Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Review: The Princess in Black

THE PRINCESS IN BLACK by Shannon HaleThe Princess in Black
By Shannon Hale and Dean Hale
Illustrated by LeUyen Pham
Candlewick Press, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-7636-6510-4

Princess Magnolia is very prim and proper.  She wears pink.  She is neat.  She also has a secret.  One day, Princess Magnolia is having hot chocolate and scones with Duchess Wigtower in her castle when her glitter-stone ring rang, sounding the monster alarm.  Excusing herself, Princess Magnolia rushes to the broom closet and emerges as her secret identity, the Princess in Black!  With her trusty pony Blacky (aka Frimplepants the unicorn), the Princess in Black fights monsters and wears black, unlike how most princesses behave.  Can she defeat the big blue monster and get back in time before the nosy duchess discovers her secret?

This amusing story is fun to read and the illustrations are really cute.  The large print makes this chapter book a good choice for newly independent readers.  I also love the action aspect of this book and that girls can kick butt and aren't afraid of spiders.  The introduction of another hero, the Goat Avenger, makes me eagerly await the second book in this series.  If you're looking for a good choice for a young child transitioning up to chapter books, give this one a try.  It'll be our secret.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Review: Sisters

by Raina Telgemeier
Graphix, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-545-54059-9

Raina is very excited to be a big sister.  She'll have someone to play with.  When her sister Amara is born, things don't go quite the way Raina imagined they would.  Amara is fussy, as babies usually are.  As a toddler, she is still cranky and expresses many a meltdown.  Raina has a hard time playing with her because Amara likes to do her own thing and be alone.  This dynamic doesn't change much as Raina and Amara get older.  By this time, they have a younger brother, Will.  On a road trip from California to Colorado to attend a family reunion, Raina and Amara must deal with each other (in very close quarters) and in doing so, figure out some way of getting along and accepting each other's differences.

This is a true story about growing up with a sister.  Anyone who has a sister can relate to this book.  I know I did.  It is a companion to Telgemeier's 2010 novel Smile, which was about her childhood experience with braces.  If you haven't read it, you must.  Sisters has the same humor and relatability of Smile.  What I liked about it was Raina's experience with her sister is a universal one.  Sisters squabble, they fight about petty things, they get on each other's nerves and push each other's buttons.  But, at the end of the day they are there for each other.  Raina details this in a way that is very real and not at all "sugar coated."  As I was reading this, I instantly thought of my younger sister and how we were growing up and I'm so glad I don't have to relive those years!  Raina's artwork is beautiful.  She uses a lot of bold colors and when Raina has "flashbacks" the pages are yellow, which is a great way to help the reader follow the story.  I love how expressive the characters are and how that emotion supplements and supports the plot.  I would recommend this to reluctant readers or to middle-grade kids looking for realistic fiction.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Star Wars Reads Day

On October 11, we hosted Star Wars Reads Day at my library.  This is the third year of this nationwide event, and the third year we've participated in it.  Along with book stores and other libraries, we planned a fun day celebrating all things Star Wars and reading!  It was open to all ages, and we encouraged families to attend together and dress up in costumes.  The officially licensed publishing partners put together an event kit that can be downloaded from the Star Wars website.  You can also sign-up for email newsletters that give you chances to send away for free things (what librarian doesn't love swag?) to give away at your event and enter drawings for free books.  The Star Wars website also has a lot of coloring sheet and activity sheets, which are great passive activities to add to your program.

Offering giveaways and reproducible activities makes planning an event like this completely doable for any size library.  I've also used The Star Wars Craft Book by Bonnie Burton, The Star Wars Party Book by Mikyla Bruder, and The Star Wars Cook Book by Robin Davis for ideas (all available in my library system).  Every year I plan different crafts and activities to keep it fun.  If you're interested in what I've done in past years, please let me know.  Here is what we did this year.

Star Wars Photo Booth

I just can't be serious. Jedi training failed!

