Storyhours

Storyhour Fridays @ 10:30, ages 2-5.
PLUS join us Friday afternoons. Dog Bookbuddies will join us Fridays @ 3:00. For early readers and dog lovers. So stop by after school on Friday to pick up your books and movies, read to a cute pooch, and build something with Legos or K'Nex.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

My Body Storyhour, Friday July 3 @ 10:30






Intro: Pete the Cat and the 4 Groovy Buttons
Physical: Molly at the Dentist by Angie Sage. Molly the Monster has two teeth now so her mother takes her to the dentist so he can look at her teeth.  This short, bright lift-the-flap is a perfect intro to a dentist's visit. And it turned out that everyone in the room had teeth -- even Nicholas, nine months old, had just gotten one that week!
Gripping Tale: I Ain't Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont. Bright pictures, funny rhymic text with predictable rhymes -- this book was a great opening number!  The newcomers were immediately enthralled.
Science & Math: Whose Nose is This? by Randolph. 
Wiggling: From Head to Toe by Eric Carle. OR Here Are My Hands by Bill Martin -- try doing it Simon Says OR Bounce by Doreen Cronin.


Songs:

This is the Way We Wash Our Face
Clapping: Mother Mother I Feel Sick, Send for the Doctor Quick Quick Quick by Remy Charlip.  I asked them to clap while I read the words of this jump rope song in book form. I noticed out of the corner of my ear that the clapping diminished three quarters into the book, so maybe I'll shorten it a little next year, but it was fun.

Dr. Knickerbocker, Knickerbocker, No. 9. (and other favorites). This was the first time we sang this sang together, and it was a bit of a challenge but I like it so much -- the numbers go up instead of down!  There are so many countdown songs; five little pumpkins, five little snowmen, that I'm happy to do one that counts up for a change. Sorry I couldn't find a published copy of it available, but if you want to see what it's supposed to sound like, check out the Wiggles' version here: 




Mi Cuerpo Hace Musica
performed by the great Eric Litwin himself!

Craft:  Fourth of July.  Painting with the tines of forks to get that sparkly effect.





Stamp pads
Fingerprint art.  Remind the kids:  Use a different finger for each color! 


Friday, June 19, 2015

Beach and Sea Storytime, Friday, June 26 @ 10:30



Books:


Try:  Penguin on Vacation
  • Silly Faces. See Me...In the Ocean.  
  • Ziggy Piggy and the Three Little Pigs by Frank Asch.  
  • The Pop-Up Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae. 
  • There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Shell!  by Lucille Colandro. 
  • Asiago by Adam McHeffey. Don't use next year.  
  • 10 Little Rubber Ducks by Eric Carle
    Penguin on Vacation
    Harry at the Sea by Gene Zion

    Songs

    The Waves on the Sea (To The Wheels on the Bus)

    The waves on the sea go up and down, up and down, up and down, the waves on the sea go up and down all day long.
    The shark in the sea goes snap snap snap...
    The fish in the sea go swish swish swish...
    The boats in the sea go toot toot toot....
    The gulls on the sea go swoop swoop swoop....
    The babies on the sea go splash splash splash...
    The divers on the sea dive deep deep down...
    Four Little Fishes

    1 little, 2 little, 3 little fishies, 4 little, 5 little, 6 little fishies, 7 little, 8 little, 9 little fishies, ten little fish swimming in the big blue sea. 9 little, 8 little, 7 little fishies, 6 little, 5 little, 4 little fishies, 3 little, 2 little, 1 little fishies, all the fishies swimming back to the sea. Watch out for the sharks!
  • Song Link



    Sailing Out to Sea on My One Little Sailboat
    Story Time Secrets by Katie Fitzgerald. Here we link to a lovely little song about sailing, including the fingerplay, perfect for two and three year olds. Here's a link to a template for five little sailboats. (I just printed out on 5 different colors of paper.)

