Friday, May 29, 2015

toddler time: a show of hands!

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a hand! Let’s see your hands!!! 

I found this cute rhyme on Jbrary yesterday:

Put your hands up high! Put your hands down low!
Put your hands in the middle and wiggle just so.
Put your elbows in front! Put your elbows in back!
Put your elbows to the side and Quack Quack Quack!

So fun!

What else can you do with your hands – can you wave them? Shake them? Clap them? Wash them?

If we are going to wash our hands, everyone needs a scarf for this fun song!

Passed out colorful scarves to all the kids.

This is the way we wash our hands, wash our hands, wash our hands.
This is the way we wash our hands
So early in the morning.

What else can we wash? Knees, elbows, bellies, etc.

Books We Read: 
Piggies – Wood (so fun!)
Hands Can- Hudson (great!)
Here Are My Hands- Martin (this is the book that inspired today’s theme and of course I didn’t have time to read it LOL!)
Hands Are Not for Hitting- Agassi

Flannel Story: All the Little Germs

I found this on Flannel Friday recently and it went perfect with my HANDS theme! It was posted by Storytime Katie. LOVE her!

All the little germs, dirty and mean,
Hiding on your palms, 
Where they cannot be seen.
Wash them (rub hands together), Scrub them, Rinse them away.
Then we’ll have clean hands, (hold hands out)
Hip, hip, hooray! Raise hands high!)

What if there’s germs on your FINGERS? Your THUMBS? Your ELBOWS, WRISTS, ARMS?!!!! The possibilities are endless!

Craft: Hand Art

This may be my cutest craft EVER! 
Do I say that every week or what???!!

I passed out construction paper and asked parents to trace the child’s hand, color it & cut it out. We pasted the hands onto paper plates. 

On the other side of the plate, we glued this sweet poem: 

The moms went CRAZY for this craft!!! Great crowd today with about 32 kids. It was a little noisy at times but a great program!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

baby & me: how does your garden grow?

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found some pretty flowers.  

Puppet Rhyme: Five Little Flowers (from So Tomorrow)

One little flower had nothing much to do,
Out popped another one, then there were 2 

Two little flowers were smiling at the bee,
Out popped another one, then there were 3

Three little flowers were growing by the door,
Out popped another one, then there were 4

Four little flowers were glad to be alive,
Out popped another one, then there were 5

Books We Read:
Eric Carle’s How Things Grow (loved it!)
Guess What: Flowers- Yonezu (so fun!)
Bunny’s Garden (ran out of time)

Flannel Story: Where Is Baby Bunny?

Baby Bunny is lost in the garden! Let’s see if we can find him.
Is he under the watering can? Behind the flowers? 
Lift each object until you find him!
Objects are laminated clipart but the bunny is made of felt.

Our baby group has been shrinking lately. Maybe its the warm weather? I missed last week due to terrible allergies, maybe others are sick as well? Twelve babies is a nice number still so I can't complain. Last year, we had so many babies I tried offering 2 sessions so this seems strange. Toddler Time continues to be well attended. It will be interesting to see what happens in the summer! I really liked this theme & was excited to share a new felt board and my flower glove rhyme. Books were great too! 

I tried a new "Hello Song" to mix things up a bit but it was just ok. I found it on Jbrary and I love them!

Let's all clap cause Joey is here, Joey is here, Joey is here.
Let's all clap cause Joey is here
Joey is here today!

I'll probably go back to my old standby next week:

Hello Joey! 
Hello Joey!
Hello Joey!
We're so glad you're here!

Friday, May 22, 2015

toddler time: don't have a cow!

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

Passed out colorful card stock cows to all the kids.

Next, we did a little color game: I said, "Let’s see all the purple cows! Hold up your cow if it's pink!" (same for blue & yellow)

Everyone did our rhyme:

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

Then, we sang this cute cow song. I used a little bell instrument for the first verse and my hand for the second one.

The Bell On The Cow (tune: The Wheels on the Bus)
The bell on the cow goes clang, clang clang, 
Clang, clang,clang, 
Clang,clang, clang, 
The bell on the cow goes clang, clang, clang 
All around the farm. 

The tail on the cow goes swish, swish, swish... 

The voice on the cow goes moo, moo, moo... 

Books We Read:
Who Said Moo- Ziefert/Taback
Are You a Cow- Boynton (great book, wish it was bigger tho!)
Spots, Feathers and Curly Tails- Tafuri (no time today!) 

