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Wednesday, January 31, 2024


Share the LOVE this month with these songs. You can download the books on

Will You Be My Valentine?
(Tune: “Do You Know the Muffin Man?”)
Will you be my Valentine, (Point to various friends.)
Valentine, Valentine?
Will you be my Valentine?
I’ll be yours if you’ll be mine! (Point to self and then a friend.)

Some are red, some are blue, (Hold up fingers.)
Some have lace and ribbons, too.
Some are funny, some are not. (Smile and then shake head “no.”)
I like the candy ones a lot.
*Download this book at

Bringing Home a Valentine
(Tune: “Baby Bumblebee”)
I’m bringing home a valentine for you, (Cup hands and move them to
One that says, “I love you.” the beat in front of your body.)
I’m bringing home a valentine for you
With a great big hug, and a (kiss) (kiss), too! (Hug self and then kiss
in the air.)

The Broken Heart

Here’s a story just right for this month to help children think about how words can hurt. Cut a large heart out of red construction paper and hold it in your lap as you begin to tell the story below:

This is a story about a special friend named (imaginary name). He always came to school with a smile on his face and a big heart full of love for his classmates. (Hold up the big heart.) (Name) listened to his teacher, did his best work, and helped his friends. However, some of his friends weren’t always so kind. Joe made fun of his shoes and broke a little of his heart. (Tear off a piece of the heart and let it drop to the floor.) Ann said, “I’m saving this seat and you can’t sit here” at story time and broke a little more of his heart. Sammy wouldn’t share his crayons (tear off a little of the heart) and Sara called him a mean name. What are some other things that might break his heart? (Let the children name other things that cause hurt feelings as you let the pieces fall to the floor.) By the end of the day his heart was all in pieces and it was so sad.

Who can tell me how to put his heart back together? What are some kind things you can do for your friends? As children name different acts of kindness pick the pieces of the heart off the floor. Glue the pieces together on a poster as a reminder to have a kind heart. Encourage children to write friends’ names on the poster when they are kind and helpful to them!

Run off "Kindness Tickets" and distribute them to your students. Children can thank friends for a kindness shown by writing their name on a ticket.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024


Special Delivery
This is an activity I did over 50 years ago in my classroom, and I bet your class will enjoy it just like my children did.

You will need a gift bag or cloth bag for this game. Write "Special Delivery" on the bag. Each child writes his or her name on an envelope and places it in the mailbag. One child is “it” (aka mail carrier) and skips around the room as you sing the song below. At the end of the song, “it” reaches in the bag and chooses an envelope. “It” delivers the envelope to that child and they exchange places. The game continues until each child has had a turn and received an envelope.

The Mail Carrier (Tune: “The Farmer in the Dell”)
The mail carrier is on the way.
The mail carrier is on the way.
Bringing lots of Valentines,
I hope they comes my way.

*You could use photos and first names for younger children.

Chocolate Play Dough (Not edible)
Make play dough using your favorite recipe. Omit the food coloring and let the children knead the dough in cocoa. It will look and smell like chocolate. Purchase a box of valentine candies and remove/eat the candies. Children can roll up the dough and put them in the paper containers.

Valentine Sandwich (Edible)
You will need a heart shaped cookie cutter, bread, cream cheese, and red food coloring to make this sandwich. Mix the cream cheese with red food coloring until it is pink. Cut a heart out of the bread with the cookie cutter. Spread on the cream cheese.

Five Little Cookies
(Hold up 5 fingers to begin.)
Down around the corner at the bakery shop
Five little cookies with sprinkles on top.
Along came (child’s name) with a penny one day.
He/she bought one cookie and ate it right away!

*Make cookies out of felt or fun foam. Pass out pennies to five children have them exchange their penny for a cookie when their name is called.
(I used puff fabric paint to make my sprinkles.)

Heart Puzzle
Cut 4" circles out of red paper. Cut 4" squares out of red paper. Give each child a circle and a square. Demonstrate how to fold the circle in half and cut on the crease to make two half circles (semi-circles). Can the children make a heart from the two halves and the square? 