One thing we've offered for the past two years is a Star Wars Photo Booth.  It is super popular!  My colleague Scott sets up a green screen and using fancy photography equipment and props, he creates awesome pictures that we post on our Facebook page.  (For example, see above picture.  No, I didn't really travel to a galaxy far, far, away.  I know you were wondering.  The beauty of green screen technology.)

Pretzel Lightsabers

You'll need:

Baking sheet
Waxed paper
Pretzel bags (plastic)
Pretzel rods
Melting chocolate (I recommend Almond Bark)

This is a simple "craft" that fits in well with many library programs (we've made these for our Harry Potter Party and called them wands).  Melt the chocolate in the Crock-Pot.  You can make these for the kids and have them packaged and ready to grab, or help the kids dip their "lightsaber" into the chocolate and cover it with sprinkles.  Either way, it's a fun activity!

Pool Noodle Lightsabers

You'll need:

Pool Noodles
Duct Tape
1/2-inch Black Paper Tape

I wanted to make these at last year's event, but couldn't.  I don't know if you know this, but it's very hard to find pool noodles in October in Central New York.  Thankfully, I planned ahead this year and bought these babies in June at the Dollar Tree.  I purchased 13 pool noodles; 10 were cut in half and three were cut into thirds for the young Padawans.   This was the most popular craft, as kids got to promptly engage in a lightsaber battle.

Star Wars Figurines

You'll need:

Perler Beads (we bought two buckets of assorted colors)
Peg Boards
Waxed paper
Iron and ironing board

This summer, I rediscovered the joy of Perler Beads.  And you know what, kids love them too.  They are an investment, but we've used these at our Minecraft Party and our Summer Reading Finale Party and I plan on using them at future programs, so I'm getting my money's worth.  I printed out Star Wars patterns that I found online.  Kids created their design on the peg board, brought it over to me, and I ironed it to fuse the beads together.  If you've never tried Perler Beads, you must!

Yoda Ears

You'll need:

Green construction paper
Stapler or tape

I borrowed this idea from Nerd Craft Librarian.  I drew a Yoda-like ear shape, and traced this out on green paper.  I also cut out strips of green paper.  All kids had to do was staple the paper strips together, fit it to their head, and affix the ears and decorate them.  A cute and easy craft, perfect for all ages.

R2-D2 Paper Craft

You'll need:

White cardstock
Gray construction paper
Black construction paper
Blue painter's tape
Glue sticks

I borrowed this idea from Tip Junkie.  The website said they had a printable template, but I couldn't find it.  I ended up copying the image into Publisher and manipulating the size until it was big enough to print.  I then photocopied that onto cardstock.  Using a circle cutter, I cut out gray and black circles.  Kids cut their robot out, taped on blue tape pieces and glued the circles and square to look like R2-D2.

Origami Jabba

You'll need:


If you've never heard of the Origami Yoda book series by Tom Angleberger, you're missing out!  This book series is perfect for Star Wars Reads Day.  The website offers printable instructions on how to fold Yoda, Darth Paper and the other characters.  My colleague's son Lucas was my helper for the day, and he was in charge of "Origami Training."  He provided lessons in folding Jabba and gave participants instructions to take home with them.

We also had a book display of Star Wars books, since this event does celebrate reading!  And we had a snack table with Yoda Soda, Wookiee Cookies, and Dark Side Dip and Chips.  The possibilities are endless.  I hope this encourages you to participate in Star Wars Reads Day next year, or just have a Star Wars Party at your library.  May the books be with you!
Giveaways. Who doesn't love free swag?

Book display of Star Wars books

Rocking my Darth Vader Read a Book t-shirt and visiting the Pretzel Lightsaber table...again. Don't judge.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Storytime: Autumn Fun

Fall is my favorite time of the year.  I love watching the leaves change colors, feeling the air get cooler, and checking out apple orchards and pumpkin farms.  Living in Central New York provides me plenty of opportunities to partake in fall festivals and I look forward to them every year.  To get kids pumped up for fall, here's what I did at story time.


