Friday, September 30, 2016

toddler time: colorful squirrels

Mystery Box: Inside our polka dotted box, we found a little baby SQUIRREL! Would you like to pet him? He is so soft! We talked about his tail, his eyes, etc. 


love these puppets!

Wait a minute, where is this little squirrel’s mother? I pulled out a bigger squirrel puppet from my basket and sang:

Two furry squirrels sitting on a wall
One named BIG, the other named small.
Run away BIG! Run away small!
Come back BIG! Come back small!





Books We Read: 
The Very Busy Squirrel- Tafuri (I love this book so much but many of the kids and parents showed little interest.)

Flannel Board:  Colorful Squirrels




First, I showed everyone my tree stump that is also a house for my friend Brown Squirrel. See the cute little door?

There is a song we can sing to make Brown Squirrel change to a different color, let’s try it!

Put a squirrel in the magic tree stump!
Shake it, shake it, shake it a bunch!
Take him out and what do you see?
A cute little squirrel as RED as can be!

Of course, I had other squirrels hiding in the stump and I just switched them out for the brown squirrels as we sang each verse and put them up on the felt board. Magic! 




Do you see any other squirrels in the room? Here’s one!

Before class, I hid four other brown squirrels around the room but close by so they would be easy to grab.

Repeat with other squirrels. We ended up with red, yellow, green, blue and purple. At the end, we counted up all the colorful squirrels. Some of the kids were really mesmerized!

Squirrel Songs: 

I had some plastic acorns from a while back so I pointed out the acorn in Squirrel's hands and passed out acorns to each child.

Put your acorn up high!
Put your acorn down low!
Hold your acorn and turn around!
Put your acorn up high!
Put your acorn down low!
Put your acorn on the ground!

Then I passed out scarves to be our squirrel tails for:

Brown Squirrel, Brown Squirrel, shake your bushy tail!
Brown Squirrel, Brown Squirrel, shake your bushy tail!
Wrinkle up your little nose!
Hold a nut between your toes!
Brown Squirrel, Brown Squirrel, shake your bushy tail!

I tried to do Jbrary's version with all the colors but decided to call it a day! Instead I just called out the colors, collected the scarves, and started the craft.

Craft: Squirrel Collages




I printed a cute little coloring page cut in a circular shape. The kids colored, then glue it onto a paper plate. 




I passed out strips of streamers in fall colors for the kids to glue onto the edges of the plate. It was really pretty and perfect for fall.

A cold rainy fall morning here. The first session was very small with about 14 kids; the second session was busier with about 22. Everyone liked the acorns but it's better to hand them out towards the end of the class because they start rolling them, throwing them or banging them on the tables and its very annoying. 

The first session was kind of wild with a couple of kids that just wanted to run. I finally had to make a quick announcement to please take out any kids who are not interested for a break and return in a few minutes or come back for crafts or playtime. Things really improved after that. The second session was a lot better but still some distractions, chatting, etc.  Not my best day...

... but at the end of the late class, a woman told me that my class was the best one they'd ever been to which made me feel a little better! Sometimes I think children's librarians are hardest on ourselves and while we focus on the bad stuff and feel like we really bombed today, someone participating might not notice the missteps at all! In their eyes, the program was awesome!

Flannel Friday: colorful squirrels

This is felt story for fall that was inspired by of one of my favorite flannel boards EVER called "Make a Rainbow" or "Magical Rainbow Stew." As you sing the verses, the fruits change to strips of color and form a beautiful rainbow. The kids always love it and so do I! I've also seen similar flannel boards for Mouse Paint where the mice are dipped into paint cans and come out different colors. These stories are really magical!



First, I showed everyone my tree stump. 
Guess who lives here in this tree stump? My friend Brown Squirrel lives here. See the cute little door?

There is a song we can sing to make Brown Squirrel change to a different color, let’s try it!

Put a squirrel in the magic tree stump! 
Shake it, shake it, shake it a bunch!
Take him out and what do you see?
A cute little squirrel as RED as can be!

Of course, I had squirrels of all different colors hiding in the stump and I just switched them out for the brown squirrels as we sang and put them up on the felt board one at a time. Magic! 

Do you see any other squirrels in the room? 

Before class, I hid four other brown squirrels around the room but close by so they would be easy to grab.




Repeat with other squirrels. At the end, we counted up all of our colorful squirrels. 

Some of the kids were really mesmerized!

