Friday, March 16, 2018

toddler time: cute clouds & wonderful rainbows

Mystery Box: When we opened the mystery box, we found a RAINBOW! And also a CLOUD!

I wrote this one myself this morning & it's kind of silly but it worked great!
Tune: If You’re Happy
Have you ever seen a rainbow or a cloud? (clap clap)
Have you ever seen a rainbow or a cloud? (clap clap)
A cloud is fluffy & so white
But a rainbow’s very bright
Have you ever seen a rainbow or a cloud? (clap clap)

Raise your hand if you’ve seen a rainbow!
Raise your hand if you’ve seen a cloud!
Where did you see them? 
Up in the sky!

Books We Read:
Duckie’s Rainbow- Barry
It Looked Like Spilt Milk -Shaw

Prop Story: Rainbow Stew

Always a winner!!!! See previous post HERE.
I usually use felt fruits but switched to toy fruits instead this time & I LOVED it!

Flannel Board: 5 Little Clouds

Last seen HERE. I love not having to reinvent the wheel every week! Reusing these felt boards is a huge time saver!

Craft: Rainbow Cloud Decorations

I printed clipart clouds onto white paper & pre-cut them so kids could just color. We decorated with cotton balls and these super cool rainbow streamers, then hole punched the top & added a white ribbon for hanging. LOVE LOVE LOVE this craft!!!! Simple but they came out sooo cute!

An amazing class today BOTH TIMES!! Both sessions were full but everyone was engaged.  This one is a keeper: great books, prop song, & craft!! 

The only sad thing was that one of my favorite caregivers who I've gotten to know a little over the past couple of years is leaving to return to Brazil and i will miss her; she is an awesome nanny!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

winter 2018 parent workshops

our early literacy "Babies & Brew" workshops continue to be a huge success with lots of families attending each month. here are some recent additions and activities:

  • in January, our sensory station activity was Make a Blizzard in a Bottle! we used small water bottles, blue food color, glitter and snowflake confetti to make a winter version of last fall's Pumpkin Sensory Bottle activity.

  • for February's workshop, we had a super fun art station! scented dot art markers from Lakeshore were used to create beautiful artwork on paper plates. we attached ribbon for hanging. these markers are so fun!

  • another cool new addition is our Ball Pit! it was purchased on amazon and there are so many inexpensive options there, it was hard to pick one. this $18 play pit turned out to be the perfect size because it easily fits 2-3 little ones BUT did not require me to purchase 10,000 crush proof, BPA free colorful balls to fill it up LOL! we have 400 balls which cost about 40 bucks. The play pit also folds down to a completely flat shape for easy storage so GREAT purchase! the kids LOVED it!

Friday, February 23, 2018

toddler time:crazy for cookies! (& Cookie Monster!)

Mystery Box: When we opened the mystery box, we found cookies!  Who likes cookies? 

Not surprisingly, most of the kids enthusiasticly raised their hands!

Who ELSE loves cookies? Cookie Monster!! 

We passed out paper cookies from my homemade paper cookie jar (see photo below) to all the kids and said our rhyme:

Hold your cookie up high
Hold your cookie down low
Hold your cookie & turn around
Hold your cookie up high
Hold your cookie down low
Put your cookie on the ground.

Books We Read:
Sesame Street: Cookie Countdown

I really wanted to read the cookie dough book by Karen Beaumont as well but i knew my kids would probably never sit for it with all the other songs & stuff. i hope re-use the flannel board & craft with that book someday at my Wednesday afternoon program with different kids.

Prop Story: Let’s Make Cookies!

(i bought this cute little set at Target a few weeks ago for $3 and I LOVE it!!!)

Do you want to bake some cookies with me?
Ok, first I need my APRON, 

i found this cute apron at Home Goods a while back & i knew it would come in handy eventually!

then I need my HAT. 

this chef hat is from a dress up set i purchased @lakeshore learning!  

Also my blue BOWL and my yellow SPOON

What should we put in our cookies?
Flour, sugar, butter, eggs...
how about some chocolate chips?
Stir it up!

Let’s put them on the cookie tray! How many should we make?
(place on tray wrong side up from bowl with spoon)

One little two little three little cookies
4 little five little six little cookies
Seven little eight little nine little cookies
10 little cookies ready to BAKE!

Bake em up, bake em up, in the oven
Bake em up, bake em up, in the oven
Bake em up, bake em up, in the oven
10 little cookies on a cookie tray!

Ok, let’s leave them in the oven for a few minutes & do a song!


Wait, I smell cookies!!
Are our cookies ready now?  let’s check!


(Turn over cookies using the spatula so everyone can see the chocolate chips!)