The apple pie that Papa bakedIt's Pumpkin Day, Mouse!Fall leaves fall!Ten red applesPumpkins

The Apple Pie That Papa Baked by Lauren Thompson
It's Pumpkin Day, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff
Fall Leaves Fall! by Zoe Hall
Ten Red Apples by Pat Hutchins
Pumpkins by Ken Robbins


Fletcher and the Falling Leaves

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson (from DVD I'm Dirty! and More Stories of Adventure and Science by Scholastic Storybook Treasures)

Occasionally, I will show a movie version of a picture book.  I usually do this for my preschool crowd, as my toddler group is too antsy to sit through a short movie.  The kids love this, and it's a nice addition to story time.


Way Up High in the Apple Tree

Way up high in the apple tree,
Two little apples smiled at me.
I shook that tree as hard as I could.
Down came the apples,
And mmmm....they were good!

"Pumpkins on the Ground"
(tune: "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star")

Pumpkin, pumpkin on the ground (crouch down)
How did you get so big and round? (stretch arms out wide and then make a circle)
Once you were a seed so small (pretend to hold a seed)
Now you are a great big ball! (make a huge circle with your arms)
Pumpkin, pumpkin on the ground (crouch down)
How did you get so big and round? (stretch arms out wide and then make a circle)

Source: King County Library System

Gray Squirrel, Gray Squirrel
(you can use a squirrel puppet with this rhyme)

Gray squirrel, gray squirrel, (stand with hands in front of chest and bend knees twice)
Swish your bushy tail. (wiggle bottom)
Wrinkle up your little nose, (point to nose)
Hold a nut between your toes. (point to toes)
Gray squirrel, gray squirrel, (stand with hand in front of chest and bend knees twice)
Swish your bushy tail. (wiggle bottom)

Source: King County Library System

"Autumn Leaves"
(tune: "Mary Had a Little Lamb")

Autumn leaves are falling down, (flutter fingers down)
Falling down, falling down.
Autumn leaves are falling down,
We love autumn!
Jump in them and toss them around, (pretend to jump and toss leaves)
Toss them around, toss them around,
Jump in them and toss them around, (pretend to jump and toss leaves)
We love autumn!

Source: Perry Public Library 

"Baking an Apple Pie"
(tune: "Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush")

This is the way we pick the apples,
Pick the apples, pick the apples.
This is the way we pick the apples
On an autumn day.
This is the way we wash the apples...
This is the way we slice the apples...
This is the way we add the cinnamon...
This is the way we roll the dough...
This is the way we bake the pie...
This is the way we eat the pie..
On an autumn day!

Source: King County Library System


Apple Collage

This simple craft worked great for my toddler and preschool groups.  All you need is an apple template, red construction paper, and glue sticks.  The kids had a lot of fun tearing up paper and gluing it onto their apple shape!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Storytime: Pirates

Ahoy!  Hey matey, today be Talk Like a Pirate Day, so ye best be reading some pirate books to your wee ones, or ye be walking the plank!  Here be some good choices.  Yo-ho-ho, it's a pirate's life for me.  Aarrr!


Bubble bath pirates!Pajama piratesHow I became a piratePeg Leg PekeThere was an old pirate who swallowed a fish

Bubble Bath Pirates! by Jarrett Krosoczka
Pajama Pirates by Andrew Kramer
How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long
Peg Leg Peke by Brie Spangler
There Was an Old Pirate Who Swallowed a Fish by Jennifer Ward


Five Pirates on a Treasure Chest

Five pirates on a treasure chest, one jumped off and four are left.
Four pirates on a treasure chest, one slid off and three are left.
Three pirates on a treasure chest, one fell down and two are left.
Two pirates on a treasure chest, one was pushed off and one is left.
One pirate on a treasure chest, he climbed down and none are left.
No pirates on the treasure chest, yo-ho-ho and now it's all mine!

Flannel Idea: Storytime Katie

Like Storytime Katie, I also used Microsoft clip-art for this rhyme, printed it out, laminated it, cut each piece out, and glued a piece of felt to the back so it would stick to the board.