Monday, January 29, 2024


Some things never go out of style, such as conversation hearts. According to a little research on the web, “Sweetheart” candies have been around since 1901. In the past decade the sayings have been updated with phrases such as “TEXT Me” and “LOL.” Although over 100 years old, it’s good to see these little candies alive and well. Here are some adaptations for using them as a springboard for learning.

Conversation Hearts
Conversation hearts are good to sort, count, read, pattern, add, subtract, and eat!

*Estimate how many will be in a bag. Count. Graph the ones that are the same.

Matching Game
Make a game by cutting paper hearts out of construction paper. Write like phrases found on candy hearts (such as “Kiss Me, “Cool One,” “WOW!” “Cutie Pie”) on two of the hearts. Glue one to a file folder and then have children match and read the ones that go together.

Heart Necklace
Let children make their own paper hearts, hole punch them, and then string them to make a necklace. Encourage them to think of their own phrases they would put on candies. (WOW! Trace, write, hole punch, and string - lots of small motor skills!)

Here's a video where you can watch me demonstrate some of these Valentine activities.

Sunday, January 28, 2024


Groundhog Day is this Friday, but you'll want to give this little guy some attention one day this week.

Groundhog Day – February 2nd (Tune: “Say, Say, My Playmate”)
February 2nd, (Hold up 2 fingers.)
Is Groundhog Day.
Gather round his hole (Make circular motion.)
To hear what he’ll say. (Place hand by ear.)
Will spring be early
Or late this year?
Watch and listen
To what you’ll hear.

If he sticks his head out (Make a hole with one hand.)
On a sunny day (Stick the index finger from the other hand
His shadow will frighten him (up through the hole and wiggle.)
And he will say,
“I’ll go back in my hole (Tuck finger in your fist.)
And go back to sleep.
You’ll have winter
For six more weeks.”

If he sticks his head out (Make a hole with fist and stick up finger.)
On a cloudy day
He’s not frightened
So he will say, (Wiggle finger.)
“I think I’ll stay out
And the weather should clear.
Spring will be here
Early this year.”
*You can download the book at

Cup Puppet
Let children draw a groundhog or download one off the internet. Staple to a straw. Punch a hole in the bottom of a paper cup and insert the straw in the cup. Raise and lower the groundhog as appropriate in the song.

Sidewalk Shadows
Go outside on a sunny day and have children stand with their backs to the sun. Let them make silly motions and play “Guess what I am?” Give them chalk and let them trace around each other’s shadows.
*Draw shadows at 10, 12, and 2 and compare.

*Play shadow tag where they try to touch each other's shadows.

Where’s the Groundhog?
Cut twenty 4” squares out of heavy paper. Write high frequency words, math facts, letters, numerals, etc. on the cards. Glue a picture of a groundhog on a 3" circle. Have the children sit on the floor in a circle. Mix up the cards and place them face up on the floor. Identify the numeral (etc.) on each card as you place it down on the floor. Tell the children to turn around. Hide the groundhog under one of the squares. Children turn back around and try and guess where the groundhog is hiding. One at a time children call out a number and then “peek” to see if the groundhog is under it. The first child to find the groundhog gets to have a turn hiding it. The game continues as children hide the groundhog and then try to discover his whereabouts.

Invite children to dramatize the groundhog peeping out of his hole. What if it's sunny? What if it's cloudy?

Note! Visit for more great ideas!

P.S.  You can watch me demonstrate some of these February activities on a video I did a few years ago.

Saturday, January 27, 2024


Are you working on your February lesson plans this weekend? Here are some "lovely" ways to tie the holiday in with skills and standards.


How many ways can you say, “I love you”? Teach children sign language for the term, and then challenge them to demonstrate other ways to say “I love you.” (For example, curl in your fingers and then touch your thumbs to make a heart shape. Hug yourself and then point to someone. Explain that people put “X O” at the end of a letter to represent a kiss and a hug.)

*Make a list of all the school helpers that you appreciate and make cards for them using thumbprints or hand print flowers with sign language for “love.”

Fold two sheets of paper in half and staple. Ask children to write predictable books starting each page with “Love is…” Younger children could draw pictures and older students could write detailed sentences.

Draw a heart in the middle of a sheet of paper and write the word “love” in the middle. Younger students could draw pictures of things they love, while older students could write synonyms for the word.

