Monday, June 30, 2014

toddler time: hello hello!

Our themes for Toddler Time today were HELLO & GOODBYE! And also the SUN.

Mystery Box: When we opened the yellow box, we found a sun. What color is the sun? Yellow!

We passed out paper suns to all the kids and sang:

Hold your sun up high
Hold your sun down low
Hold your sun & turn around
Hold your sun up high
Hold your sun down low
Put your sun on the ground.

We also used our sun puppets for this song:

Oh, Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun,
Please shine down on me.

Oh Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun,
Hiding behind a tree

These little children are asking you
To please come out so we can play with you.

Oh Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun,
Please shine down on,
please shine down on,
Please shine down on me.

I learned this song from Jbrary on youtube but I think it is by Raffi.

Books We Read:
Hello Sun- Dodds
Say Hello Like This – Murphy
Bye Bye Mommy- Scholastic Rookie Toddler Series

Hello/Goodbye Songs & Rhymes:

Open Shut Them (I used my Hello/Goodbye Elephant for this one!)
Open, shut them. Open, shut them
Put your hands down low.
Open, shut them. Open, shut them
Wave and say hello!
Open, shut them. Open, shut them
Raise your hands up high
Open, shut them. Open, shut them
Wave and say goodbye!

Say Hello To our Toes (tune: London Bridge)
Lets say hello to our toes,
Hello toes, hello toes
Lets say hello to our toes
Hello toes!
(repeat with knees, tummy, hands, head)
Credit: Storytime Secrets 

This is the Way We Wave Hello (Tune: Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush)
This is the way we wave hello, wave hello, wave  hello
This is the way we wave hello - hello, hello, hello!

This is the way we clap hello...
This is the way we tap hello...
Credit: Storytime Secrets too

Flannel Story: Can We Find a Pink Pig?

I use this flannel board for Farm themed programs, so check out this post for more info!

Puppets: Knock Knock House (inspired by Rain Makes Applesauce and Future Librarian Superhero

This one has been in my "To Do" pile for soooo long and I'm so proud that I finally found a way to make one myself!

My house is very simple, made from some foam sheets and a shoe box. The windows are just clipart printed from the computer.

To start things off, I say something like:

Knock Knock!
Who’s there?
An animal that is big and says grrrr!

Then I pop my bear finger puppet thru the door and we all say:
Hi Bear!
Bye Bye Bear!

Repeat with whatever puppets you have around.

Craft: Hello/Goodbye Elephants

I found this cute idea on Sunflower Storytime a while back 
There are even printable templates! The kids really liked making their elephant puppets and I saw lots of parents practicing Hellos and Goodbyes as they worked on them.

Today was a little chaotic. With school out, we had lots of older siblings and it made me nervous. I was afraid someone would get stepped on. Although I asked them to hang out in the back, they didn’t stay there. Next time, I will try some activity sheets and remind them that only toddlers can be on the carpet.

Friday, June 27, 2014

baby & me: at the beach

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a beach ball, perfect for today's themes: SUMMER & the BEACH!

Books We Read:
Baby Loves Summer- Katz
1,2,3 in the Sea- DiCicco
Rainbow Fish Colors

Flannel Story: We’re Going to the Beach!

I printed some clipart pics to go with my beach theme: sand castle, seashell, starfish, etc. We sang this song to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell as we placed them on the felt board:

We’re going to the beach, we’re going to the beach
I think we’ll see a castle there
We’re going to the beach!

The tune was catchy so everyone joined in! Another great flannel idea from Storytime Secrets.

Puppet: 2 Little Fishies

I used my finger puppet fish for this one

2 little fishies swimming in the sea
One named Lois, one named Lee
Swim away Lois, swim away Lee
Swim back Lois, swim back Lee

Simple but really fun!

Well, only one person showed up for the early bird class today. We’ll try again next week. This week’s group was big but not crazy big, and chatting wasn’t too bad. YAY!

Monday, June 23, 2014

toddler time: fun with fish!

