Monday, December 23, 2013

toddler time: Gingerbread Fun!


Our toddler theme today was GINGERBREAD.



Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a gingerbread man! What color is the gingerbread man’s shirt? Yellow!

We passed out gingerbread man puppets to each child for our next rhyme:
Put your gingerbread men UP, put your gingerbread men DOWN
Hold your gingerbread men and turn around!
Put your gingerbread men UP, put your gingerbread men DOWN
Put your gingerbread men down on the ground





Books We Read:
Maisy Makes Gingerbread- Cousins
The Gingerbread Family- Maccarone


Great Gingerbread Rhymes:

Stir a bowl of gingerbread,
Smooth and spicy brown.
Roll it with a rolling pin,
Up and up and down.
With a cookie cutter,
Make some little men.
Put them in the oven,
Till half past ten.

Gingerbread Song (tune "The Muffin Man")
Oh, do you know the Gingerbread Man,
The Gingerbread Man, the Gingerbread Man?
Oh, do you know the Gingerbread Man,
Who ran and ran and ran?

He said, "Catch me if you can,
If you can, if you can."
He said, "Catch me if you can,
Then ran and ran and ran.

I can run like the Gingerbread Man.
The Gingerbread Man, the Gingerbread Man.
I can run like the Gingerbread Man.
Now catch me if you can.

Gingerbread (to the tune of "Frere Jacques")
Gingerbread, Gingerbread,
Yum, Yum, Yum! Yum, Yum, Yum!
I like gingerbread! I like gingerbread!
In my tummy! In my tummy!



Flannel Story: 5 Yummy Gingerbread Boys


One yummy gingerbread boy
with buttons of blue.
________ bakes another one.

Now there are TWO!
Two yummy gingerbread boys,
by the winter tree.

________ bakes another one.
Now there are THREE!

Three yummy gingerbread boys,
with sprinkles galore.

________ bakes another one.
Now there are FOUR!
Four yummy gingerbread boys,
they almost look alive!

________ bakes another one.
Now there are FIVE!



Puppet Songs:

I begin by showing this adorable gingerbread house that I got on Etsy. I tell everyone that I am looking for my gingerbread boy.



Where is My Gingerbread Man?
(to the tune of "Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?")
Oh where, oh where is my Gingerbread Man?
Oh where, oh where can he be?
He popped out of the oven and ran out the door.
Oh where, oh where can he be?



Maybe he’s behind this little door? We check but he’s not there!

Do you think he’s INSIDE the house? Should we check? Let’s count 1,2,3 – there he is!



Do you know what this gingerbread boy likes to do? Run!!!!

The Gingerbread Man(tune of "The Wheels on the Bus")
The Gingerbread Man runs through the town,
Through the town, through the town.
The Gingerbread Man goes through the town,
Singing, "Catch me if you can!"

He found a friend of his, someone who is black & white and says MOO. Do you know who it is?

He ran away from a cow,
From a cow, from a cow.
He ran away from a cow,
Singing, "Catch me if you can!"




Repeat with PIG (someone pink who says Oink) & DOG (someone furry who says Woof!) & FOX (someone with orange fur and a pointy nose)OR whatever puppets you have on hand.

Then he came to a fox,
To a fox, to a fox.
Then he came to a fox,
And the fox said, "You can trust me."
Then he ate him up!
Yes sir-ee!

I made this fox from orange felt and his mouth opens so he can eat the gingerbread boy.


Craft: We made gingerbread ornaments from Oriental Trading Co. today & everyone loved them!



Another wonderful class today!!

Friday, December 20, 2013

baby & me: Presents!


Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a reindeer! Check out his cool green & red striped scarf!






Books We Read: 
Its Holiday Time- Bennett (colorful illustrations & short rhyming text really worked for this age group.
With Love from Maisy- Cousins (just showed the presents & what was inside each one.)