My squirrels are laminated clipart from Etsy but felt ones would be amazing! 

My tree stump is actually a flower pot that I found on Amazon! It is ceramic so it requires a little extra TLC. I had to be extra careful to keep it out of the reach of the little ones. If I have time someday, I might try to make something less breakable, maybe from a brown bucket or something? For now, it worked fine!

Monday, September 26, 2016

toddler time: more amazing apples

There are some themes that I like to rotate and others that I prefer to repeat every year. I feel like the apple picking experience is so popular with the kids here and it's just such a fun fall topic. This year, I found the cutest craft ever: an apple person!




I printed clip art apples on red card stock and cut them out before the program. I also cut leaves, arms and legs from green construction paper for the kids to attach. The apple people all came out sooo cute!! Definitely one to repeat next year!



We read the same books as previous years and of course, I brought out my homemade Apple Puppet (who makes everyone giggle when a worm pops out!)





The kids also loved my Mr. Slinky Worm/Apple Tree flannel rhyme! 
(I did shorten it to three apples instead of five today)


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

You can read more about my other Apple related posts HERE

Thursday, September 22, 2016

toddler time: big yellow bus

Mystery Box: Inside our polka dotted box, we found a bus! What color is our bus? How many wheels does it have?




Books We Read: 
The Bus for Us - Bloom (great for this age group!)
Maisy Drives the Bus- Cousins (cute!)





Flannel Board:  The Wheels/Seals on the Bus

(Printed from Makinglearningfun.com)

I placed my yellow bus on the flannel board first and asked, "What is missing on our bus?"

The wheels!

The wheels on the bus go round and round….

What else is missing? Uh oh! Who is driving our bus? We need a driver. Here he is! A tiger! What does a tiger say?

ROAR!

The tiger on the bus says roar roar roar….

Look who wants to ride our bus – a sheep. What does a sheep say?

The sheep on the bus say baaa…

Who is next? A snake!

The snake on the bus says hiss….

Here comes a bunny; what does a bunny do? Hop!

At this point I handed out tambourines so we could make lots of noise along with the animals!




Then, we had Bunny hopping UP AND DOWN, monkey swinging ALL AROUND, and goose HONK-ing. Finally, two kids got on our bus & they thought it was too noisy!!

The kids on the bus say shhhhh shhhhh shhhh…








Craft: Maisy Bus Puppets

I printed a coloring page of Maisy driving a bus. The kids glued on the wheels and colored with our brand new jumbo crayons from Lakeshore Learning. I am obsessed with them!! The kids liked them too; I saw lots of rainbow buses as they tried out all the different colors.

Two large groups today and I was afraid we didn't have enough buses! I saved the flannel board for the end of the program since I knew it might get a little wild and it was nice to change things up a little. A great theme; I loved the books and the craft was awesome!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Back To School Bash!

Books We Read:



We read The Wheels on the Bus last and it was fun to sing along, but felt endless for some reason!


Craft: Candy Pencils and Collage Notebooks





The Candy Pencil craft instructions can be found HERE. (This site has a link to a printable on Etsy that I wish I'd found earlier; might have saved some time.) 

We used rolls of Necco wafers instead of Rolos because that's what they had at the Dollar Tree store. The pencils came out super cute but there is some prep time involved for cutting the construction paper. We used glue dots which worked great. All the kids wanted to eat the candy right away but I told them to hold on because there was more candy coming up shortly (in the pinata...shhh!)

To make Collage Notebooks, we purchased black and white composition notebooks on sale at dollar stores and decorated them with all kinds of pictures and illustrations from catalogs and magazines. Glue the images, then cover everything with strips of clear packing tape.





Game:

ABC Challenge: The Mystery of the Missing Letter




All the letters of the alphabet were hidden around the program room. I challenged the kids to work as a team to find all the letters, put them in the correct order of the alphabet on the carpet AND figure out which letter is missing!!






All participants received a free backpack filled with cool stuff for school, including folders, pencils, cooler lunch bags, collapsible water bottles & library card holders! We also had a PULL STRING pinata from Oriental Trading filled with candy and small toys to end the party! It was awesome!!!




Friday, September 9, 2016

Flannel Friday: Where is Baby Raccoon?

I used this flannel board rhyme for a recent toddler storytime program about balloons.

My friend Raccoon is looking for her baby! 
Let's help her find him.



I think he is hiding under one of these balloons. 
Let's count them together!

We counted one thru five. Can you show me five fingers like this?

Baby Raccoon, Baby Raccoon
Are you hiding under the red balloon?

Let's take a look -- 1, 2, 3!
Is he there?

Keep looking until you find that little guy. 
Then, Mama Raccoon gives her baby a BIG hug!


toddler time: animals at the pond

Mystery Box: Inside our polka dotted box, we found a turtle! What color is a turtle? Would you like to come up and pet this turtle?


Image result for folkmanis little turtle
Little Turtle from Folkmanis

Puppet Song: Turtle, Turtle
(tune: “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”)
Turtle, turtle moves so slow,
Crawling, crawling, watch him go.
At the pond he looks around,
See his head move up and down.
Turtle, turtle wants to swim,
Now he slides and dives right in!
--PreschoolExpress





Puppet Song #2:

Old MacDonald Had a Pond
Old MacDonald had a pond ee-i ee-i-oh!
And on that pond he had a turtle ee-i ee-i-oh!!
With a snap snap here and a snap snap there!
here a snap, there a snap
everywhere a snap  snap
Old MacDonald had a pond ee-i ee-i-oh!

(repeat with fish/splash, duck/quack, frog/hop)

Other Perfect Pond Songs:

I Wish I Was a Fishy in the Pond 
(Tune: “If You're Happy and You Know It”) 
Oh, I wish I was a fishy in the pond, 
Oh, I wish I was a fishy in the pond, 
I'd swim around down there. 
I’d swim from here to there.
Oh, I wish I was a fishy in the pond.

Repeat with: Turtle/dive, frog/hop


The Turtle in the Pond
(tune: the Wheels on the Bus)
The turtle in the pond goes snap snap snap
snap snap snap
snap snap snap
The turtle in the pond goes snap snap snap
all morning long

Repeat with Frog/hop, Duck/quack, fish/splash






Books We Read: 
Frog & Friends: What Am I? (so cute!)
Pond Babies- Falwell (love it!)




clipart from Etsy; kids loved it!


Flannel Board:  5 Baby Turtles

One baby turtle alone and new. 
Finds a friend, and then there are two. 
Two baby turtles crawl down to the sea. 
They find another, and then there are three. 
Three baby turtles crawl along the shore. 
They find another, and then there are four. 
Four baby turtles go for a dive. 
Up swims another, and then there are five. 
from HERE




Craft: Pop Up Turtles

For info and a link to the template, see my previous blog post here. This craft is so simple but it's always a hit with the kids! We tied a small green piece of yarn so they could make their turtles "crawl" along the table.

Two decent sized groups today (20 kids in early session, 14 kids in later one) and everyone was so wonderfully behaved! Cute theme and a great morning!

Friday, September 2, 2016

toddler time: who's counting?

Mystery Box: Inside our polka dotted box, we found monkeys! How many monkeys do we have? Let’s COUNT them: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 – five monkeys! 




Do you know what these monkeys like to do? They love to jump! Would you like a monkey puppet to hold for our puppet song?

I passed out monkey stick puppets printed from HERE. So cute! I laminated them so I could re-use them again someday!




Puppet Song: Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed








Books We Read: 
123 Counting Fun- Tiger Tales
1,2,3 In the Sea- Decicco








Flannel Board:  Here Is a Beehive

Here is a beehive?
But where are all the bees?
Hidden away
Where nobody sees.
Watch them come creeping out of their hive:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 – BUZZZZZZZZ

We also tried the fingerplay version after they watched me do this rhyme on the flannel board.





Craft: Here Is a Beehive Craft

I glued gold beehives to paper plates in advance. The kids and parents colored five bumble bees, cut them out and glued them to the plate. We added a ribbon taped to the back so they could carry them home and hang them up. Very cute!



Two decent sized sessions today, not too mobbed on a beautiful morning with the Labor Day weekend starting tomorrow. This was a good theme because there are soooo many nice counting books to choose from. I went with the most basic ones I could find and was very happy with my choices. 

We finished each session with my secret weapon: a fantastic pop up book from many years ago called If You're Happy and You Know It by David Carter (WHY IS THIS OUT OF PRINT?!!!! it's the best book ever!!) My second session had a bunch of runners today; it was pretty challenging to concentrate. Then, someone started throwing their Minnie doll up in the air and who can compete with that as far as toddlers go? I had to ask for Minnie to be tucked away for the rest of our class. sorry, Minnie!