Wednesday, May 24, 2017

kids craft: from caterpillar to butterfly!

As I browsing the Lakeshore Learning site for new toys a few weeks ago, something special caught my eye: a butterfly nursery!. I thought the kids at my branch would really enjoy watching the whole caterpillar butterfly life cycle and we had a little money to spend so I ordered it along with their butterfly craft kit.

Our caterpillars arrived yesterday, just in time for our Butterfly Program! I set up the nursery, introduced the caterpillars to the kids and explained what would be happening in the next couple of weeks. Everyone was so excited!

Our awesome new Butterfly Nursery from Lakeshore Learning!

I invited everyone to suggest names for our six new friends!

Books We Read:
Hedgehugs and the Hattiepillar - Wilson (cute!)
Butterfly, Butterfly- Horacek
Caterpillar's Wish - Murphy (LOVE!)

Craft: Butterfly Collages from Lakeshore Learning. They came out beautiful! The kids were so proud!

Game: Butterfly, Butterfly, Make Me a Match!

I found some colorful butterflies on the web and printed them on the color printer. I printed two of each so all the participants could draw one butterfly from my beach bucket and find the matching one somewhere in the program room to win a prize! (leftover VHC stuff)

The room was packed for this program! The craft was awesome! The game was slightly chaotic due to a lot of people in a small space. The books worked pretty well too. The stars of the day had to be the caterpillars, of course! 

I will try to post an update with the butterfly names and photos in a couple of weeks! Fingers crossed!!

Friday, May 19, 2017

toddler time: pandas at play!

Mystery Box: Inside our polka dotted box, we found a Panda Bear!

Puppet Song #1: I am a Panda

(Tune: You are my Sunshine)
I am a panda, a furry panda
I live in China and eat bamboo
It is a thick grass that grows in my land
And it isn’t that easy to chew.

Usually get a few chuckles at the end of that if anyone is paying attention LOL!

Then I brought out the little panda finger puppet for the next song.

Puppet Song #2: Two Furry Pandas

2 furry pandas sitting on the wall
One named BIG, the other named Small.
Run away BIG! Runaway Small!
Come back BIG! Come back Small.

Books We Read: 
Panda Big and Panda Small- Cabrera (this book is so cute but it just didn’t work well today ???????)

Flannel Board: Five Little Pandas

See my previous post HERE.

The kids loved this one, especially when we covered our eyes and yelled "PEEK A BOO!"

Puppet Song: Panda's Shirt

(I found these cute panda puppets on ebay a few months ago and they are just adorable! I put all the shirted bears into the box and pulled them out one at a time so it felt like he was really switching shirts. Started with the shirtless Panda from the Mystery Box)

One morning Little Panda woke up and decided to get dressed!

He wanted to wear something the same color as his favorite animal: LP LOVES turtles! (show turtle)

What color is Turtle? GREEN!
So he went to his closet and found....his GREEN shirt!
Panda wore a green shirt, green shirt, green shirt, Panda wore a green shirt all day long!

Then at lunch, Panda wanted to wear something the same color as his favorite food in the whole world: LP LOVES apples! What color is his apple? RED!

So he hoped into his closet & put on his RED shirt!
Panda wore a red shirt, red shirt, red shirt, Panda wore a red shirt all day long!

At dinner time, Panda wanted to wear something the same color as his favorite toy: What color is Panda's toy ball? BLUE!

So he put on his BLUE shirt!
Panda wore a blue shirt, blue shirt, blue shirt, Panda wore a blue shirt all day long!

At bedtime, He wanted to wear something the same color as his most favorite person: LP LOVES his Dad! (Brought out big Panda hand puppet) What color is Daddy Panda? Black & White!
So he took off his GREEN shirt so he could be black & white just like his dad!
Panda was black & white, black & white, black & white, Panda was black & white all night long!

…and the pandas fell fast asleep! Goodnight Pandas!

Craft: Bow Tie Pandas

I found this cute panda template at Crafty Pammy.

I printed everything and cut the pieces for over 40 pandas! Then the day before my program, I worried it was too much for toddlers so I pasted all the bodies and legs together myself. Not very smart! But the right thing to do LOL!
Kids glued ears to the heads & the heads to the bodies. Then, we added a cute bow tie to the neck or hair bow to the top of the head. So cute!!

Our first session was big and the second one kinda small. Next time, will use a different book like Panda Bear, Panda Bear instead. Great theme, loved my craft and puppet songs too!

