So your child likes Trains

Whoo! Whoo ! ALL Aboard !  Children LOVE things that go ! Some of us never grow out of it. I love train rides and long road trips that give us a chance to feel the wind in our hair, see new places and connect with our traveling friends.

Trains are especially exciting for young children, with all the sounds, the motions, and the adventures !  Most folks are aware of Thomas, and all the wonderful stories of he and his friends.  But there are many other wonderful resources, ie. books, movies, websites, and more about unique trains, and even railroad track layers.  In the following linked blog posts, I have listed some of my favorites ! 

This coming semester,  In Our Time:  Away We GO!, the children will love Shiny Dinah, her book, her songs, and the big case in her shape, as well as exploring the many other methods we use to get places !    In Imagine That: Toys I Make, Trips I Take, we help set up a train set in our Toy Store, and pretend we are going on a train ride… but where?  Our students learn to draw maps to show where they want their train ride to go.  Take your child’s train play to a whole new level… and let them learn music concepts in the process !   This can take your child’s train play to a whole new level.    Try out one of these classes this week at a Free Demo class.  And join us for delighful traveling fun and learning at the beginning of February as part of our Spring Semester of Kindermusik.   The process of music will amaze you.

Enroll for a Demo class today !

Enroll for a full semester of Kindermusik ! – Monthly payment plans are automatically set up upon online enrollment.

ENJOY the resources at these links !  The music and books are really great !

DOWNLOAD some great music from:  Play.Kindermusik    Check out these albums:

  • All Aboard
  • Zane the Train

And enjoy the resources that I have shared on my blog postings:

Holiday Thank You Cards as a Family Ritual

Gratitude is a gift you give back lovingly, not a chore to be forced.   SO, how can we, as parents, set this up for success for our children to take on this task with pride and wholeness of heart?   We make it into a full family ritual, complete with sounds, smells, tastes, and a Thank You Card (or Method) that incorporates their personality and their abilities.  Make sure to do it each year the week after Christmas, or the Hanukka events, or whatever holiday you celebrate, and it will be a cherished memory, and a lifelong tradition they can share with their children.  When done with love, it helps them embrace an important life skill: an attitude of gratitude.

Although it will take some prep time on your part (see below), when your family sits down to complete the task, make it special, and give it plenty of time.  

  • SOUND:  Put on some enjoyable Winter Music, or some of your favorite children’s Christmas songs, or music specific to your holiday.  Our family’s favorite is the Charlie Brown Christmas album (LOVE that JAZZ).  Or the Winter Wonderland album.   NOTE:  The title song is a FREE DOWNLOAD during December, a special gift from Kindermusik International.
  • TASTE:  Serve hot chocolate, or spiced cider, and a few nibbler treats to munch on (choose to serve before, during, or after, based on what works best for your family.)  Many times, we are still working on finishing off our Gingerbread houses.  
  • SMELL:  Add a delightful aroma with some of your favorite candles or essential oils of the season.  This year, a special family gave me a “Twisted Peppermint” candle – a perfect addition to our tradition.
  • TOUCH:  Set up the table with all the things you need to make this successful and free of stress.

First, consider the best method that YOUR child will enjoy to make MULTIPLE  Thank You cards.  Take into account their ability level, and their personality.   Each one of these activities allows the child to share a bit of themselves in a way that makes them feel special for “giving back”, without overwhelming them with the task.  Combine the ideas, and make them your own.  If you have any of your own, please add them in the comment section.

PICTURES:  For a baby or any child who is not yet able to write, take a photograph of the child with the objects given to them by each specific person/family.  They may be wearing the new outfit, or playing with the toy, or even sleeping with it under their arm.  This can be emailed with a quick note, or printed and sent by mail with a handwritten note below the picture, or on the back.  IF gifts are given personally, it is an awesome memory to take a picture of the giver, the child, and the gift while they are together.  For your child, when they are ready, it is a great idea to have a picture of each family and friend in a photo album that is easy for them to use.   Review these family photos, and talk about which person gave them which gift, and maybe help them remember some details of that family member.   These pictures can be looked at again and again, with stories weaved in to make the family tapestry strong.  BOTH my children repeatedly sought out and  lingered over family pictures in their baby books – mesmerized as young children are with faces.  As they got older, we had to call each one… even if just to listen to the other family member talk.

