R was 16 months old at the time of this activity
Herman the Helper by Robert Kraus – Herman the Helper is about an octopus that loves to help others as well as helping himself! The book includes simple illustrations and simple text on the pages which makes it great for toddlers!
1. Magnetic Poem
While saying each line of the poem, the finger play works as follows:
Line 1: Hold up five fingers on your left hand to represent the five fish.
Line 2: Wiggle your fingers.
Line 3 & 4: Wag your right index finger.
Line 5: Slowly bring right hand towards left fingers.
Line 6: Put right index finger on lips.
Line 7: Make right hand pretend to eat one of the left hand fingers
Line 8: Start again with four fingers. Repeat until no fingers remain.
I made foam magnets to go along with the poem. The child can remove one fish at a time as the poem is read.
a. Have the child make his/her own foam pieces for this poem.
b. Have the child teach this poem to another child or adult.
2. Snapping Fish
I made sea creatures to go along with one of R’s favourite songs. The song is Octopus (Slippery Fish) by Charlotte Diamond. In the song, sea creatures get gobbled up by other bigger sea creatures. The octopus eats the fish, the tuna fish eats the octopus, the shark eats the tuna fish and the whale eat the shark. This is a fun way to add puppet play with a song and to also practice fine motor skills as the child learns to open and close the clothes pegs.
a. Have the child make his/her own sea creatures to go along with this song.
b. Use the clothes peg creatures as inspirations for doing some creative writing.