Sunday, September 30, 2012


 This week's activities were inspired by the book Pouch by David Ezra Stein.  

Gathering Activity- Kangaroo Pouches

We made these adorable Kangaroo Pouches that I found at Brilliant Beginnings Preschool Utah.


Instead of writing the letter K on each pouch, we helped the children write their names.   Lacing the pouch together provided excellent fine motor skill practice!  

It was definitely a parent and child activity.  That is one of the reasons I really enjoy Mommy and Me Book Club.  We have a one-to-one ration.  (Though this craft could be done in a center with a small group of preschoolers).

Circle Time

POUCH! by David Ezra Stein is the delightful story of a shy little Kangaroo who timidly ventures out of his mommy's pouch, one hop at a time.  Each time he encounters a new animal friend, he runs back to his mom, crying "POUCH!" The illustrations are fabulous.  The children and mommies laughed aloud at Joey.  But, even with its humorous moments, it teaches a sweet story about feeling a little shy. 

We Sang a little Kangaroo Song
(sung to This Old Man)
Jump, jump, jump,
I thought there was one
Now I see two!
It's a mommy and her baby
With his head popping out.
He holds on tight
As they jump about.
Author Unknown

Art-Paper Plate Joey Craft 

We were inspired by an adorable Kangaroo Plate Craft we saw at Danielle's Place.  Although, I do love her site, unfortunately I do not have a subscription for the printables.  One of my little friends has a big brother who kindly drew the heads, tails, and feet for us, and we created our own version.

We used paper clips to hold the pieces on until the glue dried.

Snack - Pita Pouches

How could we not have pita pockets filled with peanut butter and  bananas for snack.   We served them with milk, because that’s what joeys drink. 



1-Guess What’s in my pouch?  

One of the moms wore a long apron with a large pouch.

Inside of the pouch, she placed several different shapes of varying colors.  

We  let the children each take out a shape and name the shape and color. 

 Then they placed it inside their own pouches we made at the gathering activity. This was a very fun game.

2-Kangaroo Hop Freeze Dance-  

We played music while the children danced and jumped up and down like a joey.  

Then, when the music stopped, everyone stopped dancing and ran back to their mommies (like in the story) yelling "POUCH!"   

When the music started again, they went back to dance and hop.    Isn't it funny how the simplest ideas are usually the best?  The children loved pretending to be Joey!  They loved yelling "POUCH!" as loud as they could, and of course they loved snuggling with their mommies!  

I am excited to announce that this week we are beginning a new adventure.  We are participating with a few other blogs in a weekly project called The Children's Bookshelf.  

Mommy and Me Book Club will be participating 3 Mondays each month.  (The exception will be the 3rd Monday of each month when we co-host the Virtual Book Club).   So, three weeks a month, I will ask you to share ANY book-inspired activities you would like to share!   Then once a month we will all share activities on the same book!  (Make sense)? 

So, now, it is your turn to share with us with 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 your photo on a future The Children's Bookshelf post.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Apple Trouble

This week's Mommy and Me Book Club activities were inspired by Apple Trouble by Ragnhild Scamell.

Gathering Activity: Fall Themed Exploration Box

The story is set in Fall, so we let the children explore some fun fall items before introducing them to the story.   Exploration Boxes don't need to be expensive.  Simply pulling together liked themed items into one place can create a new experience and help children to make connections!

Circle Time:

Book Review

Apple Trouble is the story of an adorable hedgehog who has prepared a lovely nest of leaves under an apple tree.  A large apple lands on her back and becomes stuck there.  Many attempts are made by several animal friends to remove the apple.  However they are all unsuccessful, and while trying to remove the apple, they each manage to add another object to the hedgehog's back! By the end of the story, the hedgehog has an apple, a leave, paper, nuts, berries, and more stuck in her quills.   Luckily, a goat friend helps her out in the end! (This book is alternatively title OUCH! outside of the USA).

Fingerplay: "Way Up High in the Apple Tree"

Way Up High in the Apple Tree, 3 little apples smiled at me.
I shook that tree as hard as I could.
Down came the apples, Mmmmm...they were good!  

Sorting Practice: 
I gave each child a red and a green foam apple.  The children sorted the apples into two different baskets by color. 

Craft: Play Dough and Spaghetti Noodle Hedgehogs

We made these awesome hedgehogs inspired by an idea I saw at the Muslim Learning Garden.  Make a hedgehog shape out of brown play dough and add broken spaghetti noodles.  We used red play dough to create an apple to stick on his back like in the story.  This activity was fabulous for fine motor skills.  The children broke their own noodles and placed them in the play dough.  This held their attention for a long time! 

