Sorting With Vehicles!

Okay, time for a little sorting fun.  Ready?  Let's go!

I'll use my Transportation Set for this little game.  Because it has sorting cards, which we need for this activity...  Here they are (laminated in all their cardstock glory :) ):



(The steering wheel you see in the pictures goes with this hide and seek game, by the way.)

Okay, so what do you do with these sorting cards?  The point is to engage the kids in playful early math and early literacy. No strict rules or right or wrong--just have fun.

One way to use them:  Put the sorting cards that represent the four types of vehicles on your board on the four corners.  Talk with the kids about what each of the cards mean.   Now place each of your vehicles in the center of the board. Ask the kids to help you figure out where to put each vehicle.  You might want them to simply call out where that vehicle goes, or you might call children up to pick a vehicle and “steer” it to the right spot.

Use your “many” and “few” cards in the same way.  Does a particular vehicle carry many or few people?  What do many and few mean?


And then of course you can combine the cards and get them thinking even harder:

Have fun sorting, you little mathematicians!

Hey, by the way...  I bet you'll like my Transportation playlist over on my YouTube channel!  
Go take a look:) 










Ball of Yarn Hide and Seek!

So, yep.  It's two of my favorite things, all bundled up together:  Cats, and Little Mouse.  I mean, can you go wrong with this?  No.  No, you can't.  (Plus, these cats are the stars of Kitty Bingo, too, so--muti-use sets for the big win!)


Kids just love surprises, and it's always a surprise where that ball of yarn might be hiding...And sometimes, just to be super sneaky, I don't hide it behind ANY of the cats--I hide it behind the flannel board!!  Gasp!  The children are furious!  I'm delighted!
Anyway..

Ball of yarn, ball of yarn, where can you be?
Are you behind the gray kitten?  Let...me...see!

or 
Ball of yarn, ball of yarn, playing hide and seek...
Are you behind the orange cat?  Let's take a peek!

Fun cat books to go along with these sweeties are right here.


Kwanzaa Flannel Board Set!

I thought it would be fun to create some holiday sets for holidays that I don't personally celebrate. (I was right--it WAS fun, and wow, I learned a lot while doing research for these sets.)  I'm so happy to be able to share these, as I think it's so important to expose kids to various cultures, and to share in celebrations with the kids who DO celebrate holidays outside of my own experience :)  

I focus holiday sets on the parts of holidays that kids understand, so the concepts are about simple traditions vs. any religious themes that might be attached.  

I also want them to be usable both as storytime sets-- where the adult is using the set pieces as props to support a rhyme, song or story--and as play sets for the kids--where the kids are re-enacting traditions, songs, and stories that they've learned about.

First up was Diwali, and now it's time for Kwanzaa!

Here's one of the songs I'll use with this set:

It is Kwanzaa! ©Wendy Gerbi

to the tune of Frere Jacques
Teach the kids how to do this as a call and response.  As you sing about each piece, place it on your flannel board, or you may want to have some of them already positioned.
It is Kwanzaa, it is Kwanzaa
Seven days of light, seven days of light
Candles in the kinara, candles in the kinara,
They shine so bright, they shine so bright!

It is Kwanzaa, it is Kwanzaa
Seven days of light, seven days of light
Corn for all the children, corn for all the children,
On the straw mat, on the straw mat.

It is Kwanzaa, it is Kwanzaa
Seven days of light, seven days of light
Lots of fruits and veggies, lots of fruits and veggies
For our karamu feast, for our karamu feast!

It is Kwanzaa, it is Kwanzaa
Seven days of light, seven days of light
Pass around the Unity Cup, pass around the Unity Cup,
We are all together, we are all together!

It is Kwanzaa, it is Kwanzaa
Seven days of light, seven days of light
Gifts for friends and family, gifts for friends and family
Let’s celebrate, let’s celebrate!

Naturally, I also laminated a small Kwanzaa flag, so we can play a Kwanzaa version of the Little Mouse game.  I'm sure you're surprised ;) 

Little flag, little flag, where can you be?
Are you under the kinara?
Let's peek and see!






Motor Vehicle Count Up!