Our theme for Toddler Time today was FISH! 

Mystery Box: When we opened the yellow box, we found a a goldfish puppet. What color is our fish? Orange!

We passed out fish puppets and sang:

Hold your fish up high
Hold your fish down low
Hold your fish & turn around
Hold your fish up high
Hold your fish down low
Put your fish on the ground.

We also used our fish puppets for this song:

Have you ever seen a fishy, a fishy, a fishy
Have you ever seen a fishy go this way and that?
Go this way and that way and that way and this way
Have you ever seen a fishy go this way and that?

Books We Read:
Fish Swish Splash Dash- MacDonald
Hooray for Fish- Cousins
Fish Eyes – Ehlert (ran out of time)

Fun Fish and Ocean Rhymes:

The Waves on the Sea Go Up & Down (tune: Wheels on the Bus)
The Waves on the Sea Go Up & Down,
up & down, up & down
The Waves on the Sea Go Up & Down
All day long!

The sharks in the sea go snap, snap, snap (clap)
The fish in the sea go swish….

Flannel Story: 5 Little Fishies

First, I placed a piece of blue felt on my flannel board to be the ocean. Then I brought out my fish. We counted as we placed them on the board. Then I introduced my shark puppet and we started to sing!

5 little fishies swimming in the sea
Teasing Mr Shark “you can’t catch me!”
Along comes Mr Shark as quiet as can be
And snapped that fish right out of the sea!

How many fish are left? 
Repeat until all the fish have been snapped up by the shark.

Puppet Song: 2 Little Fish (tune: 3 Blind Mice)

Clown Fish Finger Puppets - Teaching Supplies & Teaching Supplies,pack of 12,various color

I bought these finger puppets on amazon a while back, so I pulled out two of them for this song:

2 little fish, 2 little fish
See how they swim, see how they swim
Round & round and fast they go
Now they’re going very slow
2 little fish, 2 little fish

Puppet Song #2:
My orange fish puppet returned and we played Laurie Berkner’s adorable Goldfish Song. I tried to re-enact the song with my puppet with lots of movement. Very silly but fun!

Craft #1: Fish paper bag puppets

I found a printable template online to use. Kids could color, cut & paste onto brown bags. Worked out great!

Craft #2:

I also handed out sandwich baggies with a few small shells in them. When the kids came up to me, we added foam fish, blue glitter and a generous squirt of hair gel to make a cute sensory bag! To see my source of inspiration for this craft OR a photo of how it looked, check out this link

I put out some duct tape for parents to use to double seal the bag. I was afraid this would become chaotic but some kids were doing the paper bag puppets, others were playing on the carpet so it worked out great!

I was really happy with this program, especially the crafts and songs. One parent told me at the end of the class that Toddler Time is the best hour of the day! This really made my day, especially after a very nasty phone call yesterday from a mom complaining about the Baby & Me class, which she felt was overcrowded (which is why we are trying to add an earlier session.) She also wanted me to limit youngest babies to one session and older ones to another which is just too complicated. It is also kind of unfair to parents with an additional older child that they cannot leave at home. I was honestly shocked to hear these complaints about a free class from a person who attended one session. It was not a nice experience.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

baby & me: bees go buzz!

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a BUMBLE BEE! What does a bee say? Buzzzz!

Books We Read: 
Peek-a-Love- Yoon (I LOVE this book, its just perfect for babies)
Buzz, Buzz, Baby- Katz
I Like Bugs- Siminovich

Flannel Story: Red Ant, Red Ant, What Do You See?

I printed some clipart bugs from Etsy to use for this insect felt board version of Brown Bear, Brown Bear. It was GREAT!

Puppet: Here Is a Beehive

I have a paper beehive and my glove puppet bees for this easy fingerplay. So cute! I found this idea here and use it all the time!

Here is a beehive. Where are the bees?
Hidden away where nobody sees.
Soon they come creeping out of the hive 

1-2-3-4-5! BUZZ!

