Friday, December 7, 2018

toddler time: crazy about colors!

Mystery Box: Inside our mystery box, we found a crayon! What COLOR is it? RED!

Prop Song: If You Like the Color Red

Found the idea for this song at

If you like the color red, clap your hands! CLAP CLAP
If you like the color red, clap your hands! CLAP CLAP
Give a wiggle, give a shout!
Red is great without a doubt!
If you like the color red, clap your hands! CLAP CLAP

Any other colors in here?

Repeated for green, blue & yellow!

Books We Read:
Brown Bear, Brown Bear- Martin/Carle (love this slide version!)
Froggy Green- Walker (would have been awesome but no time today. Next time!)

Felt Board: Brown Bear Hide & Seek

Brown Bear is playing hide & seek in the forest! let's find him!

Brown Bear, Brown Bear 
playing hide & seek!
Are you behind the yellow tree?
Let’s take a peek!

No, it’s yellow duck!

Look behind all the trees till you find the bear. he was behind the brown tree today! how many animals did we find today? let's count them together.

could also use colorful felt shapes to hide the animals!

Craft: Paper Plate Brown Bear Artwork

i printed these coloring sheets from we colored them then glued them to the plates.

Last time, we used small plates but this time I had big ones and we decorated with scented dot markers to make them extra colorful! LOVE!

Parachute Songs:

Since our theme today was colors, i couldn't resist breaking out my parachute, which i usually use mostly with lapsit groups bc my toddler groups are so big. 

i think i was crazy to bring it out with the first group but it was the last activity before playtime/crafts & everyone was really good so it worked out.

we sang "These Are Colors Over You" & "Shake the Parachute"

First session was PACKED!! Session 2 was smaller, with about 12 kids. very happy with craft & felt board as well as prop song. so, a great day!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

baby & me: hands are clapping!

this morning, the caregiver of one of the boys in session #1 told me that they had been guessing what might be hiding in my polka dot box today. i love that they are talking about this before class!!! 

he thought it might be Santa! i think they were both surprised to find a pair of hands LOL!!

we also found toes, arms and eyes!

i put these clip art pieces on my board one at a time as we sang Jbrary's Hands Are Clapping song, one of my favorites!

Hands are clapping, clap clap clap!
Hands are clapping, clap clap clap!
Hands are clapping, clap clap clap!
Clap your hands my darling!

repeat with toes/tapping, arms/stretching and eyes/peeking!

Books We Read:

i actually wasn't planning to post this program but the books were so awesome, i had to add it to my blog so i don't forget!

Baby Face- Yaccarino
Looking Good (Just Like Me) - Busby

The Yaccarino book has little tabs to move and a funny text so it was super fun to read! 

The Just Like Me series consists of FOUR awesome books (so far?)  i love the colorful illustrations and the repetitive "just like me" phrase when you lift the flap. 

sometimes, its hard to find awesome lapsit books but these titles are both AMAZING!

I also passed out scarves for "This is the Way We Wash Our Hands" which was perfect for today's theme! we also "washed" our necks and our knees.

since i had two great books to read, i didn't think i needed a puppet song today and it was fine! a small group of 10 babies for session 1, much bigger group for session 2 with 18 little ones. so, not bad for december!

next week will be my last session for this month so i'm trying to let people know in advance. i always feel slightly guilty about skipping a week but when people find out i'm taking some vacation time, they usually say something super nice like "you deserve it!" which makes it a little bit easier (:

Saturday, December 1, 2018

toddler time: hold your horses 2018

Mystery Box: Inside our mystery box, we found two HORSES! What does a horse say?

(Cute clipart horses from one of my favorite sites:

Puppet Song: Two Nice Horses

Two nice horses came to town
One was grey 
& one was brown.
They galloped UP
They galloped DOWN
Then they galloped out of town.

Bye horses!

Felt Board: 5 Pretty Horses

when i am choosing a rhyme for my flannel board, i usually scour the internet for hours in search of the perfect one. sometimes tho, nothing feels right & you just have to write it yourself. 

i wrote up a horse version of the ever popular "Down On the Corner at the Bakery Shop..." I love this bc you can really adapt it to any theme and i feel like the words are sometimes better if they are my own. so i guess what i'm trying to say is sometimes you have to tweak rhymes & songs until they feel right. there is nothing worse than getting up in front of a group with a rhyme or song that you don't like or feel uncomfortable with.

5 pretty horses waiting by the barn (show 5 fingers)
Giving free pony rides down at the farm!
CHILD'S NAME sees a horse that he/she’d like to try 
He/she hops right on & away they ride! 

Clip Clop, Clip Clop….

Count down 4,3,2,1,0

Wow, that was fun! We’ll have to come back next time for more pony rides!

I found this clipart on Etsy. i'm in love with these horses, they are so pretty! had felt ones i made ages ago but these were just better. 

i love sneaking the kids names into my rhymes if i can, it's a great attention grabber & a nice reward for the kids who are already engaged.

Books We Read:
Giddy Up! Let’s Ride- McDonnell 

i usually use this story with babies so they can bounce along but i loved all the different kinds of horses depicted here so i really wanted to use it with toddlers today. Large pages with lots of colorful illustrations are perfect for large groups like mine.

i found a drum & some different bells to make fun sound effects for a few of the pages, like the knight, the drummer & the princess. 

i hid the musical instruments in my basket so they wouldn't distract the kids! it was super fun & more mysterious this way.

