Friday, March 28, 2014

spring preschool visits

One of our local preschools is right down the street and they scheduled some visits for this week! The kids were so much fun and we had a great time. Here are some of the books we read for our COLOR and BUNNY theme:

What Does Bunny See?- Park
Duckie's Rainbow- Barry
What Color Is Your Underwear- Lloyd
Brown Rabbit's Shape Book- Baker
Froggy Green - Novak
Little White Rabbit- Henkes
If You're Hoppy & You Know It- Sayre

My favorites were probably If You're Hoppy & Froggy Green. I also did  White Rabbit's Color Book on the flannel board (photos coming soon; borrowed from Sunflower Storytime) and "There's Something in my Garden" with puppets (duck, bunny, bee, frog, mouse) that I saw on Storytime Katie's blog. We made bunny stick puppets for everyone to take home with them too!

baby & me: Peekaboo Elephant!

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found an ELEPHANT! What color is an elephant?

Books We Read:
Where’s Ellie- Yoon (love her books!)
Peekaboo- Gomi (silly & fun!)
Peekaboo Baby – Miller (short & sweet!)

Flannel Story: Where Is Elephant?

I modeled this one after the Where Is Snowman? one that I made a few weeks back. I already have four trees so I just made a little felt elephant to hide. SO easy! We sang:

Where is Elephant? Where is elephant?
Here I am, here I am!
Hiding behind green tree, hiding behind green tree.
Look and see, look and see. (tune: Frere Jacques)

It worked great!

Puppet: I hid my elephant finger puppet (that was in the mystery box today) behind my felt tree and sang:

Where is elephant? PEEKABOO!
Where is elephant? PEEKABOO!
Where is elephant? PEEKABOO!
Where is elephant? PEEKABOO to Ellie! (tune: Skip to My Lou)

It's always a hit with the babies!

A larger group today with lots of little ones! Wondering if the nicer weather will bring more babies like last year...

Thursday, March 27, 2014

baby & me: All About Feet!

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a PIGGY! What color is our pig? What does a pig say? 

Books We Read: 
Whose Feet- Rowe
Feet Are Neat- Begin Smart Books
Whose Toes Are Those - Asim (we didn't have time for this one today but its great for our feet theme!)

Flannel Story: This Little Piggy

A well known rhyme, perfect for our feet theme! Although this felt story was just some illustrations from a book that I laminated, the babies were mesmerized. I suspect they may have been familiar with the rhyme. The second time thru, all the parents joined in which I love.

Puppet: Barnyard Friends

We sang "Old MacDonald" for pig, duck and cow.

Nice group today, mostly familiar faces on the first day of spring! YAY!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

favorite kindergarten read aloud books

I visited two kindergarten classrooms this morning and we had so much fun!

Here are some of my favorite books to share with this age group:

Froggy Gets Dressed - Jonathan London
Not a Box - Antoinette Portis
I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean - Kevin Sherry
The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark- Will Grace, Ken Geist, Julia Gorton 

(Read it with a shark puppet like Thrive After Three!)

Tap the Magic Tree- Christie Matheson
No David- David Shannon
Press Here - Herve Tullet

Hi Pizza Man- Virginia Walter
Don't Worry Bear- Greg Foley
Should I Share My Ice Cream? - Mo Willems

Saturday, March 22, 2014

toddler time: Rainbows!

Our theme for Toddler Time today was RAINBOWS!

Mystery Box: When we opened the yellow box, we found a rainbow! There's even a pot of gold at the bottom. Let’s name all the pretty colors!

Pretty Rainbow (tune: Twinkle, Twinkle)
Rainbow, rainbow in the sky
Pretty colors up so high.
Oh I wish that you would stay
Bringing color everyday
Rainbow, rainbow in the sky
Pretty colors up so high. (credit: Jean Warren)

We passed out colorful streamers to all the children. I didn't have any green or orange streamers but no one seemed to notice they were missing! 

We did this rhyme:

Let's all twirl our ribbons today, ribbons today, ribbons today.
Let's all twirl our ribbons today, all around the room


Let’s Make a Rainbow
Let’s wave our ribbons high
Lets wave our ribbons low
Lets wave our ribbons fast
Lets wave our ribbon slow
Lets crumple up our ribbons and throw them in the air – 1,2,3!

