The kids learned a new word this week (not Hokey-Pokier) - "Curiosity." I'm sure many of them had heard the word "curious," but no one volunteered a definition, so I told them it means that you really want to find something out, really want to know something. Each of the books I read either had them curious, or had our other idea of the week, a "surprise" in it.
Hi, Pizza Man!, by Virginia Walter. A child is waiting for a pizza delivery. What if it's not a pizza man? What if it's a pizza kitty? Or a pizza dinosaur?
How Many Bugs in a Box?, by David Carter. They weren't curious about how many bugs, just what kind of bugs. They especially love the very long necked bugs that fit in that thin, thin, box.
Special Delivery, by Brigitte Weninger. Oh, are they ever curious about what's in that box!
Is Your Mama a Llama?, by Deborah Guarino. They like figuring out the name of the animal by listening for the rhyme - feel/seal, that/cat.
I also used picture cards to tell the story "The Lion's Tail." Poor Lion can't find his tail. Where is it? He's sitting on it!
We used "peek-file" pictures. A tiny window is cut in a file folder with a picture behind it. The children have to guess what the animal is based on the little piece they see.
We sang "I'm Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee" because the bee surprises us when it stings.
Finally, I had a box with an object in it. I rattled it, shook it, slid the object around inside and generally tormented the kids while they tried to guess what it was. It was the stamp for stamping their hands.
Some of you may wonder why I go to the trouble of letting the children ask for specific colors of pompoms or scarves or maracas when we come to that point in the program. There are several reasons. First, naming the colors is a good language learning time for them. Also, making their way to the front and asking for a baton is a good way for them to learn to manage in a group setting. But most importantly, to me, is learning manners. The more outgoing children usually start by saying (or shouting) "I want green! I want green!" or "PINK! PINK! PINK!" This doesn't offend me because I know it's a pretty natural way for them to try to get what they want. I also don't allow them to grab. With the little ones, I tell them "Say 'Green please.'" When they come up to me one week and say "Green, please," I comment on their nice words and give them the color they want. With older children, especially the older siblings, I tell them to say, "May I have pink, please?" And I let them know I notice when they say it on their own. It's a simple thing, but what a difference it makes to hear polite requests out of small children's mouths. It will serve them well in the future.
Our books this week were:
Come Along, Daisy!, by Jane Simmons. This is a great book for teaching little ones not to run off.
Lemons Are Not Red, by Laura Seeger. As it teaches colors, this book also entertains by showing blue grass and purple carrots.
I've had parents asking about what the upper age limit is for Baby Time. There is no age limit, just a developmental one. When your baby is walking and no longer interested in staying in your lap for the bouncy rhymes and fingerplays, then try Toddler Time. There may be a gap of a couple of months when Toddler Time is a little too intimidating, or your child just wants to run laps around the dais, but if he's willing to sit and watch, give it a try. He's learning, even if he's not "participating." I know the website and published library materials say 18 months, but I'm fine with you bringing your child earlier than that.