“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
When my son was afraid of bugs and wouldn’t sleep because of the nightmares, I bought him a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach. You heard me correctly. He named him Joe, built him a little house out of a milk carton and put it in the critter cage. He brought him to his bedroom and they were fast friends. Guess what? No more nightmares. The boy is 10 now and he still owns a cockroach. (They eat veggies and fruit, and seriously last forever!)
When my girl was 4 and fell off her horse , she cried and wanted to go home, I put her back on. She’s 17 now and jumps 3ft fences on her horse.
No one ever got anywhere by being afraid, is my philosophy. So when I had a couple of smalls afraid of the thunderstorm today…well…I took them out to play in it!
It started out as a gloomy and grey morning. It was a perfect morning for reading books. Chicka Chicka ABC is always a hit, so we got started…The last page is always a favourite…the booms are soooo loud as the letters fall out of the coconut tree…
As we were reading it, for the second time, it started to rumble and thunder outside, and the rain came down in earnest. This instilled a bit of panic in one of my smalls…This is when I hatched the plan!
Grab your boots and rain coats, little ones! We are going out to play in the rain! Do you hear the sky?? CHICKA CHICKA BOOM BOOM, it says!!! IT’S TIME TO PLAY!! And so we raced to the door and dressed to play in the rain. They were pretty excited, and had all but forgotten about the scary noise in the sky.
We scouted out a place where we could see the clouds and play in the puddles…It was all fine and dandy until another rumble of thunder was heard in the distance. Then I had this little one running to me…so very nervous…So we had a little chat and we chanted,
“CHICKA CHICKA BOOM BOOM!” from the sliding door of the minivan. We chanted and we waited. We waited for letters to fall from the clouds, just like they fell from the tree in the story book! Oh, she thought this was a funny game! And the next roll of thunder was not nearly as scary! Not even close. I even got a smile.
The bigger kids weren’t afraid at all. They played out in that storm until they were soaked to the bone. I had to drag them back into the van with me and the wee ones so we could get back for snack! And besides…I had some more tricks up my sleeve. *Please note, in case you are worried…we did not go out in the thick of an electrical storm. We waited until the storm was off into the west and all we were left with was rain and small thundery rumbles in the distance.
When we got back to the house, we built a Chicka Chicka ABC activity in our sensory table…We added foam and magnetic letters to soybeans. I had found the coconut tree cups at the dollar store a while back, so that was lucky! We also put the board book in with it all. And it was such fun! They made it rain all over the book as they chanted “CHICKA CHICKA BOOM BOOM!! They used their little fingers to fill the holes in the tops of the cups… And then, the “thunder” began!! Oh my, but it was loud! and so much fun! Even the baby had his own little Chicka Chicka ABC bin…Foam letters, warm water, and coconut tree tops! Being little shouldn’t mean you get left out of the fun! There is usually a way to tailor the same “big kid” activity to the smallest of the smalls! Now that’s a happy baby! Who knew the letter M could taste so good!!?
After all this “fear-facing” and shaking letters from the sky, the kids were hungry. We finished off our activity time with a snack fit for this delightful rainy day…Little cream cheese and jam sandwiches cut in the first letter of each of their names,with colourful veggies to go alongside. We fetched the cups out of the sensory table, filled them up, and popped their straws in!
So the next time you’re hanging out with me, you might not want to tell me what you’re afraid of! I might just buy you a bug, or make you play in the rain!
Thanks for stopping by!
~Arlee, Small Potatoes
I love your coconut drink containers. Where did you find them?
I found them in the “hawaiian party” section of our dollar store. They were $2 a piece. I’m sure you could find something similar in the party stores or a good dollar store. Or maybe even “half coconut shell” cups for scooping and pouring if you can’t find these exact ones.
What an awesome day!!!
I love your activity ideas, but I have a little concern about this one. Being brave is one thing. Tempting fate is another. I have had close encouters with lightning 3 times in my life time. Teaching chidlren it is safe to play outside espcially with umbrellas during a thunderstorm is not wise. Four hundred people are struck by lightning each year in the US. NOAA says “When thunder roars, go indoors.” Once inside you are advised to stay away from windows and not to use electric appliances or take a shower. Here is a link to a children’s booklet on storm safety NOAA puts out: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/brochures/owlie/Owlie-lightning.pdf. Better to teach your little ones how to tell how far way the storm is by counting the seconds between lightning and boom. Listen and track the storm’s passing. Once the thunder is long gone, then go out and play in the rain puddles. Note another good book for dealing with Thunder fears is Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco.
Yes, I agree with you! And of course, we waited to play in the rain until the storm had all but left us. We watched it moved to the west before we got outside. The thunder we DID hear, was way off in the distance. Thank you for the book suggestion!! :):)
Oh i sooo agree Arlee… Feel the fear and face it anyway… We do the same here… Fear is one thing im a tough cookie on :-).. Xx
how fun!!! And your pictures are fantastic! My kids don’t like me taking pictures, so anything I get is a treat! 🙂
I LOVE this post! I’ve always used Chicka Chicka Boom Boom at the beginning of the school year with my kindergartners to introduce our alphabet activities. I’ve never really thought about using it for fear of thunder . I’ve always used “Thundercake” for fear of thunder, but I like the idea of using Chicka Chicka Boom Boom at the beginning of the year and perhaps Thundercake later in the year. Thanks for the idea and the photos are amazing!
The Daily Cupcake…A Kindergarten Blog
So glad you enjoyed this post. It was such a great day!
great idea! im just introducing letters to my little one! im going to go and find that book!
Love the little letter sandwiches! Adorable!
Why, oh WHY am I just now finding your site??? I recently closed my child care program (at the end of this past summer), but my kiddos would have LOVED trying some of your activity suggestions. Anyway, this post especially caught my eye because I also try to use real life situations to build activities and incorporate into the learning. My eyes were opened one day, when I dropped the cornmeal, and realized that I should just make the best of it. I did 4 weeks worth of activities with that cornmeal and wrote about it on my blog “I See More”. If you ever get a chance to take look… stop on by to check us out.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE what you are doing here! (I will be back…)
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