Category Archives: poems for kids

Parenting 4 Literacy tips and the POEMS by Babs you can put right into action with your children from birth to age 8…and beyond. (Babs is also a parent and a longtime educator, so she has written and shares with you tons of poetic fun and meaning around these roles toward becoming the best parents and teachers we can be! Look for the categories Parenting Poems and Teacher Poems.)

What’s old is new again — even when it comes to garbage.

“Oh, the places you’ll go. The people you’ll meet.” Hey, it’s Dr. Seuss!dr seuss bio pic

And it’s THINK-THINK-THINK-ing Thursday!

Dr. Seuss would have liked joining us today, I THINK. Ya know, I should have asked him a few years back when he and I were shaking hands during autographing sessions for his and my books at adjacent tables. Ah, he’d like to THINK-THINK with us. I just know it.

WOW! A week flies by. We’ve gone places, done things, and met people. And as a week flies by, so the garbage piles up.recycle green pic

Okay, you may be in a mood such that right now you’d like to take that “garbage piles up” figuratively. But for some moments today, let’s THINK on it literally.

WOW! The recycling cans are full again!

And that thought leads me to THINK about the fact that I have seen our society’s concern for recycling…well, recycle itself. We’ll cycle back to that idea idr seuss cat in hat picn a bit here.

THINKing about recycling takes me to ways for you and your child to THINK and talk about recycling today. I’ll offer some writings to share with your child from toddler age to teenage.

It was in the late 1980’s and early 90’s when I first began to write about recycling for children’s needs and interests. As a visiting author and consultant, I traveled to school districts around the country.

Communities across this country were focusing on the benefits and how-to’s of recycling. We needed, folks said, to look for ways to reuse all sorts of our resources, both natural and manufactured.

Folks wanted their children to learn early on to THINK about our planet’s need for humans to do less tossing out. This meant that recycling became a hot topic in elementary schools. And publishers, writers, editors, and illustrators recognized the corresponding need for appropriate textbooks, library books, and classroom materials.

recycle logo picI and others began to include the topic in articles for textbooks, in poems, and in all sorts of children’s books. I began reading and reciting some of my writings about recycling each time I met with student and educator groups.

Children and teachers responded enthusiastically to any and every mention of recycling. Thus, I included “Earth Says” in a Poetry Works set of classroom materials with posters that, still today, grace classroom walls in schools here and abroad.

“Earth Says” also appeared on a bookmark. Then, I included the poem in my More Phonics through Poetry: Teaching Phonemic Awareness Using Poetry, this time to help children focus on the sound of a prefix before reading and writing its letter representation re-.spinning Earth pic

Earth Says
I’m giving you oodles of cues
To reduce, recycle, reuse.
It’s time to refuse
The choice to abuse
Or lose your freedom to choose.

Copyright © 1989 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz
First published in Poetry Works: The Second Stanza by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz (Modern Curriculum Press/PearsonLearning, 1993).

Younger children’s enthusiasm for “Gobble, Gobble, Munch!” saw this poem published similarly in another poster kit, with a second appearance as a picture book. The poem was later included in a poetry collection that’s housed in homes, schools, and public libraries around the country.

Cover GobbleIMG_2648

Gobble, Gobble, Munch! by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz

inside Gobble IMG_2654Gobble! Gobble! Munch!
Gobble, gobble, munch!
Gobble, gobble, munch!
What will you be serving
on your street for lunch?

Don’t serve me paper!
Don’t serve me cans!
Don’t serve me metal
or aluminum pans!

Don’t serve me plastic!
Don’t serve me glass!
I would rather munch on
egg shells or grass.

Gobble, gobble, munch!
Gobble, gobble, munch!
What will you be serving
this garbage truck for lunch?

Copyright © 1991 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz
First published in Poetry Works: The First Verse by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz, (Modern Curriculum Press, PearsonLearning, 1992).

Times change. Interests change. And some time during the late 1990’s, I began noticing that the idea of recycling was not resonating with whole schools of children. That word was no longer on the tips of children’s tongues. WOW!

recycle earth picWearing my teacher hat, I continued to read and recite “Earth Says” and “Gobble, Gobble, Munch!” with nearly every group. Now, however, I needevintage red dress picd to follow up the readings with real teaching…to lead children toward an understanding of each poem’s context. Often I’d ask adults in the room if the community recycled. No, they didn’t. Hmmm.

