Sunday, May 13, 2012

Baby Lap Time, 5/10/12 & 5/11/12

In the past 9 months or so since it first began, Baby Lap Time has become my favorite program. This series, in particular, was great because many of our little ones learned to crawl or walk over the course of the six weeks, and I got to see their progress week-to-week. The 6 weeks went by way too fast - even though I am in no way ready for the next session yet, I am excited for it!

Here is what we did during our last sessions this week:

Opening Song: Say Hello

Rhyme: Cheek Chin

Song: Bumpin' Up and Down in My Little Red Wagon 

Flannel Board: Let's Make a Noise

Book: What Does Baby Say? by Begin Smart Books (2008)This is my all-time favorite baby lap time book. I hope the families who have come to all three series so far aren't sick of it! (It doesn't seem like they are. The parents actually seem to really love it.)

Song: Tony Chestnut

Song: Eyes, Nose, Cheeky, Cheeky Chin
A dad who doesn't usually come to lap time commented, "This is too advanced for me."  It is tricky, but I think that is part of the fun for the grown-ups!

Book: All of Baby, Nose to Toes by Victoria Adler (2009)
I really expected parents to pick up on the "Me! I do!" refrain, but none of them did. And this book really is too long for babies. 

Rhyme:  I'm a Little Bumblebee
This has been my favorite rhyme of the entire series. I am thinking about rewriting it to suit animals like bats and owls for this summer.

Song: Mr. Sun 

Song: If You're Happy and You Know It

Songs with Shaker Eggs: 
I'm not yet decided whether I will use shaker eggs this summer. They seemed to become more of an annoyance to the adults than anything, and the process of handing them out and collecting them becomes more burdensome the bigger our groups get. I'm still thinking it over. 

Goodbye Song: Open, Shut Them Goodbye Song

After School Read-Aloud and Craft: Henry and Mudge, 5/3/12

I read through all the Henry and Mudge books in a couple of days at the end of April, and learned that Henry's birthday is May 1st. When it came time to choose a theme for the Thursday after school program, I decided to read some Henry and Mudge books and give the kids the supplies for making mastiff puppets.

The Read-Alouds: Two Henry and Mudge Tales
Book One: Henry and Mudge and the Careful Cousin by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Sucie Stevenson (1994)
I chose this book because it was checked in, for one thing, but also because it introduces Annie of the Annie and Snowball series. I think this book gets ignored by our Annie fans because they don't realize she's in it! As it turned out, my group was all boys, and none of them had ever read Henry and Mudge before, so it might have been lost on them, but they still seemed to like the differences between rough-and-tumble Henry and prissy Annie.

Book Two: Henry and Mudge and the Great Grandpas by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Sucie Stevenson (2005)
I chose this book because it was an award-winner, and I needed some way to narrow down my choices. The kids seemed to like it, though they didn't have much to say when prompted.

The Craft: Mastiff Puppets
I. Supplies 
  • Mastiff coloring page
  • Crayons
  • Tape
  • Popsicle Sticks
II. Prep
I created one puppet just to show how it was to be put together. This was a last-minute craft, so I didn't get too fancy. I did, however, post the puppet on my sign promoting the story time so that Henry and Mudge fans might be drawn in. (None were, as it turned out.)

III. Process
The particular group I had was mostly regulars who are familiar with my "take your supplies and do whatever you want" approach to crafts. Only one girl, a kindergartener, felt that she absolutely must make her dog look exactly like Mudge. The others all had rainbow dogs, or red dogs, or whatever.

The Display: The Henry and Mudge Series, plus Annie and Snowball
I put out an array of books from both series, but the kids didn't pick them up and read them as they usually do with displayed books. This might have been because they all look kind of the same, or because they were so engrossed in their craft projects.

I want to do something for Henry's birthday again next year, but this time, I'll give myself more time to come up with more activities!
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