Thursday, October 31, 2013

baby & me: Halloween

Today, we featured a special Halloween edition of Baby & Me. 

All the babies dressed in costume; it was like a Halloween baby parade! It was so cute that it made me wish that we could all wear costumes everyday!

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a little black cat! What does a cat say? MEOW!

Books We Read: 
Where Is Baby’s Pumpkin- Katz
Jack & Jill- Yoon

Holiday Rhyme:
I found this special pumpkin song and we tried it as a bounce/lift rhyme with the babies. You could use it with toddlers and preschoolers with popsicle stick puppets too.

The Pumpkins Are Here
(sung to: "The Farmer in the Dell").
The pumpkins are here, the pumpkins are there. The pumpkins, the pumpkins are everywhere.
The pumpkins are up; the pumpkins are down. The pumpkins, the pumpkins are all around.
The pumpkins are in; the pumpkins are out. The pumpkins, the pumpkins are all about.
The pumpkins are low; the pumpkins are high. The pumpkins, the pumpkins all say, "Good-bye".
From Perpetual Preschool

Flannel Story: Brown Bat, Brown Bat, What Do You See?

"I see a red leaf looking at me"

I found this idea at Mel’s Desk & it was awesome! We sang to the tune of “Twinkle Twinkle” as I placed different colored Halloween & autumn themed felt pieces on the flannel board: brown bat, red leaf, gray owl, yellow moon, white ghost, black cat, & orange pumpkin. Thanks Mel for this amazing idea!

Puppet: Ghosties
I made these two ghost finger puppets from felt and we did this rhyme:

Two Little Ghosties
2 little ghosties looking at you
One named Woo, one named Boo!
Fly away Woo, fly away Boo!
Fly back Woo, fly back Boo!
From Loons and Quines

I really enjoyed today’s class, it was a smaller group than usual because of the holiday and the books & rhymes for this theme really worked. A wonderful program!

halloween party

This afternoon, we celebrated Halloween with spooky stories and a special treat!

Books We Read:
Ghosts in the House- Kohara
In a Dark Dark Wood- Carter
Just Say Boo- Hood
The Spooky Box- Gonyea
The Spooky Wheels on the Bus- Mills

Stories I Told:
The Little Orange House, a great paper-cutting story about a kind little witch who needs to find a home for the winter. She decides to make an orange sheet of paper into her house but she needs a roof, a door, a window and a small door for her friend, Mouse. 

House "Before"

House "After" (unfold the paper to reveal a jack o lantern!)

Flannel Story: Mrs McMurphy’s Pumpkin based on the book by Rick Walton. I found this idea here. The kids loved it!

We made Halloween Hands from plastic gloves filled with candy corns (for nails) and popcorn decorated with ribbon and spider rings.

Many kids arrived dressed in great costumes and even some of the staff dressed up as well! It was a great party and everyone loved their popcorn hands.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

toddler time: Monster Fun!

Our toddler theme today was MONSTERS!

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a two silly monsters!

We passed out cute monster finger puppets to each child for our next rhyme:

Monsters up! Monsters down! Hold your monster & turn around.
Monsters up! Monsters down! Put your monster on the ground.

Books We Read:
Nighty Night Little Green Monster – Emberley
Monster, Monster- Walsh
Bedtime Little Monsters- Harris

Marvelous Monster Rhymes:

two silly monsters

Two Little Monsters
Two little monsters sitting in a tree 
one named Dave, one named Dee
Stomp away Dave, stomp away Dee
Stomp back Dave, stomp back Dee

If You’re a Monster...
If you’re a monster & you know it, wave your arms
If you’re a monster & you know it, wave your arms
If you’re a monster & you know it, and you really want to show it
If you’re a monster & you know it, wave your arms
(stomp feet, beep nose, etc)

Monster, Monster
Monster, monster, turn around
Monster, monster, touch the ground
Monster, monster, reach up high
Monster, monster, close your eyes
Monster, monster, show your teeth
Monster, monster, stamp your feet

Flannel Story: One Little Monster

I love these clipart monsters which I found on a great website called Picklebums

One little monster had a fright
On a dark & stormy night
He thought it was so much fun so he called for another monster to come!
Five little monsters had a fright
On a dark and stormy night
They had fun but were ready to sleep 
so they went to bed without a peep! SNORE!!!!

