Monday, March 30, 2015

What the Cubs are Reading: March 30

It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila of Book Journey.  Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers have adapted it to focus on Picture Books to Young Adult Books.

Since I recap what I'm personally reading each month with Modern Mrs. Darcy, I'm going to post weekly what Abby (almost 5) and Ellie (2.5) have been enjoying.
-----------------------------

Rocky picked this one off the new books shelf at the library last week, as his Algebra class is talking about imaginary numbers. It was the Caldecott winner for 2015. Beekle is an imaginary friend who goes in search of a child to be his perfect match. I've heard my girls playing "I'll be Beekle, you be Alice!"


Fancy Nancy Pajama Day by Jane O'Connor. June 2009
We have a small boxed set of Fancy Nancy books, and this is the current favorite. Nancy encounters a dilemma when she wants to wear her elegant nightgown but her best friend wants her to wear their matching pajamas.


Should I Share My Ice Cream? by Mo Willems. June 2011. 
We received this one for Christmas, and it makes my girls giggle every time. Of course giving Gerald a deep elephant-y voice helps the goofiness. I've seen Ellie paging through this one "reading" it out loud.


What's That Mittens? by Lola Schaefer. June 2009. 
One of Abby's current My-First-I-Can-Read books. I'm amazed at how quickly she's picking up words because of this series.


Check out what others are reading at today's linkup!



This post does contain Amazon Affliate links. Purchases you make help support The Lion is a Bookworm a little bit without changing the cost to you!


Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Lion's Tales: March 22-28

This weekly recap is where I blog about anything and everything from the past week. Could be about books, my kids, my garden... Random things in my life that don't fill enough space for their own post! 


1. The week has been up and down with my library job coming to a close. We had two really good candidates for my position, but one ended up taking another job somewhere else and the other gal declined our offer (it wouldn't pay enough...). So we're back to doing more interviews, and hopefully finding someone before I'm done next Wednesday!

2. I'm in the midst of planning my last storytime, where the theme will simply be "my favorites." I'm going to read some of my absolute favorite storytime books, do all of our favorite storytime songs and flannels, etc. I already know it's going to be difficult. Last Wednesday when we were singing our goodbye song we reached the last verse which says "wave goodbye to all your friends..." and I suddenly got choked up. It passed quickly, but I can't even imagine what next Wednesday will be like...

3. In kid-news, Ellie is as clingy as ever. She had a fever earlier in the week, which made her extra cuddly, and even now she continues to ask "you carry me please?" Sometimes I give in, other times I'm like "bud, you're two and a half. You're heavy. I'm sorry. I'll give you a hug, but then let's move on." At bedtime she wants to hold my hand and often says "you stay with me?" and cries when I leave. Poor girl. It's one of the reasons I'm leaving the library, so I'll have more time with her and am not carting her off somewhere else every day.

4. I gave Abby a haircut this week. I've liked being able to do braids in her hair, but lately while she's at school she's just been taking out every single ponytail holder I put in. So I asked her one night after washing her hair if she wanted me to cut it. She actually responded enthusiastically, and after getting pajamas on I made sure it was still what she really wanted. And we went with it. I think I ended up taking about 5 inches off. It's super cute, and doesn't get in her way as much anymore. I even had a gal who cuts hair as a side job tell me she thought I did a good job. :)
Not the best photo, she was cute playing dress up
the other night at church. Her hair is all the
way above her shoulders now! 

5. I'm super excited today to head out to East Lansing, home of my alma mater (who is back in the Elite Eight!). Rocky and I will be at the Breslin Center (sans kids! date night!), watching the boys basketball team from the high school he teaches at play in the state finals! It's the first time in school history that they've made it even to the semi-finals. I listened to the semi-final game on Thursday, and wow it was a close game! We'll see how they do in this last one! Go Mustangs!!!
From Homecoming earlier in the season


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Storytime: Ducks

Age: 2-5 years
Time: 25 minutes + play and craft

It's been a dry March here in mid-Michigan, and was perfectly fitting that the first day we see lots of rain is when I have a storytime about ducks scheduled!


