Saturday, August 25, 2012

WMCIR: Halloween

We are still reading Monster Mash every evening. During our visit to the library this week, Bobo chose more monster books. He chose the Halloween Book by Jane Bull. I found some make-up at Menards, they also have costumes out! Bobo dressed up like a skeleton.

Algernon Graeves wants to dress as the scariest thing possible. He finds lots of options in his attic: ghost, mummy, vampire. I love the repetitive nature of the book and the juxtaposition of scary possibilities and comical outcomes.

The only white in this book are the ghosts! It is so cool. The way the story unfolds gives the child the opportunity to guess what will happen before turning each page. Bobo's asked for this one several times this week.

See what other blogger's children are reading at Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tot School: Math and Imaginative Play

Computer station
We are slowly working our way back into scheduled learning. We are still spontaneous with our play and activities in many respects, but I want to be sure we are learning the skills Bobo will need to start school and be ready to read. His fourth birthday is coming up, after all!

Educational television program
When Bobo wakes up, he has independent choice time. So far, I've given him the option of computer time, television time or V-tech Smile play time as these are things he can do on his own. He played Elmo's A to Zoo Adventure, which we checked out from the library. Some of the letter games are too challenging, at this point. He did better with the shape and color games. Bobo is a huge fan of The Magic School Bus shows, so we check out several each week. I think he's over Sesame Street at this point.

After breakfast, we head outside usually in pajamas. We have lots of active toys that I think are better suited to outdoors play like bowling, wiffle ball, frisbee and basketball. Bobo thinks they work inside as well.

Then, we work together on Tot Trays. With our trays, I'm focusing on an area of study with each one. For instance, these counting cubes are paired with dice and number puzzles and fall under the Math category. This is the first time Bobo tried any patterning, which he did without any prompting. Then, he built a transformer, lol.

Look closely. It's a robot in disguise!
Last Bobo has choice time with an emphasis on literacy. He can choose library time, book making or a book activity.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears finger puppet set.
It's definitely a work in progress, but I know Bobo appreciates it. He told me yesterday, "Mama, doing projects is my job." Of course, later on he told me, "Mama, playing video games is my job." 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Book Activity: The Very Hungry Caterpillar

I'll be honest. TVHC may be my favorite children's book of all time. That caterpillar is so stinking cute! It is the first flannel story I shared with a group of children after becoming a librarian. Unfortunately, Bobo doesn't share my enthusiasm for the story. So I brought in reinforcements...

After we shared the story, we got out the caterpillar that I brought home from work. He lives in my office! Bobo re-told the story by slipping the food into the little pockets on the sides of the toy. Then, we played with the wooden food, sorting, counting and imagining. There may be hope, yet!

Linking up with Read.Learn.Explore.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Book Activity: That's Not My Monster

One of the books we've had since Bobo was very little is That's Not My Monster by Fiona Watt. It has been a favorite from the very start. The book tells why each monster is not the right monster through descriptive sensory words.  "That's not my monster. Its horns are too rough."

I've been having a little trouble convincing Bobo that he can make a book. He says he doesn't know how. The bookmaking center is supposed to help with reading readiness, but I think it will have the added bonus of instilling self confidence. 

Since he was so reluctant to start a book. I suggested we use our favorite book for inspiration. First, we drew and decorated a monster on construction paper. Bobo made a sheriff monster and dubbed mine a spiky monster. We glued our pictures into the book once they dried and added our text. Voila, a book!

Linking up with TGIF and For the Kids Friday.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Simple Science: Breaking the Sound Barrier

Breaking the sound barrier is what happens when an object moves faster than sound and makes a sonic boom. A bullwhip is just such an object. One of the performers the library hired this summer was The Whip Guy.

In addition to giving a brief history of the whip, he also dazzled the crowd with injury-defying feats like snapping the buds off these flowers.

I found it very interesting and fun. Bobo? Not so much.

He had more fun playing with A!

Linking up with Simple Science Sunday.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

WMCIR: Where he mashes...

"Its called the MASH. The MONSTER MASH. Its a graveyard smash!"

