Monday, September 29, 2014

31 Days of NEW Kids Picture Books

I've heard about Nester's 31 Days Series of blog writing during October, and last year heard about/remembered it too late to join in. But this year I saw Jessica's post announcing what she chose to write about, and wanted to dive in too.

I have a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old at home, I lead toddler and preschool storytimes each week at the library, and in general I just see lots and lots of kids' books. So I thought an easy topic for me to blog about every day would be picture books! But to narrow it down even farther for me (rather than just choosing "the-best-awesome-favorite-books"), I thought I'd go through my "New Books" shelf at the library and write about some of the books we have there. They have arrived at our library within the last six months, and have typically been published within the last year, so there may be some great finds that you haven't heard about yet!

I have a tendency to start things and not complete them without accountability so... if you're reading this and are going to be looking forward to my posts every day, will you please leave me a little comment so that I don't give up part way in? :)

This post will also contain the growing list of NEW Kids Picture Books:

Day 1:
Day 2:
Day 3:
Day 4:
Day 5:
Day 6:
Day 7:
Day 8:
Day 9:
Day 10:
Day 11:
Day 12:
Day 13:
Day 14:
Day 15:
Day 16:
Day 17:
Day 18:
Day 19:
Day 20:
Day 21:
Day 22:
Day 23:
Day 24:
Day 25:
Day 26:
Day 27:
Day 28:
Day 29:
Day 30:
Day 31:


Storytime: Fall (part 1)

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

I'm splitting my fall-themed storytime over two weeks, because there are just way too many good books about fall! This week had a heavy squirrel-theme, and next week will be more leaves-themed. I attempted a squirrel and tree storytime theme last season, so a few of the extra activities came from there.

1) Greet with puppet


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


3) These Are My Glasses - Laurie Berkner
(we sing at every storytime before opening our first book)
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) Who Loves the Fall? - Bob Raczka
My own kids love this book. Or maybe I just love reading it to them... Fun rhymes, bold pictures, and it covers a variety of fall topics including sports, school, holidays, and more. 


5) What Falls in the Fall - Laurie Berkner
I wasn't able to find a video for this one, but we just kind of made up motions as we went. We played it from LB's Whaddya Think of That? cd. 

What falls in the Fall? Rain falls in the Fall
Down down down down down
The rain is falling down, puddles on the ground
It's wet beneath my feet in the Fall 


What falls in the Fall? Temperatures fall
Down down down down down
It's when the summer ends, you've got to hug your friends
To keep your body warm in the Fall

And when the leaves start to change, it's beautiful to me
Red gold and yellow colors all around
High up in the trees

What falls in the Fall? Leaves fall in the Fall 

Down down down down down 
They twirl everywhere, and I throw them in the air 
They crunch beneath my feet in the Fall 

What falls in the Fall? Kids fall in the Fall! 
Down down down down down


6) Flannel - What Will It Rain?
I had the right amount of kids to give each a piece of "food". I read the story from the book but didn't show the pictures, and placed the animals on the flannelboard myself then encouraged the kids to bring up the animal's food. It seemed to go well, the oldest kids were really getting into the rhymes and trying to guess which food was next - I purposely started not completing the sentence and for the most part they jumped right in with the correct word! 


7) The Busy Little Squirrel - Nancy Tafuri
This book was so simple the kids started saying the "but he was tooooo busy!" line without me. They were in a talkative mood. :) This would be an easy book to make a flannel for, with the different animals.


8) Little Squirrel song w/scarves
I had first seen the "Grey Squirrel, Grey Squirrel" song on Miss Tara's blog (and here's a YouTube link). Since I don't have the pom poms but liked the song, I gave the kids colored scarves and sang about different colors instead. And to have everyone participate for the first and last verses, I changed the "grey" squirrel to a "little" squirrel.

Little squirrel, little squirrel, swish your bushy tail 
Little squirrel, little squirrel, swish your bushy tail 
Hold a nut between your toes, wrinkle up your little nose 
Little squirrel, little squirrel, swish your bushy tail

Red squirrel, red squirrel, swish your bushy tail...


9) That Pup - Lindsay Barrett George
I also read this one in my 0-2 yr class. Who doesn't love big pictures of a cute puppy?? I noticed some parents whispering to their kids about the squirrel on each page. When we got to the page with the 10 acorns, we took the time to point and count them out.


10) Do You Know What Time It Is?
Leo the Lion puppet came back out to help us end our Storytime.
(tune: Muffin Man)
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!