Fun Holiday Rhyme:

Mix and Stir
Mix and stir and pat in the pan
(make stirring motion with Baby's hands, then pat baby’s tummy.)
I’m going to make a gingerbread man
(Trace outline of baby’s shape on head and shoulders with index fingers.)
With a nose so neat (Touch baby’s nose.)
And a smile so sweet (Touch baby’s mouth.)
And gingerbread shoes on his gingerbread feet. (Touch baby’s feet.)


Flannel Story: Three Gifts

I found this idea on an awesome blog: In the Children's Room.

I stacked three presents on top of each other with a felt heart at the bottom for this cute rhyme:



I hope there’s something waiting in this big box just for me.
What can it be? Lets unwrap it in 1,2,3…



Its another box!
I hope there’s something waiting in this blue box just for me.
What can it be? Lets unwrap it in 1,2,3…




Its another box!
I hope there’s something waiting in this green box just for me.
What can it be? Lets unwrap it in 1,2,3…




It’s a heart!
I opened all my boxes and what did I see?
Love from my family & friends, just waiting there for me!


Puppet: Three White Mice in a Box

Three White Mice
My red box is a present
But it isn’t what you think
There are three little friends inside
With noses that are pink

Can you guess what they are
They are three white mice!
With their long white tails
Don’t they look nice?

(But they like their home
As you can see
They’re going back in
So say goodbye, 1 2 3)



A small group today, all girls! The babies were more interested in the shaker eggs that me for most of the program, but they did love the mouse puppet!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

grinch party


I love the holiday season and it's so fun to celebrate at the library. I admit that I do struggle a little bit to find a way to balance a variety of traditions, faiths and beliefs in the public setting. A few years ago, I had some success with a "Holiday Craft Party" format. I would read a Christmas tale, a Hanukkah story and a a Kwanza book. Then I had three different crafts available and the kids could make whichever one (or ones) they chose. The first couple of years, we had great attendance but then it started dropping off & I knew I had to change the format.

So, I decided to focus on a well known holiday book instead and build my program around it. Last December, we had a Polar Express Party, with a book reading, train crafts and refreshments. We even gave out train tickets; it was a huge success! This year, I chose to build my holiday program around the meanest, cruelest, most horrible Christmas villain of all time: the Grinch!!

First, we read Dr Seuss’s classic tale How the Grinch Stole Christmas. This story always gets me in the holiday spirit and I still love to watch the animated version on tv each year. It's not exactly a short book, but the children were surprisingly still and quiet! Many of them were familiar with the story of course and I tried to make it a little bit interactive whenever I could by asking for a show of hands, letting them fill in the blanks, etc.

After the story, it was time for crafts!

Craft #1: Grinch decoration

Grinch template (found here)



Finished Grinch!


I printed the Grinch face & hat pattern for the kids to color, cut & paste. We added cotton to the hats and red foam hearts with green glitter. As they were putting their Grinches together, I came around with:

Craft #2: Grinch Dust

We put some white sugar in a small baggie along with a drop of yellow & a drop of blue food coloring. After the baggie is sealed, you mix it with your fingers thru the bag to blend the colors into the sugar and turn it GREEN! The kids loved this! We taped our Grinch Dust poem (found here)to the bags to remind us to sprinkle the dust in our yards on Christmas Eve.



We ate green ice cream in honor of the Grinch (my favorite: Mint Chocolate Chip.) I was shocked to find out that some children do not like this flavor!! I could not have done this party without help from the amazing team of people that I work with; its definitely an “all hands on deck”, labor  intensive kind of program, but the kids and parents LOVED it, so to me,  it was a huge success! We had a great crowd.


Monday, December 16, 2013

toddler time: all about owls


Our toddler theme today was OWLS.

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a picture of an owl! What does an owl say? Hoot Hoot!

We passed out owl puppets to each child for our next rhyme:
Put your owls UP, put your owls DOWN
Hold your owls and turn around!
Put your owls UP, put your owls DOWN
Put your owls down on the ground




Books We Read:
Wow Said the Owl- Hopgood
Goodnight Owl- Dwell Studio

Outstanding Owl Rhymes & Songs:

Two little owls sitting on a hill
One named Jack, one named Jill
Fly away Jack, Fly away Jill
Come back Jack, come back Jill.


