Friday, September 27, 2013

Fingerplay Fun Friday!

Here is a delightful rhyme that is built around a jumping surprise: Chicken In the Barnyard

Chicken In the Barnyard

Chicken in the barnyard,
Staying out of trouble,
Along came a turkey... and... (pause)
GOBBLE, GOBBLE, GOBBLE!!!


There is nothing quite like a fun surprise for engaging children in rhyme sharing.  The ending of this rhyme has a lot in common with your typical peek-a-boo game.  There is a pause and a wait... and then a fun resolution.  The first time kids hear this one, they will jump out of their seats!  The second time, they will anticipate the GOBBLE, GOBBLE, GOBBLE!

When you repeat this rhyme, try to lengthen the pause a little each time.  Your child will most likely jump in an provide the final line because they just can't wait.  Let them practice waiting.  Self-regulation (or being able to keep calm and wait) is a very important skill that kids need to master before they begin school.  Kids who are able to stay focused and wait will have a much easier time learning to read once the rubber hits the road!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Fingerplay Fun Friday!

We have been on a major train kick over here at the WCCLS Kids Blog... here's another traintastic rhyme for all the loco locomotive fans out there: Little Red Caboose

Little Red Caboose

Little red caboose,
Chug, chug, chug,
Little red caboose,
Chug, chug, chug,
Little red caboose
Behind the train, train, train, train.

Smokestack on its back, back, back, back,
Coming around the track, track, track, track,
Little red caboose
Behind the train, choo, choo!


I like this one because it has such a bouncy and upbeat rhythm.  It sounds just like a train rolling down the track.  It is very simple and quick, too.  This makes it a great rhyme to share with busy little kids who don't want to slow down.

Rhymes that are very upbeat and rhythmic are great for drawing the attention of distracted children.  They show how fun language and music can be when they are joined together.  Research shows that kids who enjoy and are motivated by language are more likely to stick with the process of learning how to read.

For older preschoolers and elementary age kids, I highly recommend this brand new book all about the early days of transcontinental train travel in America:

Title: Locomotive
Author: Brian Floca
Find this book at your library

Hop aboard a train heading out of Omaha, bound for San Francisco. You will make the trip in about four days, thanks to the brand new transcontinental railroad!  This gorgeous book is packed full of picture after picture showcasing the early days of the American railways.

Monday, September 16, 2013

CLEL's Silver Bells!

Our good friends at the Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy (CLEL) are gearing up for the inaugural year of their brand new Bell Picture Book Awards.  These awards will be given out yearly to honor five picture books from the previous year that provide excellent support of children's early literacy development around five key practices:

1) Read
2) Talk
3) Sing
4) Write
5) Play


Each winner will exemplify one of these five practices.  For example, the Sing picture book will provide parents and caregivers with great and enriching opportunities for singing with their children.  The awards will be announced on February 5, 2014.

In the meantime, CLEL has just announced 25 books that they consider their Silver Bells.  These are books from the past 25 years that they consider great representations of what the Bell Awards are aiming toward.

Check one out today and get ready to engage in an awesome early-literacy-building time with your little one!

Here they are:


Title: Backseat A-B-See
Author: Maria Van Lieshout
Find this book at your library

Check out these Early Literacy Activity Ideas from CLEL

Title: The Bear in the Book
Author: Kate Banks
Illustrator: Georg Hallensleben
Find this book at your library

Check out these Early Literacy Activity Ideas from CLEL

Title: Lola at the Library
Author: Anna McQuinn
Illustrator: Rosalind Beardshaw
Find this book at your library

Check out these Early Literacy Activity Ideas from CLEL

Title: Maybe A Bear Ate It!
Author: Robie H. Harris
Illustrator: Michael Emberley
Find this book at your library

Check out these Early Literacy Activity Ideas from CLEL

Title: Wolf!
Author: Becky Bloom
Illustrator: Pascal Biet
Find this book at your library

Check out these Early Literacy Activity Ideas from CLEL


Title: Bark, George
Author: Jules Feiffer
Find this book at your library

Check out these Early Literacy Activity Ideas from CLEL

Title: Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow?
Author: Susan Shea
Illustrator: Tom Slaughter
Find this book at your library

Check out these Early Literacy Activity Ideas from CLEL

Title: Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!
Author: Mo Willems
Find this book at your library

Check out these Early Literacy Activity Ideas from CLEL

Title: Say Hello!
Author: Rachel Isadora
Find this book at your library

Check out these Early Literacy Activity Ideas from CLEL
Title: Tell Me the Day Backwards
Author: Albert Lamb
Illustrator: David McPhail
Find this book at your library

Check out these Early Literacy Activity Ideas from CLEL



Title: Baby Dance
Author: Ann Taylor
Illustrator: Marjorie van Heerden
Find this book at your library

Check out these Early Literacy Activity Ideas from CLEL

Title: Jazz Baby
Author: Lisa Wheeler
Illustrator: R. Gregory Christie
Find this book at your library

