Toddlers: Family

For more information on how I plan and prepare my toddler storytimes, check out this introduction post. And for a complete list of the repeating extension activities, visit this post. I starred the materials used in the plan; multiple stars indicate use for more than one session.

The Plan

Books

toddlers-family

The Baby Goes Beep by Rebecca O’Connell***
The Family Book by Todd Parr
Faster, Faster by Leslie Patricelli**
Peekaboo Morning by Rachel Isadora*

Early Literacy Tip
Library programs like this can be considered a child’s first class. Encouraging personal interactions with a group leader help children develop a positive attitude towards learning.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Wiggleworms Love You***

Featured Track: #20 You Are My Sunshine***

Flannelboard: “Ten Little Babies”***

Puppets: “Five Little Ducks”**
Five little ducks went out one day
Over the hills and far away
Mother Duck said, “Quack, quack, quack, quack”
But only four little ducks came back
(Continue until…)
Sad Mother Duck went out one day
Over the hills and far away
Mother Duck said, “Quack, quack, quack, quack”
And all of her five little ducks came back!

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Everyone Can March**
  • Open, Shut Them*
  • Roly, Poly**
  • These Are My Glasses*
  • This Is Big, Big, Big***
  • Tick, Tock***

How It Went

Tuesday morning
With this group, I only did “Three Little Ducks” instead of five. The kids kept reaching for the puppets, so I wound up standing up to finish the song. This was a very full class with lots of new faces. My average age went from 26 months to 19 months, so expect more extensions with this group & more bounces/lifts than before. I did “Faster, Faster” as a bounce and that worked really well!

Thursday morning (9:30)
We had lots of dads and grandparents as additional guests at this storytime which was a lovely surprise for me! This group really enjoyed dancing to “You Are My Sunshine” and they really participated with “The Baby Goes Beep”. The kids loved the baby faces on the board!

Thursday morning (10:30)
I brought Mama Duck around the circle to say hello to everyone and continued to stand during the song for more control. “Everyone Can March” stretched fabulously and we did that rhyme for quite a while. As this was my oldest group, I read “Peekaboo Morning” instead of “Faster, Faster” with them.

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Interactive Play Space: Bakery

interactiveplayspaces

IMG_1067

[A quick recap of the reusuable supplies: Constructive Playthings Create It Space, Target White Plastic Bins, & Target Grey Plastic Bins.]

1. Melissa & Doug Cookie Set from Amazon, $19.99.
I waited for a good price on this set and got it at around $15.99. It’s absolutely perfect if you’re planning on making any kind of bakery. The baking pan, cooking mitt, spatula, and knife were put inside the Cookware bin for storage. I left the cookies, frosting, and the tube in this bin.

2. Flour & Sugar Containers from Target, $2.
I’m the crazy lady that scours through not only the dollar bin, but also the clearance section at Target. These were (I suspect) originally in the dollar bin for $3 each, but I got them for $1 each. I love that the chalkboard labels mean I can re-use these for lots of play centers. I don’t love that chalk easily wipes off.

3. Cinnamon Rolls, approximate cost was $5.97.
To make these, I bought six sheets of each color felt and a tube of white puffy fabric paint. I didn’t follow a tutorial for these and just kind of winged it. I would recommend reading a tutorial if you don’t feel comfortable winging it. (Here are a few.)

4. Green Toys Tea Set from Amazon, $27.99
The one thing I was absolutely willing to pay full price for was a tea set that wasn’t pink. Seeing as a bakery could easily be seen as more “girly” than other centers, I really didn’t want to discourage anyone from using the center. I’m also really happy with how nice the Green Toys line is — made from recycled materials — it has a nice texture to the plastic that makes it much more appealing in my opinion.

5. Bakery Awning, approximate cost was $4.07.
I bought a spool of ribbon and two sheets of turquoise felt. The white and purple felt I had on hand…because I always have yards of felt available. Further information is below!

6. Cookware: Measuring Spoons, Cups, & Muffin Tin from The Dollar Tree, $3.
I bought simple cookware items from the local dollar store. Easy peasy!