"The Pirate Wore a Red Patch"
(tune: "Mary Wore a Red Dress")

The pirate wore a red patch, a red patch, a red patch.
The pirate wore a red patch all day long...
Continue with orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and black

This was fun to make, and you can tailor it depending on what colors of felt you have on hand.  I had the children help me by taking turns putting different colored patches on the pirate.  Thankfully, I had enough pieces for my crowd, but you can make multiple patches to suit your group's needs.

"If You're a Pirate and You Know It"

If you're a pirate and you know it, swab the deck (swish, swish)
If you're a pirate and you know it, swab the deck (swish, swish)
If you're a pirate and you know it, then you'll hear sea winds a'blowin'
If you're a pirate and you know it, swab the deck (swish, swish)

Other verses: Walk the plank (stomp, stomp) / say "Arrrr!" / Draw your sword


Eye Patches and Hats

To truly get into the pirate spirit, you have to look like a pirate! Last week, I made eye patches for both my toddler and preschool story time groups and passed them out after I was done reading stories. It was really easy. All you need is black craft foam, scissors, and yarn. I got the idea from Sturdy for Common Things. I didn't use a template, I just traced an eye patch shape onto the craft foam using a pen. I cut that out and used that piece to trace the remaining patches. I cut a slit on each side of the eye patch, threaded the yarn through, and voila, eye patches for all!

For the hat, I used the template provided by Lee Hansen Graphics. Because it was already black with the skull and crossbones, I just photocopied it onto white cardstock. I let the grown-ups cut it out, and then we assembled the hat using a stapler and/or tape. This worked well for the toddlers and preschoolers (I did provide a pirate coloring sheet to keep the kids occupied while the grown-ups did the cutting).

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Storytime: Library Fun!

Last week was the start of our fall story time session.  I usually get some new kids at story time and with September being Library Card Sign-Up Month, I thought a library-themed story time would be fun to introduce kids to the public library and the joy of reading.  Here is what I did.


Maisy goes to the libraryDinosaur vs. the libraryBook! book! book!The Midnight LibraryDog loves books

Maisy Goes to the Library by Lucy Cousins
Dinosaur vs. the Library by Bob Shea
Book! Book! Book! by Deborah Bruss
The Midnight Library by Kazuno Kohara
Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates


Here is My Book

Here is my book.
(hold hands together and open them up like a book)
I open it wide,
To see all the pictures that are inside.
I read the pages
(pretend to flip through the book)
To friends of different ages.
I set the book in my lap,
(pretend to place book down)
And then I take a nap.

Source: King County Library System

"If You're Happy and You Know It"

If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands.
If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands.
If you're happy and you know it, and you really want to show it,
If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands.
If you're happy and you know it, read a book.
If you're happy and you know it, read a book.
If you're happy and you know it, and you really want to show it,
If you're happy and you know it, read a book.

CRAFT: Make Your Own Book
This craft can easily be adapted for different age groups.  All you need is construction paper (or cardstock) for the book cover, copier paper for the pages of the book, and something to attach the book together - either a stapler or hole punch with ribbon or string.  And of course, you'll need craft supplies to decorate your book.  For my preschoolers, I kept this really simple and used an Ellison die cut to make our books.  We have an open book shape, and it made the perfect little book for them.  I gave the kids crayons and stickers in which to decorate it, and then had a blast decorating each page with stickers.  Have I mentioned that kids love stickers?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Storytime: Under the Sea

We're winding down our Summer Reading Program at my library.  That also means we have a couple weeks of story time left this summer and then I'm free on vacation.  I thought it would be fun to do an Under the Sea themed story time, especially since a lot of our little ones have been going on vacation to the beach with their families.  Calgon, take me away!


Peanut Butter and JellyfishRub-a-dub subHooray for fish!A house for Hermit CrabI'm a shark!


Did You Ever See a Fishy?
Tune: Did You Ever See a Lassie?

