Friday, September 26, 2014

toddler time: monkey business

Our theme for Toddler Time today was MONKEYS (& bananas too!)

Mystery Box: When we opened the yellow box, we found a yellow banana. Who loves to eat bananas? Monkeys do! 

I’m a Little Monkey   (tune: ‘I’m a Little Teapot’)
I’m a little monkey in the tree, swinging by my tail so merrily.
I can leap & fly from tree to tree, I have lots of fun you see.

I’m a little monkey watch me play, munching on bananas every day.
Lots of monkey friends to play with me. We have fun up in the trees.
(credit: King County Library System)

We passed out yellow construction paper bananas to the kids and sang:

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

Books We Read:
Two Little Monkeys- Fox
*Monkey & Me- Gravett
*Spunky Little Monkey- Martin
Swing Like a Monkey- Taback

Felt Board: Counting Bananas

This one is so easy! All you need is a monkey puppet (plush or paper, anything works!) and five felt bananas. I put the bananas on my flannel board & the monkey takes them off one at a time. Here is the rhyme:

5 yellow bananas, and not one more.
The monkey ate one, & then there were 4

4 yellow bananas, so yummy to see.
The monkey ate one, & then there were 3

3 yellow bananas, & he knew what to do.
The monkey ate one, & then there were 2

2 yellow bananas, hanging in the sun.
The monkey ate one, & then there was 1

1 yellow banana, well for goodness sake.
The monkey ate that one, & he got a tummyache

Now there are no little bananas hanging on the tree
Monkey, your tummy wouldn’t hurt if you shared them with me!

Great Rhyme for This Theme
I LOVE this song! We do it almost every week!
From Jbrary! Watch their video here

Bananas unite!
Peel bananas, peel peel bananas
(repeat with chop, mash, eat)

Craft: Monkey Paper Bag Puppets

I needed a super simple money craft so I found a clip art monkey face & printed it on to light brown paper.

I also cut out some basic arms. We glued the arms & faces to our paper lunch bags for a really cute craft!

Today was really crazy! Lots of toddlers and siblings also. I think it was because there was no school today. Part of the chair rail and a fire extinguisher fell right off the wall in the middle of my program so that was interesting. The Mem Fox book & the craft were great but the biggest hit of the day was the monkey puppet.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

baby & me: good enough to eat!

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found FOOD! There’s a banana, an apple & an orange! 

Today, I used play food but once I used a real orange for my yellow box and after the "reveal", one little girl grabbed it and took a bite out of it! It was hilarious!!

Books We Read: 
Eat- Intrater (love the baby photos. We always point to the body parts mentioned in the text as we read so it's more interactive)
Yummy Yucky- Patricelli (no time today!)
Strawberries Are Red- Horacek 

Flannel Story: Hide & Seek Caterpillar

I hide the very hungry caterpillar under one of my fruits and we try to find him:

I’m looking for a caterpillar
He’s playing hide & seek!
Is he under the orange?
Let’s take a peek!

This idea came from Mel's Desk and I love it!!!! So do the babies! See my post here for more info.

Puppet Rhyme: Five Little Peas (see photo with today's books)

Five little peas in a peapod pressed;
One grew, two grew & so did all the rest.
They grew and they grew & they did not stop,
Until one day the peapod ... POPPED!

I started by counting the peas in my peapod. At the end, I used my other hand to make all the peas pop out! Very fun! I found this idea HERE)

Great Baby Rhyme for this Theme:

All Around the Berry Fields (bouncing rhyme) from Jbrary

(tune:  “Pop goes the Weasel”) 
All around the strawberry fields
we picked some juicy berries
we brought them home and washed them off
POP! (LIFT BABY) go the berries!…
(Repeat with other blueberries & blackberries)

It was a very rainy day today and there was a Jewish holiday, so we had a pretty small group of about 12 babies. It was kind of a nice break! I was grateful so many families braved the bad weather to make it to the library. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

toddler time: peekaboo hedgehog!

Our theme for Toddler Time today was PEEKABOO -- and hedgehogs too!

Mystery Box: When we opened the yellow box, we found a hedgehog!! 

One of my most favorite puppets for storytime!

I’m a little hedgehog sweet & small.
When I get scared, I curl up in a ball.
I really love to roll around.
Watch me spin across the ground!
(tune: I'm a Little Teapot)

There are a few different versions of this song on the web. I combined a few and ended up with the song above.

We passed out colorful paper hedgehogs (OMG how cute are they?!! Found during a hedgehog clipart google search) to the kids and we sang the song again together. 

Next up, we did:

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

A while later, I pulled out my puppet again and told the kids: Mr Hedgehog loves to play peekaboo!

Where is hedgehog? PEEKABOO!
Where is hedgehog? PEEKABOO!
Where is hedgehog? PEEKABOO!
PEEKABOO to Hedgehog!

Books We Read:
Peek a Moo - Cimarusti (wow, actually kept their attention! LOVE it)
Peekaboo Blueberry- Saltzberg
Peekaboo- Gomi

Felt Board: Hedgehog Friends from Storytime ABCs

This blog has tons of great hedgehog ideas!! I borrowed the counting up rhyme to use with this adorable clipart that I purchased on Etsy.

