Bringing Nursery Rhymes to Life!

“Baa Baa Black Sheep have you any wool? Yes, sir. Yes, sir. Three bags full!”  Now that is one of my favorite nursery rhymes along with The Cat and the Fiddle and Old Mother Hubbard. And, I adore the rhyme about the old woman who lived in a shoe.

The captivating and far-fetched stories, intriguing characters, and dramatic prose of nursery rhymes have enthralled children for generations and helped challenge their imaginations. Blind mice, cows that jump over the moon, and eggs that fall off of walls provide an engaging introduction to the world of storytelling, literature, and make-believe.

As you prepare your children to become lifelong learners, using nursery rhymes, poems and songs will provide opportunities to develop an appreciation for rhyme and rhythm, memory and auditory skills, listening skills, a love for learning and literacy, an understanding of humor, proficiency with vocabulary, and even motor skills and coordination (if introduced through finger-play, puppetry, and clapping songs!)

So, pick up a great book of nursery rhymes this month and begin introducing your youngest learners to the nursery rhymes that have been a vibrant and integral part of our language, literary, and cultural heritage for many generations.

Remember, learning does not have to take place just in the classroom. It can happen right in your very own home. All you have to do is get ready, get set, and learn!

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Girls Enjoy Dance Party

Moms, dads, aunts, grandmas, and their little darlings from two to 10 years old gathered in a beautifully decorated Majestic Ballroom Sunday afternoon for WQLN’s Angelina Ballerina Dance Party. This annual event provides little girls the opportunity to dance like ballerinas with experienced dancers from Paula and Judy’s Dance Connection. Paula and Judy are a mother and daughter duo who work diligently to prepare their troupe for this beautiful event. The Dance Connection had 30 girls demonstrate their abilities through numbers they perform in upcoming competitions. They enjoy performing at the Dance Party every year as they watch the little girls’ faces light up!

“My favorite part of the Angelina Ballerina event is watching the little girls get so excited!” said Chelsea Cox who plays the role of Angelina Ballerina.

Every year the Angelina Ballerina Dance Party is a treat for attendees, dancers, WQLN staff members, and volunteers.

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All You Need Is Love…

I spent some time reminiscing today about the life experiences I cherish the most. One that always comes to mind is a volunteer trip to Brazil. While working in an orphanage there, I discovered much about what is important in a child’s life and in my own.

As an often overly energetic and devoted volunteer, I spent hours preparing for our trip. I gathered donations, purchased supplies, planned lessons for the toddlers and preschoolers, and asked a million questions. What should we bring? What types of activities are often well-received? Can we bring supplies and gifts? What do these children need most?

Expecting a laundry list of things to bring and lessons to prepare for, I was surprised and pleased when told the following:

“These children just need to be loved. Come prepared to spend time with them and share your love.”

Part of me understood this statement right away, but for some reason another part of me refused to let such a powerful statement fully sink in.  And so, I began packing!

Three suitcases later, I had everything I needed. I squeezed a few outfits into a small bag and then filled my larger suitcases with books, crayons, chalk, balls, toys, kids music CDs, balloons, coloring books, diapers, toiletries, soap, wipes, and just about anything else I thought these kids might need.

When I arrived at the orphanage for my first day of volunteering, I was so moved by the welcome I received. The children came running with open arms, giant smiles, and no expectations.

Don’t get me wrong, they kids loved having new toys to play with, books to read with us, and some music to dance to. But, more than anything, they were excited to have new friends to hold them, talk with them, play with them, dance silly with them, and love them. 

Somewhere along this journey is when I realized that I was enough for these kids. Me and my love, that’s all they want. That’s all they need.

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“Reverse” or “Naked” Egg Drop

Often the simplest things provide for the greatest learning experience.

Sometimes those lessons are problem solving, working together as a group, communication, dealing with failure or success, etc. Other times those lessons also include critical subject areas such as simple science and engineering.

For example, if I drop this egg from about 12 feet high, will it break? Well, that depends. Are you going to drop it into a box filled with packing peanuts and bubble wrap? Or, are you going to drop it into a plastic garbage can filled with styrofoam and covered with a thin layer of newspaper? These are just a couple of techniques used in a recent experiment we call a “Reverse” or “Naked” Egg Drop.

About a dozen WQLN staff members participated in a “Reverse” or “Naked” Egg Drop today. We had all sorts of creative contraptions and quite a few successful drops. Some of the contraptions will be on tomorrow’s Ready, Set, Learn segments as Quiggley drops eggs at Grover Cleveland Elementary. Tune in to WJET-TV24’s Good Morning Erie to see them!