11) Playtime/Craft
I brought out the blocks and instruments again, as well as a handful of plastic leaves to throw around. For the table activity I used an idea from Miss Sarah's Storytime, to print an outline of a squirrel on cardstock, let the kids put glue either on just the tail or the entire body, and sprinkle coffee grounds over it. Unfortunately I didn't get any photos, they turned out pretty cute, very similar to what's on Miss Sarah's page. I ended up with some coffee grounds on my gluesticks but was able to get it off without too much trouble. 



Other fall ideas:
Part 2 (coming next week)
Welcome Fall - Little Scholastic
It's Fall! - Linda Glaser
Old Bear - Kevin Henkes
Tap the Magic Tree - Christie Matheson
When the Leaf Blew In - Steve Metzger
Leaf Man - Lois Ehlert




Friday, September 26, 2014

Flannel Friday: The Five Senses

I used this flannel activity during our summer reading program. This idea is from Miss Meg's Storytime. Rather than creating all new flannel pieces, I raided what I already had in my supply and pulled out things like a bird, flower, strawberry, rabbit, and ice cream cone. Then I printed out the senses words and flannel backed them. We looked at one item at a time and I went through the list - Can you see it? Can you hear it? Can you smell it? Can you touch it? Can you taste it? and put up the correct words next to the item.

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Woo-hoo, I've made it three weeks in a row! This week's Flannel Friday Round-up is hosted by Mel's Desk. You can also check out FF's websitePinterest page, or Facebook group.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Bulletin Board: Rake in a Good Book

Just in time for fall, here is my most recent bulletin board:
Click here for the original idea.

I crumpled some brown paper to make the tree, and found large construction paper leaves that had been cut by the youth librarian before me. The rake and basket are also construction paper, and the book images were found online and printed in color (I suppose I could have just made color copies, but I wanted them a little smaller than actual size.



Friday, September 19, 2014

Flannel Friday: What Will It Rain?

In preparation for my Fall Storytime next week, I've seen some really cute flannels for the story What Will It Rain? by Jan Moncure at Miss Sarah's Storytime and Rain Makes Applesauce. Since I already had many of the animals (part of my ongoing add-every-animal-I-can-think-of collection), I only had to create a few plus the foods they dream about.
The tree and acorns I already had as well!
Sadly the book is out of print and my library does not have a copy, so I had it interloaned to take a peak at it and make sure I get the story right. I'm still not 100% sure whether I will read straight from the book or simply ad lib as I go with the flannel pieces.
I could feasibly have 8 kids each take a food, and when I tell about the animal that eats it they can bring it up to the board. So far I have only had 2-6 kids each week, so it should work out perfectly!


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This week's Flannel Friday Round-up is hosted by Storytime Katie! You can also check out FF's websitePinterest page, or Facebook group.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Storytime: Trees

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

1) Greet with puppet


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


3) These Are My Glasses - Laurie Berkner
(we sing at every storytime before opening our first book)
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)


I really liked Jan Peck's Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea that I used during my Underwater storytime, and this one was a lot of fun too. 


5) Way Up High in the Apple Tree
Way up high in a tall green tree (stretch up high)
Two red apples smiled down at me (make hands into fists)
I shook that tree as hard as I could (shake your whole body)
Down came those apples (quickly drop hands and smack thighs)
Mmmmm were they good! (rub tummy)


6) Five Little Apples Flannel
I wanted to make our flannel interactive this week (I used this rhyme last week for our Red storytime too, with bigger apples and no tree), but I only had 3 kids in my class. So I put 4 small apples on my flannel tree and gave an animal to each child plus kept one for myself. Each kid brought up their animal when I called it, and as they put it on the flannel board I took an apple off the tree.

Four little apples hung in a tree 
The farmer wasn’t looking, so guess who came to eat? 
A pig! Munch munch munch! 

Three little apples hung in a tree 
The farmer wasn’t looking, so guess who came to eat? 
A sheep! Munch munch munch! 

Two little apples hung in a tree 
The farmer wasn’t looking, so guess who came to eat? 
A cow! Munch munch munch! 

One little apple hung in a tree 
The farmer wasn't looking, so guess who came to eat? 
A horse! Munch munch munch! 

Now the tree is bare, there are no more apples there 
But when next fall comes around, guess who’ll be there?
A pig, a sheep, a cow, and a horse!


Down around the corner in the big oak tree 
Hung five little acorns looking so yummy 
Along came a squirrel with a big bushy tail. 
He took one acorn and ran off down the trail.
etc...

I used the same tree flannel from the apples and made five acorns to fit on it. I had the kids wiggle their index finger like a squirrel's tail.


8) Chicka Chicka Boom Boom - Bill Martin Jr.
"This next book is about something that goes in a tree too!"... I had a parent tell me "that book is longer than the one we have! I didn't know there was more to the story!" I agreed - I'd only ever known the board book too, which stops half way through, and was surprised when this kept going!


9) Rhythm sticks
I used rhythm sticks for the first time during our Music/Sound storytime during summer reading this year. They were a huge hit. After handing out sticks, which they started clicking, I took a pair myself and said "You guys sound great!! Let's see how good your ears are today, let's see how well you can listen." We practiced putting our sticks on our shoulders until I gave further instructions, and we practiced making our sticks sound fast and loud, and soft and quiet. Then we did this song together:

(Mulberry Bush)
This is the way we tap our sticks, tap our sticks, tap our sticks
This is the way we tap our sticks, so early in the morning.

This is the way we rub our sticks...
This is the way we tap our knees (gently!!)...

I also tried to get them to do some responsive clicking - I'd say "chicka chicka" and they were to respond by clicking their sticks twice and saying "boom boom!" Maybe if they had been a little older than 3 years they would have gotten the idea a bit better. :)


10) Tap the Magic Tree - Christie Matheson
The kids looooved this one. I had them "tap" the air in front of them, since they couldn't all come up and do it to the book itself.


11) Do You Know What Time It Is?
Leo the Lion puppet came back out to help us end our Storytime.
(tune: Muffin Man)
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!

(original from Abby)


12) Playtime/Craft
I brought out the blocks and instruments again. For the table activity I used an idea from Sunflower Storytime - I'd printed bare trees on cardstock that they could color brown, then finger paint green, red, and yellow leaves onto it.



Other tree ideas:
The Apartment House Tree - Bette Killion
The Apple Pie Tree - Zoe Hall
Stuck - Oliver Jeffers
What Will it Rain? flannel




Friday, September 12, 2014

Flannel Friday: Animals

It's my first Flannel Friday post! Yay! When I took this job, I inherited a filing drawer full of flannel things that I've been drawing from and adding to over the last year. Most All of the things I've cut and created myself have been copies of others' ideas, and so I haven't wanted to post them on FF because they weren't my idea...

There have been a handful of books, rhymes, and stories involving animals that I've wanted to do flannels with, but never have the pieces I need. Finally this summer I really wanted to sing Old MacDonald with the kids and use flannel pieces, came up empty, and didn't have time to make all of them (I can be a pretty bad procrastinator...). So I decided to make a couple of animals at a time over the last month (and will continue!), to build up a variety of animals I can draw from the next time the need arises.

I found clipart that I printed, taped onto the felt, and cut. So far I have a cow, horse, pig, sheep, snake/worm, mouse, cat, and dog.
 I used them already last week during my "red" storytime for the Five Little Apples rhyme.
What would be some other good animals to have? I'm thinking I'll go for jungle animals (monkey, lion, etc.) next.



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Kelly is hosting the round-up today! You can also check out FF's website, Pinterest, or Facebook!





Thursday, September 11, 2014

Storytime: Red

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

It was our first week back to school-year storytimes! I've made a few tweaks from last year, the biggest being the age breakdown of our classes. Traditionally our library has held Storytime for babies (0-18 months), toddlers (18-36 months), and preschoolers (3-5 years). After sporadic attendance in those classes last year, and overlap with siblings, and after going through our Summer Reading Program storytimes which were always for ages 2-5, I decided to go down to 2 classes instead of 3 for the school year.

Our "Storytime for Littles" (0-2 years) will have lots of repetition from week to week -- I'll write about that another day. Our "Storytime for Bigs" (2-5 years) will continue to have weekly themes.


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


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 clap hello, hello, hello, hello!

This is the way we pat hello (pat thighs), pat hello, pat hello
This is the way we pat hello, hello hello hello!

Repeat waving verse again


3) These Are My Glasses - Laurie Berkner
I think I would have a mutiny if I ever left this song out of my storytimes! It's become an expectation, and it was great to have our regulars help teach it to our newbies. We sing it through twice then I ask them to put their "books" in their laps while we listen to our first story.

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) Red Red Red - Valeri Gorbachev
The longest of my books, but the repetition helped it flow smoothly and quickly. It made me smile the first time I read it, and there were lots of "oooooo!"'s from the adults when I got to the page of the red thing Turtle was really going to see. :)


5) Five Little Apples Flannel
I came across a rhyme at Storytime Katie and changed the characters to match the animals I had on hand. Each animal took the place of the apple on the board. After each verse we counted how many apples were left.
Five little apples hung in a tree 
The farmer wasn’t looking, so guess who came to eat? 
A mouse! Munch munch munch! 

Four little apples hung in a tree 
The farmer wasn’t looking, so guess who came to eat? 
A pig! Munch munch munch! 

Three little apples hung in a tree 
The farmer wasn’t looking, so guess who came to eat? 
A sheep! Munch munch munch! 

