Friday, February 24, 2012

R is for... Racecar! AND Cauli Le Chat Appreciation Day! (Wait, there's no R in Cauli?!)

     I know I say this a lot, but it was a big week at the Mooresville Public Library this week!

1)    It was Cauli Le Chat Appreciation Day! More on that later.

2)    We got our eggs for our annual chick hatch.

3)    We had all of our regularly scheduled programs!

Sounds busy, right?

     For those of you who don’t know, Cauli Le Chat is our feline roving reporter here at MPL.  February just so happens to be Cat Appreciation Month and Cauli wasn’t feeling the love.  Thus the Boss Lady, as Cauli calls her, decided to declare Wednesday, February 22, as Cauli Le Chat Appreciation Day.  Of course, we had to celebrate this monumental occasion in Story Time as well. So, what did we do?

The banner we made for Cauli Appreciation Day.
Yes, we. Though he will loathe me admitting it,
Sammy the Toucan helped me create this beautiful banner!

In honor of Cauli Le Chat Appreciation Day,
we read many cat books! Splat the Cat is
a funny guy that every kid will be guaranteed to love.
Another favorite of mine is the Laura Numeroff
"If You Give," series.  You will not be disappointed
if you pick this one up.  Though be prepared,
you child will probably want a cupcake at the end!
A great book to talk about animals, shapes, and sizes,
as well as love.  This is a cute book that is short and to
the point.  Your child will have no problem sitting through it.

All kids at the library were allowed to participate
in the Cauli Appreciation Day Color Contest.
Stay tuned, winners will be announced on Tuesday!

     As the second note mentions, our library got eggs!  That’s right, for the third year in a row; we will be hatching chickens at the library.  Last Friday, we started regulating the temperature of our incubator, and on Tuesday the eggs were put in, beginning the three week process.  Sometime next week, we will start candling the eggs to see if life is beginning to take shape and in three weeks time, we will have baby chicks running all over the library.  If you are interested in fostering baby chicks for a couple of weeks, call us at the library to get all the details!  If you would like to follow the chicks' progress, follow Miss Suzanne's chick blog at

Fresh eggs just ready for incubating!

The incubators. We will start with just one,
howeveronce the eggs hatch, we will move them
to the second incubator for fluffing. 

And the finished product, for now.  The eggs will remain
in the incubator for three weeks.  After this period we will
hopefullystart to hear chirping and eggshells cracking as
our babies make their way into the world!  It really is exciting!
     And now on to our regularly scheduled program, Letter of the Week!  This week was all about the letter R.  I went with racecar because I thought the boys in class might appreciate it.  I also later realized that I could have used road to coordinate with racecar.  Oh well, here is what the letter R looked like this week!

Materials:  Index card with capital R, 2 sticker racecars, and crayons

Front of card

Back of card

1)    Color the capital R to look like a road.

2)    Trace the capital and lower case Rr on the back of the card.

3)    Peel the racecar stickers and stick them on.

     The book I chose to read this week is one that I have actually already ready to the 4 to 6 year olds so it may look a bit familiar.  He Saves the Day by Marsha Hayles was a great read for the 2 and 3 year olds.  Although it didn’t eexactly state racecar in the book, it was very obvious that the boy character was riding along in his make-believe racecar.  It is a fun and exciting book, with a great ending for all the moms out there!

     Well, that’s it!  Personally, I think that’s enough excitement for one week! I am exhausted!  If you watched this week’s video, you would know that next week is Ss.  Sammy the Toucan thinks I should dedicate this day to him.  Who knows, guess you and Sammy will both have to wait and see what new and exciting things happened next week! Stay tuned!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Love is in the air… Happy Valentine’s Day!


     Growing up, Valentine’s Day was kind of a big deal in my family.  Not in the traditional chocolates, flowers, balloons, and jewelry kind of way.  Valentine’s Day is actually my parents’ wedding anniversary.  Yes, my parents are schmoopy and got married on Valentine’s Day.  Imagine that wedding, will you?  Anyways, I have always spent Valentine’s Day celebrating with my parents, and this year was no exception.  Although, I did also get to have three whole days of Valentine’s celebration with my Story Time kids and boy was that fun!  You would have thought it was Christmas all over with how excited my kids were!

     As usual, let’s celebrate this holiday through pictures!


I read this book to my 2-3 year olds.  It was the perfect
length and also allowed the kids to participate by guessing what
was underneath the flap. It was fun!

I read this book to my older kids because it is a little bit longer.
Filled with all of the cutesy "kitty" love stuff, this book
is an excellentread to describe love to kids.

