Friday, June 26, 2015

toddler time: Max & Ruby!

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found MAX! And here is his sister, RUBY! 

What kind of animals are Ruby & Max? 
Thank goodness for the cute little girl who yelled out "BUNNIES!" Most of the kids did not seem to recognize these two.

If you were a bunny, what would you need? 
"WHISKERS!" someone shouted. Yes, long whiskers, big white ears and a puffy white tail! I put on some bunny ears I had in my office.

We passed out bunny tails topped with a little bit of a cotton ball to all the kids and did our weekly rhyme:

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

Books We Read: 
Max Drives Away- Wells (great!)
Ruby’s Tea for Two- Wells (fun!)
Max’s Breakfast- Wells (save for next time!)
Ruby’s Rainy Day- Wells (ditto)

Flannel Story: Hide & Seek with Ruby & Max

Ruby & Max are playing hide & seek
Is someone hiding behind the toy box?
Lets take a peek!
It's Max!

Check all the hiding places for Max & Ruby!

The kids were great at yelling out the name of the bunny as we looked under each object. When we got to the last one, I asked them to raise their hand depending on whether they thought it was Max or Ruby under the TV. BUT it was a trick; they were both hiding there together! So everyone was right.

This is a great flannel board to fall back on when you need something quick and easy because you can play hide & seek with virtually anyone! Elmo, Pete the Cat, Curious George, etc. I use this a lot!

Craft: Bunny Ears and Puppets

Rosemary Wells has a great website that gave me most of these ideas! She has printable bunny ears and bunny tails! The tails are for a game of Pin the Tail on Max. I printed Max & taped him to the wall in case kids wanted to try it but everyone seemed to keep their bunny tails to bring them home. Maybe I'll try it next time.

I also printed Max & Ruby puppets for the kids to color. 

Today was fun! Lots of kids but not as many as last week. Craft was easy to pass out and the bunny hats were so adorable! 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

baby & me: this little bear

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

Books We Read: 
Ten in the Bed- Ellwand
Mama’s Little Bears- Tafuri
Can You Say It Too: Growl, Growl- Nosy Crow/Braun

Flannel Story: This Little Bear

I found this rhyme in Baby Storytime Magic by Kathy MacMillan. SOOOO many great ideas there! This one is kind of like "This Little Piggy Went to Market" but with bears! So I found some cute bear clipart to make a flannel board & it worked great! 

You can probably use my bears to get an idea of how the rhyme goes but if you need the text and do not have access to this book, send me an email. Due to copyright, I didn't feel right about posting it.

Puppet Rhyme: Where Is Bear?

(tune: Skip to My Lou)
Where is Bear? Peeka-BOO!
Where is Bear? Peeka-BOO! 
Where is Bear? Peeka-BOO!

Peeka-BOO to baby!

Today was a day when I wished I could rewind the morning back and get a do over. After many weeks of small-ish groups of about 12-14 babies (was I actually complaining about this?!!! What on earth was I thinking?!!!), I was not expecting the large group that showed up this morning. The room was not set up right, the AC was too low and with all the noise, commotion, new faces, older siblings, HEAT, etc., I felt so distracted. I only read one book and totally forgot my adorable puppet rhyme. Definitely not my best work today; feeling kind of bummed. On the bright side, I think to most people, everything went fine and it was a fun morning so fingers crossed, next week will be better. Some people mentioned they were just visiting or not from the area so it would be ok if our group was slightly smaller, LOL!

Friday, June 19, 2015

toddler time: daddy & me

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a baseball cap and also a necktie. Who wears hats & ties? Lots of people but maybe your DAD or GRANDPA or UNCLE does?

We passed out colorful ties and hats to all the kids and did our weekly rhyme:

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

Books We Read: 
Daddy & Me- Katz (great & ties perfectly to our craft)
BIG BRAVE Daddy – Coh (fun to read and I love the message!)
Daddy Hug- Warnes (really love this one but we ran out of time today)

Flannel Story: What Daddy Wore 

So this whole idea for today’s theme started last month at my Mother’s Day program. One of my regular dads said he hoped Dads would be getting a day to celebrate them as well & I thought he was completely right! 

