Thursday, December 19, 2013

Jingle Bells...lyrics, music, a game and some crafts


 The song that we now know as Jingle Bells was originally titled "One Horse Open Sleigh". It was written in 1857 by James Lord Pierpont. 
The chorus and the first verse are the most sung and best known part of the song.

Dashing through the snow
In a one horse open sleigh
O'er the fields we go
Laughing all the way
Bells on bob tails ring
Making spirits bright
What fun it is to laugh and sing
A sleighing song tonight

Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh

The song has also inspired many illustrators. You can find an illustrated version of Jingle Bells that calls to you and your child. 

 Related Activites:

Make Jingle Bells.....

These simple bells made of egg cartons, pipe cleaners and jingle bells were found at Fantastic Fun and check here for full directions

 For a fancy wearable Jingle Bell Bracelet, use almost the same materials minus the egg carton and add a few fancy pipe cleaners. Spoonful .com has directions for three versions including the one below:

Play Bell Horses a fun musical game (Click here to see earlier post)

 Here are a couple of versions of Jingle Bells. The first version is very simple for kids to learn.

The kids will enjoy color this music sheet:
found at

Monday, May 20, 2013

Grandpa's Garden..... a Book Look

Summer is almost here! And many of us are thinking about things that grow and planning to start our own gardens. 
Grandpa's Garden written by Stella Fry and illustrated by Sheila Moxley is a great book to read to kids at this time of year.
It tells the story of a boy and his grandfather and their time spent together in Grandpa's garden. The pictures are vibrant and charming with just enough detail. The author does a wonderful job balancing facts about gardening with the telling of a lovely story.

The description from the Barefoot Book site says:

Grandpa's Garden
"This beautifully told story follows Billy from early spring to late summer as he helps his grandpa on his vegetable patch. They dig the hard ground, sow rows of seeds, and keep them watered and safe from slugs. When harvest time arrives they can pick all the vegetables and fruit they have grown.
 Children will be drawn in by the poetry of the language and the warm illustrations, while also catching the excitement of watching things grow!Ages 3 to 7 year"
The end of the book includes helpful information about Planning Your Vegetable Patch.
There are also pages about what grandpa does throughout the 4 seasons with tips for the reader.
For example:  Grandpa's Winter and Things to do in Winter.

For more story extension ideas, I've listed 2 finger play/movement activities and a number of links:

I Dig,  Dig, Dig
I dig, dig, dig  (pretend to dig)
And I plant some seeds. (stoop down and pretend to plant seeds)

I rake, rake, rake (make raking motions)
And I pull some weeds. (pretend to pull weeds)

I wait and watch (stoop down and look at ground)
And soon I know. ( still stooping, nod head)

My garden spouts (raise hands above head and stand up as if growing)
And starts to grow.

The Flower
If I were a flower (stoop down and cover head)
Sleeping underneath the ground, (stay stooping)
I'd raise my head and grow and grow, (slowly raise up from the floor)
And stretch my petals and grow and grow, (raise your arms to the sky)
And nod my head and say (nod and smile)
"I'm glad to see you all today!"

If you don't have a lot of space or time you might think about starting a Container Herb Garden

Study insects: Grandpa's Garden mentions several insects including Ladybugs and Hoverflies.

Growing a waterCRESS head is a fun and simple activity

For more gardening with kids or outdoor activity ideas checkout my Kids, Nature and Gardening Pinterest board