I found this great rainbow rhyme at Storytime ABCs right before my program. I wish I had more time to learn it but next time I’ll be ready! 

RAINBOW dancers, dance around,
Ribbons swirl up and down.
Overhead and on the ground,
RAINBOWS flying all around.
Shake purple… 
Shake blue…
Shake yellow…
Shake red…

Blue ribbons tickle your nose,
Purple ribbons touch your toes.
Everybody dance around,
Swirl your ribbons up and down.

RAINBOW dancers dance around,
Ribbons swirl up and down.
RAINBOW dancers hug a friend,
Our colorful dance is at an end.

Books We Read:
Duckie’s Rainbow- Barry
Lunch – Fleming (I brought out my mouse puppet first to introduce this one and told the kids it was Mouse’s favorite story because there was a mouse just like him in it. Great attention grabber!)

Other Fun Rainbow Related Books:
Maisy’s Rainbow Dream- Cousins
Froggy Green- Walker
Baby Bear Sees Blue- Wolff

Flannel Story: Rainbow Stew (see this previous post) Another great idea I found on Storytime ABCs!

Everyone loved this one but my toddlers all wanted to “help” me with it! After I finished, one boy shouted “do it again!” So funny!

Craft: Rainbows

 I found a rainbow template online & printed it onto cardstock. We decorated with crayons, tissue paper squares and cotton ball clouds. A fun craft!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

preschool fun: Circus!

Today, our preschool theme was the CIRCUS!

Books We Read:
Spot Goes to the Circus- Hill
Small Surprise- Yates
Circus Opposites- MacDonald
Circus- Ehlert (always fun to read!)
Olivia Saves the Circus- Falconer

Good Circus/Animal-related Books:
Seals on the Bus- Hort
Animal 1 2 3- Teckentrup
Five Little Monkeys- Christelowe
I Dream of an Elephant- Rubinger

Flannel Story: Circus Seals (from Fun with Friends at Storytime; I was totally inspired by her recent circus themed posts that I spotted on Flannel Friday!) 

First, I put up the colored tubs and seals. We named the colors and counted the seals. Then, I said the first part of the rhyme.  

(I shortened mine from ten to five.)

5 Circus Seals
5 circus seals ready for a trick
which color ball will each one pick?
Let's match them up one by one
Circus seals are so much fun!

Next, I held up a colored ball. We named the color and matched the ball to the correct tub color. Then, I said the last part of the rhyme:

5 circus seals ready to rest
They have the color ball that they like the best.
We matched them up one by one
Circus seals are so much fun!

Non-Flannel Story #2: Another fun Circus Idea from Fun with Friends at Storytime. 

Circus Folder Story

My version of the circus stage

My ringmaster opens the show!

See the original post for this fun guessing game script! I used clipart from for all my circus acts and the kids loved the show! 

Craft: Monkey Acrobats 

I printed the monkeys from this website. We attached pipe cleaners and hooked them to plastic drinking straws to make this super cute craft!

We had a very small turnout today with only four children. I think about stopping the preschool program but I think its really important to offer something for this age group and its really the easiest for me to prepare.

Monday, March 17, 2014

toddler time: penguin fun!

Today's Toddler Time theme also happens to be one of my favorite animals: PENGUINS!

Mystery Box: When we opened the yellow box, we found it was empty! But in our big basket, we found an egg!

I'm bringing home a very unusual egg.
Will my mom let me keep it if I beg?
I'm bringing home a very unusual egg.
Crack! Crack! Crack!

Uh-oh! It's hatching! (Open the egg slowly.)
And it's a penguin baby!

I'm bringing home a little penguin baby.
Won't my daddy let me keep it maybe?
I'm bringing home a little penguin baby.
Cheep! Cheep! Cheep!

Oh, look!(Take the penguin out of the egg.)
It's ready to come out & waddle!

My little baby penguin loves to waddle round.
Just watch him go so quickly cross the ground.
My little baby penguin loves to waddle round.
Waddle! Waddle! Waddle!