Times change. Interests change. And just in these past few years, I’ve noticed that recycling has recycled itself! WOW! Whole schools of children are again versed on the word and its concept. Children tend to know about the need for and the how-to’s of recycling.

Yes. Items get recycled. That we know. I hope you and your child will have some fun naming such items in your home. Today and every day.Cool Cat pic

And then you can do some oral sorting out to exclude those items that may be biodegradable. Yes! Do make sure to use that big word with your child from age 3. Because children find that big word fun to say! And I promise you’ll soon hear your young child saying the word while sorting recyclables! WOW!

Aside from items and the concept of recycling, itself, lots of ideas and behaviors get recycled. THINK and TALK with your child recycle logo2about how fads and fashions come and go. TALK about hair styles, “cool” words that cool kids utter, or potluck dishes like the ones I tasted at a pool party last week. Hmmm. Those recipes from the 70’s struck folks of all ages––right here and now in 2009––as being mouth-wateringly new!Daddy-o pic

I leave you today with thoughts of recycling…items, fads, foods, behaviors, what-have-you. Enjoy your day of THINKing and TALKing about recycling with your child! While you’re at it, try recycling fun together with an old toy or book or game.

And tune in here tomorrow for a bit more about recycling…and some Free-for-All Friday frolicking fun!


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Why standing tall is plenty tall enough — at any height.

blue hand rotatedweights pic

Yes, it’s Wacky Wednesday! And I had planned to head in somewhat of a different direction for today’s post. But that was before this morning’s workout.

A new need presented itself. Prompting new thoughts. I guess that’s why I call this blogging day “Wacky Wednesday.” I just never know what’s going to happen in life experiences.

In truth,4 music notes pic nearly every life experience brings to mind a line of a poem or song I’ve penned, many on-the-spot during time spent with kids and their teachers and parents through the years. WOW! So, here’s what happened this morning.

Tall Paul pic

Tall Paul

This little ditty came singing into my head during my power walk. Here’s why.

My hand weights were growing ever-heavy. And I began to think how good it might feel to slouch a bit.

Then it occurred to me that what I needed right then was a little cheer-along song to keep me standing and walking tall.

Gotta pause here a moment to give a shout-out to my mother’s recent physical therapist, a young man we came to call “Tall Paul.” He works at Miller’s Merry Manor in Logansport IN.

WOW! Tall Paul’s continued influence on my mother’s stature (and height gain!) came to mind as I thought about my own need to stand tall.

So, here’s my brand-new cheer-along song titled “Standing Tall.” You and your child of any age (and any senior parents!) can sing it to the old familiar tune, “Are You Sleeping?”

Standing Tall
I am standing.
I am standing.musical notes dancing pic
Standing tall.
Standing tall.
Look how I am standing.
Look how I am standing.
I stand tall.
I stand tall.

Copyright © 2009 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz. First publication.

You know, treble clef sign picwith that song in my head, I had to come in, sweat and all, and type it quickly…before the need for another came singing along in this never-still head of mine!

You’ll want to sing this song (and take the words away to simply speak the words) often to recognize or encourage good posture in your child…and for your own standing-tall benefit! Oh, but stay tuned for still more kinds of benefits with this little song!

Yes! Let’s see how you can do more fun things with it, all the while modeling for your child how language belongs to a TALKer! WOW!

Did you ever stop to share with your child the fact that a TALKer often manipulates language to meet new needs as they arise? Just like the two of you likely do when you substitute brush our teeth or comb our hair or any number of other tasks in the little song, “This is the Way (We Wash Our Hands).”

Well, every time you call out your child’s attention to the fact that you can change the words, you are helping your child become a more powerful TALKer. And powerful TALKers become powerful readers and writers. It’s true! Research and experience tell us this fact every day.See how I am sitting tall!

Okay, look how you can model for your child powerful TALKing with the song, “Standing Tall.” WOW! Model for your child how you can substitute walking for standing in that song’s words and have a whole new song for a whole new purpose.

music notes picOr, as your positioning and activities change today, model how you substitute sitting or running for standing. Or substitute acting for standing to introduce a figure of speech “acting tall”…now you are modeling TALKing powerfully as you also prevent or manage behavior. WOW! You now have not just one, but five new songs to sing with your child…and to yourself as you go through your day.

