Streamer Ribbons & Scarves – A Rainbow of Fun!

rnbw

Put a scarf or ribbon in a child’s hand and movement automatically begins! Dance, leap, run, twirl, spin, gallop, jump, throw, catch – the active play it provides is never ending! I highly recommend that you have enough scarves or ribbons for each child to have one for each hand.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes:
Promotes cross-lateral movements (midline development)
Develops body and spatial awareness
Directionality
Laterality
Gross and fine motor coordination
Eye-hand coordination
Moderate to vigorous physical activity
Agility
Flexibility
Listening skills
Cooperative play
Creativity
Imagination

Movement Exploration and Creative Movement
Using one ribbon or scarf, move it…

  • Up and down
  • Side to side
  • In a circle
  • In a figure 8
  • Above your head
  • Below your knees
  • Between your legs
  • At your side
  • In front of you
  • Behind you
  • Like a broom (moving it side to side in front of body)
  • Like a fishing pole (casting or throwing it out in front of body)
  • Like a hammer (moving it up and down with quick wrist movements)
  • Like ocean waves (shaking it in front of body)
  • Like a rainbow (moving it in an arc from one side of body to the other
  • Like a river (dragging it across the floor or ground)
  • Like tree branches in a windstorm (hold it above the head and swaying from side to side)
  • Like a tornado (spinning around and raising and lowering it)

swish

Dance, Dance, Dance
Start the music and encourage the children to dance and move about freely in the open space. When the music stops, they are to freeze (stand motionless like a statue). When the music starts again, children resume dancing. Try to trick the dancers by starting and stopping the music quickly. They love the element of surprise! Music suggestions: “I Like To Move It” by Crazy Frog (fast dancing – suggest dancing using locomotor movements—jumping with two feet, hopping, jogging). “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Judy Garland (slow dancing – suggest twirling, leaping, and floating to the music).

On Your Mark, Get Set, RUN!
With streamer ribbon or scarf in hand held high above head, have children run from one boundary to another. What child doesn’t like to run! They will ask to do it again and again. Music suggestion: “Colors of the Wind” from Disney’s movie, “Pocahontas.”

Follow the Leader
Have children stand in a line one person behind the other. When the music starts, the child at the head of the line does a movement with the scarf or streamer and all children behind the leader will move their scarf in the same way as the leader (i.e., waving scarf overhead, jumping with the streamer, swinging arms back and forth with scarf, etc.) When the music stops, the child that was at the front of the line goes to the back of the line and the next child in line becomes the leader. The music starts again and the game continues until everyone has had a chance to be the leader. Music suggestion: “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.

 

Tails
Set up boundaries using ropes or cones in the available space. Each child tucks a streamer or scarf into their waistband behind their back. The ribbon is now their tail. The game starts when the music starts and the children run in the available space. The game is played like tag, but instead of tagging each other, children pull each others ribbon out of their waistbands and drop them to the ground. The child whose ribbon is pulled, picks up his streamer ribbon (tail), goes to “the tail repair area” (a designated spot, i.e., door, tree, etc.) to replace the tail in their waistband. Once the ribbon or scarf is secure in their waistband, the child returns to the game and resumes pulling tails (ribbons/scarves). Music suggestion: “U Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer.

Discount School Supply® Product Recommendations

  • Rainbow Dancing Wrist Bands (RNBW)
  • Streamer Scarves (SWISH)
Advertisements

Rollin’ in the New Year Roller Board Style

02961_0b

The roller board, aka scooter board, is a super-duper piece of equipment to acquire. Inclement weather—pouring rain, snow flurries or freezing temperatures—can keep us inside. Pull out the roller board and add it to your environment for indoor play. Here are 10 rockin’ and rollin’ ideas and activities appropriate for three to five year olds. First, though, some safety considerations and benefits:

Safety Recommendations:

  • Only sit or lay on the roller board
  • Never let a child stand on a roller board
  • Keep hands clear from the bottom of the roller board
  • Use handles to carry the roller board
  • Tie back long hair and tuck in loose clothing
  • Check wheels regularly
  • Prevent roller boards from crashing into others

Benefits:

  • Upper body strengthening (arms, legs and hands)
  • Core strengthening
  • Motor planning
  • Balance
  • Bilateral coordination
  • Physical endurance
  • Tactile stimulation
  • Kinesthetic stimulation
  • Vestibular stimulation
  • Crossing midline skills
  • Eye-hand coordination

27777b

And now for the activities!

