Rex Wrecks It

This week is STEM!

Today we started with Jim Gill’s “Spaghetti Legs,” which is a perfect song for getting wiggles out before starting a story.

Our first book was Mr. King’s Castle by Geneviève Côté.

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Mr. King decides to build a big castle, but his friends are dismayed to find that he has used all of the grass they have to make his new home. This is a very visually interesting book because each time Mr. King takes a block of grass, you can see the negative space it leaves behind. Slowly, piece by piece, you see him take blocks out of the grass until there’s nothing left. Then, when he realizes he’s made a mistake, you see him put them all back together again to make them whole, just like a puzzle.

We took a dance break in between books. We chose Jim Gill again and danced to “Jump Up, Turn Around” and “Silly Dance Contest.”

Our second book was Rex Wrecks It! by Ben Clanton.

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This is one of my favorite books to read aloud! Rex is a lovable tyrannosaurus who wrecks everything in his path, including his friends’ block tower creations. The story is short and funny, and best of all, it includes lots of opportunities to roar like a dinosaur. I’m a huge fan of Clanton’s illustrations, too.

After all of our dancing and reading, we went to our stations:

  1. Water table with toys and measuring cups.
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  2. Kinetic sand with beach toys.
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  3. KEVA Blocks and toy animals.
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  4. Straws & Connectors.
  5. SumBlox.
  6. Magnet wall with items to make a giant marble run.

Next week is movement!

Beastly Babies

This week is play!

We started with a rhyme called “A Is for Alligator:”

A is for alligator, chomp, chomp, chomp, (open and close arms together)
B is for bunny rabbit, jump, jump, jump, (jump)
C is for circle, going round and round, (spin in a circle)
D is for dizzy and we all fall down! (fall down)

Our first book this week was 1 Big Salad by Juana Medina.

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1 Big Salad is an adorable counting book featuring animals made of delicious fruits and vegetables. There’s clementine kitties, romaine dogs, and even radicchio lions (my personal favorite).

Our second book was Beastly Babies by Ellen Jackson and Brendan Wenzel.

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Beastly Babies introduces the reader to all kinds of wild baby animals, from pouncing tiger cubs to charging rhinoceros calves. The rhyming text is playful and energetic, and the illustrations are vibrant and full of life. This is the perfect read for any animals lover.

Because our song wouldn’t cooperate this week, after our second book we dismissed to our stations:

  1. Magnet wall with magnetic letters.
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  2. Paper, stickers, and crayons.
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  3. Play-Doh and cookie cutters.
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  4. Foam blocks.
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  5. Vet play kit.
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    I’m always surprised at how much the kids LOVE the vet kit! Sometimes they’ll spend half their playtime just at the vet kit station. It’s such an fun, easy way to incorporate dramatic play into storytime.
  6. Conveyor belt with pompoms.
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Next week is STEM!

 

Vincent Paints His House

This week is art!

We started with one of my favorite games to play during storytime, “Little Mouse, Little Mouse.” I use our projector and a felt board app on one of our iPads, but it can easily be played with a traditional felt board. Put five or six felt houses on the board. Make sure the houses are different colors. Hide a small felt mouse under one of the houses. Then ask the children which house they think the mouse is in. To call the mouse, say:

Little mouse, little mouse, are you hiding in the [color] house?

Then move that color house. Keep going until you find the tricky little mouse!

After our game, we read our first book, Vincent Paints His House by Tedd Arnold.

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Vincent cannot decide what color he should paint his house. To make matters more complicated, the other residents of the house (including a snake and a bat) have their own opinions on what color he should choose. One of my favorite features of this book is that it lists different shades of the colors he talks about, so kids can see the difference between crimson red and scarlet red.

Also, each animal wants Vincent to choose the paint color that matches them (the snake wants green, the bat wants black, etc.) so there’s lots of opportunities to ask the kids to make predictions. “What color do you think the mouse wants Vincent to paint his house?” “What color do you think Vincent will choose?”

After our first book, we danced to Jim Gill’s “Jump Up, Turn Around” and moved on to our next story, Lines that Wiggle by Candace Whitman and Steve Wilson.

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This is a fun, short read with bright, silly illustrations that catch the eye immediately. It’s a great pick if you’re reading to younger kids.