1) I use the same opening and closing songs each week. Click here to see what I do.


2) Cold Little Duck Duck Duck - Lisa Westberg Peters
I did paperclip a couple pages in this one, I thought the kids might be a little bored with it (and I was right), but I really wanted to use it with it being the first week of spring!


3) Five Little Ducks
From Abby and Meg.
5 little ducks went out to play (hold up 5 fingers/sticks)
Over the hills and far away (arc hand up and over)
Mother duck called “quack, quack, quack” (cup hand around mouth)
And 4 little ducks came waddling back (hold up 4 fingers)



1 little duck went out one day (hold up 1 finger/stick)
Over the hills and far away, (arc hand up and over)
Mother duck called “quack, quack, quack” (cup hand around mouth)
but no little ducks came waddling back! 


Can end with:
Mother duck went out one day,
over the hills and far away (arc hand up and over)
Mother duck called “quack, quack, quack” (cup hands around mouth)
and 5 little ducks came waddling back! (hold up 5 fingers)

But since I used the ducks on sticks (and placed them on the chair behind me as I went), I said:
Oh no! The little ducks are all gone! Maybe the mother duck didn’t quack loud enough. Can you help me be really loud quackers and see if they’ll come back? …. Whoa maybe that’s TOO loud. How about quiet quacks? … Medium quacks?


4) The Ducks on the Bus 
From Sunflower Storytime. Tune: The Wheels on the Bus

The ducks on the bus go quack quack quack!
Quack quack quack! Quack quack quack!
The ducks on the bus go quack quack quack!
All through the town!

flap flap flap!….
waddle waddle waddle!….
quack quack quack!….


5) Duck on a Bike - David Shannon
"Have you ever seen a duck on a bus??" (referencing the song we just sang) "Me neither. Well have you ever seen a duck on a bike???" I did read the whole thing (could have skipped a few pages if the kids got restless), and each time after the duck said hello I asked the kids what noise that animal made.


6) Song - I Know a Chicken - Laurie Berkner
There were chickens in the previous book. I almost did Old MacDonald here in this spot, but the kids needed something more interactive.


7) Song & Rhyme Cube
Today the cube rolled Twinkle Twinkle and 5 Little Monkeys.


8) Duckie's Ducklings - Frances Barry
A really cute little board book. I seriously didn't see the ducklings coming up behind her until a couple pages in (I must have had my hand covering the side or something!). But the kids caught it right away, and were all excited and running up to point at the pages.


9) I use the same opening and closing songs each week. Click here to see what I do.


10) Playtime/Craft
I brought out the blocks and instruments for play, and for a table craft I printed an outline of a duck on yellow cardstock. The kids could practice cutting if they wanted, or they could leave it whole. Then we had glue sticks and feathers. Messy, yes. But we have a great vacuum. And I think the kids LOVED this easy craft. I even had one grandma take extra copies for her other grandkids to do later in the day.


Other ducks ideas:
Duckie's Rainbow - Frances Barry (I used this in my Littles storytime)
Duck! Rabbit!  - Amy Krouse Rosenthal (I had bad luck with this one once and considered trying again... but then decided against it)
One Duck Stuck - Phyllis Root
Duck Soup - Jackie Urbanovic
10 Little Rubber Ducks - Eric Carle
Duck Dunks - Lynne Berry
Little Quack - Lauren Thompson
Old MacDonald (especially after Duck on a Bike)


This post does contain Amazon Affliate links. Purchases you make help support The Lion is a Bookworm a little bit without changing the cost to you!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Lion's Tales: March 15-21

I like week-in-review type posts. Sadie at Adventures in La La Land posts her "Saturday 7", and Jessica at Life as Mom posts a "Weekly Ramble". And then there are favorite links of the week, like Anne's "Links I Love" at Modern Mrs. Darcy and Tsh's "Cuppa Reads" at Art of Simple.

