Monday, November 19, 2012

Pancakes for Breakfast

This month's featured author at the Virtual Book Club for Kids is Tomie dePaola.  

We chose to share the wordless book Pancakes for Breakfast with our Mommy and Me Book Club friends.

Gathering: Wheat Exploration Box
(Sensory exploration, fine motor skills, self help skills)

We created a sensory bin with whole wheat kernels and measuring cups, spoons, spatulas, and plastic eggs.  The children had a wonderful time scooping and pouring the wheat.  

It was such a simple box to put together, but something about the texture of the wheat was soothing.   It was also a really neat opportunity to teach that flour comes from wheat kernels. 

Circle Time
(pre-literacy skills, listening skills, rhyming, story retell, language development, counting backwards, one to one correspondence)



We read the wordless book Pancakes for Breakfast by Tomie dePaola. The story shows through classic DePaola artwork the morning in the life of a woman who wants pancakes for breakfast.  Unfortunately she discovers she is missing most of the ingredients.  So she must gather eggs from her chickens, milk the cow and churn the cream into butter, go and get syrup from a neighbor.  When she returns from her last trip for ingredients and is ready to make the pancakes, finally, she finds that her pet dog and cat have broken the eggs and spilled the ingredients on the floor.  Discouraged, she is about to give up, until she smells something delicious coming from a neighbor's home....pancakes.  She invites herself there for breakfast. 

Fingerplay: We used 5 foam pancakes to help act out this fingerplay.

Five Crispy Pancakes
Five crispy pancakes in a frying pan,
Flip them and toss them and catch them if you can.
Along came (child's name)
For a pancake one day
Sprinkled with sugar and took it away.
Source: Youth Services Organization Program Page

Make Pumpkin Pancakes Together
(fine motor skills, self help skills, cooking, cooperation)


We had all of the ingredients ready to go to begin with. The kids helped pour and mix the ingredients for our pancakes and we had a mommy cook them for us. 

 When they were cool enough to eat,  they devoured them!

I can't really call this part a snack, none of us had to feed a lunch afterwards! One of our moms has a fantastic recipe, and I have included it here for you!  Seriously, the best pancake recipe ever!

Pumpkin Pancakes

2 cups Flour (or whole wheat or spelt flour)
3 Tbs. Brown Sugar
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Ground Allspice
1 tsp. Cinnamon
½ tsp. Ground Ginger
¼ to ½ tsp. Ground Nutmeg
½ tsp. Salt
1 ½ cups Milk
1 cup Pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 Egg
2 Tbs. Grapeseed Oil
2 Tbs. Apple Cider Vinegar
1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Stir together dry ingredients.
Add wet ingredients and mix just until moistened.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Drop about a 1/4 cup of batter (an ice cream scoop works great) onto a warm griddle (350 degrees).  When edges begin to set and bubbles pop in middle, flip pancakes and cook other side until done.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Makes about 16 pancakes.


Art-Squeeze Paint Art
(strengthening hand muscles, art exploration, process oriented project, literacy and real world connections, sensory development) 

We wanted to do an activity that replicated pouring syrup on pancakes.  We were inspired by this great  Squeeze Paint Dough project from Family Fun.  You can go here to get the recipe.  We found our bottles at Michael's craft store in the cake decorating department. 

We discovered something fun though, that is not included on the website. This works well as microwavable paint, too.  We tried it to see if it would dry enough to bring our projects home, and it worked!  It also created a pretty fun texture to explore.

The children enjoyed squeezing the paint and making fun designs.  Each was unique.

Activities- Pancake Races
(pretend play, fine motor, gross motor, balance, throwing, hand eye coordination, cooperation, sharing)

We cut out"pancakes" from foam to use to play several games.

1-We practiced flipping these with spatulas and small frying pans.
2- Also allowed them to try to carry them on the spatula while walking across the room.
3- Tried balancing the pancakes on their heads.  
4-Threw the pancakes into the pan from across the room.  
5-Played Hot Pancake (like hot potato).

This month we are spotlighting books by Tomie dePaola for our Yearlong Virtual Book Club for Kids!

Will you join us?

All you have to do is...

  1. Pick a Tomie dePaola book to read with your child!
  2. Do any activity, craft, cooking project, or other book inspired activity that goes along with the book your chose.
  3. Share what you did with us starting Monday, November 19th! We will have a linky up for 3 weeks where you can share any blog posts (if you are a blogger) or you can post what you did at the end of the linky post in the comments or on our Facebook wall.

