Friday, June 23, 2017

flannel friday: tigers in the jungle

Deep in the Jungle (Tiger Version)



I have used "Deep in the Jungle" for a Lion themed toddler program and I didn’t want to do the same exact thing, so I switched up the words a little and counted up instead of down. I didn't have time to make felt tigers so I just printed some cute clipart ones from Etsy.

Deep in the jungle, what did I hear? (hold hand to ear)
1 tiny tiger cub roaring loud and clear! (show 1 finger)
ROAR says the tiger cub.
Hello I say (wave at felt board)
Then another tiny tiger cub
came to play!

Count up until:
Deep in the jungle, what did I hear?
5 tiny tiger cubs roaring loud and clear!
ROAR say the tiger cubs.
GOODBYE I say (wave at felt board)
Then all the tiny tiger cubs
Ran away!
Bye tiger cubs!! 

thanks for reading! To see more on my tiger theme, click here!

toddler time: tigers ROAR!

Mystery Box: Inside our polka dotted box, we found a TIGER! What does a tiger say?



Puppet Song: The Tiger

(tune: Frere Jacques)
Orange and black, great big cat!
4 big paws! Long sharp claws!
Through the jungle running!
Do you see her coming?
What a sight! Does she bite?

Then I showed everyone that my tiger puppet has no teeth so she won’t be biting anyone LOL!

Books We Read:
Don’t Wake Up the Tiger- Teckentrup (LOVE THIS!!! A little long for my toddlers but very interactive so most were listening)
If You See a Tiger- Powell (short & sweet lift the flap)

Flannel Board: Deep in the Jungle (Tiger Version)



So I have used this for my Lion theme and I didn’t want to do the same exact thing so I switched up the words and counted up instead of down. Worked great!!

Deep in the jungle, what did I hear?
1 tiny tiger cub roaring loud and clear!
ROAR says the tiger cub.
Hello I say (wave at felt board)
Then another tiny tiger cub
came to play!

Count up until:
Deep in the jungle, what did I hear?
5 tiny tiger cubs roaring loud and clear!
ROAR say the tiger cubs.
GOODBYE I say (wave at felt board)
Then all the tiny tiger cubs
Ran away!



Craft: I found a Circle Tiger worksheet online so I printed the tiger faces on orange cardstock. I pre-cut them, then cut tons of orange circle tiger ears. Considered letting the families cut and i probably would not have pre-cut it for my preschoolers but decided to streamline things for the little ones. I passed out eye stickers if they wanted and jumbo popsicle sticks, & the tigers came out sooo great!!



Two nice groups today, great size, a little chatty but a fun theme! Loved the puppet song & flannel board. Books were good too!



Thursday, June 22, 2017

butterfly release party

last month, I blogged all about my new Butterfly Nursery! i cannot explain how amazing it has been to watch those tiny caterpillars grow into beautiful butterflies over the past few weeks! Both library patrons and staff members of all ages have been fascinated by these wondrous creatures, closely following their progress from day to day in the branch, as well as on our library Facebook page.





it has been especially fun to give each butterfly a name as it left its chrysalis! We kept a box of the kids suggestions and drew a name randomly one at a time. Very exciting!



after all of our butterflies arrived, i thought it was time to set them free in our backyard and i knew it would be bittersweet because i was really going to miss these little guys. i was obsessed with creating a nice environment for them and providing all kinds of food to tempt them. i even brought them to my home for the weekend just to be safe!

although we didn't give much notice and only publicized the event on FB, we got a great turnout of about 25 kids for our release party. i researched online for ideas on how to do this but i couldn't find very much detailed info so this is how we did it:



Books We Read:
The Very Hungry Caterpillar- Carle (one last time LOL! it was too perfect too pass it up)
A Butterfly is Patient - Aston (non-fic but with gorgeous illustrations and lots of fun facts)
Traveling Butterflies- Shingu (very appropriate story of a butterfly's journey)

After our stories, I explained that there is an old Native American legend about wishing on a butterfly. They believe that if you whisper your wish to a butterfly, they won't tell anyone since they cannot speak. In return for granting a butterfly it's freedom and setting it free, your wish will come true!



i passed out brightly colored butterflies for the kids to decorate and cut out. i told them they could write their wish on the back & we could hang it up on a tree here or at home.

when everyone was ready, we walked out to our backyard; many of the kids were amazed because we never really go out there. it was a beautiful sunny day; very quiet and peaceful back there. a perfect place for butterflies!