Why yessirree, I do like vehicles :)  And, I love counting--counting up, counting down. It's all early math, and I love to do it in a playful way.  So today, I've got my BIG Transportation set (which you may have seen here), and I'm using it to count UP.

Motor Vehicle Count Up © Wendy Gerbi

Start with an empty board, adding your pieces at the appropriate parts of the rhyme. 

 

No motor vehicles traveling today,

No motor vehicles carrying people on their way.

Along comes a car, hear the engine roar!

Now there’s one motor vehicle, let’s go find some more!

 

(Continue adding any 4 vehicles you want, (make sure you include at least one each that drives, sails or flies) counting up until…)


Five motor vehicles traveling today, 

Five motor vehicles carrying people on their way.

They drop off the passengers, the people wave goodbye.

They’ll be back tomorrow to drive, sail and fly!


Here’s a video for you!



And in case you want to see them up close, here are a couple more photos for you :)



Happy transporting!  Happy counting!  See you next time :)


Christmas Fun!

 We need some jolly old Christmas storytime fun, don't we?  Yes, indeed!  So here we go:




The laminated jingle bell is just right for a Christmas version of Little Mouse:

Jingle bell, jingle bell, you're hiding somewhere!
Are you behind the Christmas tree?
Let's peek under there!

And this set is just right for a Christmas version of Brown Bear, Brown Bear.  
I like it so much, I even made a video of it :) 


Fingers too tired to make your own?  Visit my shop:









Hey Diddle Diddle Felt Board Set

 It's time for another nursery rhyme.  Because they're classic.  Because they're fun.  Because I love the simplicity of a good nursery rhyme, and the absolute lack of making any sense.  It's fun!

I do have another version of Hey Diddle Diddle.  But I copied those pieces from images online, and I wanted to make my own adorable set!  So...I did :)  And here it is:


I will of course use my Hey Diddle Diddle Re-mix with this set, as well.  It's tooooo fun!  The kids love getting things all mixed up!

Hey diddle diddle, the COW and the SPOON, 
The CAT jumped over the DISH!
The little MOON laughed to see such sport, 
and the DOG ran away with the FIDDLE!

Whaaat?  That's not right... Let's try again!
(over.and.over.and.over.)

And I needed a cute nursery rhyme character to hide under those cuties, so I drew a Little Bo Peep, printed her out, and laminated her.  


She's going to love hiding, and the kids are going to love trying to find her!

Bo Peep, Bo Peep, playing hide and seek...
Are you behind the orange cat?
Let's take a peek!

OR 
Bo Peep has lost her sheep, and we've lost HER somewhere!
Is she behind the brown fiddle?  Let's look under there!

These guys will also perfect for a Hey Diddle Diddle version of the Brown Bear concept.

Here's to nursery rhymes!  

Oh hey, by the way...  If you like rhymes for kids, check out a ton of them 


Hickory Dickory Dock Felt Board Set

 

Oh, I love a classic nursery rhyme!  (I think I might be an old fashioned, low-tech kind of girl.)


I had an older version of Hickory Dickory Dock, with a mouse.  And a clock.  But a one use set wasn't cutting it.  It was just a little too simple (although I do think simple is a good, good thing!)

So how to mix it up, but keep it simple, right?
Enter the mouse, the clock...and some friends!

Now, going up the clock isn't just for mice!  
Let's JUMP up the clock!  
Let's CRAWL slooowwwwly up the clock!  
Let's RUN up the clock!  

And hey--we can give clues to the kids and have them guess which animal is going next...
"I'm thinking of a tiny critter who has a shell and moves very slowly..." 
"Lets find an animal that jumps AND has a pouch for their baby..."
"This animal moves quickly, and can be a pet at your house..."

Now, I also printed out a little clock, because why not have a Hickory Dickory version of the Little Mouse game?  It's always a winner, right?!



Tick tock, tick tock, the clock is hiding somewhere..
Is it beneath the green frog?  Let's check under there!


Counting Kittens

 Oh, why not?  Let's add one more way to use these adorable kittens to the circle time mix!  With numbers, this time... (You can find the KITTY bingo song here, and the Ball of Yarn game is coming soon!