I can't wait to see all of your fabulous ideas! Thanks for participating!

For more updates and to see loads of the posts by participating bloggers, head on over and "Like" our Virtual Book Club for Kids Facebook page.

You can also check out lots of fun ideas on some if the other participating blogs! 
Toddler Approved - Rainy Day Mum - Adventures in Reading with Kids - 3 Dinosaurs - Royal Baloo - The Educators' Spin On It - Inspiration Laboratories - Pleasantest Thing - Edventures with Kids - Two Big Two Little - Playing With Words 365 - Kitchen Counter Chronicles - Outlaw Mom - Mommy and Me Book Club - Crafty Moms Share - No Twiddle Twaddle - The Good Long Road - Ready. Set. Read 2 Me - Reading Confetti - Mama Smiles - Juggling with Kids- Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas - Creekside Learning - Creative Family Fun - The Usual Mayhem - Teach Preschool - PlayDrMom - CraftoArt - Here Come the Girls - Being a Conscious Parent - Smiling like Sunshine - Crayon Freckles - Train Up a Child - Smile Play Learn

Please only share activities inspired by Tomie dePaola books.  All other links will be deleted. 

Want to get a head start on December?  Our featured author next month is Jan Brett!


Friday, November 16, 2012

Run Turkey, Run!

Gathering Activity: Turkey Hats

We made these adorable turkey hats from Lindsay Blogs.  I love the way they turned out, and as you can tell, so did the kids!  Each hat was unique! You can follow the link to get full directions.   

Circle Time

We read Run, Turkey Run by Diane Mayr.  It is a fun story of a turkey who hides from the farmer on Thanksgiving Day.  After each new hiding place is discovered by the farmer, the children had a wonderful time shouting along with the book "RUN, TURKEY, RUN!"  He finally finds reprieve in a forest of pine trees, until the farmer and his family go to find a Christmas tree.  Of course, he gets away again. 

We also sang one of our favorite Thanksgiving songs, "Mr. Turkey. "

"Said, Mr. Turkey, I want to play. Gobble, Gobble, Gobble, Gobble, Gobble.
But soon it will be Thanksgiving Day. Gobble, Gobble, Gobble, Gobble.
Folks all say that means great fun, but I think I'll run, run, run.
And hide until the day is done. Gobble, Gobble, Gobble, Gobble, Gobble."

Art Activities:

1-Popcorn Turkeys 

We were inspired by this fun idea for turkeys at Everything Preschool.   

Materials Needed:
Rubber Glove (Clear)
Small squares of Multicolored Tissue Paper
Googly Eyes


For 3 year olds, this is definitely a mom and child activity.  Using a clear rubber glove, the child stuffed the four fingers with colored tissue paper and stuffed the thumb with red, while the moms held open the gloves. 

Then the children filled the palm with popcorn while the moms held open the gloves.

Then Moms tied the bottom, like you would tie a balloon. 

Last step was to add an eye on each side.

We had children stuff turkeys in two different ways.  Some mixed all the colors together, and others kept each finger an individual color.  Both ways turned out cute.


2-Turkey Feathers in Playdough

Our next activity was a more open ended activity.  We were inspired by this activity at Teach Preschool.  We handed each of the children  ball of brown playdough and feathers to explore.  They knew just what to do!  

A few of you asked what we do with younger siblings.  Here is a great pic showing a little brother joining in our fun. 

Snack:  Apple Turkeys

The children loved making these adorable turkeys.  I made these my very first year teaching, and can't remember exactly where I got the idea from then, so many years ago.  But our children sure loved making and eating these! 
Games:Hide the Turkey Game

“Hide the turkey, hide the turkey,
in the trees, in the trees.
Don’t let farmer find him, don’t let farmer find him.
Hide turkey, hide turkey! “

Materials Needed: 4 boxes with a picture of a tree taped on and a toy turkey.

Directions: Choose one child to be the "hider."  Choose another to be the Farmer.  The farmer leaves the room. Sing the song. The "hider" places the turkey in one of the boxes. 

The farmer returns and searches in each box until she finds turkey.

Then all of the other children yell “RUN TURKEY RUN!”  The person holding the turkey runs around the room back to his spot. 