I found this cute idea on Storytime ABC’s  and I was completely inspired to make my own penguin egg. She posts TONS of great ideas on this blog.

We passed out penguin stick puppets to all the children and we did this rhyme:
Put your penguin UP, put your penguin DOWN
Hold your penguin and turn around!
Put your penguin UP, put your penguin DOWN
Put your penguin down on the ground

We also sang this song as we waved our penguins around like crazy:

The penguins are here, the penguins are there!
the penguins, the penguins are everywhere!

The penguins are up, the penguins are down!
The penguins, the penguins are all around!

The penguins are in, the penguins are out!
the penguins, the penguins are all about!

The penguins go low, the penguins go high
The penguins, the penguins all wave goodbye!

Books We Read:
Penguins, Penguins Everywhere – Barner
I Like It When- Murphy (tried to make this a little interactive)

Also Good for Storytime:
If You Were a Penguin- Minor
Fluff and Billy- Killen

Flannel Story: Five Little Penguins Standing Still by Little Storybug (see this link on youtube for the words and tune!) I purchased these felt penguins on ebay a few years ago; they are also finger puppets.

Puppet: Little Penguin (this song is kind of like Brown Squirrel)

Penguin, penguin, flap your little wings!
Penguin, penguin, flap your little wings!
You eat fish & swim all day
You can’t fly but that’s ok
Penguin, penguin, flap your little wings!

Craft: Paper Penguins - very easy & perfect for toddlers!

I cut the shapes out before class. I found a super easy template to use here but there are lots of nice penguin patterns on the web.

You need a black body, a white oval belly and an orange triangle nose. Add wiggle eyes & some cotton for the belly and you’ve got a really cute penguin!

We had a great group today with about 16 kids. Everyone loved the penguin puppets and songs!

Penguins Part 2 (March 2017)

Additions/Changes to Penguin Toddler Time:

Mystery Box: Folkmanis Penguin puppet

Puppet Song:

Penguin, Penguin, Flap your little wings!
Penguin, Penguin, Flap your little wings!
Eating fish, you swim all day!
You can’t fly but that’s okay!
Penguin, Penguin, Flap your little wings!

Books Read:
Penguins Penguins Everywhere
I Am Small- Dodd 

Right before I read the Dodd book aloud, I asked everyone to repeat the title with me "I Am Small!" Then, whenever that line was repeated in the story, everyone joined in to say it together. It made the story much more interactive!

Flannel Board: Five Little Penguins Standing Still

I love this song and this year's edition was even better! As I removed the penguins from my felt board, I placed them on my small blue flannel board to make this cute scene for the end of the song!

One little penguin standing still
One little penguin slides down the hill
where did he go?
with all the other penguins playing in the snow!

What did the penguin make? a snowman!

Craft: penguins from

These were a little more difficult than our usual crafts but just so cute! I prepped for 40 penguins and it was a lot of cutting (bodies, feet, noses, mouths, bellies, wings! used reinforcement stickers for eyes!) 

Then, over 30 children showed up for our first session and I knew there was not enough penguin pieces left for the 11:15 group. Luckily some of my fabulous coworkers cut more bellies and bodies for me but the second session penguins were a little more "streamlined" (with no wings or feet but still adorable!)

Great theme!! Loved my flannel board and puppet song!

Friday, March 14, 2014

baby & me: what do you hear?

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found some bells! Can you hear the bells?

Books We Read:
Whose Ears- Rowe
Quiet, LOUD- Patricelli (loved this one!)

Flannel Story: Make a Noise (see this previous post)

Puppet: 2 Little Blackbirds

2 little blackbirds sitting on a cloud
One named Quiet, one named LOUD!
Fly away Quiet, fly away LOUD!
Come back Quiet, come back LOUD!

We also sang:
Where is Birdie? Peekaboo!
Where is Birdie? Peekaboo!
Where is Birdie? Peekaboo!
Peekaboo to Birdie!

I hid one of the bird puppets behind my felt tree.

Fun group today, a nice mix of some of our regular kids (older, beginning walkers) and some new, younger babies too! I've used this theme before so it was nice to refer back to the previous programs for ideas!