Another large group today but not as huge as last week. Most people were participating and I didn’t hear a ton of chatting going on, so all was well.

After thinking things over and discussing it with my supervisor, we have decided to do a trial run of double baby sessions: our regular 11 am class and an additional “early bird” 10 am class. I’m hoping some people will come to the early class! We’ll see what happens next week!

preschool fun: on the farm

Today, our theme was FARM ANIMALS

Books We Read:
What Does Cow Say- Holub
The Cow Loves Cookies- Wilson
Lift and See Farm
Hatch, Egg, Hatch! – Roddie
Let’s Count Goats- Fox
Old MacDonald Had a Farm- Ellwand

Other Fantastic Farm Books:
Silly Little Goose- Tafuri
If You Give a Pig a Pancake- Numeroff

Flannel Story: Breakfast at the Farm

I found this great story idea on Flannel Friday in a wonderful blog called Storytiming and the kids loved it! Basically, a little boy feeds all the farm animals the wrong foods for breakfast and the kids get to match the animal with the correct dish. Very fun!

Craft: Farm Animal Stick Puppets

Barefoot Books had this cute printable coloring sheet so I printed copies onto cardstock for the kids to color. Then we cut them out & taped them to popsicle sticks to create a cute puppet set! You can find the printable here.

The kids today were pretty quiet (2 girls and a boy) and not especially interested in my songs & fingerplays. They did love the puppet craft tho and I heard them all singing Old MacDonald while they colored their puppets.

Monday, June 16, 2014

toddler time: colors

Our theme for Toddler Time today was COLORS! 

Mystery Box: When we opened the yellow box, we found a three bean bags. What COLORS are they? Red, yellow & blue!

We passed out bean bags and sang:
Hold your bean bags up high
Hold your bean bags down low
Hold your bean bag & turn around
Hold your bean bags up high
Hold your bean bags down low
Put your bean bags on the ground.

We also used our bean bags for the song Going to Kentucky. We waved them around and shook them up & down. This was a last minute idea but this song is GREAT for bean bags!

Books We Read:
I Say, You Say: Colors
Brown Bear, Brown Bear – Martin/Carle
Lemons Are Not Red - Seeger

Flannel Story: Teddy Wore a Red Shirt (borrowed from Sunflower Storytime!)

First, I showed the kids Teddy and explained that he needed some clothes. How about a shirt? Here’s one, what color is it? Red!

Teddy wore a red shirt, red shirt, red shirt
Teddy wore a red shirt all day long!

Repeat with blue pants, white socks, green shoes, & yellow hat.

Puppet Song: “Brown Bear” Puppet Show

I discovered this amazing idea here (TONS of great puppet ideas on this blog!) & it sounded like fun. So after we finished reading the Carle/Martin book version, I started pulling puppets from my big straw box to continue the story. First up was... White Mouse, so we sang “White Mouse, White Mouse, what do you see? I see a Green Grasshopper looking at me…” It was lots of fun and so easy!


I found this template on and its perfect for my Brown Bear Book theme. We colored it and glued it to a small paper plate. I handed out red ribbons for hangers if they wanted. Quick and easy! There are lots of great ideas for this book on their website.

This was one of my best programs ever! Books, puppets, craft and felt board were perfect! LOVE my new bean bags too; I think they will get a lot of use here! 

After playtime, one mom was changing her baby and she said, “Thank you so much for having this program every week!” I think the parents really appreciate a free weekly class that gets them out of the house as well as the opportunity to interact with some adults. A great day!

Friday, June 13, 2014

baby & me: just ducky!

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a DUCK! What does a duck say? Quack quack!

Books We Read: 
I Love Ducklings (Touch & Feel)
Quick Duck- Mary Murphy
5 Busy Ducklings- Rookie Toddler

Flannel Story: Where Is Baby Duck?

I made 4 felt eggs and a little felt duck that I hide behind one of the eggs. We say “ Baby Duck, are you behind the blue egg?” until we find the duckling.

