Saturday, July 26, 2014


Who knew that doing a hat theme would be so timely in Arizona!?  The A/C just can't handle our excessive heat streak and temps are just awful everywhere - even indoors.  Our "hats" (paper plates) made wonderful fans during storytime.


Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina.  See my flannel here 
The kids put their hats (paper plates) on their heads and acted out the monkeys' part.  So fun!

Don't Worry Douglas by David Melling.  Douglas is so thrilled with his new wool hat he can't help but bounce around and do cartwheels!  When his hat turns into a "long strand of spaghetti" his friends try to help him out.

 Meet Douglas

 My co-presenter wrapped yarn around me and the furniture so the kids could see Douglas' hat unravel.

 Silly Little Goose by Nancy Tafuri.  Goose looks everywhere to find a place to make a nest and finally finds a warm, cozy, quiet hat to lay her eggs in.

 "B-Banana / Monkey See Monkey Do" by Carole Peterson.  Listen to song here

YouTube Video: "I Got a Hat" by the Learning Station
I projected this video on the wall and the kids danced using their own hats (paper plates) to follow the directions.

"I got a hat.
It's a baseball hat.
Put in on my head and give it a tap.
Then I spin around a clap. 
Then I spin around my hat." (place hat on floor and circle around it).

Game: Whose Hat?

Flannel: Teddy Wore His

Teddy wore his yellow shirt, yellow shirt, yellow shirt (pat arms)
Teddy wore his yellow shirt all day long
...pants (pat legs) (pat feet)
....hat (pat head)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Stop Child Deaths In Hot Vehicles - Sign petition

PLEASE sign this petition and then post it on Facebook and share with everyone you can.

Petition:  (sign your name where it says "Add Your Name" on the right side of the page)


...So with all of this advanced safety and entertainment technology, why haven't any of the automakers developed a "smart" occupant detection system? One which senses that a vehicle occupant was possibly accidentally left behind in a parked car, and oh, wow, the cabin temp is already nearing triple digits? With all the "smarts" cars possess these days, it seems like the vehicle could do any number of things to improve the stranded occupant's chances for survival. Here's just a few things I'm thinking:
  1. Start the car, activate the climate control system in order to maintain a habitable environment - let's say 75F (of course, this would require some form of CO detection, but we'll let the engineers sort that out).
  2. Honk the horn at specific intervals to gain the attention of any nearby people.
  3. Send a text message or even telephone call to the person who owns the car
  4. If 3) fails after a prescribed number of attempts, alert OnStar/AcuraLink/911
  5. Failing all of the above, unlock the doors and roll down the windows
This occupant detection system should be mandatory on every Van, Mini-van, SUV, and CUV that is sold. Bonus points for manufacturers who equip every one of their vehicles with it.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Frogs Pre-K and Family

Flannel Friday:  "Fred the Frog"
Listen to song here

At the edge of the pond
I caught a little tadpole (wiggle hands)
I named him Fred
and I put him in a fish bowl (make fish bowl with arms)
I watched him wiggle and swim around (wiggle hands)
And then one day guess what I found?

Fred's tail was getting smaller (put hands close together)
And Fred's head was getting larger (make large head over your head with your arms)
Fred had ONE leg (musical "boing") growing strong (extend one arm)
We knew he'd be a frog before too long

The song keeps going that he had
TWO legs... (extend 2 arms)
THREE legs...  (extend 2 arms and a leg)
FOUR legs ... (hop like a frog)

Finally he's a frog and hops away and we do too.

