Tuesday, April 29, 2014

toddler time: chicken dance

Our theme for Toddler Time today was CHICKENS!

Mystery Box: When we opened the yellow box, we found a white egg with a little yellow chick inside. What does a chick say? Cheep cheep!

We sang:
I’m a little chick inside an egg
I’m always sleeping, snoring away!
Soon you’ll hear a pecking, pecking sound
The egg will crack & I’ll pop out!
(tune: I’m a Little Teapot)
-credit Preschool Education

We handed out yellow paper chicks to everyone and said this rhyme:

Put your chicks up, put your chicks down.
Hold your chick & turn around.
Put your chicks up, put your chicks down.
Put your chick on the ground.

Books We Read:
Hurry Hurry- Bunting (invited kids and parent to join in on this one and everyone did!)
Charlie Chicken- Denchfield (LOVED it, perfect for our group)
Whose Chick Are You? – Tafuri (no time today)

Flannel Story: Unhatched Egg

I love this little rhyme and I thought it would be great with matching clip art on the flannel board. We said it twice. Clip art from sweetclipart.com.

What does a rooster say? COCKADOODLE DOO!
What does a hen say? CLUCK CLUCK!
What does a chick say? CHEEP CHEEP!
What does an egg say? (silence)
Good, now we’re ready for our next story!

Puppet: Hen on the Nest

I found this idea on a wonderful blog about story time props called Simple Storytime Puppetry.

First, I brought out my hen puppet and told the kids that she needed to lay some eggs today so we needed to sing a special song:

The hen on the nest goes cluck cluck cluck,
cluck cluck cluck
cluck cluck cluck
The hen on the nest goes cluck cluck cluck when she lays an egg!
(tune: Wheels on the Bus)

Then we check her nest and find…NOTHING!

So we sang it louder and …NOTHING

So we tried it again even LOUDER and still…NOTHING!

Finally, the hen whispers in my ear and tells me to look in my big storytime box and I reveal a basket filled with colored eggs. Each child takes one and inside they find a cute yellow chick made of felt. Very fun!

Of course, no chicken themed program would be complete without Laurie Berkner’s I Know a Chicken song so I passed out shakey eggs and we sang this song while waving our eggs and chickens in the air. Awesome!

Craft: Hand print chicks

I handed out yellow construction paper and asked the parents to trace the child’s hands, cut them out and glue them to yellow paper circles. We attached beaks and feet, and created adorable chicks to take home! Everyone loved this project but I cannot take all the credit since I found this idea here.

Our group today was slightly smaller than last week, thank goodness! They were very enthusiastic so it was a fun class. I felt like everything was perfectly planned (which so rarely happens!) and resulted in a wonderful program.

Friday, April 25, 2014

baby & me: bunny hop

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a picture of a bunny. What does a bunny do? He hops!

Books We Read: 
Hop- Root
Who’s at Home- Davis
Surprise- Slegers

Flannel Story: Hippity Hop, Hippety Hey

I recycled this one from last year's Toddler Time. The cute laminated bunnies are from Sweet Clip Art.

Puppet: Little Bunny in a Carrot

I LOVE pop up puppets so I made this carrot out of felt. If you attach a bunny finger puppet onto an old wooden spoon, it becomes a super cute puppet!

We said this rhyme:

Little Bunny in a carrot
Sitting so still
Will he pop out?
Yes he will!

He hops to the left
He hops to the right
He hops all around
Then he hops out of sight!

Great group this morning with about 15 babies & I’m so happy to see many of our newest faces returning every week. 

Although the bunny theme has gotten kind of tired, this was a solid program.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

bunny craft

Last week, we made the cutest bunny baskets ever! It was such a busy week that I never got around to posting it until now.

Photo: Save the Date- Join us for our Bunny Craft on 4/17 at 3pm!

We had a TON of people show up for this craft! So many kids arrived that we had a second seating after the original kids finished. It was so fun and easy, I think we might make these bunnies EVERY year!