Thank You stampINK STAMPS:   There is an amazing array of stamps on the market now because of Scrapbooking.   For children able to use stamps (but not write well), get a STAMP with their NAME on it.  For the very young, you may use a self inking stamp (to avoid patches of ink everywhere), but the regular stamps offer more of a variety with children just a bit older.   Ink pads come in a variety of colors, so get a few of their favorites, and let them choose which color to use.  Or, of course, you can have them use their markers to color the stamp any way they want, and then stamp it on the paper.  You may even take them to the store, to choose a few stamps that reflect their interests, ie. trains, animals, or royal accessories.   Cut a sheet of card stock into four postcards and let them decorate both sides with their “personality stamps” and their NAME stamp on ONE side at the BOTTOM, and let dry.  Parents can write the address on one side, and on the side with the name, a quick note commenting on how their child reacted to the gift.   If they are starting to write, you may have them write just the NAME of the person it is for.  Help them “picture” the person in their head by showing pictures, or telling stories of fun times they had together.

COPY ART / SIMPLE THANK YOU:  Maybe your child can trace or write THANK YOU ! and their NAME, and add their own art work to a sheet of paper.  This page can be color copied, as many as you need, full size, or even half size on the top of a full sheet of paper, allowing the parents to add a few handwritten details at the bottom. 

FORM LETTERS:   For those children who are able to write a bit, but get bogged down in the repetitiveness of the Thank You note, appreciate having a Form letter with many of the words already written.   This can easily be done on the computer by the parent, or even better, the parent and child working together to design it.  A normal Word document with expanded margins, with two columns, on a horizontal page can fit FOUR “postcards”.  See, or even USE my sample.

Dear _________________,                                                                                            December 2011

Single Snowflake

 

Like a single snowflake, you are unique,

and you have brightened my world with

the gift of your friendship.

I especially want to thank you for

_____________________________

_____________________________

_____________________________

The world is a more beautiful place because of you !

May your new year be filled with beautiful unique adventures!

                                                                                  __________________,      ___________

Cora (almost 8 years old) wanted a snowflake this year, so we found a good image online and we worked on the words together.  She can, and would be willing to write this ONCE, but would fight tooth and nail if she had to write it multiple times.  Once printed and cut into postcards, she can personalize each one by just writing the NAME of the person, and the gift received, as well as a short comment about her reaction to it.  Then she can decide how to end it, and add her name.   Actually, she is choosing to cut each postcard a little smaller and send each one in an envelope this year, along with a paper snowflake that she has cut out herself (a good use for all the snowflakes that seem to be multiplying at my house.)

Even my 16 year old son, James, likes using the Form Letter format.  He just types in the information instead of leaving blanks.  This is only for the family and friends who don’t use text messaging… the current means of ANY communication for a teenager.  Handwriting, as I am told, is no longer used to communicate.  Except, as I tell him, for those few family members who consider his handwriting a treasure of their own.

SHORT & SWEET VIDEO:  For all the drama kings and queens out there, especially those with parents who have access and knowledge of video taking and sharing, there is ALWAYS the personal Thank You video.  Cora got one of her wishes fulfilled when Grammy sent her matching outfits for her and her American Girl doll.  Within the hour, She had to put the outfits on both her and her doll, then pose for pictures, and showcase her gift and her appreciation via a short video taken on my smartphone and texted to Grammy.   Then we called her to make sure she got it, and they had a grand discussion.  YES, she will still be sending a Thank You card in the mail because these things mean a lot to Grammy.  But the immediate nature of communication these days offers a LOT of options ! 

Whereas, my teenage son won’t even let me take a picture of him.  What is up with that ??!!

PLEASE share your ideas for Holiday Thank You Methods with me as well !

A Parent’s Guide to Beats and Rhythms

For the non-musician, sometimes musical terms can be a second language.  For many parents, some terms may be familiar, especially with the brilliant musical teachings of The Little Einsteins (Thanks Disney).   But it might not be easy to explain it to someone else, much less understand these concepts well enough to help your child develop these skills, or to know why it is important to do so.

Before we start, I need to clarify that this is for the parents.  PLEASE don’t feel compelled to try to use words with children to explain these concepts.  From birth to around 5 – 6 years old, they must simply feel each of the concepts in their bodies.

