Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Toddlers and Preschoolers : Playing with Books

For toddlers, we talked through the first and last book and acted out the emotions. We used magnetic letters as we counted during "One, Two I Love You." Is Everyone Ready for Fun? was a total, get-up-and-move-and-shout-it-out! kind of story ... my favorite ...

During the preschool program, we talked and acted a bit more. For example, we discovered that maybe we could have more than one feeling at a time like Elephant and Piggie. For Grumpy Bird, I had a stuffed animal for each child. They came to the front of the room when thier animal appeared on the page. I pointed to a sign that said "What are you doing?," and they child repeated this to my bird stuffed animal. Then we marched around the room until we came to the next animal. Lots of fun playing with books!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Baby Programs : Letters, Shapes, and Print Awareness

For the sitters, I used large, soft, magnetic letters to introduce "B-A-B-Y" and felt shapes to do the feltboard house. They were captivated by how I used my voice and moved the letters and pieces. For example, during the feltboard house, I modified the rhyme a bit to repeat the names of the shapes and allow me to let each child have an up close view of the shape: "Start with a square, a square, a square, a square, a square, a square right there!"

For the older babes, I had a soft, toy fire truck with the word "fire truck" stitched into the side. I went around to each child and pointed to the word. While reading My Car, I also went around the half circle, pointing to the word "gas" written in the illustrations.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Grinch-mas Family Program

Well ... I did do a Christmas-y family program this year. A co-worker originally wanted to do a "Forgetful Santa" puppet show together, but being short-staffed, the program was altered to a one woman show. I offered to keep with the Christmas theme. It was advertised as such and in this way:

Family Night Capades: Merry Grinchmas - Whobalation!
It's a How the Grinch Stole Christmas Celebration. Come for the story! Come for the noise! Come dressed in jammies OR as Who-girls and boys! Come for a craft, a treat, and a game. During Family Night Capades -- no one week is the same. Children under age 7 must be accompanied by an adult.

The movement activities had to be really young-child friendly, and indeed, I had three not-quite-two-year-olds who came to the program! The Learning about the Heart station was really loosely based on the cut and tell -- just a lot of questions (Where is the heart? What does it look like? What does it do?) and movements (Make a fist -- that's the size of your heart. Find your pulse. Let's run in place and see if we can change our heartbeat.)

I let them do the stations as they please. Take them or leave them ... I use to ring a bell after every 10-15 min to let them know when to switch stations, but I haven't really had a problem with overflow, so now I just explain the stations and let them stay or leave and wander as they please. It works well, and they usually stay 45 minutes after the initial together activity, in this case the Grinch accompanied by music and a few computer projections. I always do stations at my family programs. It's my sneaky way of getting families to interact together ... and with the age ranges they can adapt what they need, etc.