I found the bunny template here on Ziggety Zoom. I enlarged it to a full 8 1/2 x 11 page size and printed it on cardstock. The kids colored and cut their bunnies. We attached them to a paper cup from the dollar store. We decorated the cups with foam stickers and a pipe cleaner. Then we added some shredded paper grass and some candy to our baskets, of course!

Don't forget a cotton ball tail on the back of the bunny.

I liked this craft because while it was simple and easy to prepare in advance, there were a couple of different elements and the kids could be as creative as they wanted. No two bunnies were alike but all were amazing!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

toddler time: here is a bunny!

Our theme for Toddler Time today was BUNNIES, of course! 

I’m getting a little tired of bunnies this week after four bunny programs in a row.

Mystery Box: When we opened the yellow box, we found a little white bunny.

We handed out bunnies to everyone and sang two songs:

Put your bunnies up, put your bunnies down.
Hold your bunny & turn around.
Put your bunnies up, put your bunnies down.
Put your bunny on the ground.


There's a Little Bunny
(to the tune of Happy and You Know It)
There's a little bunny sitting on my toe,
There's a little bunny sitting on my toe,
He is sitting on my toe, then off away he goes,
There is no little bunny on my toe.

There's a little bunny sitting on my knee,
There's a little bunny sitting on my knee,
He is sitting on my knee, just watch and he will flee,
There is no little bunny on my knee.

There's a little bunny sitting on my head,
There's a little bunny sitting on my head,
He is sitting on my head, then away he goes to bed,
There is no little bunny on my head.

(from Libraryland

Books We Read:
Peekaboo Blueberry- Saltzberg (loved it)
Bunny’s Garden
Peekaboo Bunny- Suplice (so cute but most of my toddlers were just not that interested)

Flannel Story: Five Little Bunnies in the Flower Bed

5 little bunnies in the flower bed
1 jumped high and bumped his head
Mama came a hoppin and she said
“No more bunnies hopping in the flower bed!”
(Repeat 4,3,2,1)

I love this cute variation of Five Little Monkeys because its perfect for spring and most people are familiar with that rhyme.

Puppet: Two Little Bunnies

2 little bunnies playing in the dirt
One named Gus, one named Gert
Hop away Gus, Hop away Gert
Hop back Gus, Hop back Gert!

Craft: Cotton Ball Bunnies

I printed a bunny shape on cardstock for the kids to color. Then we glued on a cotton ball tail. They came out really cute!

We had a HUGE group today so I was VERY grateful that I planned an extremely simple craft! Since it was Good Friday, I wasn’t sure how many people to expect but I guess everyone was looking for something to do. Some people left at craft time “because it was too crazy” which is fine. One of the moms gave me a card and told me that she read it was National Librarian Day and OMG there was $$ inside. I felt kind of bad accepting it but she insisted, explaining that people pay money for classes like mine and her daughter really enjoys the Library so I kept it. I was really touched; nothing like that ever really happened to me before. Maybe I’ll find some new puppets to buy!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Flannel Friday: Feed the Bunny

Warning: This post uses no flannel whatsoever but I wanted to share it anyway!

Feed the Bunny Activity:

I love to have an interactive part of my preschool programs so I made a bunny from a box using white & pink foam sheets. I cut a hole for his mouth so we could feed him carrots!

I googled “I’m a Little Bunny” songs and tweaked it until I had something I could use. I ended up with this:

I’m a little bunny soft and white
I think veggies are out of sight!
I love to eat carrots but I have none!
So step right up and give me one.
(tune: I'm a Little Teapot)

Before I sang the song, I passed out small laminated carrots to everyone. After the song, everybody came up to feed Mr. Bunny. You could count the carrots as the kids come up; my kids were really young or I would have tried that. I think you could use Mr Bunny for spring themed programs as well as ones about eating or vegetables.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

preschool fun: bunnies!

Today, our theme was the BUNNIES & also FOOD!

