Saturday, October 29, 2011

Three Days of Halloween Fingerplays! - Day One

Dress Up
A pretty princess wears a crown (form circle above head)

Bunny's ears flop up and down (place hands above head and move up & down)

A beautiful ballerina dances to and fro(dance)

A funny clown laughs "Ho, ho, ho"

2 green eyes shine from a cat(circle eyes)

A scary witch wears a pointy hat (form point with arms above head)

Jack-O-Lanterns shine so bright (form circle with arms)

Happy children on Halloween night!

Cute Flannel Board from Preschool In Bloom

Five Little Pumpkins
Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate (hold up fingers for pumpkins)

The first one said "Oh my! It's getting late" (wiggle thumb)

The second one said, "There are witches in the air" (wiggle pointer)

The third one said "But we don't care" (wiggle middle)

The fourth one said "Let's run and run and run" (wiggle ring)

The fifth one said "It's Halloween fun"  (wiggle pinky)

Ooooooh went the wind

And out when the lights (clap hands to the word "out")

And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight (roll arms)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wordless(ish) Wednesday--Lil' Man Is Sick. :(

Our pediatrician is making bu-koo bank off Little Man lately. We have been to see her once a week for the past 3 weeks. Today, I think I heard my wallet sigh when we went to check out. Here's the rundown:

Week One: Sinus infection
Week Two: 18 month check-up (With 2 shots)
Week Three (Today): Sinus infection AND ear infection

And though I'm being driven utterly insane by all of the whining, meals that go uneaten, and sleepless nights, I still flash back to my precious little baby when he falls asleep on me--boogers and all.

Little Man and Buddha Belly at two weeks old
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Little Man at 18 months (sick the first time--note the unhappy face)
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{Wordless Wednesday Link-Up: 5 mins for momResourceful Mommy, jenni from the blog,  The Paper MamaAnd then she snappedSlice O Heaven and Live and Love Outloud Whew! I'm pooped!}

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Early Literacy "handouts" -

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I'm in a blogging funk. I've been searching the web for a particular video to share with you, and can't find it to save my life. Rar. So in an effort to keep you abreast of all things Early Literacy. I decided to give you a little reading homework, or at least some reference sheets. :)

I came across today. And found this "handout" on ways to support your child's every day learning and thought I'd share it. There are some great ideas, and it's in both English and Espanol.

There is also another "handout" that explicitly discusses Early Literacy; what it is, what kids can do, and how to choose books to create interest in reading. Check it out here. This one, unfortunately, is only in English. is a national non-profit that focuses on children's growth, health, and development from ages zero to three. Their website contains a vast variety of resources for parents and caregivers to improve the lives of infants and toddlers.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Parents Magazine--Spotlight on Raising Readers

Mo Willems
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I just received my copy of Parents magazine in the mail yesterday, and was delighted to see that the November 2011 issue is all about raising readers.

Two of my favorite features in this month's issue are "YOUR CHILD-THRIVE IN 2025: Hit the Books" and "Read, Cook, Love".

"Hit the Books" is a fabulous article in which famous authors and illustrators like Mo Williams, author of the Knuffle Bunny series, talk about how they encourage and support a love of reading in their children.

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"Read, Cook, Love" showcases recipes that come from favorite children's books like: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Chicken Soup With Rice, The Runaway Bunny, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The recipes are super fun, and allow kids to "play" with, as well as make choices about thier food, making even the pickiest eaters likely to indulge.

Though you will have to purchase (or check it out at your library) the November 2011 issue of Parents in order to read some of these stellar articles (I think they are too new to be listed on the website-at least I can't find them), you can find various resources in the "Raise A Reader" section of their website. You'll find:
Any MANY MANY other resources.

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While you are checking out these resources, you should be aware that Parents is hosting a contest where kids can win gift cards for books, as well as money for their school libraries. Find the details by following the links here, because who doesn't love free books?!?!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Have You Ever Wanted To Be A Fairy Princess?

Well, I have. And I'm not ashamed to admit it.

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One of the best ways to encourage early literacy, is to encourage imagination through impromtu storytime. So what better way to tell a story together, than to play dress up with your kids. You can be a fairy princess, this means you too dads!

Encourage your child to make up the story and play along. It's fun to start with old stand-bys, like "Once Upon A Time". You can even adapt fairytales into daily life. One example is The Princess and The Pea.

At naptime, if your child can't sleep read The Princess and The Pea together. At the end you can say s/he must really be a princess or prince because maybe there's a pea under the matress. Hunt around looking for the pea, pull out the magic pea--it can even be invisible/imaginary if your child will buy it. Once the pea is removed even princesses and princes should be able to sleep. :)

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One of the best places for dress up clothes that I have found is Melissa and Doug. They have tons of different dress up clothes, from hairstylist, to police and fire person, to knights and princesses. They've got a big selection, that goes beyond what you might find at the average big box store. The dress up clothes are cute for Halloween too, and aren't too expensive. You can even sign up to recive coupons to save some money!

**Super special savings secret--Right now there's a coupon code for 15% off any dress-up costume! Enter code: NCOSTUME15 at check out**

Friday, October 14, 2011

Are you having a Quiet or a Loud kind of day?