Movement Exploration Experiences

Have children explore different ways to move around the space using the roller board.

  • One hand on roller board
  •  Two hands on roller board
  • Two hands and one knee on roller board
  • Kneel on roller board
  • Sit on roller board, move backwards
  • Sit on roller board, move forward
  • Lie on stomach (prone position), move forward
  • Lie on stomach, move backwards

Hoop Ball Shooting

  • Place Hoop Ball Goal in open space
  • Child sits on roller board holding a ball
  • Child moves forward using feet to the Hoop Ball Goal and attempts to shoot the ball into the hoop
  • As the child becomes more proficient, challenge him/her to move farther way from the hoop (no more than six to eight feet)

Rope Pull

    • Adult holds one end of a long jump rope
    • Rope goes under roller board and between wheels
    • Child takes prone position (lying on stomach) on roller board and grips rope at opposite end from the adult
    • Child pulls self toward adult using a hand-over-hand grip on the rope. Feet do not touch the floor

Puzzle Piece Play

  • Scatter puzzle pieces at one end of the room or space
  • Place the corresponding puzzle boards at the other end
  •  Child sits on roller board
  • child moves around space using feet, finds and grasps a puzzle piece
  • Child travels with puzzle piece to find the matching puzzle board and puts the piece into its place
  • Game continues until all the puzzles have their matching pieces

Roller Board & Cone Obstacle

  • Set up three cones in a line about 3-4 feet from each other
  • Child takes prone position on roller board and uses hands and arms to propel roller board around cones and back to starting position. Body is balanced on roller board, feet do not touch floor, and hands and arms work in rhythmic coordination.
  • Child can try the same challenge sitting on knees on the roller board.

Free Ride

  • Child sits cross-legged on roller board
  • Child holds a hoop and adult pulls the child around
  • Speed of travel depends on the child’s stability on the roller board and his or her enjoyment of speed

Fly Like an Eagle

  • Need large, clear space to play
  • Child takes prone position on roller board
  • Tell child he/she is going to “fly like an eagle” across the room or down a long hallway
  • Adult holds on to child’s feet and gives child a big push
  • Child will have to work hard to keep head, arms (held out like wings), and legs lifted while moving forward

Body Bowling

  • Set up bowling pins at one end of the room
  • Just like in the “Fly Like and Eagle” activity above, child takes prone position on the roller board
  • Child keeps arms out in front (i.e. a superman “flying” position)
  • Adult holds onto child’s feet and gives child a big push forward
  • Child attempts to knock down the bowling pins

Grocery Shopping

  • Scatter plastic fruits and vegetables around the room
  • On the opposite end of the room, place rainbow colored baskets
  • Child sits on roller board
  • Child moves around space using feet and picks up a fruit or vegetable
  • Child travels with the piece of play food and puts it into the matching colored basket
  • Game continues until all of the fruits and vegetables have been “bought.”

Crazy Driver

  • Mark of a path or road using Mavalus Removable Poster Tape. Create a single line of tape or two lines to form a “lane” for the child to stay in. Make curves, zigzags, twists or turns.
  • Challenge child to “drive” along the road either in prone position, sitting on knees, or sitting on bottom

Product Recommendations

Best Gifts for Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers

It’s that time of year again and I’m looking for great hands-on, interactive, meaningful and relevant gifts for each of my 5 young grandchildren…though they are not very young now. They’re 8, 10, 11, 12, and 13 years old!  But if they were 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 years old, I would be looking at the following toys and products from Discount School Supply.  A few of my favorite things include the 3 B’s of Childhood—Blocks, Balls, and Books!

