Yoga für Kinder

Our students are working SO hard during remote learning! This week I wanted to shake things up a bit – give them something fun and easy to do. I know my boys are also getting very tired as they work. So one day we did a few yoga poses together. It seemed to help!

Today I made a short video with two yoga flows. Sorry, I’m not sharing the video, because my kids are in it 🙂 But I will share the instructions that are in both German and English:

German Yoga Instructions: Sonnengruß & Atem der Freude (PDF) GitA

The Sun Salutation I did is a modified, shortened one. You stay on your feet the whole time – no downward dog, lunge, etc.

The Breath of Joy really does need a visual to understand it! Here’s a quick video I found on YouTube:

 

Was für Wetter haben wir heute?

For this week’s remote lesson for my preschoolers & kindergartners, I wanted to review the weather. We had been working on it for several weeks before school closed. After our Hello song, we would review the words and record the weather in our chart.

Today I made a video to review the words:

You can download the weather vocabulary posters I use in the video here: Wetter Wortschatz Posters GitA

I created a weekly chart for recording the weather. It looks like this:

Wetterbericht Woche PKK 2020 GitA-page-001

I also made a page of cards in color or black & white. They can be used as a whole sheet to review the words. Or they can be cut up into flashcards. If you print two sets, you can use them to play Memo!

All three of these pages are included in this Wetterbericht (weather report) PDF: Wetterbericht Woche GitA

When I first talk to my young students about the weather, I ask them: “Was für Wetter haben wir heute?” (What kind of weather do we have today?) This question prompts them to answer with the noun form: Sonne – Wind – Regen (sun, wind, rain, etc.). It keeps things simple at first.

Later we can get into the question: “Wie ist das Wetter heute?” (How is the weather today?). Those answers can vary: “Die Sonne scheint.” – “Es ist winding.” – “Es regnet.” (The sun is shining. – It is windy. – It’s raining.)

If you want to practice writing some of the words, I made some worksheets a couple of years ago that work nicely with these materials. Click on over to this post about weather to find those!

Farbenlied – Color Song

Since I started teaching German to children, I have been looking for an easy color song. So far I haven’t found one that is just right. So I’ve been using my own.

It’s very simple – to the tune of Ten Little Indians. It goes like this:

Rot, orange, gelb, grün, blau, lila
Rot, orange, gelb, grün, blau, lila
Rot, orange, gelb, grün, blau, lila
in dem Regenbogen!

Just make sure you sing the word “orange” on two notes (one for each syllable). It’s a simple song, but we make it lots of fun by starting slowing and then going schneller!!! (faster) I always have to remind the kids to stay with me, and I tap the colors to the beat as we sing them. It can quickly get out of hand! But the kids love it 🙂

I made this video for my young students while we sare having to do remote learning, so you can sing along:

 

In the video, I show some word posters to refresh the vocabulary.

Regenbogen-page-001

I also made the comparative posters – schneller & langsamer – since we always say “schneller!!” at the end of the song before we sing it again. Here are the PDF files:

I’ll also send along a coloring sheet for the children. I made one in color and one in black & white, since I don’t know what kind of printer they’ll have.

Here is the PDF for the coloring page: Farbenlied Malvorlage GitA

 

30HappyDaysofApril: Make a Book

For a few years now, my kids have been making books by taking pictures and then adding text. It’s a really fun activity!

For the day’s challenge, the boys took dear old Elmo on a scavenger hunt! Here are some of the images we captured of Elmo finding the clues. Yes, he’s even in the blender!!

Oh, and yes, we do still have our Christmas tree up. It’s our HOLIDAY tree this year. Every month, we put up new decorations! Right now it’s our Easter tree 🙂

Anyway! The next step in making the book is to put the photos into a document or slides – whatever program you’re comfortable with – and add some text. We print the pages and put them into sheet protectors in a 3-ring binder.

What book will YOU write??

30HappyDaysofApril: Make a Card

We have decided to do things out of order here. We’re using the calendar as a guide. But if that activity doesn’t feel right, we’re drawing a card. Today is April 4th, so the task is to bake something. I actually just baked my friend’s famous chocolate cake. I’m one of the few people who actually has the recipe! So we’re going to bake another day…

Today we are going to make cards and send them. I printed out my Christmas card address list. I thought we’d look for family and friends who are on their own and make them a priority. I’m not sure how long the kids will last, but I’d love to send out a whole bunch of cards! I mean, who doesn’t love to get an actual card or letter in the mail?! So not only are we doing something for ourselves, but we will be spreading some happy around to people we care about.

