Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Watch Out! It's a Jungle Out There!

I heard from around the web (thanks Teach Preschool!) that Kohl's had stuffed animals to go along with several of the Eric Carle books!  I was very excited to find out if this was true in my area!  I'm already lucky enough to own a few stuffed animals that belong to specific books I read often in my classroom.
"Where are you little green dragon?"
I use these stuffed animals to either introduce the book, engage the children in the book or with a simple activity after we read the book.   
"The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash"
Several of these stuffed animals have not been able to see the light of day in a few years since the books they belong with are a bit too difficult for the children in my classroom. 
"Elmer Plays Hide-and-Seek"
I'm usually able to find SOME use for them though!  For instance, Elmer has been used to introduce the story "Elmer Plays Hide-and-Seek.  He has also been used to sing the song Willaby, Wallaby elephant sat!" 
"The Rainbow Fish"
The children love being able to pass around one of the stuffed animals either before or after we read a story.  This is also one of the ways we can work on passing an object to a friend, turn taking and engaging with others (making eye contact and/or using words).
These stuffed animals also join us in the classroom often when we introduce letters and letter sounds.  I have several specific stuffed animals that help introduce Nursery Rhymes as well.
"Giggle, Giggle, Quack"
There are so many ways we can use these stuffed animals; as transitional items, to introduce a book or Nursery Rhyme, to work on making animal sounds, to engage the children in a song or to introduce letters and letter sounds.   
The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Very Grouchy Ladybug (as well as 2 other Eric Carle books)
Oh, YIPEEE, now we can add these stuffed animals that go along with the Eric Carle books!  I can't wait to use them in the classroom!

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