Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve

Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve

Friday, August 17, 2012

Ladybugs! Ladybugs!

Lovely ladybugs!  What’s not to like about ladybugs?  They don’t sting, they eat aphids that harm our gardens and they are as cute as, well, BUGS!  We love ladybugs!  We love them so much we dressed for the occasion!
We had a life-like toy ladybug in our touch box this week.  I used her to explain the different parts of the ladybug and what makes her a beetle and an insect. 

Our non-fiction story was a Shining Nature book called “Fly Way, Ladybug,” by Linda Harley.  This was an excellent book because not only did is explain ladybugs simply enough for my young audience, but it also uses real pictures. 

Ms. Ladybug Mandy
taught class today!
Next we got on your feet to get our wiggles out by singing and flying to this song:
Ladybugs Fly
(Three Blind Mice)
Fly, fly, fly
Ladybugs fly
Fly over here
Fly over there
They fly up high and they fly down low
Around and around and around they go
They fly fast, and they fly-fly slow

Oh, ladybugs fly
We had so much fun we had to do it three times though! 

Next I did a flannel board rhyme about a ladybug who doesn’t have any spots.  Although I found this rhyme online, I adjusted to my liking including adding a sixth spot (I thought we needed symmetry) and a closing verse. 
Little Ladybug – For the flannel board (adding spots as you move through the rhyme)
Little ladybug, oh so cute,
Here's a black spot for your suit.
Now you go and have some fun
With your spot, your very first one.
Little ladybug, oh so cute,
Here's a black spot for your suit.
It's so nice to own a few,
So enjoy these lovely two.
Little ladybug, oh so cute,
Here's a black spot for your suit.
We are very pleased to see
How nice you look with all three.
Little ladybug, oh so cute,
Here's a black spot for your suit.
You might feel that you need more,
So we gladly give you four.
Little ladybug, oh so cute,
Here's a black spot for your suit.
Oh my goodness, sakes alive,
Look at you, you're wearing five!
Little ladybug, oh so cute,
Here's a black spot for your suit.
We gave you one more just for kicks,
You look so lovely with all six!
Little ladybug, oh so cute,
You have six spots on your suit.
You are ready to meet friends and play
Go ahead now, fly away!!!

Next I read the story “The Very Lazy Ladybug,” by Isobel Finn and Jack Tickle.  This is such a cute book and the kids loved helping me name the animals as the ladybug hopped onto each one. 
With my Four Ladybugs puppet from Discount School Supply, we did the following counting rhyme:   
Four Little Ladybugs

Four little ladybugs sitting on a tree
One flew away then there were three
Three Little ladybugs landed on a shoe
One flew away then there were two
Two little ladybugs looking for some fun
One flew away and then there was one
One little ladybug sitting in the sun
She flew away and then there were none
Next each child was given a ladybug cut from red cardstock on a diecut machine.  And we sang this song: 
Little Ladybug
Tune: "Mary Had a Little Lamb"
I have a little ladybug,
ladybug, ladybug
I have a little ladybug,
It's wings are black and red.

See the little ladybug,
Ladybug, ladybug.
See the little ladybug
Flying here and there.

Now it's landing on the ground,
On the ground, on the ground.
Now it's landing on the ground
And crawling everywhere.
We repeated the last verse several times with each child choosing somewhere for the ladybug to land (head, nose, belly, etc.).
Finally, we did this cute little rhyme twice through with our ladybugs:    
A Ladybug
A ladybug crawls up your arm
and sits right on your nose
A ladybug slides down your arm
and hops onto your toes
A ladybug creeps up your leg
and lands upon your knee
Then scurries to your folded hands
and snuggles down to sleep
Along with their pompom ladybug craft, the kids brought home their paper ladybugs and a handout including the rhymes we did with them.

Sources:  Nuttin' But Preschool, Bright Hub, Mama Made It, Activity Idea Place, and Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep” by Debbie Trafton O’Neal. 

