I remember discovering the Mommy and Me Book Club blog through an Internet search and immediately bookmarking it as a favorite. As I have mentioned previously, what I love about Danielle's blog is that she shares very specific instructions on how to format the group, along with a weekly detailed post (full of pictures) describing several activities to compliment the book/theme of the week.
It was also fun to discover later that she and I live only a few minutes away from each other! Today I've asked Danielle to share a little about herself (found at the end of the post) as well as what they did in Mommy and Me Book club this week:
We celebrated Christmas this week at Mommy and Me with Maryann Cusimano Love's You Are My Miracle. Each of our activities were based on the sweet pictures and poetry in her delightful Christmas book!
Mommy and Me Handprints
I gave each of the children and their mommies a copy of the book we read today as a Christmas present. Each mommy and child placed their hand prints inside their copy during our gathering time.
Christmas Sensory Bin
We offered the children a fun sensory bin to explore while we set up for the day's activities. We included green sparkly tinsel, plastic Christmas ornaments, jingle bells, gift boxes in a variety of shapes and sizes with lids to fill and match. But the little ones' favorites were these really LOUD squeaky light bulb pet toys from Target.
Circle Time: You Are My Miracle by Maryann Cusimano Love
"I am your caroling; you are my jingle bell."
We read You Are My Miracle by Maryann Cusimano Love this week. This wonderful book was PERFECT for our Mommy and Me Book Club. Each page shows sweet pictures of a mom and little bear enjoying traditional Christmas activities together. The words are beautiful, and I actually teared up as I read the lovely sentiments to my friends who were holding their young children in their laps. I had my own miracle sitting by my side. The author perfectly captures the relationship between a mom and her toddler. "I am your parent; you are my child. I am your quiet place; you are my wild." "I am your decorate; you are my tangled lights." "I am your helper; you are my do-it-myself." "I am your steady hands; you are my rising star." "I am your hush now; you are my lyrical. I am your peace on Earth; you are my miracle." It is a book you will want to read over and over again with your little one snuggled in your lap!
After reading our story, I passed out bells to all of the children and we had a Christmas sing-a-long. The children chose their favorites which included "Jingle Bells," "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," and of course Rudolph. We even danced with our jingle bells during our closing circle song, "Shake Your Sillies Out."
Art: Life-Sized Gingerbread Boys and Girls
"I am your gingerbread."
Materials Needed: Large roll of brown butcher paper, scissors, crayons, glue, ribbon, buttons, large googly eyes, pom poms, foam stickers, pre-cut paper shapes
(We actually did the first two steps during gathering time. That way the children could play with the sensory bin while we cut, and the gingerbread people were ready to decorate at art time).
1-Have your child lay on the floor and trace their outline with a crayon.
2-Mommy cuts out the gingerbread boy or girl.
3-Allow the children to use a variety of materials to decorate their people.
This definitely was a cooperative project that needed both mom and child participation. The children loved decorating life sized gingerbread friends with their moms!
Snack: Sugar Cone Christmas Tree
"You are my frosting goo!"
DISCLAIMER: We normally try to eat a healthy-ish snack at Mommy and Me. We made an exception for our Christmas party. We acknowledge that their is no nutritional value whatsoever in this snack. For most of our children, it was the most sugar they had ever been allowed to have in one sitting. But these were so fun to make!
Materials Needed: Sugar Cones, green frosting, small candies, sprinkles, and large Popsicle sticks for spreading the frosting
1-Allow the children to cover their trees with frosting. Some of the children wanted to do this on their own and others wanted a mom to hold the cone still, while they frosted.
2-Add candies and sprinkles.
Activity: Indoor Snowball Fight!
"I am your fortress; you are my snowball fight."
We had a fun indoor snowball fight using polyfil (pillow stuffing). After all of that sugar, they were ready to play hard!
Activity: Opening Presents!
"I am your wrapping; you are my surprise."
We gave each of the children identical gifts to open at the end of our Mommy and Me Christmas Book Club. They were so excited to have something to open!
A little more about Danielle and how Mommy and Me Book Club came to be (in her own words): Once upon a time, I was a happy, book obsessed, kindergarten teacher. Then my greatest wish was granted and we were blessed with children. Then, I became an even happier stay at home, book obsessed mommy. I love being at home, but started to miss teaching. So, I invited our friends to join us at our home for a fun (and free) Mommy and Me class.
Once a week, we read stories, do art, play games, sing songs, and of course, eat yummy snacks. And since children's literature is my passion, all of our activities are based around the central theme of a favorite book of the week. I create all of our lesson plans from my kindergarten and preschool classroom experience and I supplement a lot with fun ideas I find online. We work as a co-op. All of the moms take turns preparing the materials needed for our activities.