Toddler Time - Space

This week's Toddler Time is all about SPACE! No particular reason why, I just thought a space program would be fun. :)

Stories We Shared

Today we shared two books. Over the summer I've started to get a slightly older crowd, and that means I can sometimes share a slightly more detailed book. Our first book was an older one, but one I think is a lot of fun. Dogs in Space still has Pluto listed as a planet (sadface), but I just changed the title to "dwarf planet." This was a fun book (better for the older kids than the younger) and had a ton of good talking points. We talked about why Mercury might be hot and Pluto cold, what an asteroid is, and the red spot on Jupiter.
Next up we read I Want to be an Astronaut. Super fun and simple. This is definitely a good story for the younger kids.

Flannels We Shared
I did two magnet rhymes today (the magnet board seemed more fitting than the flannel board). The first was based off the 5 Elephants Went Out to Play (hard to sing with astronauts, but we managed) and the second was a super simple Rocket poem. (pictures to come)

     Three Little Astronauts
     One little astronaut went out to play
     Over the moon and far away.
     He had such enormous fun
     That he called for another astronaut to come!

     Two little astronauts went out to play
     Over the moon and far away.
     They had such enormous fun
     That they called for another astronaut to come!

     Three little astronauts went out to play
     Over the moon and far away.
     They had such enormous fun
     That they called for everyone to come!

     I'm a Little Rocket
     I'm a little rocket,
     Pointing to the moon!
     5, 4, 3, 2, 1... 
     Blast off, zoom!

Songs We Shared
Today we sang our shaker song (of course) and sang Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, and The Itsy Bitsy Spider. 

Early Literacy Tips We Shared
  • Having a large vocabulary, knowing the names of things, is one of the skills children need when they later learn to sound out words. 
  • When you come to a word that is not familiar to your child, use that word and explain it in a way your child can understand. Books give us different words than those we use in conversation. Knowing many words helps children with reading when they try to sound out words. 

Toddler Time - Fruits and Berrries

Today's Toddler Time was all about fruits and berries! With strawberry and raspberry season upon us and blueberry season coming soon it seemed a perfect theme. :)

Stories We Shared
Our first story of the day was a classic - Jamberry by Bruce Degen. I'm sure I don't need to talk about how fun this story is.
Next up I read a favorite of mine, and one I've read before (and will read again) The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood. There are no words to explain how much I love this story. It's an all time favorite. (I even have it memorized, lol).

Flannels We Shared
Today I shared a flannel adapted from one I found at Mel's Desk, which in turn was adapted from one she found on Abby the Librarian's blog. If I had had time I think it would have been more fun to make 5 different types of berries/fruits to use with the flannel, but since I'm moonlighting in Adult and Teen services this summer my flannel making time is limited. So I just went with strawberries this week. I used animals from various other flannels I've made (the Giant Carrot and my farm animals- I love that cow) and they worked wonderfully. The mouse also made the perfect segue into reading The Little Mouse.

Rhymes We Shared
Today's rhyme was one that a fellow librarian shared on Facebook. Emily Lloyd wrote and shared this fun scarf activity poem and it was a huge hit.

     Things we can do with our Scarves
     We can wave them way up high
     We can pretend they're capes and fly [like a superhero]
     We can make believe they're hair [drape scarf on head, looking silly]
     We can throw them in the air
     We can swish them side to side
     We can use our scarves to hide [drape scarf entirely over head, like ghost]
     We can make them very small [ball up scarf]
     We can let them gently fall [drop scarf to ground]

We also sang our shaker song, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, and Itsy Bitsy. :)

Early Literacy Tips Shared
  • Rhyming is one of the things that children learn that lets them hear that words are made of smaller parts. By reading rhyming books or singing rhyming songs with your child, you are helping to build their phonological awareness. Phonological Awareness is the ability to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words.
  • Counting is one the of learning concepts which support your child's background knowledge.
  • Singing slows down language and helps children hear the different sounds that make up words. Singing also develops an awareness of rhythm and syllables

Toddler Time - Balloons!

Today's Toddler Time was on my birthday! Yay! I was super excited to plan a Toddler Time for my birthday. Because it was my birthday, I decided that today's program would focus on the learning concept of play. Play is so important for children learning to read and relate to the world around them.

Stories We Shared
Today we read an adorable book I had InterLibrary Loaned: The Blue Balloon by Mick Inkpen. It's about a balloon a little boy finds that does all kinds of crazy things, from never popping, to disappearing and reappearing square, to taking a space adventure. The book is simple and engaging.

Flannels We Shared
Today's flannel was a counting rhyme that I found on Sunflower Storytime.
     Four Balloons
     Four balloons up in the sky
     See them flying way up high?
     If one of those balloons should happen to POP!
     Only 3 balloons will be left floating up top! (2..1..)

Rhymes We Shared
As usual we sang our Shaker Song today. Since we were playing I did not add any additional songs or rhymes, but we did some activities, outlined below.