After we read Lines that Wiggle, we went to our stations:

  1. Water table with pouring station set up.
  2. Fluffy slime. I got this recipe from Instructables:

    1 cup glue
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    Food coloring or liquid watercolor (optional)
    1 pump foaming soap (optional)
    1/4 cup shaving cream
    Saline eye drops (make sure they contain boric acid or sodium borate)

    Mix glue, baking soda, and food coloring/liquid watercolor. Stir in foaming soap and shaving cream. Mix well. Add saline eye drops slowly, stirring as you go. The key is to add enough to make the mixture firm and not sticky but not so much that the slime loses its stretch. Once the mixture isn’t sticking to the spoon as much, use your hands to mix and knead. Once you have the consistency and texture you want, you can fold in more shaving cream to add fluffiness.

    Be careful to keep off of clothing!

  3. Contact paper mandalas.IMG_1385.JPG
    I got the instructions and the template from Picklebums, one of my favorite websites for planning storytime. I taped the template to the table, peeled the backing off the contact paper and taped it sticky side up over the template. The kids placed tissue paper shapes all around their circle. We finished ours by adding another circle of contact paper on top, sticky side down so it would keep all the tissue paper in place. The final product can be trimmed into a smaller circle.
  4. Color sorting game.
  5. SumBlox.img_1387
  6. Tangram blocks and Playstix.

Next week is play!

Orange Pear Apple Bear

Orange Pear Apple Bear

This week is movement!

We started with “Tap Your Sticks” by Hap Palmer. Once we had some energy out, we danced to “Freeze Dance” by The Fresh Beats Band. I made a game out of it by placing hula hoops on the floor and having the kids jump inside one whenever the music stopped. When the music started again, I removed a hula hoop so there were fewer and fewer to jump inside of.

Once our songs were done we started our first book, Orange Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett.

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I love this book. The watercolor illustrations are so pretty, and the text is simple but so much fun. To add some movement, I assigned actions to the four words that make up the majority of the text:

  1. orange=clap
  2. pear=jump
  3. apple=spin in a circle
  4. bear=growl like a bear (making claws with your hands is optional)

Every time I read one of those words, we would do the assigned action. It was a fun way to read and move and play.

After our first book, we did a stretching rhyme, “Tall as a Tree:”

Tall as a tree, (stretch arms to ceiling)
Wide as a house, (stretch arms out at sides)
Skinny as a pole, (tuck arms in at sides)
Small as a mouse. (crouch down on floor)

Our second book was Sometimes I Like to Curl Up in a Ball by Vicki Churchill and Charles Fuge.

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This is cute, quick read about a baby wombat and all the things he likes to do. The text rhymes and has an almost sing-song quality, so I always enjoy reading it aloud.

We followed up with “Silly Dance Contest” by Jim Gill, and then we went to our stations:

  1. Bubble wands.
  2. Hula hoops.
  3. Giant roller ramps.IMG_1356.JPG
  4. Magna-Cars & Trucks, play roads.IMG_1349.JPG
  5. Blocks, counters.IMG_1352.JPG

Next week is art!

 

 

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Stretch

This week is choose your own adventure! Because we don’t have an official theme for the fifth Tuesday of a month, we pick a variety of books and activities to do.

We started with “Shake My Sillies Out” by Raffi. I let the kids choose an instrument out of a tub, and we shook our instruments as we danced.

For our book, Stretch by Doreen Cronin and Scott Menchin, I had each of the kids grab a piece of Lycra fabric we’d cut into strips.

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As I read the book, they stretched their Lycra bands up, down, and from side to side. Some grabbed one end while their caregiver grabbed the other and they stretched the fabric as far as it could go. Others twirled and watched the fabric twirl around them. Some wound the fabric around their hands like the dog on the cover.

After our book, we danced to “Freeze Dance” by The Fresh Beat Band.

Once “Freeze Dance” was over, we went to our stations:

  1. Giant coffee filters, eyedroppers, watercolors.IMG_1343IMG_1339I used two different methods to make the watercolors. For the first few colors, I mixed water and liquid watercolors. There were a few colors I wanted to make that we didn’t have the right liquid watercolors for, so I used water and food coloring for the other colors.
  2. SumBlox.
  3. Small wood planks, play tools, camping play set.
  4. Magnet wall.
  5. Conveyor belt with foam blocks.
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  6. Toy animals.IMG_1341

See you next week for movement!