The owl’s eyes open wide at night (make round eyes with hands)
He looks to the left, he looks to the right
He turns his head around and around
And then he makes the scariest sound HOO HOOT!


Mr Owl (tune Twinkle Twinkle)
Late at night when your in bed
Mr Owl perks up his head
He looks left and he looks right
In all the dark all thru the night.
Hear him hoot when you’re in bed,
When Mr Owl perks up his head.


Flannel Story: 5 Little Owls Sitting in a Tree





First, I show everyone my felt tree, then I bring out the owls one at a time and we count them together. Five owls, can you show me five fingers??

5 little owls sitting in a tree
One flew away
How many do you see?

Repeat until all the owls are gone. 

Puppet Song: 




The Owl in the Tree
Tune: Skip to My Lou 
The owl in the tree goes Hoot Hoo Hoo
The owl in the tree goes Hoot Hoo Hoo
The owl in the tree goes Hoot Hoo Hoo
Hoo hoo hoo my darling

(or The Wheels on the Bus is a slight variation)
The owl in the tree goes hoo hoo hoo
Hoo hoo hoo
Hoo hoo hoo
The owl in the tree goes hoo hoo hoo
All night long

Repeat with birds in the nest, duck in the pond, chicken on the farm, etc.

Craft: We made owl paper bag puppets from the template I found here.
We decorated them with colorful feathers to make them extra special!






A wonderful class today!!




Friday, December 13, 2013

baby & me: Animal Movement


Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a blackbird. What does a bird say? Tweet, tweet! How does a bird move around? A bird flies






Books We Read: 
From Head to Toe- Carle (loved this one for the babies! We could point to the body parts in the text & do some of the movements together. GREAT!)
Tails Chasing Tails- Porter (despite the small size of this board book, some of the babies were paying close attention. Wish it were bigger.)
Do Donkeys Dance?- Walsh (great for my Animal Movement theme today but we ran out of time)


Flannel Story: Fox in a Box





Similar to the Mouse in the House felt board. I hid a little fox behind a felt square or box. I showed the bigger fox & said something like Let’s help Mama Fox find her little baby.

Little fox, little fox
Are you in the purple box?

Repeat with all the boxes until the baby fox is found. Some of the babies really enjoyed this today.

Puppet: Did You Ever See a Blackbird?




I found this theme & puppet song on Mel’s Desk. I made three popsicle stick puppets: Blackbird, Fishy, & Snake, but like she says you can really use any puppets you like. 


Did you ever see a blackbird, a blackbird, a blackbird,
Did you ever see a blackbird fly this way and that?
Fly this way, fly that way, fly this way, fly that way
Did you ever see a blackbird fly this way and that.

…a fishy swim this way and that
…a snake slither this way and that


We had a great class today despite some extremely cold temps. Although there wasn’t a ton of moms singing and in spite of a couple of distractions in the room, everyone seemed really happy & into the books and songs. We had a nice playtime after class also. Plus I got this wonderful Christmas card, which really made my day!





Saturday, December 7, 2013

toddler time: time for tools


Our toddler theme today was TOOLS.

Mystery Box: Inside the yellow box, we found a hammer.

We passed out paper tools (found here) to each child for our next rhyme:




Put your tools UP, put your tools DOWN
Hold your tools and turn around!
Put your tools UP, put your tools DOWN
Put your tools down on the ground

We also sang:

This is the way we pound our nails, pound our nails, pound our nails.
This is the way we pound our nails so early in the morning!
(tune: Mulberry Bush)
(Other verses: saw the wood, turn the screwdriver, drill a hole, paint the walls, etc)
from Everything Preschool (found thru a GREAT blog on this theme at Storytime Katie)



Books We Read:
Counting Tools 1 to 10- Rookie Toddler series
Fix It- Birkett
I Love Tools- Sturges
Tap Tap Bang Bang- Garcia


Flannel Story: Bob the Builder Had a Toolbox (tune: Old MacDonald)
I found this cute idea in a PUBYAC post. I used laminated clipart with velcro on the back to stick to the felt board. Bob is attached to a stick so he can be more mobile for this song!