 

What is Steady Beat?  

 Steady Beat is the most fundamental property of music

and life.

It is the underlying, unchanging, repeating pulse. 

We each have our own internal steady beat, our heartbeat.

“… it starts as a heartbeat, and sprouted a rhyme”    – Village Do-Si-Do

 

You may feel this as you tap your foot or dance to a piece of music.

To illustrate a steady beat, tap with each underlined syllable as you sing the song.

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,

How I wonder what you are.

Up above the world so high,

Like a diamond in the sky

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,

How I wonder what you are.

The taps should have continued at an even pace throughout the song.

 

Make it a GAME:  Let the child choose a favorite song.  The adults clap the steady beat while the child sings the song, or as you sing it together.  Once it becomes easy, try tapping the beat on your child’s back, or on the bottom of their feet.

There are LOTS of ways to experience and practice steady beat:  See my blog posting:  “Catching a Beat” with very young Children.

 

TEMPO

The steady beat of a particular song may be fast, or slow; this is called Tempo.

The tempo of the steady beat may even change during a song.

Physiologically, beats that are slower than the heartbeat calm the body, allowing it to slow down and relax.  Beats that are faster than the heartbeat engage the brain, getting it ready to learn, and engage the body, getting it ready to move.

Make it a GAME:  First, the child and adult should FEEL each other’s heartbeat.  Choose a favorite lullaby song, sing it together several times, or listen to the recording while rocking to the beat.   Then feel the heartbeat again. 

Do the same with a favorite upbeat song while “dancing” the way it makes you feel – sung or recorded.  Feel the heartbeat.  Wow ! 

 

How does Steady Beat relate to Rhythm Patterns & Melodic Rhythms?

Rhythm Patterns

Within the steady beat of most ALL music, there is steady underlying pattern of a stronger beat followed by less strong beats.  In music, these are often carried by the percussion instruments, and help to keep the rest of the musicians playing together.

 At the most basic level, our human perceptions often “recognize” rhythms in a series of identical sounds, such as dividing clock-ticks into “tick-tock-tick-tock”. 

That is a basic 2 beat pattern.

 

MOST popular music from the Western side of the world has a 4 beat pattern, including marching songs, and folk songs like 

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,           How I wonder what you are

    1             2              3          4                  1           2              3                4

 

Make it a GAME:  Holding your child, or holding their hand, step forward 4 steps with the beat of “Twinkle Twinkle”.  Then walk backwards on the next 4 beats.  Continue forward and back throughout the song.  Make it more fun by standing in front of a mirror watching yourselves.  Or march toward and away from another favorite adult who is making funny faces when you get close.  Got it?  Try it with another song.

 

Waltzes and many lullabies contain 3 beat patterns, and have more of a swooping feel, such as:

 “Rock -a-  Bye    Ba—- by,  In the tree    top———”

      1  –  2  –  3      1 – 2 – 3      1 – 2  –  3       1  –  2  –  3

Make it a GAME:  Standing and holding your child, sing “Rock-a-Bye Baby” while swaying side to side.  Start moving the opposite direction on each count of ONE.  Feel the swinging motion.  Once that feels natural, change the way you are moving.  Try swooping the baby up to one side, then down and up on the other side.

 

Musicians around the world have enjoyed working with these familiar rhythm patterns in new and different ways, as well as exploring unique patterns of strong and weak beats.   Cultural music from Africa often includes a variety of beat patterns even within the same song. 

 

Melodic Rhythms

follow the melody of the music,

it is the beat of the words in the song

that are unique within each measure of that underlying rhythm pattern.

To illustrate this, clap along with each syllable in these songs  (with the X): 

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

    1         2          3          4  

   X     x     x     x    x   x   x

 

Notice that sometimes you clap TWICE for each beat (twink-le)

 

“Rock -a-  Bye    Ba—- by,  In the tree    top———”

      1  –  2  –  3      1 – 2 – 3    1 – 2  –  3       1  –  2  –  3

      x  –  x  –  x       x – — – x    x – x  –  x        x ———–

Sometimes you DON’T clap along with the steady beat (top).

 

These rhythms are unique within each set of beats.

A melody is a combination of pitch and rhythm, and is sung with the voice,

or played with a melodic instrument.

