Wednesday, May 14, 2014

You Never Know What a Spring Day Will Bring!

I am writing from Kansas, where we enjoy all four seasons, just as the calendar says.  Everyone everywhere may not experience fall and winter quite like the Midwest does, but the often times sunny,  sometimes rainy, other times windy days of spring can surely come along to surprise and delight you no matter where you live!

Before spring turns into summer,  let's see what spring can bring!

(Some of these books may be out of print or your library just may not have them.  Request them on interlibrary loan.  It is always interesting to see where they come from.  Your child and you can then locate that city on a map!  It is amazingly true:  every moment can be a learning moment!!)

Rabbits & Raindrops   by Jim Arnosky
Move Over, Rover  by Karen Beaumont
Home for a Bunny   by Margaret Wise Brown
Planting a Rainbow  by Lois Ehlert
Play with Me  by Marie Hall Ets
Hurray for Spring!  by Patricia Hubbell
One Monday  by Amy Huntington
Hamilton Duck's Springtime Story  by Arthur Getz
The Carrot Seed  by Ruth Krauss
Who Took the Farmer's Hat?  by Joan L. Nodset
My Spring Robin   by Anne Rockwell
The Itsy Bitsy Spider  by Iza Trapani

Gather books about spring from your library and around your house.  Read at least one book at the beginning of the day so everyone knows about what spring brings.

Be sure to spend a lot of time outside.  That is certainly one thing spring is all about!  When you come inside, tell each other stories about what you saw and heard and smelled and felt of spring.   If you collected some interesting leaves and seeds and stones and twigs,  make an exhibit on the table to make dinner even better!

I hope one day you have a good rain that leaves lots of inviting puddles.  Take a walk in the rain with or without an umbrella if it is warm enough.  Go puddle marching and jumping and stomping! When you come in and dry off, try learning these poems and action rhymes.  And keep on marching and jumping and stomping all around the house.
                                                       It's Muddy Outside
(I made up a simple tune for these words,  and you can, too.  Or just recite with lots of rhythm.  This quickly becomes a tongue-twister.  Ask everyone to think of more words to use.  Remember to march and stomp and jump!  And be just as playful and silly as a good puddle stomp makes you feel!!)
                                       It's muddy outside, it's muddy outside,
                                       it's muddy, muddy, muddy, muddy, muddy!
                                       All night long it rained and rained,
                                       it's muddy, muddy, muddy, muddy, muddy!

                                       It's puddly outside, it's puddly outside,
                                       it's puddly, puddly, puddly, puddly, puddly! 
                                       All day long it rained and rained,
                                       it's puddly, puddly, puddly, puddly, puddly!!

Now use goopy and soupy.  Then try splishy and splashy.  How about squishy and squooshy.
There is always mooshy and pooshy.  Or soggy and boggy.  Make up your own words have a good time!
                                                                                Jane Willis Johnston  Copyright 2008

Spring brings to mind partnering with nature as you plant flower and vegetable gardens.  Here are a couple of ACTION RHYMES to use with Ruth Krauss' The Carrot Seed.

For Spring Is Here, read the poem several times, clapping out the rhythm as you go.  Make sure everyone knows what "sow some seeds" means.  Talk about what actions the words suggest and make up your own series of movements.  Be sure to face each other or do your movements in front of a mirror together.  Put it altogether and HAVE FUN!!
                                                         Spring Is Here

                                                        The grass is green,
                                                        the sky is blue.
                                                        Spring is here
                                                        for me and you.  

                                                        We'll plow the garden,
                                                        pull up weeds,
                                                        mark out rows
                                                        and sow some seeds.

                                                        We'll dig a hole
                                                        and plant a tree.
                                                        Spring is here
                                                        for you and me!  

                                                                                  Jane Willis Johnston  Copyright 1999       

For Here Is a Carrot Seed, pinch your fingers together on one hand as if holding a tiny seed, then reach down to the ground, dropping your voice to a low pitch.   For the cloud, hold your hands together high over your head, then let go and wiggle your fingers for raindrops, then shake two fists for thunder.  Say "thunder" very loudly.  Make an arch over your head for the sun.  For the carrot top, put your hands together down low, bring them up in prayer position as high as you can, opening your hands to make the carrot top.  Make your movements with lots of energy and say the words with lots of rhythm.             

                                                      Here Is a Carrot Seed

                                                       Here is a carrot seed
                                                       way down under.
                                                       Here is a cloud
                                                       filled with rain and thunder.
                                                       Here is the sun
                                                       shining warm over all.
                                                       And here is the carrot top
                                                        green and tall.     
                                                                               Jane Willis Johnston  Copyright 2002

For Rainstorm, find some big paper and markers and draw wind by making long marks across the paper.  Draw rain by making dots everywhere.  Draw a big sun or just color yellow all over everything.  Draw a rainbow across, letting everyone have a turn choosing a color.  Now you are ready for the words and then the movements.  Read the words two or three times.  Now you are ready:  stand up and swing your arms way to the left, way to the right and up high to show the wind.  Wave your arms back and forth above your head and wiggle your fingers for rain.  Hold your arms in a big arch over your head for the sun.  Now open the arch, reaching out with the full length of your arms to make the rainbow.  This is really great fun to do over and over again.


                                                  The wind, the wind, the wind blows high,
                                                   scattering rain across the sky.
                                                   The sun, the sun, the sun comes out,
                                                   spreading a rainbow all about!

                                                                                       Jane Willis Johnston  Copyright 2005

Before bedtime, ask everyone to remember something special about spring your day did bring.  If you collected things on a walk for a table exhibit, put those things in a basket.  Sit together and make up stories about your experiences.  Choose an item from the basket and use that to think of a story.  Talk about what you want or think the next spring day will bring!!

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