Friday, August 29, 2014

toddler time: yummy ice cream!

Our theme for Toddler Time today was ICE CREAM!

Mystery Box: When we opened the yellow box, we found an ice cream cone! Who likes ice cream?

We passed out paper ice cream cones to the kids and sang:

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

Then I sang:

We All Want an Ice Cream Cone 
(Tune: Mary Had a Little Lamb)
We all want an ice cream cone
Ice cream cone, ice cream cone
We all want an ice cream cone
We'll eat one every day!

Show different color cones & have kids to guess the flavor!

(Flavor) is my favorite kind
Favorite kind, favorite kind
(Flavor) is our favorite kind
I'll eat it every day! 

I found this adorable song here!

More Fun Songs to Use:

Who Likes Ice Cream?
(tune: Do Your Ears Hang Low?)
Do you like ice cream? (Hold hands out, palms up)
Do you like it in a bowl? (Use hands to make bowl shape)
Do you like to eat it fast? (Pretend to hold a spoon and eat fast)
Do you like to eat it slow? (Pretend to hold a spoon and eat slow)
Do you like it with some syrup (Pretend to squeeze a bottle)
With some sprinkles, or some nuts? (Pretend to shake a jar)
Do you like ice cream? (Hold hands out, palms up)
(Mailbox Magazine)

Ice Cream
I like ice cream. Yes I do!
One scoop for me?
No! Make it two!
Hmmm two scoops of ice cream,
I want more
How about three?
No, make that four!
1, 2, 3, 4,
Splat! “oh no! It’s on the floor!”
Source: The Learning Pad

Books We Read:
Wemberley’s Ice Cream Star- Henkes
Just One More- Rolli
Froggy Green- Walker

Felt Board: Ice Cream Scoops

First we need a cone, nice and crunchy.
Then we need some ice cream, sweet and yummy.
Scoop ‘em up, stack ‘em on, up to the sky.
We love ice cream; my, oh my!
First comes vanilla, cold and sweet.
Then comes chocolate, a delicious treat.
Here’s some strawberry with sprinkles and a cherry too!
A super-duper scooper cone Just for you!
One scoop, two scoops,
Three scoops, four.
We love ice cream Let’s have some more!

Found this cute idea on Sunflower Storytime!

Prop Song: Ice Cream for Dot the Monster

I brought out my friend Dot, who happens to LOVE ice cream and we sang this song (to the tune of "If You're Happy & You Know It"):

If your ice cream is PINK
Give it to Dot
If your ice cream is PINK
She’ll eat it up!
If your ice cream is pink, if your ice cream is pink
If your ice cream is PINK
Give it to Dot!

The kids with strawberry cones feed them to Dot. Repeat with white/vanilla and brown/chocolate!

Craft: Paper Ice Cream Cones
(from Sunflower Storytime of course! see link above)

I printed the ice cream cone coloring page onto cardstock. We decorated with crayons, crepe paper, marshmallow (cotton balls!) and red foam cherries on top-- delicious!

A fun program & a pretty full room today, despite the holiday weekend. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

baby & me: colors & shapes

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found some SHAPES: a red circle, a blue square & an orange triangle.

I made these shapes the night before my program from foam sheets with some glitter on the edges. The babies seemed mesmerized! I think it was the glitter, it just makes everything better.

We sang:

Do you know what shape this is, what shape this is, what shape this is?
Do you know what shape this is? It's a (circle, square, triangle)!
(tune: Do You Know the Muffin Man)

Books We Read: 
Dino Shapes- MacDonald (fun!! I did skip some of the text to make it more baby friendly)
Where is Baby’s Beach Ball- Katz (Because a ball is round like a circle)
Maisy’s First Colors- Cousins (no time today, will save it for upcoming FOOD or COLOR theme)

Flannel Story: Red Circle, Red Circle, What Do You See

My shape version of Brown Bear, Brown Bear was a hit! As always, we sang it to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle".

Puppet Song: Roly Poley the hedgehog made another appearance finally! I've missed him.

We did Roly Poley & Peekaboo with him

Where is Hedgehog? Peeka BOO!
Where is Hedgehog? Peeka BOO!
Where is Hedgehog? Peeka BOO!
Peekaboo to Hedgehog!

Roly Poley, Roly Poley
Up Up Up
Roly Roly Poley, Roley Roley Poley
Down Down Down

(try with In & Out and Fast & Slow! I sing it to "Are You Sleeping?" like I saw in a Jbrary video-- love them!)

Wonderful class today with about 20 babies. Why haven't I done more programs with shapes? I think I was afraid it might be boring but it was great! And I love my new bubble blower that looks like an ice cream cone! Works great & found it at the dollar store.

Some of the moms were nice enough to invite me out to lunch with them but I had to get ready for our summer reading party this afternoon. I'm so lucky to have a really amazing group of parents here. They are so kind to me and really appreciative of my programs; some days I almost forget that I'm working LOL!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Flannel Friday: DIY Pop Up Puppets

Like many librarians who work with children, I am OBSESSED with puppets.

Some days, when all else fails, a puppet can save my baby or toddler program from complete chaos. So, I am always on the lookout for a cute puppet idea to use for my programs and I purchase a lot of puppets. A lot! Once a week or so, a small package from or ebay seems to magically arrive on my doorstep, much to the dismay of my wonderful husband. To me, there are soooo many problems that would be far worse to have; a puppet addiction really isn't so bad, right?

But to save a little money, I will get creative & *try* to create my own puppets on occasion. I am not very artistic though so it has to be SUPER EASY! 

These puppets were inspired by a blog post by Guybrarian.

A while back, I purchased a set of inexpensive finger puppets. I hot glued one to the end of a long plastic mixing spoon (purchased at the Dollar store in a 4 pack.) I used felt to make a carrot and also a flower (I found my patterns online but if you are artistic, you can probably create your own.) 

I cut two flowers/carrots and then I stitched them together by hand. When you slip the spoon handle inside, it's kind of like a pocket for the puppet to hide. When I hold it up, my hand mostly covers up the white spoon part.

The babies at my programs LOVE peekaboo games, so I use this well known rhyme:

Little bunny in a carrot sitting so still
Will he pop out?

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

I liked my homemade pop up bunny so much that I made a frog too and slightly tweaked the rhyme:

Little froggy in a flower sitting so still
Will he pop out?

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

I still have two spoons left, so maybe I will make some other puppets someday.

Thank you to all the blogging librarians who share their rhymes and puppet ideas! 

toddler time: under the sea

Our theme for Toddler Time today was OCEAN ANIMALS.

Mystery Box: When we opened the yellow box, we found an octopus! How many legs does he have? How many legs do you have?

We passed out paper octopus puppets in all colors to the kids and sang:

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

Then I sang this song while we made our octopuses swim around in the air:

The octopus lives in the ocean
The octopus lives in the sea
The octopus lives in the ocean
Oh octopus swim by me

Books We Read:
I Spy Under the Sea- Gibbs
I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean- Sharratt
Octopus Arms- Baker

Felt Board: Slippery Fish

I love this version on posted by Jbrary!

Slippery fish, slippery fish, sliding through the water,
Slippery fish, slippery fish, Gulp, Gulp, Gulp!
Oh, no! It's been eaten by an ...

Octopus, octopus, squiggling in the water
Octopus, octopus, Gulp, Gulp, Gulp!
Oh, no! It's been eaten by a ...

Tuna fish, tuna fish, flashing in the water,
Tuna fish, tuna fish, Gulp, Gulp, Gulp!
Oh, no! It's been eaten by a ...

Great white shark, great white shark, lurking in the water,
Great white shark, great white shark, Gulp, Gulp, Gulp!
Oh, no! It's been eaten by a ...

Humongous whale, humongous whale, spouting in the water,
Humongous whale, humongous whale,

Gulp! ... Gulp! ... Gulp! ... BURP!

Puppet Song: The Waves in the Sea Go Up & Down (with colored scarves!)

I used a blue scarf and several puppets as props for this one: clam, shark & the octopus, of course! The kids liked the scarves -- I don't always use them for Toddler Time)

I found this song on KCLS but tweaked some of the words to match my theme today.

Waves in the Sea (tune: The Wheels on the Bus)
The waves in the sea go up and down, up and down, up and down.
The waves in the sea go up and down all day long.

The lobsters in the sea go snap, snap, snap ...

The clams in the sea will open and shut, open and shut, open and shut... 

The octopuses in the sea go swish swish swish...

The sharks in the sea go chomp chomp chomp...