7. KidKraft Wooden Cupcakes & Stand from Amazon, $15.95.
For the record, something *weird* is going on with the price on Amazon and I think it has to do with the fact that the product is no longer available on the KidKraft website.

8. Menus, no cost.
I made these in Publisher and the files are below for those of you who would like to re-create them!

9. Melissa & Doug’s Cutting Bread Set, donated (list price $19.99).
This was a donated toy living in our cupboards for a while before I got my hands on it. I knew right away that it would be perfect for the bakery set since I didn’t want to only include sweet treats since bakeries sell bread!


I wish I could walk you through making the awning complete with patterns. But I completely and utterly winged this. I started by cutting the fabric down to the size of the center. I made sure to leave some overhang on either side. I also folded it in half so it was nice and thick. I was ready to start making the awning!

1. I wrapped each end kind of like how you would with a present and wrapping paper. I used a TON of hot glue to glue each line down as I went. I also used three safety pins on each end for each assurance that it wouldn’t fall apart. I also put a lot of hot glue over the safety pins just in case.

2. I folded and hot glued an end piece over my very messy internal work. It makes it look much nice that the first photo, right?

3. I laid more felt over the awning and free-cut the stripes. I used sticky back Velcro to secure it. I also wanted to use Velcro so I could easily change the color of the awning for different centers. I know that I’ll definitely be using the awning again for the pizzeria I’m planning for later in the summer! I already bought the red felt for it.

4. I used our Ellison die-cut machine to cut out the felt letters. Then I simply hot glued them to the ribbon. I used safety pins to attach the sign since I knew I wanted to be able to change that as well.


This center cost a bit more than the Garden Shop. We paid $78.97 for the materials here. But we didn’t need to buy the Melissa & Doug cookies and could have made our own from hardened Model Magic. I didn’t have to insist on having a neutral colored tea set and bought a cheaper pink one. But since I had the budget, I bought the stuff! Full cost of the center is $98.96 which includes our donated Melissa & Doug bread set.

And here are the PDF files:

Bakery Labels

Bakery Menu

Bakery Open/Close Sign

Bakery Parent Tips

I’ll be back next month to discuss how things held up with the bakery!

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Flannel Friday: Red, White, & Blue

Today’s flannelboard is a long overdue post that was inspired by Melissa of Mel’s Desk!

I used this a very long time ago in “Letter U” storytime. The kids had a great time telling Miss Katie how wrong she was about the various colors. They didn’t guess what was coming but after the flag was up it all made sense to them!

I wound re-making this flannelboard when I got to my new library. I had printed clip-art pieces for the first one and since we had a TON of brand new Ellison die-cuts for me to play with, I couldn’t resist, haha.


There is no Flannel Friday today in honor of American Independence Day, but I vowed to post a flannelboard every week this year and I can’t break that resolution!

You can also check out our website, Pinterest, or Facebook!

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Families: Weather

For more information on how I plan and prepare my family storytimes, check out this introduction post. I starred the materials used in the plan. Some activities go unstarred because I only do this program once a week.

The Plan

Books

families-weather

Maisy’s Wonderful Weather Book by Lucy Cousins
Tap Tap Boom Boom by Elizabeth Bluemle
Under My Hood I Have a Hat by Karla Kuskin
Wow! Said the Owl by Tim Hopgood

Early Literacy Tip

Scientific studies of the brain suggest that a child’s natural approach to learning is through play. Songs about weather can be followed by games. Tell your child what you are doing as you pretend you are twirling an umbrella or stomping in rain puddles.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Caspar Babypants’s “More Please!”*

Featured Track: #1 Take the Sun*

Flannelboard: “What’s the Weather?”*

Flannelboard: “Fall Is Not Easy”

Song: “If All of the Raindrops”*
If all the little raindrops were lemon drops and gumdrops
Oh, what a rain it would be!
I would stand outside with my mouth open wide,
Ah ah-ah ah ah-ah ah ah-ah
If all the little raindrops were lemon drops and gumdrops
Oh, what a rain it would be.

