Friday, October 31, 2014

Boo! Halloween! - A Storytime Outline

It's that time of year again! I typically panic around this time because I always wanted a good, ol' Halloween storytime with an exciting atmosphere. Perhaps it's because my old library system had them. Anyway! This year I managed to pull off a homemade bat costume (I feel so crafty!). A couple of kids dressed up for the program, but most didn't, which was to be expected. The children enjoyed the program, but I'm still wanting to do more!


BOOKS
Ghosts in the House! written and illus. by Kazuno Kohara 
This is such a fun book! I love the limited use of colors, and the children really enjoyed it too. We all thought it was funny that the cat even had a witch cat costume! 

Ten Little Mummies: An Egyptian Counting Book written by Philip Yates and illus. by G. Brian Karas 
Ever since I saw Philip Yates speak over five years ago, I have always wanted to use this book! It was a good book for the group. Score! 

Boo, Bunny! written by Kathryn O. Galbraith and illus. by Jeff Mack
The children wanted to read this one, and so, obviously, I obliged. It's very simple, and you can totally embrace the emotions and sounds that you come across in the story. 


SONGS & RHYMES 
Open, Shut Them
follow actions
Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Give a little clap
Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Lay them in your lap
Creep them, creep them up to your chin
Open your mouth wide, but don't put your fingers in!
Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Give a big clap
Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Lay them in your lap.

The Haunted House (T, P)
The ghost in the house goes "Boo! Boo! Boo!"
Boo! Boo! Boo! Boo! Boo! Boo!
The ghost in the house goes "Boo! Boo! Boo!"
On Halloween.

continue with:
The mice go "Squeak, squeak, squeak"
The cats go "Meow, meow, meow"
The witches go "ha ha ha"
The monsters go "rawr, rawr, rawr"
The bats go "ee ee ee"
Source: Preschool Education 

ACTIVITIES 
Freeze Dance to the Monster Mash
Knowing the group that I get at this little library I needed something for them to do to get some of their wiggles out, especially since I didn't really have any action songs. So! I whipped out the handy dandy iPod and loaded the song The Monster Mash, and we all did a freeze dance. It would have been more fun if there were movement scarves, but, alas, I did not have any on hand. Next time!

Skeleton Dress Up 
See below for details.

The Haunted House  
I made these many moons ago. If I remember correctly, I simply used Microsoft clip art to use as patterns for the each character. Even the witch, which I'm still impressed that I made - even if she is little ugly looking.

The Haunted House flannel board,
Created by Dorothy WP-CC, 2011


FLANNEL BOARD

Skeleton Dress Up 
I made Sal, that's his name, by the way a few years back. To make a skeleton I found a cartoon template online and blue it up a bit to make him about 18inches in height. His arms, skull, rib cage, and legs are separate pieces, which allowed me more freedom if I ever needed to have more fun. To make it exciting for the children I made clothes and accessories for them to put on him. For a little more detail, check out my Flannel Friday post for Sal.

For this group, I let everyone have a piece and asked them to come up based on color or by where one would typically wear an item of clothing. Here's what they came up with!

Sal dressed by Family Storytime children!,
WPCC, 2014.


CRAFT 
Masking Tape Mummies 
I found this craft on No Time for Flash Cards via Pinterest (Did I ever mention I love Pinterest???), and I have wanted to make this craft ever since. I followed the instructions pretty much to a T, and the children did a really good job at working with the masking tape and the safety scissors. Talk about letting the kids work on their fine motor skills.

Masking Tape Mummy, Family Storytime,
created by Dorothy WPCC, 2014.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Clothing! - A Storytime Outline

Oh, clothes! What would we do without you??? For this storytime I went with some "go-to" books (hello, Pete the Cat and Froggy!) but also added in some that I have never read and wasn't quite sure on how they would be received by the families. Everything went swimmingly! I'm finally getting into the Family Storytime groove!


BOOKS
Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes written by Eric Litwin and illus. by James Dean 
You can never go wrong with the this book! Most of the children were familiar with the story and song, but even then they all got into the groove and were bopping their head. 