*This would be a perfect opportunity to demonstrate the use of a thesaurus.

Take the word “love” and use it for teaching tenses, comparisons, prefixes, etc.
“He love me.” What would sound better?
Love – unloved
Love - loving

Put a heart sticker in the middle of a sheet of paper. Challenge children to write a poem about the sticker and around the sticker. They could also write an acrostic poem with the word “valentine” or “heart.”

You can use a paper heart or three-dimensional heart for this activity. Have children close their eyes while you hide the heart somewhere in the room in plain sight. When they open their eyes, they can stick up their thumb when they spy the heart. If they are called on, they have to describe where the heart is using positional words. For example, “The heart is under the clock beside the calendar.” That child then gets a turn to hide the heart.

Make pointers by attaching heart stickers to craft sticks. Children can use these for reading and also for demonstrating positional words. “Put your heart over your head. Put your heart under your chin. Put your heart behind your back…”

Friday, January 26, 2024


Play dough can be a learning tool just like worksheets and computer games. Although play dough wasn't invented until the 1950's, molding materials, such as clay, have been an integral part of early childhood programs forever. For thousands of years children have joyfully played with mud and sand.

Here's a FREE book for you on PLAY DOUGH POWER!


and here's where you can watch the video:

Brain Research
When children tap and swipe on a device or sit passively gazing at a big screen there is little sensory input in the brain. We know that the only way information can get IN the brain is through the senses. Think about how much more input there is when children touch, see, talk, and hear when they are using play dough.

Small Motor Skills
Pinching, squeezing, rolling, and molding dough is like sending little fingers to the gym. Many children's small muscles are not developed and they struggle to hold a pencil and write. Play dough is a natural way to strengthen those little hands.

Social Skills
All you have to do is put out some play dough for a small group of children and observe. They will learn to share and spontaneously communicate with their friends about what they are making. They'll also challenge their friends to be creative.

Emotional Skills
Play dough is a great release for children who are stressed or have the fidgets. As they manipulate the material they can release pent up energy and calm themselves.

So many crafts and things we give children have steps and a "model" for them to reproduce. Play dough is a blank canvas that can be turned into anything! Whatever the child creates is theirs and represents the "process" rather than the "product."

Hint! You'll find these center ideas using play dough in the free download.

The Play Dough Song Tune: “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”
(Children make the motions with the play dough as they sing.)
Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze play dough (Children squeeze dough.)
Feels so good to me.
Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze play dough
It’s easy peasy! 

Poke – Poke fingers in the dough. 

Pinch – Pinch off pieces of the dough. 

Roll – Roll the dough into a snake. 

Pat – Pat like a pancake. 

You know, I never thought about children with gluten allergies having a reaction to most play dough recipes.  Fortunately, my good friend Barbara Lees shared this recipe with me!!!  Thanks, Barbara!

Thursday, January 25, 2024


The weather outside is frightful,
But inside our game is delightful.
And since we can’t go out to play
Here are some indoor games for today.

Silent Touch
This is a great game to quiet children and build memory skills. The first child gets up and touches an object and then sits down. The second child gets up, touches the first object, then touches an additional object. The third child touches the first object, second object, and adds a third object. The game continues as classmates touch what the previous children have touched in sequential order and then add a new item. When a child forgets, simply begin the game all over again.

Four Corners (This is the BEST indoor game ever!)
Number each of the corners in the room ~ 1, 2, 3, 4. (You can write the numerals on paper and hang them up if you want.) Choose one person to be “it.” “It” hides their eyes and slowly counts from one to ten as the rest of the class tiptoes to a corner in the room. When “it” says “freeze,” everyone must be in a corner. “It” then calls out a number (1, 2, 3, or 4) and the children in that corner are out of the game. They sit down in the “stew pot” in the middle of the room. “It” counts to ten again as everyone moves to a new corner. The game continues until there is one person left. That person becomes the new “it.”
Hint! Shorten the game by having “it” call out two corners at a time.

*If there is no one in the corner, ask “it” to call out another number.

*Label the corners with sight words or vocabulary words.

One child is the “detective.” The detective describes a “missing child” (classmate), giving their eye color, hair color, description of clothing, likes, etc. The first person to identify the missing child gets to be the new detective.

