Friday, May 11, 2012


May is always a month filled with emotions, saying goodbye, moving forward and getting ready for summer. Teaching artists, like myself, spend many summer days working with camps, libraries and festivals. A great summer event is held in three locations in Texas this year in July. SPLASH is an event sponsored by Frog Street and Pre-K and K is the focus of each conference. 

This is FANNY FROG and she is getting ready for a birthday party in July.  Mary Jo and Dr. Becky BAiley are having some puppet fun.   Go to and check out, what is in my opinion, “THE BEST” early childhood conference in the USA.  This year I have the privilege of presenting a Keynote at the Houston SPLASH along with Dr. Jean, Pam Schiller and many other friends and presenters.  This will undoubtedly be the biggest and best birthday bash you have ever attended.

A great celebration for the end of a school year is to invite parents to share a picnic lunch and let the children show them what they have learned through music and stories.  We rented the shelter house at our local park and sent a cute invitation to the families to attend from 11:30 to 12:30.  This targeted working parents lunch hour and we gave them several months notice so it could be arranged.  In the early years parents would bring great, healthy lunches but when fast food became so available we saw more and more sack lunches from local fast food restaurants.  Our focus was not healthy food but a family gathering where the children would be shining stars.  The entire program only lasted approximately 12 minutes but families had 12 minutes of irreplaceable footage for their family video libraries and hundreds of pictures.

Here is one of the songs you can use and share for such an event.

I love you and I know  I’ll clap my hands……………clap, clap

If  you love me and you know it clap your hands………clap, clap

 I love you and I know it  I’ll wave my hand……………wave, wave

If you love me and you know it wave your hand……….wave, wave

 I love you and I know it  I’ll blow a kiss………….blow, blow

If you love me and you know it blow a kiss……….blow, blow

Create as many verses as you can to share with the children and parents.  Sing to
“If You’re Happy and You Know It!”  This is a call and response for children and parents to sing together.


May is the month to put out a garden and invite the children to use their senses to understand how Mother Nature works.  Children need to do the planting and it will all wash off with a little water.  Provide containers, soil, seeds, water and a safe place to do the planting.  This picture is a raised garden.  This type of garden can be purchased from your local hardware store, assembled and filled with good potting soil.  Ask for parent and community donations for this project.  Local nurseries may donate the plants if they know about your project and you advertise their business.   

This is a sample of a raised garden that was planted the end of April.  The cages around the tomatoes are orange, yellow, purple and red……..making a colorful display for the plants.  The middle area is filled with flowers and the highest area has lettuce that was ready for the children to eat and there are marigolds.  Marigolds are supposed to help keep insects out of the garden.

Flowers are always fascinating for children.  One of the fastest growing flowers is the sunflower.  Plant two seeds in case one of them decides to stay asleep.  Send this plant home and encourage parents to plant it in a garden or a pot so the children can watch it all summer.

Flowers in a hanging basket

Strawberry plants in a raised tub

Strawberries ready to eat in MAY

Add climbing plants so children can predict, calculate growth and document

This weekend I will be attending a Nature Explorer camp in my area and learning more about nature and how we can connect the youngest children to their natural world. Check out and look for ways to include the natural way children should learn. Until next time, when we will learn to swoon in June. Mary Jo Huff,



  1. I love the song. I will adapt it and use for our "Muffins for Moms and Donuts for Dads" day. Thanks for the idea!

  2. What a great song and celebration for the end of the school year! I pinned your post to my End-of-Year Celebrations Pinterest board at


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