I’m old. How do I know that I’m old? Because to my mind Elmo is still an imposter on Sesame Street. Will you permit me a short rant? Ok! How on earth did Elmo get to run the whole show when there were so many better characters to feature? His voice continues to grate even after all these years. Several key characters don’t even get any stage time anymore on that show. Hello? Sherlock Hemlock, Mumford the Magician, Biff and Sully, the guy who carried Oscar around, Herry Monster and (glack!) even dear sweet enormous Snuffy who apparently is seen by people other than Big Bird all the damn time! Ah well, I suppose we had to throw poor Bird a bone after he lost his friend Mr. Hooper. (I will take this opportunity to also strongly recommend that you do not under any circumstances google what happened to David. Just don’t do it). Deep breath. Ok. I’m ok.
Now. Let’s go back… waaaaaaay back into the vault and see what we can find. And to do this we have to go to my mom’s house since she kept so many things from our childhood! And look what comes out of the tickle trunk! Taadaaaa! The Sesame Street Library! All 15 Volumes beautifully preserved and fresh and entirely loved by my little preschooler!
Why do I believe in harping with your kids? Because it is entirely healing and calming for everyone. Er… what?? Let me explain. I’ve discovered there are two methods of trying to attain calm in this household. The first is what I like to call:
The “Serenity Now!” Method: This is the one where I “harp” at everyone, telling them to calm down a million times until I am absolutely a completely disheveled mess. The only thing I’ve learned from this method is that telling someone to calm down is like telling someone “not to take offense but…” You immediately end up eliciting the exact response you are trying to avoid and you end up looking and sounding like this:
The second method, and the one which I strongly recommend, helps everyone come out the other side with their dignity and a sense of true peace. It is called:
The Classical Music Method: This week we started to discover harp compositions since the harp is our instrument for the week as we delve deeper into the ROAM curriculum’s spring semester! Just having these pieces playing in the background while we went about our regular routines had an enormously calming effect on everyone. I swear! Try it!
This past week we were learning about the prehistoric era in art. Part of that exploration included the creation of rock people as masterpieces since so much of the work of the prehistoric artists involved creative use of stone as canvas.First, we took a look at the Lascaux caves to get a sense of the way in which rock was used as a surface for creating art. Next, we went on a nature walk and gathered stones that attracted our attention. Finally, we went into the craft cupboard and pulled out yarn, googley eyes and any other materials that seemed relevant.
As you can see, it was really the cotton balls that brought our rock person to the next level. Suddenly one of our rocks was transformed into a particularly hard-headed political figure. After completing her work, Althea said “Look mama! It’s ‘Mister Trunk’!” Is it just us? Do you see the likeness?
What do you do when it snows in the spring? You act like your kid does. You accept it and just be. I snapped this shot from our back window. My wistful girl having a moment alone in the snow – saying a fond farewell.
Meditation is very important for little ones. The ability to just check out for about 20 minutes or so can really help re-energize your preschooler. This is where sensory bins come in. After five minutes of delving into one of these bins, you can see calm and focus descending upon your little one.
This week my preschooler sat still sorting through this bin and retelling the nursery rhyme for “Hey Diddle Diddle; The Cat and the Fiddle.” For this one I grabbed random items from our kitchen play dishes, dried goods, some craft pom poms, and various animal figures from different sets. The only splurge was on the colourful stars found at Michael’s. The simpler the better. I’ve found the fancier I try to get with these things the less the kids are interested in them.
Why do we do Nursery Rhymes in the ROAM curriculum? Because – I strongly believe nursery rhymes are a great jumping off point for literacy. Their staying power alone indicates that they are culturally valuable and they continue to be excellent initiations into literacy for little ones. The rhythm and rhyming language encourage your child to think about creative subject matter within a poetic framework. Moreover, even though the historical context of these rhymes may be lost to most of us now, we recognize that these verses connect us in some way to the past and to childhood as it was in other times and places. Exposure to rhyming and tempo in verse provide an excellent opportunity to draw your child into the world of poetry and literature generally. Movement and creative activities like this sensory bin offer opportunities for your child to explore related themes or ideas and to reenact moments that will help to solidify the poem in the mind’s eye.