Friday, January 27, 2017

toddler time: quiet and loud (revisited!)

For this week's QUIET & LOUD theme, I repeated many of the elements from my earlier Let's Get LOUD blog post, with a just a couple of adjustments.

  • The Mystery Box revealed two Folkmanis baby bird puppets this time. I love these birds because they squeak! A little girl in my early session was not a fan though and started yelling "No, no!" as soon as I pulled them out of my box.
I have a couple of friends to show you today. But we have to be very quiet because they are sleeping! 

Who is sleeping in this bed all covered with a blanket (just some felt!)?
(peeking) There are doggies in here...

Doggies are sleeping, don’t wake them up. 
Doggies are sleeping, don’t wake them up!
Doggies are sleeping, don’t wake them up. 
Now we’re very quiet. Shhhhh...

Should we wake up the doggies? Can you say "WAKE UP DOGGIES"?
(remove the blanket and lift puppy heads)

WAKE UP doggies, it’s time to play! 
WAKE UP doggies, it’s time to play!
WAKE UP doggies, it’s time to play! 
Now we’re very LOUD!

Oh the doggies look tired, we better tuck them in so they can nap now. Good night Doggies!

Here is another bed. Who is sleeping in here? 

There are kitties here! What does a kitty say?

Cats are sleeping, don’t wake them up. 
Cats are sleeping don’t wake them up.
Cat are sleeping, don’t wake them up. 
Now we’re very quiet. Shhhhh.

Do you want to see the kitties? They are awake!

WAKE UP kitties, it’s time to play! 
WAKE UP kitties, it’s time to play!
WAKE UP kitties, it’s time to play! 
Now we’re very LOUD!

The kitties look sleepy now too! Let's put them to back now. 
Goodnight kitties!

  • We did the same flannel board & shaker songs. The paper plate shaker craft was awesome again!! We read Patricelli's Quiet LOUD story, of course! But I did replace The Noisy Counting Book with Shhh! This Book Is Sleeping by Ramadier this time, just to switch things up a bit. The Noisy Counting Book is still one of my fave's! 

We had two big groups today with around 20 kids per session! They LOVED the bird puppets and especially the Wake Up puppet song!! The paper plate shaker craft is so simple but a hit with parents and kids. A wonderful morning!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

baby & me: I'm a baby!

Mystery Box: Inside our mystery box, we found a BABY!! 

Puppet Song: Did You Ever See a Baby?

Did you ever see a baby, a baby, a baby
Did you ever see a baby go this way and that?
Go this way and that way 
And this way and that way
Did you ever see a baby go this way and that?

Books We Read: 
I Am a Baby – Allen (love it!)
Hand in Hand - Wells

Flannel Story: 10 Little Babies

See my previous post here.

A nice class today, still struggling a little with participation lately. Everyone LOVED the baby puppet (purchased from Kaplan Early Learning) and babies really responded to the Allen book. Not sure I will use Hand in Hand again for Baby & Me but it has lovely illustrations and a great message. I love this theme!

Friday, January 20, 2017

toddler time: winnie the pooh

Mystery Box: Inside our polka dotted box, we found Winnie the Pooh! 
Hi, Winnie! Would you like a Pooh bear to hold?

Passed out yellow cardstock bears for this song:

There’s a bear on the floor, on the floor
There’s a bear on the floor, on the floor
Who could ask for anymore, there’s a bear on the floor,
There’s a bear on the floor, on the floor.

There’s a bear on my knee, on my knee
There’s a bear on my knee, on my knee
Oh goodness gracious me! There’s a bear on my knee
There’s a bear on my knee, on my knee.

There’s a bear on my tummy, on my tummy
There’s a bear on my tummy, on my tummy
Oh it really isn’t funny, there’s a bear on my tummy
There’s a bear on my tummy, on my tummy.

There’s a bear in my hair, in my hair
There’s a bear in my hair, in my hair
Oh it really isn’t fair! There’s a bear in my hair
There’s a bear in my hair, in my hair.

But… it’s okay… look! He’s jumped off!
There’s a bear on the floor…

Books We Read:
Peekaboo Winnie the Pooh- Disney Book Group
Winnie the Pooh Tells Time- Milne & Shepherd

Flannel Board:  A Present From Piglet

Today is Winnie the Pooh’s birthday, look at all his presents! 

Let's count them up & name the colors!