A couple of notes to add as you and your child sing these songs today and every day. Be sure to sing the songs when you see your child (and yourself) using good posture or behavior! This way, you and your child are well on your ways toward building that feels-so-good habit of recognizing, accentuating, and celebrating the positive in yourselves!

Rest assured, there’ll always be a need to sing out this song and its variations to remind your child and yourself to stand, walk, sit, run, or act taller than one of you is displaying at the present time!

Now, before you go off singing with your child today, here’s another idea I want to offer in sharing “Standing Tall” song variations. Take notice, if you will, the absence of comparative and superlative adjectives in these songs.

What I mean here is that there are no words like better or bigger or tallest or smartest…you know, those kinds of adjectives that kids (and adults!) too often tend to say. So, why do I want you to notice this?

Well, because I (and each of us) really don’t need to be standing taller than someone else. Nor do I need to stand the tallest of all. I just nkeyboard laptop piceed to stand MY tallest. Tall Paul emphasized that daily to his many senior clients. Thank you, Paul!

Standing tall!

I'm being my own best!

Again, though I admit I did begin using some comparative and superlative words during my first lap of that ditty, I’d already fine-tuned it on my second lap, and had done a bit more editing by the time I reached this keyboard.

So, I share that extra thought with you…to encourage you to sing out today and every day. To encourage you––as the smart and wise person your child knows you to be––to model for your child the all-important goal of winning…by being one’s own best.

Tune in tomorrow on THINKing Thursday for some thoughts you and your child can THINK about together! Have fun today standing tall, walking tall, sitting tall, running tall, acting tall, and…well, just being your own tallest selves!

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How to have grace when your child says “gwace”. (Hint: Poetry comes to the rescue.)

It’s TALKing Tuesday! But, you say, you TALK with your child every day.

Yes! But on TALKing Tuesday, we focus on a particular way to talk…to help your child build his/her personal storehouse of language and knowledge. Why? Because those are the two critical pre-requisites for success in reading and writing. WOW!

Graceful Gracie Gratefully Grinning So, on this TALKing Tuesday, we’ll begin by harking back to a post one day last week here when we met one of three Gracie ladies I know. There she is, grinning gratefully with her grinning smiley-face basketball.

I’ll pause here a moment to give a real shout-out to this Gracie lady since she’s my dear mother…and since she’s likely the reason I am a writer today. You see, I grew up watching her read the daily paper each morning at the breakfast table…where she’d also pen a letter every day to some one of our many far-off relatives (Some lived just ten miles away, but that was far away in those days!).

I also share today that bit of personal backstory because I want to emphasize to you the huge importance of modeling for your child. WOW! Your child is always watching! So, model reading for enjoyment! Model reading to learn new information! Model writing notes, lists, letters, what-have-you!

Gracie grinning gracefully!

Gracie grinning gracefully!

And you’re also getting to meet the other two Gracie ladies today. We’ll pause here to give a big shout-out to young Gracie, a rising 1st grader whom I met while at Lilac Elementary School in Valley Center CA last month. Our third Grace, grandmother Grace Viola Smith 1883-1944of Lilac Elementary teacher Jeri, lived in 1883-1944 and resided in areas of Indiana and Illinois.

WOW! Wouldn’t you agree you’ve just met three Gracie ladies who are full of grace!

Okay, I’ll bet you’ve figured out by now our TALKing focus for today. Yes, it’s to focus on the sound of /gr/ as in grin or Grace. So let’s look at a couple of /gr/ poems that you’ll want to read aloud to your young child.

When you help your child focus on repeatedly hearing and saying a particular sound of language, your child is building an awareness of that sound. This phonemic awareness practice prepares your child for phonics, when we ask the eyes to read and the hands to write letters that represent that sound.

So, read aloud and then reread these three poems to help your child build oral awareness of the sound of /gr/. Then we’ll look at a couple of fun ways you and your child can play with the sound of /gr/ today and every day this week, or longer.

By the way, as long as your child is engaged and having fun, it’s never too early to introduce individual sounds orally. And you’ll find your child who’s older than age 8 will enjoy the humor and the repeated sound in these poems. When in doubt, try it out. Your child will let you know if you’re on track…or off.