Craft: Paper Plate Octopus

First, we cut our paper plates in half. Then I passed out small bags of streamers and we glued them to the straight edge of the plate. We decorated with crayons and sticker eyes (colorful dot stickers that I drew on with a black marker). If you want, you can attach the leftover plate half to cover the messy side where you glued/taped the streamers so it looks pretty and attach a ribbon hanger, totally up to you. Very cute craft!

We started off with a smallish group this morning but more and more people kept floating in until we had about 26 kids total. The books didn't really hold their attention but everyone seemed to like the ocean songs. The craft was great too!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

baby & me: MORE froggy fun!

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a FROG. What does a frog say?

Books We Read: 
What Am I? Frog & Friends - Wan
Who Can Jump- Braun

Flannel Story: Little Frog, Little Frog, Are You Under the Log?

See my post here.

Felt Song #2: Where Oh Where Can My Green Froggy Be?

I did this in earlier programs for shamrocks & figured since it's not really shamrock season, maybe i could use it with frogs instead. worked great!

where oh where can my green froggy be? 
Oh where oh where can he be?

I looked up high & i looked down low.
is green froggy hiding from me?

I put a red frog on the board & asked, "Is this frog green? ...No, this is pink."

Repeat with each frog until you get to the green one, of course! Then we counted all of our froggies together 1,2,3,4,5.

Puppet Song: Froggy in a Flower

I made this puppet from some felt and a finger puppet. Then I tweaked a well known bunny rhyme to go with my frog theme today:

Little froggy in a flower 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 pops out of sight!

We also did Peekaboo with Froggy.

Where is Froggy? Peeka BOO!
Where is Froggy? Peeka BOO!
Where is Froggy? Peeka BOO!
Peekaboo to Froggy! 

Another huge group today! I wasn't expecting a big turnout since the branch has been soooo quiet this week but many of my "regulars" showed up. A couple of moms told me that I'm famous on facebook but I don't think I want to read what people say about my programs because it would make me really upset if there was something bad. One more week of summer, then hoping things calm down a little for the fall...

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

preschool fun: the doctor is in!

Our theme for today was DOCTORS, BOO BOOS and being SICK.

Books We Read:
Boo Hoo Bird- Tankard 
How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon- Yolen (really held their attention)
Bear Feels Sick- Wilson (cute story, a little long but great ending)
Doctor Maisy- Cousins (great for this age group)
Llama Llama Home With Mama- Dewdney (ran out of time today)
Guess Who, Doc- Mittner (This kids LOVED this one! They all knew Doc McStuffins!!! Favorite book of the day.)

Flannel Story: The Bandage Song (from Making Learning Fun)

The website includes templates and many song verses, so I was thrilled! 

The basic idea is you move the bandage to different body parts. 

Sing to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell:
Put a bandage on my knee,
Put a bandage on my knee
Oh please take care of me
Put bandage on my knee.

Put a bandage on my head,
Put a bandage on my head
Oh please put me to bed
Put bandage on my head.

I added some silliness to this story by trying to put the bandage on the WRONG body part while asking "Is this his knee?" and everyone would yell "NO!!!" I also replaced the word "nurse" with "please" since I wasn't really mentioning nurses today.

Puppets: Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed

We sang this song using my monkey puppets & it was perfect for today’s theme! The books for today were a little bit long for my young group so it was nice to have lots of non-book activities.

Activity: Bandages for Big Bear (based on this adorable Flannel Friday post from Storytime Katie!)

First, I made a bunch of felt band aids using pink, blue & green felt. Towards the end of my program, I brought out my friend Big Bear and explained that he had a problem: Bear's paws hurt, he must have a boo boo. I asked that anyone with a green bandage come up & put it on one of his paws. We put the pink ones on his head and the blue ones on his nose. The kids loved participating; it was a fun way to learn about both body parts and colors! Thanks for this great idea!

Craft: Doctor Bags

I found so many great ideas online for this craft, especially Spell Out Loud and Miss Barbara at the Library.

This is one of my MOST favorite crafts EVER and so easy!

All the kids got a piece of construction paper and we folded it in half.
Next, we taped pipe cleaner handles onto each side.
Then I passed out different doctor items for their bags: red paper apples to stay healthy, band aids, gauze pads, popsicle sticks, cotton balls, medicine, etc.
Finally, we made the red cross first aid symbol for the front of our medical bags. 
The bags were so cute & everyone was very proud. Thanks so much to all the storytime bloggers who inspired this fun program! 