Let's see if we can find the present that Pooh's friend Piglet brought!

I hid Piglet behind his present and we chanted this rhyme as we looked for him:

Piglet, did you bring the RED box, RED box, RED box
Did you bring the RED box for Winnie the Pooh?
No, the RED box is from Tigger!

 It's hard to see with the glare but the pink gift was from Piglet!

Craft: Pooh Paper Bag Puppets

I found a great Pooh printable craft template HERE so I printed it on yellow paper. I removed the noses so we could paste black construction paper noses on ourselves. I also printed red “shirts” for our Pooh puppets to wear. We glued faces and shirts onto our paper bags to make this adorable puppet!!

The most difficult part of planning today's Pooh themed program was finding toddler appropriate books -- most Pooh picture books I found had too much text. With my toddler programs, we usually read 2-3 books max so this was not a deal breaker for me. We also read If You're Happy and You Know It by David Carter. I LOVE LOVED LOVED this Pooh puppet craft!! So did the parents. My flannel board also went well. We had just one session today due to a special Early Lit presentation that pre-empted our 10:15 class, but we had a great group of about 20 toddlers.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

baby & me: bears are the best!

Mystery Box: Inside our mystery box, we found some BEARS!!

Prop Song: Counting Bears (by Jbrary)

A little bear,
A bigger bear,
A great big bear I see!
Can we count them?
Are you ready?

Books We Read:
In My Den- Gillingham
Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See- Carle
Knees and Toes- Scholastic Rookie Toddler

Flannel Story: This Little Bear

See my previous Bear post here.

Puppet Song: Where Is Bear? (With my Bear in a Tree Stump Puppet by 

Check out this post for more info!

A wonderful theme with sooo many great books and songs to choose from. We had a pretty nice crowd with about 24 babies as the amazing spring-like weather continues!! I love it!

Friday, January 13, 2017

baby & me: smitten with mittens!

Mystery Box: Inside our mystery box, we found a mitten!! What color is our mitten?? RED!

Prop Song: One Red Mitten

(borrowed from Storytime Secrets!)

I used construction paper mittens on popsicle sticks for this song:

(tune: Skip to My Lou)
One red mitten, what will I do?
One red mitten, what will I do?
One red mitten, what will I do?
I’ll find the other one,
Now there’s two!

(repeat with green and blue mittens)

Books We Read: 
Welcome Winter- Little Scholastic
Baby Loves Winter- Katz

Flannel Story: Red Mitten, Red Mitten, What Do You See?

This flannel idea came from Childcareland.

Red mitten, red mitten, what do you see?
I see a yellow mitten looking at me!

Continue thru all of your colors and then:

Purple mitten, purple mitten what do you see?
I see lots of colorful mittens, that’s what I see!

We had a great class and about 18 babies on this bright and sunny January morning. The temperature went up to 60 degrees today but it was still fun to sing and read about winter! I wish every winter day could be this nice!

Friday, January 6, 2017

toddler time: time for toys!

Mystery Box: Inside our polka dotted box, we found a ball, a race car, a doll and a teddy bear! How many TOYS do we have today? 1, 2, 3, 4 toys! Where do we put our toys? In the toybox!! This prop was part of a nice set purchased from Lakeshore Learning.

Books We Read: 
What’s That Noise? – Cocoretto
How Do Dinosaurs Play with Their Toys?- Yolen
Playing- Slegers

Flannel Board:  5 Little Toys On the Play Room Floor

Ok, I have some toys to show you today! 
Name each one as we place them on the felt board. 

How many toys do we have today? 
Count them up together.

5 little toys on the play room floor
I’m not playing with them any more
I pick one up and put it away. (removed one & placed in my little red basket)
I’ll play with that one another day.

Now how many toys do we have?
Count down until all the toys are put away.

Craft: Toy Wagon

I found this coloring sheet so I printed it on white cardstock -- two to a page. The kids colored the wagon and toys, decorated with star stickers and attached a pipe cleaner “handle”. At first, I was afraid this craft might be a little boring but the kids loved the stickers and the colorful pipe cleaners made it a little more special. The Slegers’ story ends with a bunch of toys in a wagon so it was the perfect “lead in” for this craft.

Two pretty small groups here today on another snowy Friday but no one was really complaining about having a nice mellow morning. Ended up being a really cute theme; I especially liked the flannel story. Yolen’s dinosaur books are always fun to read aloud!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

baby and me: who's number one?