Growing . . . Graying . . . Gone!Phonics Through Poetry by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz, available at
My sister groans,
“My hair won’t grow!”
My mother groans,
“It’s gray!”
My grandpa grins,
“Be grateful, Folks.
Mine grew and grayed . . . away.”

Copyright © 1999 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz
First published in Phonics Through Poetry: Teaching Phonemic Awareness Using Poetry by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz. Good Year Books.

Grins or Groans?
When Gregory loses
and Gracie wins,
Gregory groans,
but Gracie––she grins.

When Gracie’s the loser
and Gregory wins,
then Gracie’s the groaner
while Gregory grins.

When Gregory wins
and when Gracie—she wins,
Then nobody groans!
And everyone grins!

Copyright © 2004 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz. First time published.

And a third poem to emphasize the sound of /gr/!

This next rhyme is from one of three poster sets titled Listen! Listen! Letter Sounds in Rhyme. I designed these classroom kits to give children easy rhymes to sing or say while building phonemic awareness skills, and then to be able to call upon a familiar little song when, in phonics, they meet the sound’s corresponding letter(s) in print.

Yes, in these kits there’s a poster and a new rhyme for every sound in our language! And all can be sung to familiar tunes, “Miss Lucy Had a Baby” or “Eensy Weensy Spider.” When using the latter tune, you’ll notice, the song begs to be sung again and again.

This particular /gr/ rhyme keeps with our sound focus today to help your child notice the sound of /gr/ in words. It also builds on your child’s ability to discriminate between sounds, in this case between the sounds of /gr/ and /gl/.

Listen covers

Listen! Listen! Letter Sounds in Rhyme

I hear this sound in grapefruit

I hear this sound in grapefruit,
Grandpa, groom, and grass;
And grandma, grapes,
And graph and grill,
But is this sound in glass?

Copyright © 2000 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz
From Listen! Listen! Letter Sounds in Rhyme: Blends and Digraphs by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz. The Wright Group/McGraw Hill.

More Fun with the Sound of /gr/

As you and your child journey through your busy days, occupy yourselves to challenge one another to name words in which you hear the sound of /gr/ as in grin. Later, add to the challenge to name two or more /gr/ words, such as green grass or graceful grey grandpa, that go together to make sense.

A behavior-managing tip: Try substituting your child’s name in the Grins or Groans? poem when you sense a groaning loser or you want to help remind a winner who may be grinning in a…well, bragging sort of way.

And remember: The more you and your young child play orally with a sound of language, the more success your child will experience later in reading and writing words that include the letters gr. WOW! Have fun with language sounds!

Tune in tomorrow on Wacky Wednesday to see what turns up being all wacky!

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It’s Free-for-All Friday w/Babs! WOW!

Hey, it’s Free-for-All Friday. (Sorry! I posted this last night, or so I thought. Guess it got delayed somewhere on the spinning globe of cyberpace.)

So let’s do a take-off today on one of those What if...ideas from yesterday’s discussion.

Okay. What if…what if there were peaceful people everywhere? WOW! What a peaceful thought! WOW! What a peaceful world we could have!

Peaceful People
What do peaceful people do?
They use kind words.
They’re honest, too.
They don’t begin to fight or shout.
They talk to work a problem out.
Instead of acting mean or mad,
They talk to say they’re feeling sad.
They look for ways to help someone.
They don’t hurt others with a gun.
I like what peaceful people do!
I’m learning to be peaceful, too!

Copyright © 1999 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz
from Peaceful Me: Poems and Activities to Help Children Resolve Conflicts Peacefully. Copyright © 1999, 2002 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz

Peaceful Me is endorsed by Sarah Brady, Chair, Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, Washington D.C.

Peaceful Me is endorsed by Sarah Brady, Chair, Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, Washington D.C.

So, where does peace begin? Hmmm.

Regardless how one might answer that question, today’s Parenting 4 Literacy tip (for kids of all ages!) offers to you and your child some nutritious food…as in peacefully powerful words…for thought and TALK.

Yes! For kids of all ages! And today’s tip also builds on your child’s LISTENing skills. Those listening skills are critical for success in reading and writing…and for all of learning!

