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!!!)

Friday, November 15, 2013

baby & me: Frogs are Fun!


Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a green frog with a long tongue for catching flies! What does a frog say? RIBBIT!!




Books We Read: 
What Am I? Frog & Friends- Wan
Pond Babies- Fallwell


Flannel Story: Little Frog I think I found this idea here)
Little frog is hiding! Where can she be?
Let’s try to find her.




Little Frog, Little Frog!
Are you behind the BLUE log?
(try other colors until you find her!)


Puppet: Mr Frog
Here is my friend Mr Frog! Would you like to hear his song?

One little frog went Hop Hop Hop!
Hop Hop Hop
Hop Hop Hop
One little frog went Hop Hop Hop!
Hopping on a lily pad! 

Another small group today and for some reason, I just never really got their attention. The moms were all so quiet, no one wanted to sing along or interact with their babies very much. I tried my hardest to engage them, asked them repeatedly to join in, explained that the babies loved their voices, etc., but nothing seemed to help so I cut things a little bit short (skipped the parachute because I need help with that one) and brought out the toys and books.  One of those days, I guess. Makes me realize that having even one or two parents to sing with me makes all the difference!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

toddler time: Hold Your Horses!


Our toddler theme today was HORSES and FARMS!

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a horse finger puppet! What does a horse say? Neigh!!

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

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




Books We Read:
Horsey Up & Down - Church
Clip Clop - Smee


Flannel Story: Up You Get 




I found this awesome idea here and I copied it the best I could!! After  reading the book Clip Clop, I pulled out the box and we added the animals one at a time and Mr Horse gave them a little ride. It was a nice complement to the book reading.


Prop: Old MacDonald barn puppet show




I broke out my farm animal puppets and we all sang a few rounds of Old McDonald! Love this prop! (You can find more info on my barn here.)


Craft:
We made these adorable rocking horses using small paper plates! So easy & fun! I found this idea here and got my horse clip art here!




I feel like this was a great theme and everyone loved the craft!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

baby & me: Dinosaurs!


Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a little dinosaur! What does a dinosaur say? ROAR!!



Books We Read:
Hello Dinosaur- Dwell Studio (love this series! I did not refer to the dinosaur names like the text but I mentioned the dinosaur colors instead)
Dinosaur’s Binkit- Boynton


Flannel Story: Dinosaur, Dinosaur



This is a "hide & seek" kind of felt board. I hid the small clip art dinosaur behind one of the shapes and we looked for her:

Dinosaur, Dinosaur, Look & see,
Your baby is gone! Where can she be?
Is she behind the red circle? Is she behind the green square?...


Puppet: Dino the Dinosaur

I used my dinosaur in an egg puppet for this rhyme:

Are you ready to meet my friend Dino the Dinosaur? He is hiding in this egg.

Where is Dino? PEEK A BOO!
Where is Dino? PEEK A BOO!
Where is Dino? PEEK A BOO!
Peekaboo to Dino!

The Dino puppet was the hit of the show today! Another smaller crowd this morning but very enjoyable with many sweet babies! Our attendance is definitely getting smaller lately, maybe due to colder weather and changing schedules. This group size really works better for me as far as giving more individualized attention and keeping the program peaceful and calm; the large groups are fun but can easily feel a bit chaotic!

American Girl Doll Party


Due to the popularity of American Girl Dolls in our community, I decided to try a doll themed program at the library. I wanted to offer an experience similar to the events featured at the American Girl Doll Store in nearby Manhattan. After research this kind of party on the internet, I found some great ideas that I could duplicate easily and without breaking the bank. After a bit of planning & help from my team, we had a lovely program with crafts, stories and refreshments. The guests and their mothers really enjoyed this special event.

First, I welcomed the girls and their dolls to the party. On the event flyer, I wrote party clothes were welcome and many of the girls dressed up. I had two short tables set up for the dolls with small chairs, plates, etc. , and two taller tables were set up for the girls with regular size plates, cups, etc. One of my co-workers is excellent with origami and paper folding, so she created some beautiful decorations from the napkins as well as pretty pink paper snowflakes  that we placed on the tables and hung on the walls. We also hung some pink balloons and if I had more money, I would have purchased some tablecloths. Pink and white were the chosen colors.

First, we enjoyed refreshments: pink Hawaiian punch and sugar cookies with pink frosting; small sugar cookies for the dolls of course. On each table, I placed a small silver pail with ice breaker questions for the girls to discuss at their tables because I read that they do this at real AGD parties at the store.

After everyone finished their refreshments, we had craft time. We made ponchos for the dolls from pink felt with pretty painted buttons for decoration. I found the poncho idea here. I also had some donated small fushia tote bags that we decorated with foam stickers.

To end the program, we gathered everyone together with their dolls for a story: Fancy Nancy, The Fanciest Doll in the Universe. Although the guests’ ages ranged from 6 to 10, everyone seemed to enjoy this sweet & funny doll story.

Although this program was really stressing me out because I wanted everything to be perfect (as well as my perpetual fear that no one would show up), it all turned out wonderfully. I think the moms really appreciated this event because the real tea parties at the store cost like $100 per person and the girls enjoyed the opportunity to do something really “girly”.


Our branch AG doll with her new poncho & tote bag.



Our pretty tables...



Kirsten @ the doll table



Some of our other doll guests...


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

toddler time: What's the Weather?

Our toddler theme today was WEATHER!

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a red scarf!

We passed out scarves to each child for our next rhyme:

Let's All Twirl Our Scarves
Lets all twirl our scarves today, scarves today, scarves today
Lets all twirl our scarves today, all around the room! 
(repeat with dance and march)
(tune: London Bridge)




Books We Read:
It Looked Like Spilt Milk- Shaw
Maisy’s Wonderful Weather Book- Cousins


Wonderful Weather Rhymes:

Jump in the Puddles
We jump jump jump in the puddles
While the rain goes pittery pat
We jump jump jump in the puddles
And we put on our raincoat & hat
We put up our umbrellas 
& we put on our boots with a tug
Then we jump jump jump in the puddles
As snug as a bug in a rug!
(credit Hugh Hanley)


Did You Ever See A Cloud
(tune: "Did You Ever See a Lassie)
Did you ever see a cloud
A cloud a cloud
Did you ever see a cloud
That looked like a bear?
A big one a little one
A lazy one a funny one
Did you ever see a cloud that looked like a bear?

Did you ever see a cloud
a cloud a cloud
Did you ever see a cloud
That looked like a plane
A big one  a little
A fast one a slow one
Did you ever see a cloud
That looked like a plane?
(credit: Preschool Education )


Umbrellas Fingerplay(or make umbrella puppets)
Five umbrellas stood by the back door,
The red one went outside, then there were four.
Four umbrellas pretty as can be,
The blue one went outside, then there were three.
Three umbrellas with nothing to do,
The green one went outside, then there was one.
Just one umbrella alone in the hall,
The purple one went outside, and that was all!
(credit: Preschool Education )


Flannel Story: How Do I Put It On?


Poor Bear needs some clothes!


My friend Bear has to get dressed but he needs some help.
First, he needs a shirt! Where does his shirt go? 
On his foot? Nooooo! On his body? Yes!
How about his pants? Do they go on Bear’s head? Noooo!
On his legs? Yes!

We continued for boots, raincoat, hat & umbrella.


All dressed & ready for the day!

The kids seemed to think it was very funny!! I found the idea for this flannel board here. The cute printable clipart was found here.

Prop: Sun

I brought out Mr Sun for this little song:
Hello Mr Sun, how are you (clap clap)
Hello Mr Sun, how are you (clap clap)
We’re so glad you’re out today, 
And we hope that you will stay
Hello Mr Sun, how are you (clap clap)
(tune: If You're Happy...)


Sunshine craft and sun prop


Craft:
We made sunshine puppets decorated with crayons and yellow streamers, and taped onto popsicle sticks. There are lots of clipart suns to choose from.

This was a last minute switch for a rainy day when I knew we’d have a small group, but it worked out really well!