I also thought about sending some cards to a nursing home or hospital. I’ll look up our local addresses and send some there, too.

I wonder if I can get my kids to write a card in German to one of our friends oversees??? After all, this is my German blog. And I’m always looking for ways to have my kids use more German!

Once we finish our project, I’ll post some pictures. Stay tuned….

30HappyDaysofApril: Do an Experiment

Are you looking for a science experiment that is fun and easy for today? We decided to do this activity today, even though it’s Day 3. It’s a beautiful day, and we thought we’d save the comedy movie for a rainy day 🙂

Make a Volcano

I talked about making a volcano. All you need is some baking soda and vinegar. Food coloring can add some fun color. And you could try adding liquid soap to see what the difference is.

Put the baking soda in a jar or cup. You can experiment with different shapes and sizes. Add the food coloring if you like. Add the soap, too. Then pour the vinegar over the baking soda and watch what happens!

We just happened to have this mini volcano that we found at a museum a couple of years ago on our travels. Amazing that we knew where it was! The orange eruption is without the liquid soap. The green eruption is with the soap. We thought that the orange eruption was more powerful, but the green eruption lasted longer. How did it work out for you?

If you’d like to get more involved and create the volcano, too, check out this post!

It’s Alive! Yeast Experiment

Since we made a volcano last week for school, we were looking for something new. I have been baking a lot of bread since we’ve been home. Thank goodness for my bread maker!! Hippo was asking about how the yeast worked. So I figured this was the perfect time to test it out. I found this experiment that uses yeast to blow up a balloon. I quickly made up a sheet to record our observations. You can download that here: Yeast Experiment (PDF)

The Yeast Experiment Results:

We had so much fun with this experiment! We were also surprised by a few things!

First, our balloon somehow leaked air 😦  So it did not work quite as expected. But it still worked, so that’s okay!

Then we did not know that the yeast would grow so much in the bottle! Makes sense, though 🙂

After a few hours, the entire bottle was filled, and our balloon had inflated nicely. When we took off the balloon and tapped the bottle on the sink, almost ALL of the bubbles popped, and there was hardly anything left in the bottle!

I’ll admit, science has never really been my thing. But this was a LOT of fun!

SL: Sterntaler / Star Money

Danke, Mädchen video end screen

Sterntaler – final screen shot of the story

For my 1st & 2nd graders this week, I told the story about the girl who selflessly gives away all her possessions and is rewarded in the end when the stars fall from the sky and turn into gold coins. It is a story they have heard before. And it is a simplified version of the fairy tale. But I added back some more details for them this time around.

 

I had some technical difficulties with the app while telling the story. So a couple of times, whole sections of the drawing move! I left it, as I figured the children would get a kick out of it 😉

 

 

30 Happy Days of April Challenge!

As we stare down the month of April, facing 30 more days of being at home, it can be more challenging than ever to keep our spirits up. Feelings of fear, being overwhelmed, and sadness can threaten our well-being. That is why I believe it is more important than ever to seek out things that make us happy every day.

So I have created this challenge filled with ideas to spark YOUR happiness!

I think challenge #1 is important: make a playlist of songs that make you feel GOOD! Music is a powerful mood-lifter! You can use it all month long.

Other than that, you can do them in any order you like! I’ve created a calendar if you want to follow the challenges by day. Or you can download a set of cards. Print them out, cut them up, and put them in a bowl or jar to choose a challenge at random! (scroll down for the PDFs to download)

Do one. Do them all! There are no shoulds here!

I tried to create the challenges for anyone to do. They are family-friendly. Or you can do them alone.

Don’t like a challenge? Make up your own! The point is to do something fun, silly, different, whatever! Something that makes you feel GOOD. Something that makes you SMILE. Something that makes you HAPPY 🙂 Let us know what you do in the COMMENTS below!