Mystery Box: Inside our mystery box, we found a lion!! What does a lion say??

Puppet Song: I’m a Lion (tune: 3 Blind Mice)

I’m a lion! I’m a lion!
Hear me ROAR! Hear me ROAR!
I love to sleep out in the sun
And chase other animals just for fun
In all the jungle I’m NUMBER ONE
I’m a lion

Books We Read:
You Are One- O’Leary
One Naked Baby- Smith

Flannel Story: One Little Flower

One little flower
One little bee
One little bird high in a tree
One little brown bear smiling at me.
One is the number I like you see!

Puppet Song: Baa Baa Black Sheep

Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full.
One for my master, one for my dame,
one for the little boy who lives down the lane.
Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full.

I have a reversible sheep finger puppet that I found on ebay so I made the sheep turn from black to white and we sang a second verse: Baa baa WHITE sheep/one for the little GIRL who lives down the lane. I don't do a ton of nursery rhymes but its nice to use one that everyone can sing along with.

I thought it would be fun to kick off our first Baby and Me of 2017 with the NUMBER ONE! It was a cold morning but we had a great sized group of about 20 babies. I felt so happy to see everyone again after a couple of weeks off for the holidays.

ringing in the new year!

Ah, New Year’s Eve! My absolute LEAST favorite holiday of the year. The weather is usually freezing, my well-deserved holiday vacation from work is winding down and all that pressure to have fun combines to make me feel a little grumpy. However, after reading tons of blog posts about the fabulous parties other libraries were throwing to ring in the new year, I decided to give a Noon Year's Eve Party a try!

This year, I actually had money to spend so I purchased tons of fun party supplies: photo props, party hats, 2017 glasses, snacks and balloons. But deep down, I was feeling kind of nervous and soon the doubts starting creeping in: what if my disco light music player doesn’t work? why did I think I could possibly figure out how to rig a balloon drop? What if nobody shows up?

Luckily, I am pleased to report that none of those things happened and our party was a hit!

We started the festivities at 11:30 am. As the kids arrived, everyone started working on their Time Capsule Craft. Each of three different pages served a different purpose: an All About Me questionnaire to answer, one page for a self portrait or other artwork and one for tracing the child’s hand as well as the hands of other family members, if desired. I encouraged everyone to make their time capsule whatever they wanted it to be. I also put yarn on each table so the kids could measure their current height. I explained that it would be fun to open their time capsules in year or two and see how much everything had changed.

We rolled up our papers/yarn and tucked them inside an empty paper towel tube which we covered in colorful tissue paper and tied the ends with rubber bands or ribbons. I also had a little label to attach with their names and the date.

At 11:50, I called everyone’s attention to a book called The Night Before New Year's by Natasha Wing which was very similar to  the classic story T'was The Night Before Christmas. Then we sang along to David Carter’s If You’re Happy and You Know It since it is one of my all time favorite books AND the "happy" in the title fit perfectly with our "happy" new year celebration.

Next, we passed out rainbow bells and maracas & it was time to countdown from 10 to 1! We yelled "HAPPY NOON YEAR!!!" and I let the balloons drop from their nest near the ceiling. I purchased this balloon drop set and command hooks that attached to the ceiling. The kids were amazed when the balloons fell gently to the floor (and so was I!)

Image result for cars balloon drop
purchased from amazon

With the tricky part complete,  I could relax a little at this point. I turned on the music and our fancy disco light. We passed out the colorful tiaras and party sunglasses, and I shot off all five rounds of my confetti gun as Happy by Pharrell and Fireworks by Katy Perry played in the background. Other songs on today’s party playlist included Shake It Off, Best Day of My Life, Can't Fight This Feeling)
Some of the kids went back to working on their time capsules at this point, others played with the balloons and danced or took this opportunity to grab a snack and juice or strike a pose for a pic with the photo props.

The parents were so appreciative of this program and everyone was raving about how adorable everything was. One little girl asked me if we could throw another party for Valentine’s Day. My only regret is that I didn’t get to take any photos.

I have to admit that this program was kind of time-consuming to prepare/set up but the results were totally worth it! I can honestly say that I suspect this awesome party might have even converted this former NYE hater from party pooper to party animal! (I am already secretly looking forward to our next noon year’s eve celebration...)