Hint! Here is another variation of this game. Send the detective out in the hall. Select one child and hide him or her under your desk or behind a shelf. The detective returns to the classroom and tries to identify the missing child. (You can also let two children exchange seats and see if the detective can spot the switch.)

Hot Potato
You can use a small ball, bean bag, or stuffed animal for this game. Children sit or stand in a circle. Children begin passing the “hot potato” (ball or bean bag) around the room when the music starts. Explain that it is a “hot potato” and they need to pass it quickly to the next friend. When the music stops, the one holding the “hot potato” is out of the game and must leave the circle. If two children are holding it they are both out. The last child remaining is the winner. Begin the game again.

Silent Ball
You will need a small, soft ball for this game. Explain that the object of the game is to see how many times you can toss the ball without talking. Look at the person you are throwing the ball to so they will be ready. Silently count how many times we can throw the ball without talking or dropping it. If someone talks or drops the ball, then the game begins all over again.

Tower Topple
This game is similar to Jenga. Have children get a block and then sit in a circle. The first child begins building the tower by placing her block in the middle of the circle. The second child places his block on top of hers...The game continues as children try to build the tower higher and higher. When it falls over every shouts "tower topple" and the game begins again.

Going On A Trip

The first player begins by saying, “I’m going on a trip and I’m taking (names an object).” Second player says, “I’m going on atrip and I’m taking (names first object and names a second
object).” Next child says, “I’m going on a trip and I’m taking(names first object, second object, and names a third object).”  The game continues as each player tries to remember previous
objects. When a player forgets, begin the game all over again.

*You can also name objects in alphabetical order. For example, the first person says something that begins with an “A,” the second person names something that begins with a “B,” and so on.
Change the game to “going on a picnic,” “going to the moon,” etc.

Penny ~ Penny
One person is “it.” “It” chooses three friends to leave the classroom. While the three are out of the room, “it” walks around the room and places a penny in one child’s hands. All the children
cup their hands as if they are holding the penny. The three children are then called back into the classroom. The three walk around the room opening hands until one finds the penny and says, “Penny, penny, I found the penny!” That child then becomes “it” and the game continues.

*Let children hide a seasonal toy, such as a bunny or a pumpkin.
*Play a similar game by having one child leave the room as youhide a small object. Guide her to the object by saying “cold” when she is far away and “hot” as she gets closer to the object.

Children will have fun “performing” and “stumping” their classmates with this game. One child at a time gets up in front of the room. The child acts out a nursery rhyme as her friends try to guess
which one it might be. The first child to guess correctly gets to act out the next rhyme. (You might need to suggest rhymes to younger children.)

*Children could also act out book titles, songs, feelings, animals, or other categories.
*Children can make sounds or simply pantomime.
“Statues” is a similar game where children work in groups and freeze in position to symbolize a book, song, or other event.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024


Bill Cosby had it right when he said that children were "parent deaf." Sometimes they are "teacher deaf" as well. K.J. is often so busy saying, "What?" that it seems he doesn't bother to listen at all. There is a funny story called BENDEMOLENA (THE CAT WHO WORE A POT ON HER HEAD). Do you have any students that seem to be wearing pots on their heads?

*Try lowering your voice. Remind children to listen with their eyes, ears, and bodies. (You might need to have a class discussion about what that means.)

*Make a copy of a giant ear and tape it to a stick. When you hold up the ear children know they need to listen with big ears!

*Focus children’s attention, and then practice giving directions ONE time. If children need a prompt, invite another student to repeat what you have said.

*Occasionally, have children close their eyes when you read a story. Can they make pictures in their brain? Can they identify story elements? Can they retell the sequence?

*Sing songs or say nursery rhymes with your eyes closed.

Here are some other activities to encourage children to listen up!

Mystery Sounds - Ask children to close their eyes. Walk around the room making different noises (open the door, ring a bell, sharpen a pencil) while children identify what you are doing.

Sound Walk - Take the children on a “silent” nature walk. Challenge them
to remember all the sounds that they can hear. Make a list of all the sounds when you return to the classroom.

Story Sounds - Invite the children to add sounds as you read a story. Prompt
them before you read by telling them to roar for the dinosaur, squeak for the mouse, or snap for rain.

