Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Fine Day for Cats!

Find A Fine Day for Cats in your busy week. 

Cats are most interesting animals and a lot of fun to play with.  They are quite smart, always curious about the world, busy when they are busy and great nappers when they have worn themselves out.  Cats do have minds of their own.  Though cats can become a comfortable part of a home and family, they really believe they are in charge of everything.  They make it clear when they are finished with one thing and ready for something else. They are warm and cuddly and like to cozy up next to you while you are reading a book.  They let you know when they are hungry and when they have had enough.  Cats are definitely nice to have around.  Cats are a lot like children!  Have A Fine Day for Cats...and Children!

Go on a hunt around your house to find any books you have with a cat or two inside.  Take a trip to the library for more cat books.  Here are a few of my favorites.  Be sure to ask the librarian to help you find some of his or her favorite cat books!  Be sure to request through interlibrary loan any titles your library does not own.
Mrs. McTats and her Houseful of Cats  by Alyssa Capucilli
Have You Seen My Cat?  by Eric Carle
My Cat Jack  by Patricia Casey
Kitten red yellow blue  by Peter Catalanotto
Pete the Cat  I Love My White Shoes  by James Dean and Eric Litwin
    (There are more titles in the Pete the Cat series.)
Four Fierce Kittens  by Joyce Dunbar
Angus and the Cat  by Marjorie Flack
Mama Cat Has Three Kittens  by Denise Fleming
Millions of Cats  by Wanda Gag
Three Little Kittens by Paul Galdone
Kitten's First Full Moon  by Kevin Henkes
All for Pie, and Pie for All  by David Martin
Four Hungry Kittens  by Emily Arnold McCully

Curl up together several times during the day for good books and cat naps!

Here is a fun way to create your own story about a cat. 

You be the storyteller and ask everyone else to be the storychoosers.  Start with the following suggestions, if you want, and go from there.  When you come to the questions, wait for an answer from the storychoosers and then repeat it into the story.  So the first line might turn out something like this:

Once upon a time, about (HOW MANY YEARS AGO?), there lived a cat (HOW BIG WAS THE CAT?  WHAT COLOR WAS THAT CAT?  WHAT COLOR WERE THE EYES? HOW LONG WAS THE TAIL?) ) that nobody knew, so everybody just called ( HIM OR HER?) THAT CAT.

(So you put in the choices as you go along:  Once upon a time, about five years ago, there lived a giant orange cat with purple eyes and a very long tail that nobody knew, so everybody called him THAT CAT!)  

Now, THAT CAT was (HOW OLD?) and was looking for (WHAT WAS THAT CAT LOOKING FOR?)  THAT CAT looked (WHERE?) and THAT CAT looked (WHERE?) but THAT CAT had no luck finding it anywhere!  Soon THAT CAT decided to climb a (WHAT DID THAT CAT CLIMB?)  and see what there was to see.  When THAT CAT got (HOW HIGH DID THAT CAT CLIMB?) the weather started to change.  (DID IT START TO RAIN OR SNOW OR BLOW OR GET TOO HOT?)  So THAT CAT had to (WHAT DID THAT CAT HAVE TO DO?) to get away from the tricky weatherCats do not like to be too wet or too cold or too hot or too windblown!  THAT CAT ran as fast as he could until he came to a (WHAT DID THAT CAT COME TO?  SOMETHING LIKE A CAVE OR A RIVER OR A SWINGSET OR A TREEHOUSE OR A PICNIC?)  in our neighborhood.  And right there THAT CAT found what he was looking for all along (DO YOU REMEMBER WHAT HE WAS LOOKING FOR?)  THAT CAT was very happy.  He decided to settle down then and there. And that is why, to this very day, THAT CAT lives down the road from our house where he cooks and sells (WHAT DOES THAT CAT COOK AND SELL- PANCAKES OR PICKLES OR WHAT?)  to anyone walking by.  Now everybody is so happy to know THAT (REMEMBER THE DESCRIPTION YOU CHOSE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE STORY?)  CAT!

You can get some good exercise with this ACTION RHYME!  
Stand up, hold your arms out in front  and make a fist for the cat and one for the mouse. 
For the first two lines, swing your arms, twist as far around as you can as your fists chase each other.  Then hold your hands wide apart to show the cat is "large" and clap your hands and hold them together to show the mouse is "thin."
Now swing and twist and make the cat chase the mouse again. 
Rub your tummy when the cat and mouse are hungry, hold your hands in a bowl shape up close to your mouth and lap when they are eating stew.
Lean your head over on one hand and close your eyes when the cat takes a nap. put your other hand across your chest when the mouse sits down in the cat's lap. 
Then MEOW as loudly as you can for the rest of the poem and your swing your arms and twist for the chase again OR run out of the room as fast as you can!
                                                            CAT AND MOUSE

                                               There was a cat who chase a mouse
                                                       in and out a big old house.
                                               That cat was large, that mouse was thin.
                                                      They ran around and back again.
                                               That cat was hungry, mouse was, too.
                                                  They stopped to eat a bowl of stew.
                                                  That cat was tired and took a nap. 
                                               That mouse sat down on that cat's lap!

                                                When cat woke up and saw that mouse,
                                      cat MEOWED and chased mouse from that house!!

                                                                                Copyright 2000 Jane Willis Johnston

Use purchased alphabet flash cards or make your own.  If you make your own, be sure to write the letters in both upper and lower case.  Use one color for all letters that rhyme with B.  Use a contrasting color for all other letters.  With the pre-made cards, make two piles, those that rhyme with B and all of the others.  Figuring that out together is a good activity all by itself!

You could make two cat stick puppets for this or just be the cats yourselves.  Let's start with the rhyme so you understand my idea.  This is based on a nursery rhyme.  Say it together a few times.

                                                              TWO SILLY CATS

                                                       Two silly cats raced up a tree,
                                                       One named A, one named B.
                                                        A clapped her paws.
                                                        B clicked his claws,

                                                        A MEOWED a song,
                                                        B danced along.
                                                        Two silly cats raced down a tree,
                                                         One named A, one named B! 
                                                                                 Copyright 2009 Jane Willis Johnston

Find the A card and the B card and set them on the floor so everyone can see.  Make sure everyone knows what the cards say.
Everybody squats down, ready to be cats racing up a tree.  (Or holding cat puppets to make race up a tree.) 
On the first line, stand up, stretch arms. 
On second line, wave one hand for A and then the other for B.
Make your actions fit the words of the next four lines. 
Then squat down as fast as you can for the last lines, remembering to wave hand for A and one for B.

Now, draw another card from each pile, set them out so everyone can see. make sure everybody knows what they say, and do the ACTION RHYME all over again! 

See how fast and how silly you can be!  And learn about letters on such A Fine Day for Cats!


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