Summer is winding down now & everyone is getting ready to go back to school, but we had a nice size group of about 12 kids for our program today.

Monday, August 18, 2014

toddler time: hooray for hippos!

Our theme for Toddler Time today was HIPPOS!

Mystery Box: When we opened the yellow box, we found a hippo! What color is our hippo? Blue!

We passed out colorful paper hippos to the kids and sang:
Put your hippo up high
Put your hippo down low
Hold your hippo & turn around
Put your hippo up high
Put your hippo down low
Put your hippo on the ground.

Then we went right into this cute Hippo song: (from here!) 

The Feet of a Hippo Go Thump, Thump, Thump
(tune: "The Wheels on the Bus")
The feet of a hippo go thump, thump, thump,
Thump, thump, thump,
Thump, thump, thump.
The Feet of a hippo go thump, thump, thump,
All day long.

The nose of a hippo goes snort, snort, snort,
Snort, snort, snort,
Snort, snort, snort.
The nose of a hippo goes snort, snort, snort,
All day long.

The tail of a hippo goes swish, swish, swish,
Swish, swish, swish,
Swish, swish, swish.
The tail of a hippo goes swish, swish, swish,
All day long.

This song was my favorite part of the whole program. We had a great time stomping around, pointing to our noses and swishing our hands, I mean tails!)

Books We Read:
Hippos Go Berserk- Boynton (first half of book is good, second half didn’t flow as nicely for me for some reason)
Hippopposites- Coat ( I marked off some pages to skip because I wasn’t sure the concepts were toddler appropriate, like empty/full & positive/negative. Some pages were ok tho)
Happy Hippo, Angry Duck - Boynton again! (i decided to use another title instead due to the small size. It's very tiny)
But Not the Hippopotamus – Boynton (She does a lot for Hippos!)
Hide and Seek Harry- Harrison (At the Beach & Around the House are available on but not in my system & I didn’t have time to order; maybe next time!)

Felt Board: Hippos in the Bathtub

I was more familiar with the elephant version but the hippos worked too!
I found this idea here and I happily printed the same clipart as the blogger. 

One Hippo in the bathtub going for a swim
Knock, knock (clap hands)
Splash, splash, (slap knees)
Come on in!
(We counted up with additional hippos until we had six on our board. Then we named all the colors.) 

Puppets: Gray Animals Game

I really wanted a cute puppet element for my hippo theme and found some great ideas but this one stood out to me. We said:

“I know an animal that is colored gray.

It moves around like this, all day!”

We had "thump thump" - hippo
"hop hop" - bunny
"waves his trunk" - elephant
& finally "sleeps all day then goes thru your trash can looking for food at night" - raccoon (I heard some chuckling from the parents after this one!)

I found this cute puppet idea here.

Craft: Hippo Collages

I found a nice template so I cut some hippos out of construction paper, then we decorated with tissue paper and wiggle eyes. This was a nice easy craft, very fun & colorful!

Smaller group again today with about 14 kids. This theme was not my favorite, mostly because the books didn't work out great but I liked the craft & I think the kids had fun.

Friday, August 15, 2014

baby & me: MORE things that go

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a picture of a TRUCK. What color is our truck? Red!

Books We Read: 
Baby Goes Beep- O'Connell
Zoom Zoom Baby - Katz
Noodle Loves to Drive- Nosy Crow

Flannel Story: 
White Truck, White Truck, What Do You See?
(transportation take off on Brown Bear, Brown Bear) See my post here! Worked great and I love how everyone sings along! I found this amazing idea on a wonderful blog called Read It Again!

Puppet Song:

I stumbled upon this puppet while browsing around ebay a few weeks ago. It was one of those days and I was looking for an inexpensive "pick me up" to cheer me up! The auction was ending in ten minutes and it was a totally spur of the moment purchase. I was nervous it might be a mistake but the truck is super cute -- the wheels spin, the horn honks, two adorable finger puppets are driving it -- what more could you ask for?!!! Plus, it's great for this kind of theme. 

We sang this song when I pulled it out of my big straw box:

The Wheels on the Truck
(Adapted by Laura Douglas. Sing to the tune of "Wheels on the Bus.")
The wheels on the truck go round and round
Round and round
Round and round
The wheels on the truck go round and round
All through the town.
(Also: The driver of the truck goes up and down...
The horn on the truck goes honk, honk, honk...)

Great program today with a HUGE crowd and tons of new faces. I hope they come back. Not all at once on the same day though because I feel bad when we run out of seats and they have to sit on tables in the back of the room. Very nice group and also very appreciative!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

toddler time: Pancakes for Piggies (or Eat Like a Pig!)

Our theme for Toddler Time today was PIGS (& BREAKFAST!)

Mystery Box: When we opened the yellow box, we found a pig! What color is our pig? 

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

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

If you flip your pig over the other side is a pancake with butter on it! We used our pancake side for this rhyme:

Mix a pancake, stir a pancake
Pop it in the pan
Fry a pancake, toss a pancake
Catch it if you can!

Books We Read:
If You Give a Pig a Pancake- Numeroff
Max’s Breakfast- Wells
Chew Chew Gulp- Thompson

Felt Board: Piggy Piggy, Let Me See (from a great post on Flannel Friday of course!)

We hid some laminated clipart pancakes behind one of our felt pigs & said:

Pink pig, Pink pig, 
Let me see!
Do you have any pancakes for me?

Keep trying until you find the pancakes! It might be fun to hide some other foods too, like maybe milk or fruit.

Craft: Pig & Pancakes Puppets

I found a good site with lots of Laura Numeroff printables here. So all I had to do was print the puppets onto cardstock (see first photo). The kids colored them & taped them to popsicle sticks. Very cute!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

bingo party!

Who doesn't love BINGO? 

We had a packed program room today for our next Alice in Wonderland themed event. I found these great printable bingo cards here at DLTK so I printed out 20 cards and a call sheet. At the beginning of the program, the kids colored their bingo cards while we waited for everyone to arrive. Since a few people were waiting for a spot in case we had no shows, I was able to fill the 8 empty seats (tho I did give late arrivals a ten minute grace period before I gave their seats away just to be fair.)

Aside from printing the bingo cards and setting up a prize table, preparing for this program was pretty stress free. We played several rounds and had a bunch of lucky winners. It was nice to see families enjoying themselves together. After about 45 minutes, we ended the program with popsicles for everyone! I was afraid the kids might be sad if they didn't get a prize but everyone was so happy with their popsicles on this hot day that no one even seemed to mind at all. A great day! 

On the way out, all the parents asked when the next BINGO party was so I'm thinking Halloween Bingo sounds perfect! With costumes!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

toddler time: feeling sheep-ish today!

Our theme for Toddler Time today was SHEEP!

Mystery Box: When we opened the yellow box, we found a lamb puppet! What color is our lamb? She is so soft!

My farm set and today's lamb puppet

We passed out sheep puppets to all the kids and sang:

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

We also used our sheep for this song:

Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep (hide puppet)
And doesn’t know where to find them
Leave them alone and they’ll come… HOME! (bring back puppet)
Waving their tails behind them.
(found this on Jbrary where they recommend using scarves! so cute!)

Books We Read:
I Heard a Little Baaa- MacLeod (love it)
Where Is the Green Sheep? - Fox (great book)

Felt Board: Where Is the Green Sheep?

I hid him behind one of these bushes and we had a great time looking for him! Is he under the red bush? No! How about the pink one? Nope! Maybe he's under the green bush? YES! 

Did this flannel board right after the book so they were really interested!

Puppets: On the Farm

I used my barnyard set (see first photo) along with my sheep finger puppet for this song (found here):

(tune: Wheels on the Bus)
The sheep on the farm go Baa Baa Baa
baa baa baa
baa baa baa
The sheep on the farm go Baa Baa Baa
all day long!

(also did Pig & Cow)

Craft: Fuzzy Sheep Puppets 

I printed cute double sided sheep so the kids could color them any color they liked. I'm having a hard time finding the website when I found this template but there are tons of great sheep crafts out there! 

We glued cotton balls on to make our sheep nice & fuzzy, then added a popsicle stick so we could use them as puppets. 

Great group today, the perfect size with about 17 kids. Loved both the puppet song and the craft, and the books were fun too! One of the grandmothers asked me why the branch closest to her house doesn't have great programs for toddlers and it was so nice to hear that she appreciated my class.