Bobo is crazy for Monster Mash by David Catrow. He asks for it every night, "I need the book where he mashes." The book is an illustrated representation of the song by Bobby "Boris" Pickett. I am very fond of this song, so I sang it the first couple of times. We also listened to the original song on Youtube.

I quickly discovered, it wasn't my amazing vocal skill that sold this book. It's the illustrations! After the third or fourth time we read the book, Bobo started to ask questions (as he often does). "Why is the monster trying to kiss the cat? Where is Dracula's baby? Where's the crib keeper five?" Note: It took me awhile to figure out that last question.

The large, two-page illustrations are detailed and fun. They may be scary for sensitive readers, but my little guy loves them. The lyrics, of course, are a hit. Don't wait until Halloween to check this one out!

Our other must-read for this week is the Amazing Spider-Man Storybook Collection from Marvel. We've read several of these stories before, but there are some we've never seen. I like that they are all available in one place and I only need to check-out one book for a month's worth of reading. Bobo likes that it has Spider-Man, Venom and the Green Goblin. 

Bobo and I are always looking for new books. Leave a comment with some of your favorites. Happy reading!

I'm linking up at Hope is the Word.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tot School: PRE school days are here again

We've got lots more "stations" this year, so our school has spread out over the entire house. Husband has not complained and we only have the one kid, so... The changing table has been used for toy storage in the living room for almost a year now. I decided to use it for educational games and activities.

From Left to Right, Top to Bottom:
Barn (the animals are in a drawer)
Eric Carle Box-set
Nursery rhyme books
Push-pin numbers
Magnet Letters with monster letter flashcards on cookie sheet
Coloring books
Counting cubes with number puzzles
Dry-erase center with superhero practice writing shapes

Our library is in Bobo's room. I started sorting our books by topic, so I can rotate them and it won't be so overwhelming to choose one for reading time.

From Left to Right, Top to Bottom:
Play books (books with fingerpuppets and regular puppets)
Tag books (these are loaded and ready to go)
Concept books
Just my size books (little books- size-wise)
Baby Bug magazines

Bobo's writing center has blank books to write in, a basket of favorite books, writing tools and some art supplies. It also doubles as his computer work station as he uses my laptop. You can see a little bit of his imaginative play area with the play stove in the background.

In the works:
Cleaning school room to make a circle time area and art area
Going through the boxes of school supplies in the basement
Making the back deck into an outdoor learning area

Now that's out there and I have to follow through! I'd love to see others play/school areas, so leave me a comment and I'll visit your blog.

I'm linking up with The Kid's Co-Op and Tot School.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Book Activity: Chloe by Peter McCarty

Chloe is the middle child in a large family of bunnies. Her family spends their evenings playing games and being together until her father brings home a television. Only Chloe and her littlest sister don't like spending their family fun time in front of the tube.

As I was reading Chloe to Bobo for the first time, I made the disturbing discovery that he had never "popped bubbles." What's she doing, mama? he asked sweetly. How can a child make it to the age of three and a three-quarters without ever enjoying this past-time? Poor, Bobo.

Oh, yes, popping bubbles is fun.

Really fun.

Really super fun!

I think you got them all.

As a result of this super, fun activity every child should do before the age of 5, we have filled the back seat of our car with sheets of bubble wrap. It never gets old. Pop! Pop, pop! Pop, pop, pop!

Linking up with Tuesday Tots and Read Explore Learn.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Flannel Friday: Knock, Knock... Who's There?

I found these houses in my inherited files, but they didn't have a rhyme. The size of the houses gets smaller with each one you take off. They are all different colors. I'm making a Bird theme story box for our Fall programs, and I thought these would work well. So I made a rhyme...

Who's There?
by Miss Courtney
Knock, knock, knock.
Who's there?
Is there a bird hiding somewhere?

Then, you flip the house over to see if it's a bird. Hmm... Nope, it's just a pig hiding.

Knock, knock, knock.
Who's there?
Is there a bird hiding somewhere?

Yes, there is a bird hiding in the green house. Could there be more?

You can substitute "bird" for any other animal or item and hide it in the house. This might be a fun activity to have each week. Find more Flannel Friday ideas on Falling Flannelboards and check out our Pinterest group.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What's Miss Courtney been doing all Summer?

