Friday, February 27, 2015

toddler time: food, glorious food!

Today, our toddler theme was FOOD! Love this theme, there are so many great books for kids about food!

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a pea pod! What color is a pea? Who likes to eat peas? Let's count the peas in our pea pod.

5 little peas in a pea pod pressed
One grew, two grew and so did all the rest!
They grew and they grew and they did not stop
Until one day the pod went ...POP!(peas go everywhere!)

We passed out happy paper peas (just green circles with smiley faces!) to everyone & sang:

Put your pea UP, put your pea DOWN
Hold your pea and turn around!
Put your pea UP, put your pea DOWN
Put your pea down on the ground.

Books We Read: 
The Very Hungry Caterpillar- Carle
Guess What?: Food- Yonezu (We have a few other books by this author and if they work as great as this one, I will be ecstatic!! Kids LOVED this!)
Lunch- Fleming
We’re Going to a Farmer’s Market-Page

Flannel Board: Flip Flap Jack

I purchased this set on Etsy a looooong time ago and I don't think I've ever used it. Now, I'm kicking myself because its AWESOME! The song is kind of long but its just soooo cute! The kids were mesmerized and the parents were giggling. My new favorite, for sure!

There was a man made of food, made of food, made of food
There was a man made of food
And his name was Flip Flap Jack (clap clap clap when you say his name!)

His head was made of a pancake, a pancake, a pancake
His head was made of a pancake,
And his name was Flip Flap Jack.

His eyes were made of blueberries, blueberries, blueberries

His eyes were made of blueberries
And his name was Flip Flap Jack.

Repeat for: 
hair/whipped cream 
feet/French toast 
bellybutton/raspberry (not pictured because I could not figure out how the raspberry fit in!! Good thing I looked it up because I think it's like the best part!!)

And he danced upon the table, the table, the table
He danced upon the table
And his name was Flip Flap Jack

I sing this to the tune of Aiken Drum but there are lots of videos where it's more of a rhyme or chant. I found a great video HERE.

Craft:  Very Hungry Caterpillar Puppets

So easy, just print on cardstock and precut if you want!

Today was super fun!! We had our usual crowd of about 20 or so toddlers. It was a little louder than usual and a bit hard to speak loudly with my sore throat but we had a great time! Flip Flap Jack was definitely the star of the day!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

baby & me: easy as 1, 2, 3!

Today's theme for Baby & Me was COUNTING, especially NUMBERS 1 to 3.

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found TWO birds: a duck and a goose. What does a duck say? QUACK! What does a goose say? HONK!!

How cute are these two???!! I just love them!

Books We Read: 
Duck and Goose 1 2 3 – Hill (went great with my stuffed Duck & Goose props!)
1 2 3 Counting Fun- My First Touch & Feel Series
One, Two, Buckle My Shoe- Cabrera

Flannel Story: Five Little Boats

I found this cute flannel board idea on Sunflower Storytime. It's great for a boat themed program but also works with my counting themed one. She even posted printable clipart for this!

I began with all the boats on the board, except for the sailboat. I brought him out at the very end like a surprise. We counted the boats one to four at the beginning of the rhyme, then we recounted with the sailboat on the felt board at the end.

The first little boat went chug, chug, chug.
The second little boat went tug, tug, tug.
The third little boat went row, row, row.
The fourth little boat went oh sooo slooooow.
Here comes the sailboat, watch it go!

Puppet Song: One, Two, Three, Blow!

This cute rhyme was recently posted on Flannel Friday by Story Time Secrets and I loved it so I basically copied the entire thing. It was great for today's number theme and I love how everyone can participate by counting along with me and doing the action for each verse. It worked great today!

Another smallish group today with about 12 babies. The nicest group of moms you could ever meet! The babies are mostly around the same age and everyone is a regular so its like we all know each other. This theme is great because so many books and flannels work with it, and you can have a lot of variety so it doesn't get boring. Good class today even though my throat is still a little sore from last week's cold.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

toddler time: snow much fun!