Nursery rhymes are basically melodic rhythms without pitch.

 Make it a GAME:  Find a book full of nursery rhymes.   Tap along with each syllable as you chant the rhyme.  The fun is to find new ways to tap.  Tap on different parts of the child’s body.  Tap on an upside down cooking pot.  Use a stick to tap on a tambourine as the child holds onto it.  Tap on the table of the high chair they are sitting in.        

For older children, play “Name That Rhyme” using just the beats of the words.  To make it easier for preschoolers, just make it a choice between TWO familiar rhymes that are in the book.  This makes it more concrete.

Experiencing beats and rhythms, repeatedly, in new and different ways,

is the best way to build a foundation for these skills.

 

Every class of Kindermusik is filled with beats and rhythms: in the rich recorded music, in the songs we sing together, in the Hello song we sing for each child, in the lap bounces that make us giggle, with the instruments we play, in the circle dances we share… in so many ways.

Kindermusik makes it easy and fun.  Come join us.

 

Find out WHY this is important for a child to learn at such a young age.

Learn about the developmental progression of steady beat.

Learn about the best teaching methods to help your child progress

Explore LOTS of ideas for each of these age group:  babies, walkers, preschoolers.

 

How do you share beat and rhythm experiences with your child?

America The Beautiful Helps Children Connect

Do you and your children get tingles of pride when you see a large flag waving in the wind, or hear the national anthem, or sing “America, the Beautiful” together?   I DO, I proudly put my hand over my heart and often get tears in my eyes as I watch the flag parade by.  I cherish the freedom  available in our country, appreciate the sacrifices of  the veterans and families that helped us achieve it, and recognize our personal responsibilities to maintain it.  And I am doing my best to help my children feel the same feelings of pride and connection.  I want them to visualize for themselves the “spacious skies”, and “purple mountain majesties”.

This video of “America, The Beautiful” allows the viewer to see snippets of the beauty of this country while listening to a grand chorus which helps build this feeling of awe and wonder.  This version also includes the lyrics  throughout the video so all can sing along.

 

The song, “America, the Beautiful” is a perfect simple song, with an appropriate vocal range, to help children FEEL the pride of their country.  It is short and slow enough to sing well at a young age, allowing them to mentally visualize the many aspects of the lyrics.  

And when the many voices of a family sing it at the same time, it helps build emotional bonds in the child that helps them know they BELONG… with their family, and with their country.  This is critical to the emotional health of every child… every person.  It also helps our children establish the kind of respect for their natural world that will inspire them to help maintain this healthy beauty far  into the future.

During this last two weeks, my family has froliced in the new spring flowers and romped in knee deep snow at Angel Lake in Nevada, taken a tour of an underground wonderland (Timpanogas Cave), floated and bumped down the Colorado River, and hiked to exquisite red rock arches and formations in SouthEastern Utah.  Yesterday, we went horseback riding in the mountains of Northern Utah.   We are a little sore and achy, but love the connections we have made, with family, with nature, and with our beautiful world.

Many of the treasures of our nation, and of nature in general, can be experienced with a minimal budget.  Just go outside, try some new nature activities, find out the “national treasures” that are near you, and explore our wonderful world.  I will be sharing some fun ideas for nature activities, and family sing a long songs through Facebook and Twitter, so LIKE my FB Page, and follow @debbiemondale on Twitter, and join in the conversation.  I’d LOVE to hear how YOUR family makes the beauty of our country come alive.

Enjoy a StoryWalk in Downtown Lakeland

Can you and your young children WALK and READ at the same time???  Of course you can, on a special StoryWalk™.   I’m setting one up in Downtown Lakeland for the month of June, for your family’s enjoyment.  Since it is in the store windows, it costs nothing, and you can even go when the stores aren’t even open.   Try some of the activity ideas on each page, then head to the next store.

Every month, since before my son was born, I read the Family Fun magazine cover to cover, and we are often inspired to create some family fun !  The May issue inspired me to create a StoryWalk™ for downtown Lakeland with one of my Kindermusik books.  

The original StoryWalk™ Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition and the Kellogg-Hubbard Library.  Find out more at http://kellogghubbard.org/storywalk.html

The idea is that separate pages of a children’s book are posted along a path.  To promote a healthy exercise activity, and the fun of reading, families can accompany their young children along the path, walking and reading along. 

