How are you feeling?

This week's story time theme was Feelings featuring the letter F.  It worked out well with Valentine's weekend coming up that we could talk about feelings but not have to be all mushy and gushy (which is fine, just some years it us nice to do something else too).
We looked at our letter F and talked about some of the words that might begin with an F like Firetruck, Fireworks, Flowers, Frog, and then we had the Faces.  Face starts with F, but then we discussed what might make your face change, and talked about different feelings and how your face would look with each one.

The first book that we read was My many colored days by Dr. Seuss.  This was a great book for feelings as it pairs different feeling with colors and discusses how we don't feel the same each day.  The kids enjoyed yelling out the colors.  Older kids might enjoy trying to guess the feelings that will go along with the colors, but for the toddlers we just worked on the colors.

Of course the most classic feelings song is If you're happy and you know it so we danced to the version by MFLP Band.  In this rendition the kids stomp there feet when they are mad along with clapping hands, patting knees, beeping noses, and shouting Hooray.  The actions accumulate as you go, so the kids have multiple things to do with each verse.  It is slow enough that the toddlers could easily follow along and it a nice alternative to the traditional one that they all know.

The second book that we read was Anna Dewdney's Llama, llama, mad at mama.  Little llama is not happy to be drug along on mama's shopping trip.  He was perfectly happy playing at home.  As the errands drag on Llame begins to lose his patience and then his temper.  He flings items from the cart in a rage at mama.  Mama explains she doe snot like errand either and they both clean up, finish the shopping and get a treat.  (Personally, I think little llama is rather lucky to get the treat after the fit he throws.)  The kids were really able to relate to this story - even though they all claimed that they never behaved this way.

We followed the llama book with Angela Russ's Shake your boom boom.  This is a fun, up-beat song that you can use with scarves, bells, shakers, or sticks - whatever you want to use for a 'boom boom.'  We generally use the shakers.

After shaking our boom booms we did another song, this one about how Old MacDonald is feeling.  I found the song on Jen in the Library's blog.  I changed the names of the feelings a bit from what hers were, but the song went like this:

Old MacDonald felt so happy, HA HA HA HA HA.
And when he's happy he goes like this HA HA HA HA HA.
With a HA HA here and a HA HA there,
Here a HA, there a HA, everywhere a HA HA.  
Old MacDonald felt so happy, HA HA HA HA HA.

Repeat with:

I put up the faces one at a time and the kids told me what they thought he was feeling.  They got most of them rather quickly, the Silly one was a little troublesome.

Our final book was My heart is like a zoo by Michael Hall.  This was a great one to use to tie in Valentine's day.  All of the illustrations are made from hearts and the book talks about different ways the heart can feel.  All of the comparisons are made to animals, so there are things like 'silly as a seal' 'crafty as a fox' 'brave as a lion,' etc.  The text is simple and the illustrations are very colorful.

We went with a simple Valentine craft for the week.  There was paper, some cut into hearts, doilies, sequins, stickers, and markers for the kids to make a valentine of their own design.
We found a cute activity sheet for the kids, though I am not sure any of them grabbed one.  It has half a face and the kids are supposed to draw a picture of how they are feeling.  Hopefully they took it home and talked about it some!  They did seem to check out more of the displayed books than normal, guess the grumpy books just draw them in.

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