Friday, April 25, 2014

Fingerplay Fun Friday: Hickory Dickory Dock!

After a bit of a break, we're back!!! This week we feature an interactive take on a familiar old mother goose rhyme: Hickory Dickory Dock

Hickory Dickory Dock

Hickory dickory dock,
The mouse ran up the clock,
The clock struck one,
The mouse ran down,
Hickory dickory dock.

Hickory dickory dock,
The mouse ran up the clock,
The clock struck two,
Away the mouse flew,
Hickory dickory dock.

Hickory dickory dock,
The mouse ran up the clock,
The clock struck three,
The mouse went "whee!!!"
Hickory dickory dock.

Hickory dickory dock,
The mouse ran up the clock,
The clock struck four,
The mouse fell to the floor,
Hickory dickory dock.

Hickory dickory dock,
The mouse ran up the clock,
The clock struck five,
The mouse took a dive,
Hickory dickory dock.


It is very easy to turn this action rhyme into a two-person game. One person gets to be the clock and the other gets to be the mouse.

With babies and young toddlers, I would recommend that you be the mouse and they be the clock. With older toddlers and preschoolers, you can be the clock while they take on the more challenging role of the mouse.

As you recite the rhyme, encourage a playful interaction by making the mouse squeak and scamper about. The clock can chime out the time, as well.

When children engage in imaginative play, they learn a great deal about how the world works. Play helps children think symbolically. In this case, an upraised arm becomes a clock and a hand becomes a mouse. The ability to think symbolically is critical to learning how to read. When we read, we must understand that written words stand for real objects and experiences.

In addition, two-person play helps children work on important social skills, like the ability to cooperate with others. As with most things, this takes practice. By playing little games like this, you can ensure your child is be ready to start school and "play well with others."

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Best Books for Babies


It’s never too early to begin sharing books with the baby in your life. Research has shown that reading to a child on a regular basis is one of the most important activities toward building a successful reader.

Finding a book that is just right for your baby is easy.

Here are a few features that make books great for babies:

  • Bright, high-contrast images – geometric shapes and black & white illustrations for newborns, photographs and bold-line drawings for older infants
  • Familiar subject matter – things and activities that are familiar to the baby
  • Fun sounds – animal noises, car & train sounds and other silly sounds
  • Nursery rhymes – playful language for you to read aloud
  • Easy to handle – cardboard books and fabric books that little hands can grab

Every year a group of educators and librarians from Western Pennsylvania selects a list of the Best Books for Babies that were published in the previous year.

Here is the 2014 list of the Best Books for Babies (descriptions provided by Best Books for Babies):

Title: Baby Parade
Author: Rebecca O'Connell
Illustrator: Susie Poole
Find this book at your library

Smiling babies and their caretakers promenade through a cheerful landscape that combines realistic elements with unusual patterns and textures.
Title: Diggers Go
Author: Steve Light
Find this book at your library

Energetic painting of various kinds of heavy equipment stretch across the pages of this sturdy board book accompanied by amusing interpretations of the noises they make.

Title: Farm
Author: James Brown
Find this book at your library

High contrast illustrations present stylized images of familiar animals and objects; slight changes in texture add tactile appeal.
Title: Global Baby Girls
Author: Global Fund for Children
Find this book at your library

Crisp photos showcase baby girls from around the world who are “beautiful, strong, bold and bright” and sure to capture the interest of the very youngest listeners.
Title: Good Night, Trucks: A Bedtime Book
Author: Brian Biggs
Find this book at your library

Colorful cartoon-style pictures feature eleven different kinds of trucks, focusing on what they do and where they go at the end of the day.
Title: Healthy Baby: Cuddle, Eat, Move, Reach
Author: Elizabeth Verdick and Marjorie Lisovskis
Find these books at your library

Soft black-and-white photos of babies face pages that combine playful pastel illustrations with short sentences describing the babies’ actions.
Title: It's Time to Sleep
Author: Priddy Books
Find this book at your library

Brief and basic, this colorful point-and-say board book shows photos of babies, blankets, books and bears among other familiar items associated with daily activities and bedtime routines.
Title: Maisy's First Colors
Author: Lucy Cousins
Find this book at your library

Maisy and her friends enjoy their favorite yummy foods, featured in simple drawings with bright colors and described with brief rhymes.
Title: My Mother Goose
Author: David McPhail (ed. and illus.)
Find this book at your library

A treasure trove of traditional rhymes and original content, this collection is decorated with old-fashioned watercolor illustrations.
Title: Thumpy Feet
Author: Betsy Lewin
Find this book at your library

A goofy-looking orange cat with big green eyes, Thumpy Feet is interested in the same kinds of things that absorb babies’ attention: eating, playing, stretching and sleeping.




Best Books for Babies is a project of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, the Fred Rogers Company and the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children.