For the month of June, we will feature Pete and PJ, a fun story about a boy and his dog who get dirty playing in the mud, BUT are HAPPY to enjoy a bath to clean up.   Each page of the story ends with the fun phrase “Wishy Washy, Wishy Washy, Wishy Washy, Weee!”, and while chanting it, the readers swish their hands together to the beat, then raise their hands up in the air on Wheee!  There are also some fun activity ideas for the story part on each page that the readers can enjoy on the spot.

There are 8 pages of the book which are located at some fabulous downtown businesses.   The list below has them in order, and includes a link to their website (if they have one) and a brief point of fact.

Click HERE for a map of Downtown Lakeland.

Start at The General Store.  Go in and get a bookmark guide.  This bookmark will include ALL the locations, and some contact information.  Or copy and print the following information:

KI logo

    StoryWalk  featuring Pete & PJ

1)       The General Store,      125 S. Kentucky Ave.      Groceries, Sundries, and Memories.    Make sure and say HI to Ms. Terisa and Sparky when you get your bookmark !    IBC Cream Soda …  Mmmmm !

2)      Paint Along Studios,     123 S. Kentucky Ave.     Their  Kids Kamps this summer looks like a lot of fun !

3)      Tougie Baby  (NEW)     121 S. Kentucky Ave.      A new store featuring specialty clothes and items for your babies  (She’s only been open 3 weeks !)

4)      Nathan’s Men’s Store   221 E. Main Street         A classic traditional men’s (as well as the best local Cub Scout & Boy Scout) store

5)      Black and Brew              205 E. Main Street         Coffee House and Bistro  (I LOVE their Ginsing Peppermint Tea – ICED !)

6)      Main Street Creamery  128 E. Main Street         Old fashioned ice cream shop (a great lunch too).

7)      Explorations V                109 N. Kentucky Ave.     Three floors of hands-on Children’s Museum FUN.  I got an annual membership when I moved here 12 years ago, and have renewed every year since.  It is THAT worth it !

8)      Palace Pizza   (last page)   114 S. Kentucky Ave.         The best pizza in town (in my opinion) !       

If you are reading this posting before you go, you may want to bring a few things just to make it a more concrete experience(optional, of course), a washcloth, a bath towel, maybe a bubble jar, and possibly a stuffed (or real) pet dog.  Walk, read, talk, sing, pretend, move, and have a good time together. 

This book, “Pete and PJ” by Cindy Bousman and Susan James,  is featured in several of our upcoming Kindermusik programs.

  • a Kindermusik Playdate called Tub Tunes,
  • our Music and Art Family Classes called “Splash” this June,
  • and our Fall Semester of Our Time called “Wiggles and Giggles” includes the book in the home materials.

On each of the story pages posted in the store windows, there will be:

  • Which page it is, out of the total number of pages
  • Fun activities to enjoy while reading that page,
  • Creative ideas to make it musical !
  • Which store will have the next page, and a suggested way to move to get there. 

It may look silly as you enjoy the activities, but your children will LOVE it, and may want to do this repeatedly.  The cool part is that the stores don’t have to be open to enjoy this StoryWalk, it is ALL in the windows.  It’s like a literary treasure hunt.

To enhance THIS StoryWalk with music, go to www.play.kindermusik.com  and download the song called “Wishy Washy Wee!” off of the Bake, Build, Sing and Scrub album.  It is a fun song to sing along with the repetitive phrase in the book .  You may also want to download “Sailor Scrub”, which is perfect music for marching, or gliding, or stomping, to the next location.  If you are new to this site, you get 10 free credits to use, making these FREE downloads !

Upon completing the StoryWalk, contact us at InTune Studios and you will receive a coupon for a FREE music, art, or Kindermusik class.

We are loaded with fun, creative ways to enjoy your family time.  Check out our Music and Art Summer Camps and Workshops.  Some are for families, some are for big kids.   Our #1 focus is to provide such a quality experiences that the creative juices just START to flow, letting open the flood gates, and you will see your children riding the tide long after classes are over.

