It’s often said, you are your child’s first teacher. Playing with your child is not only an enjoyable way to spend time, it also provides a wonderful learning opportunity for your child. Before developing apps with my husband, I worked as a preschool and drama teacher. I love activities for young children that involve creative drama and movement, as well as singing, rhyming and playing. I am so excited about the work that Betsy Diamant-Cohen has done with the Mother Goose on the Loose program and believe that the app will provide a wonderful springboard for fun ideas for things to play at home with your child.
We have created a list of tips and suggestions for playing with the Felt Board – Mother Goose on the Loose app together with your child. Additional tips and information can be found in the Parent section of the app. Press and hold the parent button at the top – right side of the app to access this information.
“Old Mother Goose”
- Play the rhyme button and help your child fly the felt Mother Goose around the screen. (Close the selection tray to give more room on the screen.)
- Practice saying the rhyme with your child in a call and response format. Really have fun with words like “fly through the air”.
- Recite & Act out the rhyme in movement by stepping or tip-toeing on “Old Mother Goose when she wanted to wander” and spread wings and fly around the room on “fly through the air on a very fine gander.”
“Goosey Goosey Gander”
- Play the song and move the Gander up and down the stairs in the app.
- Create steps for your child to go up and down as you sing the song together. Have him or her jump into your arms for a hug for “In my lady’s chamber”
- Play a Goosey Gander / Hide and Seek game with your child. Sing the song but modify the words based on locations your child chooses to wander. For example, “Goosey Goosey Gander, where do you wander? Up stairs and down stairs and underneath the blanket.” Or “in my daddy’s closet.” “peeking through the curtain” “hiding in the bathroom” etc.
“Two Little Dickey Birds”
- Using the app, move the two birds onto the cloud during the rhyme. Help them fly away and come back. One way to do this is to slide them back to the selection tray (where they came from) so they slip away and then tap them again so they will pop back onto the screen.
- Say the rhyme together using your pointer fingers as a fingerplay, or act out with stuffed animals, toys, or birds made of paper. Really enjoy using the words soft (softly) and loud (loudly).
“Good Morning Mr. (or Mrs.) Perky Bird”
- Enjoy the song and felt pieces in the app.
- Grab a blanket and have your child “sleep” under it on the carpet. Model how she can “wake” on “Where are you” and fly around on “I’m flying in the air” and crouch down on “down to the ground” as you sing the song or play the song from the app.
“Jack in the Box”
- In the app, take out the box and either Jack or Jill. Tap the box for it to come forward (for Jack to be behind the box) and tap Jack to make that piece come forward like it jumped out of the box.
- Use the tambourine icon to make the jingling sound along with the rhyme on “Yes, I will” in the app.
- Play your own version of Jack in the Box by popping out of a box, laundry basket, blanket, etc.
“Jack Be Nimble”
- After playing with the felt pieces in the app, recite the rhyme for your child and have him/her tap along with it using the rhythm stick icon at the bottom of the screen. See if you can keep a steady beat while reciting the verse.
- Play “Jack Be Nimble” by reciting the rhyme and hopping over your own candlestick (a real one or make one using toilet paper roll or other found object).
“Little Bo Peep”
- Using the app, hide a sheep behind a bush and have your child guess which bush a sheep is hiding behind. If you like, play the “peek a boo” song.
- Dance the sheep around with Bo peep (you do one piece and your child another) while playing “Dancing Up and Dancing Down” in the app.
- Teach your child to use the rattle / shaker button to make music while the song is playing.
- Make up your own dances and hide and seek games based on Little Bo Peep and songs.
“5 Fat Sausages”
- Play 5 Fat Sausages in the app. You can help your child bring them out one at a time or take them away by sliding back to the tray. Tap the drum button on “bang”. Use the rhyme to learn about number relationships.
- Act out the rhyme with stuffed animals or real children friends on a blanket representing the pan. (If you have 3 children, do 3 Fat Sausages.) Have them jump off of the blanket on “bang”
- Practice tapping the rattle button in time to the rattle song.
- Parent and child each move a felt a rattle high, low and round and round on the screen while the song plays.
- Play or sing the rattle song using real rattles or home-made shakers. (Try beans in plastic easter eggs, taped up toilet paper rolls, etc.)
“Hickory Dickory Dock”
- Help the felt mouse up and down the clock in the app.
- Tap the rhythm stick button in time to the rhyme. Recite it together using the sound effect button or real rhythm sticks (substitute wooden spoons or found objects if needed)
- Have your child be the mouse and scamper up and down the “clock” on cue when the clock strikes one (make a sound). For the clock, hop on and off the couch, or lay a blanket or ribbon, tape, yarn along the carpet to represent the clock. Change the numbers your child needs to listen for to come back down.
- Bounce very young children on your knee and gently lean back on “down”, bounce again on “hickory dickory dock”
“The Great Big Clock”
- Move the felt pieces in time with the rhyme so they pieces move slowly and then faster and faster.
- Tap along with rhythm stick button or real sticks in time to the rhyme.
- Show your child how to act out the parts of the various clocks in the rhyme. Stand tall for the grandfather clock and gently sway left and right. Make round circle arms over head and pop up and down for the kitchen clock and for the little clock crouch down low and clap hands fast while playing the rhyme.
“Two Little Monkeys”
- Parent can make one felt monkey jump in the app, while the child moves the other.
- Act out this rhyme in a safe location. For example, remove couch cushions and place them on the floor to represent the bed. Add more monkeys to the rhyme if needed.
“Little Miss Muffet”
- Make a game with your child of having “Miss Muffet” scared by the spider before she is frightened away- both in the app and as a role playing activity. What kind of noises and facial expressions can you make when you get scared? Do you gasp? Do your eyes get wide? Do you hide your face?
“Eency Weency Spider”
- Help your child move the felt pieces to act out the English and Spanish versions of the song in the app. Can you figure out the words for small and big in Spanish?
- Use the rainstick button to make rain when it says “Down came the rain”.
- Sing the song together using the traditional hand gestures.
Pricing and Availability:
Felt Board – Mother Goose on the Loose is currently free and available for iPad on the Apple App Store.