Dec 15, 2016

WonderWorks on the Road: Ramps

A very portable, take-along project, perfect for preschoolers!

Today's Topic: Ramps
cove molding (See details here)
blocks (from the classroom's own collection)


cover art Two little chicks / Gorbachev, Valeri
(older version of this book are titled "Chicken Chickens")

Dec 14, 2016

Winter Wild Rumpus, Week 2

What changes and new adventures did we see in week 2 of the Winter Wild Rumpus?  Read on!

Almost immediately, as soon as we were done with the opening activities, the same child who put a pool on top of the carts last week to make a "house" went to try it again.  Unfortunately, we'd placed the carts a little wider than last time and the pool didn't span the gap. Instead, she propped the pool up on the side of the carts to make a "lean-to" kitchen, then she developed a new plan for the roof:

 Bedsheet + clamps!  Plus, check out the "hardwood floor" she laid this week, complete with a carefully crafted front edge that lines up despite offset planks!
A tour of the inside reveals curtains (with extra fancy tulle swoops at the top) that provide "privacy" for the "bedroom" (bottom shelf of the cart).
More play after the jump!

Dec 13, 2016

Winter Wild Rumpus, week 1

This was the very first week of a new program I'm rolling out at the library this winter.  This is the first of three pilot weeks as I test out elements for a new program I'll be rolling out in January.

We started by having kids make "nametags" by writing their name on a full sheet of paper, then hanging that paper on a clothesline (hooray for fine-motor pincer practice, a pre-writing skill!). (also, shout-out of thanks to Holly Storck-Post for this clothesline idea.  I love brainstorming with you!)

Then I started the program with a song that I changed the lyrics slightly to fit the program and a brief explanation of AnjiPlay and some photos from my trip to China.  We went over the "5 rules for adults" (Hands down, Mouth closed, eyes open, ears open, heart open) then I reminded everyone that at the end of play, they should draw a play story on the same sheet of paper that they clipped to the clothesline and then.... we started the play!

Dec 11, 2016

Special report: Podcasts for Kids!

I've been listening to podcasts in the van with my kids lately.  They are ages 2 & 6 and now whenever we get into the car, they both loudly request that we listen to their current favorite (whichever that is).  I learned about our favorites through the ZooGlobble blog (also an excellent resource for discovering great kids music), but I thought I'd share our favorites in case you, or your library patrons, are seeking something different to listen to on an upcoming road trip (or just across town to get some groceries).  All of these podcasts are free to download and listen to and you can subscribe to them so that you get notifications when new episodes are available.

These are ranked in order of preference of my 6 year old son:

#6 -- Story Pirates Podcast
"Kids write stories, we act 'em out and kids write more" says their theme song and that's pretty much what this podcast is all about.  Kids' original tales (complete with ridiculousness and non-sequiturs) read in their original form, then dramatically re-enacted by the Story Pirates cast, often with extra music and sound effects and sometimes story details added in.

#5 -- Gather 'Round Kids
An improv group tells kids stories around the microphone.  The recording quality on these is uneven (some voices are often louder than others), but my kids both enjoyed this whole series.

#4 -- Shabam!
Hilarious, fast-paced science drama adventure!  Learn interesting scientific information within a storyline about a zombie epidemic.  This is one of my favorites to listen to!

#3 -- The Radio Adventures of Eleanor Amplified
Retro-styled antics of a radio reporter named Eleanor Amplified.  Follow her adventures as she is aided by a motley crew of characters (including "Captain Conn Seannery") in their attempts to thwart and expose the evil plottings of Angela Brandt and her corporation MegaBlurg.

#2 -- The Imaginary Accomplishments Podcast
Silliness in the extreme! A variety show being broadcast from a rocketship exploring the galaxy, hosted by two large space bunnies, Marvy and Finch.  My favorite feature are the ads for things like "Holitos, the snack that's only holes." Tons and tons of puns, you might need to listen to this one more than once to catch all the jokes as they're often quite subtle and I'm guessing that many go over my son's head, but I still enjoy them.

#1 -- The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian
This is the podcast that my son asks about every day when I pick him up from school.  "Is there a new Finn Caspian yet, mom?" (New episodes come out each week!) An original space adventure written and hosted by Jonathan Messinger and his "editor" and son, Griffin.  We are huge fans of the robot character (I won't spoil the surprise of his name which we don't learn until a few episodes in).  My librarian self LOVES that this podcast includes tons of literary references, not only to classic kid lit but also to really great fresh, current books for kiddos.  Top marks!

Do you have favorite podcasts for kids?  Please share a link and description in the comments section below!  I hope you discover a new favorite here on this list!

Dec 10, 2016

The Supper Club presents: Apps about Emotions

When kids know more specific words for emotions (like "frustrated" or "furious" instead of just "mad") it's easier for us to help them find the right ways to handle their feelings.  Here are some great apps that both directly and indirectly offer opportunities to talk to kids about different emotions.

Silly Snouts by Three Little Witches (iOS, 99c)

Chomp by Fox & Sheep (iOS, $2.99)

Breathe Think Do by Sesame Street (iOS & Android, free)

Fiete Match by Ahoiii (iOS & Android, $2.99)

Gigglebug’s Face Race by Gigglebug Entertainment (iOS only, $2.99)

Peek-A-Zoo HD by Duck Duck Moose (free, iOS only)

Sago Mini Dress Up by Sago Mini (free, iOS only)
--This cute baby animals aren't afraid to show you how they feel about the clothes you choose for them!

Tinybop’s Me (iOS only, $2.99)
--I love how it asks users what color makes them think of certain emtions!

Take out box:
Toontastic by Launchpad Toys (iOS only, FREE (originally a $20 app, now it's free because Google bought it.  Hooray!))
--check out the moods the different music sliders can set!

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