Saturday, August 29, 2015

toddler time: something fishy

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

I held up my orange fish puppet while we sang this song to the tune of I’m A Little Teapot:

I'm a little fishy, watch me swim!
Here is my tail. Here are my fins.
When I want to have fun with my friends
I wiggle my tail and dive right in!

I passed out paper fishes to all the kids & we did our weekly rhyme:

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

Books We Read: 
Fish. Swish! Splash. Dash! - MacDonald

Fabulous Fish Action Song: Bubble Bubble POP!

I learned this terrific song today on Jbrary. I used orange to start since that was the color of my puppet.

One little orange fish swimming in the water
Swimming in the water, swimming in the water
One little orange fish swimming in the water
Bubble bubble bubble bubble bubble bubble POP!

We repeated with 2 red and 3 blue!

Shark Prop:

I found this on a Flannel Friday post by the always awesome blog Sunflower Storytime. I knew it would be perfect for collecting my fishies back from the kids to use again for the next session! 

I showed the toddlers how to feed the shark and everyone came up to put their fishy in his mouth. I used the terrific printable here. I needed this ASAP, of course! so while I would have loved to make something lovely using felt,  I simply printed the template on light gray copy paper, added some white paper teeth and laminated the whole thing to make it sturdy. Finally, I taped it to an empty tissue box. (I am forever emptying containers of stuff to re-use for my job, its crazy!! Now, I have a random pile of box-less kleenex sitting on my desk.) Worked out great and super fast!!

Flannel Story: Five Little Fishies (with Shark puppet)

First, I put some light blue waves on my flannel board to be the sea. Then, I added my fishies one at a time and we counted them together.

5 little fishies swimming in the sea
Teasing Mr Shark, “Oh you can’t catch me!”
Along comes Mr Shark as quiet as can be…
And snatches that fishy right out of the sea!

Countdown to zero.

No little fishies swimming in the sea
Poor Mr Shark is as lonely as can be!

Craft: Fish puppets

I cut simple fish shapes from construction paper. The kids decorated with crayons, sticky wiggle eyes and shiny star stickers. We attached a ribbon so they could hang them up at home. My original plan was to attach pretty crepe paper tails but the first session was just WAAAAY too many people for that and the second session seemed content without the fancy-ness. Sometimes simple really is better, I guess!

My first session today was mobbed! The second one was pretty small. Great theme and I LOVED the Bubble song and flannel story best.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

baby & me: splish, splash, i was taking a bath!

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

Books We Read: 
Splish, Splash, Baby- Katz
Splash- Intrater
Tubby- Patricelli

Flannel Story: 1 Little, 2 Little 3 Little Duckies

1 little, 2 little, 3 little duckies
4 little, 5 little, 6 little duckies
7 little, 8 little, 9 little duckies
10 little duckies in my tub!

9 little, 8 little, 7 little duckies
6 little, 5 little, 4 little duckies
3 little, 2 little, 1 little duckie
No little duckies in my tub.

Puppet Song: 2 Little Duckies

2 little duckies sitting on a cloud
One named Quiet, the other named Loud.
Fly away Quiet! Fly away Loud!
Come back Quiet! Come back Loud!

So, a small group of about 12 babies for my first program back from my vacation. A nice way to ease myself back into Baby & Me! Loved this theme, very fun!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

preschool fun: wonderful Wonder Pets

is it totally obvious by all the posts today that I am trying to catch up before I leave on vacation?

anyway, back to work...

Another superhero related program for preschoolers today starring the Wonder Pets! 

My niece was obsessed with this show when she was little! This tiny trio is pretty cute so it seemed like a great idea to tie them into our Hero SRP theme. I read some other "non Wonder Pets" books about heroes and being brave so it wouldn't get too boring.

Books We Read:
Chickens to the Rescue- Himmelman (love this one & it appeals to a wide age group)
I am So Brave- Krensky (cute and really illustrates the meaning of "brave" for kids)
Brave Squish Rabbit - Battersby (sweet!)
Oh So Brave Dragon- Kirk (fun to read and roar together)
Good Night, Wonder Pets - Selig (nice short rhyming text)
Save the Tree - Frazier (similar to an episode of the show)

Let Everyone Clap Hands Like Me
Two Little Blackbirds
Purple Stew
Dance Your Fingers
Sticky Bubblegum

Flannel Board: Wonder Pets Match Up

I made capes & hats for Ming Ming, Tuck and Linney and we tried to dress them in the right outfits by asking questions like who wears the red cape or does Linney wear the aviator hat? Very fun!

Craft: Wonder Pet Flags

I found this printable on Making Learning They have a bunch of stuff for the Wonder Pets and suggested using this printable with pencils but I thought straws would work fine too (and save $$). I printed the flags on white card stock for the kids to color and cut, then we taped them to straws. The kids did a great job!

We had another small but very attentive group today of about 5 kids. Seriously considering phasing out the preschool program at the end of the year to concentrate on the more highly attended classes for babies and toddlers. 

teenage mutant ninja turtles party

Every summer, I try to throw a party that somehow relates to our SRP theme. Since my three year old nephew is totally into the Ninja Turtles right now, I thought a Turtle party sounded perfect for Every Hero Has a Story!

Two library staff members did a beautiful job decorating our room using green streams and colorful balloons.

Unfortunately, there are not many great TMNT books to read aloud, but I found a couple I could use. I also made a cute "BINGO style" pizza flannel board, which I found on Storytime Katie's blog. I also read a book about pizza: Hi, Pizza Man by Virginia Walter which is one of my all time favorite read alouds. While not exactly ideal, this worked out ok because the books would not be the stars of this program. 

I needed a fun, easy craft idea and settled on two. A turtle mask that I printed off the internet onto white card stock and a TMNT necklace similar to the one we did at my Minions party a few months ago.

I cut the face shapes from green foam sheets. I printed the little masks on my color printer. Each child got two masks so they could have a double sided necklace. I pre-punched holes so they could just attach a long lanyard. Super easy!

I really needed some fun games since my books were not the greatest. First, I hid paper pizza slices all over the room & hallway. When they found a slice, they had to "Feed the Turtle" (made from a cardboard box!)

We also did "Pin the Pepperoni on the Pizza" which was fun and easy to do. I just printed my pizza using an image off the internet and it looked so real! The pepperoni are just round circles of red paper.



My favorite game was "Throw a Ninja Star". Another fantastic idea from Pinterest! One of my fabulous co-workers folded a bunch of these pretty paper stars for us. The kids tried their hands at tossing them into a plastic bucket. They loved this game so much that everyone wanted to keep a star to take home!

We had some small prizes of course: lollipops and TMNT stickers.

This was a very popular program and registration filled up very quickly. Most of the people signed up actually showed up and the few "no show" spots were filled easily. Although the books were not so great, the fun crafts and games really made this program a hit!

captain underpants party

This month, we decided to plan a program celebrating the silly hero of Dav Pilkey's young readers: the one and only Captain Underpants!

We began the silliness with the reading of several stories about -- what else? UNDERWEAR, of course!

Next up, we passed out name tags for all the participants using the Professor Poopypants Name Changer

Before each participant entered the program room, we asked them to write their full name on one side of the tag. Library staffers translated the names while I read the underwear themed books. This may have been my favorite part of the whole program because hearing the names called out loud was just hilarious! Here's my nametag:

While everyone decorated their new name tags, we also passed out a packet with crosswords, mazes, coloring pages printed from the Scholastic Captain Underpants website. Each child also received a pair of paper undies to design anyway they liked. We hung all the underpants on a clothesline in the hall and everyone voted on their favorite pair. The winner received a backpack filled with awesome prizes! 

What's a party without a few games? We had a Toilet Paper Tower Game where kids tried to knock a stuffed bear off the tp rolls using bean bags. 

We also transformed my white plastic clothes hamper into Turbo Toilet 2000. I brought in a bunch of my husband's white socks to toss into the "toilet". Just for fun, I told the kids that they were dirty, stinky socks which elicited many loud groans of disgust! The kids really enjoyed the games and one boy even remarked that the socks didn't really smell that bad after all LOL! (I found this party game idea on pinterest, where they suggested using real white underpants, not socks.)

We had about 17 kids attend our party; not bad for early August which is prime vacation time here. We got a wide range of ages and lots of boys, but a few brave girls, too! 

Everyone had a really great time! I gave everyone 3 prizes just for participating but there were still some tears and disappointment after the winner of the Silly Underpants Contest was announced and took possession of the coveted backpack. 

I'm especially proud of the fact that the only thing we actually purchased for this program was one sheet of white poster board for the Turbo Toilet. Everything else was stuff we had on hand in the branch or at home which is amazing!!! A fun program and inexpensive, too!!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

toddler time: setting sail

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

I also have a sailor’s hat to wear!

I passed out paper boats to all the kids & we did our weekly rhyme.

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

Fun Boat Song:

I absolutely love this fun song from Jbrary!!

Have you ever seen a sailboat, a sailboat, a sailboat
Have you ever seen a sailboat
Waving its sail?
Wave this way and that way
And that way and this way
Have you ever seen a sailboat waving its sail?

Other Verses: Rocking back and forth

Books We Read: 
Boat Works- Slaughter
Row, Row, Row Your Boat- Ellwand

Flannel Story: Riding Around in my Little White Boat  

First, I put some dark blue waves on my flannel board. Then, I put up each boat one at a time.

Riding around in my little white boat
Riding around in my little white boat
Riding around in my little white boat
Zoom zoom zoom zoom SPLASH!

What color is our next boat?

Repeat for yellow, red, green. 
Then count all the boats together!

Craft #1: Sailor puppets

I purchased these cute digital stamps on etsy & printed them on white cardstock for the kids to color & attach a popsicle stick.

Craft #2: Pool Noodle Boats (see green boat in first pic)

We did this craft last summer and I had tons of leftover supplies. It was so fun, I decided to do it again. It's so easy and you can float them in your pool or bathtub! See my earlier boat themed post here for more info.

Both sessions were very well attended and lots of fun! Lots of positive feedback from parents this week on the theme. One mom told me that she's an occupational therapist and she's been stealing my craft ideas so that was nice to hear!

Friday, August 7, 2015

baby & me: going to the dogs

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found Clifford the Big Red DOG! What does a dog say?

Books We Read: 
Where Is Baby’s Puppy- Katz 
The Babies and Doggies Book by John & Molly (ADORABLE! Love the photos of the babies and the doggies too! Text is great for little ones. Hope there are more like this on the way!)

Flannel Story: 1 Little, 2 Little 3 Little Doggies (with artwork from Todd Parr's adorable book Doggy Kisses 1 2 3)

One little, two little, three little doggies
Four little, five little, six little doggies
Seven little, eight little, nine little doggies
Ten little doggies say woof woof woof!

Then you can count back down as you remove the doggies from the board.

Nine little, eight little, seven little...

Puppet Song: 2 Silly Doggies

2 silly doggies sitting on a wall
One named Big, the other named Small
Run away, Big! Run away, Small!
Come back, Big! Come back, Small!

This was such a fun theme! Everyone loved The Babies & Doggies book so much and I really liked the 2 Little Blackbirds adaptation I did to go with my theme. A great class! About 20 babies.