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Friday, May 31, 2024


Today's blog gives a little love to social studies. It's amazing how many children don't even know the name of their state. These activities provide a challenge for younger children and older children to become EXPERTS about their state.

My State Book
Make a state book based on your state flower, animal, famous people, state bird, capitol, flag, insect, famous places, etc. (You can find these free on the internet.)

For example:

New Hampshire, New Hampshire, what do you see?
I see the Capitol in Concord looking at me.

Capitol in Concord, what do you see?
I see the purple lilac looking at me.

Purple lilac, purple lilac, what do you see?
I see the purple finch looking at me...and so forth

*The teacher who shared this idea said her kids loved reading this book and the parents were so impressed that their children knew more than they did about the state!

State Song (Jodie Slusher)
(Tune: “Farmer in the Dell”)
Virginia is our state.
Virginia is our state.
Richmond is our capitol.
Virginia is our state.

The World Family
(Tune: “The Wheels on the Bus”)
In this song, you can fill in the name of your school, city, state, country, continent, and planet.

The name of my school is ___, ___, ___.
The name of my school is ___.
That’s the name of my school.

The name of my city is...

The name of my state is...

The name of my country is United States.

The name of my continent is North America.

The name of my planet is Earth.

We’re all part of the world family, family, family.
We’re all part of the world family.
Let’s live in love and peace.

More! Let children identify their city, state, country, and continent on maps and globes.

Thursday, May 30, 2024


Father’s Day isn't until June 16th, 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.

He’s My Dad (Happy Everything CD)
Dad-o, dad-o, he’s my dad and I love him so.
Dad-o, dado, he’s my dad and I love him so.
Works all day and he comes home tired,
He’s my dad and I love him so.
Still plays with me in the yard.
He’s my dad and I love him so.
Dad-o, dad-o, he’s my dad and I love him so.
Dad-o, dad-o, he’s my dad and I love him so.
He reads to me and we laugh and play.
He’s my dad and I love him so.
Helps me do my best each day.
He’s my dad and I love him so.
Dad-o, dad-o, he’s my dad and I love him so.
Dad-o, dad-o, he’s my dad and I love him so. 

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.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024


How about some summertime 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.

*Here's a new PLANTING video to go with your mud 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.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024


The world keeps changing, but children are the same! They love to build tents, hide in tents, read in tents, and play with friends in tents. You can make these tents in your classroom or outdoors with your own children this summer. Give them 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 nap from the summer sun.

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.

Here's another cool project you can do with a cardboard box.

Car Wash
Cut the top and bottom out of an appliance box and place it on its side so it looks like a tunnel. Cut the bottom off of a large plastic garbage bag. Cut up the seam on one side to open the bag. Cut 2" strips up from the bottom of the bag stopping 3 inches from the top of the bag. Tape the garbage bag to the top of the box to create the swishers, then let the children ride their toys through the box.

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.

Come back tomorrow for some snacks your campers will enjoy.

Monday, May 27, 2024


One Memorial Day I said, "Happy Memorial Day," to a gentleman as I passed by. He replied, "You know, it's not a very happy day." And as I thought about it, I realized it is a sombre day - a day to mourn and remember all those who died for us. But I also think that those who died for us would like us to be happy and enjoy the day... remember them with gladness because we have FREEDOM thanks to them.

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:

Whoever you are…wherever you are…take a few minutes today to PLAY! Do something that makes you happy! Do something that makes you glad to be alive! And, please, take a few minutes today to remember all the brave men and women who died serving the United States Military so that we could be free and happy today!!!

Sunday, May 26, 2024


We will celebrate Flag Day on June 14, but here’s a song you can sing all year to prompt your class before saying the Pledge of Allegiance.

We Love Our Flag
(Tune: “Farmer in the Dell”)
We love our flag.
We love our flag.
We love America
And we love our flag.

Red, white, and blue,
Red, white, and blue,
The colors of our country’s flag
Are red, white, and blue.

50 stars of white
On a field of blue
Stand for 50 states
Where we live, it’s true.

Thirteen stripes
In red and white
Stand for the colonies
For freedom they did fight.

We love our flag…

* Use the words in the song to explain the meaning of the stars and strips.

Here’s the link to download the book:

Check out this video to learn another song about our flag. The last verse is my favorite:
We are all Americans
And so we always say I CAN!
We try and do our best
Because we are Americans.

Flag Etiquette
Teach children flag etiquette and the importance of not dragging the flag on the ground.

