Thursday, July 3, 2014

Fun on a Summer Day!

A beautiful summer day is worth waiting for, and Kansas is celebrating a summer with more thick green grass and full lush trees and bushes and flowers of every color everywhere than we have seen for a long time.  Our yard is busy with bunnies and squirrels and songbirds.  One day this week I counted 20 different kinds of birds coming to our water pans and birdbath.  I know you and your family are enjoying all the surprises nature brings in the summer.  Make sure each day is special and fill your summer with stories to share and stories to keep!!

Book breaks are perfect for resting up and cooling off after time outside.  Gather up any books you have that make you think of summer days and nights.  Check out books from your library.  Always ask for interlibrary loan if your library does not keep these titles in their collection.  Sometimes you can find used picture books very inexpensively on the internet.  I hope you find and enjoy some of my favorites!

Rabbits & Raindrops  by Jim Arnosky
Up, Down and Around  by Katherine Ayres
The Very Lonely Firefly  by Eric Carle
Jack's Garden  by Henry Cole
Jamberry  by Bruce Degen
Waiting for Wings  by Lois Ehlert
Muncha!  Muncha!  Muncha!  by Candace Fleming
Little Bunny Follows his Nose  by Katherine Howard
The Carrot Seed  by Ruth Krauss
Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni
I Love Bugs!  and  Ten Flashing Fireflies  by Philemon Sturges
Bunnies on the Go  by Rick Walton
Bear's New Friend  by Karma Wilson

When you read Up, Down and Around, use a lot of movements!  Have everyone stand up and reach up high, then down low, then turn around and around or move your arms in the biggest circles you can draw in the air.  It makes the book all the more fun and provides great exercise.

When you read  Muncha!  Muncha!  Muncha! make sure everyone says those words with great energy and rhythm as they are repeated throughout the silly story.  Examine the illustrations carefully to be sure everyone finds the rabbits each time they outsmart the gardener. 

Bunnies on the Go is a wonderful book for rhyme and for being a good detective.  As soon as you read it once, and everyone knows how it works, read it again right away! 

Use the following action rhyme after you read  The Very Lonely Firefly.  Make sure everyone has a good idea about what a firefly is and what it can do.  Use a few flashlights in a darkened room to be fireflies yourselves, especially if you do not have fireflies where you live.  Here in Kansas we are seeing them every night!


                                               FIREFLIES, FIREFLIES

                                       Fireflies, fireflies, small and bright,
                                       Flash your winking, blinking light.
                                                       Twinkle ON
                                                    like stars at night.

                                                        Twinkle OFF!
                                                    You're out of sight!!

                                                                                       by Jane Willis Johnston  Copyright 1999

Say the words and  reach as high as you can and open and close your hands, waving your arms and stretching your fingers to the rhythm of the words.  For "Twinkle", wiggle your fingers until you say "ON."  Then stretch your fingers out and hold them still.  Now wiggle your fingers again for "Twinkle," then close your hands into a fists when you say "OFF" and then quickly hide them behind your back.  Such fun!  Do it again!!



                                          Summertime wind, summertime sun,
                                          Summertime rain, summertime fun!

                                          Summertime swim, summertime play,
                                          Summertime picnic, summertime day!

                                          Summertime stars, summertime bright,
                                          Summertime moon, summertime night! 

by Jane Willis Johnston  Copyright 2000

Read SUMMERTIME aloud several times, with everyone saying "summertime" together. I made up a tune for these words.  You can, too!  Or just say them in a chant.

Now talk about all the summer things in the rhyme and what actions you can do for them.  I like to wave my arms for the wind, make an arch over my head for the sun, wiggle my fingers and make rain.....and for fun, I hold my hand up next to my face and wiggle my fingers and twist my hands.  That is close to the action for "play" in American Indian sign language. (A fun thing to know.)   I will enjoy thinking about the actions you can create for the last two verses.
SUMMERTIME is also fun to use for a march around the room or around the yard.

On a really dry hot day, find some paintbrushes (the bigger the better) and fill a bucket with water.  Wear clothes you can get wet in and find some sidewalk in the sun.  Dip your brush into the water and see what you can paint before the sun dries up your picture.  Make up a story about what you paint.  Everyone can add to the story before the drawings disappear in the summer heat.  It might be fun to have things in the story that are supposed to disappear because that is what should happen, especially if there is a little breeze.   When you are finished painting disappearing pictures and stories, paint on yourself and your clothes!  Then give the grass a drink with any water leftover.

Do a little stargazing before it is time for bed and say "Thank you" to the summer day.  Share memories of the day in a "sunrise to sunset" story.  Chose a favorite book from your summer day and read it again!  Sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star as you fall asleep.                                            

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