Monday, November 24, 2014

Storytime: Family/Families

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

With Thanksgiving coming up I thought it would be fun to have a storytime all about family. But do you know how hard it is to do a search online for this theme?? I kept coming up with advertisements and plans for different library "Family Storytimes" which meant they were FOR families, not ABOUT them...

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


2) The Family Book - Todd Parr
A nice introduction to the theme, this book showed that while a lot of families may look different from each other, there are a few things that are always the same.


3) My Family (fingerplay)
This is mama, kind and dear. (point to thumb)
This is daddy, standing near. (point to pointer finger)
This is brother, see how tall! (point to middle finger)
This is sister, not so tall. (point to ring finger)
This is baby, sweet and small. (point to pinky finger)
This is the family, one and all! (wiggle all fingers)


4) Family Scarves flannel
From Katie. I made faces of grandpa, grandma, mommy, and daddy. I already had some winter clothing (scarves, hats, mittens) from another flannel activity, and while they didn't fit the greatest on the people, I didn't have time to make new ones! I handed out pieces to the kids and put the faces up on the board, and when we sang about the kids' pieces they brought them up.

(tune of Mary Wore Her Red Dress)
Grandma wore her blue scarf, blue scarf, blue scarf
Grandma wore her blue scarf all day long
etc...


5) I'm Going to Grandma's - Mary Ann Hoberman
A neat little book about not being afraid to stay overnight at grandpa & grandma's house. I think the story of the quilt went over the heads of some of my younger kids, but overall it was okay.


6) We Are the Dinosaurs & The Goldfish Song
I needed to fill some time, so I took requests for songs to dance to.


7)  Is Your Mama a Llama? - Deborah Guarino
I found I had little stick puppets of the characters in this story, so I showed the kids the cover of the book but explained I was going to tell them the story with puppets instead of showing them the pictures. I used the book as a sort of puppet stage on my lap, and had them help guess the animals based on the descriptions and rhymes before revealing them.


8) I Love My Mommy - Giles Andreae & Emma Dodd
Aww... Lots of love to the mommies, some of whom were there and some of whom the kids would see in the evening after work.


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 again, and just had some Thanksgiving coloring pages available. Right now I'm not trying very hard to come up with crafts that tie to the theme, and I don't think the kids miss it. :)



Other family ideas:
Here Comes Grandma! - Janet Lord (I read this one in my Littles [0-2 yrs] class)
Big Sister, Little Sister - Leuyen Pham
My Dog is as Smelly as Dirty Socks - Hanoch Piven
My Beastly Brother - Laura Leuck








Saturday, November 22, 2014

Storytime: Travel

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


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


2) Dinos on the Go! - Karma Wilson
I liked how this one had all sorts of different forms of transportation. I did paperclip a few.


3) Vehicle Guessing Game Flannel
Thanks to Kate for this fun flannel! The kids were able to guess all of them except the hot air balloon, which I saved for last.


4) The Wheels on the Bus
One way that people travel that we didn't talk about in our flannel is a bus!

The wheels on the bus go round and round
Round and round, round and round
The wheels on the bus go round and round
All through the town

...doors... open and shut
...wipers... swish, swish, swish 

...lights... blink, blink, blink
...people... up and down


5) Toot Toot Beep Beep - Emma Garcia
I love this book and Garcia's Tip Tip Dig Dig. I made it interactive, asking the kids to repeat the noises after me


6) Green Says Go
I used this in my Vehicles storytime last spring. I put large green, yellow, and red paper circles on craft sticks. I asked the kids if they've ever seen a stoplight when their parents are driving. Most of them already knew that green means go and red means stop. Then I had them stand up and march in place while I showed them the different colors. I even switched the colors up a few times (straight from green to red, etc.).

Green says, “Go!” (march quickly)
Go go go! Go go go! Go go go! Go go go! 
Yellow says, “Slow...” (march slowly)
Slow slow slow... Slow slow slow... Slow slow slow... Slow slow slow...
And red says, “Stop!” (stop and freeze)

Go go go! Go go go! Go go go! Go go go!
Slow slow slow... Slow slow slow... Slow slow slow... Slow slow slow...
And STOP!


Also used this in my Vehicles storytime. I taught them the motions first, explaining the song goes really really fast. Then I played it directly from YouTube on my iPad (just for the song), since I haven't been able to find it available for purchase.