Today, our toddler theme was SNOWMEN – perfect for the arctic weather we’ve been experiencing lately here in the Northeast. BRRRRR!

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

We passed out snowman paper puppets to all the children and we did this rhyme:

Put your snowman UP, put your snowman DOWN
Hold your snowman and turn around!
Put your snowman UP, put your snowman DOWN
Put your snowman down on the ground.

Books We Read: 
Mouse's First Snow - Thompson
Snowballs- Ehlert
If Its Snowy and You Know It, Clap Your Paws- Norman

Flannel Board: Five Little Snowmen Riding on a Sled

I found this idea at What Happens in Storytime. My purple sled was a last minute addition and definitely needs some work but you get the idea!

5 Little Snowmen
5 little snowmen riding on a sled
One fell off and bumped his head
Papa called the doctor and the doctor said,
“No more snowmen riding on the sled!”

Shaving Cream/Sensory Bag Snowmen

This is a fun, easy craft, and everyone LOVES it even though it is a little messy! I look forward to this one every year -- it's become a tradition.

I always draw the smiles on my ziplock bags before the program so we can just tape on pre-cut eyes and noses. Then you fill it with some shaving cream and tape it shut.

We had a wonderful group today with about 20 kids. The craft was awesome and the flannel board was also a highlight. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

baby & me: it's all about mom!

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a two cats. What does a cat say? 

We have a MAMA Cat & a BABY cat!

Puppet Song:

Where is Mama Cat? Where Is Mama Cat?
Here I am, Here I am
How are you today, Cat?
Very well, I thank you.
Meow, Meow, Meow!

(Repeat with BABY cat!)
Tune: Frere Jacques
Hold both puppets behind your back to start.

Books We Read: 
Mommy, Look What I Can Do- Mack
Are You My Mommy - Wan
Pick Me Up Mama- Luebs

Flannel Story: Mommy Matching

See my post here!

We had a nice group of about 10 babies. A couple of moms brought older children since its a school break and they were very well behaved mostly. I really liked this theme and my books but both the moms and babies seemed a bit distracted and there was some chatting. Its been so cold, maybe everyone was just happy to get out of their houses and see other people for a change. Just ok today, not great. Also I have a slight cold and probably was not at my best either.

preschool fun: black & white


This is the fourth program in my Preschool Colors Series.

Books We Read:

So many different books can fit this theme and that’s part of why I love it. I was thinking clouds, snowmen, nighttime, penguins, pandas, zebras, cows, etc.

Snowmen at Night- Buehner
Panda Big and Panda Small- Cabrera
Panda Bear, Panda Bear What Do You See- Martin
Penguins, Penguins, Everywhere - Barner
The Little Zebra Who Lost His Stripes- Robaard
Moo Moo, Can You Say It Too - Braun
Little Cloud – Carle
Cookie's Week- Ward

Flannel Story: 5 Baby Penguins

I found this great rhyme here. I used clipart penguins so I just needed to make my felt iceberg. The penguins are laminated - sorry about the glare!

Craft: Paper Penguins (with moveable arms)

 I found this cute template here.

I printed it onto cardstock for the kids to color, cut and assemble. We gave our penguins sparkly star stickers for their bellies. SO easy and cute too!

Today was yet another brutally cold day here, with below zero temps so I only had ONE child attending. I originally planned this for December and got snowed out. I HATE WINTER! I will save my supplies and reuse this someday, maybe with a local preschool.

Friday, February 13, 2015

toddler time: a heart full of love

Today, our toddler theme was LOVE, of course!!

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a heart! What color is our heart? Red!

We passed our paper hearts to everyone & sang:

Hold your heart up
Hold your heart down
Hold your heart & turn around!
Hold your heart up
Hold your heart down
Put your heart on the ground.

Will we ever get sick of this little rhyme? It doesn't seem like it!! I still enjoy it and I think the kids like the repetition.