One little two little three little cookies
4 little five little six little cookies
Seven little eight little nine little cookies
10 little cookies ready to EAT

Oh now who’s going to eat all these cookies?
I can never eat that many!
Maybe Cookie Monster will eat them!

Cookie Monster eats all the cookies, 
Cookie Monster eats all the cookies, 
Cookie Monster eats all the cookies! 
All the cookies are gone!

He says he’s still hungry for MORE cookies!! 
Do you want to feed him your cookie too?

the kids loved feeding their cookie to Cookie Monster!

Flannel Board: Hide & Seek with Cookie Monster

Count up the houses & say the colors together.

Where is Cookie Monster? 
He’s playing hide and seek!
Is he inside the orange house?
Let's take a peek...

Somehow, both groups correctly guessed right away that he was hiding in the blue house (darn!), so I quickly explained that Cookie Monster wanted to play some more & i hid my flannel board from them so I could hide him again. I put him under the blue house again, which no one suspected! then I told them that Cookie Monster sure is sneaky LOLOL!

Craft: Cookie Monster Puppets

Used this craft a few years ago so i already had a template! i love not having to reinvent the wheel every week!

I cut blue construction paper circle faces, eyes and mouths so kids could just color & glue. We taped on jumbo popsicle sticks to make puppets.

This was a super fun theme! The book was fun bc the kids were so excited to see all their favorite characters! The craft, felt board & prop story were all wonderful; what a difference from last week!!!!!! 

Two favorite stories from today: 

- one dad who told me this was his favorite week ever LOL!

-  in the second session, I took off my apron but I didn’t notice that my necklace had broken & it fell on the floor. One of the moms gave it to me & I just tossed it on my media cart for later. When the room emptied out, I saw that some wonderful person had fixed it for me & I’m wearing it right now! So NICE!!!!!!!

Friday, February 16, 2018

toddler time: silly snakes!

Mystery Box: Inside our polka dotted box, we found a SNAKE! What does a snake say? HISSSSSS!

Note to self: it's better to show the snake in the box & slowly remove him. (I think i scared a couple of the little ones when i pulled him out quickly in the first session!!)

I let kids come up & pet Mr Snake or shake his rattle-y tail. they liked his tongue & little white teeth, especially the boys!

Puppet Song: Oh I Wish I Was a Silly Slippery Snake

TUNE: If You’re Happy

Oh I wish I was a silly slippery snake HISS HISS
Oh I wish I was a silly slippery snake HISS HISS
I’d slither across the floor
Then I’d slip under the door
Oh I wish I was a silly slippery snake HISS HISS

Books We Read:
Spotted Splendid Snake- Wilensky
No, Silly - Krug

Flannel Board: Six Silly Snakes

i bought this clipart on Etsy. the snakes are so cute but they kind of remind me of another "S" word LOL!)

One silly snake alone and blue,
Called for a friend. 
And then there were two.

Two silly snakes, fast as can be,
They called for a friend. 
Hiss! Hiss!
Then there were three.

Three silly snakes, slithering by the door
They called for a friend. 
Hiss! Hiss! Hiss!
Then there were four.

Four silly snakes, happy and alive,
They called for a friend. 
Hiss! Hiss! Hiss! Hiss!
Then there were five!

Five silly snakes, doing silly tricks,
They called for a friend. 
Hiss! Hiss! Hiss! Hiss! Hiss!
Then there were six!

Six silly snakes tired of all the fun
Said "Time for a nap!" 
Hiss! Hiss! Hiss! Hiss! Hiss! Hiss! (remove each)
Then there were none!!

Shaker Egg Song:

I passed out eggs & played Jim Gill’s I’m Gonna Shake Shake Shake My Sillies Out! So fun!

Craft: Silly Spiral Snakes

I printed these cute spiral snakes on brightly colored cardstock for kids to color.

There are a few to choose from but I loved this one from

We cut them out & added sticker eyes and red ribbon tongues. LOVED IT!

So this was one of those weeks where I had a lot going on & i just felt like i could not catch up. i originally planned a SILLY themed program with Wood's Silly Sally book then I scrapped the whole thing the night before & focused more of a letter S class with Silly, Snakes, and Shaking instead.

This whole week was rough for me, all of my programs were on the wild side. i loved this theme & the books, songs & flannel were great. school vacation weeks are sometimes like this because our regulars go away & the families that show up have lots of siblings with them or are kind new so they aren't as familiar with the routines. i think everyone still had fun, just kind of chaotic.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

celebrating Mo Willems & the pigeon!

this week, we celebrated the wonderful stories of one of our most favorite authors in the whole world: Mo Willems, in honor of his birthday. 

The kids made paper plate pigeon puppets (from Smashed Peas & Carrots)...