8) Road Work Ahead - Anastasia Suen
My own kids love this book. They like finding the ducks and chicken throughout. Not as easy with a large group though. But the rhymes flow well, and kids love construction equipment.


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 as usual. I also had some coloring pages with lots of different vehicles. 


Other travel ideas:
Honk Honk Beep Beep - Daniel Kirk
On the Road - Susan Steggall
Boats - Byron Barton
Red Light, Green Light - Anastasia Suen
Sheep in a Jeep - Shaw
Other things from my vehicles storytime
Purple car - Mel's Desk






Monday, November 17, 2014

Storytime: Yellow

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


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


2) In My New Yellow Shirt - Eileen Spinelli
A fun book about a boy who pretends to be all kinds of yellow things because he's wearing a yellow shirt. Perfect for introducing a "yellow" storytime. I could see this being made into a flannel story.


3) Five Big Lemons flannel

Five big lemons in the bowl. (hold up five fingers)
One fell out and started to roll. (Fold down one finger, and roll hands)
It bumped the table, and hit my toe! (clap once, and touch toes )
How many lemons in the bowl? 1-2-3-4 (Count fingers/flannel pieces)

Four big lemons in the bowl...


4) Lemon Tree
From Miss Katie. I did the apple tree version earlier in the year.

Way up high, in a tall tall tree (hold hands up as high as possible)
Two big lemons smiled at me (make hands into fists)
I shook that tree with all of my power (shake shake shake!)
Down came the lemons (drop down and slap hands on floor)
Whoa, they were SOUR!! (hands on cheeks, make sour face)


5) School Bus - Donald Crews
Something that all of the kids have at least seen around town that is very yellow!


6)  The Wheels on the Bus
An easy follow-up song to the previous book.

The wheels on the bus go round and round
Round and round, round and round
The wheels on the bus go round and round
All through the town

...doors... open and shut ...wipers... swish, swish, swish 
...lights... blink, blink, blink
...people... up and down



7) Bumblebee (Buzz Buzz) - Laurie Berkner from The Best of the Laurie Berkner Band
I handed out scarves to all the kids and we just flew around flapping our wings during the chorus and sat down during the verses.


8Press Here - Hervè Tullet
It took me a little bit to explain that I wanted the kids to do the motions/tapping in the air in front of them, and I would be the one to do it on the book. I had a mom come up to me afterward and want to check this book out right away so her daughter could do it at home!



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


10) Playtime/Craft
Blocks and instruments as usual, white paper and yellow finger paint for the table activity.



Other yellow ideas:
Banana! - Ed Vere (I read this in the 0-2 class and they loved it!)
Lemons are Not Red - Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Yellow shirt cut and paste





Friday, November 14, 2014

Storytime: Opening & Closing Songs

In an effort to "bookend" my storytimes with something familiar each week, I've started using the same opening and closing songs for both my "Littles" (0-2 years) and "Bigs" (2-5 years).

Opening:
1) Greet with puppet
This year I introduced my friend Leo the Lion to the kids. 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. With the older kids I'll often ask if they want to give him a high five before putting him away. Sometimes with the littles we'll sing Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes and I'll ask various kids to help me find the parts of Leo's body.


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 waving verse again with older kids, repeat all 3 verses again with younger.


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)



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!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Bulletin Board: Hang Out at Your Library

I honestly don't remember where I read the phrase "hang out at ___" with the clothesline idea, but here's a new programming bulletin board I came up with:
It really is a clothesline with clothespins. On each shirt I list the library hours for the day, along with the weekly/monthly things we offer on that day of the week. The last shirt is labeled "Special Events" and is for one-time things, like our teen Halloween party we had this fall. I took small manila envelopes and cut them to make pockets, to put our mini-flyers in for people to take. 



Friday, November 7, 2014

Storytime: Cats

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


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


2) Cookie's Week - Cindy Ward
A cute little book about all sorts of things a cat can get into.


3) Colorful Kittens Flannel
I discovered a "Cat's Meow Storytime Kit" in my storage closet, that was packed with all sorts of ideas for a cat-themed storytime. I used a couple things from it - this flannel and the Three Little Kittens story and props below. I asked the kids if any of them had cats at home, and if they did what color their cats were.
I have a little gray cat, and his name is Mike.
I wonder why he sleeps all day and wants to play all night?