Excellerations® Classic Wood Barn

excellerations-classic-wood-barn

My granddaughters still have this and they are now 8 and 10 years old.  I think my daughter is going to save this toy for their children.  It’s a classic!  I also recommended this barn to a colleague of mine who has her own nature school and she just loved, loved, loved it! Don’t forget, you can also order the Large Farm Animals.

Excellerations® Building Brilliance Magnetic Shapesexcellerations-building-brilliance-magnetic-shapesThese shapes help nurture creativity, imagination, fine motor skills, problem solving, math, scientific investigation, as well as cooperative play.  This toy never goes out of style!

Excellerations® Plush Basket of Sensory Babies

excellerations-plush-basket-sensory-babiesYou can’t help but pick up these cuties and give them a squeeze.  Feel and listen for the squeak, crinkle, and rattle.  They’re just the right size for little hands.

Sands Alive

sands-alive

I’ll be sure to put this out when we have our family gathering.  It’s irresistible for little and big hands. It comes in other colors but I still love the original white.

Excellerations® Super Sensory Beanbags

excellerations-super-sensory-beanbagsThis is a different kind of bean bag, suitable for even the youngest child (ages 18 months +).  It’s fuzzy on the outside and crinkly on the inside. They’re perfect stocking stuffers! Some adults even use them to clean the screen on their electronic devices!

Big Wood Foam Blocks

big-wooden-foam-blocks

I am so happy to see that these are still available. Each of my grandchildren received these blocks from me and I’ve instructed their parents to never get rid of them! Blocks are an important toy for children of all ages. If you think these are too large for your space, check out these smaller Foam Wooden Blocks.

foam-wooden-blocks

Toddler Tossables Ball Pack

toddler-tossables-ball-pack

This bag of balls is bountiful!  It includes the outstanding Oballs, Sensory Balls, and traditional Playground Balls. This item even comes with its own hand pump! There’s no excuse to not get these balls rolling and bouncing.

Keep-It-Clean Plastic Art Mats

plastic-art-mats

Art is messy and kids are messy too. But these plastic mats keep the creations contained and make clean up a breeze.  Give children some favorite paints, watercolors, paper, and painting tools and let the creativity begin!

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

bear-hunt

This is a favorite children’s book that encourages everyone to get moving. Stand up or sit down to act out the story using hand and body motions as you read.

Discount School Supply NAEYC Booth Features “Sharin’ with Sharron”

sharin-with-sharron

Hi all! It’s been a while since I last posted. Time sure flies when you’re having fun! The past few months have found me conducting staff trainings and presenting keynotes and workshops at many fall early childhood conferences in Tennessee, Nebraska, Georgia, New Jersey, Florida, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. I think it’s the best job in the world as I travel around the country sharing fun and engaging curriculum activities and resources. Why not join me in Los Angeles, CA, November 2-4, at the 2016 National Association for the Education of Young Children Annual Conference in the Discount School Supply Exhibit Booth. I will be presenting several mini-workshops titled, “GIGGLES & WIGGLES! MUSIC, MOVEMENT & CREATIVE ACTIVITIES FOR YOUNG CHILDREN,” demonstrating a variety of techniques and props for sharing music, movement, rhythm instruments, finger plays, stories, puppets, and playful learning activities. Have fun, get inspired, and take back to your classroom lots of new ideas to make group time more active and enjoyable for the children and you!

 
circletime_dvdAs a preschool teacher of twenty plus years, I conducted Circle Time twice daily. I’ve learned from experience what works and doesn’t work. The children have taught me well! As a child development college instructor, I taught music and movement curriculum classes. I am the co-author of the book, Circle Time Activities for Young Children and have also produced a DVD of Circle Time.