EDIT: I asked for suggestions for a name for this series (some of which are in the comments below), and I now present to you the first-ever edition of "The Lion's Tales". :)


1. Abby has started reading! I realized she knows A LOT of words just by sight - she'll mix up "why" and "when" and "where" because I think she sees the wh- and guesses which one it is. At the library we have the leveled reading books in their own section, and I always tell parents "even within each level there is a lot of variation in reading level." Luckily I know a few series that are super easy to read, and picked up a couple of books about a cat named Mittens for Abby. I told her I was not going to read them to her -- if she wanted to find out what happened, she would have to read it out loud to me herself -- and she did! I've had to help her with a couple of words, but she is definitely a reader now. Yeeeehaw!!!!

2. The last of our snow melted this week. My tulips and irises are just teeny tiny green leaves sticking up out of the ground. I've seen photos from my friends of their snowdrops and crocuses and daffodils... maybe I should plant some of them sometime just to have something blooming in March.

3. The girls and I went to the zoo this morning. We have a membership to the children's museum (an awesome Christmas gift!) and a lot of the museums and other places in town have membership exchanges throughout the year. During the month of March our children's museum membership gets us into the zoo for free. Looking at the calendar I knew we wouldn't have many other opportunities to go, so even though it was 35 degrees and cloudy and damp, we made the 45 minute trip. It was so worth it! It wasn't busy at all, and even though a lot of the animals aren't out yet, the lions and the tigers both came right up to the glass.

4. It's so weird to think I have a week and a half until I'm done at the library. I've been trying to tie up loose ends, clean and organize drawers and the storage closet, and plan my last few storytimes. I've also been able to sit in on interviews this week. We have a couple of really good candidates, so I feel relieved that I'll be able to leave the position in good hands. But I've also had to answer a few phone calls, some from salespeople and some from local groups/organizations/committees who want to stop by or partner with me, and had to tell them what's going on and to call back in a month when the new person is there. It's such a weird feeling. I'm still very sure I'm making the right decision though.

5. This week was my birthday! I celebrated by leading storytime in the morning, sitting in on three interviews for my job in the afternoon, and hanging out with my girls in the evening while my husband was at a meeting. Ellie made cupcakes for me my friend made cupcakes for me while Ellie watched and liked the spoon.



This post does contain Amazon Affliate links. Purchases you make help support The Lion is a Bookworm a little bit without changing the cost to you!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Storytime: Birthdays

Age: 2-5 years
Time: 30 minutes + play and snack

What's better than leading a birthday-themed storytime? Leading a birthday-themed storytime ON your birthday!!! :)


1) I use the same opening and closing songs each week. Click here to see what I do.


2) Five Little Monkeys Bake a Birthay Cake - Eileen Christelow
My own kids love this book (though we have the old edition, with the title Don't Wake Up Mama! 


3) Birthday Months
From Storytime Katie. I had the kids find out from their grown-ups which month their birthday was in, then we did this action rhyme. Some of them just acted out everything even when it wasn't their month. :)

If your birthday is in January, turn around
February, touch the ground
March, march along
April, sing a song
May, wiggle your nose
June, shake your toes
July, jump up high
August, reach the sky
September, tap your shoe
October, call out “Boo!”
November, tickle your ears
December, give three cheers!


4) A Birthday
Also from Storytime Katie.

Today is everyone's birthday
Let's make us a cake  
(form cake with hands)
Mix and stir, stir and mix  (stir)
Then into the oven to bake  
(push hands out)
Here's our cake so nice and round  
(make a circle)
We frost it green and white  
(spread frosting)
We put five candles on it  
(hold up hand)
To make a birthday bright!


5) Five Birthday Candles flannel
Yup you guessed it, from Storytime Katie again! :) (loved your plan this week Katie!) I had the kids hold up their fingers for how many candles, then blow one out, while I did the flannel candles on the board.
Five candles on a birthday cake
Five, and not one more
You may blow one candle out,
And that leaves four!

Four candles on a birthday cake
There for all to see
You may blow one candle out,
And that leaves three!

Three candles on a birthday cake
Standing straight and true
You may blow one candle out, 
And that leaves two!

Two candles on a birthday cake
Helping us have fun
You may blow one candle out,
And that leaves one!

One candle on a birthday cake
We know its task is done
You may blow one candle out, 
And that leaves none!


