NUMBER 12 meets NUMBER 11


NUMBER 12 meets NUMBER 11



While in Houston, Texas presenting a Keynote, jam time and some workshops for FROG STREET (  I had a big surprise.  This beautiful young lady came running up to me and said, “ I am number 12 and you are number 11.”  DAH!,  I did not get it until she said “ I am Crystal Radke and I write for Pre-K and K Sharing and I post on the 12th of the month and you post on the 11 of the month.”  “Oh, yes!” I replied.

We shared a BIG HUG and then had a great visit.  This picture was taken for us to share with all who visit this great blog.  You never know who you will meet or where you will meet them.

In my opinion, FROG STREET has the BEST conference in this entire country.  Teachers come from many states and countries to celebrate young children.  This year was Fanny Frogs 20th birthday and it was a huge celebration with events in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, TX.  Next summer a Masquerade celebration will take place in Dallas in the month of July.  Make plans to attend and find out how wonderful you can feel about yourself and your Early Childhood Profession.


Maria Solis, of Houston, TX, reading a story “The Birthday Breakfast” in Spanish as I read it in English.  The audience was filled with hundreds of Early Childhood teachers listening and laughing.  The conference hosts thousands of teachers from all corners of the USA, Canada and Mexico.  The Pre-K curriculum was written and directed by Dr. Pam Schiller.  She gathered educators, musicians, storytellers, and experts from many areas to contribute. 

Birthday Breakfast


Teachers come dressed to win prizes.  Hundreds of dollars are given for the school of the year, costume at the conference, someone who traveled the farthest and then lots and lots of door prizes – this year it was an extravaganza of birthday gifts given out by Fanny Frog to celebrate her 20th.


Stephen Fite, a great MC and musical entertainer,  is one of Fanny’s best friends. 
He kept things moving and connected at all three events.
Teachers are enjoying a night of dinner and dancing with Stephen Fite leading the way.  Teachers just gotta have FUN!

  Don Monolopi, the Learning Station, leads teachers in his famous TONY CHESTNUT song.  Don was an extraordinary musician enjoying a night of music and storytelling.

  Ron Chase, owner of Frog Street, along with Sharon, Amy and Bill spearhead the world of education and invite everyone to come on down to Dallas in 2013.  Thanks folks for the best conferences I have ever attended.

Keep  yourself energized as the new school  year begins!


Mary Jo Huff



Connecting children and nature is the most natural way of teaching and communicating with all children. We can learn from children by observing and analyzing their work. Our local community sponsored a Nature Explorer seminar and I am so thankful that I attended for two days. This quote is from the Nature Explorer research:

“One of the most significant findings of this research is that when children engaged in authentic play in a Nature Explore Classroom, they are developing skills in a variety of domains simultaneously. This is what we refer to as whole-child learning.”

 An outdoor classroom supports learning in the areas of math, visual-spatial, music & movement, art, literacy, science, close observation and social-emotional.


It was a great privilege to attend two days of hands on activities with Nature Explore at the Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve in Evansville, Indiana. The programs continue across the USA. Check out the Nature Explore and the Wesselman Woods ( web sites for information and become a teacher of the wonderful world of NATURE!



When a dedicated, child loving adult connects with the learning atmosphere nature can bring to a center great things happen. Maria Manges, from Cradle to Crayons, in Petersburg, IN decided to dedicate her extra time to providing a great outdoor space for children to learn and her efforts and results are OUTSTANDING.

This playground is filled with learning areas and the garden will provide food for the children to explore. If you have an outstanding nature space for children send me pictures and a little right up with permission to use the material in my blog.



Earth Day storytelling dressed in camouflage and sharing space with friendly owl, frog, and eagle. All children enjoy the visuals and puppets as an addition to a good story.  


For many years I would tell stories behind a big tree on the playground. At first the children thought the tree was talking and even after they realized it was me they would talk to the tree. If you have a tree on your playground take advantage of the nature connection and invite the children to join you at the story tree for special nature stories.

 Hug a child and hug a tree!
Mary Jo Huff






MAY  is a good time to think about summer.  In July the FROG STREET “SPLASH!” will take place in the state of Texas on 3 different dates.  The roster is filled with educators, entertainers and fun for all who attend.   Frog Street has the best Pre-K Curriculum on the market today and thousands of Pre-K teachers in the state of Texas and many other states will attest to that fact.   It is directed by Dr. Pam Schiller and she invited people like Dr. Becky Bailey, Dr. Clarissa Willis, Dr. Thomas Moore, Dr. Alma Flora Ada, Don Manopoli, Stephen Fite, Dr. Monte Shelby, Dr. Jean Feldman, Dr. Rebecca Isbell, and ME (Mary Jo Huff) to FANNY’s BIRTHDAY PARTY 2012.

