Little January PoemPosted by Suzanne, on January 1st, 2010

Here is a sweet poem which is even nicer when told with puppets.  During the early years of childhood when developing language is one of the major achievements, we can support this big job by helping the children find and fine tune their ‘listening’ ability.

When we add a visual piece to the spoken story or verse, we engage the sense of sight as well as hearing.  As children are most adept in seeing the world, this skill helps ‘hold’ them in the imaginative picturing the puppet story creates, giving their hearing organs more time to take in the quality of the words.  In a sense, time to ‘digest’ and process the spoken story.  To present this story in a simple way, build up a table top winter landscape with snowy white, pale blue, lavender silks, soft cottons. build up a ‘hill’ with a form under the wintery cloth where the sled can whooosh down with delighted passengers. The children can run tumble in the ‘snow’ after the sled run.  All we need to do is create a picture of what children would do in movement in such a happy setting.

I like to follow up a little ‘story’ like this with the real thing.  If possible, at outdoor time, play in the snow, find a hill to slide and run  down.  This ‘doing’ activity takes the meaning of the words into the child in a  most meaningful way.  Friends in coastal British Columbia might enjoy a January 16/17  workshop on early childhood puppetry, which is a wonderful skill builder for the early childhood teacher and parent.

Little January
Tapped at my door today
And said, “Put on your winter wraps
And come outside to play”.

Little January
Is always full of fun
Today we coasted down the hill
Until the set of sun.

Little January
Do stay a month with me
And we will have such jolly times
Just come along and see

-W.C. Marshall

Visit Etsy to view a photo of needle felted sledding children to give you puppet ideas.