...and everyone signed a homemade card to send to Mo. 

A co-worker created artwork for an awesome display of Mo Willems’ books available for check out. 

Kids could also search the children’s area for colorful pigeons for our Pigeon Scavenger Hunt and create their own pigeon artwork at our coloring station. We will extend these activities for the rest of the month so lots of children have the chance to participate!

for next week, we are planning another Mo Willems read aloud featuring the stories of Elephant & Piggie so stay tuned!

Monday, February 12, 2018

all you need is love: valentine crafts for 2018

just a quick post about this year's valentine crafts!

a valentine craft extravaganza for kids ages 4+ is a holiday tradition here at my library & we usually have great attendance, weather permitting!!! this year was no exception; the room was packed. 

i usually purchase kits from OTC, then supplement that with a coloring or other similar activity. this year i ordered valentine treat buckets that kids decorated with foam alphabet & heart stickers -- so cute!

i also printed cute butterfly lollipop valentines to color (above -- click here for template) AND these adorable valentine people (below -- template found here)

some of the pieces were pre-cut to make crafting easier/faster for the kids and lots of cute valentine stickers from Michaels were used to decorate! 

for Toddler Time this week, i found the cutest idea ever! You can read the instructions HERE

first i printed these "I Love You To Pieces" printables on red paper, folded them in half & cut out the hearts.

 i gave the toddlers a few pieces of streamers in red, pinks and purples. they ripped up the pieces and put them between 2 pieces of contact paper. 

when you slip the finished creation into the red paper sleeve, it looks almost like stained glass! we added a nice ribbon for hanging. so pretty! everyone loved it. might become our toddler v-day craft EVERY year (-:

Happy Valentines Day!

Friday, January 19, 2018

toddler time: warm mittens & cozy hats

Mystery Box: Inside our polka dotted box, we found a HAT! and MITTENS & a scarf too!

Prop Song: When It's Cold Out

Where do you put a hat – on your elbow? On your knee? On your head????

One warm hat goes on my head,
On my head, on my head!
One warm hat goes on my head…
When its cold out!

Oh, and here are MITTENS? Where do those go??? On your knees? On your ears????

Two little mittens go on my hands…

What is this???? A SCARF! Do you wrap this around your waist? Does it go around your eyes???

One cozy scarf goes around my neck….

What do you wear on your feet when it’s cold?

Two big boots go on my feet….

Flannel Board: Snowflake, Snowflake, Where Can You Be?

I have some hats to show you! Let’s count them together! Can you show me 5 fingers like this?

There is a snowflake hiding under one of these hats, can you help me find it?

Snowflake, snowflake where can you be?
Under which hat can you be seen?

Is it under this hat?

No, that’s a… mitten!

We also discovered a cloud, a bunny and a butterfly before we finally found our snowflake!

Puppet Song: Mitten in the Snow

Today on my way to the library, I dropped my mitten!
It landed in a big pile of snow!
The mitten in the snow, the mitten in the snow
Hi ho, its cold outside, the mitten in the snow!
And guess who came by?
He was soooo cold, he hopped right into my mitten!
The owl snuggles in, the owl snuggles in
Hi ho, it’s cold outside, the owl snuggles in
Guess who else was cold?
(Repeat for other animals, Bear last!)

Pop all the animals into the mitten, one at a time but skip the singing.  just sing when all the animals are in the mitten!
The animals snuggled in, the animals snuggled in!
Hi ho, its cold outside, the animals snuggled in!)

Then, Bear said I think I’m going to sneeze AAAAACHOOOOOO!
The Bear said achoo, the bear said achoo!
And everyone fell out of the mitten in the snow
Count up animals & put them on the board.

Books We Read:
Under My Hood I Have A Hat- Kuskin (this book is soooooo awesome!!)

Craft: Paper Bag Mittens

I printed mittens for everyone on colorful paper and pre-cut them. The kids could decorate them with crayons, stickers & their names, then glue them to a brown paper bag. some kids asked for more stickers so i brought out a tin filled with various old stickers & gave everyone a handful which made for some very unique mittens LOL!

I also passed out animals from our story for them to color, cut & put in their “mittens.” I was afraid this might be a bit too time consuming but the kids really liked it! The animals could always be finished later on at home & were good scissor practice too. I also gave the option of skipping the animal component and making just a cute mitten so this activity was very versatile!

We had two nice sized groups today, very well behaved and engaged. I shortened the mitten song for the second group & it worked great! I LOVE LOVE LOVED the prop song and putting on my winter gear because the kids were either completely mesmerized or totally horrified by how silly I looked in my pom pom beanie hat, I’m not sure which! The book and hat felt board were great & I loved the craft too!