Friday, October 31, 2014

toddler time: happy halloween!

Today, our toddler theme was PUMPKINS!

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a a pumpkin puppet!

We sang:

(tune: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)

Pumpkin pumpkin on the ground
How'd you get so big and round
Planted as a seed so small
Now you are a great big ball
Pumpkin pumpkin on the ground
How'd you get so big and round

We passed out paper pumpkins to all the kids and did:

Pumpkin, Pumpkin
Pumpkin, Pumpkin, turn around
Pumpkin, Pumpkin, touch the ground
Pumpkin, Pumpkin, grow on the vine
Pumpkin, Pumpkin, you're all mine!

And we HAD to do my favorite pumpkin song while waving our paper pumpkins in the air:

The pumpkins are here. The pumpkins are there.
The pumpkins, the pumpkins are everywhere.

The pumpkins are up. The pumpkins are down.
The pumpkins, the pumpkins are all around.

The pumpkins are in. The pumpkins are out.
The pumpkins, the pumpkins are all about.

The pumpkins are low. The pumpkins are high.
The pumpkins, the pumpkins all say,  "Goodbye!"

Books We Read: 
Duck & Goose Find a Pumpkin- Hill
Five Little Pumpkins- Van Rynbach

Flannel Story: I've Got a Little Orange Pumpkin 

This one is from Miss Tracey at Little Storybug and it's awesome with an extremely catchy tune!

I’ve got a little white pumpkin
Cutest I’ve ever seen
But I hope my little white pumpkin
Turns orange for Halloween

Go thru several colors till you get to orange!

Thanks Miss Tracey, you're the BEST!


I loved the pumpkin paper bag puppet craft from last Halloween but just to mix it up a little, I gave everyone a choice between that or a stick puppet version with pipe cleaner arms and legs. Surprisingly, most people wanted sticks. He is pretty cute! Also handed out pom pom noses and sticky wiggle eyes.

We had a lively, decent sized group today with about 16 kids so nothing too crazy. Most were dressed in wonderful costumes, like Belle, Anna, Jake the Pirate, Minnie Mouse and many more! I dressed as a ladybug.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

baby & me: halloween

Today was time for another Halloween edition of Baby & Me. 

Many of the babies dressed in costume this year which is sooo fun! We had an astronaut, a cupcake, an owl, a fish, a princess, some pumpkins, and a Winnie the Pooh, just to name a few! I dressed as a black cat!

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a little baby pumpkin! What color is a pumpkin?

I re-used many of the same things as last year since things had gone so well. Sorry for the repetition but I love recycling a few of my favorites each year!

Books We Read: 
Where Is Baby’s Pumpkin- Katz
Pumpkin Faces- Rose
Jack & Jill- Yoon

Holiday Rhyme:
This is a great fall themed song to use as a bounce/lift rhyme with the babies. You could use it with toddlers and preschoolers with popsicle stick puppets too.

The Pumpkins Are Here
(sung to: "The Farmer in the Dell").
The pumpkins are here, the pumpkins are there. The pumpkins, the pumpkins are everywhere.
The pumpkins are up; the pumpkins are down. The pumpkins, the pumpkins are all around.
The pumpkins are in; the pumpkins are out. The pumpkins, the pumpkins are all about.
The pumpkins are low; the pumpkins are high. The pumpkins, the pumpkins all say, "Good-bye".
From Perpetual Preschool

Flannel Story: Brown Bat, Brown Bat, What Do You See?

I found this idea at Mel’s Desk & it was awesome! We sang to the tune of “Twinkle Twinkle” as I placed different colored Halloween & autumn themed felt pieces on the flannel board: brown bat, red leaf, gray owl, yellow moon, white ghost, black cat, & orange pumpkin. Thanks Mel for this amazing idea!

Puppet: Ghosties

I planned to re-use this song but my voice is still weak at times so I skipped it this year.

