Toddler Time - Birds

Today's Toddler Time was about Birds. It's finally spring up here in Maine, and I was feeling optimistic with a spring theme. Since we still have about 2 feet of snow in areas it doesn't feel very spring-like outside.

Books We Shared:
Our first book, Little Owl Lost by Chris Haughton, tells the story of an owl that falls out of his nest and must find his way back to his Mommy. He's helped along the way by a squirrel who jumps on the features Little Owl says his Mommy has and ask if animals like bears, frogs, and bunnies are Little Owl's Mommy. The kids really
liked saying if each creature was Little Owl's Mommy.

Our second book of the day was Early Bird by Toni Yuli. We
pulled out the scarves for this one and followed Early Bird's activities by moving our scarves. This is a super cute and the kids loved it.

Flannels We Shared:
Today's flannel is based off the Little Mouse flannel we've done in the past. I tried to find the website I stole it from, but I could not. I'm sorry. I was a bad librarian and didn't bookmark/record my resources. (If you know of a site that lists it please post in the comments.)

     Little Chick
     Little Chick, Little Chick where are you?
    Are you in the  ________ egg?
        (repeat for each color)

Action Rhymes We Shared:
We did two action rhymes today. First up is the favorite Two Little Blackbirds. For this rhyme I handed out blackbird puppets to everyone. Everyone got at least two (sometimes more, lol) paper blackbirds taped onto a craft stick. As we sang the song we acted out the rhyme with the puppets.

    Two Little Blackbirds
    Two little blackbirds sitting on a hill,
    One named Jack, and one named Jill.
    Fly away Jack,
    Fly away Jill.
    Come back Jack,
    Come back Jill!

Our second rhyme was a spin off of Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear called Little Birds, Little Birds. I found this one on Storytime Katie

    Little Birds
    Little birds, little birds, jump up and down
    Little birds, little birds, don’t make a sound
    Little birds, little birds, peep, peep, peep
    Little birds, little birds, sleep, sleep, sleep
    Little birds, little birds, fly to the leaves
    Little birds, little birds, sit down please.

Early Literacy Tips We Shared:
  • Learning different animal names will help a child to build their vocabulary. The larger a child’s vocabulary the more words he will be able to recognize and understand in print and in speech.
  • Having your toddler hear rhymes prepares him for later being able to recognize and say when words rhyme. This is critical later when your child learns to read because they need to hear the smaller sounds in words to later be able to sound out words.
  • Songs and rhymes like Little Bird and Teddy Bear help toddlers to work on their motor skills by jumping, turning, and sitting.

Toddler Time - Opposites!

This week's Toddler Time (there's another missed week in here due to 3 months of bronchitis) was all about opposites. This is a theme I will go back to time and time again. It's such a versatile and easy, but fun, theme for toddlers.

Books We Shared:

What's Up, Duck? By Tad Hills was our first book. We used our scarves with this one following the actions of Duck, Goose, and their friends. It's a short and sweet book that's perfect for our short attention spans.

Our second book was Black? White! Day? Night! By Laura Vaccaro Seeger. This is a fun lift-the-flap cut-out style book. I think most of the opposites went over my kids' heads, but they liked the surprise of the lift-the-flap style.

Flannels We Shared:
This was a super short and easy flannel since I have been dying of bronchitis for the past 3 months and it is showing in my voice. (Someday I will have my voice back. Someday.) I found it on Storytime Katie's blog, and it's one that you can repeat a billion times (or 3 if you have no voice) and the kids love it each time. I just went super easy and printed off 3 balls in color, laminated them, and put a piece of velcro on the back.

     Big, Bigger, Biggest
     A little ball, a bigger ball, and a great big ball I see
     Now help me count them, one, two, three!

Activities We Shared:
My parents have been begging for a parachute activity, so I went in search of some. Many talk about having the kids sit on the parachute while you walk in a circle to spin them around. We have a narrow room with brick walls, so that was a no for us. I'm also not super comfortable with kids sitting on the parachute while you move it up and down, but I thought we'd try it. I had the parents sit on the floor and we gently waved it up and down while we sang and I blew bubbles. It went.. ok. Not sure I'll be doing the parachute again, our room is so small it seemed really dangerous to me.  I found this song on Read Sing Play.