Books We Read:
Too Many Bunnies- Novak
Who Hops- Davis
Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit- Na
Mmm, Lets Eat- Koponen
If You’re Hoppy- Sayre

Other Good Bunny/Spring Related Books:
Little White Rabbit- Henkes
Oh So Tiny Bunny- Kirk

Flannel Story: White Rabbit’s Color Book

I fell in love with this flannel board a long time ago when I first saw it on Sunflower Storytime. I had a really hard time finding the right containers to use for some reason. I’ve been telling this story all spring and its so fun to do. The kids love it too!

Feed the Bunny Activity:

First, I passed out laminated carrots to all the kids for the next song:

I’m a little bunny soft and white
I think veggies are out of sight!
I love to eat carrots but I have none!
So step right up and give me one.
(tune: I'm a Little Teapot)

The kids really liked feeding carrots to the bunny.

Craft: Bunny mobile

I found this craft here.

This site has so many great templates & ideas. I printed the bunnies on white cardstock and the carrots on orange. We decorated with crayons and green glitter. We used ribbon to hang the carrots. So cute!

We had 4 boys attend today. 3 of them were completely uninterested in my program. I considered ending quickly but one little boy is a regular and LOVES the books so I kept going for him. The craft and the Feed the Bunny activity were most successful. 

Although I did this flannel story several times for preschool classes that visited my library this month, I really messed it up this time! I think I was distracted by all the distractions! So that was a bummer, I tried to cover up the best I could. Not my best day tho.

One funny moment: When one of our regulars came in this morning, he looked up at me and said, "Miss Amy, the front of the library looks just like Monticello!" LOL!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

toddler time: Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Our theme for Toddler Time today was RAIN!

Mystery Box: When we opened the yellow box, we found a cloud with raindrops.

We handed out raindrops to everyone and sang two songs:

Put your raindrops up, put your raindrops down.
Hold your raindrop & turn around.
Put your raindrops up, put your raindrops down.
Put your raindrop on the ground.


It is Raining! (tune: "Frere Jacques")
It is raining, It is raining!
On my ____________________, On my ___________________!
Pitter, Pitter, Patter,
Pitter, Pitter, Patter,
I'm all wet, I'm all wet!

I found this song during an extremely last minute google search for Rain ideas. The song is so cute and there is even a printable rain puppet to download! 
The blogger suggests patting your knees during “pitter pitter patter” and that’s exactly what we did today.

Books We Read:
One Rainy Day- Salzano (this book was PERFECT! I’d rather have one amazing book than 3 so so ones.)
Kipper’s Rainy Day- Inkpen
Raindrop Plop – Lewison

Riveting Rain Rhymes:

Umbrella Song (tune: I’m a little Teapot)
Here’s my new umbrella
Wide & high
It keeps me cozy, warm & dry
If the rain starts falling from the sky
Just open me up & you’ll stay dry

Flannel Story: Ten Little Umbrellas

Found this on one of my favorite blogs: Storytime Katie!

Start with an empty flannel board. First put up your umbrellas one at a time:

One little, two little, three little umbrellas
Four little, five little, six little umbrellas
Seven little, eight little, nine little umbrellas
Ten umbrellas up for the rain

Then I say something like “If you have umbrellas, you need some raindrops!’

Repeat song as you place raindrops on the board. Finish with:“Ten raindrops falling down.” 

Then I say, "Oh it stopped raining!”

Repeat song as you remove raindrops, counting down. Finish with: “No raindrops out today.” 

"If there’s no raindrops, we better put our umbrellas away!"

Repeat song as you remove all umbrellas counting down. Finish with “Everything’s put away!” or “no little umbrellas out today”


We sang the Itsy Bitsy Spider with my spider finger puppet. Then I brought out the hand puppet version for the Big Enormous Spider! It was so nice to use a song that everyone knows so all the kids and parents could join in.

Craft: Umbrellas

I printed an umbrella pattern on colored cardstock. We decorated with crayons & stickers and attached a jumbo foam craft stick. One mom used two to make it a little more sturdy which was so smart!

An amazing program today! A lot of kids but there was so much audience participation that we had a great time. The crafts turned out so cute and all the songs, felt board and puppets worked wonderfully. One of the best classes ever!