Snack:  Hedgehog rolls and apple slices

Life As A Schoolhouse had these wonderful hedgehog rolls we just had to try!  We of course ate an apple with our rolls!

Game: Hedgehog Quill Game 

Materials needed: plastic fork (break off all but one of the prongs), picture of hedgehog (colored, then taped to the fork), raisins

The children used their one fork prong to pick up the raisins.  This was a very simple game, but the children enjoyed it a lot!  It was another great opportunity to practice our fine motor skills.  

Monday, September 17, 2012

September Virtual Book Club For Kids

Rrralph  by Lois Ehlert


This month our featured author for the August Virtual Book Club for Kids is Lois Ehlert.  She has written and illustrated so many fabulous books that it was hard to choose just one.  That is, until I read Rrralph to my children this summer.  They thought it was Laugh Out Loud Funny. 

Gathering Activity: Doggie Ears

Materials Needed: Long strips of white construction paper large enough to wrap around a child's head.  Two Black Doggie Ears.  We cut ours to have jagged edges like those in the story.  Stapler 

1-Allow the child to color the ears and white paper.  

2-Staple the headband to fit the child's head.  Then Staple the ears to either side of the headband. (This is an adult step, but the children love to help use the stapler)! 

Circle Time:

I read Rrralph by Lois Ehlert to the children.  It is a clever book with clever artwork.  On each page, the dog's owner asks a question and the dog responds in ways that seem like he is speaking.  He tells his owner his name is "Rrralph" and he is standing on the "Roof, Roof" and the ground feels "Rough, Rough" on his paws.  The three year olds thought it was a very funny book...and so did their Mommies, as we groaned together at the old puns.  Ehlert uses recycled materials in this book to create her illustrations.  The result is bold and amazing.

Ralph (to the tune of Bingo)

There was a farmer had a dog and Ralph was his name-o.

R-A-L-P-H, R-A-L-P-H, R-A-L-P-H and Ralph was his name. 
(We sang the song, replacing one letter each time, with a bark).

Art Activity: Dog Art Collage


Materials Needed
*Using the image from the cover of the book, draw an outline of the dog on a ¼ sheet of posterboard (needs to be heavy paper) with a black sharpie. 

*Collage materials:  soda pop tabs, fabric, various printed papers, buttons, recycled  odds and ends, foam shapes, etc...


Provide the children with various collage materials to fill in the outline to create their own dogs. Let them name their dogs and write the name of the dog on top.

I ADORE how these turned out.  The children were able to do these with very little guidance needed.    

Snack:  Puppy Cookie

Ingredients Needed Per Child:
One Nutter Butter, One Vanilla Wafer, One large round Sugar Cookie, Brown frosting, kid-friendly plastic knife, 3 M and Ms Candy pieces

1-Allow each child to frost the large cookie. 

2-Open the Nutter Butter.  Place one piece on each side of the large cookie to create ears.
3-Place the Nilla Wafer in the center of the face.
4-Add eyes and a nose. 

The children loved making and eating these!


In order to play our two games, we needed our own doghouse! 

This one was created by cutting arched doors in the two opposite sides of a large box.  Then it was wrapped with newspaper and covered with paw prints.  One of the talented moms who comes to our Mommy and Me Book Club made this.  Don't you love it?!?!?

1-Doggie Doggie Where’s Your Bone?

Each child took a turn hiding inside the box with the bone.  Another friend came and took the bone and hid it.  We all sang "Doggie, Doggie Where's Your Bone?  Somebody took it from your home.  Guess Who?"  Then the Doggie came out and tried to guess which friend had the bone.  We let them guess until they found the right person.  We did not limit their guesses. 

 2-Musical Dog House-

This was played a little bit like musical chairs. We played doggie themed music as the children crawled on the floor like puppy dogs in a circle each taking turns to crawl through the dog house.  When the music stopped, the person in the dog house stayed inside and made one of the sounds Ralph makes in the book.   


Here are the other participants in this month's Virtual Book Club.  Please check out their great ideas, too! Can you believe how big this has gotten?  So happy to have so many other bloggers who love reading as much as we do!

I am so excited to see what fun book inspired activities YOU did with your children, based on Lois Ehlert's books!  Please link up your posts below!


 There are a few rules for this blog hop that we ask you to follow, so make sure to read them:

  1. Link up only posts inspired by Lois Elhert that share children's book inspired crafts, activities, recipes, etc. Any other posts will be deleted.
  2. Visit other blog posts on the linky and comment on or share the ones you love!
  3. Add our Virtual Book Club button to your post if you'd like.