Friday, May 18, 2012

Fingerplay Fridays-The Watermelon Song/Fingerplay

Image from Wikipedia
Summer's right around the corner, I can tell by the amount of watermelons at my local fruit market (There's a TON!)! In honor of buying my first of the season, and just in time for your Memorial Day cookout, here's the Watermelon Song! Enjoy!

(To the tune of Are You Sleeping?)

Watermelon,  Watermelon, (Make a circle with your arms)
On the vine, On the vine, (Cure hands and arms beside body)
Sweet, red, and juicy, Sweet, red, and juicy, (Rub your tummy)
Image from
Please be mine! Please be mine! (Palms together as though pleading)

Watermelon, Watermelon,  (Make a circle with your arms)
Thump, Thump, Thump, (Make a knocking motion with your hand)
Thump, Thump, Thump, " "
I think you are ready, I think you are ready, (Point, resting finger on temple)
Big and Plump! Big and Plump! (Make a circle with your arms)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wordless Wednesday- I Must REALLY Want To Be A Librarian

Yesterday I showed up to work, and without warning was dressed darn near the same as one of the librarians. Apparently, I want to be a librarian so badly, I subconsciously dress like them. Oh, and I started work on my grad school application last night--for Library Science.
I apologize for the camera phone graininess...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Early Lit Tip Tuesday-Encouraging a Love of Reading in Your Infant

A common question among parents is "I know that I'm supposed to encourage my child to read, but just HOW do I do it?"

I'm here to tell you that the answer is a lot more simple than you think.

Read Aloud.

You're probably thinking, really Lisa? That's it?

Yep. That's it.

Reading aloud to your child is THE best way to encourage a love of reading, and you should start reading aloud to your baby from birth-though it's never too late to start.

Reading aloud to an infant soothes them. They love the sound of their parent's voice, and the more that they hear it, the stronger the bond between parent and child. This simple act of soothing by talking and reading to your child evolves as your child grows older.

As your infant become a toddler, hearing your voice and exposing  your child to the varied word sounds that are delivered through books, your child becomes aware of speech patterns, and is acquainted with specific speech sounds, even if they cannot yet speak themselves. This is people that don't learn their second language from birth will always have an accent.

As your child becomes aware of the speech patterns of the written word. Though they cannot read, they are becoming aware of the writing on the page. They are beginning to identify the letters on the page, and the sounds that go along with them. This identification, that your child isn't giving you much clue that it's going on, is actually laying the foundation for learning to read. You may find that your child actually learns to read much faster than other children in their age group once the concept of reading is actually taught in school, all because of hearing stories read aloud to them.

But you're still might be thinking, Yeah, that's great Lisa. I get it, reading to your child is great. But my kid won't sit still for a story.

Sitting still for a story is a learned ability. I.e. it becomes part of a routine-Mommy or Daddy reads to me, I sit still and listen. And as with any routine, the best way to create one, is to practice.

I would suggest starting with a bedtime story, put on PJ's get all ready for bed, and then sit down somewhere quiet together, with as few distractions as possible. Start to read. If baby only wants to sit still for a few minutes, good job, praise him or her, and move on. Keep at this routine every day/night, and before you know it, your child will be sitting through an entire story! But don't confine yourself to just one time of day to read! Once your child gets the hang of sitting still, any time is a good time to read. According to Mem Fox, your goal should be to read three books with your child a day:
  • One old "favorite"
  • One familiar book
  • One new book
Another way to encourage reading is to provide your child with lots of books that they can "read" on their own. Boardbooks and cloth books are quite sturdy, and can easily be put in a bin for baby to browse and play with. You don't have to spend money to provide your child with these books either. Most public libraries loan out boardbooks free of charge, and you'll even be able to provide your child with a new selection every time the ones your currently have checked out are due!

Now that you have a plan for how to get your child to sit still, and books from your library to read, when you're reading, BE ANIMATED! Though you may feel like the biggest dork in the entire world, your child will think you are the coolest, funniest, person ever! Don't be afraid to be boisterous, silly, and make funny faces, you're just enhancing the story, and enhancing your child's learning!

Now that you know how to read to your baby, what are you waiting for? Get reading!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Fingerplay Fridays- You Are My Sunshine

Image from
The sun is shining where I am and I hope it is where you are as well- Enjoy this fingerplay based on the classic song

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
(point to others, then circle arms over head)
You make me happy when skies are gray.
(hug yourself)
You’ll never know, dear
(shake finger and head, “NO”)
How much I love you
(spread arms far apart)
Please don’t take my sunshine away.
(circle arms over head and sway)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Children's Book Week- Farm Day!

Yesterday, we had the privilege of kicking off our family's celebration of Children's Book Week with a bang! We took a family field trip to Kensington Metropark's Farm Center.