     Ten Little Bubbles
     One little, two little, three little bubbles
     Four little, five little, six little bubbles
     Seven little, eight little, nine little bubbles
     Ten little bubbles go POP POP POP!
     Pop, pop, pop, let’s pop those bubbles
     Pop, pop, pop, let’s pop those bubbles
     Pop, pop, pop, let’s pop those bubbles, at the library!

Early Literacy Tips We Shared:

  • Learning about opposites helps children build their vocabulary and describe the world around them. Exploring opposites helps a child to put words and meaning to items and events that they experience all the time. The larger a child’s vocabulary the more words he will be able to recognize and understand in print and in speech.
  • . Rhyming promotes Phonological Awareness in children as they learn to read. Phonological Awareness is a huge way of saying the Ability to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words- for example rhyming. 
  • Aside from being fun, singing songs with your little one helps them hear  words being broken up into smaller sounds. Later this skill helps with reading.

Toddler Time - Socks and Shoes

Today's Toddler Time was all about Socks and Shoes (you'll note there's a missing week in here, last week the toddlers wer so full of energy that we skipped "normal" Toddler Time and just had free play).

Books We Shared:
A Pair of Socks by Stuart J. Murphy, illustrated by Lois Ehlert was our first story. This was a perfect story for Toddler Time. Minimal text, bright picutes, the works.
Our second story was Whose Shoes? by Stephen R. Swinburne. We didn't read the whole story with this one, just the end part where the story asks "Whose Shoes?" and shows a picute of a person's feet. The next picture is a full picture of the person. This one is good for recognizing uniforms and answering questions. My kids are super young, so of course they didn't answer many questions, but they liked looking at the pictures anyway.

Flannels We Shared:
Today's flannel was a sock matching game. I got the poem I sang from A Year Full of Themes by Teacher Created Resources. I said the poem and had the children try to find my matching sock from the pile in front of me. The Sock Matching game originally came from Miss Mary Liberry's blog.

     Sock Pairs
     I have two feet on which I walk,
     But I can only find one sock!
     Here's a Sock I like to wear,
     But I need a matching pair.
     Bring one up so we can see,
     If it matches perfectly!

Movement Activities We Shared:Our first movement activity is one that I keep going back to- scarf dancing. The toddlers love playing with the scarves and of course dancing and playing with scarves builds motor skills and coordination.
This time we danced to Shoes sung by Wayne From Maine. I love Wayne From Maine. His songs are so much fun and he has enormous energy. (He's also a fantastic live show if you are in the New England Area!) 
The second movement activity was the activity rhyme This is What My Feet Can Do which I found on the Sunflower Storytime blog, and they give credit to the ACLA Youth Services blog. This is an adorable song and we sang it twice.

     This is What My Feet Can Do
     This is what my feet can do, feet can do, feet can do.
     This is what my feet can do
     Can you do it too?
     Let your feet go hop, hop, hop; hop, hop, hop; hop, hop, hop
     Let your feet go hop, hop, hop
     All around the room.
Jump; tiptoe, sit - Quietly instead of All around the room

Early Literacy Tips We Shared:
  • In today’s story time, we’ll be exploring shoes and socks. Most people don’t think of clothes as a learning tool for young children.  However, if you think about it, clothes are a perfect medium for parents to use to introduce, size, color, number and purpose to young children. 
  • Sorting between colors helps children with color recognition. Sorting also gives children practice in recognizing likes and differences, size and function. A fun home activity would be to have your child help sort the family’s socks. You can start off sorting first by color, then by size and then by similarities. 
  • Rhymes and games like this one help a child to develop their listening skills and to learn to follow directions. With activities like jumping and hopping we’re also helping to develop coordination and muscle strength.
  • Matching a person's shoes to their uniform can help a child develop Self Awareness, the idea that one is an individual and possesses unique qualities
Wow. I didn't realize I had snuck in so many tips! The parents aren't giving me funny looks anymore, so they're hopefully working.


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