Activities We Shared
Since today was a special Balloon program I brought in 67 assorted balloons for us to play with! I had blown them up the previous night, taking care not to blow them up fully so they were extremely hard to pop.
With the balloons we practiced throwing them, naming the colors, catching them, and kicking them. We also found colors that matched and colors that were almost the same (light and dark blue) but didn't quite match.
Then, I brought out the parachutes. Both of them. The little one and the enormous one. They had SO much fun. We popped the balloons like popcorn, moved the parachutes fast & slow, hard & gentle. They absolutely loved it. So much that we forfeit our usual play time for more parachute and balloon play. This was a huge hit with everyone.
We also only had one balloon casualty, and it didn't pop, but instead just slowly fizzled out.

Early Literacy Tips We Shared

  • Play with your children is super important as they grow! It is one of the primary ways young children learn about how the world works.
  • Play helps children practice putting their thoughts into words
  • Play helps children think symbolically. That this item stands for this thing, which helps them understand that words can stand for real objects or experiences. (We experienced this when we talked about how the balloons were like popcorn cooking and a little one excitedly yelled that the balloons were like coffee in the machine.)
  • Play is how children practice becoming adults and process what they see and hear everyday.

Toddler Time - Camping

Today's Toddler Time's theme comes from a request I had last week. Last week one of the little boys that attended asked if I could do a camping theme for him. I said of course and so camping it is!

Stories We Shared
Normally I don't like using popular media books in story time, but the first story this week was cute and I just couldn't resist. We read Maisy Goes Camping first today. It's a super cute one where Maisy and all her friends (including Eddie the Elephant) try to fit in a tent together. It was a definite hit.

Next up was another "can we fit" style book. One Dog Canoe was a new one for me, but I rather liked it.

Flannels We Shared
I brought out a slightly older, but perfect flannel for today's Toddler Time. I dug into my files and brought back the 3(5) Hungry Ants flannel. Of course, our favorite part is the sneezing ants. When we got to the pepper we would take an ant and as we sneezed I would toss an ant into the air. It always produces giggles.

Rhymes We Shared
We sang two rhymes today! (In addition to our usual opening song and clos
ing songs.) First up we sang Ten Little Marshmallows. I saw this somewhere in the past few weeks, but I didn't bookmark it so cannot give credit. My apologies! If you know where I found it, please comment!
We also sang 10 Little Campers which I found on and comes from Beth Grai, at the Independence (MI) Township Library. Of course we sang Shake Your Shaker and Twinkle Twinkle as well. :)
     10 Little Marshmallows
     One little, two little, three, little marshmallows
     Four little, five little, six little marshmallows
     Seven little, eight little, nine little marshmallows
     Ten marshmallows in my mouth!

     Ten Little Campers
     Ten little campers putting up their tent.
(Put finger tips of fingers together forming tent roof)
     Ten little campers close the vents.
(Intertwine fingers together to signify closure)
     Ten little campers make a ring.
(Form circle putting tips of fingers together and thumbs together)
     Ten little campers start to sing.
(Cup hands to mouth)
     Ten little campers around the fire.
(Form circle putting tips of fingers together again)
     Ten little campers dance till they tire.
(Put all ten fingers up in the air and dance them around)
     Ten little campers close their tent up tight.
(Intertwine fingers together again to signify closure)
     Ten little campers say good-night.
(Wave good-night with both hands)

Early Literacy Tips We Shared

  • Introducing your child to songs, rhymes and books is a great way to help your child expand his/her vocabulary since books and rhymes often contain a larger variety of words then what we typically use in conversation.
  • Rhymes are fun to sing and say with your child. Because they rhyme, they also help children develop phonological awareness, an important skill for later reading when they try to sound out words

Toddler Time - At The Beach!

Today's Toddler Time was all about the beach! It's summer (finally, even if I don't like the hot), and the beach is such a perfect theme for summer.

Books We Shared
This week we read two of my absolute favorite books. First I had a show and read version of I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry. OMG, I love this story so much. It's a perfect story for a show and read/show and tell as well.

Next up we read A Beach Tail by Karen Lynn Williams. I have so much love for the illustrations in this book. They are so detailed and have so much life.

Flannels We Shared
I turned I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean into a show and read story this week. As I read the story I placed the pieces on a magnet board. They LOVED this so much, we ended up doing it three times. The first time I read the book and placed the pieces, the next two times we just placed the pieces. I used the patterns from KidzClub which are adorable and free.
We also had a flannel game based off the Little Bird game using pails and a little tiny whale (He's adorable if I do say so myself.) which I found on the Fun With Friends at Storytime blog, and a counting rhyme with shells.
     Little Whale
     Little Whale, Little Whale
     Are you in the [color] pail?

     3 Little Seashells
     3 little seashells all pearly new,
     Swish! went the waves and then there were two.
     2 little seashells lying in the sun,
     Swish went the waves, and then there was one.
     1 little seashell lying all alone,
     I picked it up and took it home!

Rhymes We Shared
As usual we sang our shaker song from Jbrary and our closing song of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. The Shaker Song continues to be a favorie, and no one (grown ups) has gotten bored with it yet!

Early Literacy Tips We Shared
  • Children learn language by listening. They learn new words and absorb general knowledge about the world around them. Talking to your child can help them develop vocabulary. Stretch your child's vocabulary by repeating what they say and adding new words. "You want a banana? That's a healthily choice."
  • Singing slows down language and helps children hear the different sounds that make up words. Singing also develops an awareness of rhythm and syllables.


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