Bob the Builder had a toolbox
ee-i-ee-i-o
And in that toolbox, he had a saw!
ee-i-ee-i-o
with a saw saw here and a saw saw there
here a saw, there a saw
everywhere a saw saw
Bob the Builder had a toolbox
ee-i-ee-i-o

Repeat with hammer (pound), screwdriver, saw


Prop Idea:
I didn't have time this week but next time I do this theme, I would love to make this amazing 5 Little Nails prop I found on Mel's Desk.



Craft:
We made Bob the Builder finger puppets from the template I found here.






baby & me: Cluck Cluck Chicken




Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a feather! What color is our feather? Blue!

I tried to let everyone touch the feather for a moment. Then, I asked them who has feathers? Birds and CHICKENS! And I pulled out my Folkmanis Hen puppet & we sang:

The hen in the nest goes Cluck, cluck, cluck!
Cluck, cluck, cluck
Cluck, cluck, cluck
The hen in the nest goes Cluck, cluck, cluck
All day long! (tune: Wheels on the Bus)

I pulled out my barn puppet set & we sang for “the cow in the field” & “the pig in the pen.”


Books We Read:
Hello Day- Lobel
Big Fat Hen- Baker
Charlie the Chicken- Denchfield


Flannel Story: from Mel’s Desk: This Little Chick

I put my chicks on the board one at a time as we said this rhyme:
This little chick is yellow
This little chick is brown
This little chick is pink
And this little chick is upside down!



Then, I said that is silly, right? And we fixed him so he was right side up & we counted all four chicks.

Puppet: Hen puppet (see above)

A small group today. Many of the moms seemed more interested in chatting & the kids were distracted as well, it usually happens that way. I cut things short again & brought out the toys. If the adults choose not to participate, it’s really difficult to keep the attention of the babies and that affects the type of program I can do. If the parents are responding, we can have a longer, better program.

Monday, December 2, 2013

toddler time: Colors and Crayons


Our toddler theme today was CRAYONS. (Thank goodness, because I am SO sick of turkeys! I think I did too many turkey themed programs during the past two weeks LOL!)


Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a brand new box of crayons. 

We passed out paper crayons to each child for our next rhyme:

Put your crayons UP, put your crayons DOWN
Hold your crayons and turn around!
Put your crayons UP, put your crayons DOWN
Put your crayons down on the ground

We also sang this one (tune: If You’re Happy & You Know It):

Put your crayons in the air, in the air!
Put your crayons in the air, in the air!
Put your crayons in the air, and shake it everywhere!
Put your crayons in the air, in the air!

Put your crayons on your toes, on your toes!
Put your crayons on your toes, on your toes!
Put your crayons on your toes, then put it one your nose!
Put your crayons on your toes, on your toes!





Books We Read:
My Crayons Talk- Hubbard
What Color is Your Underwear- Lloyd


Flannel Story: My Crayons Talk to Me 




I found this cute flannel board idea on in a great book called Book Tales by Joan Hilyer Phelps and due to copyright, I won't print the whole rhyme here, but there is a cute song to sing for each color as you pull them out of the box in a "guessing game" type format.





Craft:
We made red crayons using red paper and foam sheets. I cut crayon shapes before the program for the kids to decorate. We even put our initials on them which is great for letter recognition skills. Everyone loved their crayons and some planned to hang them up on their Christmas trees at home.


craft pieces



our finished craft


Even though it was Black Friday, we had a great group of kids today and a really fun program!



Tuesday, November 26, 2013

toddler time: Gobble Gobble Turkeys


Our toddler theme today was TURKEYS.

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a picture of a turkey. What does a turkey say? Gobble Gobble!!