    Craft


Ooooh, this craft was easy and fun -- for me!  Glue sticks, colored sand, and pretty sea foam creatures with some floaty cellophane seaweed. It was an intense artistic interlude, as you can see by everyone laboring above, and the results were excellent.



Today's Cuteness Award goes to...





Friday, June 12, 2015

Princess Storyhour & Superhero Storyhour, Friday, June 19 @ 10:30

Books: 

  • SuperHero ABC 
    BIG pictures and great powers (Eagle Man, Goo Girl, Huge Man) make this a great ABC book. Plus we could sing the ABCs and hold up our letters as we go. This year, I just went through it with the kids in the crowd and read out the pages of the superheroes whose names begin with their initial.  But I don't want to miss Volcano Man, who vomits on bad guys.

  • Part-time Princess by Deborah Underwood.  This part-time princess is GIRL BY DAY, PRINCESS BY NIGHT!  Just a "regular girl" during the day -- spelling tests, broken crayons -- at night she becomes a princess, dons a sparkling crown, drives off in a coach and deals with dragons, saving the kingdom.  A big AT LAST, for this book. 
  • Mixed Up Fairy Tales by Hilary Robinson. For a young group, pick one story from this book and tell it. THEN use this book as a review of the story. But this year the group was older, and they really appreciated the humor of: And then Goldilocks ate RED RIDING HOOD'S GRANDMOTHER?! We did a couple.
  • Didn't Get to in 2015: Falling for Rapunzel by Leah Wilcox.  I love Wilcox's very funny fractured fairy tales, but puns are a little difficult for this age group. Next time, shorten a bit for storyhour. But the kids were fascinated by the pictures. Remember to introduce the term "maid" when looking at the picture since it's so key to the tale.
  • Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude by Kevin O'Malley.  It was with a little nervousness that I picked up this one. It was towards the end of storyhour, when the wiggle level is usually higher. But this book's weird dichotomy between ultra girly Princess Tenderheart and the ultra guy Cool Motorcycle Dude, including a horrible green ogre and some innocent ponies, really hit the spot with this crew and the moms and I loved it too because it is such a totally ridiculous story. Parts of this book make no sense at all, volcanoes exploding suddenly, invisible cloaks being made, but the kids listened to it all without question and loved it.
  • The Worst Princess by Anna Kemp. The princess is waiting in the tower for her prince. "I've read the books, I know the score. I've grown my braids down to the floor."  But when her prince shows up, he's a twit.  What's a girl to do? Go off with the dragon!
  • Growing Up Super.  Young superdude Max has a hard time growing up. His parents and grandparents are pressuring him to fly, and he's just not feeling it.  Until one night he sees a baby bird falling out of its nest, and those superhero juices start kicking in just in time... The kids were fascinated.
Song: First we did Head & Shoulders, Knees & Toes. Then I told them to put on their superhero costumes, the crowns on their heads, the capes on their shoulders, their swords at their swords and the boots on their feet, and we sang:
Crowns & capes & swords & boots, swords & boots.
Crowns & capes & swords & boots, swords & boots.
Eyes & ears & mouth & nose, crowns & capes & swords & boots,
swords & boots.  Fun!

Book: Superheroes by Maxwell Eaton II. That roundheaded kid Max and his goofy pig friend Pinky are sooo funny, but maybe this book would be a better readaloud at home, where the pictures could be enjoyed more, than in storyhour.

Song: And of course we sang a lot of other favorites.


Craft: Father's Day Wine Glasses. These could be filled with CANDY, I said.

We did wine glasses, and they turned out randomly scribbly and amusing.  Really, scribble art looks very happy and terrific on a wineglass!

I splurged and bought $1 wineglasses from the dollar store, although Jane told me later that she has a huge stash from garage sales.  I put masking tape around the lip, plastic tablecloths on the tables, and gave firm instructions about sharpies.  "They're like magic markers BUT THEY NEVER WASH OUT.  NEVER!" I had printed out # 1 DAD in an interesting font.  The moms taped these to the inside and outlined them around their kids scribbles.  This really was a lovely project.  

