Tuesday, May 22, 2018

WIN/WIN GAMES

Here are a few simple games to build summer memories, friendships, and fitness. Games are also a good way to develop the executive function. There's a beginning and an end, and children have to follow the rules and use self-regulation.

Hint! 
*Change these games for the level and interest of your children.
*Keep the rules few and simple.
*Play on soft surfaces and keep it SAFE!
*Emphasize cooperation and the joy of playing, rather than competition and scores.
*Encourage children to problem solve and work out their own differences.

Circle Soccer
My students loved this game. It was quick and it didn't require a lot of physical skills.
Materials: playground ball
                                         
Directions: Stand in a circle and hold hands. Place the ball inside the circle. Children try to kick the ball and keep it inside the circle. If the ball goes out of the circle between two people, then both people are out of the game. If a player kicks the ball too high and it goes over someone’s head, then the player who kicked the ball is out of the game. The game continues until there are just one or two players left.

Jump the Creek
This is another game my students always wanted to play.

Materials: 2 jump ropes (or you can make lines in the sand)

Directions: Children get in a line behind each other. Spread the ropes about one foot apart to make the "creek." One at a time children jump over the "creek" and then get at the back of the line. After each child has had a turn, move the ropes farther apart to make the "creek" wider. Children continue jumping over the "creek" as it gets wider and wider. If they don't clear the rope or touch the rope when they jump they are out of the game and become "cheerleaders." The game continues until one person is left.
*Sometimes we pretended there were alligators or crocodiles the creek!

Build the Castle
This game is similar to Jump the Creek, but it's for high jump rather than broad jump.
                                          
Materials: long jump rope

Directions:  Choose two people to hold the rope. The other players form a straight line and take turns jumping over the rope. The rope begins on the ground, but after everyone has had a turn, it is raised a few inches. If a child’s foot touches the rope, he or she is out of the game. Continue raising the rope until there is just one child left who can jump the height.

*A similar game called “school” can be played. When the rope is on the ground it is called “kindergarten.” Each time the rope is raised, it is called “first grade,” “second grade,” and so on.

What’s That Jive?
This game is like Red Rover, but a lot safer. 

Materials: none

Directions:  Divide the children into two teams and have them stand in a line facing each other 30 to 40 feet apart. One team calls for a player from the other team with this chant:
        (Child's name), (child’s name)
        What’s that jive?
        Come on over 
        And give me five.

The team calling the chant holds their hands out in front of them with their palms up. The child called proceeds down their line giving each player “five” by slapping their palms. If the child who is “it” slaps the palms and then slaps under their palms, that child chases “it” back to his or her original team. If “it” is caught, he or she must return to the opposing team, but if not, the chaser must joint “it’s” team. The game continues with teams taking turns calling players from the opposite side.

Monday, May 21, 2018

GO OUTSIDE AND GO WILD!

Several years ago I read Richard Louv’s book LAST CHILD IN THE WOODS: SAVING OUR CHILDREN FROM NATURE-DEFICIT DISORDER. It reminded me that exposure to nature is essential for healthy physical and emotional development in children AND adults. (This book first came out in 2005, but you can imagine the decrease in outdoor time and increase in screen time over the past 13 years!!!!)
                                                   


Summer is the perfect time to get outdoors and let children explore in a less controlled environment. Educators, as well as many parents, are concerned about all the time their children spend in front of a screen. But, you can’t always give children a choice. If you say, “Do you want to go outside and go for a walk or play video games on your computer?”  You know what the answer will be!

We need to engage children in outdoor activities and create opportunities where they will choose to play and “be wild”! These are some suggestions I adapted from the website that you might want to share with your parents:

Climb a tree

Roll down a really big hill

Build a tent

Hunt for stones

Watch the sun wake up

Go on a nature walk at night

Plant it, grow it, eat it

Discover what’s in a pond

Go to a park

Play in the sand

Run around in the rain

Fly a kite

Hunt for bugs

Go fishing

Cook on a campfire

Look for objects in the clouds

Make a mud pie

Swing on a rope swing 



I loved this UK website:   kidsgowild.org 
Our site strives to help you as the parent be informed and motivated to get your kids into nature and go wild with fun! Also to teach them to interact and get along with other kids from all ages, not just their own. All for the betterment of their future success, and yours as a parent of course!
                         
                                       
Just think how giving children 30 minutes of OUTDOOR WILD TIME every day this summer could impact their lives!!!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

MY STATE

Yesterday I shared "My Town" and "My School." How about a book about your state? Here's a book about New Hampshire that a teacher shared several years ago. She said her kids loved reading this book and the parents were so impressed the their children knew more about their state than they did!!!

My State Book
Make a state book based on your state flower, animal, famous people, state bird, capitol, flag, insect, famous places, etc. Children can become EXPERTS about their state.
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...

Dartmouth, Dartmouth, who do you see?
I see Dr. Seuss looking at me....

                      

Singing the World (Tune: “The Wheels on the Bus”)
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 the Earth...

Saturday, May 19, 2018

MY TOWN

This is a great book you can make to help children become familiar with their city/town. 

Lovely City
Here's the book that I made several years ago about Charleston. 
                                    
You will need construction paper and photos of your city, school, state symbols, and so forth. I used a rhyme similar to “Brown Bear” for each page.

Charleston, Charleston, what do you see?
There’s ___site____.
Come with me.


On the last page I wrote:

Do you like Charleston?
Do you like your city?
“Yes,” said Dr. Jean.
“I LOVE IT!” said she. 