If all the tiny snowflakes were cupcakes and milkshakes
Oh, what a snow it would be!
I would stand outside with my mouth open wide,
Ah ah-ah ah ah-ah ah ah-ah
If all the tiny snowflakes were cupcakes and milkshakes
Oh, what a snow it would be!

If all the bright sunbeams were jellybeans and ice cream
Oh, what a sun it would be!
I would stand outside with my mouth open wide.
Ah ah-ah ah ah-ah ah ah-ah
If all the bright sunbeams were jellybeans and ice cream
Oh, what a sun it would be!
Credit: Childhood

Song: “Rain Is Falling Down”*
The rain is falling down (flutter fingers down)
SPLASH! (clap once loudly)
Pitter patter pitter patter (tap legs softly)
The rain is falling down (flutter fingers down)
SPLASH! (clap once loudly)
Pitter patter pitter patter (tap legs softly)
[Repeat until kids are worn out.]
Credit: Modified from King County Library System

Repeating Extension Activities

I had four back-up activities in case I needed them for time. I rarely used them, but here they are:

  • Dance Your Fingers Up
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes
  • Itsy Bitsy Spider*
  • Thumbkin

How It Went

Pop-up books are so stellar; they completely grab everyone’s attention, so “Maisy’s Wonderful Weather Book” was definitely the winner today. There was a lot good singing and dancing. And the kids were really good at talking about the weather during the “What’s the Weather?” flannelboard.

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Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 7/24

For the first time in our library’s history, we ran our own summer reading program — Make Some Noise! What better opportunity to do a bi-weekly music and movement dance party? This program was advertised for ages 0-7 and their families.

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan

colordance
Book
Color Dance by Ann Jonas
For this book, I had a set of scarves tucked in a box on the table. I pulled out each color as I read its page and walked around the kids with the scarf trailing behind me. It was a very exciting experience for them because they loved the surprise of what color was coming out of the box. Lots of the kids cheered for their favorite color.

Props
Activity Scarves!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
You Make Me Feel Like Dancing — The Wiggles
Hands Are for Clapping — Jim Gill
Loud & Quiet — Caspar Babypants
Flitter Flutter — Johnette Downing
Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes — Eric Litwin and Michael Levine
Wave Your Ribbons In the Air — The Wiggles
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

“You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” was a great kick-off song! I thought that it was an original song until a parent let me know it was a cover of a Bee Gees song. (Whoops!) I thought that the kids struggled dancing to “Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes” today and I’m not sure exactly why. I didn’t think the tempo was too fast when I previewed the track, but it was too fast in actuality.

(For an example of the Powerpoint and handouts that I made for each Shake, Shimmy please visit the original post.)

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Toddler Spring 2015 Rhymes, Songs, & Fingerplays

To read more about how I plan and prepare my Toddler Storytimes, please visit this post.

toddlerstorytimes

Each session, I pick some extension activities to repeat from week to week. Most of the time these have nothing to do with my theme of the day and just allow me to add more movement or songs if that’s what the toddlers need that week. Of course, I don’t use every activity every week. I’ll note in the individual theme summaries which activities I used. These are the activities that I had planned for Spring 2015.

Action Rhyme: “Everyone Can March”
Everyone can march, march, march
Everyone can march, march, march
Everyone can march, march, march
And now let’s make a stop.
Verses: clap, jump, tap, etc.
Credit: Jbrary

Action Rhyme: “This Is Big”
This is big, big, big (stretch hands far to sides)
This is small, small, small (cup hands together)
This is short, short, short (hold palms close vertically)
This is tall, tall, tall (hold palms far apart vertically)
This is fast, fast, fast (roll hands quickly)
This is slow, slow, slow (roll hands slowly)
This is yes, yes, yes (nod head)
This is no, no, no (shake head)
Credit: Mel’s Desk

Action Rhyme: “Zoom, Zoom, Zoom”
Zoom, zoom, zoom, we’re going to the moon
Zoom, zoom, zoom, we’re going to the moon
If you want to take a trip,
Climb aboard my rocket ship,
Zoom, zoom, zoom, we’re going to the moon
5, 4, 3, 2, 1, blast off!
Credit: Jbrary