Craft: Materials: a roll of wallpaper, stick on jewels & flowers from Oriental Trading, some aluminum foil and a whole lot of double sided tape. I recommend trying your crown on with some tape and then stapling. 
And didn't they turn out beautiful!
Isn't Victoria beautiful!
Royal friends.


I think Sebastian's crown just suits him.
Oliver, you look great!


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Frog Storyhour, Turtle Storyhour & Snake Storyhour, Friday, June 12 @ 10:30 am




Books 
  • Wide-Mouthed Frog by Keith Faulkner.  Great opener & great readaloud! Carson fell over backwards! Try to gurgle the r in "frog" and don't forget to pinch up your mouth at the end for the alligator encounter.
  • Big Frog Can't Fit In by Mo Willems. The sheer engineering genius of this book makes up for its underwhelming story. Try pushing the sad big frog/good friends angle.
  • Gripping tale: 99 Tadpoles by Ken Kimura.  It gripped us!
  • They were a bit wiggly today, so I told them the story of the Turtle Who Flew: 
I held up two turtle puppets and showed them the cracks on their backs.

"This is the story of why turtles have cracks on their backs.  The birds and the turtles all lived along the shores of a great river.  The turtle was very smart.  He noticed that the birds could eat all the little fish and bugs on one side of the river, and then fly to the other side in just seconds and eat some more, while the poor turtles had to swim and swim and swim. The more he watched those birds fly, the more he wished he too could go up high. 

Finally he crawled up to a flock of them and said, "Please-birds-I've-been-watching-you-and-I-really-really-want-to-fly-up-high-like-you-I-really-really-do-it-looks-so-amazing-and-fun-and-easy-please-please-birds-won't-you-take me-up-too?"

"How could we do that?  We are birds. We have wings. You are a turtle with short stumpy legs."

"Oh-I-have-that-all-figured-out-all-figured-out-I-have-a-plan-a-brilliant-plan-I-will-find-a-stick-a-stick-on-the-ground-and-I-will-bite-on-to-it-with-my-powerful-jaws-with-my-powerful-jaws-then-one-of-you-birds-will-get-on-one-side-and-one-on-the-other-and-lift-me-up-lift-me-up-high-in-the-sky-and-I-will be-up-in-the-sky-oh-this-is-a-great-plan.

"An interesting plan, turtle. But there is one problem with it."

"No-no-no-no-problem-it-will-work-I-know-it-will-work."

"Turtle, it wouldn't work.  Because you couldn't give your big mouth shut long enough."

"No!-no!-no!-I-promise-please-please!"

"Well, we were going across the river anyway, so pick out your stick."  Turtle found his stick, and bit down with his jaws, which weren't all that powerful.  One bird got on one side of him and one on the other, they picked up the stick with their claws, and took off.  

Turtle was up in the air!  He was up up up, looking down down down at every body. There was an alligator,  ha ha, stuck in the water.  He wiggled his turtle foot at it, but of course the gator didn't look up and see him.  They flew over a hippo. He wiggled his turtle at it, but of course, the hippo didn't look up.  They flew over some children playing, and they looked up and saw him!  

They were so amazed!  They all pointed at him, and he was very proud to be in the air, all because of his brilliant idea.  He waved all his feet at them.  

"Wow, look at those birds!" he heard them call out to each other.  "They're so smart, they've figured out how to carry turtles around!"

The BIRDS were so smart!  Turtle was FURIOUS!  He stopped waving his feet, craned his head down at them over the stick, and shouted down, "But it was my ideaaaaaaaaaa SPLAT."

Turtle landed on the back of his shell, and that's why, to this day, turtles have cracked shells.