I read a butterfly poem that I found online and tweaked a bit:

Butterfly Butterfly flutter around (flutter hands in the air)
Butterfly Butterfly touch the ground
Butterfly Butterfly fly so free (flap arms)
Butterfly, Butterfly land on me (hold out hand)
Butterfly Butterfly reach the sky (point up)
Butterfly Butterfly, say goodbye (wave)
Butterfly, Butterfly blow a kiss!
Butterfly, Butterfly, make a wish!

then i tossed a bit of colorful biodegradable confetti over all the kids and knelt down to untie the butterfly enclosure. one by one, they slowly emerged and flew away. it was a really special moment as we all quietly watched.

i cannot recommend this purchase enough! i can't believe that i never thought of trying this before. although it is not inexpensive, i got like 3 or 4 programs out of this kit so it was well worth the money! to me, seeing the excitement of so many families over these butterflies is really priceless!! it was just an amazing experience. i would LOVE to think of something else we could observe like this so please leave a comment if you have any suggestions! This could become an annual event!

baby & me: peekaboo to puppy

Mystery Box: Inside our mystery box, we found a DOG! His name is Spot! What does a dog say?

When dogs get up in the morning, they always say good day
When dogs get up in the morning, they always say good day
They say WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF
That is what they say
They say WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF
That is what they say



Books We Read: 
The Babies and Doggies Book by John & Molly
Doggy Kisses 1 2 3- Parr




Flannel Board: Puppy, Puppy, Where Can You Be?

There is a puppy hiding in one of these pretty boxes; let’s see if we can find him!

Puppy, puppy, where can you be?
Are you in the RED box? Let’s look and see!

Repeat until you find the puppy!

Puppet Song: Little Puppy
Little Puppy in a present sitting so still
Will he pop out?
Yes he will!
He barks to the left WOOF WOOF
He barks to the right WOOF WOOF
He barks straight ahead WOOF WOOF
Then he pops out of sight

Also: Peekaboo Song with Puppy Puppet
Where is Puppy? Peeka-BOO!
Where is Puppy? Peeka-BOO! 
Where is Puppy? Peeka-BOO!
Peekaboo to Puppy!

Monday, June 19, 2017

parent workshop: make your own felt board!

last weekend, I had a wonderful parent workshop to teach my neighborhood moms about flannel boards.

many MANY years ago, when i attended library school, no one EVER mentioned flannel boards as far as i can remember. the children's librarian who trained me right after i was hired for my first job also did not use one. I was shocked when a local preschool director called to book a visit with me and asked "You do flannel boards, right?" 

Needless to say, my first flannel board was an 8 1/2 X 11" piece of cardboard with sheets of felt glued to it; one side was black and the other was pale blue. not very pretty but it did the job. i actually purchased my first felt sets online or thru ebay because i had no idea how to make my own. lucky for me, a few years later I discovered Flannel Friday, Etsy.com and the world of librarian blogs. These things have totally changed my life!

But back to the workshop...




first, i introduced the Five Early Literacy Practices: Read, Write, Play, Talk and Sing. After a brief intro to each practice, we focused on why SINGING to your baby or child is so important. I also emphasized that you don't need to be an amazing singer or a contestant on The Voice! Your baby loves the sound of your voice no matter what!






Then, I demonstrated several songs about shapes that you can use with felt boards. There were a couple of kids enjoying playtime on the rug while the mothers listened and they really responded to the songs and colorful felt pieces. Now, everyone wanted a felt board of their own, so the moms moved from the rug to chairs & tables to make their own very simple flannel boards to bring home.




I passed out "2 pocket" folders and we removed ONE pocket with our scissors. We glued a sheet of white felt on that side of the folder. Then, i passed out smaller felt pieces (quarter sheets) and everyone cut out the shapes.




I gave everyone a little bear with velcro on the back for our hide and seek rhyme. The felt shapes and handouts can be conveniently stored in the remaining pocket when they are not in use.



the finished product!

All the moms were so excited about their new felt board folders! They all commented how relaxing it was to sit and chat while they cut their felt shapes and that it was better than a day at the spa, LOL! 