Animal Sounds - Learning animal sounds is a natural way to develop language
and listening skills. Sing songs such as “Old MacDonald” and play “Guess Who I Am?” where children make animal noises for their friends to identify.

Name That Tune
Demonstrate how to play this game by humming the tune to familiar songs. Let children take turns humming tunes as their classmates guess the name of the song.

Gossip - Have children sit in a circle. Whisper a simple message in the first child’s ear. That child passes the message to the person sitting next to them and so on around the circle. The last child repeats what she heard, which is usually far from the original whisper.

Perfect Pitch - Hum a note and ask children to join in. Vary the pitch from high to low. You can also use a xylophone or other class instrument to play this game.

To Grandmother’s House We Go -Place 5-10 objects on a table or shelf in a far corner of the room. Have your class sit with you in the opposite corner of the room. Take a basket or grocery sack and that they are going to get to take turns going to grandmother’s house. “We’re going to pretend that grandmother lives over there in the other side of the room.” One at a time select a child to go to grandmother’s. Give her the bag and name one thing that you want her to get for you at grandmother’s. Explain that you’ll only tell her one time, so she’ll have to listen very carefully. Instruct the rest of the class to sit quietly so they can remember to see if she gets the right thing. The child skips across the room, selects the named object, puts it in the bag, and returns to the teacher. Cheer if she remembers the correct object.

*Start with one object and make it increasingly difficult by adding more objects or descriptive words. For example, “Bring me something that is red and grows on a tree.” “Bring me the book, the block, and the blue crayon.”

Tuesday, January 23, 2024


Comprehension is the reason for reading…Good readers are both purposeful and active. (National Institute for Literacy.) 

Good readers are always looking for information and trying to make connections. Talking, writing, dramatizations, and art are just a few of the ways children can demonstrate what they have read (or heard as young learners).

Who? What? Where? When? Why?
Sing this song to the tune of “Ten Little Indians” before reading a story so children will be looking for the information:
Who? What? Where? When? Why?
Who? What? Where? When? Why?
Who? What? Where? When? Why?
Ask questions when you read.

I’ve Got the Whole Story in My Hands

Hold up your hand as you sing to the tune of “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands:”
I’ve got the whole story in my hand,
I’ve got the whole story in my hand,
I've got the whole story in my hand,
And I can read.
I’ve got the who, what, when, where, why…
And I can read! 

*Write story elements on the fingers of a cloth glove and use them to recall details. In addition to "who, what, where, when, why" you could write "somebody" "wanted" "but" "so" "then." You could also write "title" "author" "beginning" "middle" "end."

Story Sticks

You will need large craft sticks and a sock for this project.
Write a different story element (characters, setting, problem, resolution, etc.) on each stick with a marker. Place the sticks in the sock and throw the sock over your shoulder before you begin to read. It will be a reminder to your class to focus on those things. After reading the story, let different students choose a stick and tell that part of the story.
*Write story elements on index cards and put them in a sack.

Mama Mia
Make a pizza out of cardboard and felt. Write story elements under slices. Children pick a slice and tell about it.

Monday, January 22, 2024


Have you ever heard the saying: "Work smarter, not harder." That's what I like so much about the brain research. There are some very simple strategies that you can easily integrate into your day that can improve learning in powerful ways.

According to brain research children need to recall information throughout the day. (Think of it as that extra pat on the back or a second helping of dessert.) Here are a few tips for having children recall information after you’ve read a story, taught a lesson, or at the end of the day.

Thumbs Up Thinking
If you’ve learned something new you can stick up your thumb. If you’ve learned more than one new thing you can stick up a finger for each additional thing.

Right Now! Right Now! 
Stop at random times in the day and shout, “Right now, right now, right now, right now! Who can raise their hand and tell me something they know right now that they didn’t know when they came in the classroom this morning?”

Partner Share 
Have children turn to a friend and share something new they learned.

Toss and Tell 
Take a bean bag or wadded up paper ball. Ask a review question and then toss the ball to a student. The student answers the question or says something they learned and then tosses the ball back to you. Continue as time permits.

Let children make “thinking pads” by cutting scrap paper into fourths. Staple about 10 sheets together. Use thinking pads to have children illustrate what they’ve learned after a lesson or after reading a book.