(I first learned this story from Donarita Vocca, a storyteller who learned it at the Jonesboro Storytelling Festival.  What makes the story fun is having the turtle speak super fast, running his words together and repeating himself again and again. When he's up in the air, I stand up and move my hands over my head as if holding on to a stick, look down, and move around on tiptoes.)
  • 2015: Skipped, Jump, Frog, Jump by Kalan. OK.
  • Froggy Learns to Swim by Jonathon London.  Fun motions, and ALL the kids in my storytimes are taking swimming lessons.
  • I Wish I Could Fly  by Ron Maris. A mom turned the pages for me while I acted out the story with puppets.  I turned off the lights when it began to rain at the end of the story -- that got their attention -- and just then the roofers started stomping around on the roof.  "And the lightning and the THUNDER" I said!  Next year I'll have to bribe Stan to crawl up on the roof for me because it was a hit.
          
 Craft:

I downloaded this template from Dorling Kindersley at http://www.dltk-kids.com/animals/mspiralsnake.htm.  After experimenting for years, I've finally figured out the best way to do this craft with little guys:  HALF SIZE.  I shrunk the DLTK template by 60% and put two on a sheet.  Then I just had them color them in with marker and cut.  

Emma is hard at work on her snake, as are Ben and Sarah behind. 

Ben & Emma's turned out very well!  Inspired by Noel MacNeal's 10-Minute Puppets, I showed them how to tape a sort of ring to the back of the snake's head so they could use them as puppets curling down their arms. We also used bookmarker size sticky notes for forked tongues.  
Songs & Poems, besides the usual:
  • 5 green and speckled frogs
  • Over in the meadow 
  • There was a little turtle (with turtle puppet)
  • Clapping Song: Tiny Tim
  • Hop Little Bunnies (2nd stanza is about hopping froggies)
  • And from my extensive Mock Vachel Lindsay Turtle collection:
        Frog (with frog puppet)

             There was a little froggy who liked to eat flies.

             He ate ‘em down low. He ate ‘em up high.

             He gobbled ‘em here. He gobbled ‘em there.

             That little green froggy gobbled bugs everywhere!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Pre-K Bug Storytime ... and Spiders too, Friday, June 5 @ 10:30



No one tells a bug story like Eric Carle, and this one is justifiably his greatest. "What's the big deal?" a friend asked me once about this iconic tale. Hmmm, let's see. Carle manages to work into the mix colors, the days of the week, numbers, and food vocabulary, while (almost) staying within the bounds of a real caterpillar's life.

But more importantly, this story speaks of growth and metamorphosis, the stage of life where a two-year-old finds himself. This is a book which truly speaks to a child in a powerful fashion.

Stories:
  • My Bug Book by Melissa Stewart.  Excellent riddle nonfiction by Smithsonian.
  • 2015: Could not get. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. I had the set, the caterpillar and the food cards.  I passed the foods out among the children and let the caterpillar nibble through the audience. I start off reading in a teeny tiny caterpillar voice, while the caterpillar gobbles his chow. As the week goeson, I deepened my voice, until by greedy Saturday I'm a bass profundo! 
  • Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle. Used my disco ball for the cloud of fireflies at the end.  Did skip a few pages.
  • Bugs Pop-Up by Sallie Hewitt. "Get ready to be terrified. The bugs in this book are just way too big." Then I open a page, we identify the bug, and I say, "Now get back in the book! You're too enormous! ...I wonder what's on the next page?"
  • Butterfly Butterfly: A Book of Colors. by Petr Horacek I got out all the colors to match the bugs on each page -- but the kids were too busy looking at the pages of this beautiful book, which I think is a GOOD thing!
  • Old Black Fly by Jim Aylesworth.  Tell the kids to go Shoo Fly, Shoo Fly Shoo! with you, as you turn the pages. Very interactional and fun -- esp. for an ABC book.
Songs
  • There was a little froggy who liked to eat bugs (see frog storyhour)
  • Five green & speckled frogs (with frog cut-outs)
  • Eency weency spider
  • Butterfly Pokey/You put your antennae in/You put your antennae out/You put your six legs in/You put your six legs out/You put your wings in/You put your wings out
  • Poor little bug on the wall, no one to love him at all/No one to wipe his nose, no one to tickle his toes/
  • 1 2 3, 4 5 6, 7 8 9, 10 11 12, 12 ladybugs went to the ladybug picnic
  • There was an old woman who swallowed a fly
  • There's a spider on the floor, on the floor done with giant spider puppet. I did a mash-up between Raffi's version and Peter, Paul & Mary's Boa Constrictor:

    There's a spider on the floor, on the floor.
    There's a spider on the floor, on the floor.
    This is nutty for sure! To have a spider on the floor.
    But there's a spider on the floor, on the floor.

    Now the spider's on my knee, on my knee.
    Now the spider's on my knee, on my knee.
    Oh, gosh, oh gee! There’s a spider on my knee.
    Now the spider's on my knee, on my knee.

    Now the spider's on my tum, on my tum!
    Now the spider's on my tum, on my tum!
    Oh, now I’m really bummed, with a spider on my tum!
    Now the spider's on my tum, on my tum!

    Now the spider's on my neck, on my neck!
    Now the spider's on my neck on my neck!
    Oh, I'm gonna be a wreck, I've got a spider on my neck!
    Now the spider's on my neck on my neck!

    Now the spider's on my head, on my head!
    Now the spider's on my head, on my head!
    Oh, I wish that he were dead. I've got a spider on my head!
    Now the spider's on my head, on my head!

    There’s a spider on the floor, on the floor.
    There’s a spider on the floor, who could ask for anything more?
    There’s a spider on the floor, on the floor.






Crafts


Craft: Caterpillar buddies. Easy and cute little guys,virtually NO preparation on your part?  I made a point of showing the kids how to cut a pipe cleaner in half and gave out scissors (and pencils to twirl the antennae and, in the end, fine point sharpies to draw on the face.) We also made butterflies with two pipecleaners, simply twisted together in the middle with a little green in the middle and folded upward for the antenna. While I was helping the kids, behind my back, one of the dads started creating little spiders out of a pipe cleaner cut into 1/4s and pulled through a single bead/abdomen!

OR Butterflies: Coffee filters, precut and prefolded in the shape of butterflies, magic marker and drops of water


I gave the kids prefolded, precut butterflies made from coffee filters. I told them to make a nice “juicy” dot with magic marker on one side, and then to drip one drop of water on top of it. The drop of water spread, and when the kids opened the butterflies up, they had created beautiful symmetrical wings out of the drops. Plus, it was like magic.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Car Storyhour, Truck Storytime, Friday, May 29 @ 10:30


Storytimes about sheep, cows and pigs are all very well in their place, but when we want to get excited at storytime (and we so often do) we pull out the tales about THINGS THAT GO!!! 


Books
  • Trucks by Mary Lindeen. All the books in the Blastoff series have great pictures and short texts. Three year old boys eat these up. 
  • My Truck is Stuck! by Kevin Lewis.The creator of Miss Spider gives us a funny rhyming book about a stuck truck. Why is it stuck? Why is there a big hole in the road? And what is he hauling anyway? I never knew until I checked out the author's website at Daniel Kirk  that the owner of the stuck truck had a very strong Southern/country twang. 
  • Ride, Fly Guy, Ride! by Tedd Arnold. *Fly Guy is always a hero in my book! When you're not giving him as a first favorite to beginning readers, remember him for storytime. Big plots + brief text = great deliver.
  • Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems. Doo be dooo dooo, the bus driver says, "Don't let the pigeon drive the bus!" in his deep voice. And then the pigeon whines and begs for the rest of the book. Whining and begging. Gee, I don't know why kids universally go for this one, but they sure do.
  • Trucks: Whizz! Zoom! Rumble! by Patricia Hubbell. This cheerful books rhymes and rumbles down the road with about one verse per page. There's no story whatsoever, but the ring of the words rhyming through the pages will amuse.
  • Number One Sam. We can't all come in #1: Sam loses his winning spot when he decides to save the baby chicks instead.  Yay Sam!
  • Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle.  A little like the Big Turnip, but who cares about the Big Turnip when you can read about little blue trucks! 
  • Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw. This very rhymey book is a fun readaloud.