Flannel Story: Can We Find a Brown Cow?

See here for more on this one. I use this "Hello Farm" set all the time, especially with babies. Today, we went looking for a cow to match our theme. Worked great!

Craft: Cut & Paste Cow puppets (with grass)

This craft idea came from Pinterest. 

I took one of the many nice cow craft templates & coloring pages online. I cut out the mouth & printed those on pink paper. I printed the faces on white cardstock. The kids colored and pasted them together. We added a little green Easter grass to the mouth so our cows would be eating and then we taped a jumbo craft stick to make a puppet. LOVE this!!! All the cows looked soo adorable.

It's a holiday weekend but we had a nice group with about 19 kids. I am having a terrible allergic reaction to the tree pollen; happens every year but seems extra bad this spring. I feel ok but probably would have taken a sick day if it wasn't a program day. The toddlers actually cheered me up a little & this was an easy theme to plan. The craft was my favorite part for sure!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

preschool fun: something blue

Today’s theme was the COLOR BLUE

This is the sixth program in my Preschool Colors Series! Almost done!

Books We Read:
The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse- Carle (loved this & the kids did too!)
The Duckling Gets a Cookie- Willems (the Pigeon is blue so any of his books work with this theme!)
One Sheep, Blue Sheep- Wiley (ok but small. Kids enjoyed yelling out the colors as each sheep was covered in paint)
Have You Seen My New Blue Socks- Bunting (love the illustrations & the humorous ending got some laughs but the rhyming is very Seuss-ish to me)
Blue Goose- Tafuri (one of my favorite read alouds & probably my #1 by this author!)
Baby Bear Sees Blue – Wolff (so cute!)
Meeow and the Blue Table- Braun (kids loved it!)
One Little Blueberry - Salzano (adorable!)

More Great Titles:
Little Blue Truck- Schertle
Small Bunny’s Blue Blanket- Feeney
Blue on Blue- White

Flannel Story: Five Little Pigeons

I had a devil of a time finding a blue related flannel story so I tweaked The Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed to:

5 little pigeons eating cookies on the bed
One fell off & bumped his head.
We called the Duckling and the Duckling said:

We counted down 4-3-2-1 and it worked great!

Craft: Pigeon Puppets

I printed a Pigeon template that I found online. The kids colored them & put them on popsicle sticks for a super easy craft!

I originally planned this program for last month but ZERO kids showed up! Preschool aged programs don't get big numbers here; I think partly because many of the kids this age are attending universal pre-k programs at local schools. I continue to plan them because I think its important to offer something for the ones who aren't in school but with all my other programming to do, I try not to make it too much additional work. We had about 9 kids today!

Friday, May 15, 2015

preschool visits

Today, I had some wonderful visits to the preschool classes at a nearby school. 

Books We Read:

The Three Bears- Barton (probably my #1 favorite fairy tale to read aloud, it's just perfect!)

Who Ate All the Cookie Dough-Beaumont

The Icky Sticky Frog- Bentley

Don't Push the Button- Cotter (reminds me of a shorter version of Press Here)

Monster, Monster- Walsh

Charlie the Chicken- Denchfield

Polar Bear's Underwear- Tupera (my newest favorite! it was a hit today!)

Supertruck - (great to tie in to hero theme for Summer Reading 2015)

I ALWAYS end my preschool visits with Carter's If You're Happy and You Know It

I don't know what I would do without this amazing book. Wish they would reprint it because my copy is getting worn & I'm freakishly protective of it.

Let Everyone Clap Hands Like Me
Purple Stew
Sticky Sticky Bubble Gum
Dance Your Fingers Up High

Felt Board:
Flip Flap Jack (sooo fun to do!! kids love it!)

At the beginning of one class, I asked if they liked silly songs and one kid announced that he liked jokes! Guess I better find myself some good jokes (-:

Recently found a good ice breaker for those first few moments with a group! After introducing myself and the name of my branch, I ask the kids "What do you get at the library? Do you get pizza at the library? Do they give out ice cream at the library? Can you get free cupcakes at the library?!!" The silly questions seem to loosen everyone up (especially myself!) and set the tone for a fun storytime. 

toddler time: let's get LOUD!

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

Passed out colorful shaky eggs to all the kids.

