Thursday, April 30, 2015

baby & me: hello spring!

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

The birds in the nest go tweet tweet tweet
Tweet tweet tweet
Tweet tweet tweet
The birds in the nest go tweet tweet tweet
All day long
(tune: the Wheels on the Bus)

(repeated with frog in the pond ribbits and butterfly in the sky flutters…)

Books We Read: 
Welcome Spring- Little Scholastic series
Baby Loves Spring- Katz

Flannel Story: Where Is Birdie?

I his a blue felt bird behind a tree and we looked for her:

Where is Birdie? Where is Birdie?
Here I am, Here I am!
Hiding under green tree, hiding under green tree
Look and see, look and see!

We had an amazing group of about 19 moms attend with babies today! Due to building issues, we made a last minute switch to move the program to the main floor but the babies were great, it worked out fine.

Friday, April 24, 2015

toddler time: who likes llamas?

While I was away last week in Florida on a family vaca, one of my coworkers did Toddler Time for me. Our theme was LLAMAS! So cute!

Books We Read:
Is Your Mama a Llama- Guarino
Any of the popular Llama Llama series by Anna Dewdney

Puppet Rhyme: I thought up a quick llama version of Two Little Blackbirds!

2 little llamas sitting on a hill.
One named Jack.
The other named Jill.
Run away Jack!
Run away Jill!
Come back Jack!
Come back Jill!

Our llama puppets on the left, llama craft on the right!

Craft: Llama puppets

I printed some llamas on colorful card stock paper. Kids decorated with crayons & a star sticker, then taped their creations to craft sticks. 

Super easy!!

toddler time: robots rule!

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a robot! Who likes robots?

I passed out awesome robot cutouts from the teacher section of the Dollar Store!

Everyone did our rhyme:

Put your robot UP, put your robot DOWN
Hold your robot and turn around!
Put your robot UP, put your robot DOWN

Put your robot down on the ground.

Then we did an adorable "Robot themed" version of The Wheels on the Bus that I found here:

The lights on the robot go on and off
On and off, on and off
The lights on the robot go on and off
All day long

The arms on the robot go up and down
Up and down, up and down
The arms on the robot go up and down
All day long

The eyes on the robot go open and shut
Open & shut, open & shut
The eyes on the robot go open & shut
All day long

The antennas on the robot go wiggle, wiggle, wiggle
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle
The antennas on the robot go wiggle, wiggle, wiggle
All day long

Books We Read: 
Robots Slither – Hunter (great for this age group)
Hello Robots – Staake (I love the colorful robots but it was a little long for my toddlers so I shortened it a bit)

Flannel Story: Four Noisy Robots from a terrific blog: AnnesLibraryLife

Four noisy robots in the toy shop,
Shiny and tall with antenna on the top.
Along came a girl with a penny one day.
Bought a noisy robot and took it away.
(continue with 3, 2, 1 noisy robots)

I used laminated card stock robots (printed from instead of felt to save time! If I'm not sure if I'll be reusing a theme a lot or if the pieces are very detailed and I'm on a time crunch, I'm perfectly fine with printing & laminating figures for my flannel boards. Kids don't seem to mind at all.

Craft: Robot Finger Puppets

(Today's puppet craft and the robot in our Mystery Box)

I printed these great puppets (you can find them HERE) onto white cardstock & cut them out. The kids colored them, then decorated with a few stickers. They came out really cute!

We had about 22 kids today, a perfect sized group for our room. I missed Toddler Time for a couple of weeks so it was super nice to see everyone today. Many moms told me I had been missed which is so wonderful to hear. Great day! I was slightly nervous about this theme but the kids seemed to like it, especially the boys, and the craft was great! 

Monday, April 13, 2015

toddler time: clean up

this is another program that I planned in advance for a session I missed due to vacation time.

Books We Read:

Flannel Board:

This idea came from a terrific blog, Libraryland.


I found these printable finger puppets online somewhere and thought they would go great with today's Brush, Brush, Brush book.

toddler time: jan thomas books

despite my best intentions, once in a while there are days when I need another staff member to substitute for me at one of my programs due to vacation, illness, meetings, etc. i always try to leave that person some books, flannel boards and crafts to make the program as easy as possible for them. sometimes i start working on one of these "kits", then i realize I want to do this program myself so I have to start all over, LOL!!! anyway, this is a program that I planned and left for another person to do last month when I missed a few days due to a move to a new home.

Books We Read:

SOOOO many great books to choose from for this author!

Flannel Board: 5 Little Goats Jumping on the Bed

Craft: Cat Puppet from Jan Thomas website printed on white cardstock and attached to a jump craft stick.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

kids craft: "let the wild rumpus start!"

Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are is one of my favorite children's books ever. So, I decided to honor this timeless classic tale with a program of it's very own.

We started with a reading of the story, of course!

Then we did a cute flannel board called Five Crazy Wild Things. I found these printables online and printed them really big on white cardstock.

I adapted this from a rhyme called Five Little Monsters Sitting on the Floor.

5 crazy wild things stomping on the floor!
The first one said, "Let's knock on someone's door!"
The second one said, "Let's act a little scary!"
The third one said, "Why are we so hairy?"
The fourth one said, "I hear a funny sound."
The fifth one said, "But there's no one else around."

Then whoosh went the wind and "EEEEEK!"  someone said.
And the 5 crazy wild things ran under Max's bed.

