Creativity Lab: Cupcake Decorating!

Cupcake decorating

Get creative with cupcake decorating.  We’ll explore different piping techniques and have a lot of fun!

All supplies provided.

Cupcakes generously provided by Java Lab!


What We Did In Storytime: Hugs and Kisses

We had a lot of fun this week in storytime!  With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I actually decided to go with a theme and it was a blast!  You can’t go wrong with Hugs & Kisses in a baby/toddler storytime!  I usually give a set of instructions for my non-mobile littles (little littles) and my mobile littles (older littles) for each song so everyone is included. Keep reading to see how to share these songs and activities with your own little one.


Welcome Rhyme- I Can Hug

This cute rhyme came from SurLaLane.  Click on through to see their great stuff!  We started this one with everyone standing.  With my older littles we did motions to go with each line (Hugged ourselves, hopped, blew kisses, held out a hand to stop, nodded and shook our heads and then sat down).  For my little littles, the parents did the action with the child or modeled it so the child could see.  We ran through this one twice so that everyone could learn it and feel good about it aaaand because we needed to get some wiggles out!



I Need a Hug

by Aaron Blabey


This is a new book to us and was a total hit!  This book has rhyming, great illustrations, it is the perfect length for this age group, PLUS it is funny which makes it work well for my older littles and any older siblings that came to storytime.  I even had a fair amount of parents chuckling as we read.  This is also a great early book for looking at the picture clues in the story, what it means to be a friend, and naming the different animals the porcupine meets.  This book just has so many opportunities for fun and learning for any age little!


Flannel Board- Five Little Kisses

This cute idea came from Story Time Secrets.  I printed five little kisses from a free usage clipart site, added velcro and slapped them up on our board.  This is a great way to work in early math skills with little ones as we do one-to-one counting of how many kisses we have plus we keep subtracting kisses.  It is also great for naming some of the people we love most! Mommy, Daddy, Grandma, Grandpa, and of course, baby!  Feel free to sub in any person your little loves when you do this at home.  As we go through this rhyme, my older littles will give a kiss to mom, dad, or whatever family member we add in if they are at storytime that day.  Otherwise we blow kisses.  For my little littles, we blow kisses to everyone, but their grownups give them a kiss on the verse they identify with.  All my littles get kisses from their grown-ups on the last verse.


My Energy by Laurie Berkner Band

There is a lot of cabin fever around here thanks to a lot of snow, cold, and ice, so my goal in storytime today was to provide lots of chances to move and use big body motions.  With this song we jumped, hopped, marched, stomped, and had a lot of fun.  There are verses that give specifics (Like wiggle your legs, click your heels, shake your arms, jump for the sky, etc) but for my older littles, they could free dance with their grownup during the chorus and for my little littles, they could rock to the rhythm so everyone was included.


Never Let You Go 


by Patricia Storms


This story is from the parent perspective and all about watching your little one grow up.  Very sweet with humor too.  After getting our energy out, it was a nice gentle song to bring us back.


Song- Acka Backa Soda Cracker

This song is great as a bounce and the instructions for using it that way are on the set list but it also works well with older littles.  I had them all stand and rock from one foot to the other with the rhythm.  At “Up Goes You,” we all did a big jump.  For the final line “I Love You” they could hug themselves tight or hug their grownup.  I found this video of the bounce over at JBrary a few years ago, and I have to say it is one of my favorite earworms. Enjoy!


I Will Kiss You (Lots and Lots and Lots)

by Stoo Hample


So, this book was my “in case there’s time and they can sit for it” book.  I always have at least one of these on hand for storytime just in case.  You never know how the kids will do from week to week so better safe than sorry!  Needless to say, we were able to add this one to storytime today and I’m so glad we did.  The predictable rhyme, humorous pictures, and sweet message made it a win.  It was also pretty short, but could easily have been made shorter if we needed it to be.


I know the setlist says we did another flannel board activity.  Yes, I know, but the truth is, I always plan more than I need for those days when I do end up needing more.  Because I could tell the littles in room were ready to play, we cut this activity and got straight to our play centers for the day.


Miss Marta

What We Did in Storytime: 2/4

Hello and welcome to What We Did in Storytime! Once again I did not use a theme this week.

set list

Song: Same intro song as always! To the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It.”

