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!

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

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: