Thursday, September 24, 2015

baby & me: helpful hands

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

We sang a new song for our group called I Wake Up My Hands from Jbrary – love it!

Books We Read: 
Where Is Baby’s Belly Button- Katz

Flannel Story: 10 Little Hands

I placed all different colored felt hands on the board as we sang:

1 little, 2 little, 3 little hands
4 little, 5 little, 6 little hands
7 little, 8 little, 9 little hands
10 little hands go clap clap clap!

Then we counted down as I removed the hands: 9 little, 8 little…

Puppet Rhyme: Peekaboo Hedgehog and Roly Poly

My friend Roly the Hedgehog made yet another appearance for some puppet songs. See my post here. He is always a big hit with the kids! 

A perfectly sized group of 16 babies and moms today! Everyone participated and we had a great morning. Three different mothers told me that my classes had spoiled them for classes at other places because they couldn't find anything as fun as my programs,plus they are FREE! I never get tired of hearing compliments like that; its just so nice to feel appreciated.

Monday, September 21, 2015

toddler time: amazing apples

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found an owl holding a big red apple!!! What does an owl say? Who likes apples?

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

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

Books We Read: 
Pepo and Lolo and the Red Apple- Larranga
5 Little Apples- Yonezu

Felt Story: 5 Little Apples with felt tree

5 little apples sitting in a tree
Teasing Mr Slinky Worm
You can’t eat me!
along comes Mr Slinky Worm as quiet as can be
And CRUNCHES that apple right out of the tree!

Repeat 4 3 2 1

Adorable Apple Song:

From the wonderful librarians at Jbrary: Way Up High in the Apple Tree

Prop Story: The Apple Seed

I wanted to try this song as a book or with puppets since my felt version is small and my toddler group is usually large! so I printed the images on cardstock and held them up one at a time as I sang each line.

A little tiny apple seed was planted in the ground
Out came the rain, falling all around.
Out came the sun, as bright as bright can be
And the tiny little apple seed became an apple tree!
(tune: I’m a Little Teapot)

Great intro to apples!

Craft: Apple paper plates

I really wanted a craft that did not involve coloring something and taping to a popsicle stick, since my crafts were feeling a bit repetitive lately! This project was SOOOOO easy! 

First, I passed out half sheets of red paper & told the kids to rip it into pieces. Then I brought out small paper plates and glue sticks, as well as pre-cut green leaves and brown stems and... voila! A lovely homemade apple craft and not a craft stick or crayon in sight!

Today, we had a small-ish first session and a larger second one, for a change. I loved my craft and the puppet songs too. The books were okay too!

Friday, September 18, 2015

preschool fun: crazy about cowboys

Books We Read:
Clip Clop - Smee
Gingerbread Cowboy- Squires
She'll be Coming Around the Mountain- Emmet
Let's Sing a Lullabye with the Brave Cowboy- Thomas
Every Cowgirl Needs a Horse- Janni (thought the girls would appreciate it but WAYYY too long for my kids)

Flannel Story: I Am a Cowboy/girl (tune: I'm a Little Teapot)

I am a cowboy, see me ride!
with my dog running by my side.
we look after the cattle all day
and rest by the campfire at the end of the day.

I am a cowgirl, see me ride!
with my dog running by my side.
we take care of the cows all day
and sleep in a tent at the end of the day.

To save time, I searched the web for clip art to print out and laminate.

Cute Cowboy Songs:

Cowboy Pokey (Put your lasso, hat, spurs and ride your horse in!)

If You're a Cowboy and You Know It

5 Little Ponies

10 Little Cowboys

Cowboy Craft:
 I found these adorable printable puppets here. I printed them on white card stock (2 sets to a page.) Kids decorated with crayons and taped them to popsicle sticks.

ugh, all i can say is probably my WORST program ever! I was really looking forward to this fun theme so its so disappointing. 

Only 3 girls and 2 babies attended and none of them were the slightest bit interested in any of my books or songs. Two moms just wanted to chat with each other right over my stories. The kids brought a giant bag filled with toys to play with. Combined with zero participation, I finally closed the book mid-story, passed out the craft materials and called it a day. Very frustrating experience.

with low preschool attendance for a long LONG time, we will be eliminating this monthly program after December to focus on other age groups. I've been trying to continue it for so long, rationalizing that if i don't spend too much time on prep and planning, its ok, but the audience just is not there anymore with UPKs servicing the area. My preschool programs used to be the highlight of my month before I started my baby & toddler ones so it's hard to let go but it's time.

baby & me: food is fun!

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found two red apples!  Let’s put them in our apple tree!

Puppet Rhyme: I used the tree prop I made from felt.

Way up high in the apple tree
I saw 2 little apples smiling at me
I shook that tree as hard as I could
Down came the apples
Ummm, were they good!
(repeat with oranges and pears)

We repeated the apple version one more time as an action rhyme with baby lifts & a little shaking.

Books We Read: 
Yummy Yucky- Patricelli

Flannel Story: Food version of Brown Bear, Brown Bear

I made these cute food pieces for a great rhyme I saw on Mel’s Desk. This was such a big group of people, I really wanted something more interactive so we put up the foods one at a time saying:

Orange carrot, orange carrot, what do you see?
I see some red cherries looking at me!

All the adults joined in so it worked fine, but I would still like to try it someday with Mel’s rhyme!

I thought when the teachers went back to school, my baby group might shrink a little bit but we had over 24 babies today! I thought things went very well, especially considering the number of people in the room. Nice theme too!

Friday, September 11, 2015

toddler time: let's do lunch!

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found beautiful feathers!!!

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

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

Then, I pulled out the book Feathers for Lunch and introduced my friend Mr Cat. We listened to the bells on his collar jingle. Mr Cat eats feathers for lunch! Does that sound yummy? NO! People don't eat feathers for lunch! 