Once you’ve enjoyed the STORYWALK, please share your thoughts!   Do you like it downtown?  Do you have other suggested locations?  Is it the right distance for walking with your family?   Are you enjoying the book and activities?   I’m here listening, to my comments here, on Facebook, and on Twitter.  I look forward to hearing from you.

The Old Woman in a Shoe gets a Mommy Makeover

There Was an Old WomanA nice short sweet note for you for Mother’s Day. 

Enjoy this loving revision of  There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe (by Becky Bailey) with your child.  

Look directly into your child’s eyes, use your most expressive voice with your young child as they sit on your lap, or lay in bed.  Lovingly, hold their hand and enjoy this finger play.

A wonderful woman who lived in a shoe,   (place your child’s hand between your two hands)
She had so many children she knew exactly what to do.  (with one hand wiggle each finger individually on the child’s hand)
She held them. She rocked them, and tucked them in bed.  (hold & rock the hand, bring to your chest)
“I love you, I love you” is what she said.       (speak directly to the child, then snuggle)

You may even hold the hand against the heart and ask the child if they can feel the heart beat.  Then have them feel their own.  A child’s heartbeat is a little faster than an adult’s, can they tell the difference?    If you HUM a familiar lullaby right now, the child can feel the vibration in your chest.

This quiet activity allows the child to be bathed in a full sensory experience: they HEAR these sweet words, they SEE your adoring eyes, they FEEL your sensitive touch on their hands, they hear and feel the deep underlying rhythms of the poem, and of the heart, and deep in their heart, their EMOTIONS absorb the love.  In their brain, natural chemicals are released that allow the stress of the day to melt away, and different chemicals set the stage for new connections, strong connections of language, of love, and of the comfort of a safe place to be.

“Again… Again, mommy?”  Say yes.  Repetition makes the connections stronger.  Strong enough to make them feel comfortable even in a strange place when you recite the rhyme.  With enough repetition, the child may, at some point, replay the scenario in their minds, even when you are not there, to help them reach that sense of calm when they need it most.

A mother’s love extends far beyond their physical being.  It extends into the heart – forever.

***  For more such rhymes and loving rituals with your child, please order the book (and maybe even the CDs) called “I Love You Rituals” by Becky Bailey.  I LOVE her perspective… so will you.

PS.  Of course, Kindermusik is FULL of these types of magical musical moments, which you learn in class, with other loving parents, and build your “musical and literary” mommy library, so you can use them in your daily routines with your family.  Repetition is good for the child, but the mommy brain LOVES new material to work with. 

Check out a Kindermusik program near you.

Wow!  While looking around, I found an amazing website based on this rhyme.  New verses, coloring pages, games, even recipies.  Ha !  What fun !  When you get a chance, check out Alphabet Soup.    Then you can submit your own fun ideas !

PLEASE share the song or rhyme that you use with your child to connect, calm, and thrive.

Bunny Rabbits – Funny Habits

 

Hiding in the grass

 Bunnies just look soooo cuddly that it is a natural  impulse to want to pick them up and hug them.  Luckily we have a lot of stuffed animals for little children to do just that.   Wild rabbits are actually very timid creatures (some children can really relate to them), and it is fun to explore their unique habits through a variety of rhymes, songs, stories, and activities.  (It may also share with some children how timid and shy creatures still live very happy lives.)  These are some of my favorites offered by a variety of authors and sources, including Kindermusik, and a few of my own.

Personally, my favorite Easter icon is the egg  (see my eggcellent egg post).  But, this is the semester we move like, sound like, act like, and celebrate ANIMALS, and the animal of the day is the BUNNY RABBIT!Enjoy the activities that work best for your family.  AND SHARE with me some of YOUR Favorites too.   I do hope you have a wonderful Easter !

                                                DESCRIBE the BUNNY

 I’m a Little Bunny   by Jan Brennen
(Sung to “I’m a Little Teapot”)   Take time for the actions with your child.

I’m a Little Bunny, in a field I lie,               (curl up on the floor like a rabbit)
Here is my nose, and here are my eyes.   (point to body parts)
Here’s a bushy tail that likes to wiggle,     (wiggle tail area)
Tickle me and I might giggle.                         (… just do it !)

