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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Hello Friends!
I am starting my biggest project ever, Sing With Our kids. So I'll be blogging regularly there, and hope you'll follow along. For the time being, I won't be posting here. So come on over and join me there!

Click on the link below to watch the short video

Thursday, December 29, 2011

What Are You Doing Noon Year's Eve?

No, that wasn't a typo! Saturday I'll be at the Tacoma Library main branch for the first ever Noon Year's Eve event! Kids will make a party hat, sing and dance our way around the world as we welcome the new year, and count down to the ball drop at noon. All this, and still be able to make it home for a nap or other activities. Join me for this very special end of the year fun!!- and Happy New Year to you and your families!
See the link below my photo for more info:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tuesday Tip! Getting Ready for the (sometimes) Dreaded Holiday School Program!

Here it is......... that time of year again... When thousands of preschool teachers across the land are dreading the annual "Holiday Program." So here are some tips and thoughts to help you get through it- not that you need it. Parents will love whatever you do!

1. I think so many teachers get stressed out because there will be "adults" present. It's one thing to sing in front of children. It's another to sing in front of adults! So remember that parents will be totally focused on their children, and will be covered in that magic parent fairy dust that makes us ga-ga over our own little angels (and that's as it should be- we're designed that way!).
2.Don't over-rehearse! Children are spontaneous, and the best thing to do is choose a simple song and sing it as few times as you have to for them to learn it.
3. Simple props can make all the difference! A pair of reindeer antlers, a paper star or crown give children comfort and look sooooooooo adorable in the inevitable videos!
4. In regards to number 3, remember SIMPLE prop! Don't get stressed spending all of your time making elaborate props for the chidlren's minute of glory. You need time to rest up and put up your feet for a while!
5. Finally, remember that some children don't do well with the stress of suddenly being "on stage," often in a room they aren't familiar with. Let parents know ahead of time that it's okay for them to join their child during the presentation. It's no fun to see a crying child reaching for his or her parent, and although these little performances are great and offer many mini lessons for children, the ultimate goal should be the comfort level of the child. So communicate this with the parents before the program, and make sure they know their presence with their child is welcome.

Of course, don't forget my website has lots of simple songs for the holidays (all winter holidays, not just Christmas!) that work great for performances. Click on link to see a playlist of free downloadable holiday songs

Now go out there and deck the halls with songs!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tuesday Tip! Pandora Radio for Your Parenting Tool Box

If you haven't discovered Pandora Radio, you have to check it out! Or maybe you've used it for finding music for yourself, but not for children. I have found it to be a lifesaver when taking care of my grandchildren (yes, I like to play them music that is NOT mine!). Pandora is basically a free radio station you create by typing in a favorite artist, song, or genre. Pandora finds songs that are similar through an amazing process, and voila! You have a custom-made radio station. You can play it through your computer, on your smartphone or tablet (yes, there's an app for that!). If you have I-pod speakers, you can hook up these other devices through an auxiliary input. Check the back of your speakers. Most have an 1/8" input. You can purchase an 1/8" cable at Radio Shack.

I purchased a computer speaker set (bass speaker and small speakers) for $8 at my thrift store, and they are my main home speaker system. I just plug my I-pad or phone into them and I have great quality music for my little ones- and for me!

As I said, you can just create your station by putting in the title of a favorite song or artist. I put in "The Wiggles," and have been very happy with the songs Pandora selects for me. One more thing...
As each song plays, you have a choice to click on a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down." This helps Pandora fine-tune your station, steering you away from songs you don't like, and more toward those you do. It's amazing!
Having age appropriate music available throughout your day is a great way to help set a happy mood, especially during those high-stress times of day, like dinnertime! If there are songs you hear you want to own, you can also purchase them on the spot, or just bookmark them.You'll find yourself and your little ones singing along together- and making memories of happy times spent together Because that's what music does best!

Go to 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tuesday Tip: Just Sing!

Singing with your child is one of the most important things you can do as a parent or caregiver.. It builds relationships, early literacy, and will literally help to grow our baby's brain. But as our lives are invaded by more and more sound, simple singing is easier said than done! Whether it's the radio, television, computers and tablets, cell phone, or even a room full of noisy toys, it's understandably increasingly difficult to find the space in which to insert your own voice! One of the tips I give young parents in my workshops who are not in the habit of singing, is to have specific times of the day that are built into your schedule. To take this a step further, I have suggested songs everybody knows. Of course you can sing anything you like, but here's a good and simple starting place....

1. In the car: The Wheels on the Bus
2. While changing a diaper: ABC song
3. While making dinner, a snack, or other meal:: Row, Row, Row Your Boat
4. While going for a walk or even walking to the car: If You’re Happy and You Know It!
5. At bedtime: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

I talk to more and more parents who say they never sing with their children, so taking baby steps (no pun intended) may be the best plan.Singing is free, portable, and can instantly put everyone in a good mood. So just sing!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tuesday Tip! Your Public Library; What a Deal!

If you haven't visited your local library lately, you might be surprised to see how much is going on there! I won't even go into everything for adults (like free classes and book groups), since I'm all about the kids and family time.  In addition to story times for toddlers and preschoolers, many have baby story times- as in baby!  In addition to hearing books, songs, and finger plays, you'll get parenting ideas and get to actually spend a little time with adults. Older children can often do crafts related to a special story. You can see puppet shows, hear concerts, sometimes even live animals, and all kinds of other entertainment in an environment that's kid-friendly. Libraries are my favorite venue for performing, because they are cozy and not overly stimulating,. And after a concert or story time, you can go home with an armload of books... all for FREE! It's amazing! So next time you're looking for something to do, check out your local library. Visit my website for a complete schedule of my libraries concerts.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tuesday Tip! Halloween (or harvest) Fun

Here's a quick and easy variation on my Four Little Paper Dolls song of the month. This is one of the most popular songs I do, and I use it year-round with different shapes and words. To hear and read about the original, click on this link. . 

Follow all the instructions for the paper dolls song, but instead of paper dolls, cut a pumpkin shape out of folded orange paper. You can draw different faces on each of the four linked pumpkins with a black marker. And Voila! A brand new song! Now you will sing,, "Four little jack-o-lanterns in a row..." These will be so fast and easy to make, you can make one for each child if you are a preschool teacher. Kids who are old enough to handle scissors can cut out and decorate their own. And of course the possibilities are endless for decorating with stickers, or glitter. In fact, now that I think about it, I'm going to do this today with my grandson! He just turned 3 and is very proud of his cutting skills! 

Note! If you don't celebrate Halloween, you can just make and sing "Four Little Pumpkins in a row..."