DD drew up this activity sheet for her brother the other night. In her own words, “it has a ‘Find the Differences’ section, a ‘Trace the Dotted Lines’ section and the below is for Di Di to colour”.
And she sat with him patiently, explaining the sections, keeping an energetic younger brother quietly occupied as her father and I leaned back to catch a breather from the long day.
Sometimes in the middle of cleaning the rooms, I discover little gems left behind by the children. This Friday series was started with the intention of celebrating the imagination and creativity in a young child’s world…and hoping that it’ll bring a little ray of inspiration and joy to your day, as it does mine.
Trees ~ by Joyce Kilmer I think that I shall never see A poem lovely as a tree. A tree whose hungry mouth is prest Against the sweet earth's flowing breast; A tree that looks at God all day, And lifts her leafy arms to pray; A tree that may in summer wear A nest of robins in her hair; Upon whose bosom snow has lain; Who intimately lives with rain. Poems are made by fools like me, But only God can make a tree.
Oh crumbs…I’ve started a little thingy I can’t quite stop now. 😛
And the worst of it is, I started it at bedtime last night when I pulled out Roald Dahl’s The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me.
For one, it was obviously a very quick silent read when I reviewed it silently before putting it on the kids’ bookshelf. But I sure set myself up for some serious vocal exercise when I chose to do it as a read-aloud bedtime story.
As a child, when I read Roald Dahl, I used to totally ham it up when reading his signature silly rhymes. 😛
So in the book, there’s this catchy little song titled “We are the Window Cleaners!”.
I made up a little tune to go with it, and I think now I’m going to have to sing this more often than I anticipated, because each time we get to the line “The Giraffe and the Pelly and me!”, DS bursts into uproarious laughter and asks for me to do it again. He laughed so hard he couldn’t drink his milk properly, and had me really worried it would spill all over the sofa. (Thank God it didn’t, but it took him and his sister FOREVER to finish because they’d stop and then start giggling all over again. Gah.)
A really funny and heartwarming read, with magic and wit and wackiness thrown in, I also found the text suitable for young minds (meaning I don’t have to censor any grisly deaths or violent actions). [Note to parents: I still censor out some of the Duke’s exclamations where I feel I’m not ready to explain the euphemisms used. That, and it’s not all that fruitful during a read-aloud at this present stage. But the censorship is fairly minimal.]
This is such a classic that I don’t think you’ll need a synopsis. There are plenty of reviews on Amazon to cover that.
But what I will tell you is how the book had me for keeps at the ending verse –
“We have tears in our eyes
As we wave our goodbyes,
We so loved being with you, we three.
So do please now and then
Come and see us again,
The Giraffe and the Pelly and me.
All you do is to look
At a page in this book
Because that’s where we always will be
No book ever ends
When it’s full of your friends
The Giraffe and the Pelly and me.”
kitchen counter dusty with icing sugar
perfect recipe of vanilla buttercream swirled in the mixer
gobs of tissue paper, piled up toothpicks of Wilton deep red and royal blue
kids bent over with laughter and giggles
sugar highs from too much cake
late night papercraft ventures and conversations with your lifelong best friend
of how you will never attempt such a crazy thing again
yet knowing full well that you’ll go ahead and do it anyway and crazier the next time round
three hugs a day for long life
three cheers each meal for birthday celebrations
So sue me, I like corny math story books. But with a title like Sir Cumference and the King’s Tens, you’re not just that wee bit curious of the content?
Noticing that the King has been rather gloomy of late, Lady Di of Ameter suggests to her husband, Sir Cumference the idea of hosting a surprise birthday party for the King. Which is a great idea, except now the castle is burgeoning with guests and more are arriving by the minute, and Lady Di needs a way to figure out how many lunches she needs to tell the cook to prepare.
With the help of the Knights of the Round Table – Sir Kell, Sir Tangent and Sir Lionel Segment, Sir Cumference and Lady Di of Ameter must quickly figure out the most time-efficient and accurate method of counting the total number of guests.
How do we do it?
Line them all in a straight line and count?….Too slow….
Form small circles and total the sum of parts? …Too exhausting…
Cindy Neuschwander cleverly introduces “place value” in an entertaining and engaging way as the story makes use of tents to illustrate the concept by separating the 9,999 guests that show up for King Arthur’s party into nine groups of one thousand, nine groups of one hundred, nine groups of ten and nine single guests, divided into four tents or number neighbourhoods.