Craft: Peekaboo Kids

This printable craft can be found here. I printed out the "kids" onto cardstock and I covered some cardboard tubes with construction paper. The toddlers just colored their kids to create a cute peekaboo craft! The Little Big Book Club has so many wonderful craft ideas and many are printable. It's definitely worth checking out.

We had a TON of toddlers today and I was so grateful for this super easy craft!! Read only one book today since I am mostly focusing on my CD songs and a rhyme or two right now.  Hopefully this group will become familiar with my format and their attention spans will develop as we go thru the next few months. All in all, a good day!

baby & me: MORE sounds

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found some bells, can you hear them?

Books We Read:
Polar Bear, Polar Bear - Martin/Carle (ok but not as great as the Brown Bear one)
Animal Noises - Killen (cute!)

Puppet Rhyme:
We practiced our animal sounds by singing "Old MacDonald" to the animals in my red barn prop. 

Flannel Story: Let's Make a Noise 

See my post here! This one is always a winner!!!

I wasn't feeling well this week and needed theme that I could pull together quickly so I decided to recycle some of my "oldies but goodies." I use this theme a couple of times a year so it was easy to pull elements together for today's program.

We had a ton of babies as usual but many two year olds attended. Most were well behaved but one was playing with the lights and my stereo, etc., which was really distracting. It was difficult for me but I felt that I had to make a firm announcement at the beginning of class about this. I stated that this program is for ages 0-18 months and older children probably are not going to be interested in what we were doing today. I also mentioned the need to be extra careful with both tiny babies and older children in the small confined area to be sure no one was accidentally stepped on. 

I didn't mean to scold anyone but its hard when the room is so overcrowded and there are kids in there that should be attending our toddler sessions instead. I don't want to have to strictly enforce age levels but I want parents to understand we have limited space and age recommendations are important and need to be respected.

Then I felt terrible because the whole vibe of the room was different. A couple of moms thanked me for the class after and mentioned how patient I was. I may have been a little crabby but I think I was right to say something. Its such a fine line with parents, something I struggle with every week for sure.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

preschool fun: who said RED?

Today, our theme was the COLOR RED!

Books We Read:
Yoo-Hoo Ladybug- Fox
Pepo & Lola and the Red Apple
Fire Truck – Sis
Red Wagon- Liwska
The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear – Wood

More Wonderful Red-Related Books:
The Very Grouchy Ladybug- Carle
The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza- Sturges
Lemons Are Not Red- Seeger
Who Said Red - Serfozo

Flannel Story: 5 Little Apples Hanging in a Tree from Sunflower Storytime! She even has printable apples and your own Mr. Slinky Worm, how awesome is that?!!!

Five little apples hanging in a tree,
Teasing Mr. Slinky Worm “You can’t eat me!”
Along comes Mr. Slinky Worm as quiet as can be. . .
And . . . CRUNCH!

(Repeat with 4, 3, 2, 1)

Craft: Paper Plate Apples

 I found this adorable idea on Storytime Katie!

First, I handed out brown strips of construction paper and asked the kids to color their "worms" & then we added wiggle eyes. We folded our worms and taped them onto red plastic paper plates. I punched a hole in the top of the plate for a pipe cleaner stem and we added a green construction paper leaf or two. So cute!

This theme was totally inspired by the Storytime Katie post above and many other RED themed Storytime Blogs. Here are a couple of my favorites:

Today's program went great with about 10 kids attending, which is really good for me! One little boy arrived dressed in a fire hat and coat, red of course & perfect for today's theme! I loved today's craft and it was super easy! The kids loved Mr. Slinky Worm! 

Now, I am planning to feature other colors in my upcoming preschool programs this fall. Currently working on ORANGE for October and YELLOW for November. Going with the color theme is great because its open enough to include all kinds of loosely related books, flannels, etc., and not as restricting as a more specific theme.

Friday, September 12, 2014

toddler time: beautiful balloons

Our theme for Toddler Time today was BALLOONS -- and circles too!

Mystery Box: When we opened the yellow box, we found a balloon!! What color is our balloon? Let's blow it  up! Our balloon is round like a circle.

We passed out construction paper circles to the kids and sang:

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

Books We Read:
Little Roar’s Round Balloon- Lodge
I Love Birthdays - Walker
Pop Went Another Balloon - Faulkner
If You're Happy & You Know It- Carter

Felt Board: Balloon Song
See this post! We did a shortened version today for the toddlers with just five balloons.

Craft: construction paper balloons

I cut out balloons in all colors for the kids to color & decorate with stickers. We taped a short piece of yarn on the back to make our own balloons.