Songs


  • Motor Boat, Motor Boat.  The finest song ever written for storytime.
  • THE WHEELS on the Bus (of course!)
  • WHERE is Thumbkin, but the fingers are: racing car, (it zooms) dump truck, big van, helicopter (it twirls), and freight train. I went over this first: "What if your fingers were..." and the kids were really into it!
  • WINDshield wiper WINDshield wiper WINDshield wiper. (Make motion, bending arm at elbow. "Oooh, there's a light rain, just a drizzle" Slow tempo, and then "It's raining harder!" pick up tempo)
  • Dedicated to 3-year-old Quin

    5 little ducks ran in the parking lot
    1 fell down and he went plop.
    Mama called the Big Duck and the Big Duck got hot!
    Always hold hands in the parking lot!
    (4 little ducks, etc.)


    For this one, teach the kids how to go vroom vroom vroom (shift gears), and teach them how to talk in their radios as dispatchers (and what a dispatcher is) 
    5 Big Trucks. 
    Five big trucks go vroom vroom vroom                           
    They hit the road going zoom zoom zoom. (Add screech & exploding sound effects, and crash one car.)    
    The announcer calls out, “Come on back!” 
    But only 4 race cars  are on the track.
              4 race cars go vroom vroom vroom                           
    They hit the road going zoom zoom zoom.     
    The announcer calls out, “Come on back!”
    But only 3 race cars are on the track.
              3 race cars go vroom vroom vroom                           
    They hit the road going zoom zoom zoom.     
    The announcer calls out, “Come on back!”
    But only 2 race cars are on the track.
               2 race cars go vroom vroom vroom                           
    They hit the road going zoom zoom zoom.     
    The announcer calls out, “Come on back!"
               1 race car goes vroom vroom vroom                           
    It hits the road going zoom zoom zoom.     
    The announcer calls out, “Come on back!”
    But no more race cars are on that track!

    I used a hook & ladder firetruck, a garbage truck, a backhoe, a dump truck, and a tow truck. I went over them first with the children (which was good because evidently in England tow trucks are called transporter trucks), and then I hung them from my clothesline. I took them off as they went away and handed them off to the children, talking about where they were going (to put out a fire, dump some stinky garbage, etc.) Don’t forget to get out your imaginary bullhorn when the dispatcher yells.
Game

I hung up this flannel stoplight, "I see these hanging up all over town, I'm not sure what the lights mean." We identify the colors and then the kids tell me I've put them up wrong.  I ask them what the lights mean, and we get to "Green go, Yellow slow, Red stop stop stop."  Then we run in place for a while, freezing, slowing down, and speeding up.  Until I get tired and goof up, and they all goof up too from watching me and it's a funny end. 


Craft
Matchbox Cars and Me

I really like matchbox cars. They’re so cute, so small, so infinitely variable. It’s all I can do to keep from collecting them myself, and I hoard away all the lost ones left in my library.

 I didn’t see the point of a craft involving toilet paper rolls that might be made to look like cars, when the world is so full of matchbox cars. Instead we did this: 1. We did the Game
To the tune of "Down Around the Corner at the Bakery Shop". You CAN do a flannelboard, but I just use matchbox cars. INFINITELY preferable.)

Down around the corner at the used car lot
There were 8 big trucks all ready to be bought.
Along came (call on a young patron), all alone,
She hopped in the green one and she drove home.

2. Then we sang our goodbye song (waving our hands in the air because we couldn't clap, we were still holding the cars.) 

3. I had covered a long table with craft paper, and the kids lined up around it with their toy cars.  I made a road down the middle, sectioned off "yards" for each of them, and gave them some duplos to build houses. 

