While hunting rabbits the other day, I ran across this post on how to make a song cube on Mel’s Desk. I fell in love with it immediately. A song cube is used in story time to randomly choose songs. On each side is a picture with an accompanying word that corresponds to a children’s song. According to Mel:
“Phonological Awareness isn’t the only early literacy skill that can tie in with singing songs! Here’s a way to work in a little print awareness while you sing. When you add a comment to the parents, it will help them understand the connection between labeling objects and early literacy skills.”
Unfortunately, the cube is made out of a little square tissue box, and I don’t usually buy that kind (thanks to my allergies, I buy large packages of as many tissues as I can get!). I do keep random cardboard boxes for mailing things, but didn’t think I had anything that small in my stash. So, I pinned it and filed the idea away in my grey matter. Then this morning at church I happened to spy an empty tissue box in the trash in perfect condition.
Yes. I pulled it out of the trash. I’m a trash-picker.
It was clean, I promise!
So, this evening when I was able to pull out of my Sunday afternoon vegetative state, I went back to Pinterest (aren’t you completely in love with Pinterest??) and found the site again. I followed Mel’s directions and this is how it went:
First, stuff the box with newspaper because the paper supports the sides of the box and makes it sturdier.
Next, cut a piece of lightweight cardboard the same dimension as the side of the box with the opening. I used a piece of leftover poster board.
Then, I hot glued the poster board down over the opening. (I just had to run and unplug my hot glue gun. I swear, I’m dangerous!)
I found and printed some clipart of various objects with accompanying titles just like Mel did. Here’s her list:
spider = a spider for “Itsy Bitsy Spider”
star = a star for “Twinkle Twinkle”
bus = a schoolbus for “Wheels on the Bus”
sheep = a black sheep for “Baa Baa Black Sheep” (See “Update” at bottom of page.)
boat = a rowboat for “Row Row Row Your Boat”
hands = two hands for “If You’re Happy and You Know It”
Then I cut each piece out to the right dimension. Or, I thought I did. I stupidly assumed that I had a CUBE on my hands, when I didn’t. It isn’t quite square, so I was left with bits of background green on four sides. Aaaagh!! Well, the perfectionist in me argued fiercely for reprinting four of the pictures and re-cutting to the right size. The frugalite in me argued fiercely against wasting any more ink by reprinting. When the frugalite was joined by the lazy me, they tipped the scales and I have bits of green on four sides.
So, I glued the top and bottom pictures on with glue stick and then covered them completely with packing tape. I did the same with two opposite sides, and then again on the remaining two sides, making sure that every edge was covered, effectively “laminating” the entire box. This should make it easy to wipe away any sticky fingerprints that should happen upon it, and make the pictures resistant to tearing by enthusiastic rolling.
I can hardly wait for my next story time!
Update: When I showed this to my children’s librarian, she shuddered and said that it was cute, but she would NEVER use it. My head librarian and I were confused, so she explained that “Baa, Baa Blacksheep” has the line “One for the master” and she wouldn’t risk offending any of the mothers by the reference to slavery. Huh?
Okay, I do see her point. So, I did some research and it’s true that the song probably started as a complaint against the English taxation on wool, but it has also been used as a song about the slave trade. Well, fooey. So, I’m switching out the black sheep for a farm and we’ll sing Old MacDonald Had a Farm instead.
Sometimes, the world really upsets me.