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Quick, Like a Fox – Toddler Move ‘N’ Read Storytime

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Today we went on fun filled adventures with the fox. Our opening song was, “If You’re Happy and You Know It” from 40 English Songs for Kids.

Baby Foxes by Megan Borgert-Spaniol was our first book. This non-fiction book gave us wonderful background into the life of baby foxes. We learned that baby foxes were called pups, and that they lived in dens, which were holes in the ground. The mother foxes were responsible for keeping their pups warm, while the father foxes hunted for food to feed their pups. The children enjoyed pointing out the fox pups they saw on each page, and counting the number of pups they observed when there were more than one.

Our first activity was all about Fox in Socks. Prior to Storytime, I printed out, and laminated, the image of the Fox from the Dr. Seuss book, along with various pairs of socks. Before beginning the activity, I placed the image of the Fox on the board, and handed out one of each pair of socks to the children.  During the activity, Felix, our fox puppet, would hold up one colored sock at a time. Felix would then ask the child with his or her matching sock to come up and place it on the board. The children really had fun with this activity, and when we were through, enjoyed organizing all the socks on the board by color. While we matched socks on Mr. Fox, we listened  to “The Fox” from Maria Sangiolo’s CD Planting Seeds.

Come Back Moon David Kherdian was our next book. Fox and his friends, Crow, Opossum, Raccoon and Skunk had a problem, the moon had disappeared and they had no idea where to find it. Clever Fox stated that they should ask wise Owl what happened to the moon. Owl said that he saw Bear take the moon, because he could not sleep with the moon’s bright light shining in his cave. Together, Fox and his friends worked out a plan to retrieve the moon. Crow told Bear a bedtime story, while Fox snuck into his cave and grabbed the moon. Once Fox had the moon, he and his other friends tossed it back into the sky where it belonged.

Fox by Jinny Johnson was our next book. This was another non-fiction addition to today’s Storytime, and in it we learned all about Rusty, the little fox pup. Rusty was born in a den, and had several brothers and sisters. When Rusty was very young, she would forage for worms and other small bugs to eat. Rusty enjoyed romping and playing with her fox siblings, and we discovered that this play was helping them perfect skills they would need later in life. At the end of the book, we saw that foxes had a different sleep wake schedule than most people, fox pups like Rusty slept during the day, and ate at night.

The parachute came out for our last activity. I put on the song “Best of Friends” from the CD Disney Timeless Classics. This song was from the Disney movie The Fox and the Hound. As the song played, the children bounced and rolled small beach balls on the parachute. For a finale, we all grasped the parachute and bounced the balls as high as we could.

The Little Fox Who Lost His Tail by Jedda Robaard was our last book. The little fox in this book had misplaced a vital piece of himself, his tail. This book had fun lift the flap elements to it, where we looked in closets, behind curtains and more for foxes tail. Eventually fox came to a pond, saw his reflection, and realized his tail had been behind him all along!

Reading aloud to your child is extremely beneficial to them. It is a fantastic way to help them develop their literacy skills. Author Mem Fox has a list of tips to help make reading to your child a fun, and engaging activity for both of you. Among the pointers she gives are, do not choose an overly sugary reading voice, let the emotion show through, and use techniques like pausing during key parts of the story. The article goes on to list many more helpful tips and tricks for reading aloud.

We concluded Storytime with bubbles and singing, dancing and shaking our sillies out with Raffi from his CD More Singable Songs.

We had a lot of fun getting to know the fox at Storytime today!

Toddler Move ‘N’ Read Storytime will be taking a short hiatus. 

We will return June 14th when our theme will be Sports to celebrate Summer Reading!!

Pizza Party – Toddler Move ‘N’ Read Storytime

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Today we celebrated everyone’s favorite round food, pizza. Our opening song was, “If You’re Happy and You Know It” from 40 English Songs for Kids.

Pete’s a Pizza by William Steig was our first book. Pete was having a bad day. It was raining outside, so he couldn’t play with his friends. Pete’s father decided to cheer his son up by turning him into a pizza. Yes, you read that right, a pizza. First he kneaded (tickled) the dough, Pete. Then oil was applied, which in reality was water. After that toppings were added in this case pepperoni, or red checkers pieces. Soon, Pete the pizza was complete, and Pete the boy was having a much better day.

