Fun in the Mud

We decided to add a new program this summer at our branch - toddler story time!  Yay!  I was worried about it some.  We got rid of a baby time to have a spot for the toddler time which meant that the only baby time is now in the evening.  But, the 'babies' that were coming to the morning baby time we replaced were mostly 2 year olds anyway.

Thankfully, it seems that the toddlers in this area were looking for something to do, we had 12 kids the first week and 22 by the third!

Our first week of toddler time featured Mud to go along with the summer reading program Dig into Reading.

We read Stuck in the mud by Jane Clarke.  This is a cute story about a chick who is 'stuck' in some mud.  Mother hen tries to pull him out to no avail.  Despite the icky mud other animals around the farm jump in to help and they all end up getting stuck as well.  This is a fun rhyming story with a surprise ending.  You could use this with an older group and have then act out some of the parts as the animals are repeatedly pushing and pulling.
The second book that we read was Mud by Wendy Cheyette Lewison.  This book is technically a reader, so it is a smaller size than I prefer to use, but the illustrations are big so they were not hard for the kids to see.  What I really enjoyed about this book is that in the story there is mud on various parts of the kid in the story so the kids could point to themselves to show where mud was.  One phrase 'mud everywhere' was repeated a few times, so when we got to that point we waved our arms around in the air.

Our last story was a flannel version of Emma Dodd's Dog's colorful day.  As dog goes through his day he gets various spots of color on him until he is so dirty that he needs a bath.  This is a good book for both color recognition and counting.  I like to have the kids call out the color as I put it on dog.  Then before his bath we count all of the spots.

Because you can't have mud without a little bit of rain first we sang Carole Peterson's Singing in the rain.  This is a fun song with added motions at each verse.  In between the motions you 'sing in the rain' so we put our hands up and dance.

I found a great idea for a song about mud puddles with Tara of Storytime with Miss Tara and friends.  She gave all the kids yarn to make a mud puddle to dance in as they sang Mud puddle jump by Kindermusik.  This was a lot of fun, though some of the younger 2 year olds just kind of watched the rest of us.  They were really excited when they found out that they got to take the brown yarn circles (aka mud puddles) home with them.

Because I like to use shakers or scarves with every program we sang The Learning Groove's Hip hop body rock.  It really had nothing to do with mud, but has the kids shaking a shaker by various body parts.  It tied in well with the book mud and is great for working on body parts as well as following direction.

Our craft was 'mud painting' where the kids get to finger paint with chocolate pudding.  They LOVED this.  I am not sure the parents were so keen on it (most of the crafts were left behind) but I think this is one of those activities where the experience is more fun than the end result.  Some of the kids were happy to just sit and smear the pudding around.  One little guy kept at it for 30 minutes and was covered up to his elbows.  Luckily we have a sink just off of the program room, so washing up was really easy.


Flannel Friday: Construction Trucks

Next week story times will have a construction theme.  I had lots of ideas for things to do, but I ran a bit short on time, so... for a quick and easy flannel board I made a few extra pieces to go with my vehicles set.  This is the set that I had already:

Last time I used it we sang the song 'Little Red Wagon' and after the first round where we bounced up and down in the wagon I brought out different vehicles to bounce in.  To go better with the construction theme I added a bulldozer and a cement mixer.  So, with the dump truck and pick up truck I could do the song again and have 4 verses.  I could also use it with the 'Brown bear' version (like the book Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see? by Bill Martin Jr.) where you say 'blue truck, blue truck, what do you see,' then put up the next one and have the kids yell out the color or type of truck.

If I happen to get ambitious I may try to add a steam roller, bucket truck, or excavator, but we will see what kind of time there is.  I always enjoy when I have something on hand that can be adapted a little to fit a new theme.  And, I like being able to add to sets instead of making whole new ones.  Multi-purpose flannel boards are kind of awesome.

You can find this week's flannel round-up with Jane at Piper Loves the Library.  All things Flannel Friday can be found at the BLOG and you can see all flannel posts past and present on the Pinterest boards.


Flannel Friday: Pop-up Flannel Boards

I am sure that by now you have seen my worm flannel - you know, 'cause I've posted it twice :)  Well, since I did all that work making the foam core board for the wormies to slide along I decided I needed to find other uses for it - and so we have POP-UP flannel boards!  I have actually done something similar before with my butterfly board.  But unlike that one these can be easily changed for whatever you have made to go along with it.

If you want to know how the board itself was made you can read about it here.  To modify the board I made a 'shelf' out of cardboard and toilet paper rolls.  I decorated a cardboard strip with some flannel grass...
I put some grass on the back and the front to add a little 'depth.'
Next I cut some toilet paper rolls in half and taped them on with some heavy duty tape.  I realized after the fact that a paper towel roll would have done nicely, but I did not have one on hand and I am kind of impatient.  Anyway, I line the half rolls up along the back to make a little shelf.

Then I needed something to push it out from the board so I would have room for the flannels in the shelf.  So, more tp rolls were cut and pieces were added to each end.

I added some Velcro dots to each round piece on the end as well as to a few spots along the shelf where it will touch the board.  I forgot to take a picture with the Velcro, but it seems to do its job.

It does wobble a little, I think it will be ok for story time, but I may end up reinforcing it with some binder clips 'just in case.'

In a few weeks I am doing a gardening theme, so I came up with a rhyme about planting seeds and then various things will grow.

One little seed planted in the ground,
Give it lots of sun, and water all around.
Now we have to wait and see,
For a sprout to pop up,
What will it be?

A tree!

We will repeat with 2, 3, 4, and 5 seeds.

Wait a minute... that last guy is a worm (well, looking at it right now he's first, but whatever).  Worms don't grow from seeds!  No, worms do not grow from seeds, but they are very good for the soil and help plants grow by making food that plants can use.  And, sometimes, not all seeds grow.  Every once in awhile you get a dud. 

This week's flannel round-up can be found with Kathryn at Fun with Friends at Storytime.  All things Flannel Friday related can be found at the blog and all Flannel Friday contributions, both past and present can be seen at Pinterest