Froggy Gets Dressed written by Jonathan London and illus. by Frank Remkiewicz 
A lot of the boys thought it was hilarious that Froggy had forgotten his underwear! 

Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing by written by Judi Barrett and illus. by Ron Barrett 
This was a simple, silly, older book that one little girl loved! 

Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed written and illus. by Mo Willems 
It took a couple of times to convince the children to listen to this story instead of moving on to our craft, but they finally wanted to read this book. It was fun, but I kept on remember the audiobook version where there was music playing at the very end. I need music! 


SONGS & RHYMES 
Open, Shut Them
follow actions
Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Give a little clap
Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Lay them in your lap
Creep them, creep them up to your chin
Open your mouth wide, but don't put your fingers in!
Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Give a big clap
Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Lay them in your lap.

Boots and Parka, Scarf and Hat
tune: Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes
(touch the areas that you wear these items of clothing!)
Boots and parka, scarf and hat (feet, arms, neck, and head)
Scarf and hat
Boots and parka, scarf and hat
Scarf and hat
In wintertime we dress like that!
Boots and parka, scarf and hat
Scarf and hat!
Source: Mel's Desk 

If You're Wearing... 
Before starting the rhyme have the children survey what they are wearing. 
If a child is wearing the coloring, have them stand up and do the action. 
If you're wearing red, shake your head
If you're wearing blue, touch your shoe
If you're wearing green, bow like a king or queen
If you're wearing yellow, shake like Jell-O
If you're wearing black, pat your back
If you're wearing brown, touch the grown
If you're wearing purple, turn around in a circle
Ask the children to come up with other colors and actions 
Source: Modified from the song "If You're Wearing..." via SurLaLune Storytime  

ACTIVITIES 
Matching Flannel Sock Game
See below for details!  

FLANNEL BOARDS  
Matching Flannel Sock Game
I finally got to make a version of the Sorting Socks Game that I saw on Mary's blog Miss Mary Liberry) a while back. For a sock pattern I simply printed out a sock-shaped clip art from Word, then I got to work on making many, many pairs of socks. I also had time to make my own dryer, but it isn't as fancy has Mary's. The children LOVED pulling out a sock and matching the pairs. Of course, I made sure there was one sock that did not have a mate... so true to life.

Matching Flannel Sock Game, Family Storytime,
created by Dorothy WPCC, 2014.

CRAFT 
My Awesome Sweater Coloring Page 
A lot of the crafts out there on the Interweb did not strike my interest or did I think my school-age children love it. So! Inspired by a burst of cooler weather in good, ol' Texas I created my own coloring sheet where the children had to design and color their own sweater pattern. I found the sweater image from Printable Coloring Pictures website that I copied over to a Publisher file where I added a page title and a space below that read "Designed by_______" so that the children could claim their fashion designer talent!

My Awesome Sweater craft, Family Storytime,
created Dorothy WPCC, 2014.

MORE BOOKS
  • Pete the Cat and his Four Groovy Buttons written by Eric Litwin and illus. by James Dean 
  • Too Purpley written by Jean Reidy and illus. by Genevieve Leloup 
  • Whose Shoes? A Shoe for Every Job written and photographs by Stephen R. Swinburne 
  • Lizette's Green Sock written and illus. by Catharina Valckx 
  • Lester's Dreadful Sweaters written and illus. by K.G. Campbell 
  • Clothesline Clues to Jobs People Do written by Kathryn Heling and Deborah Hembrook and illus. by Andy Robert Davies 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Chickens! - A Storytime Outline

Salutations and Happy Almost-Fall!

This fall season I have the privilege of working at one of my library system's smaller branches, and having weekly evening Family Storytimes.Oh, the excitement! Oh, the nervousness! Sure I've done Family Storytime (aka School Age Storytime), but many years and moons have past since then. Plus, I have to mention that the program was preplanned by someone else, and I just did it with my usual excitement and vibrato. And I can't really count my summer preschool storytime, where I get older siblings and kindergarten groups, because those programs were always designed for... well,  preschoolers! So, here I go! Three months of Family Storytime! Whoo hoo!


