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One of the perks of parenting small children is adding a bit of FUN to the mid-week mundane. The easiest way to do that is through celebrations of silly and special days!
- A few weeks ago, we heard that Beverly Cleary was about to reach her 100th birthday, so we celebrated with a Drop Everything and Read day.
- Last week was Earth Day, so we spent as much time outside talking about ways to help our precious planet and protect her resources.
This week stumped me a bit, so I searched online for April/May holidays and discovered that May 1st is Mother Goose Day! What a perfect opportunity to celebrate the silly and explore nursery rhymes with both of my girls.
But first, why should we rhyme with our children?
Chapter 10 is titled The Magic of Language, and it profoundly impacted the way I think about nursery rhymes. (This is AFTER a degree in Elementary Education/Reading and four years in a classroom.) I’d like to share a few quotes with you:
“Songs and rhymes provide comforting rhythms in children’s early lives and also expose kids to gorgeous forms of language. They are a natural extension to the heartbeat of the mother and the rhythmic rocking of a child in loving arms or in a cradle.”
“Rhymers will be readers: it’s that simple. Experts in literacy and child development have discovered that if children know eight nursery rhymes by heart by the time they’re four years old, they’re usually the best readers by the time they’re eight.”
Read more about adding nursery rhymes into your routine with this great post from Story Time Secrets!
To prepare for our celebration, we went to the library and gathered up a handful of Mother Goose collections.
(Just a reminder that Lone Star Signers does use affiliate links at no additional cost to you.)
My second grader was SO excited to recognize a bunch of rhymes from her Spelling You See curriculum:
Can you think of any other Mother Goose anthologies I missed?
Be sure to check out our Mother Goose Pinterest Board for more ideas:
Happy Earth Day from Lone Star Signers!
We have been spending a lot of time outdoors this month: taking nature walks around our neighborhood, walking to and from the town library, and exploring the nearby lake. Both girls have been making daily entries in a nature journal (4-year-old draws a picture, 7-year-old draws a picture and writes a paragraph) and watching spring slowly blossom here in the Midwest.
We are learning about local birds, trees, and flowers that share our space and participating in a Nature Pal Exchange with another family in Minnesota.
The girls and I look forward to our daily walks; we have a great opportunity for real conversation while looking for small changes in our natural environment. We’re also growing sunflowers in indoor pots, so the girls get to take ownership and learn about taking care of living things.
Of course, we’ll be doing a few fun activities to celebrate Earth Day (check out our Pinterest board), but I want my daughters to love the Earth every day!
And now, some of our favorite Earth-related resources (affiliate links, natch…thanks for supporting us!):
Want to win a FREE digital copy of the Rachel & the Treeschoolers: Extraordinary Earth music album?*
Leave a comment below:
How are YOU celebrating Earth Day this year?
* Quick casual giveaway ends on 4/22/2016 at midnight (Central time).
Winner will be notified by e-mail.
Every month on the 15th, we release a new pre-planned Tot School Unit for our friends who are either homeschooling their preschoolers or looking for fun, hands-on activities to supplement the preschool program that they love!
My own preschooler is a sensory-driven little girl who prefers inquiry-based learning and exploration over a curriculum with lots of printables, so you won’t find those around here. (If you are looking for amazing printables, check out The Moffatt Girls on teacherspayteachers.com. We love her!)
We kicked off the camping unit with our own two girls this week by setting up our tent in the backyard, grilling hot dogs, and making s’mores. We talked about what camping together might be like and building anticipation for our “real” camping trip at a local campground later this spring. Once we were done with dinner, we packed the tent back up and went inside!
The next day, I had our camping books all set out for the girls to explore, and we whipped up a couple batches of homemade playdough. We used our leftover marshmallows for some building & fine-motor activities before spending the afternoon learning more about the birds building a nest in our backyard.
We have a whole month of fun planned–lots of active outdoor math, science, and literacy activities and several lessons about fire safety! If you’d like a copy of our PDF plans, including a list of recommended songs and books to round out the unit, you can
And just for fun, enjoy a little mood music from The Okee Dokee Brothers. 🙂
As most of you probably know, I have been an avid reader for longer than I can remember. I have so many happy memories of reading under my Strawberry Shortcake comforter or out in the backyard on my swingset. Getting chickenpox meant I had a WHOLE WEEK at home to read to my heart’s content–probably not a typical reaction for a 3rd-grader.
(Just a friendly reminder that Lone Star Signers does use affiliate links, at no additional cost to you.)
It’s been years since I read through the entire Ramona series, but I still remember Willa Jean and the box of tissue, the brown-paper towel shoe, the hole in the house, and Susan’s owl.
It probably comes as no surprise that the very first chapter book that I read aloud to my older daughter was Ramona the Pest. (Though the fact that she was less than two pounds at the time might surprise you!)
This morning, I asked my two girls to head downstairs to our reading nook and grab all the books that we own that are either written by Beverly Cleary or about her. (We picked up this fun biography at our Friends of the Library book sale this weekend!) Addie also reminded me to grab the iPad, where our Henry Huggins audio collection lives.
If you are wanting to celebrate Mrs. Cleary’s 100th birthday with us, enjoy this interview from the Today Show and be sure to check out all the fun D.E.A.R. Resources from Sarah MacKenzie at Read Aloud Revival!