I like to find topics for GG Sprinkles and, thus, my poetry that can extend into a gentle lesson beyond the simpler idea. I had already decided to do an episode on counting and simple math, and that led me to explore the origin of the phrase ‘count on me.’
I have a toy that I bought years ago to work with Cooper on counting and identifying his colors that involves sliding colored beads on what looks like a roller coaster (which, in fact, is what we called it). I ordered a small abacus to demonstrate counting, along with addition and subtraction. I researched online for ideas I could use to teach little ones fun ways to count and then adapted them. I set up an animal ‘pen’ with tiles and pulled out the small bag of plastic animals we’d picked up at the zoo gift shop. I filled a bag with numbers so that I could draw a number out and put a corresponding number of animals in the pen. I drew a picture of a cake and cut out ‘candles’ so we could count the candles and put them on the cake. I had blocks to stack and count.
Then I needed to figure out a way to explain where we get the expression ‘count on’ something or someone. Apparently centuries ago bankers would count their money on a certain kind of table that had slots and so forth to make counting and sorting easier. They knew that when they used this table, their count would be accurate and reliable. Now, when we say we can count on someone, we’re saying they’re reliable and trustworthy. I enlarged on that a bit to include the idea that they’re good friends as well.
I think my topics for the Sprinkles episodes have been mostly fun: toys, puppets, pets, unicorns, cowboys, birds, etc. But I also like to make larger points occasionally, such as the power of a youngster’s voice and the value of colors in all things, including people. My episodes are very short, and I have to present everything I want to say in only a few minutes. It’s made me measure a little more what to say and get my point across in a space of time that suits a young child’s attention span. Any time I can address what makes a better friend, I take the opportunity. Hopefully, with this episode I made that point. And, as is frequently the case, I learned something new as well. A win-win for GG Sprinkles. ❤️