There are so many great books about dads, but it was a little harder to find good flannel boards. I found this cute and easy one about ties here on Storytime Secrets. Then, I started reading that ties really aren’t the best thing for Father’s Day since some dads don't wear them. So I added in baseball caps too! And my craft is about tools so I’m trying to include all kinds of dads! 

Anyway, this felt board was about ties & I changed it up to include hats, too!

First, I introduced my clipart dad & put him on the flannel board along with a white felt shirt and we sang…

Daddy wore a white shirt, white shirt, white shirt. 
Daddy wore a white shirt all day long!

Then we decided he needed a hat too so…

Daddy wore a red hat, red hat….

Then, we just kept mixing up the hat colors and tie colors. I flipped the red tie over for a silly polka dot tie. Then, we added a funny hat to match. 

I didn't get to the sparkly gold tie, maybe next time!

Craft: I’ll Be Your Helper Tool

This cute printable about tools was online (the website is HERE) so I printed them on card stock. I separated them so the kids could color them, cut them out and give them to dads, grandfathers, etc. 

I printed a ton so kids could do as many as they liked and thank goodness I did because this was my biggest toddler time EVER! It was a ton of kids waiting at the beginning but once I started the class, more and more families continued to arrive. People I hadn’t seen in months came in, along with many of our regulars and some totally new kids. People were pretty good and luckily, we had enough of everything. Except seats I guess! But we made it work. If attendance continues like this I may have to offer 2 sessions. It was insane. 

I loved the books for today's theme and the craft was cute!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

baby & me: one for the fathers!

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a nest of baby birds!! What does a bird say?

The birds in the nest go TWEET TWEET TWEET
The birds in the nest go TWEET TWEET TWEET
All day long!

Books We Read: 
Daddy, Look What I Can Do- Mack (cute!)
Daddy Hugs- Tafuri
Daddy Hugs 1 2 3- Katz

Flannel Story: Five Baby Robins

I was inspired by a fingerplay that I found here but I switched it up a little to include the Daddy bird in each line. I just printed clip art robins for this one!

5 baby robins watch Daddy robin soar
1 baby leaves the nest, now there are 4
4 baby robins sit with Daddy in a tree
1 flies off to catch a worm & then there are 3
3 baby robins hear their Daddy sing a tune
1 tried out his new found wings & then there are 2
2 baby robins sit with Daddy in the sun
Another baby chased a bug & then there is 1
1 baby robin with her Daddy all her own
And this baby robin stays at home!

I've never really done a lot of Father's Day or Mother's Day programming so this was new to me. I feel like I do Mom related stuff throughout the year, but not much with Dads. But I get mostly moms at programs and I didn't want anyone to feel sad if they don't have a dad at home. I guess growing up without my father makes me a little over sensitive to this? Then, I found out that one of the babies attending with a grandparent today has an absent father with a drug problem and I wanted to be respectful of that kind of situation. Anyway, I tried to celebrate fathers but focus on other stuff too and it seemed ok!

We had a happy and lively bunch today with about 14 babies! Great group, very fun morning!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

preschool fun: perfectly purple

Today’s theme was the COLOR PURPLE

This is the FINAL program in my Preschool Colors Series. It’s been fun but I am kind of looking forward to a little more freedom and less restrictive themes for a while! Purple was one of the most difficult colors to find books, flannel boards and crafts for, but I'm very happy with the end result.

Books We Read:
Go Go Grapes- Sayre
Harold and the Purple Crayon- Johnson (long for my kids! I read it 1st)
Sally and the Purple Socks- Bechtold (silly!)
Jamberry- Degan
The Purple Little Bird- Foley
Night Owl- Yuly

Flannel Story: Harold’s Other Crayons from Storytime Secrets

Puppet Story: Purple Popsicle, Purple Popsicle, What Do You See?

I printed some clipart of different purple things and put them on popsicle sticks for a PURPLE version of Brown Bear, Brown Bear.

Purple Popsicle, Purple Popsicle, what do you see?
I see a purple flower looking at me!
Purple flower, Purple Flower, what do you see?
I see a ….

It was a great way to introduce the purple theme!

Song: Purple Stew

This song is great with almost any color but when your theme is purple, you can't skip the Purple Stew.