Pass around a play microphone or telephone for children to state what they’ve learned.
*Let children pretend they are a news reporter and state facts about the day.

Catch a Star
Ask children to think of something new they learned or something they did that made them feel proud. Tell them to reach up and grab a star and then put it in their hearts.

Close Your Eyes and Smile
Have children close their eyes. If they can see something new they learned they can open their eyes and smile at you.

Fist List
Children make a fist and then hold up a finger for each new thing they learned that day.

Kiss Your Brain 
Write “Kiss Your Brain!” on a poster and tape it to your door. Before children leave for the day they must say something they learned and then kiss their brains.

Start a beat for this chant by slapping thighs and clapping hands. Go around the room as you say the chant and children respond:
Hey, Hey, what do you say?
What did you learn in school today?

So, what do you RECALL from reading my blog today? Can you use one of these ideas in your classroom this year?

Sunday, January 21, 2024


“Dance with the stars” in your room and activate the brain at the same time. All you need is some good music and a little enthusiasm. 

Hint! Model these moves and then invite children to join in. 

*Children can do these standing up or sitting in their chairs.

Disco Dance – Put right index finger in the air and point to the left. Bring right index finger down by your side. Place left index finger in the air and point to the right. Then bring down by your side.

Swim - Pretend to swim by stroking arms. Can you backstroke? Sidestroke?

Funky Monkey - Fists out in front and move them up and down to the beat.

Hitchhike - Right thumb up and move across your body. Left thumb and move across the body.

Twist - Elbows by waist and rotate upper body.

Chicken - Hands in armpits and flap like wings.

Pony – Pretend to hold reins as you bounce up and down.

Batman – Make “v” with index and middle fingers and swoop them across your eyes.

Salsa - Left arm bent with index finger up in the air. Right arm bent with finger in air.

Bollywood – Right palm up in the air like you’re screwing in a light bulb. Left palm down like you’re turning on a water spicket.

This has to be one of my all time favorite brain breaks!

Hand Jive
Materials: familiar music
Directions: Play a broadway tune, college fight song, country music, rock and roll, or anything that YOU like that has a strong, steady beat.
Slap thighs four times
Clap hands four times
Shuffle right palm over left palm four times
Shuffle left palm over right palm four times
Thump right fist on left fist four times
Thump left fist on right fist four times
Hitch hike with right hand
Hitch hike with left hand…
Continue the pattern.

Hanky Panky
Tell the students when you throw the handkerchief (or tissue) up in the air they can start doing a silly dance and make funny noises. When the hanky hits the ground they must freeze. Do this several times to get rid of wiggles.

Saturday, January 20, 2024


Did you know that balancing is good for your brain? It strengthens the core and helps you focus. You can practice balancing if you are a young child, school ager, teenager, parent, or older adult. It's something the whole family can do TOGETHER! Besides, you don't need any equipment or special space.

Note! Experts say that just like any sport the more you practice balancing the better you will become. Balance daily for a week and you might be surprised!

Balancing Brains
Have children stand. How long can they balance on their right foot? How long can they balance on their left foot?

Can they balance on their toes?

Can they balance on their right foot and extend their left leg in the air?

Can they balance on their left foot and extend their right leg in the air.

Can they balance on one foot with their eyes closed?

Can they balance on one foot and count? Count by 2’s, 5’s, 10’s, etc.

Can they balance on one foot and say a nursery rhyme or their ABC's?

Can they balance and say the days of the week, months of the year, seasons, and so forth?