Friday, August 10, 2012


Christopher Columbus called raccoons clown dogs when he first encountered them.  They are a fun little creature whose personality matches their bandit look created by the black fur around their eyes in the shape of a mask.  We had a great time learning about these cleaver animals.

Our touch box this week was part of a very furry raccoon tail.  And we learned about their lives by reading the Rookie Read-About Science book “Raccoons” by Allan Fowler. 

Next we met our friend Rebecca Raccoon who is small and lives in a big tree.  She enjoys playing hide-and-seek while singing this song: 
Rebecca Raccoon loves to play
hide-and-seek in her tree

The Raccoon Song 
Sung to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”
"Raccoon, raccoon, climbing a tree;
Wearing a mask, you can't fool me;

Hiding there so I can't see;

What you're doing, in that tree;

Raccoon, raccoon, climbing a tree;

Wearing a mask, you can't fool me!"

Next we read a really fun book called “Raccoon Tune” by Nancy Shaw and illustrated by Howard Fine.  If you have ever heard raccoon going through trash cans, you probably imagined the scenario Shaw paints in this amusing story. 
Now that we knew a little more about these rascals, we gave being raccoons a try.  Each child received a raccoon mask cut from black foam sheets and we did our best impersonations while singing this song: 
I'm a Little Raccoon
Sung to the tune of I'm a Little Teapot

I'm a little raccoon, prowling around,
(use your hands like little paws and
make a cautious prowling motion.)
I hunt for food without a sound.
(look left and then right and
make a shhhhhh motion)
A mask on my face and a bushy tail,
(point to your eyes and then
swish one arm behind you like a tail)

Let's see if you can spot my trail!
(put hand on forehead (like a salute) and
gaze at the floor like you're looking for pawprints)

We finished our circle time with a flannel board story.  I used several pieces I already had to put together an abbreviated version of Erica Wolf’s “Brave Little Raccoon.”  The kids loved the mystery of who was following Little Raccoon as she tried to make her way home. 

In addition to our paper bag raccoon puppet craft and their masks, the kids received a quarter-sheet card with both of our rhymes on it to take home. 
I'm a Little Raccoon (printable)

Friday, August 3, 2012


Squirrels!  What is NOT to love about squirrels?  I had so much fun this week putting together a great Toddler Tales about these playful creatures. 

Our touch box this week was an actual squirrel tail.  We learned that tree-living squirrels use their tails for shade, rain protection, a blanket and balance while running through tree limbs. 
We met the nature center’s resident flying squirrel named Cedar.  The kids loved his soft fur, big eyes and habit of trying to find a nice little burrow to hide. 

Next we read “Busy, Busy Squirrels” by Colleen Stanley Bare to learn about the real lives of all the different types a squirrels. 

Then we met Squirrely our squirrel puppet.  She told our nature friends that she hid all her acorns around our classroom but now she forgot where she hid them and she needed their help to find them.  The kids searched for the acorns and brought them back to her tree trunk home (two canisters taped together with a hole cut out and covered in felt) while Squirrely sang this song: 
The Lost Acorns
Tune: My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean
My acorns are over in the meadow,
My acorns are behind the tree,
I’ve forgotten where I put my acorns-
Oh bring back my acorns to me!!
Bring back, bring back, oh bring back my acorns to me, to me-e-e
Bring back, bring back, oh bring back my acorns to me.

Once all the acorns were found we took them out of the hole and counted them while putting them on the trunk. 
Next we read a very cute story similar to Eric Carle’s “The Very Busy Spider” called “The Busy Little Squirrel” by Nancy Tafuri. 
Now it was our turn to be squirrels!  Each person got a dance scarf to act as a tail while we danced along to “Peep Squirrel.”  I have the Kindermusik version on the Wiggles and Giggles CD which is a lot of fun. 
We closed our story time with Lois Ehlert’s “Nuts to You!” 
Sources:  Lost Acorn Game (with printables)

Visit Mrs. D. at Putting Smiles on Faces for more Flannel Friday fun this week.