Everyone did our rhyme:

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

Then we did some shaker egg songs:

Can you shake your egg with me, egg with me, egg with me?
Its as easy as can be!
Put it on your knee (also head and tummy)
(tune: London Bridge)
I do this at Baby & Me every week so many of the kids knew it well!

Loud and Quiet (tune: open, Shut Them)
LOUD & quiet, LOUD & quiet
Shh be quiet
Shh be quiet
LOUD & quiet, LOUD & quiet!

Shake Shake Shake Your Eggs
Shake shake shake your eggs, shake them all around!
Shake them LOUD, shake them soft
Now don’t make a sound
(repeat with Clap Your Hands and Stomp Your Feet)

Then I really wanted to put these eggs away so I made up my own 4th verse:
Put put put your egg, put it in the basket!
Some of the parents laughed but I knew it would be distracting if I didn’t get them back.

Books We Read: 
Please Be Quiet- Murphy
The Noisy Counting Book- Schade (love this one, it’s a little long for my toddlers but we made it thru!!! Read this one 1st))
Quiet LOUD- Patricelli (all I can say is I LOVE LOVE LOVE her books!!!!)

More Great Books:
Noisy Nora- Wells
The Quiet Book- Underwood
The Very Quiet Cricket- Carle
Be Quiet Mike- Patricelli

Flannel Story: Loud or Quiet??

After the Patricelli book, I immediately picked up my felt board and we continued naming things. The items I used were scanned from the last pages of her book but you could use any kind of clipart or puppets. I found this AMAZING idea here. It was so fun! I just picked up a picture randomly and asked “Is a fire truck quiet or loud?” “Does your pillow make lots of noise at home?” The older-ish kids would shout out the answers and I’d put them in the right section.

Puppet Song: Bluebirds on a Cloud

Since it went so well with today’s theme, I just pulled out these foam sheet birds and we did:
2 little bluebirds sitting on a cloud
One named quiet, the other named LOUD!
Fly away quiet, FLY AWAY LOUD!
Come back quiet, COME BACK LOUD!

Craft: Paper plate shakers

I found this idea on Storytime Katie! I used small paper plates. The kids colored them, then we folded them in half. I used tape to seal them up because staples with this age group scare me. I had some dried peas that we used to fill them up (just a spoonful or so!) 

Thankfully, I had an easy craft because the room was PACKED!!!! I saw lots of kids shaking their homemade shakers during playtime. This is one of my favorite crafts EVER!!!!

We had over 30 kids and the theme was great. The kids LOVED the shaky eggs so much! The craft was awesome. Terrific day! And the prep for today was super easy -- the timing was perfect because I had a CRAZY week with TONS of school visits. Everyone waits until the last weeks of school to call me and this is probably my busiest time of the year.

Friday, May 8, 2015

toddler time: happy mother's day!

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a flower basket! What color are the flowers?

Passed out colorful card stock flower baskets to all the kids.

Everyone did our rhyme:

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

Books We Read: 
I Like It When- Murphy (love the bright illustrations and short text)
Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother Too?- Carle (kids seemed really interested in this one)

Flannel Story: 5 Flower Baskets

I found this awesome idea @ Once Upon a (Story) Time. I purchased the adorable clipart from Etsy.

Before I started this one, I mentioned that these flower baskets are VERY special because they are for all the moms!

5 Flower Baskets
5 flower baskets sitting on the floor
One will go to ……….’s mom,
Then there will be four.

4 flower baskets, pretty as can be.
One will go to ……………’s mom,
Then there will be three.

3 flower baskets with flowers purple and blue.
One will go to …………’s mom,
Then there will be two.

2 flower baskets, bright as the sun,
One will go to ………..’s mom,
Then there will be one.

1 flower basket, an extra special one
It will go to ………..’s mom,
Then there will be none!!

I considered using puppet animals to remove the flower baskets and also handing them out to real moms. I chose the real mother option just for a change of pace. I think either one would be great tho.

Great puppet set by Merrymakers

Puppet Song: 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed

Since it features a Mama monkey, I thought it was perfect for today’s theme plus everyone knows the words so they all join in. This puppet set was a great purchase for me. It was a little on the expensive side but I get so much use out of these guys, it was totally worth it.

Craft: Mother’s Day Seed Packets

This free printable is from Kids decorated with crayons and stickers; the adults cut, folded and taped. I bought a canister of wildflower seeds and everyone got a spoonful. I love the idea of the families planting the seeds together. Very cute!