6) If You Give a Pig a Party - Laura Numeroff
Not a birthday book per se, but I sure think this pig wanted a birthday party full of balloons and her friends. Plus it led well into the next flannel.


7) Color Balloons flannel
I found this in my stash of flannels-made-before-my-time. The envelope only had the balloons and the rhyme below, so I rounded up the other pieces needed. I set the background on the flannel board and held the balloons, and as I read the rhyme I "let the balloons go" and they floated to their spot on the board.
I had a great big orange balloon,
Until I let it go.

Now where, oh where, I wonder, 
Did my balloon blow?

I had a great big blue balloon
The string I held so tight.
But when I opened up my hand,
My balloon flew out of sight.

I had a great big green balloon,
As pretty as could be.
But when I let go of its string,
It flew away from me.

I had a great big purple balloon
When I went out to play.
But when I wasn't watching, 
My balloon just flew away.

Orange balloon, orange balloon, where can you be?
Orange balloon, orange balloon,
Up in a... (I paused and let the kids finish the sentences) tree!

Blue balloon, blue balloon, where did you fly?
Blue balloon, blue balloon, up in the... sky!

Green balloon, green balloon, where can you be?
Green balloon, green balloon, under the... tree!

Purple balloon, purple balloon, where did you fly?
Purple balloon, purple balloon, way up... high!


8) Five Days Old - Laurie Berkner Band
We just acted this one out (sitting, jumping, etc.), and tried to hold up fingers as she said the numbers ("I'll be 2 then 3 then 4!", etc.). A fun movement song. I might have to add it to the Music & Movement list.


9) My Birthday Cake - Olivia George
A cute, simple, one-sentence-per-page book to finish today. The girl wants to make her own birthday cake, but it doesn't turn out how she expected.


10) I use the same opening and closing songs each week. Click here to see what I do.


11) Playtime/Craft
I brought out the blocks and instruments for play, and instead of a table craft I bought Birthday Cake Oreos for a snack. I had hoped to pick up these mini cupcakes that our local grocery store makes, but of course I thought of it last minute and they didn't have any made. Oh well. The kids loved the sprinkles in the Oreos, and we had leftovers for the break room. :)



Other birthday ideas:
The Birthday Box - Leslie Patricelli (I literally went back and forth on the spot of whether to end with My Birthday Cake or this one. I decided to go with the shorter one.)
Flower Garden - Eve Bunting
Mouse's Birthday - Jane Yolen
A Birthday for Cow - Jan Thomas
The Birthday Queen - Audrey & Don Wood
Froggy Bakes a Cake - Jonathan London
Happy Birthday, Moon - Frank Asch



This post does contain Amazon Affliate links. Purchases you make help support The Lion is a Bookworm a little bit without changing the cost to you!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Change is in the air... in more ways than one

A few years ago I wrote a post on my old blog called "An Ode to March." I really do love this month (and not only because it's my birthday month). I used to think that fall was my favorite season (changing leaves, cider, etc), but now I'm sure my favorite season is actually spring.
Change is something many people are afraid of, whether they admit it or not. We like stability, we like consistency, we like to avoid the stress that often comes with change.

But often we NEED change. Change can be good and healthy. Sometimes trading one type of stress for another is a good thing.

And that's what's happening in my life right now.

I've put in my letter of resignation to my library. My last day of work will be April 1. I'm going to stay home with my kids more.
Over the last... probably six months or so, life has gotten stressful for me/us. I work 22 hours a week at the library and 8 hours a week at my church. I do some other volunteer things too. I'd come home and need to hold my 2-year-old's hand while she fell asleep at night because "I need you... I don't want you to leave."

It's such a bittersweet decision. I love the things I do at the library - storytime is always fun, and I've gotten to know some great families in the last two years. But I've also felt pretty overwhelmed. Trying to accomplish programming for all ages 0-18 years, update displays, shelve books, etc. is difficult to do in 22 hours a week. And there have been some interpersonal stresses that I won't get into here.

