Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Guess Who, Elmo!

As are most kids her age, Little Girl is completely in love with Elmo. She asks for him all the time... DVDs at home, CDs in the car, books, she even sleeps with an Elmo doll...

One of her favorite Elmo books is this one, which we just had to pick for the start of March. We are reading:

Guess Who, Elmo! by Wendy Wax.

This is a fun lift-the-flap book where we get to learn about some of our favorite Sesame Street characters. (Can you have favorite Sesame Street characters if, like Little Girl, you have never actually seen an e[isode of Sesame Street?) At the end of the book it tells how the characters now want to learn about you, which is what our craft is going to be. I haven't had the chance to make it yet, but we will be creating our our Learn About Little Girl (with her real name, of course) book where she can draw some of her favorite things. As soon as there are pictures, Iwill let you know!

I can't wait to see what creative activities you come up with for this fun book!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sammy Spider's First Shabbat

I can't believe we are halfway through February already! Time flies when you are reading and crafting and playing your days away. And what are we reading these days? That would be:

Sammy Spider's First Shabbat by Sylvia A. Rouss

I love Shabbat (Sabbath). One day every week where I not only don't have to do "work," but I am not allowed to! A mandated day of rest. How lovely... And the celebration of Shabbat is such a wonderful family time. We always have Shabbat dinner together, and it has already become a tradition which Little Girl enjoys, too.

For about a year now (maybe more...) I have been making challah almost every week for Shabbat dinner. It is a traditional bread to eat on Friday nights as a part of the ceremonial welcoming of the sabbath. Little Girl has been helping me make my challahs for as long as she's been alive I think. At the end of this book there is a recipe for challah. We decided to make it together after reading all about Sammy Spider's first Shabbat.

Happy reading, happy baking, and happy restful reading with your little ones! Let us know how you celebrate and relax together!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

If You Give a Moose a Muffin

For the start of February I decided to combine two of the things I do with Little Girl the most into one Book Club event: reading and baking! We are reading (and eating our way through):

This is a book I have loved for years. The whole series of them, in fact, are among those which I used to consider stand-bys when I used to lead storytime. These are great books to help children understand the idea of cause and effect, which is how I would use them in the classroom. But Little Girl is still a little young for that concept. So we have stuck to more concrete activities.

The first thing we did was, of course, baking muffins! (And, no, not from a mix.) We had been having some very snowy days, which meant Hubby was home and working hard to shovel. Me being pregnant, and someone having to play with Little Girl, meant that I needed something to do inside...! We made apple-cranberry muffins, which were a real treat right out of the oven. Unfortunately our camera battery died partway through the mixing process, so there aren't as many pictures as I would have wanted, but you'll get the idea of the fun and the yumminess from these!

Little Girl is turning into such a great kitchen helper! And she totally understands relating the projects to the books! When we started this next activity, she kept saying "Moose! Moose!" and indicating the book... After the muffins, we made sock puppets!
I honestly don't think I ever made sock puppets before, and I kind of think it showed in the final project. My glue didn't stick things to the socks, and we wound up relying on Sharpie markers to make out critters, but Little Girl had a blast, and kept wanting the puppets to kiss her, so it can't have been a complete failure!

There are so many possibilites of things to do with this wonderful book. I would love to see what you and your little ones come up with!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Firefighters A to Z

This past summer we attended our first block party in our new neighborhood. One of the fun activities was the arrival of a firetruck from one of our local companies. The kids got the chance to climb aboard and see what it was like. They were also given plastic firefighter helmets, which Little Girl loved. Then this past Novermber, when it was time to vote, Little Girl got to visit a firehouse, as that is our polling place. There, too, she acquired a firefighter's helmet, only this one was pink. (And we accidentally took two, as they were stuck together.)

Recently Little Girl rediscovered a book which we have had since before she was born. And she has been insistant that we must both be wearing our firefighter helmets while read:
Firefighters A to Z by Chris L. Demarest.

This is a great alphabet book, and it really explains the process firefighters go through as they answer their calls. As much fun as Little Girl was having simply reading the book and wearing her helmet, I thought she might want to take it to the next level with her own fire truck!
I used an empty diaper box, construction paper, glue, and a lot of help from a fabulous girl!
Here's how it went...

Little Girl loved the glue stick... And she insisted that the dalmation join in on the fun, as "D is for Dalmation, a firehouse must." While she was a little disappointed when the gluing was done, she was more than happy to climb aboard her new truck, ride around and read her book. It was great!

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Welcome to 2011!! A new year of reading together!
To start the year off right, I have chosen another oldie-but-goodie. This book will hopefully set the tone for the new year, encouraging new friends, new adventures, and a continued enjoyment for the wonderful things in life.
For the start of the month (and year!) we are reading:

Corduroy by Don Freeman

I love this book. Little Girl loves it, too. I hope you do as well. We will be starting the year with new adventures and explorations, just like out little brown buddy. And we will be enjoying our opportunities to be with our "old" friends as well as to make new ones.

May this year bring love, laughter, joy and great books to you and your family!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Peekaboo Kisses

Oops... We have been reading this book for a bit now, and I was all ready to post it yesterday... Then it just didn't happen... Sorry about that!

For the end of December, we are reading one of our favorite books! It is:Peekaboo Kisses by Barney Saltzberg

This is a touch and feel book, which Little Girl loves. That also means that she has been able to enjoy the book for a long time, since she could feel the different textures before she could identify the animals or turn the pages on her own. Now she likes to help her "babies" touch the animals! It is so much fun to watch her share books!!

She also has become a big fan of playing peekaboo herself! She will hide her face to play, or she will hide the face of one of her toys and play with them!! While you can't see it, there is a huge smile behind that fabric!
So get out there and play peekaboo with your little buddies! And don't forget the kisses! They are extra important, too!
Happy holiday season to you and your families. I hope everyone has a safe and happy season filled with love, laughter and lots of shared reading!!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hanukkah Lights

Yesterday was a travel day for us, but it was also the first day of Hanukkah! (Or Channukah, or Hannukka... however you spell it in English!) To celebrate, our book for the start of December is:

Hanukkah Lights by David Martin, illustrated by Melissa Sweet.

In celebration of the holiday, we are lighting candles, making and eating potato latkes, playing with our stuffed Juday Macabee and more! Pictures will follow as the holiday proceeds.

Let us know how you are celebrating. And if you don't celebrate Hanukkah, that's ok too! Tell us how you are getting ready to celebrate your holiday with your family and friends!!

Here is one way we like to celebrate: making Hanukkah cookies!!