Books We Read: 
Where Is Nicky’s Valentine- Ziefert (great! Everyone loved this one!)
We Love Each Other-Yonezu  (I thought this was so cute but many of the kids lost interest. Next time I'll choose something else! Maybe better for babies?)
All Kinds of Kisses - Tafuri
Huggy Kissy - Patricelli

Flannel Board: Love Bug, Love Bug Oh So Smart

See my post here!

Valentine Song: There’s a Little Wheel Turning in my Heart

Inspired by the amazing blog Storytime Secrets

I saw this on Flannel Friday so I made a set for myself!!! Love it, worked great today!!


Coffee Filter Hearts

When I brought out the washable markers instead of my usual boxes of crayons, I think the parents got a little nervous!! But when they saw the finished product, they were in love, just like me. 

First, I cut the filters into heart shapes then I glued two to each other with a red or pink ribbon sandwiched in between. 

The kids color the heart using washable markers then I used a medicine dropper to drip some water on. It smears the colors like stained glass and makes a beautiful decoration to hang in a window.

We had a very lively bunch today with about 18 kids! I felt so special to receive flowers, candy and a lovely card from some of my toddlers. Very thoughtful!!! The craft was amazing, the best part of the program for me, although the flannel board was fun too!

baby & me: baby love

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a two love birds. 

Puppet Song:

2 little love birds sitting on a hill
One named Jack
One named Jill
Fly away Jack
Fly away Jill
Come back Jack
Come back Jill

Books We Read: 
Peekaboo Kisses – Saltzberg (great for Vday and for animal noises!)
What Does Baby Love- Katz (cute!)

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

See my post here!

Fun Valentine-related Song:

For a great video, check out this link! The moms loved this one!

Skinnamarink a Dink a Dink
Skinnamarink a dink a dink,
Skinnamarink a doo,
I love you.
Skinnamarink a dink a dink,
Skinnamarink a doo,
I love you.
I love you in the morning.
And in the afternoon.
I love you in the evening.
And underneath the moon.
Skinnamarink a dink a dink,
Skinnamarink a doo,

I love you!

Great group today with about ten babies! Love this theme, so many great books to choose from.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

love is all around: valentine craft

I found this adorable Valentine craft idea yesterday on and decided at the very last minute to use it for today's program.

My plan was to do Valentine windsocks using construction paper, streamers and foam heart shapes but I panicked because my foamies weren't adhesive like I thought and I was afraid they wouldn't stick to the paper with stick glue. I really need to replenish all my glue supplies because they have grown very sad looking lately.

Anyways, sometimes my very best ideas come when I least expect it and I just love this doggie craft! Aside from the printable below, all you really need are paper lunch bags -- thank goodness because I left myself like no time to shop for supplies.

Note: I did have to shrink the template to a smaller size for the lunch size bags. I think this craft was originally more for something bigger like a Trader Joe's bag. I printed the template in white, pink and red cardstock.

I also printed some cute doggie themed printable valentines to go with this mailbox craft.

hope the kids enjoy this one as much as i did!

You can find the template here!

Post Program Update:
we had a TON of kids attend our craft today and it might have been my favorite Valentine project EVER! Everyone had a ball decorating with the foam shapes which turned out to be sticky after all. Many of the kids made the printable valentines or took them home to finish. A fantastic program and inexpensive, too!

Two of our attendees gave me valentines so I couldn't wait to hang them up on the wall for everyone to see!

Friday, February 6, 2015

toddler time: puppy love!

Today, our toddler theme was PUPPIES!

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found Spot! What does a dog say? What does a dog like to chew on? Bones!

We passed out colorful paper bones to everyone & sang:

Hold your bone up
Hold your bone down
Hold your bone & turn around!
Hold your bone up
Hold your bone down
Put your bone on the ground.

Books We Read: 
Where’s Spot- Hill
Five Little Puppies Jumping on the Bed - Karr
Dog's Colorful Day- Dodd

Flannel Board: Where is Spot’s Bone?

See my post here!

Spot Stick Puppets

I love Spot so this one was just cut, color and tape to a popsicle stick!

A wonderful class today with lots of familiar faces and about 20 kids.