Balancing Act
Feet together, close your eyes, (Close eyes breath in and out.)
And breath slowly in and out.
Open your eyes, (Balance on left foot.)
Lift your right foot and balance on the left.
Put your arms out straight. (Arms out wide as you balance.)
Now reach for the stars. (Arms up in the air as you balance.)
Place your right foot on the floor
And raise your left foot. (Balance on right foot.)
Put your arms out straight. (Arms out wide as you balance.)
Now reach for the stars. (Arms up in the air as you balance.)
Place your left foot on the floor
And raise your right knee. (Lift right knee and balance on left foot.)
Can you bend your arms like a tree in the wind? (Move arms around.)
Place your right foot down
And raise your left knee. (Lift left knee and balance on right foot.)
Can you bend your arms like a tree in the wind? (Move arms around.)
Place your left foot on the floor.
Raise your right knee (Straighten right leg in the air and balance.)
And then stretch your right leg out straight.
Bend your right knee and place it on the floor.
Raise your left knee (Straighten left leg in the air and balance.)
And then stretch your left leg out straight.
Bend your left knee and place it on the floor.
Raise your right leg to the side. (Straighten right leg by side.)
Place your right leg on the floor.
Raise your left leg to the side. (Straighten left leg by side.)
Place your left leg on the floor.
Stand on your left leg. (Balance on left leg.)
Stretch out your arms. (Stretch arms out wide.)
Bend forward like an airplane. (Slowly bend forwards as you balance.)
Stand on your right leg. (Balance on right leg.)
Stretch out your arms. (Stretch arms out wide.)
Bend forward like an airplane. (Slowly bend forwards as you balance.)
Stand up on tippy toes. (Stretch up on toes and balance.)
Stand still for as long as you can.
Raise your right hand and place (Raise right hand and pat on back.)
It on your back and give yourself a pat.
Raise your left hand and place (Raise left hand and pat on back.)
It on your back and give yourself a pat.
Now close your eyes and slowly breath in and out.
Let your mind take you to a happy place.

Jumping Brains
Yes, jumping is another great tip to shake up the children's brains and release wiggles. Ask children to stand and challenge them to jump in their space as long as they can. When they get tired they can sit back in their seats.

Friday, January 19, 2024


Here are some simple and inexpensive tools for energizing brains and bodies anytime, anywhere, and with any skill.

Drum Sticks
Materials: paper towel cardboard rollers, markers, music

Directions: Let children decorate the paper towel rollers with markers. Play some popular music and invite children to keep time to the beat. They can tap on their desk, on their knees, on their shoulders, and other parts of their bodies.

*Cross and tap with the drum sticks.

Variations: You can also use pencils, craft sticks, or plastic cups for making music.

Materials: surveying tape or ribbon, or pieces of toilet paper

Directions: Cut surveying tape or ribbon in 2’ sections. Pass these out to students and have them follow along as you make different motions to the music.

*Play follow the leader as different students make motions for friends to follow along.

*Use streamers for “invisible writing” as you practice making shapes, numbers, letters, and words.

Variations: Use strips of toilet paper for streamers.

*Tie several ribbons to craft sticks to make magic wands.

Paper Plates
Materials: inexpensive paper plates, catchy music

Directions: Give each child two paper plates and have them follow along as you clap in front of you, behind you, and make other movements.

*Place plates on the floor and put one foot on each plate. Shuffle feet and pretend to skate around the room on the plates.

*Sit on the plate and spin around.

Variations: Give children plastic spoons to tap on the plates.

Materials: juggling scarves or scrap paper wadded into balls

Directions: Pass out one scarf or a paper ball to each child.

*Begin with one ball or scarf and have the children toss and catch it. Can they toss it, clap one time, and catch it? Can they toss it, turn around, and catch it?

*Can they count, rhyme, or sing the alphabet song as they juggle?

*Challenge children to toss and catch two objects at a time.

Materials: swim noodles

Directions: Cut swim noodles into 8” - 9” sections. Pass these out to your students give them a few minutes to “mess around” and pretend they are Luke Skywalker. Explain that whenever you say “Statue of Liberty” they have to freeze and hold their noodle up like a torch.

*Follow the Leader – Play some music and have the students follow along with you as you cross the midline and make other movements with the noodle.

*Air Writing – Use noodles to practice pre-writing strokes, letters, shapes, numerals, and so forth in the air with big movements.

*Massage – Brush noodles down arms or legs. Place the noodle on the floor and roll on it to give yourself a massage.

Therapy Bands
Materials: therapy bands

Directions: Purchase a large roll of exercise resistance bands and cut it into 18” sections. Cut these in half horizontally and give one to each child.

*Children can stretch the bands as they extend sounds in a word.

*Exercise with the bands as you count, say the ABC’s, read word wall words, spell, and so forth.

*Stretch above your head, behind you, vertically, etc.

Variations: Use a dishtowel to make the movements.