Sunday, February 27, 2011

Where are Thumbkin, Pointer, and Ducky?

Fingerplay: Where is Thumbkin
Props: 5 pairs of puppets
"Where is Thumbkin" is one of my all-time favorite fingerplays. I do it the traditional way with a few add-ins for fun: When Tall Man comes out he has a big deep voice (always a crack-up to watch the expressions of three year olds when they make that voice); Pinkie has a high squeaky voice; They all say “Zoop!” as they run away; The finale is “Where is Everybody” so they all come out, and finally conclude with bows (fingers bending), kisses (fingers touching) and hugs (fingers folded). And I haven't changed this for years. No reason to mess with something that fun, I figured.

Then Shannon, who does our Baby Times, got the idea to have puppets come out instead of fingers, and it works great. And best of all, I can still go through the whole finger production, as above. Then use puppets as a follow-up: “It was fun to see those fingers meet each other; now let’s try it with animals.” I’ll have two puppets of the same animal in my bag. They don’t have to be identical, just the same animal. I show the first one, so they’ll know what to sing, and then: “Where is Ducky, Where is Ducky? Here I am! [1 duck pops out] Here I am! [the other duck pops out]. Then the whole “How are you today” business. Which works really well, because the animals interact in the same way that the fingers just did. I’ve tried the ending bit two ways: Either: “Run away….Quack!” (instead of “Zoop!”). Or skip “Run away” altogether and it’s: “Quack, quack, quack…Zoop!” I think I’m leaning towards the second way so far.

One way I haven’t tried yet is to not have matching animals. So it could be: “Where is Ducky?....” and “Where is Kitten?...” and they “quack” and “meow” at each other. Could be a nice twist. I can’t honestly say that I’ve ever been tired of Thumbkin, but it is always nice when you’re able to something new with something you’ve done the same way for so long. “The More We Get Together,” on the other hand, which is my opening song for Toddler Time, now that I get tired of. Sure, Bear sits on my lap and bounces along, but there must be something else I can do to puppetize it…

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