As Joey ventures out into the bewildering world, he knows there is always safety in his mother’s pouch.
Why I like this for a read aloud book:
*Joey wants to investigate the world
*Joey knows he’s loved
*Having a friend provides support
Joey wants to explore the world, but knows his mom’s pouch is always safe. Play Pouch Tag.
Pick a location for a safety zone or “Pouch.” One player is selected to be the “Surprise.”
All the other players stand near the “Pouch” and jump two times towards the “Surprise.” They ask the “Surprise”, “Who are you?”
The “Surprise” answers, “Bee” or “Rabbit” or “Bird” or maybe even “Monster” or “Alien” or whatever he likes!
The hopping players yell “Pouch” and jump back to the safety zone or “Pouch.”
Then the players jump three times from the “Pouch”, question the “Surprise” who answers, yell “Pouch”, and hop back to the safety zone.
Repeat jumping four times, and then five times.
After a round, pick a different player be the “Surprise” and play another round. Continue as long as you like.
There isn’t really a winner; young listeners won’t care and will love the jumping and the yelling. Just have fun together!
More Family Fun
Kangaroos cannot move their legs independently so they must jump. They are amazing jumpers. Try These Kangaroo Exercises.
If you want, designate four areas or stations in the yard or in a large room, and rotate–or just do them for fun wherever you are!
Jumping Station: See how high you can jump from a standing jump. Can you jump higher if you bend your knees? Can you jump higher if you run and then jump? Who can jump the highest?
Balance Station: Stand on one leg and hold the other foot near the knee of the standing leg. Count to 20. Stand on the opposite leg and balance for another 20 counts. Kangaroos use their tails to balance. What do you use to balance?
Hopping Station: Keep your feet together and hop across the yard or room. Count how many hops it takes.
Boxing Station: Hold your fists in front of your chest. Making sure the space in front of you is clear, punch the air in front of you with your right fist. Then punch with your left fist. Then alternate punching with your left and right fists.
Male kangaroos punch with their feet. Lie on your back (again being sure the space in front of you is clear) and try punching first with your right foot and then your left. Is it easier to punch with your arms or your feet?
Go to What Do You Do With a Kangaroo? for another jumping activity under Jumping Fun, and for information about kangaroos under Fun Kangaroo Facts.
The first people in Australia recorded stories with pictures on rock walls, bark, skins, and even in the sand. They used basic shapes, lines, and dots. Make Aboriginal Kangaroo Dot Art.
You will need:
Black, brown, and/or tan paper
Scissors and a pencil with an unused eraser
Draw a kangaroo outline (or a bird or rabbit or bee–or something not from the book like a turtle or lizard. This is your project so do what you like!) on brown or tan paper. Or click here to use this outline:
Or this one:
Cut out the kangaroo outline and glue it to black or brown paper.
Put some paint on a paper plate and dip the pencil eraser (or colored pencil or the end of a paintbrush or a Q-tip or whatever you have) in the paint to make dots.
Outline the kangaroo with dots in white, black, red, yellow or brown.
Wavy lines and circular shapes are common elements in Aboriginal Art. Add wavy lines and circles to your picture, something like this example of Aboriginal Dot Art:
Make it as simple or as involved as you like!
The Aboriginal artists were creative in what they used for a canvas, so you can be too! Here emu eggs are used:
I don’t have any emu eggs, but this made me think of using a rock for a canvas. Use any design you like with your dot art.
What other canvases can you think of to use?
(Aboriginal dot art didn’t exist in a permanent form until the 1970′s. Before that, the designs were made in cleared dirt for spiritual ceremonies, after which the design was rubbed out. Dot designs now include animals and other natural elements.)
*Joey wanted to hop. What or where would you like to explore? What might you find there that would be scary or new?
*How did Joey know that he could return to his mama’s pouch and be safe?
*Were the bee or the rabbit or the bird scary? Why did Joey hop back to his mama? What new things seem unnerving to you?
*Why did the two kangaroos laugh? How does it help to have a friend to face new things?
*Why didn’t the baby kangaroos want to get in their mamas’ pouches at the end of the book? What had they learned?
*One of the many fun things about reading books together is having common words with extra meaning to our family. For example, when my listener faces something new or a little scary, she yells, “Pouch” and I know exactly what she means. What books does your family quote?
Find this book at your local library or buy it here.