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!  I am grateful for you and for your support!  Thank you for reading about our adventures each week! 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Book Review

Book Love: Help Your Child Grow from Reluctant to Enthusiastic Reader by Melissa Taylor 

I am very excited to share with you this wonderful book and resource written by one of my very favorite bloggers, Melissa Taylor from Imagination  As a former elementary school teacher, and creator of Mommy and Me Book Club, I often get asked questions about how to help children learn to love to read.  I get asked how to help children who are frustrated, bored, or downright combative about having to read.  I now know how to answer these questions, I will tell them to read Book Love.  It is a wonderful book filled with great tips that teachers use in their classrooms. Now you can learn them so that you can use them at home.  There are flashcards, games, book lists divided by interest topics, and online resources.  Ideas are included for improving comprehension, fluency, phonics and learning site words.   There are even short assessments that you can do yourself at home with your child, to try and determine the cause of your child's frustration, and then gives you ideas to help alleviate those concerns!  

Taylor goes in depth to the 4 main reasons children give for not liking to read. 

1-Too boring
2-Too tricky
3-Too blurry
4-Too "sitty"

Then she gives practical, easy solutions all contained within her book.  I think my very favorite are the discussion questions she suggests you ask your child, to help determine their real feelings about reading.  And of course, her suggestion to create a Book Club.  :) 

The book is a short read, but filled with useful ideas and information on every page.  I think parents of children ages 4-10 would find this information very helpful.  I don't have anyone who dislikes reading yet at my house, but I found lots of new ideas and games I want to play with my 3 children.  And some fun games that you might see us play one day soon in Mommy and Me Book Club!  

Melissa is offering some neat gifts when you purchase her book this week in celebration of her book launch, so head over to Imagination Soup for all the details! There are free printables available to everyone who purchases the book and you can even enter to win several other gifts including books and gift cards! 

 The kindle edition is available today at !  

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Children's Bookshelf- Nov 12

I had originally planned to share with you my very favorite Thanksgiving books this week on the Children's Bookshelf.  But last week, Stacey from Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy! shared a fantastic list in the linkup that included ALL of my favorites.  So instead, I am going to send you to her fabulous blog!  Her blog is a new find for me, and I am in love! 

If you are looking for fun activities inspired by A Turkey for Thanksgiving or Ten Fat Turkeys, click through to see our Thanksgiving themed Mommy and Me classes from the past two years.  This week, we will be featuring Run Turkey Run, so make sure you come back and check out our Mommy and Me Book Club fun!!!  

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. Thank you for joining us each week!  I love seeing everyone's fun with books!  And just a reminder, please do not link up any posts that are not children's book related.  Those will be removed.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Cindy Moo

Our activities this week were inspired by the book Cindy Moo by Lori Mortensen

Gathering-Cow Spots 
(One to One Correspondence and fine motor skills)

We printed off plain white cow coloring pages for each child, and drew 10 circles on the cow. 

We gave each child 10 black buttons to place in the circles. 

We did not glue down, because we wanted to let them take the buttons off and then do it again. 

Our Circle Time and Book Review

Cindy Moo by Lori Mortensen is a beautifully written and illustrated rhyming book.  It tells the story of a cow who is determined to follow in her ancestor's footsteps, and jump over the moon herself.   She tries and tries again.  Others tell her to give up, but she refuses.  In the end, she finds her own unique solution to her problem and achieves her dream.  I love the life lessons it teaches.  I love the flow of the language.  And I am absolutely IN LOVE with Cindy Moo with her pink bow and her positive attitude.  This is one of those books that the Mommies enjoyed as much as the children.  We checked ours out of the public library, but it is one I would not hesitate to purchase and add to our home library. 

We had learned the poem “Hey Diddle Diddle” previously at Mommy and Me, so we sand this again today. 

Art: Cindy Moo Clothespin Cow Craft 
(artistic exploration, fine motor skills, following directions, literacy connections)

I loved this cute cow craft I found at Busybee Kids Crafts. You can head there for complete directions.  We made our own, and added a pink bow so they would look like Cindy Moo.  

Don't you love our cute herd?  

Snack: Cow jumped over the moon snack & milk

We were inspired by this cute idea at Meet the Dubiens and created our own with tortillas, meat, and cheese! 


1-Jumping Over the Moon: 
(Gross motor skills, jumping, balancing, taking turns, cooperation)

I have a large white exercise ball and we allowed the children to take turns jumping over the pretend moon.  

2-Milking a Glove Activity
(fine motor skills, real life connections, sensory development)

This was one of my favorite activities when I taught kindergarten, and my little Mommy and Me friends loved it, too!  

We used white paint and a latex glove.  We poked small holes in each fingertip of the glove.

 We had three children share each glove and squirt the paint onto a plate.  It was messy and fun!