Thursday, May 30, 2013

baby & me: sounds

Our baby theme today was SOUNDS.

Mystery Box:
Inside the yellow box, there was a cute little stuffed version of Spot the puppy!  What does a doggie say? Woof Woof!

Today We Read:
The Baby Goes Beep- O’Connell (LOVE this book, always a hit!)
Whose Ears- Rowe

Almost Read:
Quiet Loud- Patricelli (just not enough time)

Flannel Story: Let’s Make a Noise! From an amazing blog called Storytime Secrets. I love how interactive this rhyme is!

Puppet Rhyme:
I made two bird puppets using black foam sheets for the rhyme Two Little Blackbirds. Since our theme was today was sound, we did Quiet and Loud:

Two little blackbirds sitting on a cloud
One named Quiet, One named Loud
Fky away Quiet, flyaway Loud
Come back Quiet, come back Loud

Then, I adapted my peekaboo song for birds and hid one behind a felt tree I made.

Peekaboo Bird
(tune: Skip to My Lou)
Where is the bird? Peeka-BOO!
Where is the bird? Peeka-BOO! 
Where is the bird? Peeka-BOO!
Peeka-BOO to birdy!

We also tried this new bouncing rhyme this week and everyone really loved it:

We’re Going Down a Smooth Road
We’re going down a smooth road, a smooth road, a smooth road.(sway)
We’re going down a smooth road, a smooth road now.
We’re going down a bumpy road, a bumpy road, a bumpy road.(gentle bounce)
We’re going down a bumpy road, a bumpy road now.
We’re going down a rough road, a rough road, a rough road. (fast bounce)
We’re going down a rough road, UH OH! POTHOLE!
We had an awesome group today, with 20 babies and 22 adults.

Friday, May 24, 2013

toddler time: night sky

The toddler theme for our program today was the MOON and STARS!

Mystery Box: there was a silvery moon inside the yellow box today!

Books We Read:
Where Does the Brown Bear Go- Nicki Weiss (read this one first and I was surprised how well it held their attention!)
Rocket Countdown – Nick Sharratt (great!)
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star- Jane Cabrera (just sang the first page, probably too long for this age level)

Also Read:
Here Are My Hands- Bill Martin
If You’re Happy and You Know It- Carter

Other Great Moon/Stars Books:
Goodnight Moon- Margaret Wise Brown
Papa Please Get the Moon for Me- Eric Carle
Zoom Zoom Zoom, I’m Off to the Moon- Dan Yaccarino

Way Up in the Sky
Zoom Zoom Zoom, We're Going to the Moon

Flannel Board:
Four Little Stars (found on What Happens In Storytime)

The moon from the mystery box and the flannel story stars.

Four Little Stars
Four little stars winking at me.
One shot off and then there were three!
Three little stars with nothing to do.
One shot off, and then there were two! 

Two little stars afraid of the sun.
One shot off, and then there was one! 
One little star alone is no fun.
It shot off, and then there was none!

I made little popsicle stick star puppets for all the kids to hold for this special rhyme:

Stars up!
Stars down!
Hold your star and turn around.
Stars up!
Stars down!
Put your star on the ground!

The toddlers loved having something to hold during the program and these were so easy! I’d love to think up some additional verses for this rhyme.

Star puppets and today's craft!

Moon and star puppets

I was inspired my the moon craft found here but I needed a paper version and ended up with this! We decorated with crayons and stickers.

A great program today with 12 kids!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

baby & me: bees go buzz

Our baby theme today was BUMBLE BEES and BUGS!

Mystery Box:
Inside the yellow box, there was  a bumble bee finger puppet. What does a bee say? BUZZZZ!

Today We Read:
I Like Bugs – Lorena Siminovich
Peek-a-love!Salina Yoon
Also: The Babies on the Bus- Karen Katz

Flannel Story: Buzzing Bumblebees

Six buzzing bumblebees
     Flying 'round the hive.
One buzzes off,
     And that leaves five.
Five buzzing bumblebees
     Flying near my door.
One buzzes off,
     And that leaves four.
Four buzzing bumblebees
    Flying 'round a tree. . . .
Three buzzing bumblebees
     In a sky so blue. . . .
Two buzzing bumblebees
     Flying in the sun. . . .
One buzzing bumblebee
     Looking for some fun.
He buzzes off,
     And that leaves none! 

Puppet Rhyme: Bumble Bee glove

Bee finger puppet, glove and hive

Here is the beehive
But where are all the bees?
Hidden away where nobody sees
Watch them come creeping out of their hive
1 2 3 4 5 BUZZZZ!!

Then, we sang our Bear puppet song from last week but we switched it up for today's bee theme and it worked GREAT!

Peekaboo Bees
(tune: Skip to My Lou)
Where are the bees? Peeka-BOO!
Where are the bees? Peeka-BOO! 
Where are the bees? Peeka-BOO!
Peeka-BOO to baby!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

preschool fun: flower power

Our preschool theme today was GARDENS and FLOWERS!

Books We Read:
Maisy Grows a Garden – Lucy Cousins
My Garden- Kevin Henkes ( a little long for this group)
Colors Peekaboo Pop Up- DK
In Wibbly’s Garden- Mick Inpen
What Does Bunny See?- Linda Sue Park

Purple Stew
Let Everyone Clap Hands Like Me
Open Shut Them
Touch Your Nose/Head & Shoulders, Knees & Toes

Flannel Story: Flowers Grow in Flowerpots

I spotted this flannel board on Flannel Friday a few weeks ago and fell in love! This awesome post is from a great blog called Fun with Friends at Storytime

I was afraid my kids might not sit for ten flowers because they are usually VERY active,  so I modified it to five flowerpots.

I have some flowerpots for my story today. Let’s count the flowerpots together, Ready? 1 2 3 4 5

Here are FIVE flowerpots ready for some fun!
I’ll put them outside in the nice warm sun. (add sun to felt board)

What color are our flowerpots?

I have FIVE flower seeds that need a spot
I’ll plant each one in a color flowerpot

Today's flower pot craft and my seed packet!

Ready, lets count the seeds 1 2 3 4 5 (place on pots)

Each little seed will grow to be
A beautiful flower for all to see! (hold up flower bunch)

Let’s match the flowers up to the right pot, ready?
(help kids match the colors to the right pot)

With sunshine (point to sun)
And water (hold up watering can)
The seeds can grow
Into FIVE pretty flowers –
See my lovely flower show!

my flower show! watering can from

We used paper cups, green popsicle sticks and paper to make pretty flowers that “grow” in their flowerpots. See photo #1!

We had a great turnout with 8 kids for today’s program!

Monday, May 20, 2013

baby & me: peekaboo bear

I decided to go with a PEEKABOO theme for today’s baby program but also featured BEARS

Mystery Box:
Inside the yellow box, there was a cute clipart picture of a bear.

Today We Read:
Colors Pop-up Peekaboo- published by DK
Peekaboo Who- Taback

Other Good Peekaboo Books:
Peekaboo, Blueberry-Salzberg
Peek-a-baby- Katz
Peekaboo- Price

Puppet Rhyme:
My Bear (in a Tree Stump Puppet) seemed like the perfect choice to go with my peekaboo theme, and I found a new song to use with my babies:

(tune: Skip to My Lou)
Where is Bear? Peeka-BOO!
Where is Bear? Peeka-BOO! 
Where is Bear? Peeka-BOO!
Peeka-BOO to baby!

It was a hit with the babies at my program, really got their attention! I might even use my new Mr Bear song on a regular basis.

We had a huge turn out for baby & me today with 25 babies! Check out all the strollers (-:

preschool visits

Today, I had the pleasure of visiting a wonderful local preschool. I saw seven classes and was so impressed with the children and teachers there. Everyone was so attentive and appreciative of my visit. I brought them a selection of some of my most favorite books, a mix of some new ones as well as some old ones:

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes – Litwin
Jump- Fischer
Lemons Are Not Red- Seeger
Maisy’s Wonderful Weather Book- Cousins
The Three Bears- Barton
I Spy With My Little Eye- Gibbs
If You’re Happy and You Know It- Carter (big finale book!)

For the Little Ones (2 yr olds):

Red Light, Green Light- Suon
What Color Is Your Underwear- Lloyd
Do Cows Meow?- Yoon
Duckie’s Rainbow - Barry

For the Afternoon Session:

Wiggle- Cronin
Blue Goose- Tafuri
Hi Pizza Man- Walter
Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons- Litwin
Lunch – Fleming
Baby Bear Sees Blue- Wolff

To go with the Barton and Wolff books, I brought my Bear (in a tree stump puppet) and we sang “Where Is Bear?” Bear was a big hit at school!

Since many of the books related to colors, fruits or rainbows, I brought my Rainbow Stew flannel board as well as my black pot and wooden spoon. About halfway thru each class, I’d ask the kids if they’d ever made rainbow stew before. I got a lot of funny looks.  I pulled out my fruit (red apple, orange, yellow banana, green pear, blueberries, purple grapes) and we named them as we put them on the board. Then we’d sing:

Take an apple, put it in the pot
Stir it, stir it, stir it, a lot
Take it out now, what do you see?
The prettiest RED you ever did see!

Instead of pulling out the red apple, I pull out the red rainbow sliver. Repeat for each fruit until you have a beautiful rainbow!

I found this amazing idea here.  Kids usually say things like, “Do it again!” or “How do you do that?” and “Its magic!” I love their reactions! Thanks to Storytime ABCs for sharing this wonderful flannel board!!!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

toddler time: caterpillars

Our Toddler Time theme for today was CATERPILLARS!

Books We Read:
The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle (I used the large board book version and the kids loved coming up to the pages to put their fingers in the little holes. It really helped keep their attention for this one.)