One mom later sent our branch a photo on Instagram to show how much her son was loving his new felt shapes! They all wanted to know when our next felt board workshop would be! A couple even took extra kits to give to their friends. 

It made me so happy to think of all these kids and moms singing their shape songs together! I promised the mothers that I would offer another felt board workshop in the fall, maybe about leaves or another easy autumn theme. I am also considering doing workshops on the other four practices and offering some kind of easy "take home" activity that they can make to use at home with their little ones so stay tuned!

Friday, June 16, 2017

toddler time: i love bugs! (as long as they're not in my house LOL!!)



Mystery Box: Inside our polka dotted box, we found a bee! What does a bee say? BUZZZZ!

The bee in the hive says buzz buzz buzz….
All day long!

Here is Bee’s friend Ladybug! What color is Ladybug?
The ladybug on the leaf goes MUNCH MUNCH MUNCH…
All day long!

And here is Butterfly!
The Butterfly in the sky goes FLUTTER…
And Firefly goes BLINK!
How many friends did we meet today? Count them together then say Bye Bye Buggies!!



Books We Read:
I Love Bugs- Sturges (Aren’t these Sturges books the BEST????!!! LOVE THEM!)





Flannel Board: Four Little Bugs

First, I hold up my super cool spider web for everyone to see! 
Then Firefly shows up and the fun begins. The bugs show up one at a time until Spider eats them all for lunch!!

One little bug went out to play,
On a spider’s web one day.
He had ever so much fun,
He called for another bug to come.
HEY BUGGY!

Two little bugs went out to play,
On a spider’s web one day.
They had ever so much fun,
They called for another bug to come.
HEY BUGGY!

Three little bugs went out to play,
On a spider’s web one day.
They had ever so much fun,
They called for another bug to come.
HEY BUGGY!

Four little bugs went out to play,
On a spider’s web one day.
They got stuck, all in a bunch.
And along came spider, hungry for lunch!
                                    Jean Warren



Buggy Rhyme:

I passed out colorful cardstock bugs (see book pic above) to all the kids and we did...

Hold your bugs up high, hold your bugs down low
hold your bugs and turn around.
Hold your bugs up high, hold your bugs down low
Put your bugs on the ground.





Craft: Buggy Visor from OTC

I ordered these kits on sale a few months back and I love them! There are tons of bugs and adhesive letters so all the kids could decorate to their hearts content! And I love to see their names on there! Just adorable!




Both sessions were a little bit wild and chatty today but we had fun! Can't go wrong with this theme.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

pirate & princess party!



Last week, I had the pleasure of hosting my very first Pirate and Princess Party! Costumes were welcomed but not required; many of our guests dressed up for the occasion! Pre-registration for this event filled up in ONE hour but we took a waiting list to compensate for those last minute cancellations and "no shows".

Books We Read:






For some reason, i had a really hard time finding good PRESCHOOL-ish stories to read on my themes. I ended up purchasing most of these because they weren't in my system. My faves: Would You Rather Be a Princess or a Dragon? (Saltzberg -- LOVE him!), Let's Be Pirates and Pete the Cat & the Treasure Map.

Flannel Board: For the Princess OR the Pirate??

So simple! I printed out items that were either princess or pirate related. I held up two at a time and the kids told me who they belonged with. 



A pretty crown & a black hat? 
A treasure map & a fairy godmother? 
A carriage & a ship? 
A telescope & a magic unicorn? 



Lastly, I held up a treasure chest filled with coins and jewels. 

Clap if you think the pirate should get the treasure! 
Clap if you think the beautiful jewels belong to the princess!  
Clap if you think they should share it!!

Sharing is always nice!



Crafts: We purchased two craft kits from OTC: brightly colored foam crowns to decorate and foam eye patches. (See first photo!) Both crafts were self adhesive and amazing!! I had 24 of each and 22 kids attending, so everyone could choose which craft they wanted or they could make both!

I also offered a few printable crafts: pirate hats, princess wands, treasure maps and princess paper dolls.




Games: Pin the Glass Slipper on Cinderella AND Pin the Gold Coin on Jake’s Treasure Chest




Both purchased from OTC. Kids received jewels and gold coins for participating in the games. These items could be traded in for pirate and princess tattoos at the circ desk but many loved the coins and jewels so much that they took them home instead LOL!



Photo Props in a Box: 

The Chef & the Princess....




