I research online to see what little ones like to talk about and hear about. I keep a list of what I cover, and so far I’m doing pretty well. Some of the topics on the various lists give me pause, I must admit. I mean, honestly, I’m just not sure how I would approach bacon, baggy clothes, or blimps. But then I remind myself that I managed to work with topics like Tasmanian devils, zebras, and peppers (all requested topics), and I make myself explore the stranger topics. I love a good poetic challenge.
But then I come across a topic that just sings to the big kid in me, and we’re off. That’s what happened with car washes: I love them. I’d go out and toss a big bucket of dirt on my VW just to go through an automated car wash. Why? The suds and rainbow bubbles, of course! I put my car in park, sit back, and let the magic happen. And, in fact, I love that tiny kids think it IS magic. I’ve gone through the car wash with my grandkids, and their delight with the brushes and suds is contagious. So this was an easy one for me.
I know that allowances can be important to kids, so that was the second topic of this episode. I’ve watched how my kids have dealt with this with their little ones, and I remember trying different ways to give allowances with our kids. And I remember my own parents did it various ways, including taping money to windows they wanted cleaned or a sink that needed wiping down. I had to be sure to say in the episode that not everyone gets allowances, that they happen at different ages, etc.
It’s unusual for me to tackle three topics in one episode, but since we had just talked about rainbows, I decided to write a poem about ‘accidental rainbows,’ those pretty rainbows that appear thanks to mist and sun, prisms, etc. I, myself, am a big fan of the accidental rainbows; I used prisms in my classroom to illustrate a couple of poems. This one was fun to write. So enjoy going through a car wash with us and imagine the rainbow suds and remember how gratifying it was to make a purchase with your very own allowance. And for goodness sake, keep an eye out for those accidental rainbows. ❤️
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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