Design a Flag
Give children a sheet of white paper and the scrap box and let them design their own flags.

Art Parade
O.K. If you've read to the end of this blog, I've saved the best idea until last. Whenever your class completes an art project let them "parade" their creations around the room. Put on some catchy music and they can walk around in a circle holding up their work. It's so funny because they really think they are "special."

At age 77 I still impress others (especially when we play Trivia) by singing this song about the states.  This might be a fun challenge for some of your students this summer.  Music really is magic because if children learn with a song it will be in their brains forever!

The Fifty Nifty States  (Tune: “Turkey in the Straw”)
There are 50 states in my country,
If you sing along you will learn them with me.
We are all very proud of the red, white and blue.
We’ll start with “A” and work our way through.

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas
California Colorado Connecticut Delaware
Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho
Illinois Indiana Iowa Don’t you know!

Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine
Maryland Mass. Michigan Minnesota
Miss. Missouri Montana Nebraska
Nevada N.H. New Jersey New Mexico

New York N.Carolina N. Dakota Ohio
Oklahoma Oregon Penn. We’re on a roll!
Rhode Is. S.Carolina S. Dakota Tennessee
Texas Utah We’re near the end, you see.

Vermont Virginia Washington State
West Va. Wisconsin Wyoming This is great!
We can sing them, we can say them, and now that we’re all through.
Kiss your brain and say, “Yahoo!”

*Hope you'll like this video my webmaster Alex May made for this song.  It sounds a little "off" because he had to slow down my singing to fit in the states.  It's still a fun way to learn.

Saturday, May 25, 2024


Play, learn, and have fun with a Friend!

Here's a video I made with my grandson K.J. over 15 years ago.
(Wish I still looked like that!)

Nursery Rhymes
Patty cake nursery rhymes.
*Use the tune to "100 Bottles of Pop on the Wall" or "Yankee Doodle.)

Letters and Sounds
Clap right hands and say a letter. Cross left hands and make the sound.
A (right hand)
/a/ (left hand)
B (right hand)
/b/ (left hand)
C through Z
Count by one’s, five’s, ten’s, etc.
Sight Words
Children face a partner. They say the word as they clap. They cross and tap partner’s hands on each letter. Then high five and say the word in the air.
the (clap hands)
t (right hand)
h (left hand)
e (right hand)
the (high five)

Math Facts
Say addends and then high five the sum.
3 (right hand)
plus (left hand)
4 (right hand)
equals (left hand)
7 (high five)

Friday, May 24, 2024


We used to play "girls chase boys" or "boys chase girls" and then some decided that was politically incorrect. We started mixing the teams up and changed the names to things like "bunnies chase squirrels" or "Ninjas chase Robots." However, I'm smiling because kids will be kids and someone will continue to call out "girls chase boys" or "boys chase girls" forever!

Here are some new versions to the old game of tag that your children might enjoy.

Cat and Mouse
Materials: none
The children form a circle and hold hands. One child stands in the center and is the “mouse.” Another child stands outside the circle and is the “cat.” On a given signal, the “cat” must chase the “mouse.” They can enter or leave the circle only if the other players hold up their hands and form an arch. When the “cat” catches the “mouse,” let them choose classmates to take their places.

*Change the characters for different seasons. You could have the farmer chase the turkey, the witch chase the bat, etc.

Hug Tag
Materials: none
Designate a playing area. One child is “it.” “It” chases other children who must “freeze” when they are tagged. Other players hug those who are “frozen” to “unfreeze” them.

Stoop Tag
One child is "it." Children stoop down on the ground when they are tagged by "it." When everyone has been caught and is stooping down a new person is chosen to be "it" and the game begins again.

Cartoon Tag
Children must name a cartoon show when they are tagged. They can continue to play if they can name a show.

Shadow Tag
You'll need a sunny day for this game. Children must freeze when “it” steps on their shadow.

Sticky Tag
Children must hold the part of their body that is tagged by "it." They can continue to play touching the body part(s) that are tagged.

Thursday, May 23, 2024


One more of those silly camp songs for you today!

The Beaver Call
Chorus: F-f-f, f-f-f, f-f-f-f-f-f-f.
(Extend arms and open and close fingers.
Put your top teeth over your bottom lip as you /f/.)