Two little apples hung in a tree 
The farmer wasn’t looking, so guess who came to eat? 
A cow! Munch munch munch! 

One little apple hung in a tree 
The farmer wasn't looking, so guess who came to eat? 
A horse! Munch munch munch! 

Now the tree is bare, there are no more apples there 
But when next fall comes around, guess who’ll be there?
A mouse, a pig, a sheep, a cow, and a horse!


6) Old MacDonald Had a Farm
I have a tin with a [red!] barn on the front and crocheted finger puppets inside. I'll be using this frequently, even if it doesn't always match our theme. The kids love it. This week we used the pig, duck, and chicken - which led into our next story.


7) The Red Hen - Rebecca & Ed Emberley
I really liked this version of the classic story. It has nice bold pictures, talks about a cake instead of bread, and simplifies the animals to a cat, rat, and frog. I used this one in my Storytime for Littles class this week too.


8) Song - I Know a Chicken - Laurie Berkner
When the kids returned their eggs to me, I gave them each a [red] heart sticker, to help encourage them to give the eggs back!


9) Llama Llama Red Pajama - Anna Dewdney
A classic book about something red. Well... the book isn't truly about the pajamas themselves... Oh well. :) It's one I'm really comfortable with and have basically memorized, so I wanted to finish our first week strong.


10) Do You Know What Time It Is?
Leo the Lion came back out to help us end our Storytime.
(tune: Muffin Man)
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!

(original from Abby)


11) Playtime
I attended a Storytime 101 workshop a week ago that was put on my 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 I offer. I had a box of blocks, a box of instruments like shakers and jingle bells and rhythm sticks, and I put paper and red paint on the tables. Kids could play with any or all, which they did for about 10-15 minutes, then gravitated out of the program room and into the children's area which also has games and puppets and puzzles.


Other red ideas:
Red is Best - Kathy Stinson
Fire Truck - Peter Sis
Holly's Red Boots - Francesca Chessa
Little Mouse and the Big Red Apple - A.H. Benjamin
Big Red Barn - Margaret Brown (I LOVE to read this one to my own kids at bedtime, but read on a few blogs and heard at a recent workshop that it's not the best choice for storytime)
The Little Red Hen - John Escott (the full story, too long for my storytime kids)
The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza - Philemon Sturges (a fun twist on the classic story, maybe a bit long for my group, I think I'll try this one with some of my elementary class visits)
Bumping Up and Down in My Little Red Wagon -  song by Raffi
other apples stories and activities




Thursday, August 21, 2014

Science Craft: Hovercrafts

Our last elementary-age drop-in craft for our Summer Reading Program was to create hovercrafts. It involved really simple supplies, and was a hit with the kids.

Each kid needed:
We also used the library's hot glue guns, and packs of Sharpie markers.

The steps: (I posted these around the room and on the tables)
  1. Take a CD. Bring it to a table and decorate one side (this will be the top) with markers. 
  2. Bring your decorated CD back up to the counter to have a library volunteer or an adult hot glue a pop-top-cap onto the colored side.
  3. Take a balloon and return to a table.
  4. Once the hot glue is cooled and dry, make sure the pop-top-cap is in the “closed” position. Blow up your balloon and stretch the neck over the top. Lift the pop-top-cap to the “open” position and watch your hovercraft scoot across the table!
If the air seems to be coming out of the balloon too fast, place a piece of scotch tape over the hole and poke a few smaller holes in it with a pin. We didn't need it with ours. The kids also discovered they could blow their balloon up through the CD hole while it was attached, twist the balloon, then set it down on the table and untwist.

I eventually also put out scrap paper, to put the CDs on top of
while coloring, to keep the Sharpie marker off my tables!

Kids who came in the afternoon had a special treat. A local gentleman had seen our flyers about making these crafts, and asked if he could bring in his own, real hovercraft for the kids to see. OF COURSE!!! I made sure to get his name and number to maybe have a full program with him sometime. :) What a special treat for our kids in our last week of Summer Reading!





Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Craft: Binary Code Bracelets/Necklaces/Keychains

One of the crafts listed in the CSLP manual for the Fizz Boom Read! season was all about binary code. This one caught my eye as my husband loves computers and coding, and... well... I'm a nerd too...

In short, binary code is a way of writing letters and numbers and symbols using an 8-digit string of 0's and 1's. For example, the uppercase letter "A" is written 01000001. Using black beads for 0 and white beads for 1, with colors in between for spacing, we were able to create bracelets, necklaces, and keychains with coded messages.

I offered this program for my teens, but it could easily be something for elementary kids to do too. Most kids wrote their names or initials, a few middle school girls wouldn't share whose name they were writing. :)
The keychain spells "Carrie", and I made the
blue necklace for my daughter "Abby".