My funny story for the week comes from a little guy who was wearing a t-shirt with a picture of some heavy machinery on it. I find that commenting on the children's clothing is a good way to connect with them. They are quite attached to their favorite shirt or skirt or shoes, and when I mention how wonderful their light-up shoes are, or how much I like their sparkly dress, they usually have something to say about it. So Thursday I looked at this maybe three-year-old boy's shirt and said, "Wow, that's a great bulldozer." He gave me a look like Duh! and said "That's not a bulldozer, that's a front loader." Silly me! How could I make such a mistake?
It's actually a wonderful thing when little ones can be experts on something, whether it's dinosaurs, trucks, or Disney princesses. That sense of mastery gives them confidence and enthusiasm for learning, which is so valuable when it comes time for school.
We heard stories about "Food" this week, starting with our wiggle-buster rhyme in the key of F - "I figgle my fingers, I figgle my foes." The kids are really getting good at saying that rhyme with the first letter substitutions. My plot is working! They're learning their letter sounds without knowing I'm teaching!
How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food?, by Jane Yolen. I counted 16 different "How Do Dinosaurs" titles on Amazon. This one is another sneaky way to teach table manners.
Mean Soup, by Betsy Everitt. I like to use this book for our "Rotten Days" theme, too. I bring a big pot and wooden spoon as a prop so we can all scream and hiss into it.
Bunny Cakes, by Rosemary Wells. Poor Max keeps making a mess in the kitchen, and he can't get the grocer to read his writing and give him Red Hot Marshmallow Squirters. And will Grandma eat his earthworm birthday cake?
I did The Very Hungry Caterpillar on the flannelboard, and we all made munchy sounds and said "But he was still hungry!" together.
We also sang "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly" together with the wonderful old lady storyprop. All the animals disappear into her mouth as we sing.
I'm so sorry we ran out of scarves on Thursday morning. I'm pretty sure all the 3's and under got them, but I know some older siblings missed out. I'm ordering more today.
Our books were:
Tails, by Matthew Van Fleet. This book is a great lap book, since the pages have touchy-feely things on them. I'm sad that the kids don't get a chance to touch the furry and bumpy tails, but that just wouldn't work with thirty pairs of hands.
How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?, by Jane Yolen. I wonder if all 16 titles are as good as this one? The kids loved it.
Lots of first-timers this week. I hope they return, and I hope the regular attenders keep doing the rhymes and songs at home. Repetition is so valuable for language learning with babies. When they hear it over and over, they learn to anticipate, which leads to imitating, which leads to language. (And then you're hearing "Again! Again!")