BOOKS
The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza written by Philemon Sturges and illus. by Amy Walrod
I started with the longest story first. It took a little bit for the children to catch on to the saying "Not I," but they finally did and it worked out great.

Hungry Hen written by Richard Waring and illus. by Caroline Jayne Church
I love this story, especially if you are a expressive reader. 

Chickens to the Rescue written and illus. by John Himmelman 
This was a simple book, and the children got onto yelling "Chickens to the rescue!" I also asked about problems and solutions.  The children thought it was funny how the chickens would cook in the kitchen and do homework and make a mess while doing so. 

 

SONGS & RHYMES 
My Hands Say Hello 
My hands say hello, (wave hands)
My hands say hello,
Everytime I see my friends,
My hands say hello.
Additional lyrics:
Feet (stomp feet)
Nose (wiggle or tap nose)
Ears (wiggle ears) 
Tongue (stick that tongue out!) 

Head Shoulders Knees and Toes 
Head, shoulders, knees and toes
Knees and toes
Head, shoulders, knees and toes
Knees and toes
Eyes and ears
Mouth and nose
Head, shouldersm knees and toes
Knees and toes
Note: For this age group you have to do normal speed, fast, super fast, super super fast and super super super fast!

The Hens in the Coop 
Tune: The Wheels on the Bus 
The hens in the coop go cluck, cluck, cluck
Cluck, cluck, cluck
Cluck, cluck, cluck
The hens in the coop go cluck, cluck, cluck
All around the farm .

Other words:
The chicks in the yard go cheep, cheep, cheep
The rooster on the fence goes cock-a-doodle-dooo (you can just use one cock-a-doodle-doo for each line)
Source: HCPL

Little Chick, Little Chick 
 Little chick, little chick
Come out and play
What color barn are you in today?
Source: Storytimes and More

Touch Your Nose 
Touch your nose,
Touch your chin,
That's the way this game begins.
Find your eyes,
Touch your knees,
Now pretend you're going to sneeze!

AA-CHOOOO!

Touch your hair,

Touch one ear,

Touch your two red lips right here,

Can you blow a kiss good-bye? (blow a kiss!)
Touch your elbow where it bends
Can you touch your other elbow?
And that's the way this touch game ends.

ACTIVITIES 
Little Chick, Little Chick Guessing Game
See below about the flannel board.

FLANNEL BOARD 
Little Chick, Little Chick Guessing Game
I found this almost to the last minute. I rediscovered some felt chickens that I made a few years ago that were perfect for this game. I quickly used a barn die cut to create my different color barns to use. It was that simple. The children loved it, but they were too excited to say the rhyme before guessing the color. They also were so smart they guessed all three barns that the chickens were behind.

"Little Chick, Little Chick" flannel board, Family Storytime,
created by Dorothy, WPCC 2014.

 CRAFT 
Clucking Chicken Cups 
I struggled to find a craft that the children would like, especially the older ones. This was just the ticket! I found idea through several pins on Pinterest. When it came to gluing the googly eyes and the paper beak, I recommend applying the glue to the cup itself first then a little to each item so that you know you're making a good sticky connections.The children liked it. The parents liked it. My fellow library workers... LOVED it! I hadn't seen them laugh so much. It was great! Source: Fancy Shanty


Clucking Chicken Cup, Family Storytime Craft,
created by Dorothy, WPCC 2014.

Chicken Life Cycle Activity Page 
I also had an activity page that I discovered online over at www.sparklebox.co.uk. The children could color them after their craft or take it home where they have more craft supplies. PDF LINK.

EDUCATIONAL MOMENT 
Clucking Chicken Cup 
I briefly explained the children how sound worked with the cup, and how the cup is needed so that we could hear the sound. A better explanation can be found over at Science Bob. Hey! I think I just did my first STEM element, right!?

Feelings - A Storytime Outline

Salutations! Do you have one of those days where you have you've lacked preparation for your storytime and you feeling unsure, worried, frustrated, tired, and almost to the point of giving up? I'm sure all Children's Librarians do. I was like that the other evening in the few hours before my second Family Storytime program. Last minute decisions and a throwing-hands-up "It will be what it will be" moment got me going, however. And you know what.... this program was AWESOME!

