Not a Box

This week is STEM!

We started this morning with a short rhyme:

“Tall as a Tree”

Tall as a tree (stretch arms toward ceiling)
Big as a house (stretch arms out at sides)
Skinny as a pole (hug arms to sides)
Small as a mouse (scrunch down to the floor)

Then we read our first book, Sitting in my Box by Dee Lillegard & Jon Agee.


Sitting in my Box is the story of a little boy who wants nothing more than to hang out in his cardboard box with a good book. But a herd of wild animals want to share his cardboard box as well. Can there possibly be room for them all?

Each time an animal knocked on the cardboard box, I knocked on the table. Some of the kids knocked on the floor with me. The kids also helped me by saying the repeated line, “Let me in, let me in.”

We also did a song this week, with the help of YouTube. We sang “Ten in the Bed”, and rolled our arms whenever someone rolled over and fell off.

Our second book was Not a Box by Antoinette Portis.


This is a fun, short read about one bunny (or, as one of the kids decided, a bunny dog) and his magnificent “not-a-box.” It’s a super imaginative, creative book.

After we read Not a Box, we moved on to our stations:

  1. Water table with water beads, soap, and toys.
  2. Magnet wall.
  3. Giant paper with markers and stickers.
  4. K’NEX.
  5. Magnetic toys.
  6. KEVA Contraptions.
  7. Tree blocks.
  8. Kinetic sand with molds and toys.IMG_1326.JPG
  9. Conveyor belt with alphabet letters.

Join us next week! Since it’s the fifth Tuesday of the month, the theme will be choose your own adventure!


The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!

This week is play!

We started with Hap Palmer’s “Tap Your Sticks” again today.

Next, we read our first story, The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog! by Mo Willems, one of my favorite authors and illustrators. Like his other Pigeon books, The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog is funny, silly, and great fun to read aloud.

Our second story was a little different. Instead of me reading it to the kids, we watched an animated short. The Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!  DVD includes animated versions of three of Mo Willems’ picture books. We watched Don’t Let the Pigeons Drive the Bus! The kids really enjoyed seeing Pigeon come to life, and I think they appreciated the humor even more when they watched it play out on screen.

After our video we stacked up or carpet squares and went to our stations:

  1. Water table. I dyed the water blue-purple, added dish soap for bubbles, put in about half a container of water beads, and added cups and spoons to measure and pour with.
  2. Straws and Connectors.
  3. Markers and Styrofoam balls. I decorated a sample to look like the Pigeon, but most of the kids preferred to  just decorate them with lots of different colors. They turned out beautifully!
  4. Kinetic sand with fake flowers, fake plants, small shovels, and small wood planks.
  5. K’NEX and Squigz.
  6. Magnet wall.

I dropped the ball and forgot to take pictures this week! Apologies for the short, pictureless post!

See you next week for STEM!


Color Zoo

This week is art!

Today we started with “Tap Your Sticks” by Hap Palmer. This is a great starting song because it lets the kids get up and moving but also encourages them to listen and follow directions.

Next, we played with our partner parachutes. I gave each little group a handful of Magic Nuudles. After they had played with them for a while, I asked them to bounce their Magic Nuudles as high as they could.


After we cleaned everything up off the floor, we did another song, “The Goldfish” by The Laurie Berkner Band. I turned on our bubble machine to add some aquatic atmosphere.

We read two books today. The first was Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert.


Color Zoo is full of imaginative animals made of all kinds of shapes and colors. I asked the kids to imitate the sounds the different animals made, although we were stumped on a few, like ox and deer. This was also a good opportunity to talk about whether they had ever been to the zoo and, if so, what animals they saw there.

The second book was Colors Everywhere by Tana Hoban.


I’d never read this book before, but I ended up really enjoying it. It’s a wordless collection of colorful photographs, and each photograph is accompanied by isolated swatches of some of the colors in the photograph. So, for example, a picture of ducklings has a block of yellow and a block of burnt orange to the side. It was a really cool concept, and the kids enjoyed the photographs a lot.

After our books, we headed to our stations:

  1. Tape art.

    Each child was given a small canvas that they decorated using washi tape and tempera paint. Some kids made borders with the tape, some made letters, and some taped off different areas of the canvas.

  2. Perler Biggie Beads. These are bigger versions of the traditional Perler beads. I had an iron out in case anybody made something they wanted to keep, but they were more than happy to just make patterns and pictures and then take them apart.
  3. Blocks and color viewers.
    I filled our blocks up with different colored buttons, beads, and blocks.
  4. Magnetic toys.
  5. Sort and Snap Color Match from Melissa .

See you next week for play!


Moose Tracks!

This week is movement!

We had a big group today, so we got some energy out by starting with Hap Palmer’s “Tap Your Sticks.” Since we had some new friends join us today, we played our introduction ball game to learn each other’s names. We sit in a circle and pass the ball to each other. Whoever has the ball says their name, and everyone says hi to them before they pass the ball to someone else.

Our first book was Moose Tracks! by Karma Wilson and Jack E. Davis.


There are moose tracks all over the house and yard, but there are no moose around! Who could have made such a mess? Like all of Karma Wilson’s books, Moose Tracks! is great fun to read aloud.

After our book, we went to investigate some moose tracks in our very own library. Earlier this morning, I sneaked downstairs and put out a trail of paper moose tracks. I used the moose tracks printable from Karma Wilson’s website. The trail ended at the kitchen’s serving window. When we reached the end of the trail, I opened the serving window to reveal tea cups and a nice cold pitcher of Moose Juice!


I will share my very secret Moose Juice recipe:

Tape Moose Juice picture over fruit juice label and enjoy!

Once we were done with our juice, we returned to the room for our second story, Duck, Duck, Moose! by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and Noah Z. Jones. This is the madcap story of a very clumsy moose and his exasperated friends. Full of goofy, slapstick humor, this is a very fun read.

Our last group activity was a short game of animal dice. We use a large soft cube that has six actions written on it:

  1. Swim like a shark!
  2. Hop like a frog!
  3. Stand like a flamingo!
  4. Run like a cheetah!
  5. Climb like a monkey!
  6. Fly like a bird!


When they were done with their puppets, they were free to move on to our stations:

  1. Kinetic sand.
  2. Conveyor belt and Magic Nuudles.
  3. Magnet wall.
  4. Tree blocks.
  5. Wooden blocks.IMG_1217
  6. Hula hoops, partner parachutes, and bean bags.
  7. Art station. Originally, we were going to make hand print moose, but the kids decided to let their imaginations run wild. The results were awesome!

See you next week for art!


If Rocks Could Sing

This week is STEM!


Today we started with our book, If Rocks Could Sing: A Discovered Alphabet by Leslie McGuirk.


If Rocks Could Sing is a unique alphabet book where each of the words is illustrated with found rocks. The kids especially liked the elephant and penguin shaped rocks.

After our book, we headed to our stations:

  1. Conveyor belt with tangram tiles
  2. Magnetic wall.
  3. Water table with measuring cups, toys, and buttons.
  4. Water table with brushes, droppers, and a block of ice with glitter and dinosaurs frozen in it.IMG_1182
  5. Pet rock station with smooth rocks, sticker eyes, feathers, and glue dots.
  6. Sticker book with funny faces to decorate.

See you next week for movement!