Two Little Ghosties
2 little ghosties looking at you
One named Woo, one named Boo!
Fly away Woo, fly away Boo!
Fly back Woo, fly back Boo!
From Loons and Quines

We had a wonderful group today with about 17 babies. Everyone was participating and singing along. Another great class!

halloween party: no tricks, just treats!

Every year, we plan a special Halloween program for kids of all ages and costumes are welcome, but not required. I decided to dress as a witch!

We start off with some Halloween books:

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything- Williams
In a Dark Dark Wood- Carter
Five Black Cats- Hegarty

Did you know that Old MacDonald had a haunted house as well as a farm? Me neither! Then I found this cute song on Flannel Friday! So, I made it a puppet song with an old haunted house I made from a boot box. I found some puppets and halloween stuff my house and my office to use so it was super easy.  You can find the words and some more info right here.

We also featured a prop song called Ten Trick or Treaters. The words to this adorable song can also be found in the Halloween Hootenanny post by Carol Simon Levin as well! 

I used clip art to sing the first verses then flipped it over for the last verse to surprise everyone. Luckily, I had another staff member to help me hold this. Very fun! I bought the clipart on Etsy.

 kids in costumes for the first verses

regular kids for the end of the song

After our stories & songs, we played Halloween BINGO! This was a new addition to our annual party inspired by the Alice in Wonderland BINGO program we offered last summer. It was so successful that everyone kept asking about the next one. Everyone loves BINGO! I printed the holiday bingo cards from this site

BINGO winners could choose a prize from my cauldron of witch’s brew where we offered cool stuff like eyeball erasers and spider rings!

As families left the program room, we put out a craft table for everyone to make their own Ghost Pops! We also had some giveaways like museum passes and treat bags.

We made this lollipop pumpkin and I just love it! We used an ice pick to make holes (but you can also use a drill or a hammer & nail) then you just insert the lollipops.

This was a really fun program. My favorite parts were the Ghost Pops, the BINGO and the Halloween version of Old MacDonald. We had a great turnout with about 25 kids plus lots of parents, tho I was a little surprised that more people weren't wearing costumes. A great day!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

halloween craft for kids

Maybe it's just me but Halloween always feels like the busiest time of year here at my library. We always have a special Halloween craft program and this year, I used this cute kit from OTC. 

They are Trick or Treat Doorknob Hangers that the kids decorated with all kinds of foamie stickers. I also gave out pipe cleaners to give the holders a little extra pizzazz. 23 kids attended which was the exact number of kits that I had. That part was little nerve-racking but thank goodness, we barely had enough. It was very fun and so easy! 

Plus, one of the kiddies brought me a baby pumpkin and its so cute! Thanks Lucy!

Friday, October 24, 2014

toddler time: along came a spider!

Our theme for Toddler Time today was SPIDERS.

Mystery Box: When we opened the yellow box, we found a spider puppet. What color is our spider? Black with lots of legs!

We passed out paper spiders to the kids and sang:

Hold your spiders up high
Hold your spiders down low
Hold your spider and turn around
Hold your spiders up high
Hold your spiders down low
Put your spider on the ground

The we sang along with our paper spiders to Raffi’s book Spider on the Floor.

Also Read:
The Very Busy Spider- Carle ( I love this lift the flap version!)
If You're Happy and You Know It- Carter

Felt Board: 5 Furry Spiders Jumping on the Web 

5 furry spiders jumping on the web
one fell off & bumped his head.
the others looked down & said are you ok?
but only 4 furry spiders were left to play.

count down to just 1 spider left.

1 furry spider jumping on the web
he fell off & bumped his head.
no one looked down to ask are you ok?
and there were no other spiders left to play.

I shortened it to three today because my voice was getting weak and it actually worked great for this age group!


We sang the Itsy Bity Spider song first, then we did the Big Enormous Spider version!

Craft: Itsy Bitsy Spider Houses

I think this is the cutest craft I’ve ever seen! It's from the website Making Learning Fun.

I printed out the houses on cardstock and cut them out. The kids colored them, then you just tape on a straw with a spider attached so he can move up and down the water spout as you sing the song. Love it! 