Book: Bunny Roo, I Love You is super cute and the illustrations are lovely, but it was a bit long for how wiggly everyone was today.

Song: Popcorn Kernels

Popcorn kernels, popcorn kernels

In the pot, in the pot

Shake them, shake them, shake them,

shake them, shake them, shake them,

Till they pop! Till they pop!

I got this song from Jbrary. It’s to the tune of Frere Jacques/Are You Sleeping. Popcorn Kernels and Jack in the Box are both songs we do with the scarves.

Song: Jack in the Box

Another scarf song! This one is chanted more than sung, balling the scarf into your hands and then throwing it in the air at the last line. Since it is so short we repeated it 3 times.

BookHello Lamb. I really like this sweet little board book about animal sounds!

Song: First session we ended with Walking, Walking, second session we did Hands are Clapping.

Our craft today was making snowmen with cork stamps. The pictures were clip art I found online and we had a container of corks left over from…I have no idea what. With Crayola washable paint clean up is a breeze, but I brought out the smocks and would recommend using an old t-shirt if you try this at home. Better safe than sorry, as the saying goes.

We also usually have homemade playdough and playdough toys out during playtime, so if you’re interested in making your own at home here’s the recipe we use:

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • Up to 1.5 cups boiling water (add a little at a time until it feels right)
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • A few drops of glycerin (optional, but makes it shiny!)

Mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar, and oil in a large mixing bowl. Add food coloring to the boiling water then into the dry ingredients (color optional). Stir continuously until it becomes a sticky, combined dough. Add the glycerin (optional). Allow it to cool down then take it out of the bowl and knead it vigorously until all of the stickiness has gone. This is the most important part of the process, so keep at it until it’s the perfect consistency! If it remains a little sticky then add a touch more flour until just right.

Miss Marta added cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg to our current batch of playdough, so it smells wonderful as well as being fun to play with! If you want your playdough to last longer, store it in a ziploc baggie in the fridge.

And that’s what we did in storytime today! If you’d like to see what we did in past weeks, click on the “What We Did in Storytime” tag. And be sure to come back next Monday to check out what Miss Marta did!

Miss Jessica

What We Did in Storytime: Bears

Hello! So, like Miss Marta said in last week’s post, I don’t always use themes in my storytimes. I pick songs, books, fingerplays, and flannel board stories that I really like rather than using something I’m not excited about because it fits a theme. However, this week I did use a bears theme.

I also plan way more books and songs than I will end up using – every week is different, so I never know what the energy in the room will be or whether the age group will skew older or younger. I prefer to over-plan because winging it in the moment makes me soo nervous. So, here’s my plan for this week in storytime!

set list (1)

What we actually did was as follows:

Opening Song: I use the same opening song every week. I like the repetition, which makes it easier for grown-ups to remember and sing along and reinforces it for the little ones. It’s sung to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” You can hear the wonderful ladies at Jbrary sing it here.


Book: I read Sleepy Bear for my first story. This is an older title, but I really like the illustrations and the simple text for this age group.


Song: Five in the Bed. This song I used the flannel board for. I made five bears of different colors and a bed a few months ago. It’s a good way to work on not only counting, but colors! Plus a lot of adults know it already so it was easy to get people to join in. The pattern for the bed I got from here, the bears were clip art I traced and I eyeballed the blanket and pillows.


Book: It’s a bears theme, so of course I read the classic Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See? My other choice, In My Den, is a board book, and with mostly older kids today I decided to skip it.

Song: I skipped the fingerplay and went with Mama’s Sleeping with the shaker eggs. We had a good time with this song, shaking quietly for the first verse and loudly to “wake up Mama,” so we repeated it with Baby’s Sleeping. The thing I like about shaker eggs is that almost any child can use them, and even for those who don’t have the motor skills to hang on to them yet it’s easy for a grown-up to help them shake along. It’s to the tune of “Skip to My Lou.”

During playtime I put out the sensory snow, left over from an earlier program. I love this play snow; it’s easy to make, smells amazing, and is a piece of cake to clean up. We made this ourselves and it is super easy to duplicate at home, and if you store it in a plastic bag in the fridge you can reuse it. The recipe came from this post on Huckleberry Love.

And that’s what we did in storytime! Don’t forget to check back in next week to see what Miss Marta came up with.

Miss Jessica