Friday, October 29, 2010


Halloween is always fun. I dress up (nothing too scary) and always encourage the kids to come in costume as well. This year I did a monster theme and dressed up as a generic monster (just because I had the horns and a large shirt already at home).

I made a glove puppet with a monster for each finger and did a fingerplay of "5 Scary Monsters" that I found on
Five scary monsters howling out a roar,
One ran away, and then there were four.
Four scary monsters hiding in a tree,
One fell out, and then there were three.
Three scary monsters eating spider stew,
One got sick, and then there were two.
Two scary monsters having lots of fun,
One ran off, and then there was one.
One scary monster, afraid to be a hero,
He ran away, and then there were zero. 

 Monster Munchies by Laura Numeroff
A counting book showing more and more monsters eating various things. At the end it says "...better close this book up tight before they chew on you!", and I slammed the book shut and sat on it so the monsters didn't get out. The kids all thought that was hilarious and they kept telling me ways to keep the monsters from escaping the book.

My Monster Mama Loves Me So by Laura Leuck
Shows all the ways a monster mama shows she loves her little monster. Kids especially enjoyed the gross parts like swimming in the swamp and drinking lizard juice.

 Jeremy Draws a Monster by Peter McCarty
 Jeremy never leaves his room until a monster that he draws makes increasing demands. Jeremy finally draws a suitcase and a bus ticket for the monster and goes to play with the neighbor kids. This was one of the favorite books this week and the kids giggled at all the requests the monster made (I made sure to read them quickly and in a monster-y voice).

Even Monsters Need Haircuts by Matthew McElligott
 Where do monsters get their hair cut? I read this book to the older kids and they though it was okay - they were mostly interested in recognizing the various monsters (werewolf, medusa, skeleton) than in the actual story. This might be one that would do better with multiple readings where the kids can ask more questions, or as a book to pass the time while waiting for getting their own hair cut.

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak 
I told the kids that was finally going to read the very best monster book in the world and brought out "Where the Wild Things Are". Always a classic, and kids get excited when I read a book that they are familiar with. And who doesn't love Max?

Keeping with the "monster" theme, we made monster picture frames for them to put their Halloween photo in. I took a sheet of foam, cut a rectangle shape out of the middle (a little bit smaller than a 4x6 photo would be) and had them glue different sized googly eyes all around the edge. We glued a magnet strip to the top and bottom of the frame. They then would tape a photo behind it, and hang a monster photo on the fridge!

Next week we're making cookies!
This theme was used the week of October 25, 2010.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Despite the fact that one of our staff members is deathly afraid of snakes, I went ahead with the theme for this week. I tried to save the realistic looking books for when she was out of sight, though.

I brought my son's stuffed animal snake and we talked about different kinds of snakes. I had meant to do "I'm Being Swallowed by a Boa Constrictor", but got distracted as we started talking about rattlesnakes instead. So I ran to the back room, got my basket of maracas and we all sang "If You're a Snake and You Know It" instead. Made sure to put away all the maracas after the song was done as some of the kids were really getting into shaking them and I figured that we wouldn't be able to hear the stories otherwise.

Snakes Slither and Hiss by Fiona Lock
 This non-fiction reader was the favorite book this week. Talking about different snakes and what they can do, each page ended with a "Hissss" that everyone joined in on.

I Am a Big Snake by Lidia Di Blasi and Nuria Roca
I actually have this book at home. It is a board book, but the text is above the board-book level, and the illustrations are downright creepy, they're so realistic (snake with fangs bared, snake eating eggs). But I love it and had to bring it for storytime.

The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash by Trinka Hakes Noble
Remember this one? A story told backwards, a girl relates the end of her field trip, then what happened before, then a little before that until the whole story comes out. Wonderful illustrations by Steven Kellogg make this a both a good book for reading out loud, and nice one to look at over and over to really appreciate what's going on in each picture.

Did two different activities (actually 3) depending on the age of the group. For the youngest, we made snakes out of play dough. Nothing that complicated there, and good tactile stimulation for the little ones. For the older group, I printed out the head and numbers 1-5 of this number snake from DLTK kids and had them color, cut, and glue it together.

Next week we'll be doing Halloween!
This theme was used the week of October 18, 2010.