Sigh.... I left town immediately after Baby Time last week to take Sara off to college for her third year at Whitworth University in Spokane. I'm sad to lose her joyful presence at home, but so happy for how well she's doing. So to all you moms out there, IT'S TRUE!! They're gone before you know it!
I had so much fun with "Folktales" this week. I defined folktales for the kids as stories that have been around for a long time, that people used to tell each other, instead of read to each other. Later, people wrote them down and turned them into books, but we can still tell them however we want, as long as we keep certain parts in them. So I used an ingenious puppet-type doll for telling Little Red Riding Hood. By flipping and turning it, it becomes Red, the Wolf, and Grandma.
I'm afraid I don't really go for the super-sanitized versions of folktales these days. My Big Bad Wolf didn't get stuck in a closet til he apologized, and he didn't run away after coughing up Red and Grandma. The passing Woodcutter chopped him open and Red and Grandma jumped out, and that was the end of the wolf! Incidentally, one little girl immediately said after I finished, "That was a silly story!" She wasn't traumatized in the least, and actually, I think it's satisfying to the children that the wolf is gone. Red was protected by the grown-ups, and doesn't have to worry about that Bad Guy ever hurting her again.
I'm afraid the Gingerbread Man met his natural demise, too. I used that old-fashioned technology, the cassette tape, for us to listen to the story with a wonderful musical accompaniment. And yes, the fox ate the Gingerbread Man. (Nobody cried.)
I read Lazy Lion, by Mwenyi Hadithi. This is a traditional African folktale that explains why the lion has no house.
We sang "This Old Man" and had fun guessing the rhyming object that was going to go in the big puppet's pockets.
Finally, we acted out the story of the Three Little Pigs. This is always so much fun! Three children are the pigs, and one is the Big Bad Wolf. The rest of the children are divided into three groups to be the three houses. Each pig builds his/her house by joining the house-kids in a circle, and goes inside. The wolf comes, says his shtick (the part that has to be included in the folktale!) "Little Pig, Little Pig, let me come in!" The pig answers, "Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin!" "Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in!" And he blows, and the "house" falls down.
Here is where I must admit I've slightly sanitized the original, but lately it seems almost more traditional to have the pig run to his brother's house than to be eaten by the wolf.
Finally, at the brick house, when the wolf is supposed to climb on the roof, I pick the child up and drop him or her down into the house where, yes, the pigs have a pot of boiling water ready, clap the lid on, and that's the end of the wolf. Everyone is safe to live happily ever after! In one tiny bit of sanitizing, I left out the part in Joseph Jacob's original version where the pig eats the wolf for supper.
Our groups are growing again! I'm curious how many will be attending when school starts again. Still lots of room at 9:30 on Tuesdays!
A cute story - one little boy saw me putting stuff away in the closet and asked if I "go in there." I'm pretty sure he thought that's where I live!
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, by Bill Martin, Jr. They did really well saying their part with me!
Two Bear Cubs, by Ann Jonas. Finding Mother Bear on each page was fun.
We do a hello song that includes clapping while we count to eight. Even though we know babies have no comprehension of what counting is, and can't participate, hearing those numbers repeated throughout their infancy does make a difference. They're learning, absorbing, and noticing patterns. When their language skills catch up, they'll learn to count just that much faster.