Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Rainbow Magic Book Club: Addison the April Fool's Day Fairy

This has been the most successful after-school program I've done.  Children must register each month to ensure their spot as I limit to 16 children, but often make more spaces to accommodate disappointed little girls.  Boys are MORE THAN welcomed to attend, but I have only had girls come.

The concept is simple....but the crafts, activities, planning, shopping, set up, snack preparing is not.  I am so lucky to have had three teens help me yesterday as every minute of their assistance was needed during the program.  It's a lot of work, but so worth it!

The Book Discussion:

The group always (or always tries) to read the book before the meeting and we all sit in a circle.  I ask them discussion questions like, "How did the goblins' mood change once Addison got all her magical items back?" and the girls know to raise their "fairy wands" if they want to be called on.  Sometimes they all have their wands up and are just about falling out of their seats to answer so we all shout the answer out at once.

This month's craft:  Clothespin Fairies
I set out two fairies that I made, put out a BUNCH of supplies, and printed several pictures to give the kids ideas.  There were 18 girls and only 4 adults (me and 3 teens) so my only rule was keep the supplies organized (kind of happened) and they come to us when they needed specific help (like hot glue or something cut with sharp scissors vs. hand-holding)... and use their imaginations!  And they did!


 Gathering Supplies

Working with Teen Volunteers

 The Masterpieces!!  I was so impressed!

This is Sunset.  Magical power: Setting the sun. Favorite colors: Red and yellow

This is Rainbow.  Magical power: Making rainbows after it rains.  Favorite color: Turquoise

This is Liliana. Magical power: Life cycles. Favorite color: pink and yellow

Another lovely fairy:

This is Snowy.  Magical power: Making it snow.  Favorite color: White

This is Rain Flower.  Magical power: Blooming flowers

This is Jingles.  Magical power: Growing flowers. Favorite color: Gold

This is Maddison.  Magical power: Making music.  Favorite color: Pink and red

This is Pinkie.  Magical power: To make pink flowers bloom everywhere.  Favorite color: pink

Another lovely fairy:

This is Jessica

This is Rosebend.  Magical power: Making flowers bloom in Spring and Summer. Favorite color: Orange and pink

This is Rose Petal.  Magical power: Making flowers bloom.  Favorite color: Pink

This is Love Heart.  Magical power: Spreading love.  Favorite color: Pink and green

This is Wildfire.  Magical power: Lighting fires.  Favorite color: Orange and yellow.

Solomon really, really helped with this one!
Snacks:  Look at these gourmet plates Maverick assembled for each kid (they tend to have big appetites after school so I try to pre-portion healthy snacks)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Boats: All-Ages

9:30 program: 70 total
10:30 program: 72 total
I changed my storytime theme without much notice (to myself) and came up with this pretty quickly.  No fancy props, no fancy flannel board pieces... but it ended up being one of my favorites.  I found books about boats that shined all on their own and didn't really need a whole lot of extra help from me.

In addition to our regular routines, songs, and puppet friends, this is what we did....

Letter of the Day:  Ww
Water, wave, and when the kids used their bodies to make the letter "W", they got lots of, "Wows!" from me.

Splish Splash by Nicola Smee with rain/bead stick.  The whole lovable gang is back and this time they are taking a trip in a boat.  But the ocean's looking choppy and the waves are getting bigger!
Every time the phrase "splish splash" appeared in the book, my lovely coworker tilted this bead stick which sounded very much like water sloshing and all the kids would know it was time to say, "Splish splash," with me.  As the waves got bigger, the sounds and responses from the audience got louder too!  Of course I at least doubled the amount of splishing and splashing for lots of audience engagement.

 Row, Row, Row Your Boat by Jane Cabrera.  The first verse is a familiar one, but as the pages turn we meet different animals and are encouraged to make their sounds.

I love Jane Cabrera and this book is no exception!

We sang "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" after reading the book.  I encouraged the kids to find a lap to sit in and many of them scrambled to do so.  I use this song in babytime so it's not new to me, but so many of the parents and children applauded after it.  It was so sweet!

Listen to this fun version here.

"Beep, Beep" by Little Groove.  This song is also charming and we moved like cars, trains, airplanes, and sail boats.  The parents and kids loved this song too!

Listen here


Hickory Dickory Dare

Hickory dickory dare
The lobster flew up in the air
Captain Brown soon brought him down
Hickory dickory dare

I grabbed all my sea creature puppets ahead of time and did this rhyme multiple times with the kids using the animals they were calling out.  I had all of them  (except turtle): lobster, whale, crab, shark, dolphin fish.

This is a great one for parents to do at home using their own stuffed animals and even letting the kids throw them up if they want.  (I did not throw mine; I just lifted them with much excitement over my head.)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Baby Time

40 babies
37 adults

Mr. Bear (comes out every week).  I play tracks 2 and 3 from this album.
Fingerplays:  Like Betsy Diamant-Cohen (Mother Goose on the Loose), I try to use props/flannels/pictures to offer babies a visual representation of what we are singing about.  Here are some of the puppets I used today.

Roly Poly (every week)

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

Mr. Bullfrog

This is Mr. Bullfrog (make fist)
sitting on a rock (place fist on other palm)
He jumps into the water... (lift fist, building anticipation)
Kerplop! (clap hands together)

The Leopard Has Lots of Spots

This is from Jbrary, except there is no way I could keep that tune.  I ended up singing it like this to the tune of "The Farmer in the Dell"

The leopard has lots of spots (point to different "spots" on baby)
The leopard has lots of spots
The tiger has stripes (rake your hand up baby's belly)
Which are just as nice
But the leopard has lots of spots

Open Shut Them

Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Give a little clap, clap, clap
Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Put them in your lap, lap, lap

Raise them, lower them
Raise them, lower them
Give a little flap, flap, flap
Raise them, lower them
Raise them, lower them
Put them in your lap, lap, lap

Animal Song with Puppets ( "Down on Grandpa's Farm" (Every week, but I rotate the song each week):
Song with Manipulatives: Balls (Every week, but I usually hand out shakers)

"Roll Your Ball".  Everyone goes nuts over this song!
Bouncing Songs 

"Peanutbutter Jelly" (Every week, but I rotate songs)
I love, love this version.  I always encourage lots of pizazz and everyone cracks up when the singer burps.

"I Wake Up My Hands" (Every week)

Prop Rhyme: "Hickory Dickory Dare" (Every week, but I rotate rhymes)
This may originally be from kindermusik, but I'm not sure.  The great thing about this rhyme is that parents can do it at home with their own stuffed animals.  They can even take turns throwing the animals in the air with their babies and toddlers.

Hickory dickory dare
The turkey flew up in the air
Farmer Brown
soon brought him down
Hickory dickory dare

(I used a turkey and rooster because they are farm birds... and of course pigs fly too.... but ANY animal works with this rhyme).

And we always end with bubbles!  Watching bubbles move, rise, and fall helps babies practice tracking objects with their eyes.  Reaching for bubbles helps develop motor skills and eye-hand coordination.