Monday, May 8, 2017

kids craft: may the 4th be with you star wars party

Image may contain: people standing and indoor

Although only one of our team members at my library is a Star Wars fan, we decided to have a May the 4th Be With You Party this week and it was awesome! I knew Star Wars was popular with the kids in the neighborhood, but I was not expecting such a great turn out!

No automatic alt text available.

As our guests arrived, we gave them JEDI Training Cards which listed all the different stations around the branch, including:

No automatic alt text available.
Empire Strikes Back Mini Bowling

Image may contain: people sitting
Jedi Name Generator Station

Image may contain: people sitting, table and indoor
Jedi Disguise Mask Craft Table

Image may contain: indoor
Library Scavenger Hunt

Balloon Light Saber Craft

As the kids completed the activities, they traded their training cards in at the circ desk for a Jedi Knight certificate signed by Yoda!

No automatic alt text available.

We also offered a photo prop station, tattoos, refreshments, prizes, two pinatas and an awesome Star Wars book display!

Image may contain: 3 people, indoor

No automatic alt text available.

No automatic alt text available.

The last minute finishing touch was the Star Wars background music playing from our stereo! It really set the mood and made the program seem special.

We probably had over 50 kids participating in this program, making it one of our most successful events ever! My favorite parts were the masks, the light sabers, the refreshment table and the scavenger hunt! the bowling was super cute too! The training cards really helped organize everything so no one missed any stations or activities. 

Most of the stations were based on ideas i found on pinterest or other sites and we bought almost everything from Oriental Trading Co.

A great day!

Friday, April 28, 2017

toddler time: welcome to my tea party

Mystery Box: Inside our polka dotted box, we found a TEAPOT (that i printed on the color printer and laminated)! What color is our teapot? Pink!

We sang both verses of I'm a Little Teapot!

I'm a little teapot short & stout
here is my handle, here is my spout.
when i get all steamed up, hear me shout!
tip me over & pour me out.

I'm a special teapot, yes it's true.
now let me show you what i can do.
i can switch my handle and my spout!
tip me over & pour me out.

Books We Read: 
Ruby’s Tea for Two- Wells
I’m a Little Teapot- Kubler
If You’re Happy… - Carter
Bunnies for Tea (not in our collection but maybe for next time around?)

After the Ruby & Max book, I passed out cardstock tea cups to all the kids and we did:

Hold your teacup up high!
Hold your teacup down low
Hold your teacup & turn around...

Flannel Board: Tea Party by Laurie Berkner from Superhero CD -- Love this new cd!

I just placed the items (puppets and tea stuff are a recent Etsy purchase! other items were just printed from my color printer) on my felt board as we went thru the song! You start with just guests, then pass out tea cups, milk, sugar, treats, etc so you have an awesome party by the end.

Craft: Paper plate Teapots

I printed the teapots (from HERE) on colorful paper & cut them out. We folded a small paper plate in half and glued the teapot on so it could tip back and forth. We passed out eye stickers in case anyone wanted to do a “happy” teapot and also cupcake stickers for decoration.

Two great sessions today. first one was CRAZYYYYYY busy but the second one was on the smaller side. love this theme and so did the kids. craft was wonderful and i loved the flannel board too.

Friday, April 21, 2017

toddler time: 3 - 2 - 1 - blast off!

Mystery Box: Inside our polka dotted box, we found a cool ROCKET!

Our song and flannel board are from Welcome to Storytime!

I’m a little rocket, tall and thin.  [stand with arms stretched overhead]
Here is my nose cone.  [fingertips meet overhead to form cone]
Here is my fin. [hold arms from sides pointing down like fins]
When I get all fired up,
Launch begins.
Watch me rise  [jump up]
And see me spin! [spin in place]

I sang this once with my rocketship in my hand, then again with motions so everyone could join in. it was awesome!! 

i must have looked even sillier than usual because people were like "wow!"

Books We Read: 
I Want to Be an Astronaut- Barton (session #1)
Rocket Countdown Sharratt (both sessions)
High Higher- Patricelli (session #2)

Flannel Board: Five Little Rockets

I placed the rockets on the board then we added some other items to make the board look more like outer space!

Five little rockets ready to zoom,
This one says, “There’s not enough room.”
It starts its engine;
Ready to fly,
Looks at the others and waves good-bye.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1, blast off!

I read a neat trick about stapling rubber bands to your rockets so you can flick them into the air & I gave it a try. Everyone really liked that part, as well as counting down each time. Really helped to keep everyone’s attention.

Puppet Rhyme: Zoom Zoom Zoom

I brought out my sun, moon and star puppets for this one. Again, the counting down and blasting off was so fun! See Jbrary for more on this terrific fingerplay.