At the beginning of the program I ask the children what they knew about feelings/emotions, and had them help identify the emoticons I had taped to our wall. They did an extremely good job, especially on the ones that could have had multiple answers. What was great, and completely unintentional, but these faces kept on falling off the wall (oh, scotch tape on painted brick walls) during the program, which made the children laugh so hard! Music to my ears!

I felt HAPPY at the end of this program!


BOOKS 
Today I Feel Silly & Other Moods That Make My Day written by Jamie Lee Curtis and illus. by Laura Cornell 
I love this book! Not only was it perfect for starting the program, but it also let the children to say that sometimes they felt the same way. 
 
Mouse Was Mad written by Linda Urban and illus. by Henry Cole 
The children really liked this book. I tried to have them sit very, very, very still like the mouse, but it was rather hard. They did their best, which is all that mattered.
 
Taking a Bath with the Dog and Other Things that Make Me Happy written and illus. by Scott Menchin 
I'm so happy that I came across this book! It was perfect for the group. The children were in awe at how many things made Sweet Pea happy! 


"I'm Not Scared!" written and illus. by Jonathan Allen 
A "classic" go to for a program about emotions or feelings. 



SONGS & RHYMES
If You're Happy and You Know It 
If you're happy and you know it clap your hands
Clap, clap
If you're happy and you know it clap your hands
Clap, clap
If you're happy and you know it then your hands (or face) will surely show it
If you're happy and you know it clap your hands

Other lyrics we came up with:
Mad... stomp your feet
Sad... sign like this (Note: we did the ASL sign for sad, but you can also do "wipe your eyes")
Scared... make a face like this (make a scared face!)
Surprised... make a face like this (make a surprised face!)
Happy... say ya-hoo! (make sure you jump in the air!

Bananas Unite
Watch the video linked before for the actions! 
Banana Unite!
Peel, bananas, peel, peel, bananas,
Peel, bananas, peel, peel, bananas

Chop, bananas, chop, chop, bananas,
Chop, bananas, chop, chop, bananas,

Mash, bananas, mash, mash, bananas,
Mash, bananas, mash, mash, bananas,

Eat, bananas, eat, eat, bananas,
Eat, bananas, eat, eat, bananas,

Go, bananas, go, go, bananas,
Go, bananas, go, go, bananas,
Source: Jbrary 
Note: For this group, I went over the actions, and made sure they knew what to do with going bananas. We did three time, each time a little faster. This group loves doing speedy stuff! 

Skidamarink
Skidamarink a dink dink. (put right elbow in left hand and wiggle fingers)
Skidamarink a doo. (put left elbow in right hand and wiggle fingers)
I love you. (point to eyes, hug yourself, and point to others)

Skidamarink a dink dink.
Skidamrink a doo.
I love you.

I love you in the morning. (make a big circle over your head like the sun)
And in the afternoon. (hold arms in circle in front of you)
I love you in the even. (move arms in circle down)
Underneath the moon (release arms and make another big circle above your heard)
Note: Even one of the mom's started singing this. Love! 

ACTIVITIES 
Emotions Identification aka Feeling Faces
I really wanted to create my own Feeling Faces after seeing them over on Miss Mary Liberry, but I discovered at the last minute that I had no clothespins! So, instead, I made larger faces and taped them to the wall. I asked the children tell me what the feelings each face was expressing, and when they got it right I taped the feeling's name underneath. Some of the faces were could have had multiple answers, such as the "confused" face, which the could have also looked liked a "thinking" face. The children loved it and they had some really good answers and even expanded with stories of why the face could be feeling like it is.

Feeling Faces, Family Storytime,
created by Dorothy WPCC, 2014


ASL Signs 
Laced throughout the program I shared with the children different ASL signs for emotions, such as "happy," "sad," and "mad." They did a great job making the signs! My "go-to" source for ASL instruction is ASL University.

CRAFT
Today I Feel...
This was the perfect craft. It's simple, but still allowed the children to think about emotions and work on their drawing skills. Oh! I can't forget to mention their identification and deciding skills! Basically, ladies and gents, this helps encourage the children to share how they are feeling.
Source: The Loudest Librarian!

