Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Easter Egg

This week's activities were inspired by Jan Brett's book The Easter Egg. 

This was our Easter party, so things are a little different and more “special” than usual.   We met at a local park, and our big siblings joined in on the fun!

Gathering Activity: Bunny Hats


I bought these adorable Bunny Hat kits at Target.  The moms and little ones decorated these together.  The children had a fun time making theirs and quite quickly got into character.  If you don't want to buy these at Target, you can click here  DLKTK KIDS to find instructions on making one out of paper.  

Our little ones had NO PROBLEM getting into character. 

Story Time: The Easter Egg by Jan Brett 


We sat on blankets together and read the story The Easter Egg by Jan Brett.  It is a MUCH longer story than we usually read with our kids. Luckily, the novelty of being outside on the blankets kept them seated much longer than usual.  We did not press our luck with any songs though.

  The Easter Egg is story very similar to Horton Hatches an Egg.  Hoppi Bunny is trying very hard to create a beautiful Easter Egg to share with the Easter Rabbit.  He visits all of the other rabbits and admires their unique creations.  He tries each of their talents, but none are a good fit for him.  Then he finds an egg that has fallen out of its nest.  Hoppi helps the mother bird out by sitting on the egg for several days and nights until it hatches.   When the Easter Rabbit arrives to choose his favorite egg, Hoppi is not there with the other rabbits.  The Easter Rabbit finds Hoppi in the woods and takes the now hatched egg and places it atop all of the other eggs in the wagon.  The Easter Rabbit loves Hoppi's gift of love and sacrifice best of all.  The artwork is lovely, in true Jan Brett fashion, very detailed. 

Art: Bunny Brownie Gift Jars 

In the book, the main character, a bunny, sits on an egg that has fallen out of tree and waits for it to hatch.  I saw these adorable Bunny Brownie Jars and thought it would be fun for us to assemble together at the park.  To me they look like little bunnies sitting on eggs.



We set up all the materials needed on the picnic tables and let the mom and child make these together and attached labels.

  I definitely recommend the little bags she suggests for the graham crackers.  


I thought the children could choose someone to share the Bunny Jar with and then go with their mommies to deliver it.  But if you decide to keep them for yourselves, I will never tell.  :) 

If you want to make these adorable Bunny Gift Jars you can get all the directions including printables for labels here at The Tip Junkie.

Snack: Rice Krispies Chocolate Dipped Eggs 


We ate these yummy dipped and decorated Rice Krispy Eggs.  We found the directions at Food Family Finds.   The mom in our group who made these, suggested just using your hands to shape the eggs.  She felt like using the plastic eggs as a mold was an unnecessary and difficult step.

***While half  of the moms hid eggs, the other half played these games with the children. 

Egg and Spoon Balancing 

We gave each child her own plastic blue egg (not the ones we were hiding) and large spoon.  We let them practice walking from one line to a finish line balancing the egg on the spoon.  No competition, just balancing practice and fun.  We told them they were keeping the baby birds inside safe.  This little girl made sure she held her tongue just right.


Birdie, Birdie, who has the Birdie 

This is played like "button, button, who has the button."   Have one blue egg.  Let a child “sit” on the egg like the rabbit in the story.  

The guesser closes his eyes while the egg is hidden and then asks “Birdie, Birdie, Who has the Birdie.”  Let them guess until they find the egg. 

 Play until everyone gets to hide and guess.  This game was a little complicated for some of our little ones.  When we asked "Who has the birdie?"  the child holding it would gleefully shout, "I do!" It took a little bit of the guessing part out of the game.  But they still had fun hiding it and "guessing."  

Very Special Easter Egg Hunt

 Each family brought 12 filled eggs per child, along with an Easter Basket.  We  let the children pretend to be the Easter bunny looking for beautiful eggs! 


****In addition, we hid a special egg for each child with his/her name on it.  This egg had a baby bird inside, like the one that the bunny takes care of in the story.  

 They loved searching for their own special eggs.   Then after they found the egg with their name on it, they loved playing with the little birds inside. 

We ended the morning with free play, a fun picnic and these yummy Apple Cider Jigglers.   

We are participating in Toddler Approved's Virtual Book Club.  Please check out all of these other fun ideas inspired by Jan Brett's book, The Easter Egg.  Feel free to add one of your own, too! 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Good Night, Gorilla

Our activities this week were inspired by the book, Goodnight, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann. 

Gathering: Zoo Animal Toys and Books

The children played with the Fisher Price Zoo Animals and Zoo Train.  We also read zoo books with mommies and played with zoo animal masks and puppets.

Circle Time:


We read Good Night Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann.  I love this story.  There are very few words, but all that needs to be said is conveyed through the pictures.  As a zookeeper closes his zoo for the night, he says "goodnight" to each animal.  A gorilla sneaks behind him and unlocks each cage with the zookeeper's OWN KEYS!  They all silently parade behind him into his house and into his bed!  When the animals are discovered in the bedroom, he brings them all back to the zoo.  All, that is, except the gorilla.  A cute mouse is on each page pulling a banana on a string.  The little ones had a fun time searching for him every time I turned the page.  They giggled as each animal escaped. 

We sang Raffi’s “Going to the Zoo”


The Animals at the Zoo Tune: The Wheels on the Bus
(sing with the animals in the book)

The snake at the zoo goes Hiss Hiss Hiss Hiss Hiss Hiss
The Snake at the zoo goes Hiss Hiss Hiss
All day long
The lion at the zoo goes Roar Roar Roar Roar Roar Roar
The lion at the zoo goes Roar Roar Roar
All day long (Add other animals)

Art: Gorilla Paper Plate Art

We found this adorable gorilla craft at Creativity Takes Flight. 

