What I learned from the Ooey Gooey lady

If you haven’t heard of the Ooey Gooey lady then let me introduce you to her. Last weekend I had the opportunity to meet her and attend her workshop at our local Indiana state early childhood conference…

Lisa (the Ooey Gooey Lady) is know for her fun, fresh, hands-on activities that can be used in the classroom or at home when working with young children.  I had a great time learning new ideas and I wanted to share just a few of them here with you…

The session was split into two parts and after the first part we took a break and came back to the room filled with activities spread all over the floors and tables that provide great sensory play for children of all ages…

Some of my favorite activities she had displayed were the ones with clear contact paper. On the table above she had the clear contact paper taped to the table – sticky side up – and little pompoms stuck to them. Great fun for texture and rearranging the pompoms on the sticky paper.  She also had a large strip of clear contact paper taped to the floor with the sticky side up again…

She had placed the contact paper on the floor right inside the entry door so as people walked in they were caught by surprise when their feet stuck to the ground. It was fun just standing back and watching the reactions as the teachers looked down to see what their feet had just stepped on. She also had bubble wrap taped to the floor which immediately started popping as the teachers ran over to jump on it. Another great idea for sensory, sound, and play…

Many of the activities she displayed during the latter half of her session were intended for use in an infant room but I could see the ideas being just as fun for preschool age children too. Another fun idea was this zig zag tape line she had running down the middle of the floor…

Lisa suggested that the kids follow the line going forwards, backwards and then switch it up and try hopping. Great for balance and large motor control…

There were other tips too like cutting a plastic bottle in half then putting a skein of yarn inside with the end of the yarn coming out of the neck of the bottle. This way kids can get their own yarn out of the bottle!

My notes

When I attend any conference or workshop, I try to write down highlights of what the speaker had to say and here are some notes I wrote down from Lisa’s workshop to share with you…

When planning for your classroom….

“Be Intentional! Know what your doing, why your doing it, and who you are doing it for!”

Are your choices “relevant and meaningful or are they just cute!”

Build a foundation to work from when planning for your classroom. Use these seven areas as your foundation for learning…

1. Create

2. Move

3. Sing

4. Discuss

5. Observe

6. Read

7. Play

Use a spring board to kick off the learning in your classroom then see where it leads…

A spring board might be anything from a flannel board activity to a special box of items you bring it to the classroom. The spring board leads to discussion, questions, and ultimately the emergent ideas of your students coming to life in your classroom.

Plan for the Bones…

Lisa talked about planning for the bones of your classroom. What are the bones of your classroom? The bones include your centers such as reading, writing, easels, manipulatives, and sensory. No matter what you do make sure that everyday you have the bones open and available for children to engage in. Modify the bones as you go along but always have the bones!  When the bones are something that you have available everyday then you can say…

“My mood does not dictate whether it is open or not – it is always out!”

Working with Babies

Lisa says that when planning for babies to first know that “Babies need to fall in love with you!”  “Don’t make it harder than in needs to be.” and “Talk to infants and sing to them”

Lisa goes on to say that infant activities need to be “Sensory Driven” and “About Bonding” and “About Building Trust.”

Just the Highlights

These notes were just a few of the highlights of what Lisa shared at her workshop. She introduced music, games, nursery rhymes, activities, and the list goes on.

You can learn more about Ooey Gooey by checking out Lisa’s site!

Check out who tried this too..

My Sticky from Couturier Mommy

By |2017-03-28T23:39:18+00:00April 12th, 2011|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Scott April 12, 2011 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    Wow! I’m jealous that you got to hang out with the Ooey Gooey lady. Looks like you had a fun and informative time. Thanks for sharing.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 12, 2011 at 7:30 pm - Reply

      I enjoyed meeting her and look forward to learning more from her in the future!