Before we went, DH and I shared books about what happens on a farm with Little Man. We talked about:

  • The animals that live on the farm and the sounds they make
  • The machines that farmers use on the farm
  • That farms give us food: fruits and veggies, milk and eggs. (We choose not to go beyond a G rating when it came to the meat process)
Some of the books we read are (in no particular order):
  • The Cow Loves Cookies* by Karma Wilson
  • Senses on the Farm by Shelly Rotner
  • What the Ladybug Heard* by Julia Donaldson
  • Farm* by Elisha Cooper
  • Farmyard Beat by Lindsey Craig
  • The Farm by Gail Saunders-Smith
  • Cows to the Rescue by John Himmelman
  • Chickens to the Rescue by John Himmelman
  • My Day at the Farm by Jory Randall
  • Grandpa's Tractor by Michael Garland
  • Moo, Moo, Brown Cow, Have You Any Milk? by Phillis Gershator
*Some of my personal favorites. :)

Once at the Farm, it was a trip to remember. Little Man LOVED looking at the animals and hearing all of the different sounds on the farm, but he wasn't too hot on actually touching the animals. I don't blame him, I wouldn't want to get too close to a cow that's almost 5 times as tall as me!

I hope you enjoy some of the photos we took!

Little Lamb


These little piggies were only two days old! Born 5-4-12

Goats have really strange eyes

The Grass is Always Greener

An old gear....

Old Farm Equipment

Down by the water

Walking with Daddy

My Little Man

"Mumma! I picked you a flower!"

Through the grill of the wooden tractor

Driving the tractor

Friday, May 4, 2012

Fingerplay Fridays (Double Play!)- Rain and Rainbows

It seems like there's storms across the Midwest today, and it's definitely raining here, so why not do a little fingerplay about the weather with your kids? These come from

image from
Tune: Row Row Row Your Boat
Rain, rain falling down, (Flutter fingers up and down.)
Landing all around. (Move arms out to sides.)
What a lovely sound you make (Cup hands behind ears.)

Splashing on the ground. (Wiggle fingers up and down.)

And after the rain, everyone hopes to see a rainbow!

image from
Rainbow Song 
Tune: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
When the rain falls from the sky, (Flutter fingers downward.)
Don't forget to look up high. (Cup hand above eyes and look up.)
If the sun is shining there, (Make a circle with arms above head.)
You may find a rainbow fair. (Sweep arms in an arc above head.)
Red orange, yellow, green and blue.
And you'll see there's purple, too

Thursday, May 3, 2012

What Are You Reading? Thursdays - Shaggy Dogs, Waggy Dogs

Since Tuesday, I was being begged and pleaded with -- "Mumma, Pwetty pwease can we go the library?" And while I love that my child loves to the library, sometimes it doesn't always immediately fit in the schedule. Nevertheless, we went yesterday and picked up a couple new books, giving us our "What Are You Reading? Thursdays" post! Here's this week's read:

Little Man really enjoyed this one (as he does with almost any dog book):

What are you reading? Don't forget to link up, and leave a comment!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wordless Wednesday-Birthday Flowers

My husband and son got me some beautiful flowers for my birthday last Monday. This morning I noticed water or nectar on the pistol of the flower and attempted to capture it. 
I apologize for the graininess, I shot it with my phone.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Early Lit Tip Tuesday- Make It A "Something" Kind of Day

Magnets for purchase on
by artist Jen Skelley
Every day is an opportunity for your child (and you, believe it or not) to learn something new. So why not make every day a "something" kind of day?
How to you make a "something" kind of day? It's easy!

  • Pick a topic. Letters, Sounds, Numbers, Colors, Shapes, etc.
  • Then break it down even further.
  • Pick a letter of the alphabet, pick a sound (ck, ch, long a, long e, etc.), pick a number, pick a color, pick a shape.
  • Then, focus on that one topic for the rest of the day, the rest of the week, the rest of the month. However long you and your child choose to do so.
  • Make it fun! Wake your child up, and declare, "It's "circle day today! Let's find circles today!" Maybe dress them in a corresponding color, or a shirt that has a matching shape on it. Print off a coloring page, and color it in the color of the day, or cut the shape of the day out of construction paper, or trace/color the letter or number of the day. The options are endless!

For example, Little Man and I are currently working on his colors (he has his letters and numbers pretty down pat). And colors for him, like the can be with other children, are hard to learn. With so many different shades and hues, it's hard to know what is green, and what is yellow sometimes.

So today, at our house, it's green day. Little Man is wearing a green shirt. So any time that I see green today, I'll ask Little Man if he sees any green and give him the opportunity to identify it (we might even play an actual game of iSpy). If he can't find it, I'll point it out to him. It is through every day activities such as this that children learn and retain information.

What something are you and your child going to focus on today?