I have a little orange cat, and her name is Pam.
I think that she's especially sweet 'cause she's the color of marmalade jam.

I have a little black cat, and his name is Jack.
He always purrs his little song when he sits upon my lap.

I have a little white cat, and her name is Flo.
She loves to lick her little paws until they're white as snow.

I have a little calico, and her name is Pat.
She's black and white and orange and brown, my little rainbow cat.


4) Rainbow Kittens Flannel
From Kim, originally from Miss Courtney. I made the cats reversible with white on one side and color on the other. I didn't make the box of paint piece, but thought last minute to grab one of my own boxes of watercolor paints to use as a prop. I had one little girl asking "how did she do that?!?"

Six little kittens found a box of paint.
They jumped right in... Their mother will faint!
The first little kitten came out red.
"I'll be orange!" the second one said.
The third little kitten turned bright yellow.
"I'll be green," said the next little fellow.
The fifth kitten said, "My favorite is blue."
"Purple for me," said the sixth with a mew.
Dancing home the little kittens go,
To show their mother a kitten rainbow!
Mama cat said, "You're the most colorful kittens that I've ever seen!"
Then one...by one...by one...by one...by one...by one...
She licked them all clean! 



5) Mama Cat Has Three Kittens - Denise Fleming
More things that cats do (especially nap). I tried to find books this week that weren't simply starring a cat as the main character, but books that really visualized the way cats act and how they spend their days.


6)  The Cat Came Back - Laurie Berkner from Whaddya Think of That?
Since there aren't really any motions to this song, I just had the kids run around the room pretending to be cats. I had some old yarn balls for them to bat around too.


7) Three Little Kittens
Part of the "Cat's Meow Storytime Kit" mentioned above included pieces for the classic story the Three Little Kittens. I handed out the cat masks, and since there weren't enough for everyone I also handed out some of my cat flannel pieces. We read the story a couple of times and switched who had the masks so everyone would get a turn. I also had the word "mee-ow!" on a big piece of paper, and in the story there were specific places to hold it up and have the kids say it. They loved it.

After collecting the items (and handing out stickers), I told the kids we needed to find our lost mittens. I had hidden one of each color around the room, and the kids had fun searching.


8) How Do Dinosaurs Love Their Cats? - Jane Yolen
I was disappointed to discover this one was only available as a board book. I looove the "How Do Dinosaurs..." books. I just read it slowly and did lots of panning so everyone could see. A good reminder for the kids to treat animals nicely.


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 again, as well as the fake leaves to throw around. Eventually they all gravitated toward the table activity - decorating these Nasco masks to look like cats (glued triangle ears on, used pipe cleaners to attach around their head).



Other cats ideas:





Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Storytime: Halloween

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

I know I'm posting this too late for anyone to use this year, but it'll be in the archives for next year!! :)


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


2) Monster Needs a Costume - Paul Czajak
I reviewed this one during my 31 Days of NEW Kids Picture Books series in October. This is a new favorite author for me. I love the rhymes, the cute endings, the illustrations. I wish I had storytime in December so I could read Monster Needs a Christmas Tree!


It was easy to continue the monster theme and talk about colors and shapes with one of our favorite flannels - shape monster!


4) If You're a Monster and You Know It
From Miss Mollie

If you're a monster and you know it wave your arms
If you're a monster and you know it wave your arms
If you're a monster and you know it
then your arms will surely show it
If you're a monster and you know it wave your arms

...show your claws
...gnash your teeth
...stomp your feet
...roar out loud


5) The Monster Pokey
Also from Miss Mollie

You put your claws in
You take your claws out
You put your claws in
and you shake them all about
You do the wild rumpus 
and you turn yourself around.
That’s what it’s all about

horns
big feet 
tail 
hairy self


6) Mouse's First Halloween - Lauren Thompson
I love all of the "Mouse's First..." books. I even read this one in my 0-2 year old group (skipping a couple pages). A great little book to show there are lots of scary sights and sounds on Halloween, but you don't have to be afraid of them.


7) Five Little Pumpkins flannel
I used this in my Orange Storytime too. From Abby.

