January 2009


Crossing the Midline

Thumbs up. (Stick up your thumbs in front of you.)
Thumbs down. (Point thumbs down.)
Cross your arms. (Cross fists with thumbs pointing down.)
Clasp your fingers. (Keeping wrists crossed hold hands.)
Bring your hands in. (Bring clasped hands down and in toward your chest.)
Give yourself a hug. (Squeeze arms.)

*Staple tissue paper streamers to a straw and have children follow along as you make cross lateral movements to music.

*Give children a piece of toilet paper about 3’ long to use as a streamer. Have them follow along as you make figure eights in the air, circle the streamer around your body, wave it high, swing it low, and so forth. (Roll up the toilet paper, put it in your desk, and you can use it again.)

*Cut surveying tape in 3’ sections and play follow the leader as different students make motions for friends to follow along.

Children can improve eye-hand coordination and cross the midline by juggling scarves, paper towels, or wadded up paper balls.

Begin by having children wad up a piece of scrap paper. Can they toss it and catch it? Can they play catch with a friend? Can they toss it, clap, and then catch it? How many times can they toss it without dropping it? Practice tossing the paper ball from the right hand to the left. Add a second paper ball and let the fun begin! Try juggling to music.

Hint! To make inexpensive juggling scarves, cut netting fabric into 12” squares.

Have children play hand clap games, such as “Miss Mary Mack” or “Say, Say My Playmate.” (You can find lots of these online.) Children face a partner and clap their hands together. Next, clap right hand to partner’s right hand. Clap hands together and then clap left hand to partner’s left hand. Continue the pattern.

Catherine South taught me this new patty cake chant when I was in Olean, NY. I think your students will enjoy it as much as I did!

When Billy Was One

Cross (Cross arms over your chest.)
Down (Pat thighs.)
When (Clap own hands.)
Billy (Clap right hand to partner and then left hand to partner.)
Was ONE, (Continue patty caking to the beat.)
He learned to
Jump and run.
Run, olly, olly,
Run, olly, olly,
Half past one.

When Billy was TWO,
He learned to tie his shoe.
Shoe, olly, olly,
Shoe, olly, olly,
Half past two.

Three…climb a tree
Four ...shut the door
Five...swim and dive
Six...pick up sticks
Seven...look to heaven
Eight...roller skate
Nine...sing so fine
Ten...start again
Eleven...count to seven
Twelve...ring the bell

Patty cake and count to 10, 20, 50, 100 or more!

Skip count by 2’s, 5’s, 10’s etc. as you patty cake.

Patty cake spelling words or word wall words

Say nursery rhymes or other poems as you patty cake with a partner.

Make up different clapping patterns. For example, you might slap thighs twice, clap twice, and high five twice.

DOUBLE DOUBLE THIS THIS (This is “advanced” patty caking!)
Some of you have done this with me at my workshops. It’s a challenge
for sure!

Double, (You and your partner make fists
Double, with your hands and tap together twice.)
This, (Open hands and tap palms with partner twice.)
Double, (Tap fists twice.)
That, (Tap backs of palms with partner twice.)
Double (Tap fists once.)
This, (Tap palms once.)
Double (Tap fists once.)
That, (Tap backs of palms once.)
Double, (Tap fists twice.)
This, (Tap palms once.)
That. (Tap backs of palms once.)

*Reinforce compound words with this rhyme. For example:
Double, double, rain, rain.
Double, double, coat, coat.
Double rain.
Double coat.
Double, double raincoat.

Cowgirl riding pony

Children will have great fun doing “Ride that Pony” with a partner:

Ride, ride, ride that pony,                   (Face partner and begin clapping
Get up and ride that big, black pony.    to the beat. Bounce up and down
Ride, ride, ride that pony.                       as if riding on a pony.)
This is what they told me. Front, front, front, my baby.   (Clap hands up
                                                                                   in the air with partner.)
Side, to side, to side, my baby.        (Gently bump hips on the side.)
Back, back, back, my baby,              (Turn around and bump back sides.)
This is what they told me.                  (Find a new partner.)

Activities: Do this as a line dance. Children form two lines facing each other. Step down to get a new partner after touching back sides.

Begin by crossing your right leg over your left knee. Place your right
elbow on your knee and prop your chin in that palm. Sing the song below
to the tune of “Reuben, Reuben, I’ve Been Thinking.”

I am slowly going crazy. 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – switch.
(On the word “switch,” switch positions by crossing your left leg on your
right knee and placing your left elbow on your knee.)
Crazy going slowly am I. 6 – 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 – switch.

Continue singing the song faster as you change positions every time you sing the word “switch.”

Hint! If you don’t know a tune, you can “google” it and will probably find a version on You Tube.

Have children stand. Tell them to jump as long as they can. When they get tired they can sit back in their seats.

Hint! Have children look at the second hand on the clock to see how long they can jump. Record the seconds. Each day practice “jumping” and have them record how their time improves.

Have children stand.
How long can they balance on their right foot?
How long can they balance on their left foot?
Can they balance on their right toes? Left toes?
Can they balance on their right foot and
extend their left leg in the air?
Can they balance on one foot with their eyes closed?
Balance on one foot

Chop wood five or ten times and you’ll get lots of blood going to the brain!
Put your arms in the air as if holding an ax. Pretend to chop wood by bringing arms down and bending over as you say, “Aayah!”

Pretend to place your ax on your right shoulder and chop down to the left. Place the ax on your left shoulder and pretend to chop to the right.

Face forward with a stiff right palm on your left shoulder. Chop that right hand down toward your right side. Take a stiff left palm and place it on your right shoulder. Now chop that left hand down toward your left side. Count, say abc’s, spell words, etc. as you do your karate chops. (Thanks to Mara Horn of Olean, NY, for this activity.)

Children can get an amazing amount of exercise simply by standing and marching in place. Here are some different ways you can march. Can your students add to the list?

Power march by swinging arms up and down as you lift your knees high.
March slow and then march fast.
March in a circle and then turn around and march in a circle in the opposite direction.
March like a toy soldier with stiff arms and legs.
Lift opposite sides of your body as you march. For example, left knee and right arm in the air. Lift right knee as you extend your left arm in the air.
March high and then march down low.
March, march, pause. March left foot, right foot, and then pause for two beats with your left knee in the air.
March on tippy toes.
Make circles with your arms as you march.
Open and close arms like an elevator door as you march.
Swish arms back and forth like windshield wipers as you march.
Kick and march. Lift right knee and then kick right leg. Lift left knee and kick left leg.

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