Our first activity was all about art. Prior to Storytime I had not only created a giant pizza out of  colored butcher paper, but also assembled different colors of paint and prepped the vegetables we were going to use as paintbrushes. During the activity, I laid the blank pizza out and, selecting their favorite vegetables and paint colors, the children stamped images of the vegetables on our pizza. Of the three vegetables used, mushrooms, peppers and tomatoes, peppers were by far the most popular.The children had a lot of fun with this activity. It promoted creativity, and helped develop motor skills. This article from Scholastic outlines not only at what ages children develop specific motor skills, but also things caregivers can do to help these skills grow and flourish. The article presents a chart, divided by age, which is a useful reference tool. There is also a series of tips and tricks for caregivers to help them increase their children’s motor skills. While we created our painted pizza, we listened to “Pizza, Pizza, Pizza” from the CD Ratatouille: What’s Cooking?.

Pizza by Frank Asch was our next book. Asch has a series of books featuring a young bear and his adventures. In this installment, Baby Bear’s parents were taking him out for a treat, pizza. Baby Bear had never tried pizza before, and he was a little concerned he wouldn’t like it. His parents told him to give it a try and see what he though. It turned out that Baby Bear didn’t like pizza, he loved it! That night, Baby Bear dreamed about trying new and different kinds of pizza, and the next morning, that was all he wanted to eat. As we read through the story, the children laughed and giggled at Baby Bear’s antics.

Grandpa and Me by Karen Katz was our next book. This story had lift the flap elements, that the children enjoyed. A little girl wanted to make pizza with her grandfather, so they worked together. As we read through the story, and lifted the flaps, one by one we found all the ingredients we needed for the tastiest pizza. Sauce, dough, toppings and more, we found it all, and the little girl and her grandfather combined all those ingredients to make a wonderful pizza.

Our last activity followed the theme of our last book, pizza creation. Prior to Storytime I had gathered up images of not only traditional pizza toppings, such as peppers and onions, but also some avant garde selections, like ice cream and strawberries. I attached one image of each of our toppings to a different puppet, then handed out the additional images to the children. One by one, a puppet would appear holding a topping image, and the child with the matching one was able to come and drop it in a plastic cauldron. Once all of our toppings were added, I had the children help me shake the cauldron, then our hippo puppet dove in and pulled out our creation, the image of a large pizza with all our toppings on it! Once our pizza emerged, the children placed it on the board. While we assembled pizza toppings, we listened to “Pizza Pie” from the CD The Best of Silly Songs.


Pizza at Sally’s by Monica Wellington was our last book. Sally was the town pizza maker, and this story showed us just how she made her delicious pizzas. Sally grew tomatoes in the community garden, and used them to make her sauce. Sally also used flour for her dough that came from the local mill. As we read through the story, we watched as Sally assembled many different kinds of pizza, all of which looked ready to eat. This book would be a wonderful way to segue into lessons about locally grown food, and where the food children eat comes from.

We shook, danced and clapped our sillies out amongst the bubbles, along with Raffi from his CD More Singable Songs.

Taste and creativity took center stage at Storytime today.

Foxes will be our theme for next week!

After our May 17th Storytime, Toddler Move ‘N’ Read will be taking a break. Storytime will resume June 14th when, to celebrate Summer Reading, our theme will be Sports!!



May Day Fest

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May Day 2016_4

Just wanted to share with everyone all the fun we had this past
weekend celebrating May Day.

We made traditional flower crowns with not-so-traditional plastic flowers,
though we did have actual live flowers for decorations.

Games were played as well including a “Javelin” Throw and 9 Men’s Morris.
Click HERE to learn about 9 Man Morris.

May Day 2016_12

Of course there was dancing. You can’t celebrate Spring without the dancing.
We did a modified English Court Dance from the 18th Century and we danced the Maypole.

We mixed up our time periods and the musical soundtrack was of the
Electro Swing variety, but we’re Timelords and travel in time
so it’s pretty typical of our lot. You can click on Electro Swing to get an example.


Our snacks were equally springlike and included many types of fruits and melons.
We also had some shortcake and whip cream to accompany our strawberries.

  • – Mr. David

Happy Mother’s Day! – Toddler Move ‘N’ Read Storytime

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It’s that time of year again when we celebrate one of the most important people in our lives, our mom! Today our theme at Storytime was Mother’s Day. Our opening song was “If You’re Happy and You Know It” from 40 English Songs for Kids.

My Mommy by Susan Paradis was our first book. This simple, yet charming, story showed us all the ways a mother loved us. She made sure we got enough to eat, taught us to be brave and cheered us on no matter what we did. She took care of us, and was always there to wake us in the morning. Each illustration in this book showed not only a mother and daughter, but animal moms and babies as well. As we read through the story, I asked the children to point out where in the illustrations they saw the animals.

