© 2013 Mary Jo Huff

© 2013 Mary Jo Huff



WELCOME to my first blog of 2014. January whizzed by me in a blinding snow storm. The beginning of January was beautiful in the state of Florida and WARM. Then we returned to INDIANA and frigid temps and ice storms. The laptop crashed and so I had to start over.

As you get ready for the events of Feb. and March I want to add some pizzazz to your imagination in hopes you can catch the story bug and have some fun.




SONG: Sing to a child or to a whole class

Will you be my VALENTINE?

YES I’ll be your VALENTINE,

I have read on the internet that some folks don’t think young children should be introduced to VALENTINE’S…………..huuummm!

That is a hard one for me because I love VALENTINES DAY and all the special messages it relays to folks. Messages that say you are special and I love you.

Check out the books available to fit your curriculum and either purchase or go to the library and check them out. A note…..ask your local children’s librarian, in advance, to help you select the best books to read with your children. If you purchase books find a basket or box and decorate it for the month of Feb. and provide the children with books they can picture read. If your class makes a special book – make two of them – add one to the book box or basket so the children can read their publication.< p>


                                          BOOK 4                                                   


Many times I order books from amazon.com and when used books are offered I always check out this possibility.


Hold the hand of your favorite VALENTINE.  My grandson, age 5, sent me this picture.




SING A LEPRECHAUN SONG – This is an interactive song for children and families.


The LEPRECHAUNS are marching
They are marching in the hall, (point to a hall)

They are marching on the ceiling (point to the ceiling) 
They are marching on the wall. (point to a wall)

They are marching 2 x 2 (two fingers on each hand)
They are marching 4 x 4 (four fingers on each hand)

You say you cannot see them (hands above eyes looking around)
WATCH OUT here come some more.




Cut out little, green shoe prints and tape them all over the building…………floor, ceiling, on top of everything, on the windows etc.  Sprinkle gold glitter in a path throughout the area.  Tip over furniture, turn things backwards and generally make a mess.  I always told the children that the Leprechauns must have come buy looking for a pot of gold and could not find it anywhere.  Giggle and tell the children you hid the pot of gold.  Invite them to look for the pot.

I have a black pot – purchases around Halloween – and it is filled with gold covered chocolates that look like gold coins.  This makes for a real fun day.  We also told all the children if they did not wear green we would be pinching them.  If a child came to school without green we pinned a shamrock on them so they would not get pinched.  One of the teachers would not wear green so everyone could give her a pinch (it was me many years).


Enjoy the remainder of winter and prepare to welcome spring.  I will blog again as we approach spring with some great ideas for touching base with Mother Nature.  Stay Warm!!!


Mary Jo is now available for a SKYPE visit with your children.  Each session is 30 – 35 minutes and filled with seasonal, educational FUN!  Call today to reserve your spot on the calendar.


Mary Jo Huff


Multi-Award-Winning Author,
and Recording Artist









The beauty of our world is peeking through my windows.  The leaves are so many different colors, the fall flowers are in full bloom and the air is crisp.  This is a favorite time of the year as I drive back roads from Southern Indiana to Chicago, Atlanta, St. Louis, Indianapolis and down to the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. 

I pack my orange suitcases, grab the puppets and away we go.  Children are so receptive to learning about the changes, the seasons and different types of songs, finger plays and food.


One of the best ways to get parents involved with the children is to create books that travel from school to home and back again.  These books are kept in the classroom so children can read and reread during the year and reference what time of the year the book was made.

The pumpkin pattern is from Jonesborough, Arkansas.  It laminated with 5 mil. Laminate and attached with a metal ring.  The holes on the white pages are reinforced with circle reinforcements.

The children visited the local pumpkin patch and took their own pumpkin home after designing a face on the pumpkin.

PARENT DIRECTIONS:  Share your favorite pumpkin picking adventures.  Your child will illustrate and dictate and return the book the following day.

Pickin’ Pumpkins in the Pumpkin Patch is a song by Jim Coffey and can be found on the CD Peeper Pizzaazzz along with the story of the Orange Ghost on Storytelling for Kids.


A visit to the local fire department is always a highlight for children and attending parents.

After the trip this book was sent home so the children could dictate their favorite thing at the fire station.  If you cannot visit the fire station call your local volunteers and ask if someone can bring the fire truck to your school or center. 


Take It To Your Seat activities are designed by Evan Moor a great publishing company.  The pictures are in color and all you need to do is cut them out and attach to a bag.  The best idea is to purchase or ask for donations of bags and attach the SCARECROW to the outside with Velcro.  The directions are attached to the back with Velcro also.  This way when the bag is worn all you have to do is replace the bag.

Inside the bag are the interactive TAKE-IT-TO-YOUR-SEAT activities.   This idea was used the entire year and was set up as a center.  When the children understood the directions it became a favorite center and they always anticipated the changes in the bags.  The items attached to the bags were laminated with 5 mil. Laminate as were the activity cards.








Two of my favorite books to read along with others listed on my web site.   Yes I read!!!  Someone asked me if I always told stories and I said “Of Course I do!”  then I realized that they were referring to reading to children.  I read all the time as tI still do with my grandchildren but when  a good story begs to be told and retold I am on it right away.

I will insert a few pages from a parent/child, class book.  These ideas worked to connect our families and to get the children ready to become the best readers.

 Enjoy a healthy food activity to accompany this time of the year.

INGREDIENTS:  Volunteers to help so each child can create their own edible pumpkin.

Cheez Wiz
English Muffins

Spreading knife

DIRECTIONS:  Invite the children to choose a toasted English muffin half.  Place the muffin on a paper plate and direct the children as to spreading the Cheez Wiz on the muffin.  Tell them to cover the top of the muffin.  After they are finished spreading the cheese on the muffin tell them to use the raisins to make a face on the muffin.  They can then eat the muffin for their snack.


Each year at this time we talked about and explored spiders and how they spin a web.  The following picture is of a paint reverse.  Be generous with Elmer’s Glue to make the pattern of a spider web and paint it white and place a piece of black paper over the painted web, and rub it with your hand.  The children spend many minutes rubbing the paper because they can feel the web under the paper.  Pull the paper off and hang to dry.  Children are always amazed at this process and it can be repeated throughout the year with different shapes.

This web is black and was reversed on orange paper.


Have a great rest of the month and keep the children’s minds wondering what you will come up with next.  Some call this intentional teaching ( a new buzz word) but at our center we have always taught with the intention of the children learning while having fun.

Check out my web site at www.storytellin.com to find the CDs with music and stories, and sign up for my newsletterMary Jo Huff, Author, Storyteller, Puppeteer and Song Writer.