Did you ever see a fishy, a fishy, a fishy?
Did you ever see a fishy swim this way and that?
Swim this way and that way, swim this way and that way,
Did you ever see a fishy swim this way and that?

(Source: King County Library System)

The Shark in the Sea
Tune: The Wheels on the Bus

I have a sea animals felt set that have velcro attached to them.  They work great as a glove puppet, or directly on a flannel board.  I modified the verses to this song based on those felt animals.

The shark in the sea goes chomp, chomp, chomp.
Chomp, chomp, chomp. Chomp, chomp, chomp.
The shark in the sea goes chomp, chomp, chomp,
All day long.

The octopus in the sea goes wiggle, wiggle, wiggle.
The seahorse in the sea rocks back and forth.
The fish in the sea goes swim, swim, swim.
The crab in the sea goes snap, snap, snap

(Source: Youth Literature)

Once I Saw an Octopus

Once I saw an octopus in the deep blue sea
     (put hand over eyes as if searching and look down)
I called, "Hey, Mr. Octopus, won't you swim with me?"
     (hands over mouth to call)
Then out came his tentacles so very long and straight
     (link thumbs with fingers out)
I counted them: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.
     (count eight fingers)

(Source: Jen in the Library)

The little mermaid greatest hits"Under the Sea"
Pull out the music instruments, get everyone up on their feet, and dance away to this hit song.  From the CD The Little Mermaid Greatest Hits, you can't have an ocean-themed story time without playing this song.  And good luck getting this song out of your head.  You'll be humming it all day.  Not that I speak from experience. :)

For my preschool group, we made hermit crabs.  I found the idea on Pinterest and here are the details.  I simplified it by having the kids trace their hands without using a paint hand print.  Then, they decorated their paper plate "shell" anyway they liked and I helped them affix the pipe cleaners and eyes with tape and glue dots.
For my toddler group, we decorated paper fish.  I cut out several fish shapes on construction paper using an Ellison die-cut.  The kids decorated them with foam stickers, sequins, and crayons.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Review: My Teacher Is a Monster by Peter Brown

My Teacher is a Monster! (No, I Am Not.)
By Peter Brown
Little, Brown and Company, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-316-07029-4

Bobby has a big problem at school and her name is Ms. Kirby.  All she does is yell, stomp, and take away recess privileges (for throwing paper airplanes in class).  In a word, she is a monster.  One Saturday while at the park trying to forget all about Ms. Kirby and school, he runs into...Ms. Kirby!  What's a boy to do?  He sits down on the bench next to her and tries to make small talk.  A gust of wind blows Ms. Kirby's favorite hat off her head and Bobby rescues it.  Then, Bobby and Ms. Kirby quack at the ducks, Bobby shows her his favorite spot at the park, and they throw paper airplanes.  Maybe Ms. Kirby isn't such a monster, after all.

I love this story, because it is so relatable.  Think back on your elementary school know there was that one teacher you weren't a fan of.  I can think of a couple from middle school!  Bobby gets to have an experience with Ms. Kirby outside of school and it turns out she can have fun and that she doesn't yell and stomp all of the time.  The illustrations really make this story.  Ms. Kirby is depicted as a green, scaly monster at the start of the story, and as it progresses, the monster fades away (think Nanny McPhee).  This is a fun book to share with kids, especially as summer is winding down and parents and kids are getting in back to school mode.  Have a great first day back and remember, your teachers aren't monsters!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Storytime: Count With Me

I had a lot of fun planning this story time, and depending on the books you choose, it's easily adaptable for toddlers or preschoolers.  And let me tell you, there are a lot of books out there on numbers and counting.  I had to scale myself back from reading all the things.  Here is what I did.


One is a drummer : a book of numbersOne two that's my shoe!Pete the cat and his four groovy buttonsThe long, long lineSoup for one

One is a Drummer: a Book of Numbers by Roseanne Thong
One Two That's My Shoe! by Alison Murray
Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin
The Long, Long Line by Tomoko Ohmura
Soup for One by Ethan Long


"This Old Man"
I have a sing-along kit from Lakeshore Learning.  I love to have kids participate in this song, so I hand out the pieces.  As we're singing, each one puts their piece up on the flannel board when we get to that part in the song.