Craft: Rockets

I printed the clipart rockets on colorful cardstock & cut them out. I cut circles from shiny silver paper for kids to glue on as windows. We added star stickers and streamers. The rockets came out sooo cute!!

Two full really fun sessions today! LOVED my craft & the Sharratt book was amazing!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

baby & me: 1 2 3 - count with me!

Mystery Box: Inside our mystery box, we found mice! How many mice do we have? Let’s COUNT them: 1 -2 -3-4-5!

Puppet Song #1: Five Little Mice

a little twist on the classic This Little Piggie -- so cute!

This little mouse went shopping
This little mouse stayed home
This little mouse ate cupcakes
This little mouse had none
And this little mouse cried squeak squeak squeak all the way home!

Puppet Song #2: Ten Little Bunnies 

the bunnies from last week are back; perfect for our counting theme today!

I have 1, I have 2, I have 3 little bunnies
I have 4, I have 5, I have 6 little bunnies
I have 7, I have 8, I have 9 little bunnies
10 little bunnies on my hands!

They can hop, they can hop, they can hop – in the morning! (move hands up and down)
They can hop, they can hop, they can hop – in the evening!
They can hop, they can hop, they can hop – in the moonlight!
10 little bunnies on my hands!

They can dance, they can dance, they can dance – in the morning!
They can dance, they can dance, they can dance – in the evening!
They can dance, they can dance, they can dance – in the moonlight!
10 little bunnies on my hands!

Books We Read:
Look Look Again – cute but only got thru a few pages. Maybe better for toddlers.
Big Fat Hen- Baker

Flannel Board: Five Little Kernels

Found this awesome post from Storytime Katie on Flannel Friday HERE.

Really nice group today with about 20 babies! Highlight of the program: my manager's 16 month old pulled the fire alarm on the wall in the middle of The Wheels on the Bus. First time that ever happened! Luckily, she jumped right up to shut it off so I just continued with the "Shh Shh Shh" part like nothing happened. at first, not a single baby cried but then like 5 minutes later a couple of them started but we got thru it just fine LOL!

Friday, April 14, 2017

toddler time: peekaboo bunnies

Mystery Box: Inside our polka dotted box, we found something green! It looks like lettuce or cabbage or something. I have a friend hiding in here, who could it be? I showed the kids his ears peeking out and everyone started guessing that it was a BUNNY!

(tune: Are You Sleeping)
Where is bunny? Where is bunny?
Here I am! Here I am.
How are you today Bunny?
Very well, I thank you!
Go to sleep! Go to sleep!
(or stay & play! Stay & play! -- depending on what you want him to do LOL!)

Bunny has some friends hiding here in his garden of lettuce! Let's find them together.

I found this idea at one of my favorite blogs: Storytime Katie! She is a genius! It works perfectly with my Bunny puppet.

There's someone in Bunny's garden
that we can't really see.
there's someone in Bunny's garden--
who could it be??

then I give a clue like:
this friend is red and black - ladybug
this friend is green and makes a cocoon - caterpillar
this friend is very colorful and flutters in the sky- butterfly

how many friends did we find in the garden? let's count then together!
if there's not too many kids, I like to give the kids a chance to pet the bunny or other puppets before i put them away. Sometimes we played peekaboo with Bunny: "where is bunny? peeka-BOO!"

Books We Read:
Hooray for Hoppy- Hopgood (tried to make this interactive but lost some kids here. book is very cute!)

Flannel Board: Look in the Garden

today I want to show you a garden - what is growing there? carrots!
how many carrots do you see -- let's count them up together!
who do you think lives in the garden? Bunny does! (put him on the board)
what do you think he will do with his carrots? eat them!!

Printable images & templates from

Puppet Song: Little Bunny in a Carrot

Then I passed out little cardstock carrots to all the kids for:

Hold your carrot up
Hold your carrot down
Hold your carrot & turn around
Hold your carrot up
Hold your carrot down
Put your carrot on the ground.

do you like to eat carrots?? Who else loves carrots? Bunny!!

I pulled out my Feed the Bunny Prop!

Prop Song: Feed the Bunny

Craft: Peekaboo Bunnies

I printed cute little bunnies to color. we taped them on a jumbo craft stick and glued a cotton ball tail on the back. i gave everyone green paper cups so the bunnies could pop up and down. 

everyone loved their peekaboo bunnies today! i wish i had thought to hand out stickers to decorate the cups but i had a lot to pass out. the second session was very full (like 25 kids) so i was just trying to keep up with everyone. a little chaotic today, even the first session which was only like 16 kids. maybe extra excitement due to the holiday? still a fun day despite the extra chaos!!