Our first activity all about mother animals and their babies. I obtained pictures of the mother animals and their babies, which were based on the John Butler book Whose Baby Am I?  from KizClub. I printed the pictures out and laminated them. For Storytime I had the pictures of the mother animals on a board, and I handed out the pictures of the babies to the children. Then, one by one, a puppet would emerge of one of the mother animals. The child with the matching baby was able to place their image on the board next to its mother. It was so wonderful to see when a child encountered their favorite animal, they became so enthusiastic! While we paired our mothers and babies, we listened to several songs including “Mother In You” by the Imagination Movers from their CD For Those About to Hop and “Mama Loves Baby” by Yo Gabba Gabba from their CD Music is Awesome!

Mommy is a Soft, Warm Kiss by Rhonda Gowler Greene was the next book we read. I love using this book for my Mother’s Day Storytimes. As the seasons progressed the children and I learned that the best experiences are those you shared with your mom. From building sand castles in the summer, or making Halloween costumes in the fall, life is better if it was shared with someone you loved. Greene’s book was written in rhyme and had such a lyrical flow to it.

I Love Ewe: An Ode to Animal Moms by Aaron Zenz was our next book. Every animal mom is known by it’s own special name. In this book we met a variety of animals, such as kangaroo’s and geese, and learned a lot about what different animal moms were called. We were surprised to discover that chicken moms were not the only ones to bear the title of ‘hens,’ lobster moms were called that as well. We also discovered that both bear and pig moms are called sows. Many animals that seemed very dissimilar, were called the same as moms.

Our previous story was all about animals, and our last activity revolved around them as well. I brought out the iPad and everyone was able to take turns listening to the different noises that animals made on the app Animal Sounds. This app had a series of small pictures of various animals. When you clicked on a certain picture, you were able to hear two different versions of the sound that animal made. Some of the most popular were cat, nightingale, panda and dolphin. While we listened to animals sounds, we also listened to “Mother’s Day” by Tom Chapin from his CD Moonboat.

A Mother’s Song by Janet Lawler was our last book. This beautiful story, written in rhyme, was a wonderful example of all the ways moms spent time with their children, all through the year. From helping them find the most beautiful rocks for their collections, to showing them new animals, to romping with them in the fall leaves and teaching them how to ice skate on wobbly legs. Most importantly, we learned that mothers were always there to guide, protect and take care of us.

Both of our activities today involved animal matching and identification. Activities such as the ones we engaged in today aid in children’s cognitive development by helping them analyze and process information. In our first activity, the children were asked to match up mother and baby using visual cues such as to how each of the animals resembled each other. In our second activity, the children were given labeled pictures of animals to choose from. Once an animal was selected, the children were able to identify the noise they heard with the animal they chose. In the case of younger children, activities that focus on matching and identification help increase vocabulary as well, they are not only learning the names of new animals, but also learning to pair those names with the actual animal through visual and auditory clues. This article from Global Post describes the benefits of activities that focus on cognitive development.

We danced, clapped and jumped our sillies out today, along with bubbles and to the music of Raffi, from his CD More Singable Songs.

Our craft today was cupcake flowers. Every child was able to pick out their favorite color of construction paper, as many paper cupcake holders as they liked, and an equal amount of pre-cut stems to go with their cupcake holders. The children first glued the stems, then the holders, to the construction paper in whatever way they liked. A finished touch involved adding sequins to the centers of their cupcake flowers.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Pizza will be our theme next week!

-Miss Jessica

Cluck, Cluck Little Chickens – Toddler Move ‘N’ Read Storytime

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Today we had fun with those birds that love to cluck, peck and strut, chickens. Our opening song was “If You’re Happy and You Know It” from 40 English Songs for Kids.

Since a all little chicks start off life as eggs, Mama Hen’s Big Day by Jill Latter was our first book. Mama Hen had a very big day, she was going to lay her first egg. The question, was where? Mama Hen spent the day searching everywhere, but no place was just right. The cozy cave she found already had an inhabitant, a snake. The calm meadow was a frequent playground for the cat. Mama Hen searched everywhere, with no luck, until she came upon the highest point of an isolated mountain. Finally having found the perfect spot, Mama Hen laid her egg. When her chick was born it discovered that the best place to be was wherever Mama was.

Our first activity tackled the scientific idea of making a translucent egg. Prior to Storytime, I placed three eggs in containers, and covered them with vinegar. I dyed the vinegar in two of the containers different colors, and left one uncolored. After approximately three days, I took the eggs out of the vinegar, and, gently, washed off the remaining shells, leaving three translucent eggs. The eggs were bouncy, and several sizes larger than when they started. During Storytime, I placed several eggs in cups, and handed out squirt bottles with vinegar. I had the children squirt the vinegar onto the eggs and watch the reaction. Bubbles formed as the vinegar began to dissolve the calcium in the egg shell. When the children were done making the eggs bubble, I brought out the three prepared translucent eggs to show them what would happen to an egg left in vinegar for several days. Everyone who wanted to was able to touch the eggs, and see how springy they felt. As a final element, I turned on a flashlight and showed everyone how you could see the yolk through the non-dyed translucent egg. While we melted away our eggshells, we listed to “Clucky, Clucky Chicken” from Sesame Street’s Hot! Hot! Hot Dance Songs and “The Chicken Dance” from  Easter Bunny’s Favorite Songs by The Hit Crew.

We laid an egg in our first book, and from that egg hatched a chick. Our second story, Wee Little Chick by Lauren Thompson continued the theme. The newest, smallest, little chick in the barn met all his new friends in this delightful story. As the Wee Little Chick saw each new animal that lived in the barn with him for the first time, they all commented on how small he was. The Wee Little Chick showed them though, that he could stand taller and cheep louder than any of his brothers or sisters. Each time a new farm animal was introduced in the book, the children shouted out it’s name. As we read through the story, the children pointed out all the different farm animals on each page.

In our stories thus far, the chickens had laid eggs and hatched chicks. Well, as everyone knows, chicks grow up to be chickens, and our next book Peggy: A Brave Chicken on a Big Adventure by Anna Walker showed us what amazing experiences a grown chicken could have. Peggy the chicken lived a very quiet life out in the country, with her neighbors the pigeons, until, one day, she got swept up by a gust of wind and deposited in a very unfamiliar place, the city. Peggy saw lots of things she had never seen before. People of all shapes and sizes, stores and even cars. Peggy found a way to adapt to her new environment, but it wasn’t like home, and she missed home. One day, Peggy saw a flock of pigeons fly overhead. She knew those pigeons, and knew if she followed them, they would lead her home, and they did. Peggy found herself back in her quiet house in no time. She enjoyed her adventure, but coming home felt really good too.

Our next activity was also scientific in nature. Prior to Storytime, I placed several eggs in various coverings, such as fabric, water, cling wrap and bubble wrap, sealed them all in plastic bags, and duct taped the zipper part of the bags to prevent a mess. During the activity, I brought out a large plastic cauldron, and our packaged eggs. I then told the children, we were going to see what items best protected the eggs, by throwing the bags, one at at time as hard as we could, into the cauldron. Several of the children were delicate about it at first, but as it became clear that the goal was to see if we could break the eggs, they took to it with enthusiasm. After some time, we discovered that bubble wrap and cardboard best protected the eggs, whereas water and cling wrap did the worst job. While we energetically broke our eggs, we listened to “Chickens” from Hap Palmer’s Animal Antics and “Chickens Go to Hawaii” from The Salamanders.

In our final story, Blue Chicken by Deborah Freedman, a grown up chicken wanted to try his hand at an artistic endeavor. There once was a lovely painting of a farm, until, one of the chickens in the painting wanted to make it better. He left his painting, looking for a way to make it more colorful, when he came across a jar of blue paint. In his excitement, he spilled the blue paint all over the painting. Now, the cows, the grass, the farm and even the chickens were all blue. Needless to say, the animals were not very happy. The chicken wanted to make amends, so he set about searching for a way to undo the mistake. He found it in a cup of water. When he spilled the water on the painting, it washed all the blue paint away, except for the portion coloring the sky, leaving the painting in it’s original, beautiful, state.

Miss Hen joined us in shaking dancing and clapping our sillies out with Raffi, and bubbles, at the end of Storytime today.

We start and end each Storytime with music and the children love any opportunity to move and dance around, especially when puppets are involved as they were with our final song. Puppets can be extremely beneficial to children as far as there development, as this article from Early Childhood News outlines. Puppets, when children use them in dramatic play, can help develop language abilities. Children channel their creative voices through the puppets. In addition, puppets can aid in developing confidence with speaking, and learning new words and phrases.

The chickens came home to roost at our Storytime today!

Mother’s Day will be our theme next week!

-Miss Jessica