...AND The Pirate and the Dragon




These cool sets were offered to branches in my system a few months ago & they are so adorable! We were not able to put a staff member out here in the hallway to supervise and some of the items are missing now. Surprising because people are usually so good about leaving the photo props for the next person, but maybe these were just too tempting?

Also: Books to Checkout and FREE Pretzels for Everyone!




This event was crazy popular and the kids were so enthusiastic. i loved seeing everyone dressed in their costumes! it was pretty time consuming to set everything up and we are extremely short staffed right now so i was stressed but everything went really well! thankfully, i had the help of our page to assist with the games because blindfolding kids, giving them a spin, etc. for two separate games would be really tough with just one person. A super fun event!



Friday, June 9, 2017

flannel friday: Hide & Seek with David

We read No, David by David Shannon today at Toddler Time and the kids LOVED it! Here is a little flannel board that we did:



Uh-oh, where is David??? I don’t see him, I think he is hiding!

David is on the playground, playing hide & seek.
Is he behind the purple slide, let’s take a peek!

Keep looking all over the playground until you find David! He was behind the big green tree today. This playground clipart is from Etsy.

We did a cute David craft today too! For more on our Yes and No theme, check out my post HERE. Thanks for reading!

toddler time: yes and no (opposites)

Mystery Box: Inside our polka dotted box, we found a little boy! His name is David! Can you all say “Hi, David!”?
David is a good boy but sometimes he does bad things so we say, “NO, David!” Can you say that? 
Then, we read No, David by David Shannon. Everyone was mesmerized!!



Books We Read:
No, David- Shannon
No No Yes Yes - Patricelli

Flannel Board #1: Hide & Seek with David



Where is David??? I don’t see him, I think he is hiding!

David is on the playground, playing hide & seek!
Is he behind the purple slide, let’s take a peek!

Keep looking all over the playground until you find David! He was behind the big green tree today. This playground clipart is from Etsy.



Flannel Board #2: No and Yes



After we read the Patricelli book, I held up the illustrations for the last pages and we placed them in the correct spot – No things and Yes things. LOVE her!


Craft: David Puppets



I found these printables online so we printed them on card stock and pre-cut them. There are some really nice David printables online. This one is from Teachers Pay Teachers. 

As I passed them out, I modeled questions like “Does David have eyes?” and “where is his nose?” David’s mouth was missing so we colored our David faces and glued on his mouth, then taped it to a jumbo popsicle stick to make the cutest puppet ever!!



Two nice groups, not too big but just right. I was nervous that this theme wasn't flashy or exciting enough but it was awesome!! Kids LOVED the Shannon book and you could have heard a pin drop both times I read it. I just loved those David puppets too!


Friday, June 2, 2017

toddler time: birds are the best!

Mystery Box: Inside our polka dot box, we found a bird nest! How many birds are in the nest? what does a bird say?



Puppet Song: Baby Birds, Baby Birds

Baby birds, baby birds sitting in their nest
Baby birds, baby birds sitting in their nest
Baby birds, baby birds sitting in their nest
Oh what color are you?

What color are the birds in the nest?
Here is another nest! (repeat with each nest. i changed sitting to wiggling and singing in the 2nd and 3rd verses so to mix it up a bit)





Books We Read:
Hooray for Birds- Cousins
In My Nest



Flannel Song: One Little Bird

Found this cute song and video HERE.



There was one little bird in the one little tree
“I’m so alone and I don’t want to be!"
so he flew far away, over the sea
and brought back a friend to live in the tree.

Now there's two little birds in the one little tree
“We’re so alone and we don’t want to be!”
so they flew far away over the sea
And brought back a friend to live in the tree.

Repeated until we had four birds in our tree and finished it like this:

Now there's 4 little birds in the one little tree
“We are not alone -- we made a family,
We don't fly far away, over the sea
We live very happily here in our tree!"




All the adults said "Awww" at the end of this song, LOL!







Craft: Bird in a Paper Bag Nest

We printed this cute bird onto blue & red cardstock and pre-cut them so kids could just decorate with crayons and feathers. Then, we passed out brown lunch bags to make nests for our birds!

Perfect craft!! LOVED the Lucy Cousins book. It was a little longer than I usually pick but if you can be super animated, it's wonderful for toddlers. My puppet song & flannel song were also good. Two nice sized groups, a little bit chatty but not too bad. great theme!!