Care to share? Use hashtag #30HappyDaysofApril

  1. Make a playlist of your favorite songs – but only songs that make you feel GOOD. There are lots of beautiful songs out there that can also be sad or melancholy. Go for the tunes that get you going, make you want to dance or sing! Here is my list on Spotify – it’s a work in progress! Check it out for some inspiration 🙂
  2. Take a picture of every kind of flower in your yard. Repeat at the end of the month to compare!
  3. Watch a comedy movie – one that brings on a real belly laugh! How about one from your childhood to share with the kids? Like The Love Bug (G) or The Shaggy Dog (G). Or a newer film, like Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day (PG). I haven’t seen it myself, but a friend recommended it. Some of my favorites for a laugh are All of Me (PG), My Cousin Vinny (R), and Monty Python and the Holy Grail (PG). Or how about a real classic like Bringing Up Baby with Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn (NR)? (Links take you to Common Sense Media, a site that helps you choose wisely for your kids.)
  4. Bake something yummy! Get out a tried & true recipe. Or bake something new that you’ve always wanted to try. Not a baker? How about a no-bake cookie recipe with just a few ingredients?
  5. Go on a nature scavenger hunt! There are plenty of free printables to be found online. Maybe try this one with your children or this one that involves your senses, too!
  6. Make a card and send it to someone. Maybe someone who is alone this month? Not artistic? Find a pretty picture in a magazine and glue it to the front of a card. Everyone appreciates a handwritten letter!
  7. Sing in the shower! Too shy? Remember that playlist you made on Day 1? Turn it up and sing along. No one will know 🙂
  8. Make a video of yourself reading a children’s book. Send it to a child. (Don’t post on YouTube, unless it is a copyright free story.) If you don’t have any books at home, there are lots available online! Fairy Tales, such as the ones found here, are a great idea – usually copyright free, too.
  9. Do a science experiment. Did you ever make a volcano erupt? It only takes some baking soda and vinegar. Put the baking soda in a cup. Pour some vinegar over it and watch the volcano explode! Add a little food coloring for added fun. See what happens if you add some liquid hand soap. Try different shapes and sizes of cups. Which ones work best? Don’t want to make a volcano? There are lots of cool experiments to find online!
  10. Make an Easter decoration. Whatever Easter means to you – create something in spring colors to cheer up your space!
  11. Take a walk outside on a new trail. Some trails are still open, as long as you keep your distance.
  12. Pamper yourself! Take a bubble bath. Paint your nails. Give yourself a facial using ingredients you have in your fridge. Soak your feet in warm water & Epsom salts if you have them; then give yourself a foot rub.
  13. Make a Pollock painting! Grab a canvas – or some paper – and some paint, head outside and start flinging!! Don’t have art paints? How about a leftover paint can from painting your house?
  14. Be an armchair traveler and go on a beautiful journey. Pick a place you’ve always wanted to go and start doing some research. Some places are offering virtual tours. Or just do an image search and enjoy the pictures.
  15. Watch a feel-good musical. How about Singing in the Rain, Oklahoma, or The Sound of Music?
  16. Dig in the dirt! Plant some bulbs or seeds if you have them. Or just dig a hole with a spade, shovel, or a spoon. See what you find!
  17. Cook a new dish. There are only about a billion recipes online these days. Here is a site that will give you recipe ideas based on what’s in your fridge.
  18. Make a collage. Print out pictures of your loved ones and start cutting and pasting. Cut up old cards or Christmas cards. Or find beautiful images in a magazine.
  19. Learn a new language! Okay, not the whole language. Learn three basic phrases: Hello, Thank you, and I don’t speak [whichever language you picked]. Write them out and post them on your fridge or bathroom mirror, or both. Bonus: Learn to count to 10. I can count to 10 in 8 languages. Maybe I’ll go for 10!
  20. Learn a new card game. If you don’t have cards at home, maybe the grocery store has a deck you could pick up? Check out the Bicycle website for rules on all kinds of games.
  21. Have a dance party! Remember that playlist you made on Day 1? Hopefully you’re enjoying it! Turn up the volume and dance like no one is watching 🙂 Or test your moves with a video from Just Dance!
  22. Draw a map of your yard or inside your home. Turn it into a treasure map for someone else at home. If you’re on your own for now, save it for a fun activity when all the stay-at-home ban is lifted. What treasure will be found under your X?
  23. Draw a self-portrait. Try looking at yourself in the mirror as you draw. Or just draw what you think you look like. Or try drawing with your non-dominant hand. Or try drawing a picture of an image, but turn the image upside down while you draw it!
  24. Sit outside and be absolutely still for 5 minutes. Listen. Then write down everything you heard.
  25. Make a target course outside. Pick a number of different targets – it could be like a mini golf course with 9 or 18 targets. Then grab a ball – or many – and see how well you do. Maybe try hitting the targets from different distances.
  26. Make a book. Pick an object – a stuffed animal works great. Then take pictures of that object around your house and/or yard. Put the pictures together to tell about the object’s adventure!
  27. Read an uplifting book. Try something new, like the family novel Becoming Jesse. Or an old favorite, like Charlotte’s Web. Or something literary like Pride & Prejudice. I also love The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim – appropriate for the month!
  28. Watch some old comedy shows, like The Muppet Show or Bugs Bunny. Or old episodes of Johnny Carson.
  29. Make ice cream in a bag. You only need a few ingredients. I’ve never tried it, but I’ve always wanted to!
  30. Make a video to tell about all the things you did this month to make YOU happy! Show off some of your creations. Tell a funny story about what you did – or what you tried that did not turn out so well 🙂 Tell about the things you learned this month. Tell about the many things for which you are grateful.