Bounce: “A Smooth Road”
A smooth road, a smooth road, a smooth road, a smooth road (bounce baby gently)
A bumpy road, a bumpy road, a bumpy road, a bumpy road (bounce baby faster)
A rough road, a rough road, a rough road, a rough road (bounce baby faster)
A hole!(drop baby gently between your knees)
Credit: Co-worker

Bounce: “Icka Bicka Soda Cracker”
Icka bicka soda cracker, icka bicka boo
Icka bicka soda cracker, up goes you! (lift baby)
Icka bicka soda cracker, icka bicka boo
Icka bicka soda cracker, I love you! (hugs and kisses)
Credit: Co-worker

Fingerplay: “Where Is Thumbkin?”
Where is thumbkin? Where is thumbkin? (put hands behind back)
Here I am! Here I am! (bring hands around from behind the back)
How are you today, sir? Very well, I thank you! (wiggle thumbs, one at a time)
Run away, run away! (hide hands behind back again)
Credit: Childhood

Lift/Song: “The Elevator Song”
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 open 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.
Credit: Jbrary

Lift: “Tick Tock”
Start by swaying baby from side to side
Tick tock, tick tock
I’m a little cuckoo clock
Tick tock, tick tock
Now I’m chiming one o’clock lift once
More verses: Two o’clock, three o’clock
Credit: My co-worker

Movement: “Roly, Poly”
Roly poly, roly poly
Up, up, up
up, up, up
Roly roly poly
roly roly poly
down, down, down
down, down, down
Credit: Jbrary

Song: “Open, Shut Them”
Open, shut them, open, shut them
Give a little clap, clap, clap
Open, shut them, open, shut them
Lay them in your lap, lap, lap
Creep them, crawl them, creep them, crawl them
Right up to your chin, chin, chin
Open up your little mouth
But do not let them in, in, in!
Credit: My co-worker Sarah

Song: “These Are Glasses”
These are my glasses (make glasses with your finger )
This is my book (hands pressed together)
I put on my glasses (put on the glasses)
And open up the book (open your hands)
Now I read read read (hold out the “book”)
And I look look look (look through the glasses)
I put down my glasses (put hands down)
WHOOP (clap hands together)
Close up the book
Credit: Sarah from GreenBeanTeenQueen is the first person who taught me this one! (It’s a Laurie Berkner song.)

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Discovery!: Throwback Games

discovery

For this spring session of “Discovery!”, we switched to a 30-45 minute format instead of the hour long program it had been in the fall. This worked so much better for our families!

I wanted to start off the session with another icebreaker type of activity so that the kids would become familiar with me and be cool with the harder/more complicated things we might try in the future. Instead of doing the parachute as an icebreaker (I did use it later on in the session!), I went with a throwback game session so that parents would also have some fun with me.

To start it off, we read two books:

discovery-throwbackgames

Playground Day by Jennifer J. Merz
Follow the Leader by Erica Silverman

And that led us straight into our games:

1. “Follow the Leader” I played this in a slightly modified version where each child got to tell us what they wanted the group to do. Instead of having the child led the line, we just stayed in our group bunch. Most of the kids decided that we should jump, so be prepared for that possibility.

2. “Red Light, Green Light” I had the kids line up against the wall of our meeting room and stood at the other end. I turned my back to them and called “Green Light” while they all raced towards me. I shouted “Red Light” and turned around quickly to catch any kiddos that didn’t freeze in time. Since I was playing with preschoolers, we did not play for “winners” in any of the games and just played for fun. So as far as the kids know, none of these games have a winner.

3. “Musical Cushions” I wasn’t about to use chairs with preschoolers since that seemed like a recipe for disaster. As each child was knocked out, I let them control the CD player for the next round. Most of the kids decided that the best part of the day was when they got to push the CD player buttons!

4. “Duck, Duck Goose” This is where having parents help the kids was imperative, otherwise they all tried to run at the same time to chase the runner. I spent most of this game running with the “goose” to help them around the circle. Again, we didn’t play for winners, so no one was taken out by the game.