We passed out turkey popsicle stick puppets to each child for our next rhyme:
Put your turkeys UP, put your turkeys DOWN
Hold your turkey and turn around!
Put your turkeys UP, put your turkeys DOWN
Put your turkey down on the ground



Books We Read:
Five Silly Turkeys - Yoon
Thank You, Thanksgiving - Milgrim (very short text, brightly colored illustrations, not a bad choice for this age group)






Flannel Story: Did You Ever See A Turkey? 

I found this cute flannel board idea on two great Flannel Friday posts, here and here. I laminated my turkey (printed from a great website: Detail Oriented Diva) & made three sets of feathers.






First, we look at Mr Turkey with NO feathers & I ask, “what is Mr Turkey missing?”

Then I put in the first set of feathers & we sing:




Did you ever see a turkey, a turkey, a turkey?
Did you ever see a turkey with feathers so bright?
With red ones and yellow ones and blue one and green ones?
Did you ever see a turkey with feathers so bright?

Next, I say something like, “the song says he has bright feathers, these are really bright, right?




Did you ever see a turkey, a turkey, a turkey?
Did you ever see a turkey with feathers so bright?
With hot pink and bright green and bright orange & bright red?
Did you ever see a turkey with feathers so bright?

But what if he had STRIPED feathers, should we try that?




Did you ever see a turkey, a turkey, a turkey?
Did you ever see a turkey with feathers so striped
With red stripes and yellow stripes and green stripes and blue stripes?
Did you ever see a turkey with feathers so bright?

Sometimes I ask the class which set of feathers are their favorite!



Puppet:  Mr Turkey & Mr Duck





I have a friend for you to meet today, are you ready? 
It's Mr Turkey! And this is his friend, Mr Duck. 
What does a turkey say? (Gobble gobble) 
And what does a duck say? (quack quack)
Would you like to hear their song?

(Tune: Yankee Doodle)
Start with both puppets behind your back.

Mr Turkey went out one day  (bring out Turkey)
in bright sunshine-y weather. 
He met a duck along the way (bring out Duck)
They stopped to talk together.
GOBBLE GOBBLE GOBBLE!(Turkey & Duck face each other & talk)
QUACK QUACK QUACK!
GOBBLE GOBBLE GOBBLE!
QUACK QUACK QUACK!
GOBBLE GOBBLE GOBBLE!
QUACK QUACK QUACK!
And then they both went back (walk both back behind your back)
QUACK!(bring out Duck for one last quack!)


Craft:
I found an awesome turkey puppet template online; just print on cardstock, decorate and cut! We added some glitter for a festive touch!





Friday, November 22, 2013

baby & me: giving thanks!


Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a TURKEY! What does a turkey say? Gobble gobble!!




Books We Read: 
Five Silly Turkeys – Yoon (worked great, the moms & dads joined in for the counting)
Eat- Intrater (love how you can point to your chin, hair, etc., as the baby’s face gets dirty in this one; makes it much more interactive!)


Flannel Story: I am Thankful

I changed a couple of lines of this cute Thanksgiving song, it worked really well for me.

First, we put the four pieces on the felt board & identified them: a sun, a moon, fruit bowl, & children.




Then we sang this song (tune: Twinkle, Twinkle):

Thank you for the sun so bright
Thank you for the moon at night
Thank you for the food I eat
Thank you for the friends I meet
Thanks for everything I see (point to eyes)
I am thankful yessiree!


Puppet: 5 Little Turkeys Glove Puppet

5 little turkeys by the old barn door,
1 runs away, and now there are 4.     

4 little turkeys by the sycamore tree,
1 runs away, and now there are 3.

3 little turkeys gobbling as they do,
1 runs away, and now there are 2.

2 little turkeys strutting in the sun,
1 runs away, and  now there is 1.

1 lonely turkey run, runs away,
for soon it will be Thanksgiving Day!


