Stories and thoughts from day to day life in the Bullard Family

Late Summer Circle Time August 6, 2011

Filed under: Circle Time — parentsong @ 7:20 am
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Now that the shift toward the close of summer is coming, I thought it would be a good time to start a new selection of songs and poems for our circle time. I think six or seven weeks for the same grouping of songs and rhymes is probably long enough. I’m certainly ready for new material!

Hanky Panky

I like to start the first two lines alternating claps with hitting both hands on knees, then jump around for the “hip hop” bit and make a big jump and sit down for the “kerplop.”

Down by the banks of the hanky panky,

Where the bullfrogs jump from bank to banky,

With a hip, hop, hippity hop,

Jump off the lilypad, and kerplop!

Five Little Fireflies

For the poppity pop, I open and close my other hand.

One little firefly shines very bright.
(Hold up one finger) Poppity-pop-pop, on-off goes its light.
Two little fireflies suddenly spark,
(Hold up two fingers) Poppity-pop-pop, they glow in the dark.
Three little fireflies flicker and fly,
(Hold up three fingers) Poppity-pop-pop, watch them pass by.
Four little fireflies glimmer and glow,
(Hold up four fingers) Poppity-pop-pop, just look at them go.
Five little fireflies blink in the night,
(Hold up five fingers) Poppity-pop-pop, my, what a sight!
– By Lois E Putnam

Shoo Fly

This song is a huge hit with Briony. There seems to be lots of bugs flying around the garden this time of year, so we sing it even out of the circle.
Shoo fly, don’t bother me,

Shoo fly, don’t bother me,

Shoo fly, don’t bother me

For I belong to somebody.

I feel, I feel, I feel like a morning star,

I feel, I feel, I feel like a morning star.


In the wildflower preserve near our home, milkweed is abundant. Soon we will search for the open pods of seeds on our nature walks.

In a milkweed cradle all close and warm,
(Place cupped hands together)

Little seeds are hiding safe from harm.
(Keep hands closed)

Open wide the cradle now, hold it high.
(Open cupped hands, raise them above your head)

Come along wind, help them fly.
(Sway open hands in the air)

John the Rabbit

A great song for taking turns singing the words and the “yes ma’am” part. As we start, Briony sings the “yes ma’am” but I know she’ll want to sing the words as soon as she learns them! There is also a great video from Elizabeth Mitchell on youtube.

Oh John the rabbit, yes ma’am
Had a mighty bad habit, yes ma’am
Of jumping in my garden, yes ma’am

He ate my tomatoes, yes ma’am
And all my sweet potatoes, yes ma’am
And he cut down all my cabbage, yes ma’am
And he ate up all my peas, yes ma’am
And if I live, yes ma’am
To see next fall, yes ma’am
I just won’t have, yes ma’am
Any garden at all. NO MA’AM!

I also include a part of the poem “September” by Helen Hunt Jackson. It is printed in a book filled with really great poems for children titled “Songs from the Tree-top and Meadow.” You can view the entire book on Google books (at least, at the time of this writing you can). For the month of August, I only say the first two verses. I’ll maybe split it in half and recite the last three verses for September. I have found shorter poems are easier to memorize for me and my 2-year-old.

The goldenrod is yellow,

The corn is turning brown,

The trees in apple orchards

With fruit are bending down.


The gentian’s bluest fringes

Are curling in the sun,

In dusky pods the milkweed

Its hidden silk has spun.


The sedges flaunt their harvest

In every meadow-nook,

And asters by the brookside

Make asters in the brook.


From dewy lanes at morning

The grapes’ sweet odors rise.

At noon the roads all flutter

With golden butterflies.


By all these lovely tokens

September days are here,

With summer’s best of weather

And autumn’s best of cheer.


Our Summer Circle Time July 16, 2011

Filed under: Circle Time,Music — parentsong @ 9:00 am
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For us, this summer has been a time for learning and trying out new rhythms. This has been a little bit stressful because I’m not sure what we’re doing. I think this is probably normal for a family with very young children. Things change so quickly in this stage of life. One nice thing I have to share with my children is our circle time. Honestly, at this point it doesn’t happen at a set time everyday, but when we sit down and go through it together, just having that micro-rhythm brings ease and comfort to the day.

I chose some rhymes, finger plays, a couple of songs, and one chant that encourages movement (because that’s what children do!).

Our Summer Circle:

Poem: We Have a Little Garden by Beatrix Potter