YOU DID IT!!

Have your own ideas? Feel free to comment with more suggestions!

Download your CALENDAR here: 30 Happy Days of April Calendar

Download your ACTIVITY CARDS here: 30 Happy Days of April Cards

30 Happy Days of April-page-001

DisclaimerIf I have provided a link, it is just for an idea. I did not have time to thoroughly check them all out or test them. And I receive no compensation.

SL: Dornröschen / Sleeping Beauty VIDEO

Sleeping Beauty has always been one of my favorite fairy tales – at least of the Disney fairy tales! It’s the first movie I ever saw. Even though it frightened me when Maleficent turned into the dragon, I still loved it.

Today I am telling the version of the story that is closer to the one collected by the Brothers Grimm. Here we do find a vengeful fairy, however she is not called Maleficent. She is simply the 13th fairy – yes, there were 13 fairies in total!

The title Dornröschen does not translate to “Sleeping Beauty.” It literally means “little thorn – or briar – rose.” Listen to the story to find out why the young princess is called Dornröschen.

Instructions for TWS students:

  1. Watch the video (below)
  2. Write the story into your German Story Listening Log (Get it HERE if you need it!)
  3. Choose ONE of the following exercises to complete. Take a picture of your completed work or take a video and email it back to me.
    • Retell the story to someone in English – take a video or make an audio recording.
    • Write a summary of the story in English – take a picture of it or record yourself reading it.
    • Draw your favorite scene from the story. Remember to put the story title on it! Take a picture.
    • Watch the video again and read along. (See the text below) Take a picture of your log, so we know you heard the story.

* If you feel frustrated while watching the story, because you do not understand, please stop and choose another story!

To read along:

SL: Der süße Brei / The Sweet Porridge VIDEO

Today’s story comes again from the collection of Grimm’s fairy tales. It’s a shorter story today.

This story is not as well-known here in the US. It’s about a girl who is given a magic pot that cooks sweet porridge. My students have heard it before, so I hope they enjoy it again.

I don’t love the ending. I think it is a bit confusing. Basically it says that whoever goes into the city had to eat their way through the sweet porridge. But that is not the easiest thing to understand. Maybe one day I’ll come up with a different ending….

Instructions for TWS students:

  1. Watch the video (below)
  2. Write the story into your German Story Listening Log (Get it HERE if you need it!)
  3. Choose ONE of the following exercises to complete. Take a picture of your completed work or take a video and email it back to me.
    • Retell the story to someone in English – take a video or make an audio recording.
    • Write a summary of the story in English – take a picture of it or record yourself reading it.
    • Draw your favorite scene from the story. Remember to put the story title on it! Take a picture.
    • Watch the video again and read along. (See the text below) Take a picture of your log, so we know you heard the story.

* If you feel frustrated while watching the story, because you do not understand, please stop and choose another story!

 

 

If you are a teacher looking for some materials to go with the story, you can find some in this post!

To read along with the story, here is the text: