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30th June
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I thought I would do a series of reviews of toddler S.T.E.A.M. subscription kits since so many parents are in a position where they have to fill in for their daycare providers — and still want to provide some enrichment, even during a pandemic.

Disclaimer: I have only reviewed kits that I was able to acquire in Canada, and solely kits for the 2-4 year old age range. so I’m sure there are more kits available.

My daughter explores the KiwiCo Koala Box:

Oceans Theme

  • Quality Wood and Fabric toys Including: (April) Fishing pole + fish with fabric bag, (May) Reusable Neighbourhood “Painting” that changes with water, (June) Wooden Doctor’s Kit with Fabric Bag
  • Thematic board book featuring the same characters every month – my quick review of these books: They are age-appropriate, well-drawn, and take the themes of the kit into a story that my daughter is happy to read again and again.
  • Some kits came with an extra project (like the art featured above)
  • Comes with an adult guide to help the parent follow along and support learning.
  • For the parents: YES your child can enjoy these toys without you holding their hands for the entire time. This is an excellent way to engage your child while you get work done.

I would absolutely recommend the KiwiCo kit to other toddler parents.

KiwiCo’s boxes have high-quality materials that have been thoughtfully curated around a theme. The months that we have received so far have been: Oceans, Neighbourhood, and Doctor’s Visit

28th June
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Verwandeln Sie diesen Kinderreim in eine Aktivität für Kleinkinder

Die Gummientschen und Tüll schwimmen “auf dem See” während Spielzeug Hühner “finden ein Körnchen” in strohfarbenen Stoff
Die Gummientschen und Tüll schwimmen “auf dem See” während Spielzeug Hühner “finden ein Körnchen” in strohfarbenen Stoff

18th October
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This goes very well with the rhyme, Open Them Shut Them:

Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Give a little clap, clap, clap!
Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Lay them in your lap, lap lap.
Creep them crawl them , creep them crawl them
Right up to your chin, chin chin
Open up your little mouth
But do not let them in!

A Variety of containers with different opening mechanisms: a box, a tin, a plastic egg, an eyeglasses case
Using an assortment of containers that open in different ways allows children to explore in a very tactile way, and understand what “open” and “shut” mean, while also building upon their hand-eye coordination and motor skills.
You can choose to hide objects inside — but most small children will be intrigued even if the boxes, tins, and eggs are completely empty.

It is important to remember your audience – do not put items that the children could choke on inside the containers, and remember that string and yarn can be a strangulation hazard (this is probably obvious to many of you, but just in case…)

19th August
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This sensory bin works well with Dinosaur themed story books (and the non-fiction work “Dinosaur Bones” Bob Barner

Toddler digging plastic dinosaurs out of black beans
My daughter acts as Archaeologist, digging dinosaurs out of black beans in her sensory bin.
15th June
written by

“Driving ‘Round”

Driving round in my little red car

Driving round in my little red car

Driving round in my little red car

Zoom zoom zoom zoom zoom

(Go through red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple)

Elevator Song (

Oh the city is great and the city is grand
There’s a whole lot of people
on a little piece of land
And we live way up on the 57th floor
and this is what we do when we go out the door.
We take the elevator up and the elevator down,
take the elevator up, take the elevator down
Take the elevator up and the elevator down
and we turn around.

Source: Jbrary


Five Little Houses

One little house all alone it stood
Then another was built
There grows the neighborhood.
Two little houses…
Three little houses…
Four little houses…
Five little houses
All together they stood
On a beautiful street in a happy neighborhood.
Source: Jbrary



The Key to the City

This is the key to the city.
The city is on a hill.
And on the hill is a street.
And on that street there is a house.
And in that house there is a room.
And in that room there is a bed.
And on that bed there is a basket.
And in that basket there is a blanket.
And under that blanket there is a baby.
The baby in the basket
The basket on the bed
The bed in the room
The room in the house
The house on the street
The street on the hill
The hill in the city
And this is the key to the city.

Source: Jbrary



 “London Bridge”

London Bridge is falling down

Falling down, falling down

London Bridge is falling down

My fair lady

Build it up with silver and gold

Silver and gold, silver and gold

Build it up with silver and gold

My fair lady


Put Your Shoes on Lucy

Put your shoes on Lucy
Don’t you know you’re in the city
Put your shoes on Lucy
It really is a pity
that Lucy can’t barefoot wherever she goes
Because she loves the feel the wiggle of her toes.

Source: Jbrary



Action Rhyme: “Riding”

(roll hands) Riding on my bike today

Pedal, pedal all the way

Pedal fast and pedal slow

Riding on my bike I go

(fly around room) In an airplane I fly

Up, up, up into the sky

Up, up, up so very high

In an airplane I fly

(rock side to side) Riding in a car I go

Rocking, rocking, to and fro

Side to side and to and fro

Riding in a car I go.

Source: Storytime Katie


Traffic Light
Green Says, “Go!”
Go! Go! Go!(march fast in place)
Yellow says, “Slow”
Slow… slow… slow… (march slow)
And Red says, “Stop!”
Stop Stop Stop!(freeze stop)

GO! GO! GO! (march fast)
Slow… slow… slow (march slow)
STOP!!! (stop)

Source: Sunflower Storytime (


Zoom Zoom Zoom

Zoom Zoom Zoom We’re going to the Moon (swiping hands back and forth)

Zoom Zoom Zoom We’re Going to the Moon

1, 2, 3, 4, Blast off! (crawl up arm, and then LEAP up at Blast Off)

28th February
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This Saturday story time was themed around Imaginary Creatures

I’m a really big fan of the abominable snowman, and I wanted to find a way to work it into my storytimes — especially when the weather has been so cold lately. (The temperature predicted for this story time, one of the warmest this week is -19 celcius). I brought in a Bumble stuffie, dressed in a Build-a-Bear “How to Dragon Your Dragon” Hoodie and asked the children who he was — everyone recognized Toothless, but then I took the hood off and pointed out “It’s really a yeti in a dragon costume!” which led into “If you’re a Yeti and you know it”

Bumble as ToothlessBumble


Welcome song    _We clap and sing hello_


Opening rhymes _Two little blackbirds_

If you’re ready for a story take a seat



Story #1   Yeti, Turn Out the Light!    Yeti Turn out the Light



1. If you’re a yeti and you know it 3. _Open them, shut them________

2. _Where is Thumbkin?  4. Yeti Stomp



Unicorn thinks he's pretty greatStory #2 Unicorn thinks he’s pretty great



1. Five Little Unicorns 3. The Lion and the Unicorn

2. Ten Little Bigfoot 4. Five Little Bigfoot Jumping On the bed







Story #3 The Boy Who Cried Big FootThe Boy who Cried Bigfoot



1. Baby Dragon 3. _Shake them, shake them______

2. Dragon Dragon  4. Horns and Fangs, Knees and Claws


Story #4 Oh So Brave DragonOh So Brave Dragon


Closing Rhymes:

1. _Sleeping bunnies____________

2. _Wiggle, wiggle fingers________




Craft:  Yeti Bag PuppetYeti Hand Puppet Craft

For this craft, I made:

White Construction Paper Teeth

Blue Construction Paper Ovals

Black Construction Paper Circles

I used cotton balls for the fur, brown paper bags for the bodies (white paper bags are too hard to find!) and chalk to colour the rest of the body. The kids had a great time making this craft.

(Not pictured: The glue sticks. Those are important!!)


If You’re a Yeti and You Know it

If you’re a yeti and you know it, roar and growl!
If you’re a yeti  and you know it, roar and growl!
If you’re a yeti and you know it,
And you really want to show it,
If you’re a yeti and you know it–roar and growl!

Repeat with:
Smack your claws
Stomp your paws

If you’re a dragon and you know it…Twitch your tail
Wiggle your warts
Give a roar
Do it all

Credit: Adapted by me from If you’re a Monster and you know it


Action Rhyme: “Yeti Stomp”

If you want to be a Yeti, now’s your chance

‘Cause everybody’s doing the Yeti dance

You just stamp your feet, wave your arms around

Stretch ‘em up, stretch ‘em up,

Then put them on the ground

‘Cause you’re doing the Yeti stomp

That’s right! You’re doing the Yeti stomp

Credit: adapted from Sur La Lune Storytime


Five Little Unicorns (Felt Unicorns)  : I really liked this rhyme, so I made my own felt unicorns (below). All of the manes and tails are yarn, and are sewn on.

5 Felt Unicorns

Felt and Yarn unicorns

I saw five little unicorns – creatures from folklore.

I watched the blue one prance away and then there were four.

I saw four little unicorns resting by a tree

I watched the orange one prance away, and then there were three.

I saw three little unicorns, but as near to them I drew,

The green one pranced away, and then there were two.

I saw two little unicorns – I watched them run and run.

The pink one pranced away, and then there was one.

I saw a lonely purple unicorn standing in the sun.

When I blinked my eyes, it pranced away, and then there were none.

Credit: Katie Fitzgerald, Story Time Secrets


The Lion and the Unicorn

The lion and the unicorn were fighting for the crown

The lion beat the unicorn all around the town.

Some gave them white bread, and some gave them brown;

Some gave them plum cake and drummed them out of town.

Credit: 17th Century  British Nursery rhyme (1603)


Horns and Fangs, Knees and Claws
(Tune: Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes)
Horns and fangs,
Knees and claws,
Knees and claws.
Horns and fangs,
Knees and claws.
Knees and claws.
Eyes and ears and tail and paws

Credit: Original Author Unknown, Preschool Education Music


Ten Little Bigfoot
Sung to: ” 10 little Indians”

One little, two little, three little Bigfoot,
Playing in the woods
where fern and moss grow.
running through the trees and having lots of fun.
Heigh-ho Bigfoot are here.



Fingerplay/Puppets: “Five Little Bigfoot Jumping on the Bed”

Five little Bigfoot jumping on the bed

One fell off and bumped his head

Mommy called the doctor and the doctor said,

“No more Bigfoot jumping on the bed!”

Credit: Modified from childhood




Dragon, Dragon   I used a Dragon puppet to demonstrate what I wanted the kids motions to be for this rhyme

Dragon PuppetDragon, Dragon, swoop and sway,

Dragon, Dragon, fly away.

Dragon, Dragon, fly even higher,

Dragon, Dragon, breathe your fire!

Credit: Falling Flannelboards


Baby Dragon

Baby Dragon counts to three

Baby Dragon bends one knee

Baby Dragon touches his toes

Baby Dragon breathes through his nose /(flame)/

Baby Dragon runs in place

Baby Dragon makes a funny face

Baby Dragon lies on the floor

Baby Dragon starts to snore.

Credit: Monroe County Librarians 

17th November
written by

Anne Heltzel’s debut novel, Circle 9
Full disclosure: I read an advance copy, so I’m unable to quote from the book.

A fairly short novel, but not without depth, Circle 9 is the story of Abby, a girl who wakes with no memory, covered with ashes, with only a sense of connection to the boy by her side. This is a powerfully engaging story with dark themes, and no easy answers. I couldn’t put it down and read it in one sitting. I highly recommend, but be warned that it is not a happy story.

9th October
written by

Love’s Labours Won (available for purchase here) by S.G. Lee

This paranormal romance/thriller straddles the line between young adult/teen fiction and

adult fiction. The e-book is approximately 210 pages, and available for nearly every device imaginable.

This is a quick-paced and fun read. Sarah is young and unemployed but willing to work, making her a character that is easy to identify with. Sarah has no family to turn to for help — at least she believes she has no family. Where the book gets interesting is that when Sarah finds out (quite by accident on her part, she was just looking for a job) that she has family she didn’t know about, she opens a whole can of worms. There is intrigue, magic, loveslabourswonmurder and some doubt as to who can be trusted. Sarah is a strong-willed female character who is sweet and kind without being a pushover which I really like after reading recent fiction that involved “blank-slate” female characters with all the ambition and self-identity of a slug. Sarah never sits back and waits for rescue when she knows that she is in trouble.

I highly recommend this book. ★★★★ out of ★★★★★

5th January
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The Encyclopedia of Gender and Society is a sturdy, hardcover, two volume set that proposes to address the most significant and “commonly recognized aspects of social life” and have entries by “area experts” that will discuss them through a “gender lens” (2009). This book was edited and compiled by Jodi O’Brien, professor of Arts and Sciences and chair of the Department. of Anthropology and Sociology at Seattle University, whose research into sexuality, and transgendered inmates lends authority to this reference work. The encyclopedia is current and contains topics ranging from the straightforward, “Body image” to the controversial “Abortion,” and distressing “Female genital mutilation,” but some entries show a clear bias, with the entry on “Affirmative Action” referring to anyone who may disagree with the practice as “racist,” or “sexist” rather than considering alternate points of view (O’Brien 2009).
Gender and Society mostly achieves its purpose, with a broad scope on a large number of issues, as compared to other reference books in this field, Gender and Education, and Sex and Gender, both of which have a much narrower focus. This book has a broad focus and a clear index, divided into categories such as “Arts, Popular Culture and Sports,” “Body Image, Health, and Illness,” “Crime and Criminal Justice,” and then subdivided within longer entries for easy reference. These features, its international scope and its clear easy-to-read font make it an excellent starting point for gender studies research, but because of its bias, and lack of depth, academic libraries should seek out other books to focus on more specific areas in this field. This book would be extremely useful for undergraduate students unfamiliar with gender studies, but also useful for gender studies majors, graduate students and faculty who are starting fresh research and need direction. Recommended for academic libraries.


O’Brien, J. (2009). Encyclopedia of gender and society. Los Angeles: Sage. Vol. 1- 2.

29th March
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I’m not available to do anything but work on my thesis until after April 13 (Thesis Defense Day!)

So, in lieu of actually doing work myself, I point you to this blog, Juiciliciousss Reviews for your fix!

AND, you should know that Juiciliciousss Reviews is doing a YA Book Giveaway: See Here for more details!