This old man, he played one.
     (hold up one finger)
He played nick nack on my drum.
With a nick nack paddy whack,
     (pat one knee and then the other)
Give a dog a bone.
     (mimic throwing bone to dog)
This old man came rolling home.
     (make rolling motion using both hands)

Repeat with these verses followed by the chorus:

This old man, he played two.
He played nick nack on my shoe.

This old man, he played three.
He played nick nack on my tree.

This old man, he played four.
He played nick nack on my door.

This old man, he played five.
He played nick nack on my hive.

This old man, he played six.
He played nick nack on my sticks.

This old man, he played seven.
He played nick nack up to heaven.

This old man, he played eight.
He played nick nack on my gate.

This old man, he played nine.
He played nick nack on my line.

This old man, he played ten.
He played nick nack on my hen.

"Jumping and Counting"
This song is from the album Jim Gill's Irrational Anthem and More Salutes to Nonsense by Jim Gill.  This is a great song to get the wiggles out because it involves jumping and then stopping to count up to ten.  This is a favorite in my toddler group.

"Five Little Speckled Frogs"
Slowly, but surely, I've been integrating technology into my story times. For this childhood favorite, I used my iPad and an app called Felt Board.  It is just as interactive as a physical felt rhyme.  I had a small group, so each child was able to come up and "jump" a frog into the pool.

Five little speckled frogs,
Sat on a speckled log,
Eating some most delicious bugs,
Yum, yum!
One jumped into the pool,
Where it was nice and cool,
Then there were four speckled frogs,
Glug, glug!

Continue with four, three, two, one.

Five Elephants in a Bathtub
I have a felt board from Artfelt for this rhyme, and I love to do this with the kids.  This would also work for an elephant theme or bathtub theme story time.

One elephant in a bathtub going for a swim.
Knock, knock - Splash, splash - Come on in!
     (Clap twice with "knock, knock," slap knees twice with "splash, splash," and motion with both hands to come in with "come on in.")

Continue with two, three, four...

Five elephants in a bathtub going for a swim.
Knock, knock - Splash, splash and it all fell in!
     (knock elephants and tub off the felt board)

The craft I did for this story time had nothing to do with numbers or counting.  I call it "Let's help Miss Jenny clean out the craft closet."  I had some leftover mask shapes and butterfly shapes that I had purchased at Michael's.  I brought out glitter glue, sequins, feathers, stickers and markers and let the kids decorate either shape.  Sometimes, the craft doesn't always match the theme and that is okay.  Kids don't care as long as they can create something.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Review: The Midnight Library by Kazuno Kohara

The Midnight Library
By Kazuno Kohara
Roaring Brook Press, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-59643-985-6

This is a story about a library that opens only at night.  A little librarian works there with three assistant owls, helping animals find the perfect book.  It's a quiet library, except when a band of squirrels decided to play their music.  Thankfully, the little librarian showed them the activity room, where they could play their music without disturbing everyone.  Then, the little librarian had to deal with rain in the library!  It turns out it was just wolf crying so much because her book was sad.  The little librarian took her to the story time room where they read a happy book.  When the sun came up, it was time for the library to close.  There is always a straggler, and tortoise didn't want to leave because he hadn't finished his book.  Being a good librarian, the little librarian signed tortoise up for a library card, checked out his book to him, and he left very happy.  After closing the library, the little librarian and her three owls read a bedtime story just perfect for drifting off to sleep.