I keep learning new activities from other teachers, musicians, and librarians and enjoy sharing them. Many of those activities have become classic favorites. Every teacher needs to hit their “refresh button”, so make sure to join me in the Discount School Supply booth. During your short time with me—

  1. Learn how to provide Instant Activity with Music
  2. Sing Songs & Finger Plays
  3. Reenact Stories & Nursery Rhymes
  4. Discover “Books That Move You”
  5. Participate in Cooperative Group Games
  6. Play with Simple Equipment and Loose Materials

Here’s a sample of some the activities you will participate in…

Shake Your Hands Up High
(Tune: Do Your Ears Hang Low)
shutterstock_88265581

 A good action song to wake up the body and the brain! Stand up and follow what the words tell you to do.

Shake your hands up high,
Stomp your feet down low,
Rub your tummy in the middle,
And around you go.
Tap your knees in the front,
Tap your heels in the back,
Put your hands together and clap, clap, clap!

Sing it again, but do it a little bit faster. Then sing it one more time even faster!

Here is an Alligator
Animal Finger Play

Here is an alligator, (Right hand forms alligator)
Sitting on a log, (Right hand on left forearm)
Down in the pool, (Make horizontal circle with arms in front of body)
He spies a little frog. (Put hands around eyes like binoculars)
In goes the alligator, (Diving motion with hands)
Round goes the log, (Circle forearms in front of you)
Splash goes the water, (Hands go up in the air)
Away swims the frog. (Breast stroke swimming motion with hands)

My Hands
Body Part Rhyme

My hands upon my head I place,
On my shoulders, on my face.
At my waist and by my side,
And now behind me they will hide.
Then I will raise them way up high,
And let my fingers fly, fly, fly.
Then clap, clap, clap and one-two-three,
Let’s see how quiet they can be!

Snickelfritz Partners Switch
A Cooperative Game

  1. Children find a partner and stand Back to Back.
  2. The teacher/game leader calls out a body part and partners react quickly while touching the body part mentioned. For example, the teacher might say, “Hands to Hands.” The partners turn around, face each other, and touch hands to hands.
  3. When the teacher says another body part, the partners then put those body parts together (releasing the last touched body part).
  4. Other body parts to call out: Shoulder to Shoulder, Knee to Knee, Hip to Hip, Elbow to Elbow, etc.
  5. Whenever the teacher/game leader says, “Snickelfritz Partners Switch” all players must hurry and find a new partner. With the new partner, they stand Back To Back ready to listen. Play resumes with the teacher calling out different body parts.
  6. Giving the command, “Snickelfritz Partners Switch” frequently gives children a chance to interact with all members in the group as they have to find a different partner every time.
  7. There is no right or wrong way to connect body parts to each other. Point out the different ways that partners completed the challenge.
  8. A fun way to end the game is to give the command, “Hug to Hug!”

Forever Young at Heart! Playful Adults

One of my favorite ways to get some exercise is to get outdoors and take a walk. And living near the ocean always invites a beach walk. California has finally gotten some much needed rain, bringing with it strong winds and big waves. Driftwood washed up onto the shore and beach literally becomes nature’s playground. Look what my friend and I happened upon on a recent beach walk. Not sure if the driftwood teeter-totter landed that way naturally on the beach or was created by some playful individuals, but we didn’t lose any time taking advantage of climbing on and reliving our childhood memories.

Sharon

I think George Bernard Shaw was right when he said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

Just because you’re an adult, don’t let play get left behind and constantly replaced with deadlines, responsibilities, and the everyday demands of a career and family. Research has found that taking a break and having a little fun improves our problem-solving abilities, engages our imagination, and can increase our creativity.

7 Ways to Become More Playful:

Go Outside. Breathe some fresh air; get oxygen into your lungs and brain. Exposure to sunlight produces the Vitamin D your body needs. Stop and smell the roses literally and figuratively—discover nature’s many wonders.

Be Present and Live in the Moment. Capitalize on opportunities as they appear and appreciate fun when it occurs. Put down the smartphone! Do something spontaneous, preferably every day.