Today I Feel craft, Family Storytime,
created by Dorothy WPCC, 2014.



EDUCATIONAL MOMENT
Echoes 
During the story Mouse Was Mad a boy had asked what an echo was. So we paused the story so that I could explain what it was and, for the most part, how it worked.

MORE BOOKS
What Are You So Grumpy About? written and illus. by Tom Lichtenheld  

I'm Not written by Pam Smallcomb and illus. by Robert Weinstock


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Storytime Skit - Jan Thomas

We came. We made scary faces. We jumped, danced, wiggled. We ran. We hopped. We sang. We screamed. And... we napped!

Today my partner in crime (PiC) and I did our library's second ever Storytime Skit storytime day.  This is when we bring story characters to life and act out our stories, and try to get the kids involved as much as possible. We decided to do joint stories as a way to show the families that instead of just reading the stories in a book they could just act it out, which creates a whole new level of fun and learning! Plus, it's a great excuse for two Children's Librarians to get completely silly and to put their acting skills to the test.

At the end of each program we also took the time to say that this is one way to get more involved with their child. It's play! Make it fun! Dive into those stories and live them instead of just reading them once or twice. We explained to the caregivers that it is really easy to make costumes with things from home, and felt is super inexpensive and easy to work with to make headbands. We hope that they will become more involved in their child's reading and exploration of stories.


Today we celebrated the amazingly awesome author Jan Thomas! 



HOW DID IT GO?
It was GREAT! AWESOME! The best one yet! It was a wonderful way to for us to finish the summer storytime season with the families and one daycare that have been coming to our program the whole season. We moved our Preschool Storytime to our large program room so that all the children (especially the daycare group) had plenty of space to be active. Also, it allowed PiC and I to run around the entire group. We even got to use the stage for one of our stories (now I know how our special summer performers feel... which is awesome! P.S. you can probably tell by now that I love the word "awesome"... everything is awesome!). I can't wait till we get to do this again.


BOOKS
Can You Make a Scary Face? written and illus. by Jan Thomas (T, P)
We started with this book first. It helped get the wiggles out, but also it helped explain why PiC and I were dressed as ladybugs (see Props below). In Toddler Storytime we were in our normal storytime room, so we didn't run around as much. However, in the Preschool program we were in our large room, which allowed me (acting as the giant frog with a puppet) and PiC to run completely around the room and the group of children, which all of them loved. I would stop every so often to ask a child if s/he could make a scary face, which they would and I would go on screaming again. 

Is Everyone Ready for Fun? written and illus. by Jan Thomas (T, P) 
This was our second book. I wore my cow ear headband while PiC wore a yellow hoodie and a chicken comb headband. We used a large piece of red felt for my sofa. We also handed each child a sofa that was printed on red paper. They were suppose to be cows too and jump on a sofa. This was so much fun! 

Let's Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy written and illus. by Jan Thomas (P) 
We only did this story with the Preschool group because we knew that Toddlers wouldn't last through two stories. Even though we practiced it to be just like the book, we ad-libbed a bit on this one to stretch it out and make it even funnier. I was the "brave" cowgirl and PiC and the children were the little cows. I used my ukulele and sang the lullaby (the first time I've played and sang with my uke in a storytime!!!). We used a giant sunflower, a dowel rod, and a coyote puppet as our props. When it came to have the large lumbering bear, I simply got close to the audience so that CiP was behind me. It worked out great!



SONGS & RHYMES
Open, Shut Them (T, P)
Open, shut them,
Open, shut them,
Give them a little clap.
Open, shut them,
Open, shut them,
Lay them in your lap.
Creep them, creep them,
Up to your chin,
Open your mouth wide,
But don't let them in!
Open, shut them,
Open, shut them,
Give them a really big clap!
Open, shut them,
Open, shut them,
Lay them in your lap.

My Hands Say Hello (T, P)
My hands say hello, (wave hands)
My hands say hello,
Everytime I see my friends,
My hands say hello.

Additional lyrics:
Feet (stomp feet)
Nose (wiggle or tap nose)
Ears (wiggle ears) 
Tongue (stick that tongue out!) 