So, I have to confess that I’m feeling a little overwhelmed lately! I have a bunch of upcoming programs to prep for February & March. I also have to make plans for our Summer programming. And on top of my workload, it turns out that I am moving to a new house nest month so I have like a ZILLION things to get done at home. It has been distracting. Luckily, I have some past programs like this one to fall back on so I don’t have to reinvent the wheel every week. I apologize in advance if some of these posts are repeats of past ones!

baby & me: moving right along!

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a blackbird. What does a bird say? How does a bird MOVE?

Puppet Song:

I made these from craft foam. so easu!

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: 
These are My Hands- Martin Jr
Do Donkeys Dance- Walsh
Move - Slegers

Flannel Story: 5 Little Babies

See my post here!

Very small group today with 7 babies. We had some flurries and very low temps. It was a nice class though and I was able to bring out my parachute so that was a fun change! Also tried the Baby Hokey Pokey and it went great!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

a FROZEN frenzy (I mean, Festival!)

After reading about Frozen programs at other libraries, I was super excited to try one at my library. I know how crazy popular these characters are with our young library patrons so I figured it would be a hit! 

I planned our party for January. This was my first mistake. 

Whenever I plan programs for winter months, it inevitably snows that day. And not just a little bit of snow, but A LOT of snow. (And then, no one shows up and I feel horrible.)

Then, my supervisor made the brilliant suggestion of transforming the entire library for a FROZEN FESTIVAL! 

Sounds awesome, right? So, of course I agreed wholeheartedly.

Then, came the work. Lots and LOTS of work!! And lots of time and planning and worrying and of course, some money! And not just for myself, but for our entire staff here.

Linda and Lily spent hours decorating the program room with lots of twinkling white lights and tons of turquoise snowflakes! And they crocheted this incredible Elsa hat!

I found as many Frozen books, cds, dvds, etc., as I could and set up this cute book display!

Close Up View

Andre created beautiful artwork for Elsa and also our Olaf party game!

Daniela contacted a costume company who agreed to send Olaf, Elsa and Anna characters to our event!!

I chose some great stories to share, as well as a copy of the Sing Along DVD for the kids to watch on our new TV!

I made an Olaf themed flannel board!

5 little Olafs made of snow...(see my post here)

I prepped for not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR different Frozen crafts!!!

We made Paper Bag Reindeer, Frozen bracelets and Snowflake wands,
as well as the printable Olaf craft from

Shari made great big signs for all of our craft stations.

We set up some fantastic photo booth props.

We borrowed this cool Elsa and Anna stand up cutout from another branch!

We set up TWO fun games to play and chose fun prizes for everyone.

We played Pin the Carrot on Olaf AND the Reindeer Rescue Game

I hid reindeer hooves all over the library. Kids who found three pairs won a prize!

Fruit snack packs were our Reindeer game prizes. Everyone who participated
in the Olaf game won their choice of a Frozen sticker or tattoo.

And then on our BIG day, Elsa sent us the Blizzard of 2015. One for the history books, the forecasters promised! So, we decided to postpone until the following week. Many of our prospective attendees were disappointed but almost all agreed to attend on the new party date. 

Of course, after we cancelled we ended up with hardly any snow at all. What a bummer.

And then on our SECOND big day, Elsa sent us a terrible ice storm. It was awful outside. I suspect Elsa was trying to help us decorate for our program but this was just too much.

We were starting to feel like our Frozen party was jinxed!!

Although some of our attendees missed out, we had our party yesterday despite the icy weather. About 20 kids attended, which was about half of what we hoped our attendance would be. Many moms called to let us know they couldn't make it due to the weather. Our costume characters cancelled about an hour before the party, which was disappointing but completely understandable. 

Finally, some good news: everyone who was able to attend had a wonderful time! And that made me very happy.

Maybe we'll plan another Frozen party again someday soon. We have lots of leftover materials and much of the prep work is already done! But this time, I'll be planning it for a warm time of year, like July or August and hopefully Elsa will leave us alone!