4. While they were doing this for a while, I built a ramp at one end with a lightweight dry erase board held up off the ground by a stool.  I taped it to the table, and many moments of happiness followed as the kids zoomed their car off the table onto the ground. Dunno why this was so fascination, but it was a cheap thrill indeed.
Painting with Cars


Just painting with matchbox cars is fun, but this week I got a shipment of letter stencils from Oriental Trading, and I brainstormed using the letters for a little experiment in blank space. The moms helped pick out a letter for their children, attached them to the pages with just a tiny piece of double sided tape, and then let the kids have at it.

I must admit some of the children were a bit bewildered. Two boys refused to get their cars “dirty” and I had to produce paintbrushes for them. But the rest seemed to have a good time and made some very nice pieces to take home.
Follow this art class up with A CAR WASH!!!

10 Ways to Play with Toy Cars
I spent quite a bit of time after the kids painted with their matchbox cars cleaning paint off those tiny tires. What a dork I am! I could brought in a pan and had the kids given them a car wash! Next time!









Friday, May 15, 2015

Pre-K Imagination Storytime, Friday, May 22 @ 10:30


: 

Games
  • Magic Envelope time!  This is when I used the wonderful Magic Envelope I had all the ingredients on the blackboard and told them we were going to make a pirate, what would we need? Would we need a flower? They caught on very fast, great involvement. (Thanks so much, Sharon Hrycewic pronounced Rice-Witts for sharing at http://storytime.readingchick.com/ !)
Books
  • Superhero Me! by Karen Katz. This cute little board book was a good start for the theme.
  • Good Thing You're Not an Octopus by Julie Markes kept everyone interested, puzzling over what life would be like with 200 teeth or twelve feet.
  • Pirates Don't Take Baths by John Segal. I started losing them here. Even the good listeners weren't very sympathetic to this tale. This year I tried Come Away from the Water, Shirley by John Burningham. The pictures aren't as bold but the story is very nice. Maybe some of the older kids got the concept of the parents real vs. Shirley's imaginary journey to the pirates.  But the found her pirate voyage all too easy to believe.  Kids.
  • Let's Go for a Drive by Mo Willems. Bring your props, there's lots of action as Elephant and Piggy plan their exciting drive.
  • Olivia Saves the Circus by Ian Falconer.  I love Falconer's sarcasm but it might be a bit much for the kids.
  • skipped this year: The Adventures of Max and Pinky by Eaton.  The bright pictures and humor of the Max and Pinky books make them big favorites of mine.
  • Sand Cake by Frank Asch. This old favorite has recently been reprinted and is perfect for my beachy kids. It was also a great lead in for MAKING  PLAY DOUGH!!!

Songs
This theme was an inspiration to sing a lot of old neglected favorites:
  • Can you hop like a rabbit?/Can you jump like a frog?/Can you walk like a duck?/Can you run like a dog?/Can you fly like a bird?/Can you swim like a fish?/And be still like a good child -- as still as this. (They couldn't!)
  • Windshield Wiper/I'm a windshield wiper/This is how I go/Back and forth, back and forth/In the rain and snow./Slowly! There's just a drizzle./Fast now! It's pouring!/Ah, just a nice steady rain now.
  • The Old Grey Cat is sleeping, sleeping, sleeping.  (I invited Milo to be the sleeping grey cat -- he did a great job as we little mice crept up on him.)

Craft

 Stir up a batch of Cinnamon Play Dough and pretend! I didn't use as much water as the recipe called for, and I didn't have cream of tartar -- just used baking soda. 




Can you go wrong making playdough?  I had one batch all ready. I mixed up the second so the kids could watch, and then passed out the first so they could get playing while I finished kneading and the playdough cooled.  They used plastic forks and knives and little round containers for cutting out. (Picture courtesy of Jenifer Fosnaugh. Thanks!)


Milo made a burger with everything.

Oleg made everything.