Also Read:
Uh-oh I’m Sorry – published by Little Scholastic
If You’re Happy and You Know It- David Carter

Other Great Caterpillar/Butterfly/Bug Books:
Caterpillar’s Wish – Murphy
One Little Blueberry- Salzano
Butterfly, Butterfly – Petr Horacek

Flannel Board:

Circle of Color Song 
(from; check out the great youtube video here ) 

Circle purple, circle blue, circle green and yellow too
Circle orange, circle red, circle smiling overhead
Come and count the colors with me
How many colors can be seen?
1 2 3 down to green
4 5 6 colors can be seen
Circle purple, circle blue, circle green and yellow too
Circle orange, circle red, circle smiling overhead
What does it make? A caterpillar!!

I broke out my handy caterpillar/butterfly puppet from Folkmanis again with this rhyme:

There was a little caterpillar crawling all about. (Walk with fingers on arm)
He worked and he worked without a doubt. (Wiggle fingers)
Wrapping himself in a snug cocoon.(Wrap other hand around fingers)
Waiting and waiting, will it be soon? (hold fingers)
Look, he's coming out, my oh my! (raise arms in excitement)
For now he's become a beautiful butterfly (Cross thumbs and flap hands like wings)

Another good one from this site:
The fuzzy little caterpillar went up into a tree
(act like you're climbing) 
spun his cocoon and then (yawn) went to sleep (spin hands)
While he was sleeping, he dreamt that he could fly (making flying motion) 
When he woke up (loud, excited) he was a butterfly.

Caterpillar headbands and puppets

I found the cutest caterpillar hats on this blog and I knew we had to make them with the kids at my library. Luckily, great instructions AND patterns were available so it was super easy! They came out sooo cute!!

I also found a caterpillar coloring page that I printed on card stock so we could color, cut and tape them on to popsicle sticks. Both crafts were a hit with the kids and their parents today!

baby & me: farm animal fun

Our baby theme for today was FARM ANIMALS!

Mystery Box:
Inside the yellow box, there was an adorable little stuffed pig. 

Today We Read:
Hello Day- Anita Lobel (a wonderful book for babies, they just  love it!)
Noodle Loves the Farm- (we had a smaller group than usual due to stormy weather so this smaller size book was fine)
Farm – James Brown (didn’t get to this one, maybe next time!)

Flannel Story: Hello Farm

This is a great printable is from a link found on one of my favorite blogs: Sunflower Storytime.

First, I hide the pink pig, yellow hen, and brown cow behind the barns. Then, we sing:
(Tune: The Muffin Man)
Can we find a pink pig?

A pink pig? A pink pig?

Can we find a pink pig?
We want to say HELLO!
Credit: Storytime Katie

Once we find each animal, we say hello and wave to them.

Puppet Rhyme:

I recreated the Baa Baa Black Sheep puppet set from Mel’s Desk for our farm theme today!

We had a nice little group today, except for the fact that one poor baby's foot got caught in a slat of a chair. It happened during the flannel board part of the program and it took three of us to wiggle her free while she screamed (understandably of course!) Scary! 

Friday, May 3, 2013

having fun @ baby & me

Pastel Baby Blocks

4 Easy Guidelines for Parents @ Baby Programs 

#1. Please take a minute to turn off your cell phone. They always seem to ring at the worst possible moment and really distract the babies (and me!)

#2. It's completely okay if your baby wants to move around during this program, I do not expect everyone to sit completely still and quiet for this. 

If your baby gets noisy or distracts the rest of the babies, you may need to go into the hall or upstairs & come back in a few minutes, or try again next week and that is ok.

#3. Baby & Me is really about your baby and YOU! It's a great time to bond with your little one, maybe learn a new song or a fun fingerplay you can use at home. Your babies are learning early literacy skills that will help them with talking, reading and writing someday, so we need your attention and participation for the next thirty minutes or so. We will have playtime on the rug after the program and it's a great time for getting to know each other. Please, no chatting until playtime.

Cute Pastel Baby Chicks
#4. Have fun!

baby & me: cats are cool

This week’s baby theme was PETS, especially CATS! 
(PS I have a whole house FULL of them!)

Mystery Box:
Inside the yellow box, we found a kitty! (not a real one, just a beanie baby thank goodness! My husband will leave me if I bring another cat home!)

Today We Read:
Who Am I: Pets (DK) - just ok for me!

Also Read:
So Big – Dan Yaccarino - Great pick, got lots of adult particiation!

Flannel Story: Kitty Cat, Kitty Cat!

I hid a clip art kitty behind one of six brightly colored felt hats and we called “Kitty Cat, Kitty Cat, are you behind the COLOR hat” until we found him.

Puppet Rhyme:
I was home sick most of the week so I totally forgot to pull my kitties in a basket puppet for this theme. Next time!

Three Kittens Song
A tisket, a tasket
Three kittens in a basket
They wave their heads to say hello
From in their cozy basket.

Many of my babies are getting old enough for our Toddler Time program. Hope to see many of my walkers start to transition to this fun program so they can enjoy some new songs, dances and quick crafts! I will miss them at Baby & Me for sure!