When I was little, I wanted to be three things when I grew up: a forest ranger, an airline hostess, and a cowgirl. Mostly the ranger. And eventually a teacher. But my little brother and every other little boy in our neighborhood wanted to be a cowboy. And when I nannied, I discovered that all these years later, little boys like Cooper still have that dream. So I decided to write a poem about that. In reading up on cowboys and lassoes and riding and roping, I learned some new terms and learned how to tie a Honda knot (not well, necessarily) that they use in lassoes. I learned about bronc peelers and mucking stalls, and I wanted to be a cowgirl all over again.
I’d been wanting to do a piece on statues, so I added that one in tonight. In our travels last fall we saw tons of amazing statues, including living statues. One living statue in particular in London gave little Charlie a run for his money by interacting with him. I wondered what statue little ones like Charlie would be if they could choose. From there, it occurred to me that a child might see the ‘life’ of a statue as being pretty cool (no bathing, no changing underwear, no having to go to bed, etc.). Other than pesky pigeons who might land on them, statue life might indeed be pretty awesome. So here are cowboys and statues! 😃
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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