"Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature can not do without." ~Confucius

Thursday, February 28, 2013

"Pete the Cat" - Song and Activity

I, for one, think there is a shortage of fun song-books out there.... But, I'm glad this one is around!
"Pete the Cat - I Love My White Shoes"  by Eric Litwin (Ill. James Dean) has been around for a few years, but I'm just finding it now... takes me a while.

The illustrations are simple, but effective. The song also, is simple and effective to get you and your kids singing. It's a fun, silly little melody about a cat's shoes that start out white and change color throughout the day as he gets stuck in some colorful stuff.
I hope your library has a few copies of this so that you can pick one up and give it a try!

Once you've got your hands on the book, go to this site from the publisher to hear the song and the story being read. Once you've got it in your head, read/sing the book to your kiddos - with a cool groove, of course. :-)

We had lots of fun with the story and song.
They especially liked making sound effects for the wet, squishy shoes. :-)

Then, we colored our own shoes and sang about them. No, not our real shoes, silly.  Just paper ones.

If you'd like to join in the fun, find a black and white printable image of a shoe online, print out a few pairs and have kids color or paint them.

K wanted his to be green, so we figured that he got stuck in a pile of mushy peas (ick).
J wanted his to be gray, so for lack of a better option, we figured he got stuck in a pile of fire ashes (better option, anyone?).
Then K wanted to make another pair and just call them "Cool Scary Star Wars Shoes."
So, we had fun singing about our shoes (I colored a pink pair!), including the Star Wars shoes.

Give the book a try, even if you don't like cats! It's fun to sing about shoes!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Make-It-A-Song Monday - Clean Up!

I was laughing that I had been thinking of doing this post today, when this morning I was NOT in the mood at ALL for singing about 'cleaning up' since J had decided he was going to look for a lost puzzle piece by emptying all the other puzzle boxes onto the ground... Mommy was not amused. Or feeling any urge to sing.

However, not all clean-up times are quite so distressing. And, something rather monotonous like cleaning up (although most of the time, my boys turn clean-up time into a basketball shoot out, no need to have a ball, any toy will do) is often improved by adding some melody to make it fun.

You all probably already know the pre-school-classroom classic for cleaning up (all together now!), "Clean up, clean up, everybody do your part! Clean up, clean up, everybody clean up!"

This is certainly a viable option and kids pick this simple melody up easily, but if you're getting tired of the same -ole tune, get your creative juices going and make a new one!

Last week, we were singing this one to the tune of "The Farmer In the Dell"
The toys want to go home,
No longer shall they roam;
Come on let's take them home again,
The toys want to go home.

Today however, they weren't feeling in the mood for too many lyrics, so we used "Staying Alive"

Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Clean up your toys, clean up your toys,
Ha, ha, ha, ha, clean up your toys, clean up your toys,
Ha, ha, ha, ha clean up your tooooooooyyyyyyys....

And, you can feel free to break into some killer disco moves as you go.
(If the cleaning up is not going so well, you can certainly add the lyrics, "I'm goin' nowhere, somebody help me....)

So, these are some silly and simple examples to get more melody going throughout your day.

Again, if your child doesn't naturally jump right in, don't worry. They are listening and learning. The more singing they hear, the more their brain develops its own ability to hear and make melody themselves.  Use simple melodies with repeated words to aid in quick learning! If the only words you use are "clean up" - that will be fine with them, I'm sure!

Get singing with those little ones!
What did you make into a song today?