I’ll be keeping an eye out for the rest of the Sir Cumference series now.
Huzzah for more corny math storybooks!
He squares his shoulders
Walking tall to school in his new shirt of blue
So much like his father
So much his own little man too
The children sit in a row
Reciting their lesson with their teacher on tiled floor
And I catch his face light up aglow
As we sneak him a wink round the frame of the door
It’s a wonderful day for a birthday
All together now, smile for a picture
“How old are you now, God bless you today”
It’s a great month to turn a grand four!
Copyright – iwonderbee.wordpress.com
And although I have a deep appreciation for the originals, some of the “updated” versions in Mary Had a Little Jam and Other Silly Rhymes, written by Bruce Lansky and illustrated by Stephen Carpenter, are laugh-out-loud funny and preschooler pleasers in their own right.
Mary had a little jam;
She spread it on a waffle.
And if she hadn’t eaten ten,
she wouldn’t feel so awful.
Notwithstanding that fullest appreciation of the underlying joke in each rhyme is best supported by knowing the originals to begin with, the collection of short rhymes with fairly easy words makes it an accessible and achievable to beginner readers, and as Christine Clark, editor at Humpty Dumpty’s Magazine put it, it is well and truly “a kinder, gentler Mother Goose…and funny, too!”
I’ll leave you with one more reason why I like this somewhat over the originals, and let you check out the book yourself. 🙂
Rock-a-bye, baby, on the treetop.
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock.
When the birds sing, the baby will smile,
and fall asleep happy in a short while.
Gotta love that over the horrifying original, what kind of baby falls asleep to thoughts of falling out of a tree?
The King’s Breakfast
By A. A. Milne 1882–1956, from The Complete Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh (Dutton, 1998).
The King asked
The Queen, and
The Queen asked
“Could we have some butter for
The Royal slice of bread?”
The Queen asked
I’ll go and tell
Before she goes to bed.”
And went and told
“Don’t forget the butter for
The Royal slice of bread.”
“You’d better tell
That many people nowadays
And went to
She curtsied to the Queen, and
She turned a little red:
For taking of
But marmalade is tasty, if
The Queen said
And went to
“Talking of the butter for
The Royal slice of bread,
Would you like to try a little
The King said,
And then he said,
“Oh, dear me!”
The King sobbed, “Oh, deary me!”
And went back to bed.
“Could call me
A fussy man;
I only want
A little bit
Of butter for
The Queen said,
And went to
Said, “There, there!”
And went to the shed.
The cow said,
I didn’t really
Here’s milk for his porringer
And butter for his bread.”
The Queen took
And brought it to
The King said,
And bounced out of bed.
“Nobody,” he said,
As he kissed her
“Nobody,” he said,
As he slid down
Could call me
A fussy man—
I do like a little bit of butter to my bread!”
Each year, the number of planes and models used for the aerial flypast varies. This year, nine fighter jets will execute the enhanced aerial flypast.
We chose to make five airplanes in our craft to represent the five stars on the Singapore flag, which stand for the nation’s ideals of democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality.
That was the plan. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 😛
The plain truth is that was all we could wrangle from the kids, the rest they wanted to fly all over the room. Sigh.
But I digress. What I really wanted to say is that this craft allows you the flexibility to make as many planes as you like and arrange them in any formation you choose. 🙂
You will need the following materials: Artblock sheets, blue watercolour paint, paintbrush and palette, water, cotton wool/pads, old magazines, craft glue.
1. In the palette, mix the blue watercolour paint until you achieve a very watery consistency. This is to create a watery watercolour wash to cover the artblock in light sky blue.
2. Apply the watercolour wash to the entire artblock sheet. Leave to dry.
3. In the meantime, tear the old magazine sheets into little rectangles, and fold tiny paper airplanes.
4. Paste the paper airplanes in whatever formation you desire, we did this in a fan out formation. (Tip: When you paste the airplanes down, hold it down for a short moment, pinning the centre flap of the paper plane between two fingers, so that the wings don’t spread when drying)
5. Tear up the cotton wool/pads and paste a cloud trail pattern of your choosing.
And you’re done!