Now that playgrounds are opening back up, the weather is improving, and our last GG Sprinkles episode was a pretty serious one, we decided to visit several playgrounds. And I couldn’t wait to try out the swings and slides.
We played for a couple of hours, acquiring footage that we could piece together for an episode. I climbed, swung (on different kinds of swings), did the monkey bars (badly), slid down various slides, and more. It was a beautiful day, so we had to work around the kids who had the bigger right to the playgrounds. We can’t put other people’s kids on YouTube, of course. But somehow, my valiant and talented (and patient—did I mention patient?) videographer made it work. The smallest two playgrounds were mostly empty, but the bigger two were apparently more of a draw, and rightly so. I did wonder a little nervously what the parents of the little ones were thinking as this big kid of a grandma was playing among their children. But we did okay and no one called the police. I’d call that a successful day.
We went back to the house and ended the episode with a poem about the joy of playgrounds. I showed some pictures of my little ones on various playground equipment, and we talked briefly about what you can do to have fun in your own yard if playgrounds are not an option for whatever reason. Some parents are still (and appropriately) concerned about all of the hands and potential germs on the equipment. And some may not have playgrounds in their area.
I declared right after our last episode that I wanted to do a light, fun episode. Playgrounds came to mind immediately. I wanted to project happiness and unconfined joy for the kids. Of course for the kids, right? But I realized as I was soaring in the swings and going down slides that I was really doing this one almost as much for me as for my young audience. I, too, needed the fun of the playground; I, too, needed to be a big kid, if just for a couple of hours. It’s been a very long, scary, and—yes—confined and sometimes isolated year. GG Sprinkles provided me with an excuse to slide and climb and soar. And let’s face it: We ALL need to soar at times, if only for a little while ❤️.
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!
View All Posts