create a musical instrument.

Classroom Objects
Challenge children to look around the classroom and find something they can use to make music.

*Two paper plates, cups, craft sticks, pencils, or blocks can be used to tap out a beat or repeat a pattern.

Body Parts
Brainstorm body parts can they “play” to make music. Snap fingers, clap hands, thump fists, stomp feet, and so forth.

Loud and Soft
What child hasn't wanted to be a conductor? Let them take turns leading their classmates as they play instruments. Demonstrate when the conductor's arms are open they should play loud, but when the conductor puts her hands close together they should play softly.

Thursday, May 18, 2023


Take Me Out to the Ball Game
Take me out to the ball game. (Hand in fist as if cheering.)
Take me out to the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts (Hold up one palm and then other.)
and Cracker Jacks.
I don’t care if we never get back, (Shake head “no.”)
For I’ll root, root, root for the home team. (Cheer with hand in the air.)
If they don’t win it’s a shame. (Open up palms and shake head.)
For it’s one, two, three strikes (Hold up fingers as you count and
You’re out! then stick up thumb like “out.”)
At the old ball game.

Cracker Jacks Book
Cut the front and back off a bag or box of Cracker Jacks. Cut paper the size of the bag and give each child a piece. Let them draw and write what prize they would like to find in a box of Cracker Jacks.

Skill Baseball
Take four paper plates and write "Home," "First," "Second," and "Third" on them. Arrange them in a diamond shape on the floor. Cut 4" circles out of heavy paper to make flash cards for this game. You can write words, math facts, letters, or any skill you want to reinforce. Write "home run" and "out" on a few. Divide the class into two teams. One child at a time comes up to home plate as the teacher pitches (holds up) a flash card. If the child can identify the information she moves on to first. If she doesn't know the answer that's an "out" for her team.

*You might want to have a 5 run limit per inning or the game could go on and on.

Use this "teachable moment" to talk about the different meanings of the word "root." Can children think of synonyms for "root"? 

Sports Day
Invite children to wear T-shirts of their favorite team to school one Friday. Those who play baseball, soccer, or another sport could wear their uniforms. Children could also bring balls and sports equipment for a special play time.

Hint! Make visors of your favorite baseball team from paper plates.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023


How about a “fishy” tale today?

You will need a file folder and 2 orange, 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 blue, and 1 black sheets of construction paper. Trace a fish shape on one side of the file folder and cut it out. Color around the fish so it looks like an ocean. Tape the sides of the folder together. Cut the construction paper into 7” x 9” rectangles. Place the construction paper behind the fish cutout in this order: orange, red, yellow, blue, black, and orange. Glue the words to the story to the back of the file folder so you can read it as you remove one sheet of paper at a time. Encourage the children to join in on the chant.


Once there was an orange fish named Mitch who could change his color with the swish of his tail. All he had to say was:
I’m Mitch the fish.
I swim and I swish.

And I can change my color
If I wish.

One day he was swimming around on the ocean floor and he saw a red lobster. He thought it would be fun to be a bright color like the lobster so he said:
I’m Mitch the fish.
I swim and I swish.
And I can change my color
If I wish.

Suddenly he turned red. (Remove the orange sheet of paper to make Mitch red.) The lobster said, “I’m the only sea creature who can be red. I’ll snap at you!” So Mitch decided he didn’t want to be red anymore. Just then he saw a yellow starfish and he said:
I’m Mitch the fish.
I swim and I swish.
And I can change my color
If I wish.

And with a swish of his tail Mitch turned yellow. (Remove the red paper to show the yellow.) The starfish said, “I’m the only creature who can be yellow. I’ll prickle you!” So Mitch decided he didn’t want to be yellow anymore. Mitch saw a blue whale and decided it would be fun to be blue so he said:
I’m Mitch the fish.
I swim and I swish.
And I can change my color
If I wish.

The whale said, “I’m the only creature in the sea who can be blue. I’ll spout water on you!” Mitch thought it might not be a good idea to be blue, so when he saw a shark he decided to be black and he said:
I’m Mitch the fish.
I swim and I swish.
And I can change my color
If I wish.

