Sunday, October 28, 2012

Miss Fiona's Stupendous Pumpkin Pie

This week's fun was inspired by Miss Fiona's Stupendous Pumpkin Pie by Mark Kimball Moulton.  It was also our Halloween Mommy and Me Book Club, so the children dressed up in costumes.


Gathering Activity: Pumpkin Pie Playdough 

(Fine motor skills, creative play, sensory play)

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp. cream of tartar
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  •  yellow and red food coloring
*I always add the food coloring to my water before combining all the ingredients. 

*Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and stir over medium-low heat. Continue to stir until the mixtures reaches a good consistency. Remove it from the heat and knead it when it's cool enough to handle.  Store in an air tight container.

Circle Time
(Pre-literacy skills, rhyming, music, listening skills, language development, gross motor skills)

We read Miss Fiona's Stupendous Pumpkin Pie by Mark Kimball Moulton.  The pictures in this book are very sweet and remind me a little of Mary Englebreit's artwork, which I love.  There are no frightening pictures.  The story is written in a pleasing rhyme that is enjoyable to read aloud.  It is the tale of a kind witch who loves to plant pumpkins and make pumpkin pie to share with everyone in town on Halloween night.   The children all love to come to her home.  When asked her secret ingredient, she says she puts spiders and bat wings inside, which made our little ones giggle. 

 After our story, we enjoyed 3 different songs. 

First I shared the 5 Little Pumpkins Traditional finger play and flannel board story. 


We sang "5 Little Bats Flew Out One Day."

"5 little bats flew out one day, over the trees and far away.  When the Mommy Bat said "Eek ack come back."  Only 4 little bats came back."  Repeat until no bats.
"No little bats went out to play, over the trees and far away. When the DADDY bat said "EEK ACK COME BACK!" 5 little bats came flying back.   

And a favorite every year, "I'm A Little Scarecrow."  (sung to the tune of "I'm a Little Teapot") The children stand with their arms straight out like a scarecrow.

"I'm a little scarecrow, filled with hay.   Here I stand in the fields all day.  When I see a crow I like to shout..."HEY! YOU CROWS, YOU BETTER GET OUT!" 


Art: Decorate Pumpkins
 (Creative exploration, fine motor skills, art, spatial reasoning)

We decorated pumpkins with foam stickers, ribbon, buttons, pipe cleaners, pom poms,  sequins, glue, and these adorable felt witch hats and pirate hats one of our talented moms made!  I loved them!  


Snack - Mini Pumpkin Pies

(Communication, making connections with literature, self-help skills)

Of course we had to eat pumpkin pie with our story.  These were the perfect size. 

(Gross Motor Skills, Fine Motor Skills, Cooperation, Communication, Sorting, Listening Skills)

1-Pumpkin Toss and Roll

The children took turns tossing and rolling small plastic pumpkins into a basket. 

2-Making Fiona's Stupendous Pumpkin Pie Game 

I placed one large plastic cauldron in the center of the room.  I then scattered several objects around on the floor of different ingredients (pumpkins, eyes, spiders, worms, etc.....) 

I called out the name of one of the items and had the children run and find that item on the floor and place it in the pot.

  Then they returned to their places.  I had enough of each item that every child could do each one.  This game didn't last too long.

   It ended up with the children playing and sorting all of the objects together.  Which was also very fun.   I think that is one of the most important part of teaching children, allowing them to take the game where they want it to go.  

So, now, it is your turn to share with us all of your kid lit inspired posts this week. Please link up any children's book posts below and don't forget to follow The Children's Bookshelf on Pinterest or visit TCB's co-hosts: What Do We Do All Day?, No Twiddle Twaddle, Smiling Like Sunshine, Mommy and Me Book Club, My Little Bookcase and Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns.

By linking up you are giving permission for any of the co-hosts to pin and/or feature a photo from that post on a future The Children's Bookshelf post.  

Monday, October 22, 2012

Charlotte's Web Sensory Bin

My son's kindergarten's class is reading Charlotte's Web by E.B White as part of an integrated farm unit this month.  I couldn't resist making this fun sensory bin for one of the centers.  

I used deer corn as the base.  It was inexpensive.  I only needed 1/2 of a bag.  I gave the other half to another kindergarten class.

I was able to find a little doll from the Dollar Tree to represent Fern and this great Wilbur pig there, as well. 

Charlotte and Templeton were both found at Wal-mart. 

At Michaels, I found these great wooden boxes with lids to use as scoops. 

In the book, Charlotte's Web, Charlotte writes special words in her web.  I wrote all of the sight words that the class had covered this quarter on to laminated webs and added those to the box.

Did you have any book inspired fun this week?  Link up on our Children's Bookshelf below!

Monday, October 15, 2012

October Virtual Book Club

This week's fun was inspired by the wonderful book Spoon by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.  This post is part of The Virtual Book Club for Kids.