I feel like a lot of my "old" toddlers are in preschool this fall but we have tons of new faces this month. Some of my regulars have finally started singing and following along with our songs now and I love to see that. With so many young/new faces at my programs, I've kind of gone back to basics: VERY easy crafts, 1-2 very short books, etc., at least for a while. Everyone seems to be loving it so we'll see how things go!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

baby & me: counting fun

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found some shaky eggs: 1 ,2, 3 eggs

Books We Read: 
1 2 3 Counting Fun- Tiger Tales (So bright & colorful)
Big Fat Hen- Baker (this was a last minute change. loved how everyone joined in until the last few pages with a cute but unexpected ending.)

Flannel Story: Ten Little Babies

We sang:
1 little, 2 little, 3 little babies
4 little, 5 little, 6 little babies
7 little, 8 little, 9 little babies
10 little babies go clap clap clap

Then we counted down as I removed the babies:
9 little, 8 little, 7 little babies
6 little, 5 little, 4 little babies
3 little, 2 little, 1 little babies
No little babies go clap clap clap

Puppet Rhyme: 
“Here Is a Beehive” with my Bumble Bee puppet glove. The counting part at the end is perfect for my number theme today!

Here is a beehive
But where are all the bees?
Hidden away where nobody sees!
Watch them come creeping out of their hive:
1 2 3 4 5!

WONDERFUL class today! Seriously, it was like a dream, with everyone singing along and NO CHATTING!! We had a ton of babies too. Tried out a new scarf rhyme for my program called "This is the Way We Wash Our Hands" (from Jbrary of course) and everyone loved it!! Loved my counting/number theme too! So many compliments from the mothers today. I think people are really enjoying this program.

Friday, September 5, 2014

toddler time: dance, dance, dance!

Our theme for Toddler Time today was DANCING (& also Peppa Pig – love her!)

Mystery Box: When we opened the yellow box, we found a pretty scarf!! What color is my scarf today?

We passed out scarves to the kids and sang:
Dance your scarf up high
Dance your scarf down low
Hold your scarf & turn around
Dance your ice scarf up high
Dance your scarf down low
Put your scarf on the ground.

Then I sang:
Let’s All Dance (Tune: Mary Had a Little Lamb)
Let’s all dance with our scarves today, scarves today, scarves today!
Let’s all dance with our scarves today, all around the room

Also, MARCH with our scarves & JUMP with our scarves

Books We Read:
Giraffe’s Can’t Dance: Number Rumba- Andreae (cute!)
Do Donkeys Dance- Walsh (great although not much dancing in this book. we did admire Donkey's tutu on the title page! Sometimes its nice to read a book that's not closely related to the theme to change things up)
I Love to Dance- Walker
Baby Danced the Polka- Beaumont
Barnyard Dance- Boynton
Dancing Feet- Craig

Felt Board: Five Little Dancers

This Flannel board is borrowed from a wonderful blog called Jen in the Library

Note: I did change the word “ballet” to “little” for my program.

Five ballet dancers
Dancing on their toes.
They twirl, spin and jump,
then off the stage one goes!
How many ballet dancers are left?

Continue counting down until…

One ballet dancer
Dancing on his/her toes.
S/He twirls, spins, and jumps,
Then off the stage s/he goes!
How many ballet dancers are left?
And what do we do when the show is over?
(Everyone claps)

The clapping at the end is my favorite part!!! All the kids & parents loved seeing Peppa Pig in our felt story! 

I purchased this adorable dancing Peppa Pig clipart on Etsy. I printed it & laminated it for my program today.

Craft: Peppa Pig Puppets

I had a hard time finding a quick easy dance related craft so I opted for a Peppa Pig craft. I figured that we could make our puppets dance! I just printed the image on cardstock for the kids to decorate & attach to popsicle sticks.

I recently found a very cute Dance themed craft at Miss Meg's Storytime, using a paper plate, streamers, ribbons & stickers to make a paper plate dancer. So I also pulled out a bunch of supplies for this craft too!

We had so many (very young!!) toddlers this morning and things were a little chaotic so I opted to stick with the first craft; we'll save the paper plate one for another day. 

We had tons of new toddlers today as well as some familiar faces returning after the summer, so that was nice. The flannel board was the highlight of the program today for me. We also did the Hokey Pokey, which was fun!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

baby & me: move it!

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a black bird. How does a bird move? It flies! 
Also, a fish! what does a fish do? He swims! 
And one more, a snake! What does a snake say?

Puppet Song: See my post here.

Did you ever see a blackbird, a blackbird, a blackbird,
Did you ever see a blackbird fly this way and that?
Fly this way, fly that way, fly this way, fly that way
Did you ever see a blackbird fly this way and that.

…a fishy swim this way and that
…a snake slither this way and that

Books We Read: 
One, Two, Three…Crawl- Littler Movers
Move- Slegers
Wiggle- Gomi

Flannel Story: Five Little Babies

I borrowed this cute felt board from Storytime Secrets a while back and its so cute! It is one of my "go to" flannel boards for sure!

We had a great group today, lots of new faces! Everything went pretty well until it felt like I just lost everyone's attention about 3/4 of the way thru the program. Even the scarf songs could not get them back. Sigh...We did have some cranky little ones today and more crying than usual. Hopefully next week is a little better!