Five Little Ladybugs (T, P) 
Five Little ladybugs climbing up a door,
One flew away then there were four.
Four little ladybugs sitting on a tree,
One flew away then there were three.
Three little ladybugs landed on a shoe,
One flew away and then there were two.
Two little ladybugs looking for fun,
One flew away then there was one.
One little ladybug sitting in the sun,
She flew away and then there were none.
Source: rhyme found by colleague. Small Town Story Time Lady has also shared it.

FLANNEL BOARDS
Five Little Ladybugs (T, P)
This flannel board was created by another Children's Librarian in our library system.

ACTIVITIES
Egg Shakers (T) 
Shake 'em eggs!

Animal Movement and Sounds with the Giant Die (P)
We borrowed a giant inflatable die from a fellow Children's Librarian and taped pictures of animals and an associated movement or sound. PiC and I rolled the die between the two of us and which ever animal was on top the children had to do. The kids loved it! We had "Hop like a Bunny," "Howl like a Coyote," "Wiggle like a Worm," "Flutter like a Ladybug," "Snap like an Alligator," and "Moo like a Cow." 

CRAFT
Ladybug Has Four Dots coloring page (T, P) 
This was a simple craft for both storytime groups. We made our own ladybug image after being inspired by a clip art found that a Michelle Webster created on Clker.com. For the spots we used a little circle die cut. All the children had to do was color and glue their dots on!

Ladybug Has Four Sports, storytime craft,
created by Dorothy (and PiC) WP-CC, 2014



PROPS
When doing storytime skits...  you need props and costumes!

A selection of our costumes, Dorothy WP-CC, 2014

Ladybug Shirts 
Just wear a red shirt and tape black spots (construction paper works wonders!) on to it! 

Animal Headbands 
I made the cow ear headbands from a pattern I got from Ashley's Craft Corner blog, which has great templates! As for the chicken comb... I just made it up! I cut the red felt folded in half so that the waves were matching. Before I glued the sides together I glued a pipe cleaner down the center so that it could bend to the wearer's head. Now, like with the cow ears (and horns) I made it so that the pieces could be slipped off the headbands. For the children comb I simply cut a slit in the middle of the piece and slipped it onto the headband. Think mohawk style!

Brave Cowboy or Cowgirl Props 
For this story I work an old baggy westerny style shirt and CiP's hat for my costume. I was really glad that I had my ukulele because it was a perfect touch!

As for the items that the Brave Cowboy was afraid off, we used a large sunflower and a dowel rod as our props. Super simple. For the wolf, we placed our puppet on a podium at one end of the room.

Ukulele 
As I mentioned before I played my ukulele and sang the lullaby during the Let's Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy skit. I didn't do any major strumming, but you really didn't need to because you're playing a lullaby melody. I saw the sheet music for the lullaby posted to the Missouri Building Block Award's board for the book. Sometimes translating guitar chords works well for ukulele, but this time around it didn't work for me. So, I created my own! Here's what I did:

The Brave Cowboy Lullaby
  C                C               F            C
It's time for little cows/us to rest their heads.
      C                 C              F       G7
It's time for little cows/us to go to bed.
      C                 C               F          C
It's time for little cows/us to sleep so tight.
   C         C      F     G7   C
It's time for us to say goodnight. 

Obviously, you have to go through the "EEEEEK! Is that a huge hairy spider over there?" and so on, but it's so awesome. You can obviously changed the uke chords to something that works better for you and your singing ability. 

TIPS 
If you're interested in doing a storytime skit or something more along the lines of a skit, here are some tips that will hopefully help you be prepared!

Practice and get silly! You need to be silly and moveable during a program like this. You are not just sitting in a chair or on the floor or simply standing there. You are talking and moving like the character in the story. I need to work on this part, by colleague did a wonderful job as Gerald the Elephant (I was Piggie). You are going to be an actor!

Have plenty of books on hand. If you are doing such a program with more than one person, get more than one copy of the books you will use.

Dress accordingly. PiC and I decided that we would simply where the same colors for

After effect. After the program, especially when it was a success, be prepared to be tired but extremely pumped. The Storytime High is in full effect! Enjoy it. Love it. Bask in it. You deserve it!


Let's All Go to Hawaii! - A Storytime Outline

I had initially called this storytime "Going on Summer Vacation," but since it's close to the end of summer I was tired of doing the same ol' stories, songs, and rhymes. I needed something new. Something different. Something exciting! During my daily Pinterest vegging, I came across a Hawaiian/Tropical storytime from a fellow blogger. I found my inspiration! At first I was worried that I didn't have enough books to go with the theme, especially for the toddlers, but it all worked out in the end. I even got to dress up in a grass skirt and a flower lei (thanks to the party section at my local craft store!). In the end, this became one of my most favorite themes so far this summer and perhaps ever!

 Even Strawberry the Tiger got to dress up! 



LETTER OF THE DAY 
Vv is for Vacation 
I used the letter V for storytime because you don't see V a lot in other letters. Describe the letter, two straight lines that leaning to the side a little bit and only touch at the bottom. What are other words that start with V? Well... violin, van, volcano, vacuum, volleyball, vest, and veterinarian. 


BOOKS
Hula Lullaby written and illus. by Erin Eitter Kono (T) 
I had to ILL this book, but it was so worth it! The lullaby is all about cuddling and looking, listening, and feeling the sights, sounds, and atmosphere of hula dancing and storytelling. Hawaiian words are laced into the book, which is great. There is an Author's Note that talks about the traditions and the words used. If I had rhythm sticks or little drums I would have had all the children play them while I read. This book would be good for preschool children too. 

Penguin On Vacation written and illus. by Salina Yoon (T) 
This book is uber cute and simple enough for toddlers. Even though this is about a general beach vacation trip, I tied it to Hawaii because Penguin is wearing a flower lei. 

Froggy Goes to Hawaii written by Jonathan London and illus. by Frank Remkiewicz (P) 
I love this book! So do the kids! When you read it, make sure you sing Froggy's vacation song and totally hold that "Hawaiiiiiiii" note because everyone thinks it's so funny! The preschoolers also thought it was gross and funny that Froggy had to wear his dolphin underwear to go to swimming! 

Pig-Boy: A Trickster Tale from Hawai'i written and illus. by Gerald McDermott (P) 
This was a good book to read. I told children that this story came from Hawaii as a legend/ folklore and is about a magic pig, which they understood. I had forgotten parts of the book mentioned Pele, the goddess of volcanoes, who I had to explain to worried children that she was a "princess of volcano lava." Just remember, Pig-Boy is a magic pig! There were also some Hawaiian words that I stumbled on or gave up trying to say in the middle (children weren't the wiser). A caregiver visited with me after the program to tell me I did a wonderful job and she taught me how to say the humuhumunukunukuapau'a (whew!), which is the name of the state fish.





SONGS & RHYMES
Open, Shut Them (T, P)
Open, shut them,
Open, shut them,
Give them a little clap.
Open, shut them,
Open, shut them,
Lay them in your lap.
Creep them, creep them,
Up to your chin,
Open your mouth wide,
But don't let them in!
Open, shut them,
Open, shut them,
Give them a really big clap!
Open, shut them,
Open, shut them,
Lay them in your lap.

My Hands Say Hello (T, P)
My hands say hello, (wave hands)
My hands say hello,
Everytime I see my friends,
My hands say hello.

Additional lyrics:
Feet (stomp feet)
Nose (wiggle or tap nose)
Ears (wiggle ears) 
Tongue (stick that tongue out!) 

A-L-O-H-A (aka The Aloha Song) (P)
Sung to: Bingo
In Hawaii, you hear a word, and this word is aloha!
A-L-O-H-A
A-L-O-H-A
A-L-O-H-A
Aloha means hello.
continue signing, but remove a letter each time and clap instead. 
Source:  The Mailbox

Touch Your Nose (T, P)
Touch your nose,
Touch your chin,
That's the way this game begins.
Find your eyes,
Touch your knees,
Now pretend you're going to sneeze!
AA-CHOOOO!
Touch your hair,
Touch one ear,
Touch your two red lips right here,
Can you blow a kiss good-bye? (blow a kiss!)
Touch your elbow where it bends
Can you touch your other elbow?
And that's the way this touch game ends.