This book is wonderful, and I'm not just saying that because it's about a library and librarian (although, it does give this book high bonus points, in my humble opinion).  The story is cute, and would work great in a number of story time themes (library/books, nighttime/bedtime, or animals).  What really makes this book distinctive are the illustrations.  I'm a big fan of Kazuno Kohara and read her book Ghosts in the House! every year at my library Halloween Party.  Her illustrations employ a delightful color palette, which enrich the story and represent the midnight setting perfectly.  From the goldenrod color of the animals and background, to the dark blue for the books and sky, to the bold black outlines, they blend together beautifully.  A cozy story, The Midnight Library is a great pick to share with your little ones.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Storytime: Gross and Messy

Let's face it, being messy can be fun, especially with kids.  They enjoy it so much.  For the grown-ups and the clean-up afterwards, not so much.  To fit in with this summer's "Fizz Boom Read" reading program theme, I thought a Gross and Messy story time was in order.  Here is what I did.


Not me!Puddle pugThere was an old lady who swallowed some bugsSpider sandwichesI ain't gonna paint no more!

Not Me! by Nicola Killen
Puddle Pug by Kim Norman
There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Bugs by Johnette Downing
Spider Sandwiches by Claire Freedman
I Ain't Gonna Paint No More! by Karen Beaumont


Five Clean and Dirty Pigs
I used a printable pattern of pigs.  I cut them out, glued a clean pig to a dirty pig, and laminated them.  I affixed Velcro to them and used this as a flannel board.  You can easily flip the pigs over from clean to dirty!

Five little pigs rolled in the mud,
     (roll hands)
Squishy, squashy, felt so good.
The farmer took one piggy out,
"Oink, oink, oink!" the pig did shout.
     (turn pig over to clean side)

Continue with four, three, two, one...

No little pigs rolled in the mud.
They all looked so clean and good.
The farmer turned his back, and then,
Those pigs rolled in the mud again.
     (turn all the pigs over to the dirty side)

(Source: Sunflower Storytime)

I'm Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee

I'm bringing home a baby bumblebee.
     (cup hands together)
Won't my mommy be so proud of me?
I'm bringing home a baby bumblebee.
Ouch! Ouch! It stung me!

I'm squishing up the baby bumblebee.
     (rub hands together)
Won't my mommy be so proud of me?
I'm squishing up the baby bumblebee.
Oh no!  It's yucky!

I'm wiping off the baby bumblebee.
     (wipe hands together)
Won't my mommy be so proud of me?
I'm wiping off the baby bumblebee.
Look at me! All clean!

(Source: King County Library System)

On My Toe There is a Flea

On my toe there is a flea,
Now he's climbing up on me,
Past my stomach, past my nose,
On my head where my hair grows.
On my head there is a flea,
Now he's crawling down on me,
Past my stomach, past my knee,
On my toe,
Take THAT, you flea!

(Source: King County Library System)


I found the directions for this activity on the Steve Spangler Science website.  I made one batch, and the kids helped me stir it.  It was lots of fun, and worked really well with my small group of preschoolers.  At the end, the slime can be divided up, put in Ziploc bags, and the kids can take it home.

8oz. bottle Elmer's glue
1 tsp. Borax (a powdered laundry soap, can be found in the laundry detergent aisle at grocery store)
Warm water
Food coloring
Large mixing bowl
Glass measuring cup
Ziploc bags

1. Empty entire bottle of Elmer's glue into the mixing bowl.  Fill the empty bottle with warm water, put the cap back on, and shake it around.  Pour the glue-water mixture in the mixing bowl and mix it up well with the spoon.
2.  Add a drop or two of food coloring and mix this up.
3.  Measure 1/2 cup of warm water into the glass measuring cup and add 1 teaspoon of Borax.  Mix this together.
4.  While stirring the glue mixture, add a little bit of the Borax solution.  Immediately, you will see the mixture become thicker and stringier.  Keep adding the Borax solution until you get the desired consistency.  You will need to use your hands to really mix it up.
5.  Store slime in a sealed Ziploc bag.

It doesn't get messier than this!  Pour out different colors of washable paint (I use Crayola) onto paper plates.  Give the kids a piece of construction paper and let them "paint" a picture with their fingers.  Make sure to cover your tables and have plenty of baby wipes and paper towels available!