Beavers one, beavers all, (Cross right arm in front and then left arm.)
Do a little beaver call. (Chorus)

Beavers two, beavers three, (Pretend to climb a tree.)
Let’s chew up the beaver tree. (Chorus)

Beavers four, beaver five, (Pretend to dance.)
Do a little beaver jive. (Chorus)

Beaver six, beavers seven, (Wave your arms and look up.)
Let’s fly up to beaver heaven. (Chorus)

Beavers eight, beavers nine, (Extend arms stiffly like Frankenstein.)
Do a little Frankenstein. (Chorus)

Beavers ten, beavers ten, (Extend arms and open and close fingers.)
Let’s be beavers once again! (Chorus)

*Go to and put "summer 2014" in the search engine to download a free version of this song.

How Can You Find Out?
Ask children what beavers do. How can you find out? You can go to the library, look on the internet, ask a friend, ask your parents, etc.

Why do they have such big teeth?

How do they use their tail?

Where do they live?

How do they help the environment?

What does it mean to be "busy as a beaver"?

Here's a video about beavers that your class will enjoy.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024


Did you ever sing "Little Cabin in the Woods"? I sang it as a girl scout and as a teacher, but not many people sing it any more. It’s a long song that’s good to sing while children wash their hands or get ready to go home. Each time you sing through the song you hum a verse and just make the motions. By the end of the song you are quietly humming the whole way through. I’ve changed the words a little from the original version because it might not be "politically correct" these days. (We used to say, "Help me! Help me! Help me!" he said. "Or that hunter will shoot me dead." It's much kinder just to take that little bunny inside and keep him warm.)

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.)

Here's a video I did several years ago so you can see the motions.

Another good old song that's kind of gone by the wayside is "Little Bunny Foo Foo." Maybe people don't like the "boppin' them the head thing." You know, it's just a silly song so don't take it too seriously!

Little Bunny Foo Foo
Little Bunny Foo Foo (Hold up 2 fingers for ears and hop.)
hopping through the forest
scooping up the field mice (Pretend to scoop something with right hand.)
and boppin' them on the head. (Hit right fist with left hand.)
Down came the good fairy and she said, (Wiggle fingers down.)
"Little Bunny Foo Foo, (Point finger.)
I don't want to see you
scooping up the field mice
and boppin them on the head.
I'll give you 3 chances (Hold up 3 fingers.)
and if you don't obey me, (Point to group.)
I'm going to turn you into a GOON!" (Open hands with drama.)

The next day -
Little Bunny Foo Foo...
I'll give you 2 more chances...

The next day -
Little Bunny Foo Foo...
I'll give you one more chance...

The next day -
Little Bunny Foo Foo
hopping through the forest
scooping up the field mice
and boppin' them on the head.
Down came the good fairy and she said,
"Little Bunny Foo Foo,
I didn't want to see you
scooping up the field mice
and boppin them on the head.
I gave you 3 chances
and if you didn't obey me,
So I'm going to turn you into a GOON!

Moral of the story: HARE TODAY - GOON TOMORROW!

Tuesday, May 21, 2024


Can you imagine sitting around a campfire and singing? Talk about a vanishing activity! No electronic device…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.

Yogi Bear 
You can sing along with me on this video:

I have a friend that you all know
Yogi, Yogi. (On “Yogi” hold arms out like a tummy.)
I have a friend that you all know
Yogi, Yogi Bear. (On “Bear” make circles with thumbs and index fingers
and put them on your head.)
Yogi, Yogi, Bear.
Yogi, Yogi, Bear.
I have a friend that you all know
Yogi, Yogi Bear.

Yogi has a little friend
Boo Boo, Boo Boo… (On “Boo Boo” put hand down low as if patting
his head.)

Yogi has a Ranger Friend,
Joe, Joe… (Pretend to salute on “Ranger.”)

Yogi has a girlfriend,
Cindy, Cindy… (Fluff hair on “Cindy.”)

They all live in Jellystone,
Jelly, Jelly… (Wiggle all over on “Jelly.”)

Baby Fish
Long before "Baby Shark" I was singing about "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.)
(Sing twice.)

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

Activities: 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.

Coming Round the Mountain
Here's a new video to an old camp favorite.

(Tune: “Sailing, Sailing, Over the Bounding Main”)
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.

Here are some other favorite campfire songs:

Found a Peanut
The Wheels on the Bus
Chica Boom Chica Boom

Monday, May 20, 2024


Who wants to go on a picnic this weekend?

Going On a Picnic
(Children stand and repeat each line.)
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.)