And that was it! I had a few other games in my head (Mother, May I? & Simon Says) but we were running short on time anyways. And I didn’t take any pictures since I was very busy facilitating the whole ordeal, but I sure had fun.

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Flannel Friday: Animal Flashcards

Adorable animal flashcards are this week’s prop!

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I used these in toddler storytime and sang “Where is Animal?” to the tune of “Where is Thumbkin?”

Prop Song: “Where Are Animals?”**
Where is [animal]? Where is [animals]?
Here I am. Here I am.
How are you today, sir? Very well, I thank you.
Run away. Run away.
Credit: Modified from childhood

I purchased this clip art from Pink Pueblo’s Etsy shop. Each animal print-out was backed with a piece of blue cardstock for stability. Then, together, they were laminated.


Andrea is hosting the round-up today! You can also check out our website, Pinterest, or Facebook!

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Families: Boxes

For more information on how I plan and prepare my family storytimes, check out this introduction post. I starred the materials used in the plan. Some activities go unstarred because I only do this program once a week.

The Plan

Books

families-boxes

Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell*
Meeow and the Big Box by Sebastien Braun*
My Book Box by Will Hillenbrand
Not a Box! by Antoinette Portis

Early Literacy Tip

Let children explore using their imagination. We’ve all seen the time after we’ve unpacked a new item or toy and our child is more interested in the box than the toy. Let them imagine whatever they want the box to be!

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Wiggleworms’s “Wiggleworms Love You”*

Featured Track: #4 Little Red Caboose*

Flannelboard: “Building Blocks”

Flannelboard: “Color Zoo”*

Prop: “Memory Box”*

Fingerplay: “I Have a Little Turtle”*
I have a little turtle
He lives in a box
He swims in a puddle
And he lives on the rocks
He snapped at a mosquito
He snapped at a flea
He snapped at a minnow
And he snapped at me
He caught the mosquito
He caught the flea
He caught the minnow
But he didn’t catch me!
Credit: Childhood

Repeating Extension Activities

I had four back-up activities in case I needed them for time. I rarely used them, but here they are:

  • Dance Your Fingers Up*
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes
  • Itsy Bitsy Spider
  • Thumbkin*

How It Went

This was our time change this past week, so the kids were extra wiggly. The kids sat super well for “Meeow and the Big Box”, but really wanted to come up during “Dear Zoo” and lift the flaps for me. (Luckily I stand for this storytime and there’s no chance of them getting ahead of the flaps.) I skipped the “Building Blocks” flannelboard because I worried that I didn’t have enough pieces for all the kids. (I have fifty pieces.)

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Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 7/22

For the first time in our library’s history, we ran our own summer reading program — Make Some Noise! What better opportunity to do a bi-weekly music and movement dance party? This program was advertised for ages 0-7 and their families.

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan

brontorina
Book
Brontorina by James Howe
I love the story of Brontorina. The kids and I did our very best ballet dancer impersonations today and pliéd and relevéd to the best of my teaching ability. (I took two years of ballet when I was a child. I remember first, third, and fifth position. That’s it.) But despite our nowhere near perfect ballet steps, they had a great time dancing and hearing Brontorina’s story.

Props
Parachute! (WARNING: Measure your room before you buy a chute!! This one just fits in our large meeting space, but I almost bought the next size up based on the handles…)

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Walkin’ Shoes — Carole Peterson
The Airplane Song — Laurie Berkner Band
Rolling Ball — Eric Litwin and Michael Levine
Fast & Slow — Laurie Berkner Band
Take the Sun — Caspar Babypants
Very, Very Tall — Old Town School of Folk Music
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

The families are officially pros at the parachute. When I ask the kids to touch the wall, they run to it and stay there until I’ve shaken out the chute. I got more than a little teary-eyed during “The Airplane Song” this week — partially because of Angie (who once mentioned that the thought of the kids sitting down in their hometown made her tear up), partially because the kids are so darn cute I can’t even, and partially because I think the new library finally feels like home to me.

(For an example of the Powerpoint and handouts that I made for each Shake, Shimmy please visit the original post.)

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