Prop: Dot the Hungry Monster

I got the inspiration for Dot from two of my favorite blogs: Fun with Friends at Storytime and In the Children's Room. Thanks guys!!!

I made Dot from poster board with a tissue box attached at the mouth area so we can "feed" her. The box also serves as a base if I place her on the edge of a table or a place for my hand to grip her if I hold her up. 

When I brought Dot out for Toddler Time, I actually had everyone's attention and the room was completely silent!!! Some of the toddlers even wanted to feed Dot during playtime.

Would you guys like to meet my new friend? 
This is Dot the Hungry Monster! 
Would you like to feed Dot with me?

Dot the Hungry Monster!

Dot the monster ate a monster lunch!
A monster pie
A monster punch
A monster apple
A monster plum
This monster filled her monster tum!
She licked a monster lollipop
She drank some monster soda pop
She chomped some monster chocolate cake
And got a monster tummy ache!

Monster Food (laminated clipart pics)

We colored monster puppets, decorated them with brightly colored dot stickers and taped them onto popsicle sticks.

We had a wonderful program today and great attendance!! Everyone loved the monster theme.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

baby & me: Spiders!

SPIDERS was our Baby & Me theme for today.

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a little spider finger puppet!

Books We Read: 
The Very Busy Spider - Carle- 
Miss Spider’s Tea Party: The Counting Book- Kirk

Flannel Story: Where Is Spider?

One of my most favorite youtube channels is Miss Tracy at little storybug. She has so many awesome flannel boards! Last year, I copied her “Where Is Pumpkin?” board and this year I used the same song and leaves but traded the pumpkin for my little felt spider. You can catch Miss Tracy here.

We have to find Spider, he’s under one of these leaves. Can you sing along with me?

Where Is Spider? Where is Spider?
Here I am! Here I am!
Hiding under red leaf, hiding under red leaf.
Look and see! Look and see!

We check under all the leaves until we find that cute little spider. Love him!

Puppet: Spider Glove puppet

We did the Itsy Bitsy Spider (of course!) and also the Very Quiet Spider. You could also do There's a Spider on the Floor!

Great program today, although no one seemed interested in my books at all. Someone wandered off with the Little Miss Spider one! It was ok tho, we just did more bounces and songs instead. The flannel board and puppet were great!

preschool fun: here comes the night

The theme for today’s preschool program was BATS & other NIGHT creatures!

Books We Read:
The Very Lonely Firefly- Eric Carle
Where Is Tippy Toes? – Lewin
Whooo’s There? – Serfozo

Also Read:
Does a Cow Say Boo? – Hindley
Monsters Love Colors- Austin

Why is it so hard to find a really great read aloud about bats? All the ones I see are too long, I'm afraid the kids will never sit still for them. Luckily, I found an awesome flannel board to use instead!

Flannel Story: Five Little Bats (from here ) 

Bats from faraway

1 little bat was trying to behave.
He hung upside down from his feet in a cave.
Another bat flew in, and said, "How do you do?"
The second joined the first, and then there were 2!

2 little bats were trying to behave.
They hung upside down from their feet in a cave.
To help pass the time, they sang "Do re me"
Another bat joined the song, and then there were 3.

3 little bats were trying to behave
They hung upside down from their feet in a cave
From their cave perch, they looked down at the floor,
A new bat joined the game, and then there were 4.

4 little bats were trying to behave.
They hung upside down from their feet in a cave.
One little bat zoomed inside and did a dive.
He stayed to take a rest, and with him there were 5.

5 little bats were trying to behave
They hung by their feet upside down in a cave.
They slept all day until the fading of the light.
Then they woke and said, "We're hungry!" and flew into the night!

Then we counted the bats once more as they flew away 1, 2, 3, 4, 5!!!

Bats close up

Another Fun Bat Rhyme:

Two Little Black Bats
Two little black bats hanging in a cave
One named Donna, one named Dave
Fly away Donna! Fly away Dave!
Come back Dana! Come back Dave!

Black bats with handprint wings!

I used a bat craft template to cut out bat heads before our program. I let the kids trace their hands onto folded black construction paper so we’d have two hand shapes or in this case – bat wings. We glued the wings to the head, added googly eyes, a black ribbon taped on the back, and some sparkly black glitter to create our own beautiful bats! 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

toddler time: pumpkin patch

Our toddler theme today was PUMPKINS!

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

We passed our orange cardstock pumpkin puppets to each child for our next rhyme:
Pumpkins up! Pumpkins down! Hold your pumpkin & turn around.
Pumpkins up! Pumpkins down! Put your pumpkin on the ground.

Books We Read:
Duck & Goose Find a Pumpkin- Hills
Pumpkin Faces – Rose
Jack and Jill- Yoon

Fun Pumpkin Rhymes:

Pumpkin, Pumpkin (tune: Twinkle Twinkle)
Pumpkin, Pumpkin on the ground
How'd you get so big and round?
Once you were a seed so small
Now you are a great big ball!

Pumpkin, Pumpkin on the ground
How'd you get so big and round?

Pumpkin, Pumpkin
Pumpkin, Pumpkin, turn around
Pumpkin, Pumpkin, touch the ground
Pumpkin, Pumpkin, grow on the vine
Pumpkin, Pumpkin, you're all mine!

Flannel Story: Five Little Pumpkins

You can't go wrong with this beloved fingerplay. It's a CLASSIC!

I start off with plain pumpkins and as we go thru the rhyme, I turn the pumpkins over one by one to reveal jack-o-lantern faces! 

The fence was a last minute addition and I love it!

Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate.
The first one said, "oh my it's getting late."
The second one said, "there are bats in the air."
The third one said, "but we don't care!"
The fourth one said, "let's run and run and run."
The fifth one said, "I'm ready for some fun!"
Ooooh went the wind
And out went the lights
And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight.

We made these adorable pumpkin puppets! I cut out the pumpkin shapes from orange construction paper. We decorated with googly eyes and pom pom noses then glued them to paper lunch bags. Then, we decorated with cute Halloween stickers. A great craft!!!

(left to right) Our Mystery Box Pumpkin, Pumpkin Puppet Craft, Pumpkin Stick Puppet

Friday, October 18, 2013

baby & me: fall is here

AUTUMN was our Baby & Me theme for today

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a pretty colored leaf!

Books We Read: 
Baby Loves Fall- Katz
The Busy Little Squirrel – Tafuri
I Love Fall- Inches

Flannel Story: Bird in a Tree (another amazing idea from Mel's Desk! Love her!)

First, we look at the trees. I say we have four pretty trees with different colored leaves and we name the colors out loud. The we look for Little Bird. “Little Bird, Little Bird, are you in the green tree?” We look under each tree until we find her.

Puppet: Mr. Squirrel

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

Great turnout today and a fun fall theme! Mr Squirrel was very popular!

toddler time: time for turtles

Our toddler theme today was TURTLES!

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a turtle finger puppet! What color is our turtle? Green!
our turtle finger puppet from the mystery box (center) and two stick puppets

We passed our green paper turtle stick puppets to each child for our next rhyme:
Turtles up! Turtles down! Hold your turtle & turn around.
Turtles up! Turtles down! Put your turtle on the ground.

Books We Read:
Scoot- Fallwell
In a Small Small Pond – Fleming
Turtle Splash - Fallwell

Terrific Turtle Rhymes:

There was a little turtle. (Make a fist in one hand)
He lived in a box. (Make a box with both hands)
He swam in a puddle. (Make swimming motions)
He climbed on the rocks. (Have the fingers on one hand climb up the other arm)
He snapped at a mosquito. (Clap hands)
He snapped at a flea. (Stick out tongue)
He snapped at a minnow. (Dip hand down to catch a fish)
He snapped at me. (Point to self)
He caught the mosquito. (Grab with hand)
He caught the flea. (Grab with hand)
He caught the minnow. (Grab with hand)
But he didn't catch me! (Run away)

Flannel Story: Five Little Turtles(from here )

Five Little Turtles
One little turtle with nothing to do
Called for his friend, and then there were two
Two tur­tles strolling by a tree
Saw their buddy, now there are three
Three tur­tles, a log as their floor
Made room for a pal, now there are four
Four tur­tles warm­ing in the sun
Saw a fifth friend and said, “What fun!“
Five tur­tle friends went out to play
And went home tired at the end of the day.


We made cute "3-D" turtles from this template that i found on pinterest. Just color, cut & paste!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

baby & me: playing peekaboo

PEEK A BOO was our Baby & Me theme for today.

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a picture of a baby!

Books We Read: 
Peekaboo Baby- Braun
Peekaboo Who- Taback
Peekaboo Blueberry- Saltzberg

Flannel Story: One Little Baby from Mel’s Desk 

One little baby rocking in a tree
Two little babies splashing in the sea
Three little babies crawling on the floor
Four little babies knocking on the door
Five little babies playing hide and seek
Keep your eyes closed…
Till I say “peek!”

Puppet: Monkey in a barrel

Monkey peeked out at the babies today & we sang:
Where is monkey? PEEKABOO!
Where is monkey? PEEKABOO!
Where is monkey? PEEKABOO!
PEEKABOO to monkey!

On this gray day with lots of rain & wind in the forecast for the next few days, we had a much smaller group than usual for Baby & Me with only 8 babies and 8 moms. Honestly, it was a nice change! The room was quiet with a very relaxed vibe and everyone could spread out to play. During playtime, one mom smiled at me and said, “This is nice!” and the other mothers agreed. I heard one comment, “I wish it would rain every Thursday!” For a special treat, the new cupcake shop next door donated a dozen pineapple cupcakes – delicious!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

toddler time: awesome apples

Our toddler theme today was APPLES!

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found an apple! What color is our apple? Red! (I cut the apple from red craft foam & added a small slit in it so the green craft stick worm can peek in & out.)

Apples for everyone!

We passed our red paper apples to each child for our next rhyme:

Apples up! Apples down! Hold your apple & turn around.
Apples up! Apples down! Put your apple on the ground.

Today's books and the foam apple from the mystery box

Books We Read:
Pepo & Lolo and the Red Apple- Larranaga
Everyone Eats - Kuo
Apple Farmer Annie- Wellington

Awesome Apple Rhymes:

I’m a Little Apple (tune: I’m a Little Teapot)
I’m a little apple, short & round
I make a munchy, crunchy sound
If you bite into me, you will see
I’m as delicious as can be

A Little Appleseed (tune:Itsy Bitsy Spider)
Once a little apple seed (show small seed in fingers)
Was planted in the ground
Down came the raindrops (wiggle fingers for rain)
Falling all around.
Out came the big sun (make a circle over your head for sun)
As bright as bright could be
And the tiny little apple seed (show tiny seed with fingers)
Became an apple tree! (make arms spread out like tree branches)

Flannel Story: Five Little Apples

5 little apples hanging on a tree
The farmer didn’t care so guess who came to eat?
A caterpillar!
He went MUNCH MUNCH (remove 1 apple)

4 little apples hanging on a tree
The farmer didn’t care so guess who came to eat?
A bird!
He went MUNCH MUNCH (remove 1 apple)

3 little apples hanging on a tree
The farmer didn’t care so guess who came to eat?
A pig!
He went MUNCH MUNCH (remove 1 apple)

2 little apples hanging on a tree
The farmer didn’t care so guess who came to eat?
A horse!
He went MUNCH MUNCH (remove 1 apple)

1 little apple hanging on a tree
The farmer didn’t care so guess who came to eat?
A scarecrow!
He went MUNCH MUNCH (remove 1 apple)

Now the tree is bare, no more apples there
But when next fall comes around , guess who will be there?
Caterpillar, Bird, Pig, Horse & Scarecrow!!!!

Puppet: Homemade Apple/Worm Prop
Of course I couldn’t resist bringing out my apple prop again, even though I just used it in yesterday's Baby & Me!!!

We made red craft foam apples with green craft stick worms, and also offered a paper apple craft to color, cut & paste. There are lots of great templates out there, but this is the one we used.

It was a great program with 20 kids attending!! One parent told me it was “amazing" which made my day.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

baby & me: eat your veggies

Our Baby & Me theme for today was VEGETABLES & FOOD.

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a spoon! What do we do with a spoon? We eat!

Books We Read: 
Eat - Intrater
Spoonful- Marchon
I Like Vegetables- Siminovich

Flannel Story: The Vegetable Song (tune: Twinkle Twinkle)
I found this cute song here 

Carrots, peas, and broccoli
Vegetables are good for me
For a snack and for my lunch
Veggies sure are great to munch
Carrots, peas, and broccoli
Vegetables are good for me

Flannel Story Part 2

Later, I pulled out my little felt board, added a tomato & an eggplant and explained that there was a little baby hiding in the vegetables so lets see if we can find it. One at a time, we checked under each veggie until we found the baby (under the broccoli of course!)

Prop:  Felt Apple & Worm (from here  AND here )
Mine is finger puppet size and my worm is made from an extra black glove.

I found an apple on the ground
It looked delicious, red, and round
I picked it up and took a nibble
Oh my goodness, there's a worm in the middle!!!!

Today’s group was slightly smaller than we usually have (15 babies) but we had a wonderful class and a little more room to move around.

toddler time: abracadabra!

So a few weeks ago, I read a blog post about a magic themed story time and it really inspired me to give it a try! I’ve been a little obsessed, looking for great books and rhymes until finally this week, I used my MAGIC story plan for two visiting preschool classes, as well as my weekly toddler program. It was a complete hit! Thanks to Storytime Katie for sharing her AMAZING ideas!

Our toddler theme today was MAGIC!

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a white bunny in a tall black hat finger puppet!

We did this rhyme:

Here is a bunny
With ears so funny
And here is his magical hat.
When a noise he hears, 
he pricks up his ears
And jumps in his magical hat!

We did the rhyme again with hand motions instead of the puppet.

Then, we handed out bunny stick puppets & we did our first rhyme:

Bunnies up! Bunnies down!
Hold your bunny & turn around.
Bunnies up! Bunnies down!
Put your bunny on the ground.

Books We Read:
Mr Merlin and the Turtle- Chwast
The Magic Box- Cleminson

Good Preschool Magic Books:
Hedgehog’s Magic Tricks- Paul
Foxy- Emma Dodd
What’s the Magic Word?- DiPucchio
Tap the Magic Tree- Matheson

Fun Magic Rhymes:

  • Abracadabra (I bought a magic wand from that turns into a flower! It’s a pretty neat trick and inexpensive also! The wand was used many times for this program.)

Abracadabra, Abrakazoom! (wave wand mysteriously)
Storytime magic, come into this room!!! (show kids magic flower now "growing" in little black pot)

  • Hat Trick (with Puppets & magic wand) 

also borrowed from Storytime Katie! I also have a HAND puppet sized rabbit in a hat & its perfect for this little trick!

my bunny puppet & the stuff I pulled out of my hat

Magic, magic, in my hat!
I’ll pull out a rabbit
Ready? 1..2..3  
(I pulled out a purple scarf, then a pink flower, followed by a small cow puppet)
Ahhhh! What is that?!

(repeat until ready for the rabbit)

Then I told the kids I needed to try a different rhyme:

A little soft bunny
With fur as white as snow
Will magically appear
When I wave my wand like so
Abracadabra, alacazam!
Come out little bunny as quick as you can!

  • 2 Little Rabbits

I also used TWO "rabbit in a hat" finger puppets for this rhyme. It is kind of tricky so i think my fingers need more practice:

Two little rabbits, sitting in a hat
One named Peter, one named Pat
Disappear Peter, Disappear Pat
Come back Peter, Come back Pat

  • Another cute one I found: My Magic Wand (from Storytime Magic) page 61.

Flannel Story: Five Magic Rabbits 

Five magic rabbits each in a tall black hat. 
Along comes a magician who gives each one a pat. 
Then he waves his magic wand high above their ears.
(ask kids to wave their wands too!)
Abracadabra, poof! One rabbit disappears. 
(Count down to one) 

One magic rabbit, He’s in a tall black hat. 
Along comes a magician who gives him a pat. 
Then he waves his magic wand high above his ears. 
Abracadabra, poof! The last rabbit disappears.

This flannel board was great and easy to make. I already had a set of felt white rabbits I purchased on a while back, so I only had to cut out the hats.

Craft: Magic Rabbits

I found a clipart rabbit and a hat template. We colored the bunnies, taped them to popsicle sticks & made them pop in and out of the magic black hats, which we decorated with sparkly star stickers.

New Song:
I played "There’s a Little Wheel A Turning in My Heart" by Laurie Berkner at the end of our program today. I just love that sweet little song! It was really fun!

This was one of my most favorite programs ever! The magic theme was a wonderful idea! We had one of our biggest crowds with more than 25 toddlers.