STEAM Lessons: Sandpaper

Young children can discover so much from exploring the sounds and texture of sandpaper, it’s really a gold mine of learning. Well, not a GOLD mine… more like bauxite mine. More on that later. As a music teacher working with young children, I often use sand blocks, those small (but heavy, if you’re carrying around […]

What Can They Really Understand?

I’ve always wondered about doing science “experiments,” like the good old homemade volcano, with young children, Pre-K’s and kindergartners. After a week or two (let alone a few months) how much will they remember? Will they even be able to tell you about baking soda and vinegar?  If these activities include plenty of time for […]

“Exploring the Science of Sounds” is here!

I’m happy to tell you that my new book is here! “Exploring the Science of Sounds” is available at the Gryphon House website (gryphonhouse.com), Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I had so much fun designing the STEAM activities in this book and refining them with the help of my fantastic young students! They always inspire […]

Think Outside the Catalog!

When I look through school-supply catalogs, I shake my head at the amount of money some people are apparently willing to pay for little fuzzy pompoms, foam paper, feathers, sequins, stamps, stickers, and other fancy, colorful “art supplies.” Nothing against little fuzzy pompoms, but there’s a multitude of fabulous, free art materials hiding in plain […]

Games for Exploring Timbre

Games for Exploring Timbre For his fourth birthday, Brycen received a rhythm band set. He enjoyed playing with all the instruments, and his mom, Kyleigh, was delighted that he seemed to be musically inclined. Then one day she found him playing with the maracas in a rather unusual way – he was stomping on them! […]

No More Sore Throats! 10 Tips

No More Sore Throats! 10 Tips You probably think this is a resolution you can’t keep, but you can. I’ve got tips for you that really work. Seriously. If they could work for me, they can work for anyone. These tips aren’t meant to take the place of medical advice. I’m not a doctor. So […]

Let’s Talk About Timbre

Let’s Talk About Timbre Can you tell the difference between the sound of a piano and the sound of a drum? Of course you can. Young children can do it. VERY young children. But can you describe how you can tell the difference? Um… That’s what I thought. Not easy, is it? The particular sound of […]

“The Drum Song”

“The Drum Song” The Drum Song A few weeks ago, I was in a store when I overheard a wonderful mother-with-young-child conversation. The child was a girl who was perhaps five or six years old. She kept asking, “When are we going to go, Mom? I want to go.” And her mom said patiently, “Be […]

“Thinking of a Name” – A Signing Song

Did you know that American Sign Language, or ASL, is the fourth most-used language in the United States? More and more preschools are including some ASL in their curriculum, and research indicates it may even help hearing children with oral language and reading! This song, and other songs using ASL, are included in my book […]