Friday, April 11, 2014

baby & me: Sweet Babies!

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found some pictures of BABIES (printed from Sweet Clip art.) How many babies do we have? Let's count: 1, 2, 3!

Books We Read: 
Where Is Baby’s Belly Button- Katz (great pick)
Knees and Toes- Rookie Toddler (sang this one & it really grabbed their attention)
Ten Little Toes- Church (just ok for me, maybe a little too repetitive?)

Flannel Story: Five Sweet Babies (another great post from Fun with Friends at Storytime)

I found this rhyme on Flannel Friday and used it with babies I already had. I liked the counting aspect of this rhyme and it worked great.

Puppet: I brought out my Hedgehog puppet for Peekaboo & Roly Poly. This is always a hit with my babies. One of my favorite puppets!

A great group of new regulars, a mix of young babies and some who will be moving on to Toddler Time soon. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

toddler time: Eggs

Our theme for Toddler Time today was EGGS,  and also BIRDS & NESTS

Mystery Box: When we opened the yellow box, we found an EGG! What color is our egg? White.

I said this little egg rhyme and we opened up our egg:
Hidden inside an egg that is white
Was a small baby bird all tucked in tight.
Then he turned his head round & tapped with his beak
CRACK went his shell and out he peeked!

There was a little baby duck in our egg!

We handed out shaky eggs to everyone and sang two songs:

We shake our eggs together, we shake our eggs together,
we shake our eggs together because its fun to do
We shake them up high,
we shake them down low,
we shake them in the middle.(repeat)

We also sang:
Can you shake your egg with me, egg with me, egg with me
Can you shake your egg with me? Shake it on your knee. (also tummy and head)

Books We Read:
What Will Hatch- Ward (cute but kids seemed a little distracted so I skipped most of the text)
Bring On the Birds- Stockdale (nice but kind of long? This one didn’t grab their attention either today. Maybe it was the rain?)
Nest- Hurley (I was done with books by this point, will try it with my baby class)

Beautiful Bird Rhymes:

Two Little Blackbirds
2 little blackbirds sitting on a hill
One named Jack, one named Jill
Fly away Jack, fly away Jil
Come back Jack, Come back Jill

Way up in the Sky
Way up in the sky
The little birds fly
But down in the nest
The little birds rest

Shhh, they’re sleeping

With a wing on the left
And a wing on the right
The little birds sleep
All thru the night

SHHH!! (quiet)
They’re sleeping (really loud)

The bright sun comes up,
the dew falls away,
"Good morning, good morning!"
the little birds say.

Flannel Story: Three Little Birds (I found this idea here

Three little birds were taking a rest
Way up high in the baby bird nest.
One little bird said I'd like to fly
So he flapped his wings (flap, flap, flap)
And he started to sing(chirp, chirp, chirp)
And away he flew away off into the sky!

(repeat with 2 and 1 birds) So cute!

Flannel Story #2: So Many Eggs

This idea came from Storytime Magic. I was originally going to hide some laminated clipart animals behind felt eggs but after reading this, I decided to use large plastic eggs. When I pulled the animals out, we said the name of the animal.

Craft #1:
First I passed out a bird for each child to color and decorate with feathers.

Craft #2:
Then I came around to each table with brown paper lunch bags. I showed everyone how to cut off the top half & roll down the sides to make a pretty cool nest. I also passed out paper grass and candy malted eggs for the nests.

My class today was kind of unpredictable. They seemed completely uninterested in the book I was reading, then at the end of the story, it seemed like I had their attention again. I may have tried to do too much because by the plastic egg reveal, I felt kind of rushed.

On the plus side, everyone loved the craft and I got many compliments from the parents. One of my favorite crafts ever!

I did my first Magic Envelope Story today! We put bird related objects in the envelope: feathers, wings, beak, nest, some tweet tweets and opened it up to find a beautiful blue bird. Worked great and I will definitely try it again.

I also tried two new jbrary rhymes I’ve been trying to learn: Bananas Unite and the Elevator Song and both went pretty well. SO all things considered, a very full program & a great day!