Although not about Valentine's Day, I still used this book for Pajama Time.
I especially like this book because all of the animal are made from hearts!
We had a great time counting how many it took to create each animal.

Another great Valentine's story told in rhyme to "Twas the Night Before Christmas."
Although I didn't use this book this year, it always makes my list because it
is a quick, upbeat read that the kids like to hear.


These are some of the Valentine's I had my kids color!
After they were done coloring, I collected the cards and took them
over to Miller's Merry Manor, an assited living facility for the elderly.
They LOVED getting the cards and it was nice to be able to bring a smile to their faces.

I found these here.  I absolutely love them!
I think they would be great for Valentine's to hand out.

How cute is this?  Though I seriously considered doing
this for my crafts, I dediced to go a different route.  Find this craft here.

Another cute craft I found online.  Very simple! 
Trace your child's hand.
Fold down the middle and ring finger.
Then glue to a heart! 
A simple way to say "I love you" in American Sign Language.


Although I didn't use this song, I found it on YouTube
and think it is SO cute! Watch and listen!  You will see!

I really like to use this song during Valentine's!
The song is upbeat and my kids enjoy that it isn't
your typical "kids song."


I played HEART bingo with my 4-6 year olds.  This is great
to work on larger numbers with kids as well as give a little
incentive to be an active listener! We had so much fun with this one!


Ok, I know I said this would be all in pictures, but, I changed my mind.  Every holiday, I like to give my kiddos goody bags.  I try to make them fun and different for each holiday.  I also try VERY hard to make them age-appropriate. Though buying things for my babies can be difficult, its a really fun challenge!  This year in their goody bags were crayons, chocolates, strawberry chewy hearts, suckers, pencils, kazoos, stickers, and candy hearts.  Each kid also got a heart-shaped crayon I found on Pinterest!

     Well, that seems to be all for Valentine's Day.  Next week, we take another break from the alphabet to celebrate Cat Appreciate Month.  My library will be celebrate the fabulous Cauli le Chat, our feline roving reporter. Stop in to donate cat or dog food to the Morgan County Human Society in Cauli's honor.  We hope you tune in to see what all the fuss is about!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Q is for.. Quails and Queens!

     Boy oh boy… Qq is a hard one!  Although there are lots of great words that start with a Qq, finding books and crafts to go along with those words isn’t as easy.  After going through quarterback (last week WAS the Superbowl and being so close to Indianapolis, I thought this might be fun), quiet, quick, and quill, I FINALLY settled on quail and queen.  I really did NOT want to use queen because I wanted to remain gender-neutral for all the little boys in my classes, however, I just wasn’t able to think of another fun Qq craft that I could produce in mass quantities.  So queen is was!

     Our Q letter craft came from a website that was recently sent to me by a coworker.  I have used this site before and I just remembered that I have never credited it.  To find cute animal alphabet letters, click here.
Materials:  Index card with capital Q, googly eye, and crayons

Front of card

Back of card

1)    Color the capital Q to look like a quail.

2)    Trace the capital and lower case Qq on the back of the card.

3)    Attach the googly eye!

     As mentioned, the other craft this week was a queenly craft.  I gave the kids pre-cut crowns and had them “bedazzle” them with jewels and sequins.  For the boys, I reminded them that while only girls can be queens, kings and princes are just as royal and also have jewels on their crowns. I did, however, try to give the boys less “girly” colors, though I gave them the option of having pinks and purples if they wanted them!  See the crown Sammy is wearing in our video for an example!
     Have you ever looked for a picture book about quails?  Chances are, you aren’t going to find one! HINT HINT… authors and publishers, GET ON THAT!  In fact, I have a good friend who will be publishing a series of children's stories about zoo animals this year, perhaps I can talk her into publishing a book about a quail! Hear me Carolyn, I am going to need you to help a librarian out!
     Since I was unable to find a good quail book, I settled for two books on queens.  Both books are a little bit older, but fit the bill nicely.  The first book, The Queen’s Feet by Sarah Ellis was a funny little story about a royal whose feet are anything but royal.  The book has a great moral value in it about apologizing and trying one’s best to behave while ultimately realizing that every so often, we all need to let loose and have fun!

     The other queenly book we read was called The Queen’s Holiday by Margaret Wild.  With this book, the first thing I needed to explain was “holiday” in British English means vacation.  This was very important to understanding the book.  After that, all of the silly things the guards, the maid, the doctor, and the groom do make much more sense.  This book was a good, quick read, though the kids didn’t find it nearly as funny as I did, that is, until the royal potty made an appearance.  You will have to read the book to find out why in the world a royal potty would be needed!