Sometimes it's fun to count up, and sometimes its fun to count down... This time, we're starting with five, and counting down to none--how sad to see them go!
I like to sprinkle vocabulary words into my rhymes, so we're not only counting, we're building knowledge about the subject at hand.  This time it's cat knowledge :)

Five Little Kittens ©Wendy Gerbi

Five little kittens, stretching by the door, 

One pounces away, and that leaves four

Four little kittens, scratching on a tree, 

One pounces away, and that leaves three. 

Three little kittens, hissing at you! 

One pounces away, and that leaves two. 

Two little kittens, purring in the sun

One pounces away, and that leaves one. 

One little kitten, looking for some fun 

She pounces off to join her friends, and that leaves none! 

Oh, by the way--since you're here, I know you like fun circle time stuff...  

So feel free to go check out my YouTube channel for tons more ideas!


Diwali Flannel Board Fun!

I thought it would be fun to create some holiday sets for holidays that I don't personally celebrate. (I was right--it WAS fun, and wow, I learned a lot while doing research for these sets.)  I'm so happy to be able to share these, as I think it's so important to expose kids to various cultures, and to share in celebrations with the kids who DO celebrate holidays outside of my own experience :)  

I focus holiday sets on the parts of holidays that kids understand, so the concepts are about simple traditions vs. religious themes.  

I also want them to be usable both as storytime sets-- where the adult is using the set pieces as props to support a rhyme, song or story--and as play sets for the kids--where the kids are re-enacting traditions, songs, and stories that they've learned about.

So up first is Diwali.  I made up some super simple songs to go with the set--Diwali vocabulary and concepts are sprinkled within, and the tunes are familiar so everyone will have an easy time joining in.

Diwali is Here 

to the tune of Farmer in the Dell

As you sing about each felt piece, place it on the board. 


Diwali is here, Diwali is here

Light the paper lanterns now,

Diwali is here!


Diwali is here, Diwali is here, 

Play the music loud and clear,

Diwali is here!


Diwali is here, Diwali is here,

Fireworks on the third night, 

Diwali is here!


Diwali is here, Diwali is here, 

Light the Diya lamps one by one,

Diwali is here!


Diwali is here, Diwali is here, 

Rangoli patterns on the floor,

Diwali is here!


Diwali is here, Diwali is here, 

Share some treats and give some gifts,

Diwali is here!


It’s Diwali! ©Wendy Gerbi

to the tune of Frere Jacques









It’s Diwali, it’s Diwali,

The Festival of Lights, the Festival of Lights!

Light the paper lanterns, light the paper lanterns,

They shine so bright, they shine so bright!


It’s Diwali, it’s Diwali,

The Festival of Lights, the Festival of Lights!

Decorate with flowers, decorate with flowers, 

Colorful and bright, colorful and bright!


It’s Diwali, it’s Diwali,

The Festival of Lights, the Festival of Lights!

Make rangoli patterns, make rangoli patterns, 

Such a lovely sight, such a lovely sight!


It’s Diwali, it’s Diwali,

The Festival of Lights, the Festival of Lights!

Watch the pretty fireworks, watch the pretty fireworks, 

So bright at night, so bright at night!



I (of course) wanted a hide and seek/Little Mouse game for this set.  I drew a rangoli, printed it out, and laminated it:


Rangoli, rangoli, where can you be?
Are you behind the paper lantern, let's peek and see!

Happy Diwali!

KITTY Bingo Felt Board Set

 I love cats.  I've got two of them snuggled up and snoring/drooling next to me right now.  The poor things aren't spoiled at all.  But I digress.  Let's move on to felt cats, shall we?


Ah, there we go.  And as you can see, we've got a cat version of BINGO going on here.  You can see more BINGO ideas here, by the way.

I don't think there's much explanation needed here, but when you flip those letters over, you've got a cat face, which lets the kids know it's time to say "meow" instead of the letter name.  



You'll soon have a story time full of adorable meowing children, which should make everyone purrfectly happy.  (Sorry, had to.)

Need some cat books to go along with this set?  Here's my Pinterest board on cat books.