After this story, everyone put their feathers in Mr. Cat’s lunch bag so he could eat them for lunch later!! Everyone LOVED the feathers!

Books We Read: 
Feathers for Lunch- Ehlert
Worms for Lunch- Gore

Fun Food Fingerplay:
We usually do the adorable Bananas Unite Song from Jbrary in all our toddler sessions and it was perfect for today’s lunch theme!

Flannel Story: Lunch with Mouse puppet

I love love love the Lunch puppet show on Thrive after Three so much! To adapt it slightly for my toddlers today, I decided to put all the foods on the flannel board and name them first. Then we put on our binoculars and picked the food that matched the color Mouse wanted to eat. It was great, the kids loved it but next time, I might do one or two less foods as it took a while to get thru all of them.   

Craft: Lunch necklaces

I found this printable in a book so it was super easy to print on cardstock, cut and hole punch. The kids decorated with crayons, added a few sparkly star stickers and put them on a red ribbon. Very cute!

Today was kind of a hot mess. Thankfully, we had a pretty easy craft but I was not prepared for the enormous crowd at the early session. We had been getting pretty even groups but not today. 

Then, we had a hitting incident at playtime which was really upsetting. Children putting their hands on each other is absolutely not ok with me. I did not see the incident and the parent was yelling before I could intervene. Then, a mother was crying and stormed out that she was never coming back. All I could do was bring out the bubbles to distract everyone. I wish the parent would have spoken to me first so I could handle the situation privately. Now, we will have to address it next week…

Luckily, the second session was much better (and smaller LOL!) I originally planned this program around Dean Hacochen’s new book Who’s Hungry so all food related stuff. I am a HUGE fan of Tuck Me In.

LOVE this!

Then, it seemed like all my stuff was related to LUNCH so we will save the other books for another day, maybe around Thanksgiving!

baby & me: mama loves me

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a blue bird!  And she has some baby birds in here: 1, 2, 3! What does a bird say? 

I found this cute puppet idea on the terrific blog Future Librarian Superhero in a post called Naptime Chickens. I made the chicken version then I did another version for birds! I just used blue felt and tweaked a few of the words! The moms seemed to really appreciate this sweet rhyme.

Puppet Rhyme:

Come little birdies, calls the Mama Bird.
It’s time for a nap, haven’t you heard?
And under her feathers the little birds creep
And she sings them a song til they fall asleep
Tweet Tweet Tweet…

Books We Read: 
Mommy, Carry Me Please- Cabrera
Are You My Mommy- Wan

Flannel Story: Mama Loves You

I found this cute felt board idea here and it really is perfect for love/valentine and mother themed programs. It is based on a book so as I said each line, I flipped over the heart to reveal a cute animal. Very fun! We did five hearts today.

A nice group of about 12 babies today so the program was very manageable and fun!

Friday, September 4, 2015

toddler time: cute as a bug

Mystery Box: Inside our yellow box, we found a spider! Do you know a song called the Itsy Bitsy Spider? Let’s sing it!

The Itsy Bitsy Spider went up the water spout...

Did you know the spider has a friend, called …. Ladybug? She likes that song too!

The Itsy Bitsy Ladybug went up the water spout…

And we have another friend today too: Butterfly!

The Itsy Bitsy Butterfly went up the water spout….

We have one more friend to meet: Bumblebee!

The Itsy Bitsy Bumblebee went up the waterspout…

This is such a classic song that most everyone knows already but I love mixing it up with different size spiders or using other insects. I got this version from Jbrary of course! That link has tons of amazing puppet ideas -- so fun!

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

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

Books We Read: 
I Love Bugs- Sturges
Butterfly, Butterfly- Horacek

Fun Buggy Fingerplay:

Here is a beehive
But where are all the bees?
Hidden away where nobody sees!
What them come creeping out of their hive
1 2 3 4 5…. BUZZZZZZ!

Flannel Story: Butterflies in a Net

Oh look at all the butterflies up in the sky!
Spread their wings and start to fly!
I'll sneak up close & try to catch
one little butterfly in my net

Repeat until all the butterflies are in the net (just a pencil, a pipe cleaner and some netting!)

Craft #1: Bug Stick puppets

These bugs were printed off a website onto white cardstock; we have butterfly, bee and ladybug. It was supposed to be a mobile type craft but I didn’t have enough so we colored them separately & attached popsicle sticks.

Craft #2: Plastic Bag Butterflies

This was the real craft I planned but the coloring one buys me some time to pass out supplies. I love this craft because its super easy & adorable but the best part is that the prep is really minimal. 

I trim the tops off sandwich size ziplock bags. Kids stuff them with some tissue paper squares. You tape up the top, pinch them in the center and wind a pipe cleaner around the middle to create a body, wings and antenna. Kids and moms just love this simple craft.

We had 2 sessions, about 35 kids total. Love this theme, especially the puppet song and the craft. Got lots of compliments on the flannel board too! A really fun day!

baby & me: at the pond

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

Puppet Song:

1 green frog went hop hop hop
Hop hop hop
Hop hop hop
1 green frog went hop hop hop
Hoppin’ on a lily pad!

Look, here is another green frog so now we have TWO!

2 green frogs went hop hop hop
Hop hop hop
Hop hop hop
2 green frogs went hop hop hop
Hoppin’ on a lily pad!

Books We Read: 
Hoppity Frog- Parrish
What Am I: Frog and Friends- Wan

Flannel Story: Little Frog Under a Log

See my previous post here.

A smallish group today with about ten kids, probably about half of them were not really "babies". It was a very laid back and fun mood in the room and everyone spread out for playtime -- a nice morning! Fun theme too!