 The tadpole is about 14 inches and the bowl about 2 ft wide.  I put the tadpoles in the bowl one at a time as directed by the song - I just photographed them together.
 Fred becomes a frog:

For more storytime ideas, check out Katie's Storytime Secrets for this week's roundup.
Fore more Flannel Friday information, check out:  this website or Facebook Group

Letter of the Day: Ff (storytime was July 3rd)

Flannel (Day before Fourth of July)
"Five Firecrackers"

See post here:

We read:
The Wide-Mouthed Frog by Keith Faulker - a great pop-up book!
Down by the Cool of the Pool by Tony Mitton
Ah Ha! by Jeff Mack - a tricky one to read, but funny if you can pull it off
Frogs by Nic Bishop - I showed them various colored frogs, bullfrogs, and toads

Olive the Fox (fox starts with F too!) feeling patriotic
 Having a small group (25 kids) in storytime the day before July 4th worked nicely because they all got a turn playing the frog on the way out the door.
 The lovely Miss Erica!  Oh I adore her!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Firecrackers - 2014's Version

Happy Fourth of July! And Happy Adoption of the Declaration of Independence, America!

Some of you may recall my firecracker post from last year:

I remade my firecrackers over the weekend with the original materials I bought for this flannel:

5 little firecrackers getting ready to zoom (hold up 5 fingers)
Sizzle, sizzle, sizzle (wiggle fingers upward, building anticipation)
BOOM! (clap hands above head while a second person slaps the exploded firecracker over one of the "candles" already on the board)

Same (unexploded) firecrackers, different flannel boards:

 All exploded firecrackers are about 9" in diameter:
 Some close-ups:

 This one has little LED twinkling stars that look really cool in person:

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Baby Time

I really love doing Baby Time!  The caregivers are so invested in the early bonding moments they share with their babies and participate enthusiastically.

This post from last week includes Mr. Bear, "Roly Poly", "I Wake Up My Hands", "Going Up and Down in an Elevator", "Charlie Chaplin Went to France" (my new favorite!), and "Robbie Rabbit".

Animal Song with Puppets: "If I Was a Bird"

Book: "Hickory Dickory Dock" from Cat & Mouse by Ian Schoenherr
Prop Rhyme:  "Slowly, Slowly Snail" - I played Kathy Reid-Naiman's version 

My lovely co-woker livened this rhyme up with some puppets while the caregivers and I creeped our fingers up and down baby's arms and body.

Slowly, slowly, very slowly
creeps the garden snail
Slowly, slowly, very slowly
up the garden rail

Quickly, quickly, very quickly
runs the little mouse
Quickly, quickly, very quickly
right up to his house!

Bounce Song:  I used a recorded version of "Hickory Dickory Dock" and these adorable mice (from IKEA).  The babies tick-tocked and the mice ran up and down them as the clock struck, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, and 4:00

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Pre-K Rain

Unfortunately, we are going to have to limit attendance next week to 45 or 50 kids, because there were just too many to do these activities smoothly.

64 kids
5 babies
52 adults
121 total

I don't know if there is any rain in the forecast, but it is officially monsoon season in Arizona so we celebrated it with a rain theme.

Rhymes (skipped the "Good Morning" song since it was going to be a very active storytime)

"Come Under My Umbrella"
Watch video of song here

Come under my umbrella, umbrella, umbrella (make umbrella with hands above head)
Come under my umbrella
It's starting to rain (fingers wiggle moving downward)
With thunder and lightning (clap and spread arms above head)
and thunder and lightning
Come under my umbrella
It's starting to rain

"Rain is Falling Down"

Rain is falling down (wiggle fingers moving downward)
Rain is falling down
Pitter patter, pitter patter (clap hands gently)
Rain is falling down....
SPLASH! (clap above head)

"Itsy Bitsy Spider"


The Thingamabob by Il Sung Na:  An elephant finds a "thingamabob" and experiments until he discovers what to do with it.

If you have an umbrella, it's fun to OPEN it unexpectedly when reading about how the thingamabob sometimes surprised the elephant.

Tap Tap Boom Boom by Elizabeth Bluemle: It's a mad dash for shelter as rain sweeps into an urban neighborhood.  The subway is a perfect place to go for shelter.

