Saturday, June 9, 2018

toddler time: city slickers

this was a rough week for me. i have been drowning in both summer reading and end of the year class visits. on thursday afternoon, i found myself without any plans for toddler time the next day & panic set in as i scrambled to choose themes, pull books, prepare a craft, etc.

so, clearly the smart thing would have been to find a previously used theme that i hadn't done in a while and use it again. that would have been too easy, i can never do easy.

luckily, a couple of weeks ago, i'd stumbled upon a fun Laurie Berkner song about elevators so i decided to plan a CITY theme around it. 

then Jbrary's City Kids blog post gave me a ton of other amazing ideas!

i even found not just one, but two super quick crafts that were great for my theme. 

and once everything fell into place, it turned out to be one of my favorite programs ever, mostly thanks to Laurie and Jbrary!

Mystery Box: Inside our mystery box, we found a book about NYC!  That’s where you live! It looks very colorful!

We read the story...

Books We Read:
New York: A Book of Colors (Hello World)- Evanson
My Little Cities: New York- Adams (focuses on opposites)

I'm saving the Wheels At Work book for an upcoming truck themed program but it also would be great for a city or things that go theme.

Flannel Board: One Little House

I just printed some simple clipart houses for the fun fingerplay that I found on jbrary and it was perfect! We said it a second time using our fingers & hands instead of the flannel board.

One little house all alone it stood
Then another was built
There grows the neighborhood!

Repeat for 2,3,4 little houses then...

Five little houses
All together they stood

On a beautiful street in a happy neighborhood.

the craziest thing happened during session #1 when I realized that I had stupidly left my clipart houses sitting neatly on my desk in my office. I tried to resign myself to the fact that I had no choice but to skip my flannel board segment but it was a huge disappointment. 

fortunately, I took a risk and decided to make an emergency dash to my office. I asked everyone to sing The Itsy Bitsy Spider while I left the room for a minute. I started the song for them then ran as fast as my heels would let me. I was worried it might break the flow of the program but it really didn’t so I was glad I didn’t have to skip my flannel board. It all worked out!

Prop Song: Waiting for the Elevator by Laurie Berkner

First, we sang The Elevator Song like JBRARY. Very fun! the toddlers loved the up & down part so we did it twice.

Oh the city is great and the city is grand
There's a whole lot of people
on a little piece of land
And we live way up on the 57th floor
and this is what we do when we go out the door.
We take the elevator up and the elevator down,
take the elevator up, take the elevator down
Take the elevator up and the elevator down
and we turn around.

Then I told them that I had another elevator song, who wanted to go for a ride with me?

I made very simple props to go with the AMAZING song!

I printed large numbers in circles for my elevator buttons to go with each floor we would visit in the song. 

I printed a pic of each animal in the song too. 

I would alternate my floor number with the correct animal pic and flip thru the pages kind of like i was reading them my own homemade book. Hope this is making sense, kinda hard to explain. 

As we sang each verse I would hang up the pic of the animal so we could refer back to it whenever it was mentioned later during the song. Everyone loved it of course bc Laurie Berkner is the BEST!!! Many of the parents asked me for her name so they could find her songs at home.

Craft #1: Statue of Liberty printable

As I worked on this theme I had no idea what kind of craft I was going to come up with but this one saved the day, especially since I was really crunched for time. I printed them, then let the kids & parents color & cut. it was fun to see Lady Liberty in all different colors!

Craft #2: Taxi puppets

Also printed taxis on yellow cardstock for kids to color & cut.

I put out popsicle sticks so they could make puppets if they wanted. I think everyone appreciated the element of choice today!

We actually had two perfectly sized groups and plenty of craft materials to go around. Loved this theme! Turned out to be a great day! 

one of my grandmothers told me that her grandson mentioned me constantly on their recent trip to Miami & whenever they asked if he wanted to go to the beach or aquarium, he would reply "go to library, see Amy" -- too cute!

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