“Birds in North America”

A few years ago, my husband gave me a book about drawing birds.  I am a beginning artist and I liked the five steps presented for each bird.  I loved the short introduction about each bird and that is what gave me the idea for this Theme.  The Chant is called “North American Birds“  and begins “What they look like,  Where they live,  What they eat,  What they do”.  The Fingerplay is called “Birds Live In…Birds like To…” and describes where birds live and what they like to do.  The Song is called “Such Beautiful Birds” It names many birds from North America and describes their coloring and habitat.

Here are some of my beginning drawings.

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“Cook, Sew and Build”

I remember my mother teaching me how to cook and to do simple sewing.  Later, she signed me up for a sewing course, so I could learn how to make my own clothes.  Although I learned how to use simple tools at home to do simple things like mount the can opener on the pantry door and hang pictures, my husband taught me how to use tools so I could make more things.

I love watching skilled artisans make marvelous cabinets and do intricate metal work.  Sewing couture accessories makes me drool!  Taking the time to do all the steps to make gourmet food is so worth it.  It is wonderful to know that these marvelous creations came from learning to do simple practical things.

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“Bees”

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When I taught this Theme to my pre-schoolers, I brought a finger puppet of a bee with me.  I handed each child a guiro to play the “buzzing” sound.  You can see how focused they are on the puppet.

The Chant is called, “Bees Are Buzzing”.  It begins, “Bees are buzzing in summertime, summertime, summertime…”.  The fingerplay is called “What Do Bees Do?”  Five activities introduce new vocabulary.  The Song is called, “Bees Make Honey”.  The repetition in this song makes it easy to memorize the more you sing it with your child.  Later, it makes it easy for your child learn to read it.

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“Giving”

“Giving” is one of our Spiritual Treasures.

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It encourages each of us look for the gifts we have within us.  LIttle children have so many gifts.  Their curiosity, willingness to explore and try new things, their innocence.  We, in turn, are prompted to share our gifts with them, protection, nurturing, understanding, compassion and encouragement.

 

The Chant in this Theme is called, “What Do We Give?”  We give our love, peace, imagination and solutions.  The Fingerplay is called, “Giving Means…”.  It lists several ways we give.  The Song is called “Giving, Giving”.  It shares the ideas of giving through imagination and by being the best we “can ever be”.

 

© 2013 Kathryn Hardage   “I have a musical mind, musical indeed”  –Kacky Muse   www.MyMusicalMind.com,   www.InspiredPractices.com

 

“Bird’s Nests”

My pre-schoolers and I were enjoying several other songs about birds, when the idea came to me for this one  (“Bird’s Nest Building”).  We all collapsed in laughter at the chorus with it’s punch line:  “Tweet, tweet, tweet.  Tweet, tweet, chirp!”  I brought a special puppet with three baby birds in a nest, which was a great hit.

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I wrote the song first, then added the Chant, “To Build a Nest”, and the Fingerplay, “What Builds a Bird’s Nest?” for the next year’s classes.

© 2013 Kathryn Hardage   “I have a musical mind,musical indeed.”  –Kacky Muse www.MyMusicalMind.com

“Summertime”

I wrote this Theme as the school year ended.  Even my pre-school students were thinking about summer.  We talked about what they would be doing.  I remembered how summer felt to me as a child.  Sometimes, just a smell of hot asphalt or a breeze across a field brings back those feelings of summer.

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© 2013 Kathryn Hardage

www.MyMusicalMind.com

“Compassion”

Compassion means feeling for others what you feel for yourself.  This is how I described compassion in a song I wrote for my pre-schoolers about the gifts they can share.  I expanded this concept into a whole Theme, with a Chant, a Fingerplay and a Song.

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When you share these words with your child, you are showing him how important they are.  Sit your child in your lap and bounce her gently as you say the Chant “Just Like Me”.  Then touch each finger as you say the Fingerplay, “What I Am Is What You Are”.  Repeat the fingerplay touching the fingers on his other hand.  The “Little Loving Song” has a melody that is similar to “Mary Had a Little Lamb” with just a slight difference.  It is a song which you can pass along to each child in a circle if you are in a play group, circle time, or Sunday School.

When each child feels these words directed at him, they become part of his life.  We are all precious.  We are all compassionate.

“I have a musical mind, musical indeed.”  –Kacky Muse

© 2013 Kathryn Hardage

“Shake, Shake, Shake”

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This Chant is so much fun.  It is a darling way to play with your baby and add vocabulary.   It starts:  “I shake it on your feet.  I shake it on your tummy.  I shake it on your nose.  Shake, Shake, Shake.”

Hold a maraca, a percussion shaker, or a home-made shaker in your hand and shake it to keep a beat.  You can touch your baby on her feet, tummy, nose every time you say the word for feet, tummy, nose to show her what that word means.  Since you are keeping a beat, the rhythm and meaning of the language will be established more deeply.

When your baby gets a little older, you may hand him a shaker or maraca, too.  100_0766 100_0755

By listening to the Chant over and over again, your baby will be able to say it with you in time.  Later on, by following the words as you read the Chant together, your child will begin to see the words for all the parts of the body and will begin to read them with you.

“I have a musical mind,musical indeed.”  –Kacky Muse

© 2013 Kathryn Hardage

 

 

“Compost!”

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I wrote the song for this Theme when I took classes for Permaculture Design Certification.  One of the things we learned about was how to build a compost pile, and the value of compost for improving soil nutrition.

Later, I added the Chant and the Fingerplay for my pre-school music students.

Now, I have been composting for several years.  I am always amazed at how the compost pile builds up over time, mixing in the leaves and grass and kitchen scraps, and watering it and turning it until one compost bin is full.  Then, as I fill the second bin and let the compost age and decompose, there is so very little left.  By the time it has decomposed completely and is ready to added to the garden beds, there is one tenth of the original amount.

It is a lesson in how we can save lots of waste from going into the landfill and instead convert so much into a valuable garden nutrient.

 

“Love IS”

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This book presents a  Spiritual Treasure Theme consisting of a Chant, a Fingerplay and a Song.

“Love IS” gives the parents words to describe the the feelings of love and abundance which are here for everyone.

It is fun to play with your child. The words we share help our children learn about his/her life. Describing our feelings helps develop vocabulary.

As you share this Theme, you will see how your child responds and you will be able to see how these ideas shape feelings and actions.

As your child grows, you will see anticipation in her eyes and hear the words as he reads with you.