Snack: Bananas and Animal Crackers


We enjoyed bananas (In honor of the little banana being pulled by a mouse on each page) and animal crackers.

Activities: Zoo Cages and Good Night Gorilla Games

1-)Zoo Cages Guessing Game:

  We made 3 zoo cages out of baskets.   The creative mommy who made these, added the most adorable signs on the cages. 

 We had one child leave the room with Mom.  While they were gone,  we hide a toy zoo animal in one of the cages.   When they came back, they opened each of  the three cages until they found the hidden animal.  

2-) Goodnight Gorilla:

We had  the children pretend to be each of the 7 animals, one at a time.   We said "Goodnight, Hyena". Then they pretended to go to sleep.  

One child pretended to be the zookeeper and would rattle a set of keys and say “Wake up!”   

Then of course, the kids would all jump up.  

Why is it that pretending to sleep is such a fun game for 2 and 3 year olds?  It is one of their favorites!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Did you win?

UPDATE 3/23/2012: One of our winners did not respond, so we have selected a different winner.  Congrats to L. Hafner!!!!  Check your email!

Thank you to all those who entered our Potty Time DVD and Music CD giveaway.  The "powers that be" at have selected two winners.  Please contact me within 72 hours to claim your prize. 

The first is Sheili G. who said "the best advice was waiting until he was ready. Less frustration for all. And it worked! My kiddo loves signing time and this potty time dvd by them would be awesome to have to use with my second little guy!" 

The second winner is
Stefanie who said "I have 5 kids, 3 succesfully potty trained. My 3 1/2 and 2 1/2 year olds have no interest in using the potty. I have tried everything!!!! One day my 3 1/2 year old will use the potty and the next day she just refuses! I am so frustrated with the whole process. I need help!!!!" 
 I hope that the Potty Time DVD and Music CD are helpful for you both and for your little ones. 

If you didn't win a copy, you can buy a copy through their website.

Thank you to Two Little Hands Productions, the creators of Potty Time, for hosting this giveaway! 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Rainbow of My Own

****There is still time to enter our Potty Time DVD and Music CD giveaway.  Click  on the link to go to that page.

All of our activities this week were inspired by the wonderful children's book, A Rainbow of My Own by Don Freeman. 

Gathering Activity: Rainbow Colored Spaghetti Noodles

I loved these rainbow colored spaghetti noodles when I saw them on The Imagination Tree blog.  I knew they had to be part of our rainbow day.  We followed the directions found on their blog to make them.  

Our kids had a great time with this wonderful sensory activity.  They were extremely engaged with the rainbow colored spaghetti noodles.  They squished, smelled, and yes, even tasted these noodles.  I didn't notice this on the Imagination Tree's blog, but that was the first thing our little ones did, stick it immediately in their mouths. (Thank goodness they are nontoxic).  Even our little ones who are pretty hesitant with most sensory activities got into the messy fun!  Our hands were VERY oily afterwards, but that was easily remedied with soap and water.

Circle Time


We read the Don Freeman classic,  A Rainbow of My Own.  (If you are unfamiliar with this author, he also wrote Corduroy).  The story is sweet and simple.  A child sees a rainbow and chases it, until it disappears.  Then the child imagines that the rainbow returns to play and belongs just to the child.  Each picture depicts delightful scenes of pretend as the child plays with the rainbow.  When the child returns home, a rainbow is on the wall of the child's bedroom, made from the sun shining through a fish bowl.  I love how the story never really indicates a specific gender, leaving the readers to picture themselves as the main character. 

We sang this cute song by Jean Warren. 
Sung to: "I'm a Little Teapot"
There's a great, big rainbow
In the sky,
With pretty colors
Way up high.
When it starts to rain
And the sun comes out-
A beautiful rainbow
Will pop out!

Snack: Rainbow Fruit Pizza

One of the moms made a large fruit pizza shaped like an arc using sugar cookie dough as the crust.  She topped it with cream cheese frosting and then fruit.  We  cut each child a slice so that they could  all have a rainbow of their own.

Art: Rainbow Art Collages


We made our own by providing the children with pre-drawn and colored rainbows on half sheets of poster board and pre-color-sorted collage supplies.  (My 4 and 7 year old sons colored the rainbows for us before class).

 The children color matched an assortment of stickers, felt, paper, feathers, pom poms, ribbon, and foam pieces onto the rainbow.  

The kids enjoyed this project and really got the concept of matching the colors.  However, the size of the rainbow was too large to hold about half of our kids' interest, and we had a couple of moms left alone to finish the project at the end. I would recommend  one-fourth of a poster board if I was to repeat the activity.

Activities:Rainbow Streamers and Bubbles

1-Rainbow Streamers: We danced outside with Rainbow Wind Streamers that we made by following the directions on one of my very favorite blogs, Toddler Approved.  I love that these used surveying tape instead of paper streamers.  They were durable and we can use them again and again!

2-Rainbow Bubbles: We blew bubbles outside and looked for rainbows in the bubbles.  It was a beautiful day where we lived.  Perfect for creating memories with our little ones.

You can sing this cute Rainbows in My Bubbles song found here on Preschool Music Express. 

Tune:  “She’ll Be Coming ‘Round The Mountain”
I’ve got rainbows in my bubbles, yes I do.
I’ve got rainbows in my bubbles, yes I so.
When I blow up towards the sun,
They have rainbows, every one.
I’ve got rainbows in my bubbles, yes I do.
                                               Jean Warren