We had about 18 kids and I loved the theme! Lots of great books to choose from! It was harder to find a felt board but this one was perfect!! My favorite part of the program was the seed craft tho! 

One dad asked about Father’s Day and I assured him we would be honoring them as well!! I already have some books and a cute craft idea, so I'm just working on the flannel board idea now!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

baby & me: marvelous moms

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

This is actually Mama Duck and here are her five baby ducks. This is their song:

Five little ducks went out one day
Over the hills and far away
Mama duck said, "Quack, quack, quack, quack,"
but only four little ducks came back...

Four little ducks went out one day
Over the hills and far away
Mama duck said, "Quack, quack, quack, quack,"
but only three little ducks came back...

Three little ducks went out one day
Over the hills and far away
Mama duck said, "Quack, quack, quack, quack,"
but only two little ducks came back...

Two little ducks went out one day
Over the hills and far away
Mama duck said, "Quack, quack, quack, quack,"
but only one little duck came back...

One little duck went out one day
Over the hills and far away
Mama duck said, "Quack, quack, quack, quack,"
but no little ducks came waddling back...

Sad Mama duck went out one day
Over the hills and far away
Mama duck said, "Quack, quack, quack, quack,"
and all five ducks came waddling back.

SOOOO many great books about moms to choose from!

Books We Read: 
Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See- Martin/Carle
Where Is My Baby- Ziefert/Taback

Flannel Story: Mommy Match

We matched four baby animals to their mothers. See my post here.

We had a smaller sized group this week with about 14 moms & babies. It was a gorgeous day so maybe some of our regulars spent the morning at the park or something. It was a really great group and I loved the mom theme with Mother's Day right around the corner. The worst part was choosing which books to read with so many great ones about mothers available! Wish I always had that problem LOL!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Flannel Friday: Ten Little Suns

Inspired by a recent trip to balmy Florida, I decided to go with a SUN theme for today's Toddler Time. I found so many great books and a cute songs to use! 

For our flannel board, I made ten felt suns and right before the program I suddenly decided to cut ten white felt clouds, too. I covered each sun with a white cloud. 

When I held up the board before we sang the song, I told the kids, “I have some clouds to show you. It looks like something is trying to peek thru those clouds!” 

If you look closely, you see some orange sun rays sticking out in places! (I had just barely enough white felt for this, LOL! Time to re-stock!)

As I sang the counting song, I removed the clouds to reveal the suns underneath:

1 little, 2 little, 3 little sunshines
4 little, 5 little, 6 little sunshines
7 little, 8 little, 9 little sunshines
10 little sunshines are out today!

Then I announced "Uh oh, looks like it's getting cloudy again!" and we covered the suns back up:

9 little, 8 little, 7 little suns
6 little, 5 little, 4 little suns
3 little, 2 little, 1 little sun
No little suns are out today!

For a more info on today's program, check my post HERE!

toddler time: here comes the sun!

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

(Actually some clipart I printed, laminated and attached to a craft stick along with some short strands of bright orange ribbon.)

What color is the sun?

I sang "Mr Sun." Everyone seemed to know this one!!

Oh Mister Sun, Sun.
Mister Golden Sun.
Won't you please shine down on me?

Oh Mister Sun, Sun.
Mister Golden Sun.
Hiding behind the tree.

These little children
are asking you.
To please come out
so we can play with you.

Oh Mister Sun, Sun,
Mister Golden Sun.
Won't you please shine down on me?

Passed out yellow cardstock suns to all the kids.

Everyone did our rhyme:

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

Books We Read: 
Hello Day- Lobel (all the parents joined in making lots of animal sounds so this was great! So interactive)
Good Morning Toucan – Dwell Studio (love the "lift the flaps" format and very colorful illustrations)

Flannel Story: 10 Little Suns

See my Flannel Friday post HERE.

Craft: Smiling Suns

I cut starburst shapes from yellow construction paper, then I cut circles from sparkly gold poster board. The circles were slightly smaller. 

The kids colored small paper plates and the starburst shapes while I passed out the circles. 

Then we glued the starbursts onto the plates and the circles onto the starbursts. 

We added wiggle eyes and a ribbon hanger. I used a permanent black marker to draw smiles on each circle right before the program. You could do the eyes this way if you didn’t want to use wiggle eyes. 

They came out so cute, each one was slightly different depending on the colors used and the way they were glued together. Very cute craft!

The room was full with about 26 kids today but the kids were great and everyone was participating. A fun theme and another great class!