Finally, we created our own Wild Things crafts: 

colorful "King of the Wild Things" Paper Crowns (from Click here for template. Lots of great printables here!) And also, these adorable Paper Plate Wild Things (purchased as kits from OTC).

We had a nice group of about 14 kids for our program, just a little less than I was hoping for, but a wild time was had by all! I think Max would be proud.

Friday, April 3, 2015

toddler time: spring is here!

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

We passed out little paper flowers to all the children and did this rhyme:

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

Books We Read: 
Flowers- Yonezu**
Wake Up, It’s Spring – Ernst (shortened text a bit for the toddlers)
Hello Kitty: Springtime Fun**
What Does Bunny See?- Park

Flannel Story: Five Spring Flowers

Another winner from Flannel Friday! This was so fun!

Five Spring Flowers
Five spring flowers, all in a row.
The first one said: "We need rain to grow!"
The second one said: "Oh my, we need water!" (use watering can)
The third one said: "Yes, it is getting hotter!" (show sun)
The fourth one said: "I see clouds in the sky!" (point up at sky/ceiling)
The fifth one said: "I wonder why?"

Then BOOM went the thunder,
And ZAP went the lightning,
That springtime storm was really frightening!
But the flowers weren't worried-no, no, no (shake finger or head)
The rain helped them to grow, grow, grow!(lift felt board higher, higher, highest like the flowers are growing!)

Puppet Song: Spring Is Here

I found this cute song on Storytime ABCs & I used it with puppets but I bet it's great with flannel board animals too.

Spring is Here! Spring is Here!
How do we know? How do we know?
I just saw a bird nest! I just saw a bird nest.
That’s how I know! That’s how I know!
(tune: Frere Jacques)

We repeated with butterfly, bumble bee and bunny rabbit. Hmm all start with the letter B - just noticed that!

Craft: Happy Flowers

I passed out pre-cut construction paper flower shapes for the kids to color, then I gave green cardstock stems for the parents to cut. Just tape the stem to the flower & put a smiley face sticker in the middle. LOVE IT! 

So I'm back at Toddler Time for the first time after a two week break. This was a great program and theme. I was tempted to do Bunnies or Chicks since this weekend is Easter but I did both of those last year so I felt like doing something different. My favorite parts were the craft, the puppets and the flannel board, even tho I flubbed a couple of lines, no one seemed to notice! About 20 kids today, not bad for a holiday weekend and actually a good number for the size of the room. Good to be back!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

baby & me: jumping for joy!

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a frog! What does a frog say? What color is a frog? What does a frog do? He JUMPS and HOPS!

Goodbye, Frog! See you later!

Books We Read: 
Hop- Root (ok)
Who Can Jump- Braun (good!)
Llama Llama Hippity Hop- Dewdney (no time today!)

Flannel Story: Hippity Hop Hippety Hay

See my post here.

Puppet Songs: Froggy in a Flower Prop

I made the flower from felt and took a finger puppet frog to make this cute prop! More info on this guy HERE.

We sang:
Where is Froggy? Peekaboo!
Where is Froggy? Peekaboo!
Where is Froggy? Peekaboo!
Peekaboo to Froggy!

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 had a great crowd today, though I wasn't sure with the holiday weekend. I tried some new Jbrary rhymes today (Where Oh Where Are Baby's Fingers, One Little, 2 Little, 3 Little Fingers AND Ride Baby Ride) I think it will take a couple of weeks for them to learn but I like to mix it up once in a while. My Flower Frog puppet was a BIG hit!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

one in a minion: a despicable me party!

confession: I am not the biggest fan of animated movies. They always feel so long to me and I have a hard time paying attention. I actually have a hard time staying awake for most movies so its nothing personal! 

There are a few that I do like: Finding Nemo, Up, and of course, Frozen. During a recent trip to Orlando, my husband & I were browsing our hotel's very small complimentary dvd collection for something to watch & ended up with Despicable Me. I did not have high hopes but I have to admit that I was completely totally wrong about this movie!! 

It's amazing!! 

...and VERY popular at my library I decided to throw a Minions Party! 

Who can resist a minion or two?

Although I was bracing myself for a frenzy like the one we had for our Frozen Festival a couple of months ago, this party didn't seem to get that crazy, although the pre-registration spots filled up fast and we had a full house for the program.

I started with some Minion books:

And a flannel story inspired by Thrive After Three:

Added a couple of great games:

Pin the Minion on the Moon: each child chose a minion then tried to place it on the moon while blindfolded.

Unicorn Scavenger Hunt: I posted these signs and hid these cuties all over the lower level for kids to find.

Some prizes of course!

Lollipops (for Unicorn Game)

Stickers and Tattoos (for Moon game)

Finally, we did two really fun craft projects:

Minion Goggles: printable from here and printed on white cardstock

Minion Necklaces: I cut ovals from yellow craft foam sheets then hole punched the top & cut lanyards to string thru. I printed & cut mini minion goggle/eyes for the kids to glue on. We used both sides: one eyed goggles on one side and two eyed goggles on the other. 

Perfect! Bonus points for being so easy and inexpensive too!!

I'm happy to report that our Minion Party was a smash! Everyone had a wonderful time. The Sleepy Kittens book and the necklace craft were definitely my favorite parts of the program, as well as the games. 

As usual, I could not pull off this kind of program on my own, so thank you to my amazing coworkers for all their help!!