Archives for July 2015

Fireflies Presents: O is for OCEAN

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We are excited to bring you this month’s script, O is for OCEAN! Summertime highlights the joys found at the beach. Building sandcastles, collecting shells, leaping in the waves… Why not bring a little bit of the beach into your home? Set aside an evening to celebrate the creativity of your little one. We’ve got everything you need — original poems and songs, hand-drawn illustrations to use as puppets, tickets, and popcorn corns!

Fireflies Presents is for making memories. Fireflies Presents provides quick, easy tools to help your young child flourish in their creativity and communication. Fireflies Presents celebrates the joy and wonder of childhood.

 O is for OCEAN is available for purchase HERE

TpT requires you to join before making a purchase. Don’t worry — it’s free and as easy as can be to sign up! The resources provided will be well worth your time! Click HERE to sign up!

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We have designed our unique puppet theater available for purchase for Fireflies Presents.

Email Cheryl Luedk and inquire about ordering a Fireflies Puppet Theater  HERE

Family Sing-a-Long    Away in the Manger

Fireflies Puppet Theater

OR simply throw a tablecloth across a curtain rod suspended in a door frame! Quick and easy!

Enjoy!

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Jocelyn Bartle

Creative Play Spaces

Designing an environment that helps children to reach their creative potential.

What does it mean to maximize the creative sensitivity of a child?

Happy kid playing with toy airplane
Does your child have time, space and opportunity for creative play?
  • risk-taker (especially in the arts)
  • problem-solver
  • innovator
  • appreciator

Children’s creative potential is a reflection of how “fearfully and wonderfully” they were made.  We are made in the image of God, therefore we each have the ability to create, but that potential must be encouraged and nurtured.

Parents who desire creative risk-taking in their homes should be intentional about providing time, space, and opportunity.   Initiate moments for children to make choices and participate in creative opportunities including the following:

To play

Make time in the day for self-directed play.   Send your children to a play space for a limited amount of time depending on their age.   Encourage children to play by themselves with “non-toys” such as :

  • Pieces of fabric (I love play silks.)
  • Jar of assorted buttons & string and/or nuts & bolts.
    To begin with, these items are great eye/hand and fine motor activities. Later they become small props in creative play.
  • Old keys! Every playroom should have a few “mystery” keys!
  • Images of people, vehicles, houses, and miscellaneous objects that have been cut out of magazine and collected in a “treasure box”.
  • An old suitcase
  • Dress-up clothes (Don’t just buy the Melissa & Doug brand, but provide real clothes to be used for pretend play.)
  • Boxes of various shapes and sizes along with a box of water based markers.
  • I just added an old rotary phone to the play space in our home.  I love listening in on the conversations that old black phone inspires.
  • Look for the sense of wonder in everyday items.  When visiting an antique store keep your eyes open for items that will create play-magic in the hands of a child, like perhaps an old cash register.

Look around your child’s play area and make sure there are items that are begging to be a part of imaginative play.   I place a higher play-value on a big empty box and some paint over anything with “Little Tyke” stamped on it.

To speak & perform

If you follow Fireflies Blog, you know we love puppet theaters.   Every home should have supplies for children to create their own scripts & puppets as well as a simple puppet theater from which to premier their big Oscar-winning show.  Make sure children have time, space, and opportunity to create a performance experience for the family.  Be sure to follow Jocelyn’s posts [O is for Ocean] for encourage and support

To create

Encourage your child to create by placing organized art materials within their reach.   I know, I know – that sounds rather foolish, but if you really want to encourage creativity in your home then by all means, place some white plain paper along with crayons within reach of your young artists. The idea is for art supplies to become integrated into creative play. If your child needs a stop sign for their car-play, make sure they have supplies nearby to create one! Finally – provide crayons and pencils that can be used to blend colors. Give your child opportunities to create their own green, purple, and orange.

To problem-solve

Children should have the opportunity to make decisions…creative decisions. Allow them to rearrange their room or create the menu for dinner. Perhaps they would enjoy the challenge of modifying a simple family recipe – or better yet, let them originate a unique family recipe. Provide simple problems and let children help find a solution.

To appreciate

Visit museums and attend concerts. Through participating in music, art, and dramatic performance experiences, students become attuned to excellence in the arts. In the same way that reading the classics aloud to your child models well constructed language patterns and vocabulary, exposing children to the best in drama, music, and art masterpieces will lay a foundation of excellence for future original inspirations.