This summer, I participated in a Summer Book Exchange Program with Kim from The Educators' Spin On It.  I sent her family the book Spoon and created the activities for them to enjoy.   You can see the fun they had with it here.  I was very excited to introduce this book and the activities I planned to my own little Mommy and Me Group last week!  

Gathering Activity: Musical Pots and Pans
(This activity develops hand eye coordination, imaginative play, and cooperation skills). 

We had our loudest gathering time ever this week!  The children had a wonderful time creating their own band with utensils, pots, and pans.  (Although more than one mommy commented on how LOUD the activity was).  

Circle Time
 (During circle time we practice listening skills, social skills, language development, and early literacy skills).

We read the story Spoon by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.  It is a delightful picture book with a moral.  The story is of a spoon who is feeling a tad jealous when he compares his life with the seemingly more exciting lives of his friends, the fork, chopsticks, and knife.  His mother kindly listens to him and validates his feelings about the talents of his friends, but at the same time encourages him to see himself the way they might see him.  Equally as endearing as the sweet life lesson and happy illustrations, are the cute puns.  My favorite is when Spoon and his family "spoon" together all snuggled up at bedtime. 
We taught the children the nursery rhyme "Hey Diddle Diddle," because it is mentioned in the book. 

Art Time: Spoon Puppets
(This activity develops fine motor skills, creates connections with literature, and promotes aesthetic creativity). 

Supplies Needed: large spoon, felt, glue, googly eyes, yarn, ribbons, fabric scraps, markers

Directions: We gave each child and mom their own spoon and materials to create a puppet which we used after snack in a puppet show.

SNACK-Applesauce with Chocolate Covered SPOONS
 (Snack time even provides learning time.  Children practice self-help skills, hand eye coordination, and social skills). 

We gave each of the children their own applesauce cup and one of these adorable chocolate covered spoons.  We were inspired by these we found here at JellyfishJelly.   You can click through to get complete directions to make your own! 



1-Pom Pom Pick Up 

We provided each child with chopsticks and spoons.  The chopsticks were rubber-banded together to make them easier for our little ones to use successfully.  We gave each child a bowl of pom poms and an empty bowl.  The children used the chopsticks (or spoon if they chose) and moved the pom poms into the empty bowl.  We placed the empty bowl on the right hand side, to let them practice transferring them from left to right.  (Tracking left to right is an important early reading skill.  And this activity provided fine motor and self-help skills practice).

2-Puppet Show

(Social skills, literacy skills, language development)

 The children had a wonderful time outside creating their own puppet show in this fantastic theater a mom brought to share!  Puppet shows are so much fun for little ones!  They didn't want to stop!  And to be honest, I wasn't quite ready to stop listening to their fun imaginative play when it was time to go home.  

Did you have fun with one of Amy Krouse Rosenthal's books this month?  Please join our Virtual Book Club for Kids and link up your activities below and join these other fabulous bloggers!


Monday, October 8, 2012

Little Dress-Up Shop Costumes

Have you ever been in love with a company?  I am in love with Little Dress Up Shop.  I approached the owner and asked if I could host a giveaway on my blog in conjunction with my Book-Inspired Costume post.  It is rare that I do giveaways, and I only feature books or products that I LOVE!  And I LOVE LITTLE DRESS-UP SHOP!!!!!!  And I love my readers and wanted you to know about them!

Last year, my little girl decided she wanted to be "Blue Cinderella" for Halloween.  I searched online and discovered the Little Dress-Up Shop.  I loved the look of their Cinderella Dress and was impressed by the online reviews and price, so I purchased the dress and the fulness skirt.  Customer service was fabulous and the dress was delivered very quickly!

When the dress arrived, it was love at first sight.  My daughter put on her dress and did not take it off.  She slept in it, ate meals and snacks in it, wore it to story time, and to the park.  It was washed several times before Halloween ever arrived.  And much to my surprise, it held up beautifully.

 Today, a year later, Molly still wears the dress at least once a week.  It has probably been washed no less than 30 times this year.  There are no holes in the dress, no fading, no unraveling.  Needless to say, I am thrilled.  For Christmas that year, I purchased a Belle dress and a Rapunzel dress from the Little Dress Up Shop. Both of them were the same high quality as the Cinderella dress.  Molly received several other dress up items at the same time from various family members.  Only the Little Dress Up Shop dresses are still in good shape. 

Little Dress Up Shop costumes are made of soft fabrics.  There are no buttons, Velcro, or zippers.  They are machine washable!  And they are so very cute!  They are a fraction of the cost of the expensive costumes offered by a "certain licensed company," and far more durable.

Little Dress Up Shop has a line of Princess Dress-ups, Fairy Dress-Ups, Capes, and Knight Costumes.  They have a line of  Pretend Career Exploration Dress-Ups that I wish I had  known about when I taught school.  I would have loved to have their costumes in our imaginative play center. 

