Let’s Pretend!

I first started recording my GG Sprinkles videos back in March, hoping that there would be some value in them for young children and their parents. We had just started sheltering at home and schools were out for the duration. I wanted to do a combination of entertaining and light-hearted instructing, mostly entertaining. I knew the videos needed to run not much more than five minutes, certainly no more than ten. We began recording a video a day and then eventually cut back to three a week. After I made my way through every poem in my book A Duck in the Sky, I needed to write more. And more. Working from an extensive list of topics for children, I discovered that my initial instincts had been good, but I needed to reach further. And little ones I know contributed topics that proved challenging (and often humorous) as subjects for poetry. Before I could write my poetry about certain topics, I needed to research, and I have learned so much about a wide range of topics, from planets to octopuses. And go ahead, ask me anything about superheroes! So this has become quite a time-intensive project, and I have loved absolutely every minute of it, both the preparation and the presentation.

My first videos are a tad awkward; I wasn’t at home in front of the camera, although I’m doing better. I was still a bit shy in front of my classes after teaching for thirty years, so I guess that’s no surprise. My first video set out to tell the little ones and parents who I was and what I wanted to accomplish, which was to entertain using something I think is really important to young children—poetry. My first topic was the fun of pretending and the importance of using your imagination and how reading can inspire both of those. So, let’s pretend!

Author:

I’m a huge believer in two things: the wisdom and potential of our children and the importance of poetry and imagination in their lives and development. My teaching background is at the high school level, but my methods in the classroom ran high in interaction and whimsy, at least as much whimsy as preparation for state testing allowed. I have four young grandchildren, and I nannied a little boy for over four years from infancy, so I like to think I know children pretty well. And I used poetry to teach and inspire no matter what ages I was called to teach. Poetry takes very big ideas and boils them down to nuggets of wisdom more easily understood. And then there’s the rhyme, such a valuable asset to pre-reading and a great hook to pull the little ones into the poetry itself. The rhythm, cadence, and yes, the rhyme, all have value for kids. Even if the full meaning of the words eludes them a little, there is value in what they do process. I have written and published two books of essays and poetry for teachers, but my greater joy came in writing poetry for children. I began a book of children’s poetry the day my first grandchild Samantha was born and fourteen years later I continue to add to it. I entitled it A Duck in the Sky, which comes from a discussion we had with Sam when she was just a toddler. We were talking about the meaning of life and Sam assured us that the meaning of life was, in fact, a duck in the sky. Fair enough, and a very good title. I never published my children’s book, although that will happen. But in the meantime came Covid and quarantine. I wanted to contribute something, to help entertain young children stuck at home, even if for only a few minutes at a time. So GG Sprinkles was born, someone who reads poetry and entertains with props, demonstrations, etc. Our videos began on a GG Sprinkles Facebook page, and shortly after that became a GG Sprinkles YouTube channel. So we now have quite a few videos available and I continue to write poetry. I have learned a great deal about a lot of topics: fairies, zebras, angels, octopuses, birds, superheroes, blanket forts, dragons, space, buried treasure, planets, burping, puppets, trains, unicorns, kites, magic wands, and so much more. It has been a pure joy to do this for the kids. And, of course, I’m learning so much along the way. We intend to keep the videos coming as long as the poetry comes and the kids and parents are interested. We’d be delighted to have you come along with us as we explore new topics poetically and just have some fun. GG Sprinkles welcomes you to any of the videos you’d like to watch and further thoughts here on my blog. Enjoy!

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