I’m a Little Bunny, soft and sweet,              ( front “paws” pet each other)
Here are my ears, and here are my feet.   (touch body parts)
When I’m in the garden, I look for treats,     (hop around and look)
And nibble on all I like to eat.                         (pretend to nibble on food)

***  This is also fun to with a little baby as “the bunny”.  Make eye contact, use an expressive voice, and adapt the actions to be “ON” the baby.

*** Older children may like to use a stuffed rabbit, or rabbit puppet, to make the motions, with this, or any of these rhymes or songs.)

It might be good to find a book that describe the true habits of rabbits.

 —————————————————————–

Outside Fun

 This Kindermusik song (an old folk song) is perfect to explore so much of HOW a rabbit may move or act.    

What Shall We Do when we all go out, All go out, all go out.
What shall we do when we all go out, All go out to play?

Let’s all hop like a rabbit, A rabbit, a rabbit,

Let’s all hop like a rabbit, When we go look for food.

  • Twitch your nose like a rabbit . . .   – So we can smell the food.
  • Let’s all munch on a carrot . . .         – Crunch, crunch, crunch…
  • In the dirt, we’ll dig a hole . . .          – And that will be our home.
     
  • Listen carefully with my long ears . . .   – So danger we can hear
  • Hide in a hole when there’s danger . . .  – Until we know it’s safe.

*** Perhaps you can tell that this is sort of a story within a song.  Follow the pattern consistently and talk about the story, and the children will pick up on the pattern, and begin to tell the story themselves.

 

Fun HOPPING  Activity Ideas

  • Hop from the squatting position
  • Have a hopping race to a finish line
  • Play hopping tag
  • Listen for sounds, then find the source.
  • A person can hide with a specific sound, then others can listen and find them.

 

My Bunny Hops All Through the Garden

(Sung to “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean”)  To sing while playing tag!

My bunny hops all through the garden,  My bunny hops all through the yard:
I like to play tag with my bunny,  But trying to catch him is hard.
Come back, come back, Oh, come back, my bunny to me, to me.
Come back, come back, Oh, come back my bunny to me. 

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“Danger Training”

This Kindermusik rhyme focuses on one of the most unique characteristics of rabbits, HIDING when there is danger.  

Of course, it can be fun in many ways, such as enjoying  finger play where the fingers hop about and finally into the hole made by a criss crossed lap.

Here’s a Bunny with Ears So Funny

And here’s a hole in the ground,

At the first sound he hears (make noise)

He pricks up his ears,

And hops right into the ground.

This is a great opportunity to teach your child what to do when there is danger.  Talk about dangers that may occur, and what you want your children to do in those instances.  Agree upon cue words to start the hiding process, such as “Danger, hide inside.”  Agree upon a specific safe hiding spot, and practice playing “Rabbit danger”.  The children should wait quietly until “mother bunny” comes get them. 

After one spot is learned, try other safe hiding spots in the home and yard, so they don’t panic if they can’t get to that one.  Hopefully, it will always be a game.  But if there’s ever a need, you’re child will have the skills to handle it and is less likely to panic.

Book Recommendation: “The Runaway Bunny” Margaret Wise Brown

Although the little bunny is in NO danger, When he wants to run away from home, his mother assures him that she will run after him and find him because she loves him.  This is a reassuring message that fills a child’s heart and mind with connection, hope, and love.

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Eating Time Fun

 Try this as a finger play when your child is sitting in their high chair (like This Little Piggy)

 

This Little Bunny

likes food that’s GREEN.
This little bunny thinks carrots are keen.
This little bunny likes food that’s yellow
This little bunny is a hungry fellow.
This little bunny nibbles away
At apples and celery every day!

  • Touch each of five fingers while reciting.
  • Recite during food time when eating “rabbit food” (veggies) and replace the underlined words with foods on the table.

 ***  Rabbits love to eat raw plants of all colors:

Green:  lettuce, celery, broccoli, cabbage, sugar snap peas

Orange: carrots, sweet potato, cantalope

Yellow:  yellow squash, corn, pears

Red:  apples, papaya, tomatoes

Lay out a garden spread for your little bunny with various things to spread on it or dip it in, such as:  honey, peanut butter, dressing, caramel, cheese, cream cheese, etc.

For fun, here are directions on how to make a bunny pear salad.

My son’s favorite quote while eating carrots:

“Eheheheh,

What’s up, doc ?”

 

What kind of bunny fun is hopping around YOUR house?