Check out these Early Literacy Activity Ideas from CLEL
Title: The Neighborhood Mother Goose
Author: Nina Crews
Find this book at your library

Check out these Early Literacy Activity Ideas from CLEL

Title: Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes
Author: Eric Litwin
Illustrator: James Dean
Find this book at your library

Check out these Early Literacy Activity Ideas from CLEL
Title: Tanka Tanka Skunk!
Author: Steve Webb
Find this book at your library

Check out these Early Literacy Activity Ideas from CLEL



Title: Andrew Drew and Drew
Author: Barney Saltzberg
Find this book at your library

Check out these Early Literacy Activity Ideas from CLEL
Title: A Beach Tail
Author: Karen Lynn Williams
Illustrator: Floyd Cooper
Find this book at your library

Check out these Early Literacy Activity Ideas from CLEL

Title: Bunny Cakes
Author: Rosemary Wells
Find this book at your library

Check out these Early Literacy Activity Ideas from CLEL

Title: A Splendid Friend, Indeed
Author: Suzanne Bloom
Find this book at your library

Check out these Early Literacy Activity Ideas from CLEL

Title: The Squiggle
Author: Carole Lexa Schaefer
Illustrator: Pierr Morgan
Find this book at your library

Check out these Early Literacy Activity Ideas from CLEL



Title: Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building
Author: Christy Hale
Find this book at your library

Check out these Early Literacy Activity Ideas from CLEL

Title: Elizabeti's Doll
Author: Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen
Illustrator: Christy Hale
Find this book at your library

Check out these Early Literacy Activity Ideas from CLEL

Title: Meeow and the Big Box
Author: Sebastien Braun
Find this book at your library

Check out these Early Literacy Activity Ideas from CLEL

Title: Pete's a Pizza
Author: William Steig
Find this book at your library

Check out these Early Literacy Activity Ideas from CLEL

Title: Press Here
Author: Herve Tullet
Find this book at your library

Check out these Early Literacy Activity Ideas from CLEL

Friday, September 13, 2013

Fingerplay Fun Friday!

In honor of Friday the 13th, here is a slighty spooky little rhyme: Three Ghostesses

Three ghostesses

Three little ghostesses, (hold up three fingers)
Sitting on postesses,
Eating buttered toastesses, (pretend to eat)
Greasing their fistesses, (make fist)
Up to their wristesses. (run hand over wrist)
Oh, what beastesses to make such feastesses!


I like being overly dramatic with this one.  Expressing over-the-top shock and dismay during the last line makes it take on a comical tone.  When kids have lots of experiences with different emotions and tones in writing, it is easier for them to make sense of what they read.  

Once your child has finished the rhyme, consider asking them to repeat the last line even louder.. and then louder!  This is a great opportunity to introduce them to punctuation.  In the case of this rhyme, the final line ends with an exclamation mark.  That piece of punctuation lets us know that the sentence is spoken with force or emphasis.

Children who have a basic understanding of punctuation marks (especially exclamation marks, periods and question marks) will have a much easier time learning how to read.  Those cryptic little symbols won't get in their way!

For a fun introduction to punctuation, check out this new picture book:

Title: Exclamation Mark
Author: Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Illustrator: Tom Lichtenheld

An exclamation mark doesn't quite fit in... until he discovers what he can do!!!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Fingerplay Fun Friday!

Here's a classic nursery rhyme that lets kids play around with the concept of rhyme: A-Hunting We Will Go

A-Hunting We Will Go

A hunting we will go, a hunting we will go
Heigh ho, the dairy-o, a hunting we will go
We'll catch a fox and put him in a box
And then we'll let him go

A hunting we will go, a hunting we will go
Heigh ho, the dairy-o, a hunting we will go
We'll catch a fish and put him on a dish
And then we'll let him go

A hunting we will go, a hunting we will go
Heigh ho, the dairy-o, a hunting we will go
We'll catch a bear and cut his hair
And then we'll let him go

A hunting we will go, a hunting we will go
Heigh ho, the dairy-o, a hunting we will go
We'll catch a pig and dance a little jig
And then we'll let him go

A hunting we will go, a hunting we will go
Heigh ho, the dairy-o, a hunting we will go!


I like to march, so I do it as a march.  Our good friends at the King County Library System show how to do it as a lap pat: Check it out.

The best part of this one is the rhymes:
We'll catch a fox and put him in a box
We'll catch a fish and put him on a dish
We'll catch a bear and cut his hair
We'll catch a pig and dance a little jig

You can keep building and building on this nursery rhyme by adding more animals.  With older kids, it's best played when you enlist them to help you think up new animals.  Together you can try to complete the rhyme.

We'll catch a frog........ and put her on a log!!
We'll catch a cat........ and put him on a mat!!
We'll catch a mouse...... and put her in a (hint: it's something people live in)!!

When kids play with rhymes they increase their ability to recognize the smaller sounds in words.  This skill helps them when they begin to learn how to read.  Kids who have a rich understanding of rhyme will have a much easier time distinguishing between (and making sense of) "cat", "mat", "bat", "hat", "fat", "sat" and "rat"!!