Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Three Bears

This week's story is Goldilocks, and there are so many fantastic "fractured fairy tale" versions out there!  Jan Brett's classic version has such beautiful illustrations, I start with that one and then move on to the modernized Goldie.  Dusty Locks is my very favorite retelling, especially since she hasn't had a bath in "a month of Sundays."

After reading our stories we made some houses for our Teddy Graham bears:

Of course, we had to break for a quick snack...

We reenact this story using super cute Story Doll for the three bears.  My mom sewed it, and all of the characters are in one doll:

You can buy something similar at Alma's Designs for $18.

Want to listen to a great storyteller give an oral rendition?  Check out Jim Weiss's version on his CD, "Tell Me a Story."  We found it at the library, but you can also buy the CD or the individual MP3 from Amazon.

Here's a fun action rhyme to finish off the fun for this week. It's a popular one, but this time I found the text at Alphabet Soup 

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
Turn around!

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

Touch the ground!
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
Do a clap!
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
Touch your lap!
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
Arms out wide!
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
Touch your side!
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
Hop on one!
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
Your turn is done! 

What does Mama like to read when we're studying the three bears?  Why, Jasper Fforde's Nursery Crime books, of course!  Fforde is the master of hilarious alternate reality tales.  The 3 bears appear in the second book of the series:

Come back next week for some more bookworm fun!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Little Engine that Could

My boys love trains!  In celebration of the upcoming remake of "The Little Engine that Could," starring Whoopi Goldberg, I'm making my first post about this classic tale.  We like to read the story, then re-enact it using our wooden train set... the boys painted the freight cars, which I bought at Trains Galore for just a few dollars each.

S. gets so into it that we keep acting it out on our walks around the neighborhood, too, with me playing the broken down train and him playing all the other engines.

Here are a few of our favorite versions of the story, some optional songs and videos, a train craft to keep little hands busy, and finally a fingerplay.  Enjoy!

Watty Piper's telling is perhaps the most famous one, and in 2005 a new version (above left) was released with fun art by Loren Long.  We also like the pop-up version (pictured above right).

For older kids it's fun to read Shel Silverstein's version with an alternate ending.  Warning: it's not a happy one...  Check it out, "The Little Blue Engine" in his book, Where the Sidewalk Ends.  Or you can read the full text here.

And, thanks to wikipedia, I now know that John Denver sings his own version of the tale in the album All Aboard!  We found the CD at the library.

Here's a fun train craft that was described on e-how.  Trace the child's hand and arm, with fingers stuck together (the hand part will become the engine):

Cut on the traced line and separate sections for the train cars:

Add wheels, steam, tracks, and other finishing touches:

 Here's our favorite train fingerplay, which I found on :

Train Fingerplay

This is a choo-choo train
(Bend elbows)
Puffing down the track
(Move arms forward)
Now it’s going forward
(Push arms forward)
Now it’s going back
(Push arms back)
Now the bell is ringing
(Pretend to ring bell)
Now the whistle blows
(Hold fist near mouth and pretend to blow)
What a lot of noise it makes
Everywhere it goes.
(Cover ears with hands)

That's it for this week, come back next week for some fun with the three bears!