Puppet: Yellow Duck (see photo above)
I have the song “Six Little Ducks” on one of my cds that I like to use this puppet for.

The largest group EVER today with close to 30 babies. Things were actually ok and not terribly chaotic! I am seriously considering offering a 10 am session in addition to the 11 am. At least then I would feel like I’m offering an alternative to the crowds. 

I’m back this week from a 10 day vacation and everyone was so kind & happy to see me. Several moms complimented me with nice things like “This is what you were born to do!” and “This huge group is a testament to the great job you do.” So nice to be appreciated!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

toddler time: know your nursery rhymes

Our theme for Toddler Time today was NURSERY RHYMES! 

Mystery Box: When we opened the yellow box, we found a star!
We passed out little foamie stars and sang:

Hold your stars up high
Hold your stars down low
Hold your star & turn around
Hold your stars up high
Hold your stars down low
Put your star on the ground.

Books We Read:
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star- Cabrera
Humpty Dumpty - Lewis
Old Mother Hubbard- Cabrera

Cute Nursery Rhyme Fingerplays & Songs:

Peas in the Pot 
One little pea jumped into the pot, 
And waited for the soup to get hot. 

A second little pea jumped into the pot, 
And waited for the soup to get hot. 

A third little pea jumped into the pot, 
And waited for the soup to get hot. 

Finally, the soup got so hot. 
All the little peas jumped out of the pot! 

Little Bo Peep 
Little _______ Peep, count your sheep. 
“I’ve lost ________ sheep.” 
Who is missing? 

Star Light, Star Bright Game 
Star light, star bright, 
Shining far and near, 
Won’t you please shine on me? 
Shine your light right here! 

Shine a flashlight on objects for the kids to name, or tell you the sound that the object begins with, color of the object, etc…

All rhymes above were found here

Flannel Story: Hickory Dickory Dock

We said the classic rhyme as we put the clip art on the board. Clip art is from Etsy.

Flannel Story #2: Five Humpty Dumpties (see link above)

Five Humpty Dumpties 
Five Humpty Dumpties, 
And not one more; 
One dropped to the ground, 
And then there were four. 

Four Humpty Dumpties, 
Cute as they could be; 
One did a flip-flop, 
And then there were three. 

Three Humpty Dumpties, 
Just a lonely few; 
Down went another one, 
And then there were two. 

Two Humpty Dumpties, 
Sat in the sun; 
One fell down, 
And then there was one. 

One Humpty Dumpty, 
A real egghead hero; 
He took a mighty fall; 
And then there were zero!  

Craft #1: Humpty Dumpty Finger Puppets
Printable craft found here.

Craft #2: Dish & Spoon

LOVE this one! I found this amazing idea here & there’s even a template for the spoon.
Use a paper plate for the dish & cut out spoons. Decorate with sticky eyes & attach legs for a fun & easy craft!

toddler time: getting dressed

Back from a short vacation to Orlando!

Our theme for Toddler Time today was CLOTHES! 

Mystery Box: When we opened the yellow box, we found a shirt. Are you wearing a shirt today? Who has a red shirt? Who has a green shirt? Etc.

We passed out little paper shirts and sang:

Hold your shirts up high
Hold your shirts down low
Hold your shirt & turn around
Hold your shirts up high
Hold your shirts down low
Put your shirt on the ground.

Books We Read:
Ella Sarah Gets Dressed- Chados-Irvine
Let’s Get Dressed- Church
Maisy Dresses Up- Cousins

Flannel Story: Shirt Song

1 little, 2 little 3 little shirts
4 little, 5 little, 6 little shirts
7 little,8 little, 9 little shirts
10 little shirts to wear

Place shirts on the flannel board as you sing. Then, take them off the board one at a time:

9 little, 8 little, 7 little shirts
6 little, 5 little, 4 little shirts
3 little, 2 little, 1 little shirt
No little shirts for you!

Craft : Help Bear Gets Dressed

Printable craft, just color, cut & glue!

(printed from here)