  2. Centers and Circle Time April 12, 2011 at 2:04 pm - Reply

    I’ve heard of the ooey gooey lady but I haven’t had the pleasure of attending her workshops (yet). It seems you had an awesome time. Thank you for the awesome note taking, it’s how I learn best and remember important details. My favorite is “My mood does not dictate whether it is open or not – it is always out!” When I first started teaching, oh how I’d moan and groan at the messes I’d have to clean up. Over the years I finally understood the more it’s out the more experienced they become and the less I have to clean. Not only do they makes less mess, but they often clean them up. It’s truly a process you learn to appreciate:)

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 12, 2011 at 7:29 pm - Reply

      Absolutely Myra – over time, the children get more capable and more engaged in the centers and they take ownership so that we can trust them with greater opportunities and responsibility. It is such a rewarding experience for the children and the teacher!

  3. Bev April 12, 2011 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    Lisa Murphy provides the most thought-provoking, inspiring, and energetic workshops I have been to. The workshop I attended over a year ago is still a highlight of my career. I was so full of thoughts and inspirations that I couldn’t sleep for two days. This fall I will be attending a 2-day workshop…I’m afraid I won’t sleep for a week!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 12, 2011 at 7:27 pm - Reply

      Haha – she definitely comes packed full of ideas! I am still processing all I came away with!

  4. Roopa(Putti Amma) April 12, 2011 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    Such a great post!! I have been following her on Facebook for sometime now and her activities photos are very inspiring…
    Thanks for sharing all the information:)

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 12, 2011 at 7:25 pm - Reply

      You are welcome Patti! I get so busy that I haven’t taken the time to keep up with her on Facebook but I certainly have “Liked” her page so when I can – I can go there and browse through all the information she provides!

  5. Alison April 12, 2011 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    “relevant and meaningful or are they just cute!”
    I have lately been trying to keep this in mind with my blog posts. Trying to move away from the cute cookie cutter and back to process, process, process. I feel I am providing a better “read” by keeping to this and honest and true in my views and knowledge in child development.

    “My mood does not dictate whether it is open or not – it is always out!”
    THIS quote I feel I need to print out and display in my house for homeschooling.

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 12, 2011 at 7:24 pm - Reply

      Alison – it is so hard not to share the “cute” ideas isn’t it? I know that I am always trying to find that balance between what is “relevant and meaningful” and what is just “cute” but that is part of our process as an early childhood educator. We are always learning and always growing:)

  6. ayn colsh April 12, 2011 at 7:41 pm - Reply

    I’ve heard such good things about the Ooey Gooey lady, but haven’t had the opportunity to attend any sessions. The more I hear about her, attending one of her workshops is now on my “teacher’s bucket list”. It sounds like you really learned a lot from the workshop–thanks for sharing it! 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 12, 2011 at 7:50 pm - Reply

      That will be a good one to add to your bucket list Ayn! I wonder what else is on that bucket list of yours:)

  7. Renee Ernsting April 12, 2011 at 8:10 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing! I saw the Ooey Gooey Lady at NAEYC in Chicago a few years back and I still refer to her resources. I hope to see her again soon – she has a energy about her that is contagious!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 12, 2011 at 8:21 pm - Reply

      Yes – it gets you all excited about going back in the classroom and giving things a go!

  8. jenny April 13, 2011 at 9:50 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing these fab ideas Deborah. I’ve always been a big fan of the Ooey Goey Lady. And I know I have a roll of contact paper around somewhere…

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 13, 2011 at 10:11 am - Reply

      Thanks for stopping by Jenny! I always keep contact paper but I sure go through it fast!

  9. Stephanie May 11, 2011 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    I attended a conference in Philly a few years ago and she was the Keynote speaker. She spoke about her first experience in a preschool environment with her teacher, Miss Mary. I had tears in my eyes after she was done. Completely changed my life. I returned to work the week after with totally different outlook, a positive one!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. May 11, 2011 at 6:35 pm - Reply

      That ‘s awesome Stephanie! Talk about making a difference in people’s lives!

  10. Eve Morreale September 13, 2011 at 8:04 am - Reply

    Wow! Thank you for sharing your new knowledge. I wish we have big conferences like this in Maine!! I am so grateful that you are so generous in sharing your ideas and thots. Ultimately it the children who benefitted as I implement your ideas in school!!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 13, 2011 at 2:45 pm - Reply

      I love knowing you are implementing some of the ideas Eve!

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