Become More Childlike. And I don’t mean childish. They are different. Childlikeness is play-oriented and generous whereas childishness is defined by an inability to take responsibility and to see beyond our needs alone.

Laugh More. Play and laughter go hand-in-hand. It stimulates the thymus gland, which helps to regulate the body’s immune system, encourages the release of “feel good” endorphins while reducing the production of the stress hormones (cortisol and adrenalin), lowers blood pressure, improves circulation and respiratory function while decreasing inflammation and infection.

Spend Time With Children. Observe and learn from them the ingredients to become more playful—spontaneity, curiosity, and joy. Be a co-player and facilitator of play with children, not only of constructive, exploratory and dramatic play, but also of physical play.

Don’t Worry About Appearances. If you stop worrying about what other people think, you can feel more unrestrained and experience the joy that it sometimes seems only children feel. And the other people observing are probably thinking, “That looks like fun! Why didn’t I think of that?”

Connect With Playful People. Intentionally and frequently spend time with playful friends. Being with others will open your mind to new perspectives, ideas, and new ways of thinking, feeling. Being around people and being friendly and comfortable with them will increase the overall playfulness quotient.

~ Remember to balance work and play ~

Rediscover the child within you and let him or her out to play!

heart2

Parachute Play the Nursery Rhyme Way

Nursery rhymes have been around for centuries and are a wonderful way to promote a variety of literacy skills—oral language development, phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, comprehension and vocabulary. Parachute play provides children with important physical activity and exercise while building gross motor skills, coordination, perceptual motor skills and muscle development. And let’s not forget the social interaction that occurs when using the parachute. It creates an instant circle, allowing everyone to feel a part of the group and encouraging eye contact and interaction between all participants. So let’s combine nursery rhymes with body movements using the parachute. Everybody hold on to the edge of the parachute and start singing and moving.


Parachute Play

 

The Wheels on the Bus
The wheels on the bus go round and round (hold parachute with one hand and walk around in a circle)
The door on the bus goes open and shut (pull chute forward and backward)
The horn on the bus goes beep, beep, beep (two feet together jump/bounce in place)
The windows on the bus go open and shut (raise parachute above head and lower parachute by touching toes)
The wipers on the bus go swish, swish, swish (hold parachute with 2 hands in front of body and move arms from side to side)
The babies on the bus go waa, waa, waa (pretend to wipe eyes with parachute—like a handkerchief)

 

The Grand Old Duke of York (Tune: “A-Hunting We Will Go)
Oh, the grand old Duke of York, (all hold parachute and march in place)
He had ten thousand men,
He marched them up to the top of (raise parachute above head)
The hill and he marched
Them down again. (pull parachute down and touch toes)
And when they were up they were up. (raise parachute above head)
And when they were down they were down. (pull parachute down and touch toes)
And when they were only half way up,
They were neither up nor down.  (everyone half-way up)

 

Sally Go Round the Sun
(everyone holding parachute with one hand walking around in a circle, singing)
Sally go round the sun.
Sally go round the moon.
Sally go round the chimney tops
Every afternoon.
BOOM!  (all fall down)

 

London Bridge
(children go underneath the parachute while adults lift and lower it above their heads)
London Bridge is falling down,
Falling down, falling down.
London Bridge is falling down,
My fair lady.

(adults move parachute back and forth above the heads of the children underneath)
Take a key and lock her up,
Lock her up, lock her up.
Take a key and lock her up,
My fair lady.

para_3

 

The Itsy-Bitsy Spider
The itsy-bitsy spider
Climbed up the water spout. (raise parachute above head)
Down came the rain (lower parachute below waist)
And washed the spider out. (with parachute at waist move arms from side to side)
Out came the sun (raise parachute above head)
And dried up all the rain. (with parachute at waist shake it up and down)
And the itsy-bitsy spider
Climbed up the spout again. (raise parachute above head)

 

Ring Around the Rosy
(everyone holding parachute with one hand walking around in a circle, singing)
Ring around the rosy,
A pocket full of posies.
Ashes, ashes!
We all fall down! (all fall down)

(while sitting on ground, holding parachute, singing)
Cows are in the meadow,
Eating buttercups.
Thunder, lightning!
We all jump up! (jump up while sliding voice from low to high and lifting parachute).