This headlining group of educators and entertainers present their expertise at the SPLASH events and this year it is even more special because FANNY FROG is having a BIRTHDAY and FROG  STREET will be celebrating all year.  Gifts are given out at every event and some have walked away with a fist full of dollars and some with free registration for the following year.  The staff  provides a concentrated effort to provide the best possible experience for every attendee.  Go to and get more information and plan to attend one of the exciting events.

I will KEYNOTE the conference in Houston, TX and my friends Dr. Jean, Shawn Brown, Dr. Pam Schiller, Don Monopoli, Jill Molli, Stephen Fite, Dr. F. Isabel Campoy, Dr. Alma Flor Ada, Brian Mowry, Marianne Gibbs, K-Crew, Dr. Clarissa Willis, Dr. Thomas Moore and FANNY FROG will be there to do the best of the best workshops and entertain you from the first minute you arrive until it is time to head home.  Check the web site for the dates and times for the Dallas SPLASH and the San Antonio SPLASH.  Join us this year for the biggest and best birthday party in the whole USA!

Frog Clipart #9


Frogs are a favorite of all children.  Take the time to investigate frogs and how they happen to be water and land animals.  Explore, document, and keep frogs in your children areas.  Watching for that tadpole to become a frog hopping on all four legs and listening to the sounds of the frog invites all children to be part of the process.

Here is a fun, easy little diddy to sing with your children and provide them with a green frog to cut out and glue to a stick as they repeat:                      


GLUMP went the little green frog one day
GLUMP went the little green frog

GLUMP went the little green frog one day
And his/her eyes went CLUMP, CLUMP, CLUMP!

Simple but developing language, movement, rhythm and rhyme.

Until next time. when I will be blogging from NAEYC’s PDI (Professional Development Institute) in Indianapolis, IN, …………. I wish you a safe beginning of summer and try to stay cool.  If you are attending PDI Indy stop by the Gryphon House booth to say hi or watch for me with my hat!!!!  Mary Jo

Mary Jo Huff






APRIL is the “MONTH of the YOUNG CHILD!” 

 Celebrate children during this spring month by encouraging their exploration of mother nature.  Plant a garden in your area and give the parents instructions about planting a small flower or vegetable garden at home so the children can examine, predict, and eat the vegetables during the summer.

CELEBRATE Earth Day and talk with the children about the environment they live in and explore ways to make our earth a better place to live


  Dig some mud, add water until soupy and invite the children to fingerpaing on shiny paper.  It is a great experience especially for the children who have never put their hand in soil.  Create a bulletin board to display the children’s mud paintings. 


Child sized garden for digging, planting, predicting, observing and learning about Mother Nature.

APRIL is the month of the FROG and Fanny Frog from Frog Street is one of my favorite frogs. is a great place to find froggie ideas for Pre-K, K & 1st.  I will share information about Frog Street’s SPLASH conference in May. 

Invite the children to squat down on the floor and sing this little ditty as they spring up and down, batting their eyes on the CLUMP, CLUMP, CLUMP!  This is some rhythmic fun that you cannot do just once.

GLUMP went the little green frog one day
GLUMP went the little green frog.

GLUMP went the little green frog one day
And his/her eyes went CLUMP, CLUMP, CLUMP!

CELEBRATE all month and concentrate on the connection to NAEYC and honor all CHILDREN!



MARCH MADNESS is upon us in the Hoosier Basketball state of Indiana.  Many of the children are learning their alphabet in preparation for Kindergarten next year.  Children from the Kinder Kountry Pre-School era learned the most important vowels during basketball season…..I.U. (Indiana University).  Clocks will move ahead soon and we will be on FAST time.  That event always sparks a feeling of moving faster and faster as the end of the school year approaches.  Testing, parent teacher conferences etc. become top priority but having FUN is still the most important part of a child’s life.

Looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

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As SPRING arrives we see color everywhere. This reminds me of spring and was taken at the Gaylord Hotel in Dallas, TX.  The entire gardens were blooming with beautiful flowers.  Children should be busy painting with color, planting and experiencing the natural wonders of plants.

Repeat the poem as a CALL BACK (the teacher says it first and the children repeat it). Make the hand and arm motions to accompany the words.  This musical poem can be found on a CD  (CHICKEN FUN!)with music by Jim Coffey from Blue Vision Music.  It is a delightfully slow, repetitive SPRINGTIME song.

  In the SPRING…………………..WIND BLOWS
 In the SPRING…………………….SUN SHINES
In the SPRING…………………….RAIN FALLS
In the SPRING……………………..BIRDS SING
In the SPRING……………………….KITES FLY
  In the SPRING……KITES FLY way up HIGH 
                                     in the SPRINGTIME SKY