It’s a Zoo!

Toddlers went wild this week as we read stories about the zoo!

Amos McGee is a kind old man who works at the zoo, making sure to play chess with the elephant, run races with the tortoise (who never loses), and reads to the owl at night. One day Amos awakes with a cold and cannot go to work, so the animals hop on a bus and bring the zoo to him. “A Sick Day for Amos McGee” by Philip Stead was  this year’s 2011 Caldecott Winner for outstanding illustrations using woodblock prints and fine pencil.

“I wrote to the Zoo to send me a pet. They sent me a…” this is how the flap-tastic book, “Dear Zoo” by Rod Campbell begins. Kids love opening the flaps to reveal the many zany animals the zoo sends.

We also created our own Dear Zoo by drawing an animal on a half sheet of paper then gluing one side of a quarter sheet to the half sheet, thereby creating a flap over the animal.

What animal are you? We put our thinking caps on to match which riddle matched the animal on the felt board. You can visit http://switchzoo.com to put your animal know how to the test with fun games and puzzles!

We did the January Songs, which can be found under the “Toddler Time” category.

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Colors of Toddler Time

Toddler Time was bursting with color as we read about all the colors of the rainbow! Dog starts his day with a black spot on his ear, but as the day progresses Dog has more spots than he knows what to do in, “Dog’s Colorful Day: a messy story about colors and counting” by Emma Dodd. Emma Dodd is a great author for toddlers; kids count along as the brightly colored spots find there way onto Dog and reinforce learning colors.

In “Mouse Paint” by Ellen Walsh three white mice discover jars of red, blue, and yellow paint and explore the world of color. I love that this book teaches primary and secondary colors to even the youngest reader. After reading this I like to do a color “magic trick” anyone at home can do! Here’s what you will need:

–         6 empty glasses/bottles

–         Red, Blue & Yellow food coloring

–         Water

Fill 3 glasses/bottles half-way with water.

Next add red food coloring to one glass/bottle; repeat with blue and yellow coloring (you should now have one red, one blue, and one yellow cup of water).

You can now demonstrate how if you mix red and yellow it makes orange. Continue with red/yellow=orange, blue/yellow=green, and red/blue=purple.

Want to have more fun with color? Visit http://www.colorwithleo.com to learn and play with a young Leonardo Da Vinci!

Bedtime for Toddlers

Yawns and PJ’s swept the library as we read bedtime stories! Our first story was the fun rhyming, “Llama, Llama Red Pajama” by Anna Dewdney. Baby Llama is supposed to be sleeping-but how can he when Mama Llama is not there?! A perfect, reassuring read for little ones who experience “Llama Drama” at bedtime.

Have more fun with Baby Llama @ http://www.llamallamabook.com

“In a great green room…” this is how the classic “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd, begins. Nestle down with bunny as he says goodnight to all the clocks, socks, mittens, and kittens in his room. The illustrations have a great retro feel that will take grownups back and enchant toddlers. Try your own Goodnight Moon by saying goodnight to things around your child’s room. (One of the best things about stories is that they do not have to be housed within a book. You can act them out, tell them aloud or even make them up with the help of your child.)

We then went on a scavenger hunt for different colored shapes! After finding the shapes we sang the color shape song to the tune of “Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush.” It goes a little something like this:

If you have a (color, shape)

Please stand up, please stand up

If you have a (color, shape), please stand up

Now sit down.

Whether at home or the store it is easy to be on the lookout for different shapes and colors. Kids love the challenge and feeling of accomplishment as they show you what they found while reinforcing shapes and colors!

January Rhymes for Toddler Time

Repetition is the key to learning. This is one of the reasons why we do the same rhymes in Toddler Time every month…to hone the rockstar skill in you and your child! If there is a song/rhyme you or your little one enjoys, leave a comment-I’m always on the prowl for good Toddler Time songs!

We Shake Our Eggs Together

We shake our eggs together

We shake our eggs together,

We shake our eggs together,

Because it’s fun to do.

Shake them up high.

Shake them down low.

Shake them in the middle!

Why stop there?! You can change out the lyrics for whatever you want-clapping, stomping-the sky’s the limit!

Shaky Eggs (to the tune of Jingle Bells)

Shake your egg, shake your egg

Shake your shaky egg

If you have the color ( Blue)

Shake your shaky egg, ohh!

Colors:

– Blue

– Red

– Yellow

– Green

Tick Tock, Tick Tock (sway back & forth, freeze on “stop”)

Tick tock, tick tock

Listen to the little clock.

Tick tock, tick tock

Now it’s time for us to stop!

We can jump (folk rhyme)

We can jump, jump, jump

We can hop, hop, hop.

We can clap, clap, clap.

We can stop, stop, stop.

We can stretch both our arms.

We can reach and touch our toes.

We can bend our knees a little bit,

And sit down slow.

Good Night Toes

Good morning toes! (Flex toes & point them toward ceiling)

Good night toes. (Relax ankles & let toes droop)

Good morning toes!

Good night toes.

Good morning toes!

My toes are playing all day long (Wiggle toes)

And now they feel very, very sleepy (Relax & let toes droop)

Good night toes.

Toddler Time is Back! Miss Sarah’s Favorites

Toddler Time is a mixture of stories, rhymes, concepts, and play for 18-36 month olds.To kick off the New Year I thought I’d share a little about myself by reading some of my favorite picture books.

 Olivia, by Ian Falconer, is the story of an energetic, spunky little piglet named Olivia as she goes about her day. Whether she’s at home, the beach, or museum one thing is for sure-Olivia is the star (watch out Rachel Berry)!

Fun Fact: Olivia won the 2001 Caldecott Honor for its black, white & red illustrations which fit perfectly with the style of the story.

Olivia’s website: http://www.oliviathepiglet.com

After the bus driver leaves for a little bit it is up to the audience to make sure Pigeon does not get behind the wheel in Mo Willems, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! This is a fun interactive story to read/act out with a crowd or one on one with your little one; kids love telling the Pigeon “no!”

Pigeon’s website: http://www.pigeonpresents.com

January’s concepts are all about color! Today we played “I Spy” and looked for all things green.

Every month we do the same group of rhymes, so kids and grownups become familiar and confident in learning them. Below are the lyrics to the January rhymes:

We Shake Our Eggs Together

We shake our eggs together

We shake our eggs together,

We shake our eggs together,

Because it’s fun to do.

Shake them up high.

Shake them down low.

Shake them in the middle!

-Fun, right? Why stop there?! You can change out the lyrics for whatever you want- clapping, stomping-the sky’s the limit!

Shaky Eggs (to the tune of Jingle Bells)

Shake your egg, shake your egg

Shake your shaky egg

If you have the color ( Blue)

Shake your shaky egg, ohh!

Colors:

– Blue

– Red

– Yellow

– Green

 Tick Tock, Tick Tock (sway back & forth and freeze on “stop”)

Tick tock, tick tock

Listen to the little clock.

Tick tock, tick tock

Now it’s time for us to stop!

We can jump (folk rhyme)

We can jump, jump, jump

We can hop, hop, hop.

We can clap, clap, clap.

We can stop, stop, stop.

We can stretch both our arms.

We can reach and touch our toes.

We can bend our knees a little bit,

And sit down slow.

Remember to check out Olivia’s & Pigeon’s websites for fun activities! See you next week!