Craft: Paper Plate Rocking Horses

my "go to" craft for this theme! just printed the rocking horses for kids to color. they decorated with sparkly star stickers & glued to small paper plates so it would rock back & forth. i've discovered you can pretty much glue anything to a folded paper plate & it will rock like this!

i wore my favorite plaid flannel shirt, blue jeans & boots for this theme & people noticed my "country" clothes. coordinating your work attire with your storytime theme isn't always possible but i like to try it if i can. 

(on the flip side, i do worry i'm taking my themes a little too far when i do this LOL!)

one of my toddlers yelled out in between songs, "Ms Amy, why are you wearing a bandaid on your finger?" don't kids just notice EVERYTHING?!! so i told everyone that my cat bit me last night which got some laughs. the same little girl returned to the front of the room midway thru the Let's Ride book and said "Ms Amy, i was talking to my mom when you started reading this book. can you go back to the beginning & start it again?" it was so sweet, i wanted to say yes but instead we planned to look at the story again during playtime. so, a good compromise!

a nice day with a great theme! loving my smaller groups of 12-18 kids lately.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

toddler time: craft for TURKEY theme

i love repeating my toddler programs every year or two with slight changes that make them even better than before. i'm always on the look out for ways to improve my classes with new songs, stories, puppets or crafts.

i usually do paper plate turkeys decorated with colorful feathers for my toddler thanksgiving programs. this year, i decided to make paper bag turkeys instead and i LOVED them!

last year's paper plate turkey craft

this year's NEW & IMPROVED paper bag turkey craft!

the new craft required even less prep work than the old turkeys because all i had to do was cut eyes & beaks. we used red crepe paper pieces for the wattle. on the bag of the paper bag, we attached the feathers with double stick tape -- SO EASY!! 

the kids' turkeys came out so colorful and beautiful!

this idea came from crafts i found HERE and HERE

toddler time: BEDTIME update 2018

this is a theme i like to repeat every couple of years. 
for my previous Bedtime toddler blog posts, click here:

I love the Laurie Berkner puppet song and the blanket flannel board so those elements stay the same each time. 

this year, i changed my Mystery Box item!

It's Pete the Cat! 
Pete is wearing his pajamas today! 

do you wear your pjs to the store? no!
do you wear your pjs out to eat? NO!
do you wear your pjs to the library? NOOOOOO!
do you wear your pjs to bed? YES!

Pete the Cat Pajama Song:
(tune: The Farmer in the Dell)

It's time to go to sleep
it's time to go to sleep
uh oh, it's time to go
it's time to go to sleep!

there's something else in the polka dot box today - its Pete's toothbrush!

First, we brush our teeth!
First we brush our teeth!
uh oh, it's time to go
it's time to go to sleep!

and here is Pete's teddy bear in the polka dot box!

I need my teddy bear
I need my teddy bear
uh oh! its time to go!
it's time to go to sleep

ok, it's time to tuck Pete in to bed with his favorite blanket! (just a red scarf!)

Good night to Pete the Cat
Good night to Pete the Cat
uh oh! it's time to go!
it's time to go to sleep!

it seemed like a good time to sing Pete a lullabye so we sang a few pages of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. then we all blew Pete kisses and whispered goodnight so he could drift off to sleep...

I wanted to use the same craft as previous years. since i didn't have any fancy scrapbook paper lying around, i just cut some pretty light blue construction paper instead. i also cut some pillows from white copy paper.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

fairy tale ball

this program was inspired by this awesome blog post from Miss Meg's Storytime, so thank you Miss Meg!!

Books We Read:

of course, on the morning of the program, i realized that Sally Grindley's Shhhh would have been perfect for this program but what can you do? 

Barton's The Three Bears is one of my most favorite books to read aloud so i had to do that one. Our other stories were fun too!

Flannel Story: The Princess & the Pea

Found HERE

i wrote up a very short preface to the story about a very brave & beautiful princess lost in a dark forest, then used the rhyme from the blog post. The kids loved when i flipped each mattress over to see what was keeping the princess awake.


sticker scene craft from OTC & printable popsicle stick puppets i found online

Game: Fairy Tale Match Up

i printed color pics of well known characters from fairy tales & hid them around the program room. i also printed a black & white set on colored paper. i handed out the b&w images & the kids had to find the matching color pic to win a prize. 

Prizes & Snacks: 

bc what's party without some treats, LOL? 

luckily, i had some leftover water, fruit snacks & mini rice krispie treats from my halloween party.

i purchased fairy tale finger puppets from OTC to hand out as prizes; the kids loved them, they were really great!

although pre-registration filled up very quickly, we had quite a few "no shows", probably due to some really nasty rain that day. Still, this was a super fun program for those who did show up. many of the girls dressed up as princesses so maybe next time i will dress up too

baby & me: we hear with our ears

Mystery Box: Inside our mystery box, we found an egg shaker, a baby bird & a train whistle.

I took each item out one by one and we sang:

Prop Song: Do You Know What Sound This Makes 
(tune: Muffin Man)

Do you know what sound this makes, what sound this makes, what sound this makes?
Do you know what sound this makes?

Puppet Song:  Tick Tock Tick Tock

Used my Folkmanis Puppet for this one:

Tick tock, tick tock
I’m a little cuckoo clock
Tick tock, tick tock
Now I’m striking ONE o’clock 

Books We Read:
Polar Bear Polar Bear- Martin
Whose Ears- Rowe

For today's Flannel Board, see my previous post HERE.

Two nice, small groups. many of my babies are aging out of this program & the grownups are asking about moving up to toddler time so i will be needing new babies soon LOL!