I previously read this book with group of  kiddos (ages 3-5) letting them use rhythm stick to tap together whenever I read, "Tap, tap," and tap above their heads whenever I read, "Boom, boom," - which comes up often.  They quietly held the sticks while I was reading and waited for their cue.

THIS DID NOT HAPPEN in my group today.  The kids were banging incessantly while I read even though I stopped a couple of times and asked parents for their help.  I had to stop this activity, collect the sticks, and read The Big Storm by Nancy Tafuri instead.

Movement Songs:

Here is Sara, a teen volunteer, working hard to put a scarf and a long piece of string into 55 bags (yes, we ran out) to use in our movement activities today:

"Mud Puddle Jump" Listen here
The kids used their pieces of yarn to form a mud puddle in which to walk around, jump into, splash in, and shake the water off.

"The Ants Go Marching"  I always play a little of this video so the kids understand what the song is about before we march like ants using our scarves as umbrellas:

Ending Activity: Make a rainstorm using your hands.

I tell an Arizona monsoon version of this activity.  It's really cool if you actually listen to what's going on:

Evening Family Storytime:

I decided not to try the Tap Tap Boom Boom book in the evening since there are often many little guys there and read The Big Storm by Nancy Tafuri instead.

The lovely Miss Erica helped bring this story to life by puppeteering the critters who scamper out of the rain into shelter while I read the book.  The two bears were in the back of the "cave" the whole time but no one seemed to notice so it was a fun surprise when they came out at the end of the book:
Miss Erica (fantastic, creative librarian that she is!):

Check out this week's full Flannel Friday Roundup.  Thanks for hosting, Hannah at Lovin' the Library!

Baby Time

We did some new rhymes in Baby Time yesterday so I wanted to make sure to post everything we did on here so you can do them at home.

36 babies
2 school-age children (with permission)
39 adults
77 total

The Regulars:  Mr. Bear and Roly Poly Beatle:
Roly Poly:
Roly poly, roly poly UP, UP, UP
Roly poly, roly poly DOWN, DOWN, DOWN
Roly poly, roly poly OUT, OUT, OUT
Roly poly, roly poly IN, IN, IN
Roly poly, roly poly CLAP, CLAP, CLAP
Roly poly, roly poly LAP, LAP, LAP


"I Wake Up My Hands" Listen to sample here

Animals Song with Puppets:  "Down Grandpa's Farm" by Raffi" using these signs:

Chicken - baby sign language
Sheep - baby sign language
Cow - baby sign language
Dog - baby sign language
Horse - baby sign language
Book: If You're Happy and You Know It by Jane Cabrera

Bounce Rhymes and Fingerplays:

Going Up and Down in an Elevator (to the tune of "Bouncing Up and Down in My Little Red Wagon")
Going up and down in an elevator X3 (bounce)
First floor (lift baby)
Second floor (lift baby higher)
Third floor (lift baby higher)

Charlie Chaplin Went to France:
(My 5 month old goes nuts over this one)

Charlie Chaplin went to France
To teach the babies how to dance
First they did the Ramba
Then they did the kicks
Then they did the Samba
Then they did the splits, the splits, the splits

Watch YouTube video here

There Was a Little Turtle 

There was a little turtle  (make fist, thumb out)
who lived inside a box (cover fist with other hand)
He swam in the water (paddle)
And he climbed on the rocks (walk fingers up baby's arm)
He snapped at a mosquito (snap)
He snapped at a flea (snap)
He snapped at a minnow (snap)
And he snapped at me (snap)

He caught the mosquito (snap)
He caught the flea (snap)
He caught the minnow (snap)
But.... he didn't catch me! (wave finger side to side)

Robbie Rabbit:

Robbie Rabbit is so fat, fat, fat (tickle belly)
His soft little paws go pat, pat, pat (clap hands)
His soft little ears go flop, flop, flop (flop "ears")
And when Robbie runs he goes hop, hop, hop (lift baby up)

We always ends with shakers (or every now and again something a little different) and BUBBLES!