 Little Dress Up Shop is offering a $4 discount to readers of Mommy and Me Book Club!  It is good towards the purchase of any regular priced Princess or Fairy Dress-up, if used by October 20th.  Just use the code HALLOWEEN12 at checkout! 

ALL orders received by the 20th will arrive by Halloween.  Or you could order and save for the Holidays! 

AND SHIPPING IS FREE ANYWHERE IN THE US!!!!!!!No minimum purchase required.  Isn't that fabulous? 

Would you like to win a costume (a value of $29.99) for your child or for your classroom?  Entering is easy.   There are 5 ways to earn a chance to win. Only the first is mandatory! You have until October 17th to enter! 

1-MANDATORY ENTRY: Visit Little Dress Up Shop .com and comment on my website to share which costume you like the most!
2-Additional Entry: Like Mommy and Me Book Club on Facebook.
3-Additional Entry: Like Little Dress Up Shop on Facebook
4-Additional Entry: Follow us on Pinterest.   
5-Additional Entry: WORTH DOUBLE ENTRY!  Share this contest on your Facebook Page, Blog, Twitter, or Pinterest.  Then let me know where you shared!

Get the aunts, uncles, and grandparents to enter,too! 

The winner will be selected using Rafflecopter.  Entries will be accepted until 12:01 am October 17, 2012.   The winners will be posted on my blog on the morning of October 17th, 2012.   The winner will have 72 hours to claim her prize and to send me her mailing address.  If the winner fails to claim her prize, another recipient will be selected.   US residents only. No purchase necessary.The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Any information gathered through the sweepstakes including email and postal addresses will not be used in anyway other than contacting winners and shipment of winnings. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You are providing your information to Mommy and Me Book Club and not to Facebook. The information you provide will only be used for Mommy and Me Book Club.

Disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by Little Dress Up Shop. I was not monetarily compensated for this post.  I did receive one costume which is the one I am giving away, and one costume for my daughter.  

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Farm Fun & Children's Bookshelf

This is our second week participating in the Children's Bookshelf.  I hope that you will take a moment to share some of your favorite activities based on a favorite book. 

I loved all  the fantastic blog posts that were linked up last week!  Did you get a chance to see this fabulous Preschool Unit based on the book The Year at Maple Hill Farm by Alice and Martin Provensen by Frugal Fun 4 Boys?  I love farm units in the fall, don't you?  Make sure to head over and see all of the fun activities she did with her boys.

Last Fall, we had a lot of fun with a unit based on The Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown. I loved how these spray painted Big Red Barns turned out!

The Little Red Hen was another favorite farm book with our little ones.  They helped us make bread and made their own Little Red Hens with red feathers.

So, now, it is your turn to share with us all of your kid lit inspired posts this week. Please link up any children's book posts below and don't forget to follow The Children's Bookshelf on Pinterest or visit TCB's co-hosts: What Do We Do All Day?, No Twiddle Twaddle, Smiling Like Sunshine, Mommy and Me Book Club, My Little Bookcase and Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns.

By linking up you are giving permission for any of the co-hosts to pin and/or feature a photo from that post on a future The Children's Bookshelf post. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

21 Book Inspired Costumes

As you know, our family is a bit book-obsessed.  So it should come as no surprise to anyone that our family likes to dress up like characters from our favorite books and fairy tales! Last year, Molly was Cinderella and her Daddy was her, "Pwince Chawming."  Don't you love her 'dwess'?  (Monday, I will post a giveaway for one of the fabulous costumes from Little Dress Up Shop). 

The boys and I were Harry Potter, Ron, and Hermione.

One year, after we read Peter Pan to the children, they decided we should all be the characters from Peter Pan. Daddy even turned our stroller into a pirate ship!  We had Peter Pan, Captain Hook, The Tic-toc Croc, Wendy, and Tinkerbelle. 


While I was looking for this year's ideas for our family's costumes, I came across 21 wonderful book-inspired costumes I wanted to share with you!  I hope you find something that catches your imagination.  Some of these are homemade costumes with directions, some are just pictures, and a few are for items to purchase.   

Rainbow Fish at Here Come the Girls 


Alice in Wonderland at Misha Lulu Blog

Hoot at One Crafty Mumma

The Hungry Caterpillar at Pink and Green Mama

 Olivia at Making it Lovely


Knuffle Bunny Costume at

Little Bo Peep at Vintage Duck

Prince Caspian at Little Dress Up Shop

Pinkalicious at Fancy Frugal Fun

Green Eggs and Ham at Stomper Girl

Ladybug Girl at Glue Gun Crafts 

Madeline at Erica Holland Photography

Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web at Kaboose

Even your family pet can dress up like a book character.  I am in love with this pet costume I found on etsy.  I think I might need to borrow a pet for Halloween!

On Monday, we will be hosting a giveaway for a costume from The Little Dress Up Shop!  I hope you will come back and enter to win your own book-inspired costume!  

For more ideas, check out our Book Inspired Costume Pinterest board!