Well, you know the shark didn’t like Mitch being black and he said, “I’m going to get you!” Finally Mitch said:
I’m Mitch the fish.
I swim and I swish.
And I can change my color
If I wish.

And he turned back into being an orange fish again. Because being yourself is the very best thing that you can be!

Flying Fish
You can make a little flying fish from a strip of paper cut 8 ½” x 1 ½”. Cut slits halfway through near each end as shown. Hook the tabs together, toss it in the air, and watch your fish fly!

Tuesday, May 16, 2023


Children are fascinated by the thought of going fishing. Although, most of them won't actually get to put a worm on a hook and catch a fish, they'll still have fun with these activities.

Have You Ever Been Fishing? (Tune: “Turkey in the Straw”)
Have you ever been fishing (Pretend to fish.)
On a bright and sunny day, (Circle arms like the sun.)
When you see those little fishies (Fold hands and wiggle.)
Swimming up and down the bay?
With their hands in their pockets (Put hands in front.)
And their pockets in their pants. (Put hands in back.)
All the little fishies do the (Hands on hips and wiggle.)
Hoochie coochie dance!

*Sing fast, faster, and super duper fast!

Catch a Fish
Staple an 18” piece of string to the end of straw. Let children make fish out of construction paper and tie to the other end of the string. They can use these as they sing the song.

Catch and Eat
Give children a pretzel rod, some gold fish crackers, and a spoonful of peanut butter. Children dip the end of the rod in peanut butter and then catch a fish.

Here's a poem to say as they fish:

Down by the ocean,
What did I see?
Five little fishes smiling at me.
Along came (child’s name)
With a fishing pole one day.
He/she caught a fish and ate it right away.
Fish Finger Play
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, (Slowly hold up one finger at a time on right hand.)
I caught a fish alive. (Clap hands together as if catching a fish.)
6, 7, 8, 9, 10, (Hold up fingers on left hand.)
I let it go again. (Open palms and pretend to release.)
Why did you let that fishy go? (Shrug shoulders.)
Because it bit my finger so. (Hands on hips.)
Which finger did it bite? (Shrug shoulders.)
The little finger on my right. (Hold up pinky on right hand.)

Hint! Talk about double meanings of words by explaining what a "school" of fish means.

Paper Plate Fish
You will need paper plates, brad fasteners, markers, and crayons for this project. Cut a triangle out of the paper plate to be the mouth of the fish. Attach the triangle to the back with the brad fastener to make the tail. Color with crayons or paint with water colors.

Hint! Tie in "greater than" and "less than" with the fish's mouth.

Five Little Fish
(Tune: “Down in the Meadow in the Itty Bitty Pool”)
No little fishies swimming in the sea, (Hold up fist.)
Splishing and a splashing (Pretend to swim.)
And a rocking to the beat.
Here comes a little fishie, (Wave.)

Oh, say, “hello.”
One little fishie swimming in a row. (Hold up one finger.)

One little fishie… (Hold up one finger.)
Two little fishies… (Hold up two fingers.)
Three little fishies… (Hold up three fingers.)
Four little fishies… (Hold up four fingers.)
Five little fishies… (Hold up five fingers.)

*Choose 5 children to act out this song.

*Make fish puppets from old socks. Glue on googly eyes, fins, and a mouth as shown. Let wear these as they act out the song.

*Make fish out of felt and use on a flannel board to demonstrate addition and subtraction.

Baby Fish 
Baby fish, do-do, do-do-do-do, (Open and shut index
Baby fish, do-do, do-do-do-do. fingers to the beat.)
Baby fish, do-do, do-do-do-do, (Open and shut index
Baby fish, do-do, do-do-do-do. fingers to the beat.)

Momma fish… (Open and shut hands.)
Daddy fish… (Open and shut arms.)
Giant whale… (Extend arm and leg to make whale’s mouth.)

*Let children make up other verses, such as one about uncle fish, grandma fish, etc. Have the children suggest arm movements to do for the different fish.