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4th Annual B-E-E A Huge Success!

The 4th Annual Corporate Spelling Bee to benefit Books for Kids and WQLN’s Family Literacy Program provided loads of fun for local business folks this year.  Thanks to delightful judges, a comedic emcee, enthusiastic teams, and a lively audience, the event was an entertaining evening of friendly competition and support for literacy programs in Erie County. Of course what else would you expect when you combine spelling, music, food, silent auctions, and just plain fun at Jr’s Last Laugh, right?

To show just how much was we had, I’ve included some pictures for you to enjoy. Look at those costumes!

  

Not only did all of our participating teams support two very worthy causes, some of them also took home some awards!

Congratulations to all of our winners for the 4th Annual Bee.

  • Spelling Champions: C.A. Curtze Company
  • Best Costume: Monahan and Monahan
  • Most Spirit: C.A. Curtze Company
  • Biggest Fan Club: C.A. Curtze Company

Planning for the 5th Annual Corporate Spelling Bee is already underway. We are excited to see what new teams we will have on board. And, even moreso, we can not wait to see what the ladies from Monahan and Monahan come up with for costumes!

Proceeds from this event are shared by WQLN Education and Books for Kids, Erie Chapter.

WQLN Education provides an average of 100 family literacy workshops each year to local schools, childcare centers, and community centers throughout Erie County. Parents and children participate together in series of workshops focused on traditional literacy, nutritional literacy, financial literacy, and emotional literacy. In addition to the information received during the workshops, participants who complete a four-week series are rewarded with 8 great children’s books and a free membership into the WQLN Kids Club.

Books for Kids is an active and important force for literacy in Erie County.  Since 1990, it has given away over 180,000 books to needy children and youth in Erie County, thereby encouraging literacy and life-long learning.  As an all-volunteer group, we are extremely efficient: all the money we raise is used to purchase books or for direct program costs.  We have no paid staff and extremely low overhead.

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Sensory Activities for Infants and Toddlers

During the first Friday of every month, Ready Set Learn focuses on the healthy development of our youngest children – infants and toddlers. While we know that the development of a young child’s brain takes years to complete, we also know there are many things parents and caregivers can do to help children get off to a good start for life-long learning. And through a partnership with Success By Six, we share some simple tips with our viewers. This month’s first Ready Set Learn activity focuses on infants from 0 to 3 months old. 

Young children discover new sensory experiences continuously within their environment. Everything is new and exciting, ready to be explored. They feel different surfaces and fabrics. They discover new smells and tastes. They hear different sounds. There are many sensory experiences you can share with your child. Take delight in watching your child explore new experiences for the first time.

What You Need:
Just YOU!

What You Do:
Read and Sing together

What You Do:
Hush Little Baby by Sylvia Long

Toddler Sensory Activities

Feely bag
Take a cloth bag or pillow case and fill it with various items. Ideas are: a spoon, familiar small toy, cauliflower floret, piece of wood, wax crayon, hair brush.

Without allowing your toddler to see, get them to dip their hand into the bag and feel for one item. Before they remove the item have them guess what it is.

Smell Bottles
Lay out various bottles of items on a tray. Ideas are: Peanut Butter, perfume, lemon juice, coffee, tea and vinegar. Blind fold your child or ask them to keep their eyes tightly shut. Some young children do not like to be blindfolded as it brings a sense of disorientation to them.

Get your child to sniff each bottle, one at a time, and tell you what they smell.

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Angelina Ballerina Dance Party

It’s every little girl’s dream to dance like a ballerina. And, dreams will come true at WQLN’s Angelina Ballerina Dance Party. Participants dress in their favorite party or recital attire and enjoy dancing, story telling, gifts, and most of all an Angelina Ballerina performance their sure to remember for a very long time.

On Sunday, May 16th, you and your children can enjoy a performance by Paula and Judy’s Dance Connection. We’re only scheduling two parties and space is limited! So, reserve your seat today at www.wqln.org/events or call Kathy at (814)217-6001.

Angelina Ballerina Dance Party

Sunday, May 16th at East Erie Turners Ballroom

Show Times:

10:00am-12:00pm

1:00pm-3:00pm

 

Ticket Prices:

$16 per child

$12 per adult

*WQLN members get $5 off adult tickets (limit 2 per membership)

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, now is a great time to plan something fun for moms and daughters to do together. Look at how much fun the girls had last year.

 

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