*Go to my May, 2013, website post to download a free copy of this song:

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

Picnic Book
Fold a sheet of construction paper in half. Punch two holes by the top fold and insert a pipe cleaner to make a handle. Children can write stories about going on a picnic inside or they can draw foods they’d like to take on a picnic.

Dramatic Play
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.

Animal Picnic
What kinds of food would animals take on a picnic? Write their suggestions on the board. Let children circle the foods that they eat as well. Plan an animal picnic with carrots, celery, apples, nuts, berries, etc. for snack.

Sunday, May 19, 2024


Time to go outside and get messy and creative!

Mud Pies
(Not edible, but definitely great fun!)
4 cups dirt
1 cup flour
Mix the dirt and flour with water until it molds and sticks together. Shape into cookies, pies, birds nests, and other shapes. Dry in the sun. 

Squirt! Squirt!
Save spray bottles from cleaning products. (Make sure you rinse them out well first!). Fill them with water and let the children squirt each other, water plants, clean lawn furniture, etc.
Adaptations: A sponge or paintbrush and a bucket of water will also entertain children for hours. They can sponge off a tree, their riding toys, or themselves. They can paint the house or playground equipment.

Bubble Cups
Liquid dish detergent
Fill the cup half way with water. Squirt in some dish detergent. Give children a straw and tell them to BLOW! (If you'll put a pin prick at the top of the straw, it's less likely that they'll suck up soapy water. I also have children practice blowing on their hand with the straw before we begin so they'll get the idea.) The bubbles will spill over the cup and are fun to pat on arms, legs, etc. It's great to run through the sprinkler after you "paint" your body with bubbles.
Adaptations: Add a drop of food coloring to the solution to make colored bubbles.
*Give children a pan of water and an egg beater. (Most children have never seen one of these before except in books!) Add a squirt of detergent to the water and let them "beat" up some bubbles.

Rub A Dub Dub
Have children bring their washable dolls to school. Fill tubs with water and soap, then have a bathing party. Add sponges, wash clothes, and squirt bottles.
Adaptations: Let children wash doll clothes and hang them on a clothesline with spring clothespins.

Water Painting
Give children plastic containers (margarine tubs, ice cream containers, etc.) filled with water. Let them use paint brushes to “paint” the playground equipment, trees, toys, etc.

Sandbox Treasures
Hide shells and other small toys in a sandbox and let the children “dig” for treasures.

Boat Builders
Let children construct boats from two toilet paper rolls stapled together. Glue a triangular piece of construction paper to a craft stick and stick it between the rolls to make a sail.
*Mold boats from aluminum foil.
*Carve a boat from a bar of Ivory soap. Glue paper to a toothpick and insert it in the soap to make a sail. Make a raft from popsicle sticks. Lay down two sticks. Glue ten sticks on top of them. Dry and then decorate with markers.
*Give children recycled materials (trash and scraps) to use to create boats and things that float.

Saturday, May 18, 2024


The sun is shining and math is so much more fun on the playground!

Number Hunt
Take lunch sacks and write different numerals on them. Give each child a bag and ask them to make that set and put it in the bag. Let children share what they have found with their friends. Have children return the objects to where they found them.
*This can also be done with a partner or in small groups.
Hint! Whenever collecting things outside remind the children to only pick up items off the ground. You never want to pull leaves or flowers off plants because it might hurt them. 

Children can count trees, fence posts, balls, bushes, and many other items on the playground.
*Have children estimate how many and then verify their guess by counting. 

Exercise and Count
Have children count how many times they can jump rope. How many jumping jacks can they do? How many times can they bounce and catch a ball without dropping it?

Dot to Dot
Take chalk and write numerals 0-20 randomly on a hard play surface. Children start with zero and run, hop, march, or skip to each numeral in order.
*Adapt the amount to the ability of your students. 

Fill a basket with rocks, pinecones, leaves, or other natural objects. Ask the children to estimate how many there are. Count the objects. Who guessed more? Who guessed less? Who was closest?

Collect 5 or 6 leaves, rocks, sticks or other natural objects. Place a leaf, then a rock, a leaf, then a rock. “What will come next?” Let children make up their own patterns with objects in nature.

Addition & Subtraction

Work out addition and subtraction problems with sticks, leaves, and other natural objects.

Draw basic geometric shapes (square, triangle, rectangle, oval, rhombus, circle) on 6” cardboard squares. Pass out the shapes and challenge the children can find something on the playground with a similar shape.