(I used my pirate picture to add a smile!)
                                 

On the last page of your book you could write:
Do you like (name of your city)?
Do you like your city?
"Yes," said the children.
"It's the best place for me!"


My School
You could tie this in with technology by inviting the children to take photos of different places in their school or community.  This would be a wonderful book to share with your new group of students when school starts.



End with:
(Teacher, Teacher) who do you see?
I see all my new friends ready to learn with me!

Friday, May 18, 2018

GOT PLANS FOR THE SUMMER?

If you don't have plans, why don't you come spend some time with me? Here are some of the places I'll be presenting this summer. I can't wait!
                                    
June 14
College of Charleston Early Childhood Summit
Charleston, SC
http://ecsummit.cofc.edu

June 21
Children’s Learning Institute
Arlington, TX
https://tsrsummerinstitute.org

July 21
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania
Shippensburg, PA
http://www.ship.edu/coehs/ece/

July 25
Northeast Alabama Childhood Conference
Albertville, AL
bethrigsby@albertk12.org


August 10
Aldenbridge Presbyterian Preschool
The Woodlands, TX
admin@aldenbridgepreschool.org


Thursday, May 17, 2018

UP IN THE AIR WITH CHILDREN

As a frequent traveler, I love to observe parents interacting with their children at the airport.  Some parents KNOW how to engage and entertain their children.  It's a beautiful thing!  Some parents are totally frustrated and just hand them an electronic device.  It's all I can do not intervene and demonstrate some positive techniques.  I know I need to "mind my own business," but sometimes parents need a little help.

I’m writing this blog in hopes that you can share these ideas with families of children you teach. You are welcome to put this on your class website, blog, or send it home with a summer fun packet.
                                                               
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when you travel with children. And if you’ll read these tips, I bet your fellow passengers will thank you for being on top of the game! Take advantage of the one-on-one time with your child by giving them 100% of your attention. After all, isn’t family time the best part of any vacation?

Planning Ahead
Several days before the trip start talking about your adventure and give details about what is going to happen. Have children close their eyes as you describe the trip – checking in at the airport - going through security - waiting for your flight to be called – getting on the plane and fastening your seatbelt – taking off – looking out the window – landing – how much fun you’ll have on your vacation, etc. Explain that there are many other people who will be sharing a small space on the plane and that everyone needs to be respectful and use their best manners and quiet voices. The pilots and flight attendants are there to keep everybody safe, so you will have to listen carefully to them.

Packing
Let your child pack a bag full of special objects that they want to carry on the plane. (You’ll have to give some guidelines for this so they don’t try and bring their entire collection of stuffed animals.) A few books, a notebook and markers, a card game, a bedtime buddy or blanket, and some healthy snacks should do the trick. You might also suggest a change of clothes, tissues, and bandaids in case of emergencies.
Note! I did not suggest a computer or IPad. Parents, you can pack this in your bag and save it for emergencies. Too often children play with these while waiting for their flights to take off and then they are bored by the time they get on the plane.
              
Waiting
After going through security, walk around and look out the windows at the other planes. Look at all the passengers and guess where they might be going. Talk about special things that your child hopes to do on the trip. If the flight is delayed you can play “I Spy,” “Tic Tac Toe,” “Hangman” or another quiet game. Oh, and don’t forget a last minute stop in the restroom!

Taking Off
When boarding a plane, you’ll find most pilots enthusiastic about meeting children and letting them take a “peek” inside the cockpit. Can your child find her own seat? Once seated, encourage your child to explore her space. (It’s fine to open and shut the window shade a few times, look in the seat pocket, talk about the airsick bag, etc.) Playing with the flight attendant call button is NOT ALLOWED! When the boarding door has closed, then everyone must buckle up!

Up in the Air
Once you are in the air, it’s time to open the backpack and read some books, play a game, draw some pictures, or eat a snack. If a beverage is served, show your child how to put down their tray and discuss their selection. Keep on talking and engaging your child.

O.K. Now, it’s time to get out the iPad or computer and watch a movie. Wait until the last possible moment to do this. This is like the 8th inning stretch on the plane. (I might also recommend a bag of M & M’s – for emergencies only!)

Before you know it you will hear those magic words, “Please fasten your seatbelts. We will be landing shortly.”

Remember, YOU are the parent and you are directing this event. With a happy, positive, attitude you’ll have a great flight and the other passengers will as well! How many opportunities do you have to give your child 100% of your attention? That may be the best part of your trip!

Wishing you safe and happy travels!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

CARTOON TIME

What child doesn’t like cartoons? And what child wouldn’t be thrilled to have the opportunity to create their own cartoon? 

Save your funny papers from the Sunday newspaper and take them to share with your class. (All of them will not be appropriate, so select the ones you think your children will enjoy.) Explain how cartoonists use “bubbles” to let you know what the characters are saying. Tell the children that they will get to draw their own cartoons and they can use bubbles to let their characters talk.


                     
Attached are cartoon frames with 2, 3, and 4 sections. Start off by giving them copies of the cartoon frame with 2 sections. Tell them to think of a story that has a beginning and an end and draw it. 
                     
Next, let them think of a story with a beginning, middle, and end.

Finally, challenge them to create a story with 4 sections.

*Use cartoon frames to recall the sequence of a story.

*Use cartoon frames for the life cycle of a butterfly, the water cycle, plant growth, and so forth.


*Let them draw a picture of you and make a bubble with something you frequently say coming out of your mouth.  You might be surprised!!!!



Here's a link so you can download the blank cartoon frames: