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  • direction
  • down
  • position
  • where


  • Show the children a Jack-in-the-Box. Have Jack down in his box. Say the "Jack, Jack" action rhyme with the children. Point out that Jack is down in his box when the action rhymebegins.
    Jack, Jack
    Jack, Jack, down you go, (crouch down low)
    Down in your box, down so low.
    Jack, Jack, there goes the top.
    (pop up)
    Quickly now, up you pop.
  • Make Jack pop up and then press him down again. Describe the movements verbally as the children watch you work the Jack-in-the-Box. Ask questions to find out what the children know about the worddown.
  • Tell them that today they will be learning about how the word down is used to describe the location of something.
  • Read your favorite book about spatial relationships to the children or select a book from the Story Circle Suggestions below to check out of the library and read.


  • Down by the Bay by Raffi
  • Inside, Outside, Upside Down by Jan Berenstain
  • Up, Down, All Around by Matt Mitter


  • Make the "Hickory Dickory Dock" flannel board story, if not already made (Appendix p. 600).
  • Gather squirt bottles and Floaters and Droppers (see p. 212).

Language Enrichment Choices*

  • Sing "Are You Listening?" to the tune of "Are You Sleeping?" with the children. Sit down at the end of the song. Repeat if necessary.

    Are You Listening?
    Are you listening?
    Are you listening?
    Boys and girls, girls and boys.
    Come and join our circle,
    Come and join our circle,
    Sit right down.
    Sit right down.

  • Use the word down in a sentence. For example, "I love to slide down the sliding board."
  • Teach the children "Hickory Dickory Dock" (Appendix p. 600). Using the flannel board patterns will help the children see the difference between up and down.

    Hickory Dickory Dock
    Hickory dickory dock
    The mouse ran up the clock.
    The clock struck one,
    The mouse ran down.
    Hickory dickory dock.

  • Teach the children the American Sign Language sign for down (Appendix p. 431).

    * Toddlers and twos present a wide range of developmental needs, abilities, and interests. For each learning area, select among the following activity and experience choices that are appropriatefor the children in your care.

    Physical Development Choices

    • Play "Ring Around the Rosie" with the children. Ask the children to hold hands and walk in a circle. Everyone falls down on the words, "All fall down." Discuss fallingdown."Does it hurt when you fall down gently?""What about when you fall down hard?"

      Ring Around the Rosie
      Ring around the rosie
      Pocket full of posies,
      Ashes, ashes,
      We all fall down.

    • If available, encourage the children to go down the sliding board.
    • Sing "The Grand Old Duke of York" with the children. Discuss the down position of the soldiers.

      The Grand Old Duke of York
      The grand old Duke of York (salute)
      He had ten thousand men. (hold up ten fingers)
      He marched them up to the top of the hill, (point up)
      And he marched them down again. (point down)
      And when they're up, they're up. (stand tall)
      And when they're down, they're down. (squat)
      But when they're only halfway up, (stoop down)
      They're neither up nor down. (open arms and shrug)

    • If wagons are available, take each of the children for a ride. Sing "My Little Red Wagon" while each child is riding.

      My Little Red Wagon
      Bumping up and down in my little red wagon,
      Bumping up and down in my little red wagon,
      Bumping up and down in my little red wagon
      Won't you be my darlin'?

    • Play a modified version of "London Bridge Is Falling Down" with the children. Instead of two children forming "the bridge," the teachers can make the bridge.

      London Bridge Is Falling Down
      London Bridge is falling down,
      Falling down, falling down.
      London Bridge is falling down,
      My fair lady.
      Take the key and lock her up,
      Lock her up, lock her up.
      Take the key and lock her up,
      My fair lady.

      Repeat first verse.

    • Teach the children "Here We Go" (on the next page).

      Here We Go
      Here we go-up, up, up. (stand up on toes)
      Here we go-down, down, down. (crouch down)
      Here we go-moving forward. (take a step forward)
      Here we go-moving backward. (take a step backward)
      Here we go-round and round and round. (spin)
      Invite the children to do Log Rolls. Ask them to lie down on the ground and roll like a log. If you have an inclined area, encourage them to roll down the incline. Discuss the position they need toget in before rolling.

      Social and Emotional Development Choices

      • Sing "The Ants Go Marching" with the children. Discuss what the sentence, "They all go marching down to the ground. . . " means.

        The Ants Go Marching
        The ants go marching one by one Two. . . tie her shoe. . .
        Hurrah, hurrah. Three. . . climb a tree. . .
        The ants go marching one by one Four. . . shut the door. . .
        Hurrah, hurrah. Five. . . take a dive. . .
        The ants go marching one by one,
        The little one stops to suck his thumb.
        And they all go marching down
        To the ground
        To get out
        Of the rain.

      • If there are stairs in the building, take the children to walk up and down them. Count the stairs or say "down, down, down we go!" as you go up or down the stairs.
      • Sing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" with the children."What happened to the spider when the rain came?""Did she stay down?"

        Itsy Bitsy Spider
        The itsy bitsy spider Up came the sun
        Went up the waterspout. And dried up all the rain.
        Down came the rain And the itsy bitsy spider
        And washed the spider out. Went up the spout again.

      • If a rocking chair is available, use it to rock each child. Sing "Rock-a-Bye Baby" while you rock. When you are finished, invite the little ones to rock doll babies and sing them tosleep.

        Rock-a-Bye Baby
        Rock-a-bye baby When the bough breaks,
        In the tree top. The cradle will fall.
        When the wind blows, And down will come baby
        The cradle will rock. Cradle and all.

        Cognitive Development Choices

        • Give the children squirt bottles filled with water and encourage them to spray the water on plastic sheeting, a large cookie sheet, or outdoors on the walls. Encourage them to watch the waterdrops as they run down the surface they are spraying.
        • Use a plank to make an inclined ramp and encourage the children to roll cars down the ramp. Discuss the direction the cars are going.
        • Invite little ones to play Drop the Clothespin. Provide a bucket and some clothespins and encourage the children to hold the clothespins waist high and then drop them into the bucket below.Discuss the downward fall of the clothespins.
        • If you use these activities in the fall, the children can watch the leaves falling down. If you use these activities on a rainy day, the children can watch the raindrops falling down.
        • Problem-solving suggestion: Give the children some Floaters (e.g., tissue, feather, paper) and Droppers (e.g., washer, block, crayon). Encourage them to drop each item and watch to see howquickly or slowly the item falls down to the ground. "Which items are floaters?""Which items are droppers?"


          Ask the children to sit down. Ask them to name or show you something that can fall down.
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