     In keeping with the theme of music last, I thought I might introduce you all to a color song that I love!  I use this song for my baby class as well as my 2s and 3s sometimes.  I like this song because it first give the color, then asks you to find the object with the same color.  I use this song with puppets and give each kid a craft stick puppet with object on it.  That way, it becomes more of a “find the color” game and less like learning.

     Although Qq was a bit daunting, I think we got through it just fine!  We will be taking a break from our regularly programmed schedule to celebrate… VALENTINE’S Day.  I can absolutely promise you that I will not post a gooey, schmoopy, love post next week!  I like Valentine’s Day as much as the next person, but as my friend at Desperately Seeking Sparkle said, “I love to love all year round, not just on February 14th.”  Thanks, Emily for that great quote!  I hope you tune in next week to see what fun and amazing Valentine’s creations we come up with!

Friday, February 3, 2012

P is for... Penguins and Parachutes!

     For those of you that didn’t know this already, there are TONS of words that start with Pp.  My kids were able to come up with easily 20 or so.  Some of my favorites included Poppa, Popsicle, pineapple, polar bear, and Penelope!  It wouldn’t be Story Time if one of my kids didn’t throw out a name!  This week, though, I chose to play it safe and went with penguins and parachutes!
     Our P letter craft this week was rather fun, it took the shape of a penguin.  I love penguins!  When I was a kid, they were my absolute favorite part of the zoo.  To this day I can sit and watch the penguins for hours! They are absolutely mesmerizing.

Materials:  Index card with capital P, googly eye, white foam belly, orange foam beak, orange foam feet, and crayons

Front of card

Back of card

1)    Color the capital P to look like a penguin (black works for the best effect).

2)    Trace the capital and lower case Pp on the back of the card.

3)    Glue the white foam belly to the P.  Add the google eye, orange foam beak and feet!  TA DA!  A pretty penguin!

     The second craft this week for my 4-6 years olds was a recycled craft.  By that I mean, we have done it before!  But, who cares!  I gave each of my kids a parachute man to color.  The parachute man had holes punched in his hands.  I then gave each kid two pieces of yarn to tie to the parachute man’s hand.  The other end of the string was tied to a plastic grocery bag (parachute.)  WARNING:  I know that it is not safe to give children plastic bags.  In my case, the kids’ parents are in the room.  The bag was given to the parent with a general warning to not let their children play with this craft unsupervised.  The parachute man craft looked like this!

     As I mentioned previously, I like to challenge my older kids who come.  This week’s challenge was manual dexterity.  Tying those little knots was hard for me 4-6 year olds.  I encouraged each of them to try it on their own, and then ask for help when they needed it.  This is a practice I always like to use in class because encouraging independence is really important to me, especially for my 4-6 year olds.  Although many of these kids are in preschool, it won’t be long before they move into elementary school.  It’s a good practice for the kid and their parent as well!
     As I continue on my quest to ensure that my kids are loving the books I read, I think this week, I would get a barely passing grade.  Tony Baloney by Pam Ryan is a great book about a little macaroni penguin that seems to always be getting into trouble.  I picked it not only because it went with the theme, but also because I thought my kids could relate.  Perhaps it was a bit too long for a read-aloud or maybe they just didn’t get it, but my parents seemed to be laughing more than the kids.  That’s why I give it barely passing.  At least someone enjoyed it, right?

     Do you know how hard it is to find a good read-aloud about parachutes?  Well, my library didn’t have one and I was kind of in a pickle, so I went a different route, airplanes!  That’s right, airplanes!  The kids and I first talked about how parachutes are an important part of airplanes and why airplanes need them to make passengers feel safe.  This, however, segued nicely into my book, He Saves the Day by Marsha Hayles.  A good little book about imagination, adventure, asking for help, my kids really enjoyed He Saves the Day.

    It seems I always like to finish my blog posts with the new music we used that week.  This week, I chose a really fun and exciting song that I have used in the past.  If you have not heard of the Disney show “Phineas and Ferb” that you must be living under a rock!  Phineas and Ferb are everywhere and I love one of the songs they sang on their show, “Gitchie Gitchie Goo!”  It’s fun, upbeat, and catchy!  Trust me when I say this song will be stuck in your head for days if not weeks!

     The other song this week was more of an educational song.  I have been using this song for a few weeks and decided it was time to create a video!  Everyone knows the Addams Family theme song, right?  Well, some GENIUS created a Days of the Week song to go with it! I love it and I hope you do too!

     That's it! I'm done! I hope you enjoyed it!  Next week is the letter Q.. oh boy!  What am I going to do!?