We will be adding videos of stories and songs to this page for our preschoolers who are at home due to our school's closure.
For those of you who are new to this website, welcome! Please join us, and have fun "meeting" our teachers!
From Senator Murphy's recent update:
If you're struggling with your mental health during this crisis, you are not alone. Text SHARE to 741741 for free, 24/7 support from the Crisis Text Line.
In Connecticut, we have a network of domestic violence programs that can be accessed 24/7 by calling 888-774-2900. The programs provide shelter for victims of domestic violence, as well as counseling and other support services
4/30/20: April showers
A month has flown by! We are still enjoying our daily video chats, and are now having fun with posting activities on Seesaw. April has turned out to be a typical New England spring with its ever-changing weather. Snow, wind storms, warm temperatures, rain, sunshine... And many towns nearby have been hosting fun activities for the kids cooped up at home. If you haven't tried any of these yet, think about:
Drawing an encouraging picture and message in chalk at the end of your driveway. You can lift the spirits of anyone walking, biking, or running by!
Put a teddy bear in the window - there have been teddy bear hunts all over, to lift children's hearts, and to offer thanks to medical professionals and first responders.
If you like sewing, have a grownup or older sibling who can help you, you could make home-made face masks to help local first responders or people at risk.
Re-create fine art! Many people are having fun re-creating the scenes from famous paintings or sculptures, using objects and clothing from around the house.
Have fun, and enjoy the spring!
3/30/20: Sun and rain
Greetings! We have been enjoying seeing so many of you in our daily video classes. We hope you've gotten to go outside in the sunny weather, and enjoy New England's early spring weather.
Even as we settle into new and different schedules with our sheltering in place, we're seeing many animals start their regular springtime routines. Robins are hopping on the ground, grey (and the occasional black!) squirrels are searching for nuts, and coyotes have been singing for us some nights.
The rainy weather of the past few days has been perfect for playing games indoors! My family enjoyed "Apples to Apples" recently, which is a bit old for preschoolers, but a game we really enjoy with little ones is the "animal guessing game." This can take two forms. The first is a bit like "Twenty Questions," only the thing to be guessed must be an animal (remember that insects are animals, too!). The second is having a child act out an animal, and you try to guess what kind they are (a bit like "Charades.") It's a lot of fun.
Other games to try:
Rhyme with me: take a common word (for example, "dog") and see how many words you can find that rhyme!
Dance party: put on some music, and try different dance moves together
Mirror: stand facing your child, and hold up your hands to theirs (but don't touch). Have your child move around, and mirror their movements. Then have them try to mirror yours!
Games with movement let you add exercise to your play. Lower-key rainy-day activities include exploring books (even if your child isn't reading letters yet, having them practice holding a book and turning the pages, perhaps "reading" to a stuffed toy or doll, is great pre-reading practice!), doing art, or talking on the phone (or video chatting) with relatives or friends. It's important to stay connected with loved ones.
3/20/20: Reading outdoors
Happy Friday! I hope your week home has been going well. Lee and I have been working on getting a Zoom meeting going, so we can all interact in real time. We'll have more details over the weekend!
Today was beautiful, with its mixed clouds and sunshine. I did a nature study with my kids: what animals can we see? (remember that insects count as animals, as do people...we're all part of the animal kingdom!) It was also nice enough out that I thought it would be fun to video a Patricia Polacco book outside! The video below of The Bee Tree is in two parts, because of technical issues (my phone ran out of memory, so I had to move some files to a media card and then video again)...but this gave both of my younger children a chance to film the reading. Part 1 was recorded by my kindergartner, and Part 2 by my 2nd-grader. After you watch Part 1, click the three lines under the video, and select Part 2. Enjoy!
In addition to videos here, check out the wonderful storytime videos on The Storyteller's Cottage Facebook page, here. My friend Jen Cook is one of the readers! They do live stories at 7:30 PM each evening, but their videos are also available on the website (click on the 'videos' tab and scroll down...).
Continuing with our art theme, James Dean has some wonderful portraits of Pete the Cat in various fine art paintings, on his website. They're available for purchase, but I had fun looking at them with my kids and having them compare and contrast the paintings with the original works (some of which are available to view in the museum tours linked below). You can see Dean's gallery here.
You can also explore some of the collections of Hartford's illustrious Wadsworth Atheneum, here.
Have a great weekend!
Ms. Suzanne and Miss Lee
How lovely to start the morning with a light cover of snow! It's gone now, but we had fun playing outside and making some in-the-snow art.
More art news: today's new find is daily doodles with Mo Willems, the wonderful author of the Elephant and Piggie books, the Pigeon books, and the Knuffle Bunny series. You can live-stream (or watch them after the fact) Willems' daily lessons here.
You can also spend lunch with Pete the Cat each day, as his author/illustrator, James Dean, reads live here at noon each day.
We're still trying to work out the logistics of posting videos of us reading books, as there are copyright issues; but Patricia Polacco has generously stated that all her books may be recorded online. So, we'll add one soon!
Talk to you soon,
Ms. Suzanne and Miss Lee
3/16/20: Happy Monday!
This week, we were planning on investigating art.
What better way to investigate at home, than to explore art museums? A number of famous museums have provided free online access to their collections! Google has an amazing collection of museums you can visit via street view, along with specific works you can view close-up, to explore details. See the whole site here, or the featured museums here.
A wonderful book to read as you visit these museums is "You Can't Take a Balloon Into the Metropolitan Museum," by Jaqueline Preiss Weitzman. She has similar titles for the Museum of Fine Arts and the National Gallery as well. These books are especially exciting with their comparisons of real-life (in the story) events and the paintings or statues that seem to mirror them. Another book worth a read is "A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day" by Andrea Davis Pinkny. You can compare the illustrations with Keats' illustrations in "The Snowy Day!"
As for songs, Don McLean's "Vincent (Starry Starry Night)" about Vincent Van Gogh and Nat King Cole's "Mona Lisa" are worth a listen, as is Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition," which he composed after a visit to an art gallery.
With the lovely weather outside, why not try some outdoor art? You could make yard-art with your child, arranging stones or sticks in a pretty pattern. Try taking pads of paper and pencils outside, and sketching some trees! You could sketch the same ones once the leaves are out, and compare them. Chalk art is also a great medium to use outside! Decorate the driveway, sidewalk, patio, whatever is available!
Stay tuned for videos...
Love, Ms. Suzanne and Miss Lee