We had a great group today of about 17 kids. I loved the felt story & the craft. I had a major coughing fit after singing too many verses of Spider on the Floor but I played songs on the cd player until I recovered a little. it was embarrassing but I think I did the best I could. Still a fun program!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

baby & me: bats & cats!

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a black cat! What does a cat say?

Books We Read: 
Little Boo- Yoon (perfect for today, the babies loved it)
Little Black Book- Khatami (so cute!)
Five Black Cats- Hegarty
Look at the Animals- Linenthal

Flannel Story: Black Cat, Black Cat

A cat/halloween version of Little Mouse is perfect for our theme today! I already used this for a previous cat themed baby program so all I needed for this morning was a black cat.

We said:
Black cat, black cat
are you hiding under the COLOR hat?

...until we found him hiding beneath the black hat, of course.

Puppet Rhyme: Flutter, Flutter Little Bat

I found a few different versions of this song online. The one that I used is based on Storytime Katie’s version. Love her blog! The tune is "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star".

Flutter, flutter little bat
How I wonder where you’re at

Up above the midnight sky
Peeking down with shiny eyes

Flutter, flutter little bat
How I wonder where you’re at

This was a fun theme! My favorite parts of the program were the felt board and the bat puppet song. We had a wonderful group today and everyone was participating. The weather was rainy and cold, so our group was a bit smaller with about 17 babies. My throat has been bugging me this week and I was a little nervous about making it thru the program without a major coughing fit but everything went perfectly. The smaller sized group helped because I didn't have to sing or read as loudly as usual. Great morning!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

book preview

Earlier this month, I was lucky enough to attend Tri-State 2014 Book Buzz @Random House. I usually miss out on cool stuff like this because of previously scheduled programs or staff shortages, etc. Also, the long trek into Manhattan is not always my favorite way to spend the day but in this case, it was so worth it!

First off, the view from the conference room at RH is amazing! I don't know how anyone on the staff gets any work done with a view like that. Seriously though, it seemed like a really awesome place to work.

the gorgeous view from the Louis L'Amour Room

Anyway, over twenty publishing houses gave short presentations about their upcoming titles for both teens and kids, so it was really interesting. They even provided breakfast, lunch and cute tote bags filled with ARCs for all the librarians.

Since the first books to catch my eye are always the picture books, my notes focus mostly on that format. However, we did get to see a huge variety of all sorts of titles for a wide range of ages.

Wish by Matthew Cordell
about a new baby in the family; love this author! And this cover alone puts a smile on my face!

Templeton Gets His Wish by Greg Pizzoli
from author of the wonderful book The Watermelon Seed

Completely Clementine by Sara Pennypacker
last one in series!

The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
on WWII; I loved her previous book Jefferson's Sons -- it was amazing!!

The Little Mouse Who Lost her Squeak &
the Little Fox Who Lost His Tail by Jedda Robaard
I can never have enough "Lift the Flap" books and how adorable is the cover art?!!!!

Red: A Crayon's Story
Red by Michael Hall
About a crayon who is really blue! From the author of Perfect Square

Touch the Brightest Star by Christie Mattheson
If you like Tap the Magic Tree as much as I do, you will look forward to this one as it's supposed to be very similar in style!!)

If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson
LOVE his beautiful artwork!

Ice Cream Summer by Peter Sis
Although I could not find the cover art online yet, trust me, the illustrations looked very cute!!!!

Product Details
Night Owl by Yuly
from the author of Early Bird. I love the simple text of these books -- perfect for babies & toddlers.

Won Ton and Chopstick by Lee Wardlaw
I don't usually get this excited about poetry but I'm a huge Won Ton fan!

Fish Food by Andy Mansfield
It's a Pop Up book so I already love it, LOL!

Look! by Jeff Mack
"It's a Book"-ish (Not much art or info available yet)

AND last but not least, there are lots of new Who Was... and What Was... on the way, like Galileo, Wayne Gretsky, Harriet Beecher Stowe, etc. These titles are super popular at my library.