 I never thought that someone would write a book solely on the concepts of being loud or quiet. That said, The Quiet Book and The Loud Book by Deborah Underwood, published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children deserve attention.
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I was smitten by The Quiet Book at first read. The book follows several animal characters and the different types of quiet they engage in, like the times you are quiet when you are supposed to be (telling a secret or suprising someone), and the times your are quiet beacuase there is simply nothing else to be (disappointment and shock). The types of quiet in the book are a teaching tool for parents to express when to be quiet, as well as a source of humor. My favorite kind of quiet, "Thinking of a good reason you were drawing on the wall quiet". Ultimately, the book is a bed-time story, with the characters falling asleep at the end, but it is definately an any time book.

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 The sequal to The Quiet Book, The Loud Book, is just as humorous and enjoyable. Of course, this book focuses on the loud moments of life, following the same animal characters. It is also told as a bedtime story, with the animals trying to sleep in the end, but it is too loud. The parental humor is also on par in this sequal, with jokes that only parents will understand. My favorite parental humor type of loud "deafening silence loud".

These books are fabulous and Ms. Underwood should be commended for creating such creative stories that not only appeal to children, but to thier parents. Pick up a copy of The Quiet Book or The Loud Book at or at your local library!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wordless(ish) Wednesday-Baby's First Halloween

As a mom, some of the sweetest events in life are baby's firsts. With Halloween fast approaching, I found myself looking through last year's Halloween photos. Lil Man's First Halloween. He was 7 months old. He was adorable. He was, dare I say, TINY. And this Halloween, he'll be 19 months, have a set of teeth to actually eat candy with, and be able to walk door to door on his first trick-or-treating adventure. I can only hope that this year's Halloween will live up to last years'.
Little Man and Dear Husband plotting the design they'll carve into the  pumpkin

Lil Man playing with the pumpkin "goo". He loved it!

Lil' Man is SUPER EXCITED about his Piglet pumpkin!

We went to Grandpa's house to take pictures. Those are Grandpa's puking pumpkins...

Cute Little Tigger

Evil? Little Tigger


Family Photo

**Disclaimer, All Photos are Copyright of**

Wordless Wednesday Link-Up: 5 Mins for Mom, Resourceful Mommy, Jenni From The Blog, The Paper Mama, Mommy Head Adventures

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Review: Everything On It

One of my favorite authors from my youth is Shel Silverstein. Where The Sidewalk Ends was a staple in my elementary school. And it opened the door to a love of all Shel Silverstein's poetry. To this day, 20ish years later, I can still recite parts of Sarah Cynthia Silvia Stout. 

This October, when I found out that Shel had published a new book of poetry I was ecstatic! Everything On It,  is written and illustrated in standard Shel style. And the poem that shares the book's title is one of my favorites. A boy orders a hot dog with "Everything on it", but instead of getting ketchup  mustard, onions, and relish, the boy gets a hot dog with some pretty odd fare atop it. Shel's poetry taps into children's imaginations and gives their imaginations a voice. He is a spectacular writer and this book is a must read. It is particularly good for reading in short bursts, as the poems are short and sweet.

While reading Everything On It, why not make a Plaster of Paris hot dog for your little one to paint and decorate. It's a fun way to work on developing motor skills while tying the craft back to the book! If Plaster of Paris seems like too much work, pick up a pack of multi-color pack of modeling clay, and craft some hot dogs out of that. Or even better yet, have hot dogs for lunch! You might even want yours with everything on it!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Spotlight on Early Lit Philanthropists: Raising A Reader

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While reading School Library Journal this morning, I came across an article about an organization called Raising A Reader. Raising a Reader, or RAR as it is sometimes called, is a national non-profit that partners with early caregivers, like HeadStart or home nurses to encourage parents to read to thier children in the home.

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Every week, or every other week, children and thier parents are provided with a red bag that holds 4 picture books to read along with thier parents. Then, a week or so later, the bag is swapped for a new bag holding 4 different picture books.

This story in SLJ, warmed my heart. I'm so happy that children who might not otherwise have access to books, are being provided quality reading material through this organization.

RAR is currently operating in over 30 states in the U.S. and continues to grow. To find an affiliate in your nieghborhood click here. If you would like to become an affliate, you can find info here. You can even "Like" RAR on Facebook, or if you find it in your heart make a donation.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Free Online Storytime and Rewards Club!

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One of the most memorable books from my youth is If You Give A Mouse A Cookie. I always thought the little mouse was too cute. And surely, if I gave him a cookie and he asked me for a glass of milk, I'd give it to him! If this isn't already one of your child's favorite books, it's bound to be. For the month of October, Barnes and Noble's Online Storytime is If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, and better yet, it's read by the author Laura Numeroff.

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I also noticed while I was sniffing around the B&N site, that they are now offering an incentive program to parents called the Barnes and Noble Kid's Club. This FREE club offers several perks for signing up.
  • 30% off list price on any one kids' book or toy for your children
  • $5 reward for every $100 you spend on kids’ stuff
    online and in stores
  • Free cupcake from the cafĂ© for all your children's birthdays
  • Free digital book created by your child on
  • Monthly email newsletter featuring even more savings
  • 25% off every day on books created by your child on
I don't know about you, but that sounds pretty good to me!

Monday, October 3, 2011

First School -- Printables to encourage Early Literacy

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Glad to be back! As you all know, I've moved recently, and I've finally gotten my stuff together and I'm ready to get back to blogging and down to some early literacy business!

At my "day" job, I have parents and teachers constantly asking me where we get our early literacy printables. Specifically, the alphabet tracing practice sheets. Well, here they are.

At, you can find alphabet tracing sheets from A to Z, upper case and lower case, as well as in different formats, like standard block and D'Nealian. They even have phonics tracing sheets like the "ch" sound, and short and long A.

Take a gander around their site. They've got lots of other fun stuff too.