I read that kids like the idea of medals and seeing medals. I run/walk virtual races and collect the medals, so I had some I could show the little ones when we filmed our episode on medals and awards. And when it comes to awarding medals, let’s face it—we probably all deserve at least one. We’ve helped home school the children, entertained them, worked from home, and otherwise tried to make our children’s lives as normal as living with the Covid threat would allow. And parents have done a heck of a job. But the little ones have also had to adapt to a new normal that has involved mask-wearing, isolation from their friends and classmates, schooling at home, and a host of other changes that have rocked their young worlds. So they, too, are candidates for medals.
I decided back in March when we started filming our GG Sprinkles videos that I would try very hard to only use materials for any of my demonstrations that I already had around the house. During the height of the quarantine, I wasn’t leaving the house anyway, so it only made sense. For medal making, I used poster board, ribbon, markers, and as much glitter and sparkle as I could find in my craft supplies. We made one together after reading a poem about how nice it is to get medals. With Father’s Day approaching, that was an idea to run with for a medal recipient.
This was also our 50th episode, so we celebrated a little with a medal of our own. So here’s our Medals episode. And our 50th. Enjoy!
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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