FLANNEL BOARD
What Will I Take on Vacation? (T, P) 
One thing that I really liked from my original vacation theme was the idea of asking the children what they would bring on vacation with them. I made a felt suitcase from my collection of felt-by-the-yard and used our die cutter to create the shapes of all of the items that one may pack. For Toddler Time

What Will I Take on Vacation? Flannel Board,
created by Dorothy WP-CC, 2014.


A-L-O-H-A (aka The Aloha Song) (P)
This was a simple flannel board for me to make because all I had to do was use our alphabet die cut to create the letters. I also made little hands (another die cut) that I would place on each of the letters when we had to clap instead. If you can't make a hand, you could use a flower instead, which would be easier to make by hand or with a die cut.

A-L-O-H-A flannel song, created by Dorothy WP-CC, 2014


ACTIVITIES
Hula Dancing (T, P) 
What's a Hawaiian storytime without hula dancing? I downloaded the songs "He Mele No Lilo" and "Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride" from the movie soundtrack for Disney's Lilo & Stitch animated film. All the children got to have at least one movement scarf and we tried to dance from side to side and moved our arms like a hula dancer. Remember to say that boys can also hula dance (it's not just for girls!). During the songs I also let them jump and move anyway they wanted. For Toddlers I also did a freeze dance.

Introduction to the Ukulele (T, P)
I decided that it was time to bring out my ukulele. I've had my uke for a while, but am an extremely slow learner (aka a slow learner of strumming and rhythm - it's so different from violin and piano!) and have been too nervous and inexperienced to bring it out for a storytime. However, when in Hawaii... you must play some music. I didn't play any songs, but I did let the children all take a turn strumming it. I helped them hold it and even used the frets to make different cords. The children loved it! The caregivers loved it! It was all good!

CRAFTS
I am bringing on vacation... coloring page (T)
I saw a similar craft on Pinterest and loved it instantly. If I had done a regular vacation storytime I would have done this for all ages, but with a Hawaiian theme I decided that it'd be perfect for toddlers still learning about the concept of vacations. The suitcases were made from construction paper, and the clip art that the children had to glue and color to their suitcase I got from The Mailbox. Idea source: House of Baby Piranha.

"I am bringing on vacation...", Toddler craft,
created by Dorothy WP-CC, 2014



Flower Lei (P)
Everyone needs to have a lei when in Hawaii! To make this I used a die cut to create the flowers. My hole punch couldn't reach the center of the flowers so I had to take an x-acto knife and sliced a star in the middle of each one. I also chopped up some straws. The preschoolers got three flowers and two straws and they had to alternate each and thread them onto a length of yarn. When I told the children that they would make a lei I got cheers of excitement!

Flower lei, Preschool craft,
created by Dorothy WP-CC, 2014



Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Kite Flying - A Poetry Break


INTRODUCTION
Do you wish that you could just get away? Do you dream of going and visiting other places? Or do you prefer to stay put? Do you need a little nudging and encouragement to do something? I know that I'm all of the above at different points in time. This wonderful little short poem illustrates a great imagination (is it really possible for a kite to take you away? Boy, I wish it could!), but also shows that even though you did not plan on going somewhere or doing anything that you can learn to love it.




POEM
I flew a kite down by the sea,
until, that is, the kite flew me!
It tugged me high into the sky.
I held on tight and learned to fly!
I felt so free, so featherlight,
flying the world, just me and Kite.

CONNECTIONS
  • Ask the children if a kite could really take them away somewhere? Is this poem an example of using your imagination? 
  • Ask the children where would they go if a kite took them flying? What city? What state? What country? To see someone? And ask them why?
  • Ask the children to name their traveling kite. Why did they chose that name? 
  • Let the children create their own kite: 

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Outside the Box: A Book of Poems written by Karma Wilson and illus. by Diane Goode. New York, NY: Margaret K. McElderry Books (Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division). 2014. ISBN: 9781416980056.