Have you ever made purple stew before?
You need a big bowl and don't forget your spoon to stir it.

We're making a purple stew, whip whip, whip whip
we're making a purple stew, shooby dooby doo
woth purple potatoes and purple tomatoes 
and even a purple YOU!

I let the kids suggest the next couple of colors but I like to end with RAINBOW stew!

Craft: Purple Flowers and Popsicles

2 crafts for the kids today.

#1: I cut some purple popsicle shapes. Each child got two to color, then we glued a jumbo craft stick in the middle. We gave him wiggle eyes and a smile too.

#2: I printed some flowers on purple cardstock. The kids colored them & cut them out, then we taped them to green pipe cleaners.

Friday, June 12, 2015

flannel friday: super hero puppet idea

Like many other libraries out there, we kicked off our summer reading program this week! In an extra push to promote our awesome hero theme and boost our stats, I decided to incorporate that theme into this week's Baby and Toddler programs. 

I found a song on Jbrary called I'm a Superhero that seemed perfect for a puppet so I decided to make my own. But I needed something super simple and quick at the last minute, as usual!

front view

back view

I took an old dog sock puppet that I stole from my husband a few years back but anything you have on hand will do. (This guy was actually from an old pet supply website that went out of business but he was in a lot of cute commercials.) 

I named him Superdog (so original, right?) and created a very simple mask and cape from some felt. 

Here is a link to Jbrary's adorable video of "I'm a Superhero".

(Jbrary also has another cute video that I have to post called "Superhero, Superhero".)

I also needed a villain for one of my upcoming preschool programs. Lucky for me, it turns out that Superdog happens to have an evil twin brother named Mean Max who loves dog bones and wants to steal them all for himself and never share! (I wanted him to be a bad guy but nothing too scary for the little ones!) I easily can turn my puppet into Mean Max by removing his felt star (attached with velcro) and replacing the "S" on his cape with double "M"'s. 

I think it's going to be a fun summer! I just love this theme. Thanks for reading!

evil Max is star-less

Max's cape

toddler time: there goes my hero!

To promote our Every HERO Has a Story theme for Summer Reading, I dressed up as Batgirl today! 

Growing up, I was really into Wonder Woman but I've read that Batgirl was a librarian and I found this cute shirt on Amazon, so it had to be her.

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a bat! What do Batman & Batgirl like? Bats!!

We passed out bats to all the kids and did our weekly rhyme:

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

Books We Read: 
Super Heroes: Busy Bodies – I'm not a big fan of the title of this book, but it’s one of the few super hero books I can find that seems good for very young kids. A lot of the famous characters are mentioned and you can relate it back to the kids because it focuses on parts of the body.
Supertruck- Savage (love it!)
I Am Brave- Krensky (will use later in summer)
Fire Fighter Piggy Wiggy- Christyan (ditto)

Flannel Story: Five Little Books – Superhero Version

I loved the idea of using this flannel board with superheroes so I printed out 6 well known characters to use with my books. I had so many great heroes, I decided to change it to 6 instead. I found this idea here. Storytime Katie also has a post about it and her books are soooo cute. I did this at the very last moment because I've been drowning in summer reading and class visits for days and days. When I waited tables many many moons ago, we had a special phrase for this: "in the weeds." I still HATE it!

Five little books at the library
Five little books as great as can be
Along comes SPIDERMAN (WONDER WOMAN, SUPERMAN, etc) with their library card
To take one home and read, read, read!

Craft: Superhero Animal puppets

I found these ADORABLE clip art animals wearing little capes on ETSY. There are pigs, bunnies, monkeys, dogs, birds and more! I printed them on cardstock so the kids could color them and attach them to brightly colored craft sticks. It was super easy and I had a big group, further complicated by plumbing issues that required me to relocate my program to our main floor at the very last minute. It was kind of stressful so I was happy to have a pretty easy craft planned!

Kids seemed to really like my outfit and we got a ton of summer reading sign ups so I was happy about that. A fun morning despite some issues!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

baby & me: little heroes

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found SUPER DOG!

I made SUPER DOG from an old sock puppet that my husband was saving in the den. I just gave him a cape and a mask and a star on his chest.