I've been reading, of course. I panicked about finishing my reading challenge for the year. I'm hosting this challenge on Goodreads in a wonderful group of reading fanatics and challenge junkies, Romance Readers Reading Challenges. I'm still about 10% behind but giving myself until the end of August to really get back on track. If you are curious about reading challenges, check out some of the other ones I've done over the past couple of years. Sometimes, you need a little motivation to keep reading!

A to Z: Super Series Challenge
Duration: January 1st 2012 to December 31st 2012

A Alcatraz Smedry adventures
Alcatraz versus the Knights of Crystallia FINISHED 7/18
Alcatraz versus the Shattered Lens
B Bloodlines
The Golden Lily FINISHED 8/7
C The Chronicles of Prydain
Book of Three FINISHED 7/5
The Black Cauldron CD
The Castle of Llyr CD
Taran Wanderer CD
The High King CD
D Drake Chronicles
The Blood Feud FINISHED 2/28
Out for Blood FINISHED 3/14
Bleeding Hearts FINISHED 7/1
Blood Moon FINISHED 8/1
E Thief Errant by Elizabeth C. Bunce
Starcrossed FINISHED 3/7
Liar's Moon FINISHED 4/20 
F Flappers
Ingenue FINISHED 3/4
G Georgina Kincaid
Succubus Dreams FINISHED 1/6
Succubus Heat FINISHED 3/26
Succubus Shadows FINISHED 4/24
Succubus Revealed FINISHED 5/24
H Hourglass
Timepiece FINISHED 7/23
I Insatiable
Overbite FINISHED 6/29
J Firelight by Sophie Jordan
Hidden: September 11, Holds List
K Riders of the Apocalypse by Jackie Morse Kessler
Loss: Requested for purchase
L L.A. Candy
Sweet Little Lies
Sugar and Spice: ebook
M Morganville Vampires
Midnight Alley FINISHED 1/20
Feast of Fools FINISHED 2/16
Lord of misrule FINISHED 6/20
Carpe Corpus FINISHED 7/2
Fade Out FINISHED 7/21
Kiss of Death FINISHED 7/25
Ghost Town- ebook on hold list
Bite Club- ebook on hold list
N Need by Carrie Jones
Endure FINISHED 7/14
O Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien
Promised: October 2
P Parasol Protectorate
Timeless FINISHED 3/18
Q Vampire Queen
Infinite Days FINISHED 8/1
R Rangers Apprentice
The Kings of Clonmel FINISHED 2/22
Halt's Peril FINISHED 6/9
The Emperor of Nihon-Ja
The Lost Stories: ebook
S Sookie Stackhouse Series
Deadlocked FINISHED 5/24
T Theatre Illuminata
Eyes Like Stars FINISHED 3/11
Perchance to Dream
So Silver Bright
U Uglies
Specials FINISHED 7/5
Extras: CD
V Vampire Princess of St. Paul series
Almost Final Curtain FINISHED 7/28
Almost Everything FINISHED 8/1
W Witch
Always a Witch- Currently Listening
Truth FINISHED 2/20
Y Healing Wars by Janice Hardy
The Shifter
Blue Fire
Z Megan Berry, Zombie settler (1)
Undead Much FINISHED 6/23

Saturday, August 4, 2012

WMCIR: Slide Already!

This board book chronicles one boy's first experience with a slide. It lends itself to lots of interaction with your little reader. I asked Bobo what each child was feeling. So for the cover he said the little boy about to slide was sad, but everyone else was happy. This gives me good insight to how he views a story.

We've begun the birthday countdown, 22 days to go! A Birthday for Cow is a wonderfully, silly story about getting exactly what you want for your birthday. It also reminds the reader that the little things can be the best gifts.

I shared Camping in Green for storytime and the children went wild. If you haven't seen this color series by Christianne Jones, they are very interactive and have a seek-and-find aspect to them. Bobo's favorite red crayon to find was the one hidden in the farmer's back pocket.

Bobo finished his Summer Reading Club card at the library, so we'll get back to blogging about our favorites in the next couple of weeks.