OR Puppet Idea #2: Mr. Turkey

Hello Mr Turkey (tune:If You’re Happy)
Hello Mr Turkey, how are you (clap clap)
Hello Mr Turkey, how are you (clap clap)
With a gobble gobble gobble and a wobble wobble wobble,
Hello Mr Turkey, how are you (clap clap)


A great group today! I was feeling a little sad after last week's session but today we had a lot of fun; everyone was participating and enjoying playtime on the carpet (-:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

preschool fun: Turkey Day


Today, we had our THANKSGIVING themed preschool program. I love to make hand print turkeys with the kids; it’s become an annual tradition here! Since I haven’t found a ton of great turkey themed books for this age level, I like to focus on other aspects of the holiday as well, like EATING  and VISITING.




Books We Read:
Mmm, Let’s Eat!- Kopoman (great choice, really held their attention)
Let’s Go Visiting- Williams
The Thankful Book- Parr (a little long but so cute!)
The Beastly Feast- Goldstone
Setting the Turkeys Free- Nikola-Lisa (my favorite!!)


Flannel Story: Turkey Feathers
I purchased this set on ebay a few years ago & it came with this cute rhyme so I have no idea where it originated. 




This year, I handed out felt feathers & the kids brought them up when their colors were called and put them on the felt board.

Here is my friend Mr Turkey. 
What is Mr Turkey missing today? 
His feathers!!!

Mr Turkey was so sad
He lost the feathers he once had 
Now he wants us to help him find
All the feathers of his kind.
We will look both high and low
We will find them, don’t you know?
Here’s RED one and a BLUE.
Look we found a GREEN one too.
Here’s an ORANGE one and a YELLOW.
Soon he’ll be a feathered fellow.
Now we found the PURPLE one. 
BLACK and WHITE, we’re almost done.
If we just look up and down,
I know we’ll find the feather BROWN.
Now Mr Turkey is so glad
He found the feathers he once had.



Fun Food Rhyme:

Purple Stew
We’re making a purple stew (whip whip whip whip)
We’re making a purple stew (shoobie doobie doo)
With purple potatoes and purple tomatoes 
And even a purple YOU! (try with other colors as well!)



Prop: There Was An Old Lady




I found this idea on Flannel Friday, a wonderful post from Libraryland. I printed the images on makinglearningfun.com.  I glued the old lady to an empty tissue box so we could "feed" her the foods in the story. Great idea!



Craft: Hand print turkeys

First, we traced our hand on brown construction paper. We cut it out and pasted it onto a paper plate. Then, we decorated with crayons, googly eyes and of course, all different colored feathers!!! Easy, fun and I think it’s a great keepsake as well.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

toddler time: Feeling Squirrelly


Our toddler theme today was SQUIRRELS.

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a picture of a squirrel. Look at his long bushy tail!

We passed out squirrel popsicle stick puppets to each child for our next rhyme:




Put your squirrels UP, put your squirrels DOWN
Hold your squirrel and turn around!
Put your squirrels UP, put your squirrels DOWN
Put your squirrel down on the ground


Books We Read:
Frisky Brisky Hippity Hop - Lurie (this one held their attention better than I thought it would)
Nuts to You- Ehlert (also a good choice)



Flannel Story: Squirrel’s Acorns 
I used my squirrel puppet with this rhyme so I only had to make the five acorns!!
I found this idea on a GREAT blog called Storytime Secrets





Down around the corner by the big oak tree
Sat five little acorns looking so yummy
Along came a squirrel with a big bushy tail.
He took one acorn and ran off down the trail.
(4,3,2,1).


Puppet:  Brown Squirrel (see first pic)
This is one of my favorite fall songs & it's great for all ages. 
I sang it once thru, then the kids sang with me and we added some easy movements to match the words.

Brown Squirrel, brown squirrel, swish your bushy tail!
Brown Squirrel, brown squirrel, swish your bushy tail!
Hold a nut between your toes,
Wrinkle up your little nose!
Brown Squirrel, brown squirrel, swish your bushy tail!





Craft:
I found a great squirrel template online and pre-cut a bunch of them before the program. The toddlers colored them, added sticky eyes and glued brown paper shreds to create bushy tails. Adorable!!!

A great program today and a large group! After a not so great baby program yesterday, this one cheered me up a lot. Everyone is loving the new toys we got (donations from my sister!!!)