Five little pumpkins, sitting on a gate
The first one says "Oh my it's getting late!"
The second one says "Brrr there's frost in the air!"
The third one says "Aww we don't care!"
The fourth one says "Let's run run run!"
The fifth one says "Are you ready for some fun?"
Then whooooo went the wind (kids helped me blow!) and out went the lights
And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight!


8) Just Say Boo - Susan Hood
Another great book for encouraging kids to not be scared on Halloween. The kids loved shouting "BOO!" when I paused to let them. There's a flannel I would have loved to use right before or after this, but I ran out of time to make it. 


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 again, as well as the fake leaves to throw around. Our table activity was to make these pumpkins out of beads and pipecleaners. The only difference is we didn't make the loop first, instead we twisted the ends together after the beads were on to make the stem.



Other Halloween ideas:
That's a Costume! flannel
The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything - Linda Williams - I thought of using this YouTube video to have someone else read the story while I used the props.

There is no shortage of Halloween storytime ideas out there! Go to the Storytime Resource page on Mel's Desk and search for "Halloween and storytime." 






Saturday, November 1, 2014

#31bookpics

In addition to my own 31 Days of Writing, I participated in Jessica's #31bookpics on Instagram. It was REALLY fun. You can find all my photos on my Instagram page here. I think I missed a couple days, and some days were much more difficult than others, but I really enjoyed it overall. Great idea for a 31 days project Jessica!

Here are a few of my favorites:

Day 4: Library
Day 14: Books and Portaits
Day 17: Favorite Books (I wrote a whole post about this one!)
Day 20: Old Books
Day 22: Bookish


Friday, October 31, 2014

31 Days of NEW Kids Picture Books: Day 31


I was originally hoping to offer one final amazing new book to end my series with, but quite honestly I am all out of ideas! I have been specifically choosing kids picture books from my NEW BOOKS shelves at the library where I work, and everything that's left that I haven't written about either a) was published more than a year ago or b) just isn't all that exciting to me. So here you have it, just a final wrap-up post on Day 31.

Some observations from the past 31 days:
  • Writing posts ahead of time and scheduling them is the best idea ever. Some days I would whip out 4-5 book reviews in a single sitting, and some days I struggled to create one.
  • I'm glad I chose something simple to write about - the majority of my time was spent copying and pasting info from Amazon. "My thoughts" took very little time to write, which was key to making this a successful project.
  • I became very familiar with my new books. I don't always take the time to read new books as they come in, but this project forced me to. I feel I could confidently "book talk" any of the 30 books in this series to interested patrons.
  • This could very easily be a series I do again next October. It's not like it's a topic that exhausts itself in 31 posts. There will be tons of great kids picture books that come out between now and then.
  • I'm ready to take a break from book reviews.
For those of you who have joined me the past 31 days specifically for these book reviews, thank you!!! The content of my blog is typically more library-oriented, with plans for storytimes and crafts and events that I do with the kids and teens at my library. I will continue to throw in the occasional book review, but after today I will head back to a little more regularly-scheduled-programming. :)

It's been a fun month, I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have! Remember my giveaway ends at 11:59pm EDT tonight, so hop over to that page and leave a comment to be entered. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

31 Days of NEW Kids Picture Books: Day 30

Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio.  June 2014.

From Amazon: "A bulldog and a poodle learn that family is about love, not appearances in this adorable doggy tale from New York Times bestselling author Kelly DiPucchio and illustrator Christian Robinson. This is the story of four puppies: Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, Ooh-La-La, and Gaston. Gaston works the hardest at his lessons on how to be a proper pooch. He sips—never slobbers! He yips—never yaps! And he walks with grace—never races! Gaston fits right in with his poodle sisters. But a chance encounter with a bulldog family in the park—Rocky, Ricky, Bruno, and Antoinette—reveals there’s been a mix-up, and so Gaston and Antoinette switch places. The new families look right…but they don’t feel right. Can these puppies follow their noses—and their hearts—to find where they belong?"

My thoughts: Wow this is a really sweet book! Any kid who loves puppies will be drawn in immediately, and the book teaches an important lesson in the end. One should not be ashamed of the things they like to do, and even if they don't look like the rest of their family (an important concept in adoption), family really is about relationships and the ones who love them.

Age: Preschool and up

**Don't forget to enter my giveaway! It ends tomorrow night!!!**