Friday, March 27, 2009

Calling All Fans of Firefighters!

"The firefighter is a person in your neighborhood, in your neighborhood, in your neighborhood...

Oh, the firefighter is a person in your neighborhood, a person that you meet each day!"

-- Sesame Street

This Tuesday you'll get to meet firefighter, Captain Aaron, from Engine Company 8 of the Milwaukee Fire Department! Here he is (on our far right, photo courtesy of MFD website) with his teammates who this February...

"...participated in the American Lung Association’s Climb Wisconsin. The firefighters, who placed fourth in the competition among other city firefighters, wore full turnout gear while climbing their way up the U.S. Bank Building’s 47 stories, 94 flights of stairs, and 1,034 steps. The MFD firefighters were the only firefighters in the Climb Wisconsin Firefighter’s Challenge to make the climb on air—wearing full masks and breathing from their SCBAs." -- from the MFD website (Yes, I googled him, and I'm sure we'll find out tomorrow what a "SCBA" is!)

Captain Aaron will come to storytime dressed in his gear. By referencing a few pages from a giant Curious George book, he'll show/teach us about the equipment a firefighter uses. He has books about firefighting to share in our book box, and firefighter hats and coloring books for the children to take home. It should be a fun and informative time for little ones and grown-ups alike. Hope you can join us!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Leprechauns & Broccoli Brooms

From our St.Patrick's Day morning together, as promised...

SONGS we sang:

HI! HO! ST.PATRICK'S DAY! (The Farmer In The Dell)
The shamrock is green, the shamrock is green...
Hi, Ho! St.Patrick's Day! The shamrock is green!

...Or whatever other creative phrases you can come up with to substitute into this verse! The rainbow's in the sky...The leprechaun is small...The pot is full of gold...You caught the leprechaun...And now the gold is yours...

The leprechauns are marching!
They're marching down the HALL.
They're marching on the ceiling.
They're marching on the WALL.

Now they're marching two by two,
And now it's four by FOUR.
What? You say you can not see them?
Look out! Here come some MORE!

FINGER PLAYS we learned:

Do your ears point up? (tug on top of ears)
Do you have a lot of luck? (cross fingers on both hands)
For gold, do you dig? (pretend to be digging)
Can you dance the Irish jig? (dance)
If you answered YES, (nod head)
You're a leprechaun I guess! (hold hands out, palms up)

A leprechaun is small & green. (hold hand down low to floor)
He hides where he can not be seen. (cover eyes with hands)
But if you catch one on this day, (pretend to catch)
He must give his gold away! (pretend to throw gold up in air)

This week while focusing on the color GREEN, we talked about loving our green veggies. Here are some ideas I had to share - my daughter not only eats these, but requests them!

Steam broccoli. Have your child help you sprinkle parmesan cheese on an empty plate. Make a big deal that the "floor is messy and needs to be swept!" Model for your little one the use of the broccoli spear to sweep up the parmesan cheese. Finally, "eat the broom!" Be silly and have fun with it. Create a purposeful mood, "Oh NOOOO! The floor is soooo MESSY! Who is going to clean that up???"

The Japanese word for soybean. Can be found in the frozen food section of both Sendik's and Outpost. Be sure to buy the ones that are still in the shell. Steam those babies up, then deshell and eat. Sometimes we like to hold them up to the light to see the dark shadow of the beans inside the shell. We count the bumps and sort them into piles according to how many beans in each. Fine motor skills fun and a great source of protein!

You won't believe how great these are! Wash and chop kale. Be sure to devein the tough center stalk. Toss with olive oil and a little salt or parmesan cheese. Spread onto a cookie sheet and roast at 400 degrees for 7 minutes. Turn them and then roast for 7 more minutes. Eat them like chips or crumble over mac and cheese. Good on top of soup too. Enjoy the nutty taste and the crispy, melt-in-your-mouth texture!

If you have any green vegetable ideas that go over well at your house, do share!

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Rainbow Connection

"Someday we'll find it,
The rainbow connection...
The lovers, the dreamers and me."
-- Paul Williams

Droplets of water and sunlight come together to give us the amazing gift of rainbows! So for the month of March, and during these dreary days of recession, let us celebrate the natural phenomenon that is legend to lead us to prosperity!

We'll explore the colors of the rainbow through:


Duckie's Rainbow by Frances Barry
The Mixed-Up Chameleon by Eric Carle
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.
White is For Blueberry by George Shannon
A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni


I'm a Great Big Rainbow (sung to I'm a Little Teapot)

I'm a great, big rainbow in the sky...
See my pretty colors way up high!

Red, orange, and yellow, green and blue...
Now watch what rain and sun make me do!

When it starts to rain and the sun comes out...
Watch my colors all come out!


Color Soup! (we'll substitute different fruits and colors in this verse)

Take some cherries, put them in a pot. (pretend to put something in a pot)
Stir them up, stir them up, stir them up a lot! (use both hands for stirring motion)
Pour it out. Now, what will it be? (pretend to pour and then shoulder shrug)
The prettiest RED - you ever did see! (point to something red)

Because we'll be identifying colors in this fingerplay, be inspired to dress colorfully this month! Matching rules don't apply.

Also, if you have any fun rainbow art ideas from home, please feel free to bring and share!

Finally, sorry to disappoint any Kermit fans out there, but Jason Mraz's is my recent version of choice...

To a color-filled month!

PLEASE NOTE: On our final Tuesday in March, in lieu of our regular format, we will have a special storytime visitor!