Monday, February 11, 2013

HUGS!, HUGS! and mor HUGS!

 Hi, my name is Mary Jo Huff and it is great privilege to share some exciting ideas for February and to take you on an adventure in Houston, TX.  I visited a wonderful school for 4 year olds and told stories and hung out with a great, dedicated staff.  Every center should have the advantages that I found at this school.  First of all, I saw only HAPPY children and staff with a smile at every turn.

This is the name of a great place for children and it is filled with love, not only in Feb., but throughout the year.  They are a family!


In the upper left corner is a picture of a love tree that touches all families.  The other pictures show art, snowflakes with cotton balls, and the snowmen in the picture with white balls in a long line spelling each child's name.  The quilt is in full display and everything is "All About Us" and the children are always excited to show their snowman and snow pictures.  After all, February is still winter everywhere.


Great book to share using a Pink Peeper Puppet!

 An empty Kleenex box decorated with peel and stick hearts.  Pinky a favorite Peeper Puppet who leads the children in fun Valentine songs.

 A talking shape puppet with the body of the puppet created with a simple folded piece of paper and art foam cut to make the talking heart.  The pattern is available in "Storytelling with Puppets, Props, and Playful Tales" found at .  
The eyes, nose and mouth are peel and stick hearts.  Watch for a new book from Gryphon House filled with patterns for all types of will be a puppet book by Mary Jo Huff due in 2013.

Cornbread Adventure:  When President's day arrives we would fix griddle fried cornbread for all the children.  A story of Abraham Lincoln and his late night milk and cornbread snack was shared with the children and then we mixed cornbread (the children followed a picture recipe and mixed the cornbread as a group).  Most children had NEVER eaten fried cornbread with butter........YUM!
In my career no child ever refused to try the snack.  They had an option of adding honey, apple butter, or jam and many times children would ask for seconds or thirds.  This project takes some prep and intentional teaching but it is an exceptional day filled with connections to state standards..........just look for them.


While it is still winter take advantage of telling the story of STONE SOUP and feed the children soup filled with vegetables.  This pot and the vegetables were colored, cut out, and laminated so the story could be told on a storyboard.  Enough veggies for each child to put one in the pot is essential.  The fireplace on the bottom left was created with cardboard including the background and mittens were hung by the fire.  The story "THE MITTEN TREE" was read and the children decorated their own mittens and examined baskets of yarn.  This log cabin and fireplace are the creation of Angie Karcher, author, designer and former director of the Children's museum in my home town.

I hope you can use some of the ideas in this blog and keep in touch with me by e-mail
on Facebook or Linkedin.
Check out the new store at 
It is always fun to share because I care!

Mary Jo Huff
812-455-1558     .      

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