A Kinetic Christmas Day 7

Day 7

Walrus Words


Now, it's pretty well known that up in the North Pole, everyone is merry and bright. Everyone except Rolly J. Rumblegrump, that is.

Rolly J. Rumblegrump is a great big, frowny-faced, double-toothed monster who lives along the shores of Icy Pond just south of Santa's Workshop. Whenever an elf goes by, Rolly rumbles and grumbles and rolls! (And if you ever saw Rolly rumble and grumble and roll, you wouldn't stick around to see what else he can do!)

One day, an elf named Jingle Jake was sledding back to the Workshop when he slipped out of control! Down he went. Down, down, down to the shores of the Icy Pond, and right out onto the ice!

If that weren't bad enough, the ice began to crack and suddenly, Jingle Jake was stranded on his very own iceberg!

Jake cried for help! But then Jake heard a sound no elf ever wants to hear.

Out of the Icy Pond, Rolly J. Rumblegrump rolled right up onto the iceberg!

Rolly was really big and really scary and all Jake could think to do was say, "Hello."

Rolly rrrrrrrrrumbled like thunder and rolllllllllled like, well, thunder.

But Rolly didn't grumble.

Instead, Rolly did something no one had ever seen him do. Rolly rolled up to Jake and grinned, a great big, double-toothed grin.

Rolly wasn't a monster at all. Rolly was a walrus! 

The two spent the afternoon playing on their iceberg and soon found they liked all the same games! 

When the sun was setting, they started for home. As they paddled back to shore Jake asked, "Rolly, why do you rumble and grumble and roll when elves go by?"

Rolly explained that a rumble is how a walrus says hello. And by that logic, a grumble means good bye. And rolling is our way of asking, "wanna play?"
Jake was surprised. All the elves were afraid of Rolly. But he just wanted to be friends.

"I need to learn your words, Rolly. Will you teach me?," Jake asked.

Rolly clapped his flippers. "This means "yes," Rolly said, showing Jake how it's done. Jake clapped along.

"Will it take long to learn?" Jake asked.

Roll flapped his tail. "This means "no." Rolly said, showing Jake how it's done.

But Jake didn't play along. Instead he looked very worried. "Elves don't have tails," Jake said. 

Rolly thought for a moment. Then he had an idea.

"You don't have a tail, but you do have feet," Rolly roared!

Rolly flapped his tail… flap, flap, flap! Jake tapped his foot… tap tap tap! Flap. Tap. Flap. Tap. Flap. Tap. 

"Look at me. I can talk like a walrus," Jake roared!

Rolly and Jake clapped and flapped and tapped and rumbled and rolled all the way to shore.

When they landed, Jake had one more question.

"Rolly, how do walruses say "friend?"

Rolly grinned a great big, double-tooth grin, put his flipper around Jake and gave him a hug.

Jake hugged back. "Oh, good. That's how I say "friend" too."

FROM HOPPING TO SKIPPING (Approximately 3+ years)

Children's play is "translated" into larger, conceptual and contextual understanding when their experiences are enriched with meaningful language. This makes language the move-to-learn pivot point of the Kinetic Scale. 

So let's play a language game today…

Making up your own secret words is a great way to help little ones listen for and understand the nuances of language. So, for the rest of the day (or as long as your child wants to play) ask him to teach you how to speak Walrus Words. Start with the words Jake learned in the story. Then hop over to our Facebook page for more Walrus Words from our "Wiki-Walrus."

But most important of all, encourage him to imagine what else walruses say and create his own Walrus Words!

Not only is this kid-friendly word play, creating a language all your own is a special kind of bond only the two of you will share.


Learning to communicate is dependent on a child's ability to process what he hears (words, inflections, intonations, music, etc.) with what he sees (gestures, expressions, posture, movements, etc.). It's the verbal/non-verbal combination that ultimately determines what he feels and how he understands... and misunderstands.

As such, please note that Walrus Words are a combination of verbal and non-verbal language. As you add your own words to the play, try to use both types -- the more active and silly the better!

Let us know how it goes. And please feel free to add your Walrus Words to the "Wiki-Walrus" on our Facebook page! Together with Rolly and Jake, we could start a whole new language!





ROLL = WANNA PLAY? (roll all the way over) 

CLAP FLIPPERS = YES (clap the backs of your hands together) 

FLAP TAIL = NO (tap one foot) 

Story & Art are the exclusive copyright of Gill Connell and Cheryl McCarthy, Moving Smart, Ltd. All rights reserved.