Friday, April 4, 2014

baby & me: Kangaroos & Bouncing

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a KANGAROO! What does a kangaroo do? BOUNCE and jump!

Books We Read: 
Bouncy Baby- from Begin Smart (worked great!)
Bouncing Time- Hubbell (just ok, some kids lost interest)
Bounce- Cronin (ran out of time today)

Flannel Story #1: Baby Kangaroo, Where Are You? I found this idea on Flannel Friday, of course! It is from a wonderful blog called Falling Flannelboards.

We looked under the felt shapes to find the little kangaroo. 
We said, “Baby Kangaroo, where are YOU?
It worked great!

Flannel Story #2: My Little Red Wagon

I thought this well known song went perfectly with today’s theme so I made some felt wagons in different colors to put on the flannel board while we sang:

Bouncin up & down in my little red wagon
Bouncin up & down in my little red wagon
Bouncin up & down in my little red wagon
Having so much fun!

Puppet: I have a kangaroo mama and baby (found on etsy.com) to use with this rhyme:

KANGAROO JUMP (Tune: “This Old Man”)
Jump! Jump! Jump!
Goes the kangaroo.
I thought only one,
But now I see two!
Momma and her baby,
With his head 
Popping out.
He holds on tight,
As they jump about!
(credit:  Iowa Public Library )

We have nine babies today. Everyone was quiet and paying close attention! A wonderful group!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

toddler time: Outer Space

Our theme for Toddler Time today was OUTER SPACE!

Mystery Box: When we opened the yellow box, we found a STAR! Where do we see a star? Up in the sky!

We handed out colorful foamie stars to all the kids and sang “Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star”

We also sang: 
Put your stars up, put your stars down
Hold your star and turn around.
Put your stars up, put your stars down.
Put your star down on the ground.

Books We Read:
Higher, Higher- Patricelli (perfect for this age group)
Rocket Countdown- Sharratt (everyone was quiet and loving this one)
I Want to Be an Astronaut – Barton (no time for this one today but I think it would be great!)

Stupendous Space Rhymes:

Zoom Zoom Zoom, we’re going to the moon!
If you want to take a trip, climb abroad my rocket ship!
Zoom Zoom Zoom, we’re going to the moon!
5,4,3,2,1 BLAST OFF!

If you’re going to the moon, wear your boots
If you’re going to the moon, wear your boots
If you’re going to the moon, this is what you have to do,
If you’re going to the moon, wear your boots.

…wear your gloves
…wear your helmet
(tune: If You’re Happy and You Know It) – credit: Mel’s Desk 

Flannel Story: What Will We See In Outer Space?

I found this great flannel idea on Catch the Possibilities. Sing it to the tune “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush.” I used clipart pictures for mine and changed the last verse just a little.

What will we see in outer space, outer space, outer space,
What will we see in outer space, away up in the sky?

We'll see some tiny twinkling stars...

We'll see the moon with a smiling face...

We'll see a rocket ship flying by...

We'll see a planet that spins around...

We'll see an alien that is green...

Puppet: Five Little Friends In a Flying Saucer

I saw this on Flannel Friday and knew it was perfect for my Space theme! I found it on Loons and Quines  AND Storytime Katie 

I wanted mine to be more of a puppet that I could move around so I added some heavy duty Velcro & a jumbo craft stick. I found a wonderful woman singing this song on youtube with puppets and she called them friends so I borrowed that from her.

Five little friends in a flying saucer
Looked around the world one day
They looked left and looked right
But they didn’t like the sight
So one friend flew away
Count down 4,3,2,1.

This song definitely held everyone’s interest even though my aliens fell out at the beginning. I may need to Velcro them into the flying saucer!

Craft: Rocket Puppets

 I found a rocket coloring sheet that we colored, cut and attached to ½ of an envelope to make a pretty neat puppet.

We had a great crowd today, but not too crazy. This wasn’t my favorite theme to do and the craft wasn't the best but the great books, rhymes and props made it very fun.

One of my toddlers gave me a beautiful picture that I hung in my office.