Monday, November 24, 2014

Mmmm, Cookies!!

We had such fun with this Cookies theme! Yum!! I saw  this post @ Story Time Secrets for The Doorbell Rang and wanted to make my own. This turned out to be a big hit with the preschoolers! We added a twist by using our Cookie Monster box that I made last year with a set of ABC chocolate chip cookies on a magnetic tray (the shelf of our easel). When the doorbell rings after Grandma brings in her tray of cookies, we bring out Cookie Monster and our tray of 'cookies'! We invited the kiddos to come up and put 2 cookies in the monster's mouth.  The older preschoolers said the letter as they picked off the cookies. Of course, I made a lot of cookie eating noises! Margaret tells the kiddos that Cookie Monster got too full and .... (dumps out the cookies) "Oh No! Cookie Monster lost his cookies!" LOL! Here's a cute idea @ Thrive after Three for Who Ate All the Cookie Dough?  Here are a few other cookie theme/rhyme ideas: @Miss Mary Liberry; @ storytime Katie ; & @ Mel's Desk. ...last one @ Read, Rhyme and Sing.

Here's our segue from Thanksgiving to Christmas since we won't have any Christmas programs. We used the 5 Christmas Cookies rhyme I shared last year. Of course, there was more munching and pretend eating as I took each 'cookie' off the board. Baking Day at Grandma's is a new picture book that we just had to use. There's a repeating refrain that the kiddos really enjoyed saying with me! Our Home Extension was a ziplock bag with 2 chocolate chip cookies! Those little faces lit up when I got out our tray with the bags of cookies. Adorable!  Mmmmmm Cookies are so yummy and Fun with Friends at Storytime! Check out the other posts of Flannel Friday @ Mel's DeskHave questions about Flannel Friday? Check out the Flannel Friday official blog

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Last week's book, Run Home, Little Mouse reminded me that I have not posted any mice posts. What's up with that???  There are a lot of really cute books that feature mice; not to mention the many posts about the 'Little Mouse, Little Mouse' guessing game that we all have. I do have a Five Little Mice rhyme that I've used for 10 years below to share. Here's my easy-to-make set of mice and the rhyme. Here's a link for a second 5 Little Mice rhyme/song that's fun to sing with LOTS of expression when Mama mouse does her squeaking! She gets quite agitated by the end of the song..the way I do it. LOL!  
Five Little Mice

Five little mice scampered through the door.
This little mouse said, “It’s time to sweep the floor.”
This little mouse said, “Look, I baked a cake.”
This little mouse not a sound did make.
This little mouse said, “Why don’t we have some cheese?”
This little mouse heard a kitten sneeze.
“ah-choo!” sneezed the kitten.
“Squeeeeek!” the mice cried.
And they all scampered back to their hole to hide.

Lauren Thompson has an adorable series about a little Mouse. They are seasonal or for special occasions and perfect for toddlers.  Whose Mouse Are You is one of my favorite mouse/family/being brave/funny books ever!! 
I did offer a Home Extension with this theme. It is lots of fun and easy to prep and assemble. The child can either, tear bits of the large triangle to make it Swiss cheese, or use a hole puncher. Either way they are exercising those small muscles needed for holding a pencil!
You could adapt the craft to a Christmas mouse by adding slits in the body to hold a candy cane 'tail'. You could always color on some holly leaves and berries, or cut out and glue on a Santa hat shape. Then, by adding a piece of tape to the back to hold the candy cane on, it becomes an ornament like this one I saw  @ Little Giraffes Teaching Ideas.

Here's another cute Mice theme idea @ Mel's Desk. Mice are an abundance of cuteness and Fun with Friends at Storytime! The rest of the Flannel Friday Roundup is HERE.  Have questions about Flannel Friday? Check out the Flannel Friday official blogBe sure to check out the Flannel Friday Facebook page too!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Nocturnal Animals

We did a really fun Nocturnal Animal themed storytime last week. I love it when I get to teach little children big words. I think that at least one or two of the kiddos will remember the word nocturnal after today. I really drilled it! LOL! Anway, I used this great board book with large pictures and cutouts for guessing. I want to buy my own copy to always have it on hand. The children ages, 2-5 were very engaged the whole time. On the page with the large yellow eyes the 5 year old in the group guessed that it was a cat. When I turned the page we saw that it was a fox. The 2 year old beside him said, "Kitty!" and no matter how many times I said, "it's a fox!" he kept saying, "Kitty!". The other 2's took up the refrain until I turned the page. Hilarious! This is why I love storytime!!  There's a fox, weasel, owl, and several other nocturnal animals including the last page that has a lot of small cutouts with eyes that are the mouse's family. Awwww! Happy ending!

We used Nancy Stewart's song of the month, "Nocturnal Animals". I used Google images to make a large set of pictures for me and small pictures that we laminated and hotglued to large tongue depressors. We practiced holding up the matching picture as I held up the big picture and then we tried it again with the song. Big Hit!!  I also used her song, "Five Coyotes".
This theme was a chance to use my Five Little Bats again. I also have a set of 5 little owls that were a big hit with the kiddos. Eli really liked the goofy eyed owl! He even wanted to hold it after storytime and fly it around. Precious moments for me to see the joy of a child! I got my design idea from Loons and Quines@ Librarytime.

Here's the Home Extension that we handed out. We had a lot of help prepping these from our Teen Corp Volunteers. Thank goodness! Actually, this is fairly easy to prep. We used hole reinforcers for the eyes. I made small pics of the finished piece for the caregivers and paper clipped all the pieces together.  They loved it! I'm a firm believer in these Home Extensions. As the child does the activity they can remember the storytime theme and activities we did at the library. Everytime the kiddo looks at their raccoon they'll remember our book, Raccoons and Ripe Corn. They might even remember that big word, nocturnal!  Nocturnal Animals are so much Fun with Friends at Storytime!
*Update* For a terrific customized search through MANY blogs for a theme or topic head over to Mel's Desk and use her search box!! It's Terrific!!
The rest of the Flannel Friday Roundup is HERE.  Have questions about Flannel Friday? Check out the Flannel Friday official blogBe sure to check out the Flannel Friday Facebook page too!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Pizza for Thanksgiving!

Gobble! Gobble! Gobble!  What does a turkey want for Thanksgiving Day? Pizza for everyone! I saw this adorable set by Ms Monica @ Ram Sam Storytime and fell in love. Here's my version of the turkeys and pizza for our storytime fun! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Since our featured book, Turkey Trouble ends with everyone eating pizza, and the flannel set ends with pizza, and we had some leftover craft sets to make paper pizzas....guess what the kiddos got for their Home Extension? If you guessed paper pizza you are Right!

Turkey and Pizza are yummy and a lot of Fun with Friends for StorytimeYou'll want to see the rest of this week's Flannel Friday Roundup HEREHave questions about Flannel Friday? Check out the Flannel Friday official blogBe sure to check out the Flannel Friday Facebook page too!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Going on a Turkey Hunt!

Thanksgiving is my FAVORITE holiday.  There's no big hype leading up to it, no presents, just, family, food and fun!! I wish Christmas was celebrated this way too! Anyway... I mentioned this Turkey rhyme/activity from Mommy and Me Book Club blog in my Thanksgiving post last year. I like it because it's versatile. It can be done with colored turkeys (I use felt Ellison diecuts) to be added to the board by the presenter or the children. It can also be done with a file folder!  There's lots to discuss with this rhyme! Here's a link to a Google doc of the rhyme that you could print out. Going On a Turkey Hunt!  
I guess you can't take the preschool teacher out of the girl. LOL.  Here's a learning game/activity that I made with some foam shapes and the copier.  I just put the pieces on the glass and laid a white paper behind them and printed them on yellow paper then laminated it on a piece of brown construction paper.  The copy was not in color. It was interesting to see  how some children approached this.  I used this when I taught preschool, but it could be a quiet activity for the early birds to do while waiting for storytime to start.  I've also made matching games with diecut shapes and seasonal stickers that I laminate and cut out and offer to the kiddos. So easy and fun too.
I also have a very simple craft/Home extension that is super easy prep and the children really like it. I show the kiddos my finished turkey before I hand out the turkey body and let the children pick 5 colored "feathers" for their turkey's tail. I suggest to the caregivers that the turkey can be attached to a toilet paper roll and will stand up.  I have programmed a sheet of paper with 3 of the turkey bodies so that I can stack and cut out several of them at a time. Prep for the week for 5 storytimes can take maybe 30 min. or an hour.  Easy, Peasy!!  Since the feathers are so easy to cut 3 or 4 at a time, I cut out A LOT and spread them out on one of our small tables.  This craft involves counting and decision making and the children have some control by choosing the colors they want.  I give the caregivers a little pep talk before I do this by telling them that making choices (within reason and when appropriate) builds connections in the brain and helps the kiddos learn to have self control. Having fun and building a brain...pretty amazing! 
Going on a Turkey Hunt is a lot of  Fun with Friends at Storytime!
You'll want to see the rest of this week's Flannel Friday Roundup HEREHave questions about Flannel Friday? Check out the Flannel Friday official blogBe sure to check out the Flannel Friday Facebook page too!