My All-Time Favorite Kid’s CD

I grew up listening to Hide ‘Em in Your Heart, Vol. 1 & 2 but had nearly forgotten all about it until my sister gave me the two-for-one CD for Christmas.

My first thought was, I’m going to be so sad if my kids don’t like it.

So, before I popped it in my CD player,  I said “Guess what?!?  This was mommy’s favorite music when I was a kid, and now we can learn the songs and listen to it together!”

Then I skipped right to my two favorite songs as a kid:  “God loves a Cheerful Giver” and “Encourage One Another.”

At first, my kids ONLY wanted to listen to those songs for the first day or two, but then as the songs played without them noticing, they eventually fell in love with ALL of the songs.

This CD has been a GREAT teaching tool because when my little girl is afraid of “sharks” and “alligators” at night, we sing “When I am afraid, I will trust in HIM.”

Or, when they are complaining, I sing “Do everything without complaining.”

It is a great way to introduce and memorize Scripture naturally and regularly which is my favorite way to do things.

My kids are under 5 so it is really appropriate for them, but I remember liking this CD as a 10 year old child.  I can’t promise that your kids will love it because I know Kid’s bop and Disney music are kid favorites these days, but it is worth a try because the content it priceless.

I hope you like it as much as we do!

riding in the car

5 Wait-Time Children’s Games for Crowd Control

LSU’s Mike the Tiger came to my son’s school the other day for a surprise birthday visit!

It was such a memorable experience for ALL of the children.

But, it actually could have been CRAZY and chaotic if I didn’t “think fast” and come prepared with a few ideas to keep the kids somewhat calm.

It could’ve turned into a bunch of injured kids or an injured Mike, but I always keep a few tricks up my sleeve.

Any time I am in front of a big group of kids, I always try to get them to do something along WITH me.  So, here are my 5 top picks to fill wait -time or keep crowd control when you have a group of kids to organize.

1) “Silly Says” – Today we played “Mike Says” and everything he did, we had to do.  I play this with kids a lot and I just play “Silly Says” – whatever silly thing I do, you do.

2) “Going on a Bear Hunt”  – I was at the park once trying to keep the kids away from the sandbox and this chant did the trick!

3) “I Spy” – The classic game – I usually play it in a variety of ways. “I spy something shaped like…. I spy something that starts with….   I spy something the color….  I spy something that sounds like…. I spy something that rhymes with…”  You get the picture.

4) “Mirror Fingers” – hold up the same number of fingers that I hold up in a different way.

5) “Imitate my Clap”  – this is an old teacher-tactic where the kids simply have to listen and follow the beat that the leader makes.

A couple other easy ones:

1) Coordinate “Little Sally Walker” – you may have to YouTube it if you aren’t sure what that is.

2) Play “Man in the middle.” One person stands in the middle of a circle and throws the ball to someone on the outside (who can’t move their feet).  Whoever catches it and follows the rules becomes the man in the middle.

3) Play “Duck, Duck, Goose!”

4) Sing  “If you are Happy and You know it” – I always come up with lots of things to add to the song like “wag your tail, hop like a frog, roar like a lion, etc”  STRETCH IT OUT! 🙂


Buggy Xylophone

There are certain tasks that are fairly simple but when you throw kids into the mix, it can be downright miserable… especially when that task is to simply wait.

Take getting an oil change, for example.  Today we were quite lucky to only have to wait about 45 minutes, but there have been times where it has gone longer than the estimated time.

After about 2 minutes of everyone, including my toddler, cooing at my smiley 10 month old, we were already searching for a new game.  Here is when I invented Buggy Xylophone (patent pending).

I pulled several items out of the diaper bag and we brushed each of them against the metal rungs of the basket.





Auditory Learning / Music skills

Mommy Teacher:  “Does the pen make a HIGH pitched sounds or a LOW pitched sound?” (Make your voice go HIGH and LOW when saying those words.)

Mommy Teacher:  “Does the wallet make a LOUD or a QUIET noise on the basket?”  (Make your voice go LOUD and QUIET when saying those words.)

Mommy Teacher:  “Let’s change the tempo.  Can you move the pen fast across the rungs of the basket?  That is a fast tempo.  Now move the pen slow.  That is a slow tempo.”

Listening Skills / Following Directions / Counting / Rhythm

Mommy Teacher:  “I can tap 3 times tap tap tap.  Now you tap 3 times.”