My decision has come down to one overall thought: I could come back to a library or similar job someday; I can never come back to my kids' childhood. 
I'm excited to be able to go on my preschooler's field trips, and do crafts with my 2 year old. I'm looking forward to a little more down time each week to just read during naptime. And I'll still be getting out of the house away from my kids a couple times a week to work at my church. I'm hoping to find ways to still be involved in the early literacy scene.

I'm not sure what will become of this blog. I definitely won't shut it down, I want my storytime plans accessible for anyone. I'd like to still keep it book-focused. And I still love to write. So I hope you'll continue to follow me as I figure out where The Lion is a Bookworm will go from here (any suggestions??).

Thanks for sticking with me. Have any of you ever had to make a tough, bittersweet decision?


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Quick Lit: March 2015

Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy has a monthly "What I've Been Reading Lately" linkup that I'm going to jump in on for the first time!

My goal for this year is to read 36 books - 3 a month - after only finishing 24 last year (7 of them were the Harry Potter series though, so maybe some of those should have counted for more than one...). I'm right on track, with 8 books completed so far. Here's what I've finished in the last month.


The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
This was definitely a break out of my usual reading. I honestly tend to stick pretty tightly to things like Christian fiction and juvenile/young adult. So to read a book that uses swear words and talks about sex was a stretch for me (though my husband and I do watch a handful of tv shows that are like that, I just rarely pick up those kind of books). I definitely enjoyed it. I read a review on Amazon before getting it from the library that basically said "if you enjoy Sheldon Cooper [The Big Bang Theory] and his quirky lack-of-social-skills and abundance-of-science-humor then you'll like this book." SO true. If Sheldon annoys you, you won't like this book as much.


The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
I had seen this one while skimming OverDrive for a juvenile ebook to read, and liked the sound of smart kids solving a mystery. What I didn't realize until after I got into it was that it's 500 pages long! I did like the concept, but some of the storyline seemed unnecessary - though maybe it gives background information for the other books in the series (which I don't plan on reading).


Prodigy by Marie Lu
Book 2 in the Legend Trilogy - I'm reading these as part of the Young Adult Book & Movie Club. I've been on a dystopian YA kick for about a year and a half now. Hunger Games, Divergent, City of Ember, Maze Runner, etc. I'm thinking if I had read this series a year ago I would have enjoyed it lots more than I am now. It took me awhile to get into both the first book and this one too, mostly because the storyline was so similar to other series I've read (Divergent most recently). I'll definitely stick with it, because I DO want to find out what happens to the main characters, but I'll honestly probably back off from dystopian YA for quite awhile after it.


Love & Respect in the Family: The Respect Parents Desire; The Love Children Need by Emerson Eggerichs
My Sunday School class has been having a discussion each week about a couple chapters from this book and we just finished. I really liked the Love & Respect concept from Eggerichs' first book about marriage, and the way the concept carries over into parenting makes total sense. He uses lots of examples from his own family and others who have shared their stories, which makes our family feel completely normal. It's fairly new, released in late 2013, so not many people have heard of it in the grand scheme of "best parenting books." I highly recommend it!




This post does contain Amazon Affliate links. Purchases you make help support The Lion is a Bookworm a little bit without changing the cost to you!


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Storytime: Green & St Patrick's Day

Age: 2-5 years
Time: 30 minutes + play and craft

Continuing our one-week-of-a-color-each-month theme, we're going green for March (fits great with St. Patrick's Day, spring, Michigan State basketball in March Madness... :)


1) I use the same opening and closing songs each week. Click here to see what I do.


2) I liked how Kathryn introduced the idea of St. Patrick's Day with a few sentences, so I shared this with the kids before we got started: "St. Patrick's Day is about a real person who lived a long time ago, in a place far away called Ireland. We wear something green and talk about real things like shamrocks and rainbows, and about pretend things like leprechauns and pots of gold.


3) St. Patrick's Day - Mari Schuh
This book is physically pretty small, so rather than a normal panning while reading I actually stood up and walked it around to show the kids the pictures more closely. There is a single sentence on every page and while it's not the most fun St. Patrick's Day book out there, it was the shortest one I could find!


4) Five Green Shamrocks
No idea where this came from - it was in my flannel drawer with a note "added February 1999"... I had a sudden influx of kids this week (my regular crowd is 6-8, this week I had 15!), so instead of going through it twice and letting the actual kids take the shamrocks off, I showed them my leprechaun from the next flannel and had him pick the shamrocks instead.

Five green shamrocks growing outdoors
[Child's name] picked one, and that left four.
Four little shamrocks, green as they can be
[Child's name] picked one, and that left three.
Three little shamrocks playing peek-a-boo
[Child's name] picked one, and that left two.
Two little shamrocks nodding in the sun
[Child's name] picked one, and that left one.
One little shamrock for St. Patrick's Day fun
[Child's name] picked one, and that left none.


5) Leprechaun, Leprechaun
I found a couple different versions of this, from Jen in the Library and Storytime Fun. Since I didn't want to spend too much time creating it, I printed and laminated the leprechaun and pot of gold and made flannel pieces for the others.
Leprechaun, leprechaun, what do you see?
I see a red heart here with me.

I see an orange star here with me.
I see a yellow moon here with me.
I see a green clover here with me.
I see a blue diamond here with me.
I see a purple horse shoe here with me.

Purple horse shoe, purple horse shoe, what do you see?
I see lots of children here with me.
Children, Children, what do you see?

What does that make? A rainbow!

And leprechauns LOVE rainbows, because they think at the end of a rainbow they can find a pot of gold!


6) Green: Seeing Green All Around Us - Sarah L. Schuette
Wow, two non-fiction books in one storytime?? The kids loved telling me all of the green things they saw on these pages. They started pointing out the green things around the room too. :)


7) Five Green & Speckled Frogs
Apparently the librarian before me had done this at some point, because I discovered a prop for it! It's a paper towel tube (so it really is a hollow log!).
Five green & speckled frogs (hold up 5 fingers)
Sitting on a hollow log (point at the log, kids sit)
Eating the most delicious bugs -- yum yum! (rub belly)
One jumped into the pool (flip one frog down, kids jump)
Where it was nice and cool
Now there are four green & speckled frogs! (ribbit, ribbit!)


8) We are the Dinosaurs - Laurie Berkner
My antsy group really needed to get up and move around, so we did this favorite song about something that's often depicted as green in books and pictures.


9) Where is the Green Sheep? - Mem Fox
I love this book. I did paperclip a couple pages since it felt a tad bit long for a closing book with our rowdy group.


10) I use the same opening and closing songs each week. Click here to see what I do.


11) Playtime/Craft
I brought out the blocks and instruments for play, and our table craft was green fingerpaint. I also had coloring pages left over from our Littles storytime that some kids colored with crayons and some kids colored with fingerpaint.


Other green ideas:
Green - Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Green Eggs & Ham - Dr. Seuss
It's St. Patrick's Day! - Rebecca Gomez
The Luckiest St. Patrick's Day Ever! - Teddy Slater
Lizette's Green Sock - Catharina Valckx



This post does contain Amazon Affliate links. Purchases you make help support The Lion is a Bookworm a little bit without changing the cost to you!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

March #bookwormproblems

Sometimes I feel like the odd one out when I see book bloggers posting photos of the stack of books they're currently reading.
Modern Mrs. Darcy's stack a few years ago
Usually I am a great multitasker, but when it comes to books, I just cannot read more than one at a time!!
Let me rephrase that... I can't read more than one fiction book at a time. As you can see from the photo, I'm reading 3 (4 if you count my daily read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year plan) non-fiction books right now.

I think this is why I'm still hesitant to try audiobooks. I don't think I would be able to enjoy the fictional storyline of more than one plot at a time.

Help me out here -- am I really the only one in the book blogging world who has this #bookwormproblem??


Linking up today with Quirky Bookworm! Click to see what other bookworms are struggling with!!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Storytime: For the Littles

My first year of storytime planning I had three classes - 0-18 months, 18-36 months, and 3-5 years. The baby storytime didn't really work out. One or two moms came sporadically before Christmas, then never came at all after the break. I decided with the new season last fall to only offer two classes, Storytime for Littles (age 0-2) and Storytime for Bigs (age 2-5). I've been amazed at how well this has worked for us!

I do get a lot of questions about "my child is 2 years old, which class should he go in?" and my answer is always "Our Littles class reads two short books and mostly does songs and playtime. Our Bigs class reads three longer books and is more structured. It's up you which one you think your child would fit best in!" In both classes I get older/younger siblings that would usually belong in the other class. But the parents know what works best for them.

So here is what I typically do in my "Littles" class! It is VERY repetitive from week to week, where my Bigs class has a weekly theme and I post those here each week. Littles lasts about 20 minutes, Bigs about 30.


My opening and closing activities are the same as what I use in my Bigs class. Can ya tell we love repetition around here? :)

1) Greet with puppet
This is my friend Leo the Lion. He's a nice lion, his mouth doesn't even open! His favorite thing to do is wave to the kids. Therefore he helps us sing our opening and closing songs.


2) This is the Way We Wave Hello
(tune: Mulberry Bush)
This is the way we wave hello, wave hello, wave hello
This is the way we wave hello, hello, hello, hello! 

This is the way we clap hello, clap hello, clap hello...
This is the way we pat hello (pat thighs), pat hello, pat hello...

Repeat all 3 verses again.


3) These Are My Glasses - Laurie Berkner
I started using this song before reading our first book each week during my very first Summer Reading Program in 2013, and have used it ever since. The kids know it so well, I think I'd have a mutiny if I ever left it out now. We sing it through (acapella) twice.

These are my glasses (make the letter o with each hand)
And this is my book (hands together)
I put on my glasses (put "glasses" over eyes)
And open up the book (open book hands)
Now I read read read (hold book up in front of face like reading)
And I look look look (put glasses over eyes and look around room)
I put down my glasses and… (lower glasses)
WHOOP! Close up the book. (clap as if closing a book quickly)


4) Read a Book
I usually pick one book and read it each week for the entire month. I look for ones that the kids might already be familiar with, so that if there are any new or shy kids, they might feel more comfortable with something they've seen before. I've used:
Brown Bear Brown Bear
Goodnight Moon

The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Big Fish Little Fish
Freight Train


5) Full Body Songs
I'll usually pick just 1 of them, and just go with the mood of the group.
Head Shoulders Knees and Toes
If You're Happy and You Know It
We are the Dinosaurs


6) Songs with Manipulatives
I'm always prepared to do any of these, and I'll pick 1-2, occasionally 3, depending on how the kids are doing.
I Know a Chicken (with shaky eggs)
What a Miracle (with scarves)
Walter the Waltzing Worm (with little pieces of cut yarn that resemble worms)
Old MacDonald (this is just me showing them the animals, not as interactive)
Shape Monster (flannel board)


7) Read a book
I'll change this book up from week to week. Often I'll find one that fits with the Bigs' theme of the week that is short enough for the Littles to enjoy (like Freight Train).


8) Closing: Do You Know What Time It Is?
(tune: Muffin Man) Early in the season I had to explain to the kids a few times that some grown-ups wear watches on their wrist to see what time it is. One week a little 2 year old, who never talks and never smiles, came up to show me she'd worn her own watch that day!

Do you know what time it is? (tap wrist)
What time it is? What time it is?
Do you know what time it is?
Storytime is over!

Now it's time to stretch up tall 
(stand/reach up)
Stretch up tall, stretch up tall
Now it's time to stretch up tall
Storytime is over!


Wave goodbye to all your friends (wave)
All your friends, all your friends
Wave goodbye to all your friends
Storytime is over!

9) Playtime
I attended a Storytime 101 workshop at the beginning of the season that was put on by the co-op my library is part of, and they talked about the five practices of early literacy. I decided I wanted to incorporate a time for play after every Storytime that I offer. I have a box of blocks, and a box of things like instruments (shakers, jingle bells, rhythm sticks), puppets, scarves, etc. I'll also put paper or a coloring page on the tables. Kids can play with any or all, which they do for about 5-10 minutes, then gravitate out of the program room and into the children's area which also has games and puppets and puzzles.