*Divide children into small groups and let them make shapes with their bodies on the grass.

Give children rulers to measure objects on the playground. “Can you find something 2” long? Can you find something smaller than an inch? What’s longer than 5”? How can you measure the slide?”
*Give children a popsicle stick or piece of string and ask them to find something longer, shorter, the same size, etc.

Position I Spy!
Children use positional words to play “I Spy” on the playground. For example: I spy something beside the slide. I spy something behind the tree. I spy something above the sidewalk. I spy something between the big tree and the fence…

Ask children to collect different items on the playground. (This will vary with the season and your habitat.) Put their objects together in a big pile. Ask the children to sort the objects. What was their sorting rule?

Collect sticks of different lengths and have the children put them in order from smallest to largest.
*They could also seriate leaves, rocks, etc.

Ask each child to find a leaf on the playground. Make a graph and have the children lay their leaf in the appropriate space. Compare quantities.

Friday, May 17, 2024


A bucket, a brush, and some water and you'll have one of the best outdoor art experiences ever!!! My kids would spend hours (well, actually minutes) painting playground equipment, trees, the sidewalk, etc. They were very "sincere" about their painting and were totally engaged. The best part was clean up!

Here are a few more art projects that are great to do outside.

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

Bubble Painting
Materials: several bottles of bubbles, food coloring, large sheets of paper, clothes pins
Directions: Clothes pin paper to a fence. Add food coloring to the bottles of bubbles. Children blow the bubbles on the paper and watch them "pop" into designs.

Fly Swatter Painting
Materials: ink pad, paper, paint, paper plates, fly swatter, clothes pins
Directions: First, let children make insects by pressing their index finger on the stamp pad and pressing it on the paper. Attach the paper to the fence. Put a small amount of paint on the paper plate. Children get to dip the fly swatter in the paint and swat at their insects.

P.S. I cut a hand shape out of my fly swatter for this activity.

Nature Prints
Materials: paper, paint, paper plates, paper towels, flat natural objects
Directions: Fold the paper towels and place them on the paper plates. Pour a little paint on the plates. Encourage children to find flat natural objects, such as leaves, flowers, ferns, feathers, etc. Children press the objects in the paint and then press on the paper to make prints.

Tissue Fade
Materials: tissue paper, white paper, spray bottles of water, sunny day
Directions: Cut or tear the tissue paper into pieces. Place on the white paper. Spray with water and place in the sun. When dry remove the tissue paper to see your faded design.

Thursday, May 16, 2024


If you can't beat them - then join them! I know you've definitely got a room full of monkeys this time of year!

Caps for Sale
This was always one of my favorite books to read to my class. It was such fun to let the children be the monkeys and act out the tale. We did this in the classroom as well as outside on the playground equipment.

Monkey on a Swing
Cut a sheet of paper as shown. Roll down the top section and staple to make the monkey’s head. Decorate with markers or crayons. Glue on a tail. Staple the monkey’s hands to a straw and watch him swing.

Compare and Contrast
Get several copies of Curious George books. Compare and contrast George’s adventures. How are they alike? How are they different? Could those adventures really happen?

*Show a video of a Curious George book and then read the paper version. Let children vote on which one they like best. (You might be surprised!!!)

Five Little Monkeys
Five little monkeys jumping on the bed. (Hold up five fingers.)
One fell off and bumped her head. (Touch your head.)
Momma called the doctor and the doctor said, (Pretend to hold a phone.)
“That’s what you get for jumping on the bed!” (Point finger.)
No little monkeys jumping on the bed.
They are sick with broken heads!

*Change the number of monkeys in the song. Children will also get a kick out of saying, "Five little mommies jumping on the bed..."

Monkeys and Alligator 
Five little monkeys swinging from a tree, (Hold up five fingers.)
Teasing Mr. Alligator, “Can’t catch me.”
Along came Mr. Alligator quiet as can be,
And snatched a monkey right out of that tree!
Four little monkeys… (Hold up appropriate number of
Three…two…one… fingers on hand.)
“Missed me, missed me. (Stick thumbs in ears and tease.)
Now you gotta kiss me!”

Monkey Tail Sandwich
You will need:
Hot dog buns
Peanut butter (or substitute)

1. Wash your hands.
2. Spread peanut butter in the bun.
3. Peel the banana and insert it in the bun.
4. Yum! Yum!

Hint! We usually made these with half a banana and hotdog bun because it was too big for the children to eat for snack.