So here’s what you do…as one way to help peace live in your home! WOW!

Ask your child today…and every day…two questions:

  • Question #1: What kind words did you hear today?

Then listen to your child’s response.

A tip: It’s helpful with any age child to follow up with words like, “So you heard these peaceful words today: [words your child said]. WOW!”

Then go on to encourage your child to talk a bit about why those words felt peaceful to her/him. To do this, you might ask, “How did it feel to hear those words?”

I should mention here that your child may turn it around to pose to you that same question. WOW!

Or, depending on your child’s age and mood, it may take several days of your modeling before you’re put in the witness chair.

Either way, when this same conversation seems ripe for new input, go on to ask the second question.

  • Question #2: What kind words did you say today?

Again, you’ll want to listen carefully to your child’s response so you can follow up with words like, “WOW! So you said these peaceful words…[repeat the words your child said]. WOW!”

Peaceful Tip: That double “WOW!” there? It lets your child hear how happy you feel to hear that s/he spoke such peaceful words today.

Be at peace!Now ask, “How did it feel to say those peaceful words?”

Gosh, just look at all the productive conversation the two of you are having! WOW!

No more of those going-nowhere attempts to communicate with your school-age child, including your high schooler.

Yes, you’ll recognize this all-too-familiar parent-child Q&A:

“So what happened at school today?”

Yes! Productive conversation is now happening in your house. And guess what? You now have a definitive answer to my earlier question:

Stop! It's a garage sale!“So,” I asked you. “Where does peace begin?”

And now you know! WOW! Peace begins in your home!

And, with daily peaceful practice of this particular Parenting 4 Literacy tip, peace will not only live in your home; it will extend far beyond.

Yes! Peaceful words will be heard and spoken wherever you and your child are! WOW! Double WOW!

With repeated practice, extend this activity to ask your child…and yourself…how the other person might have felt when saying or hearing you say those peaceful words.

By the way…ff your child is not yet talking, you two can have this same powerfully-peaceful conversation!

I know you’ll recall my recent tip to ask and answer your questions. Your child is always LISTENing…and learning how language works!

Hey, tune in on Funday Monday for some garage sale fun! I hope to find time to check out a few garages in my neighborhood by then. Anyone else love shopping at garage sales?

I picked up that interest during my childhood. How about you? Click on the word comment below this post…and tell all!

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WOW! THINKing Thursday w/Babs!

There's the web...but where's the spider?It’s THINKing Thursday already. Time to THINK again. Good thing we only do this THINKing stuff once a week!!!

So, what if one of those spiders we saw on Monday’s post…well, what if that spider could talk?

I did some THINKing one day on that very question. And here’s one result from all that THINKing: “If the Spider Could Talk”

"If the Spider Could Talk" by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz (from Reading Realm's Poetic Play products)

"If the Spider Could Talk" by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz (from Reading Realm's Poetic Play products)

You know, your young or older child will enjoy this exercise in THINK-THINK-THINKing.

This kind of THINKing is one of the tools your child calls upon when asked to write.

Yes! Whether writing a piece of fiction or non-fiction, your child must begin to THINK of all the many angles from which to view the chosen topic.

And then choose one to write! WOW!

Ready to do a bit of THINK-THINK-THINKing aloud practice with your child? Yes, it’s called thinking aloud. And this thinking aloud activity is not only fun; it’s valuable practice for your child.

Okay. Let’s follow the model of my “If the Spider Could Talk” poem. Here we go!

What might a ceiling have to

What might a ceiling have to

Think about this: What if a ceiling could talk?

Would it be saying, “Hey! You down there! Can’t you be a little quieter. I’m not one of those acoustical types, you Poetic Play's "Spider" item (back). Available at Quiet down!

Or might that ceiling be begging to have people stop painting it? WOW! What other words might a ceiling want to say…IF it could talk?

Or what if a chair could talk?

Might your chair want to say, “Take it easy! That bottom of yours is awfully wiggly today. Could you just sit still! Goodness sakes! You’re liable to break me into pieces! Then we’d both be sprawled on the floor!”

Okay, how about one more what if to help you and your child get going in this kind of creative THINKing mode.

What if…what if…what if our planet Earth had nothing but peaceful people? See…there’s a powerful thought for your THINKing child of any age. And for you?