 

Pop Goes The Weasel
(everyone holding parachute with one hand walking around in a circle, singing)
All around the cobbler’s bench,
The monkey chased the weasel.
The monkey thought it all in fun,
Pop! goes the weasel. (stop walking, stand in place and pop parachute in the air) 

(everyone holding parachute with one hand walking around in a circle, singing)
A penny for a spool of thread,
A penny for a needle.
That’s the way the money goes,
Pop! goes the weasel. (stop walking, stand in place and pop parachute in the air)

 

Product Recommendations:
Excellerations® Brawny Tough Rainbow Parachutes – 6’Dia.
Excellerations® Brawny Tough Rainbow Parachutes – 12’Dia.
Excellerations® Brawny Tough Rainbow Parachutes – 20’Dia.
Parachute Play Pack
Nursery Rhyme Wooden Characters – Set of 26
Wheels on the Bus Book & CD Set
The Itsy, Bitsy Spider Book & CD Set

Active Play: Take a Hike!

FamilyHiking

July is Park and Recreation Month, and this year’s theme is, “OUT is IN.” So let’s celebrate and GO OUTSIDE! The outdoors offers an opportunity for our children to play, exercise and grow in a natural way. Our parks play a critical role in nurturing an appreciation for the outdoors in our children. Explore all that the local parks in your neighborhood, community and county have to offer. Then, expand your horizons to include state and national parks and forests. As I write this, I am at our annual family reunion in the Tahoe National Forest, and we are engaging in many fun outdoor activities: swimming, fishing, canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding and lots of hiking. Hiking or walking are healthy sports that almost all people, young and old, can participate in, and which will last you a lifetime.

The benefits of a long walk complement our physical, mental, social, and emotional health.

  •  Improves cardiorespiratory fitness (including heart, lungs and blood vessels).
  •  Improves muscular strength and endurance.
  • Provides opportunities to unplug from digital technology and spend quality time together.
  •  Offers multisensory experiences.
  •  Instills an appreciation of nature and the beauty found in the outdoors.
  • Helps children understand realities of natural systems.
  • Improves cognitive development by sharpening our awareness, reasoning and observational skills.
  •  Increases the production of endorphins in the brain and relieves stress, resulting in a euphoric state of mind.
  • Enhances self-esteem.
  • Sparks creativity and imagination.
  • Fosters language and collaborative skills.
  • Renews our sense of wonder.

Don’t forget to bring binoculars, magnifying glasses, and a bug jar to aide in the observation of your discoveries.

Wildflower Finds
In early summer, Summit wildflowers are spectacular, particularly in the seeps on the north side of Mt. Lincoln.

flowers

Nature’s Sweet Nectar
Grandson Tate showed me how to eat a honeysuckle. As he said, “You don’t actually eat a honeysuckle, but suck out the flower’s nectar.”

  • Pull off the bottom green part that holds the petals together.
  • You will see the tail of a “string” and you need to slowly pull it out from the petals.
  • At the end of that string you will find nectar.
  • Lick and enjoy!

boy and flowers

tate

tate 2

Stick Tent
Granddaughter Jill found a tent structure made of sticks in a little clearing. The perfect little hideaway.

hut

Geocaching
Uncle Tony just found his 5,000th geocache on this trip. He told the grandchildren the GPS coordinates and they found the treasure under a bunch of bark not far from the hiking trail. Treasure hunting is such fun!

geocatching

geo 2

A View From the Top
We finally made it to the top of the summit, and the reward was well worth it. Just look at the view!

lake

Happy Trails!

sharron