Each child is full of untold possibilities. Commit to provide a home in which their creative potential is maximized.

Deni Corbett

Deni Corbett

Storytelling: Are you feeling blue?

I was recently sorting through supplies as the upcoming school year quickly approaches. I separated the bright yellows, from the vibrant greens, apart from the bold reds… I noticed a shortage of blue colored pencils. Literally. They were almost all completely worn down to tiny stub pencils! These blue pencils had transformed many stark white pages into beautiful crisp blue skies and deep ocean waters. They were given shape and life thanks to the precious hands of the little artists using them. A child can quickly turn that ordinary blue pencil into something wonderful.

Yves Klein understood the power of color. He also shared a love of blue. Klein created many blue paintings. The format of his painting, the texture, and the application might have varied, but they all were identical in color. Klein was so well-known for his blue works that his rich hue of choice was named after him. “International Klein Blue”.

Yves Klein Untitled Blue Monochrome-1957

Though I can appreciate Klein’s preference of one particular shade there is much beauty to be found in the wide range of colors. The blue that sparked Klein might be an entirely different blue for me. The way we relate to color can be personal. Color can mean a memory. The shade of pink on Grandma’s china or the soft brown of your childhood stuffed dog. Color can fill our senses and ignite our imaginations.

BLUE-pantone-chart

Why not provide a little color encouragement to your creative little one? Engage with your child about the many colors they know. What are some of their favorites? Why? Be sure to share yours! Next, choose a color together and locate various items around your house of that color. Try to find different shapes, textures, and values. Using the FREE template provided, guide your child through a sensory color writing experience. Last, but not least, encourage them to highlight that color in their very own illustration at the top of the template as the final touch!

Get your FREE template: Color Poem Writing Prompt

If you want to expand your color exploration, why not take a trip to the local paint store and view the large variety of paint chips? Pick a few with your child to jumpstart a conversation about what they would use the color for, what they like about it, what it reminds them of, etc.

Enjoy!

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Jocelyn Bartle

And, in case you missed it, here is an earlier PANTONE: Colors post that goes so well with Jocelyn’s post.
It’s one of our favorite books on Fireflies.

12 Terrific Read-Aloud Tips!

The Reading Tree Series

12 Terrific Read Aloud Tips!

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When you take time to effectively read aloud to your child, you are not just creating a moment that helps them transition to bed easier, you are helping promote important reading skills and planting seeds that will help them grow into a successful reader. Below are 12 Terrific Tips to assist you in providing your child with developmentally meaningful read aloud experiences.

12 Terrific Tips

  1. Preview the book before reading it to your child by asking questions like, “Is it too long?”, “Is the content too mature?”, “Is it age-appropriate?”
  2. Pick stories with topics that interest your child (i.e., cars, ocean animals, nature, etc.).                                                                                  meandjames
  3. Snuggle up in a spot that is enjoyable and comfortable for both you and your child.
  4. Model appropriate print concepts like pointing to words as you read them, reading words left to right and top to bottom, turning the pages, and handling the book with care.
  5. Always name the title of the book, author, and illustrator.
  6. Discuss the illustrations on the front cover and make predictions before you read!
  7. Expose them to Phonemic Awareness by pointing out words that rhyme or begin with the same letter as their name.
  8. Use expression while you read. For example, if there is a mouse in the story, use a squeaky voice for that character. Or if the word “BAM” is used, read it louder and with more emphasis than the other words.
  9. Watch your reading pace!  Read slow enough for your child to soak in the words and visualize images in their minds.
  10. If your child asks a question about a word or event going on in the story, stop and discuss. If they start to ask questions over and over again, tell them you can discuss more after the story is over.
  11. Read and repeat the book 3-4 times to encourage comprehension.
  12. Don’t stop when they enter Kindergarten or 1st grade…continue reading to them (and with them) year after year!

Eventually, after reading aloud with your child over many years, you will reap what you have sown! Using these 12 Terrific Tips will help aid in phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension – all necessary skills to be a successful reader.

As Dr. Suess says, “You’re never to old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book, and READ TO A CHILD!”

So, share with me: Where are you reading aloud to your child… on a jet with a pet, on a log with a frog, or in a chair with a bear?

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Joanna Merideth

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joanna Merideth
@MushMushReaders