#33 – Adaptation Play – Arizona National Parks

As we adapt to the new year, take a listen to this special episode of adaptation stories written by the 4th grade students in Ms. LaBrie’s class at Simis Elementary School in Phoenix, Az. The student’s combined researched facts and scientific concepts about adaptations to create imaginary beings that have adapted to Arizona National Parks. Have fun listening closely to these stories, because they are filled with fact and fiction…see if you can tell which is which! Enjoy the unique, playful, creative voices of Ms. LaBrie’s class and be sure to visit a National Park this year and create your own imaginary beings.

Sing! Food Play with Gunnar Madsen

On this episode we sail our sieve to the land of food and song with award winning children’s musician Gunnar Madsen. We share a track from Gunnar’s latest album, “I Am Your Food,” and Gunnar shares some tips and tricks for playing with your food! The episode also features 1st graders from Ms. Allegrina’s class at Simis Elementary School in Phoenix, AZ who take up Gunnar’s food play challenge by becoming the foods they like best. Visit www.buttonsandfigs.com for more word play fun.

Full Interview with Gunnar Madsen

Enjoy the full, fun interview with musician Gunnar Madsen. Learn about his inspiration for some of the songs on his latest album, “I Am Your Food” and can you guess what band influenced him when he was young? (hint: they sold wigs so kids could look like one of the members of this band!). Be sure to listen to the episode “Sing! Food Play with Gunnar Madsen” featuring the song “I Am Your Food” and you’ll get to hear kids playing with their food. Enjoy.


extra! – National Park Wordplay – 4th grade pass

On this wordplay extra! we have a real live National Park Ranger, a real live 4th grader, and a couple of funny Buttons & Figs fans who all LOVE U.S. National Parks! Sarah Stannard, Park Ranger at Glen Canyon and Rainbow Bridge, and Aurora, 4th grader from Washington, D.C., share fabulous information about our National Parks and the 4th Grade Pass. Ms. Sarah also shares a fun wordplay challenge played by Reese and Linnea…and hopefully by you too! Visit your parks, listen and play with words! www.buttonsandfigs.com

Ghost Stories – original spookiness

On this episode Buttons & Figs is proud to feature original ghost stories, for brave kids, by Nathaly and Zoe, students at Independence High School in Glendale, Arizona. Nathaly shares stories from her childhood, stories of haunting, stories of mystery and asks you – do you have any ghosts stories of your own? Zoe then shared a story told by her father, about a time when a dead lizard turns a kind ghost into a ghoulish one! Happy, spooky Halloween from all of us at Buttons & Figs, a podcast for kids about playing with words and stories….Bawhahahaha!

Ghost of podcasts past: Halloween Nonsense

Sail in our way-back sieve to visit the ghost of Halloween past with a listener favorite from 2016 – Halloween Nonsense with the Kit-Kats! This was a special Halloween episode hosted by the Kit-Kats, Mr. Kaegi’s 2nd grade class in Oak Park, IL. Be sure to download our spooky activity sheet filled with ideas for the season….and stay tuned….we will have more spooky stories heading your way…Bawhahahahaaaaaa! #kidslistensweeps #podghasts


#32 – An Odcast – Take Away Letter Play

On this Odcast episode we sail our sieve to the land of letter take aways…wait, did Alex just steal the letter P from Podcast?! Join Alex, Chloe, Olivia, Sophia and Ava as they play with letter take aways. And see if you can help May and Bad solve the mystery of the missing letters. Take away play was inspired by the book, “Take Away the A” by Michael Escoffier and Kris Di Giacomo. Visit www.buttonsandfigs.com for more word play fun.

#31 – Ballyhoo!!! Hyperbole Play

Ballyhooooooo!!! You should listen to this episode because it’s the most musical, entertaining, funny and colorful episode EVER! On this episode we sail our sieve to the land of Hyperbole. Join Catherine, Ellie, Lucy, and Sophie as they define, play and plot using as much hyperbole and sound FX as humanly possible, see if you can write a hyperbolic sentence about you, and if you are looking for hyperbole inspiration, check-out Swamp Angel by Anne Isaacs, illustrated by Paul Zelinsky! Ballyhooooooo!

#31 – Ballhoo! Kids Writing

The hyperbole episode is such an excellent example of how kids, when introduced to concepts through great literature, will naturally play with language and let their imaginations (and silliness) soar.  For this episode I had the kids look up hyperbole in the dictionary and thesaurus.  We played with the concept by writing a sentence, then we read aloud Swamp Angel.  From there, no more instruction was needed, they just knew what they wanted to write….and record.  Here are their stories, as written.