(SUPER DOG has an evil twin brother named MEAN MAX who I will be posting about very soon!)

SUPERDOG sang “I’m a Superhero” for all the babies. He must have learned this adorable song from the lovely ladies at Jbrary! 

I’m a superhero, here’s my star!
I help people near and far!
If you have a problem call on me!
I’ll be there in 1 2 3!

Soooo cute! Then, of course SUPERDOG had to take a moment to promote summer reading at the library and the cute little sippy cups we're giving away!!!

Books We Read: 
Superhero Me- Katz (great!)
Super Chicken – Purcell (love it!!)

Flannel Story: Where Is Super Chicken?

After finishing Purcell’s book, I told everyone that Super Chicken was hiding behind one of these 4 shapes.

Is Super Chicken hiding behind the orange rectangle? How about the green triangle? ETC., until you find him!

A nice class although my attendance continues to dwindle. We did have 2 new babies this week but the total was about 10. One thing that I have never seen before is a mother manicuring her baby's nails for almost the entire session!!!! At first I thought she was doing her own but I was wrong!

Friday, June 5, 2015

toddler time: a race car is FAST!

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a race car! What color is our race car? Is a race car FAST or slow?

I printed a whole bunch of vehicles & animals, and now I held them up one at a time.

Is a tractor SLOW or FAST?
A butterfly is slow but an airplane is FAST!
A turtle is slow but a horse is FAST!
A bike is slow but a train is FAST!
A hot air balloon is slow but a rocket is FAST!

Passed out colorful race cars to all the kids then we did our rhyme.

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

Then we sang a song with our cars:

Driving around in my little race car
Driving around in my little race car
Driving around in my little race car
Having so much fun OR ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM!

Repeated with:
Driving really fast in my little race car…
Driving really slow in my little race car…

Books We Read: 
The Wheels on the Racecar – Zane
Zoom by Litton
My Race Car- Landers

Flannel Story: 9 Little Racers

I printed out these colorful racer clipart that I found on Etsy. As I placed them on the felt board for a big race, we sang:

1 little 2 little 3 little racers
4 little 5 little 6 little racers
7 little 8 little 9 little racers
All the little racers ready to go!

Then we took them off the felt board:
9 little, 8 little 7 little racers…

Craft: Race Car puppet (Disney Cars)

This was a super easy one but I came up with this at the last possible moment! I know my nephew LOVES Lightning McQueen so I printed them out and we made them into popsicle stick puppets. The kids really liked this one, especially the boys!

Great crowd today with about 25 kids! Fun theme with great books!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

baby & me: beautiful butterflies

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a pretty butterfly.  (Or put in a couple and change it to butterflies!)

Puppet Song: Flutter Flutter Butterfly (tune: Twinkle Twinkle)

Flutter flutter butterfly
Floating in the bright blue sky
Floating by for all to see
Floating by so merrily
Flutter flutter butterfly
Floating in the bright blue sky

Books We Read: 
A White Butterfly- Ortelli (very colorful; good with flannel song below)
Ten Wriggly, Wiggly Caterpillars - Tarbett (a little long for babies but very colorful!)
Flutterby Butterfly- Emma Parish (perfect for babies!! She has a frog one too!)

Flannel Story: Butterfly, Butterfly (from Flannel Friday post by The Wielded Pen)

Brought out felt butterflies one at a time for this song:

Butterfly, butterfly, passing me by
Butterfly, butterfly, passing me by
Butterfly, butterfly, passing me by
Oh what color are you?

We did red, yellow, green and purple today. Could use for a color themed program also and I think toddlers will love it too!

A small group today again with about 12 babies but we had a great time. Maybe this is my new normal now? It might only feel small to me after the huge crowds I used to get. When we have playtime on the rug, it seems like the perfect number of people since there is much less overcrowding. Why does it make me feel like I'm not doing a good job then? I know its ridiculous to say because I know my baby program gets better & better -- practice makes perfect. I need to adjust to smaller group size and enjoy it!!! This was a fun theme, the books were great! The babies loved the butterfly puppet & song. The felt board was really fun too and super simple to make!

I went back to my usual welcome song after my attempt to mix things up last week. This morning, one of the caregivers even mentioned that no one liked it last week LOL! Oops!