Going on a Picnic

I love to sing. Not everyone loves it when I sing, but that’s okay. My son likes it when I perform the tune “Going on a Picnic” by Lynn Freeman Olson, which is known as a zipper song. What is a zipper song? I am glad you asked! A zipper song is any tune where you take out one word and “zip” another one in. This word-swapping is entertaining, the possibilities are endless and the fun can go on FOREVER. Give it a whirl:

Picnic by chatirygirl via Flickr

Going on a picnic,
leaving right away.
If it doesn’t rain,
we’ll stay all day.
Did you bring the (sandwiches)?
Yes I brought the (sandwiches).
Ready for a picnic, here we go!

When singing this song, my family likes to keep listing all of the words we’ve added in the previous verses, trying to remember the order, going from the newest item to the oldest. What a workout for your brain! If you are not sure of the melody, stop by the library, and I will sing my off-key version. Or you can just check out Raffi’s performance of this song on “The Corner Grocery Store” CD.

Rhyme Time: Mother Gooney Bird

Are the kids bouncing off of the walls?  Try to tire them out with this active song.

Mother Gooney Bird

(Tune: Father Abraham)

Mother Gooney Bird had seven chicks.
Seven chicks had Mother Gooney Bird.
And they couldn’t fly,
And they couldn’t swim,
They could only go like this:
Right wing (Right arm bent in “wing” position, flaps up and down.)

Repeat, this time add:
Left wing (Left arm goes along with right wing.)

Keep repeating; add one body part each time: Continue reading

Rhyme Time – Bath Time!

Bath time doesn’t have to be just about getting clean. Connect with your kiddo, and have fun singing songs while you scrub. Take an old song and change some of the words to make it playful:

Row, row, row your boat.
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream!

Row, row, row your boat.
Gently down the stream.
If you see an alligator,
Don’t forget to scream! AAAHHHH!

This variation on an old favorite is great fun, especially if you don’t mind hearing your child scream! Try substituting in different animals to hear your child squeal with delight. Continue reading

How Story Time Saved My Life

Don't Cry, photo by Pedro Klien on FlickrOkay, perhaps saying that story time saved my life is a wee bit of an exaggeration. However, attending a story time did save my sanity and the eardrums of my fellow travelers on a recent trip I took with my two young children in tow.

Picture the scene. We have been awake since 6 a.m., and the 2-year-old refuses to nap during the flight, instead choosing to use mama as a jungle gym. None of us has eaten anything but pretzels and weird processed fruit snacks for hours. We finally land after more than seven hours of road and plane travel, and when I turn on my cell phone at baggage claim, there is a frantic voicemail from the friend who is supposed to be fetching us saying that she is going to be at least 30 minutes late. Continue reading

Fingerplays and Rhymes: Winter Pokey

Mittens, photo by Mundoo, flickrSongs and poems introduce children to the rhythm of the language. This particular song also helps teach the concepts of right/left, in/out and so on. Sing this winter-themed song to the tune of “The Hokey Pokey.” Don’t forget to shiver and shake–that’s what it’s all about!

You put your right mitten in,
You take your right mitten out.
You put your right mitten in,
And you shake it all about.
You do the winter pokey, [shiver]
And you turn yourself around.
That’s what it’s all about!
(Repeat with left mitten, right boot, left boot, knit cap, and snowsuit)