Mommy Teacher:  “Repeat after me tap pause tap tap.”


Mommy Teacher:  “Which object is loudest?”  “Which has the highest pitch?”

Grouping Like Objects (Science and Math)

Mommy Teacher:  “The spoon and the pen are both hard and are both LOUD.  The wallet and the purse are both soft and are both QUIET.”

Predicting (Science Skill)

Mommy Teacher:  “Do you think the spoon is going to be LOUD or QUIET?”


Mommy Teacher:  “The pen is LOUD.  The wallet is the opposite of LOUD which is what?”


Loud, quiet, high pitch, low pitch, opposite, tempo, fast, slow

And that, my friends, is how you annoy the other patrons at Walmart… OR that is a great way to entertain your kids while waiting for your car to be ready.  I prefer the latter.

Sticker Activity Ideas

When I was little, my friends and I all had a sticker collection.  Lisa Frank was a hot commodity!  We would pretty much show and tell this collection, and sometimes trade.  But there are so many ways to make use of stickers – more than just maintaining a shelf life.

If you read “Join The Club” then you may remember that I was inspired to write up some sticker activity ideas for you to use what you already have to create fun and meaningful teaching opportunities.  Below are the ideas that came to mind, but feel free to share pictures on my facebook page of any sticker creations your little ones have designed 🙂

Use stickers:

1)      To check off chores accomplished using a chore chart. (This can teach responsibility & show data represented on a chart.)

2)      To mark important days on a calendar. (This can teach calendar skills & how to read information from a table.)

3)      To award positive behavior or to award children for each full serving of fruits & veggies your child eats at dinner. After a certain number maybe they can “rent a new movie” “bring a friend bowling” or some other fun incentive. (This  teaches number sense & goal setting.)

4)      To make patterns on paper strips that can be used to tape around your little one’s wrist or ankle to make a bracelet or anklet. [This can teach patterning and classifying (depending on how your little one chooses to make a pattern….by shape such as star-circle-star-circle, by color such as is pictured, by object such as horse-cat-horse-cat, etc.)]

5)      To make a sticker book of stories using the stickers in place of some of the words.  So for example if you have number stickers & animal stickers you might help your little one come up with something like this:  “(1) little (horse sticker) was galloping down the road, to meet (2) little (cat stickers) that were chasing a toad.” (This can teach math, reading, and creative writing skills.)

6)      To organize a sticker collection (place the stickers in sheet protectors and place in a binder by groups with divider tabs such as letters, shapes, animals, colors, scratch and sniff, etc.) (This can teach organization, classifying, sorting, and matching skills.)

7)      To represent characters in math stories (This can teach conservation of a number, number sense, counting, and adding.)

Hope this helps you to use what you have to create teaching opps…please share your stories!

What’s in the Bag? Wait-Time Fillers

Teachers are usually prepared, or over prepared, for every minute of their day…because wait time can drive anyone and everyone involved to their breaking point.  So, most teachers have a bin (or two) of time fillers just in case they need a backup plan.

 This backup plan is a concept that needs to be transferred over into the “on-the-go bag” you carry with you on a daily basis because you WILL end up in a waiting room, a mess of traffic, a long line at the store (eh hem, hobby lobby), or who even knows where else.

I submit to you a few ideas worth considering other than the commonly used technology accessories: books, sketch pad + crayons, an activity book, and a mommy teacher time filler book.

I know this “time filler book” sounds silly, but I recommend taking the time to make one and here is how:

Make a word document of all the songs, finger plays, and stories you love:

1) Find, copy and paste from websites that provide all the lyrics.

2) Print and cut them out. (Click here for a starter I made you)

3) Tape them into a spiral bound index card pack.

4) Throw them in your purse or murse (“man purse” for all you daddy teachers)

** If you want to get fancy you can color code them (songs-red, finger plays-blue, stories-orange, etc.)

Then when you need a time filler, give your little one a choice!  “Do you want to read a book, sing a song, listen to a story, color, or act out a story with our fingers?” I think you will be surprised how much more quickly the time passes with your little one engaged.

So today I ask you….What’s in your Bag?  Share ideas that you have found helpful in your time of need!  Share pictures on the Mommy Teacher Facebook Page!

Don’t have a bag?  Enter the giveaway!

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