What would all those peaceful people have to talk about? Makes me think of some poems I’ve penned about peaceful people.

This one works with kids of all ages, especially if you add a What might it say...if it could talk?little attitude and rap it:

Peaceful Me: Poems and Activities to Help Children Resolve Conflicts Peacefully. Copyright © 2002 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz

Peaceful Me: Poems and Activities to Help Children Resolve Conflicts Peacefully Copyright © 2002 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz

Who’s the Boss?

Who’s the boss
of my tongue
and my hands
and my feet?
Who’s the boss?
Who decides
how they’ll act
when we meet?

I’m the boss
of my tongue
and my hands
and my feet.
I’m the boss!
I decide
how they’ll act
when we meet!

Copyright © 1999 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz
from Peaceful Me by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz

Your child will enjoy saying and dramatizing this poem with you. Try changing the pronoun in the first stanza from my to your as you ask each other the question.

For your child up to age 10 or 12, talk about why someone is the only boss of their own tongue or hands or feet. And what happens if the “boss” isn’t supervising properly?

Peaceful people everywhere!

Peaceful people everywhere!

On another day, invite your child to take turns with you to act out a kind or not-so-kind way a tongue, hands, or feet might act.

Tune in tomorrow for Free-for-All Friday. And do remember you can scroll down on any day’s post to access previous posts.

Or check out previous week’s posts in the “archive” to the right of the posts column.

And can click on the word comments at the bottom of any post to add your own or your child’s thoughts and comments. Or to ask questions.

Or to provide info, as Dena did on Tuesday to share those wild animals’ names. Or…

…just to say hello!

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WOW! Just another TALKing Tuesday w/Babs? Not!

No, today, on TALKing Tuesday, I want to invite you and your child to play a game. It’s the Sentence Sense Game™.

You can play this game wherever you are. You need no tools. Just the two of you!

Yes! Your child will be learning to make sentence sense while also learning to use nouns and verbs.

And you two will be having good conversation as you play this game. WOW!

That’s what makes TALKing games so much fun.

Sentence Sense Game is  a trademark of Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz.Reminder: This TALKing game, like all talking games you gather from this blog, helps to prepare your young child to be the best reader possible.Learning to be that super writer!..and the best writer possible!

Hey! Another fun aspect? This is a game where nobody loses.

Yes! Everybody wins! And even your 2 yr old can play. WOW!

Okay, to play the Sentence Sentence Game, you’re going to speak in complete sentences.

As your child gets really good at this game, you can add challenge to include sense sentences, like “People talk.” and “Pencils write.” and nonsense sentences, like “People fly.” or “Cups walk.”

Little Books of Nouns by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz

Little Books of Nouns by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz. Good Year Books, 2001.

But guess what? Every sentence in this game will have a noun and a verb. Because that’s the game’s goal…to make Sentence Sense.

So, sensical or non-sensical, you two will be making a whole lot of Sentence Sense. WOW!People fly?

Ready? Set? TALK!

You begin by modeling for your child. You say a sentence, such as “Cats climb.”

Then say, “Hey, that’s a sentence and it makes sense!”

For your child aged 5 or older, you may choose to add, “Cats is a noun that names something. Climb is a verb that shows action.”

For your younger child, though, just leave out all that noun and verb stuff at this point. Your child’s skill with Sentence Sense will tell you when it’s time to add any kind of extra challenge.

Continue to use the same format as you model another simple two-word sentence that make sense, such as: Kids play.

With young children, it’s helpful to emphasize the fact that each sentence you are saying is just two words. You can make that emphasis by tapping a surface twice as you say each of the two words.

Little Books of Verbs by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz

Little Books of Verbs by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz. Good Year Books, 2001.

Or point to one finger and then a second finger.

Using the same format, model more two-word sentences that make sense.

Be sure, though, to model just one example at a time. Wait a bit, before you model another.

Here are some two-word sentences you might choose to use: Mom eats. Door shuts. Rain falls. Phone rings. Dinner cooks.

And remember, there are no losers in this game. So, if your child doesn’t catch on today, that’s okay.

Try it again tomorrow.

And the next day.

Then, if not today, then one day very soon, your child will be playing this game with you!

Yes! Following your model to say two-word sentences. And every sentence will have a noun and a verb! WOW!

Hello?If your child is 5 or older, challenge one another to speed up. Keeping your sentences limited to one noun and one verb helps your child truly focus on what a noun is. And what a verb is.

Bet your child will offer up some new and unique two-word sentences. WOW!

Oh, and for your infomation, your younger child is likely to repeat a sentence you’ve already said.

And that’s just fine. Following your good modeling is never a bad thing!

WOW! Play this simple two-word Sentence Sense Game several times a week.

The benefits to your child…and you…will, well, make nothing but good sense! Have fun!

And tune in tomorrow on Wacky Wednesday to have more fun…with the sound of /gr/ as in growing grey (seriously?). Gosh, I wonder if we’ll meet grinning Gracie or groaning Gracie!

(WOW! That shout-out’s intended to say “Hi Gracie!” to two little ladies I know named Grace…my dear mother for one…and Gracie, a Lilac Lizard kindergartener I met in CA recently…and a third Grace who’s Lilac teacher Jeri’s late grandmother. Hey, if you know more little ladies named Grace, won’t you click on the words “No comments” below here and tell me about your special Gracie lady. And send a picture if you like to Don’t forget to include a note of permission for me to post the pix here. Imagine it…lots of grinning–or groaning–Gracie ladies!)

™Sentence Sense Game is a trademark of Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz.

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It’s Funday Monday w/Babs! WOW!

Spider spinning, spinning, spinning

Spider spinning

Spinning a web…

Spider photo by Lance Helms

Spider Spinning

At first glance, this photo caused me to THINK and then jot those few words.

So, what words might such a photo cause you or your child to THINK and speak?

And…what does this spider busily spinning a web have to do with our Funday Monday and Parenting 4 Literacy?

Well, what if…

What if…

What if this spider were the real thing?

You know…the Eensy Weensy Spider?

And what if that eensy weensy spider were traveling up your wall right now?

Or what if you were seeing this spider in your flower bed right now? Right there. Right now.

No, you wouldn’t be thinking of how to remove that little spider. Or how to avoid getting caught up in its web.

No, No. Not at all.

Your very first thought would be around how this little spider’s presence provides you with a great opportunity to have a Funday Monday (or any day!) with your child.

Right? Right!


Yes, if your child is an infant or as old as age 6, that spider right there by you is gonna be the catalyst that gets you to say or sing and dramatize “Eensy Weensy Spider”…

Another spider!

The eensy weensy spider
went up the water spout.
Down came the rain
and washed the spider out.
Out came the sunA web, a web, a spider's web...
and dried up all the rain.
Now the eensy weensy spider
goes up the spout again.

(Note: Variations of all sorts exist for this rhyme, including one on its title as “Itsy Bitsy Spider.” You can even find the tune to this rhyme on the Web if it’s not already in your personal repertoire.)

But, what if your child is a bit older than 6 or 7?

Well, you’ll still sing and dramatize this little song. Know why?

Because whether you sing or say the words, your breaking into this little rhyme or song upon the sighting of a spider will grab your child’s attention! WOW!

And that’s our topic for this Funday Monday: How to grab and hold onto your child’s attention with nothing but words you speak!

It's a spider ring!

Look at this power you hold…the use of fun words to not only grab your child’s attention; but also engage your child’s imagination.

And when fun words grab your child’s ears, the mind opens right up to all those morsels of knowledge that are embedded in every word. WOW!

Now, suppose you have a fussy youngster in tow today. How might you still have a Funday Monday?

Well, there’s nothing bOh! A brown spider!etter than fun language to divert your fussy child’s attention. I promise you it works every time!

Begin saying or singing a fun little ditty like this spider rhyme. Then just keep on keepin’ on till those fussy fusses are all fussed away! WOW!

Tomorrow, on TALKing Tuesday, we’ll expand on this idea with yet another way to call upon fun language to be teaching your young (or not so young) child…while even you are having fun!

Then on Wacky Wednesday this week, we’ll do more “what if…” thinking about spiders!

Go have a Funday Monday…with or without the help of a spider!

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Filed under ages 3 and 4, ages 5 and 6, ages 7 and 8, ages 8 and up, early literacy, family literacy, infants & toddlers, kids, kids of all ages, parenting around kid behaviors, poems for kids, read-aloud