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!?

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.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Aaargh! Pirates! - A Storytime Outline

Ahoy! What's an ocean theme summer be without some pirates? It was such a fun program. Strawberry, my library tiger, and I got to dress up. To welcome families in I stood in our Children's Area at the beginning of a dashed line that lead to a giant X in the doorway to the program room. I would tell families that if they find the X they could join my storytime crew. I also got to use my library's treasure chest to keep all my great treasure (my books, flannel boards, songs and crafts) in.

The families had a great time, and I will totally do this theme again!

Strawberry the Tiger Pirate and the Storytime Treasure Chest,
Dorothy WP-CC, 2014.


LETTER OF THE DAY
P is for Pirate! This week I did not ask for other words that began with that letter, but if I did I would have examples like "penguin," "play," "polar bear," "panda," "paint," "purple" and "pink."


BOOKS
Shiver Me Letters: A Pirate ABC written by June Sobel and illus. by Henry Cole (T) 
The toddlers liked this book and sat through most of it. To make it any more friendly with the little ones I would include an alphabet to put on the flannel board during the story. That being a said, I a wonderful mom had asked me about the book after the program.

Pirate Nap: A Book of Colors written by Danna Smith and illus. by Valeria Petrone (T) 
Everyone liked this one, especially with the parents. Plus, you got to shout out the different color names!

This Little Pirate written by Philemon Sturges and illus. by Amy Walrod (P) 
This was a long story, but the preschoolers liked it. They asked a lot of questions and they liked the party stuff that was in the box.

The Night Pirates written by Peter Harris and illus. by Deborah Allwright (P) 
This was a great quick story! I loved how it started on mysteriously and that there were girl pirates!




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!) 

Pirate Patches (T, P) 

Tune: Mary Wore a Red Dress 
Pirate wore a red patch, 
Red patch, red patch,
Pirate wore a red patch all day long 

Add more colors:
blue, purple, yellow, orange, pink, green, brown, black, gray, white 
Source: Loons and Quines 

This Little Pirate (aka The Pirate Song) (P) 
Tune: "This Old Man" 
This little pirate has a patch
Sailed the sea without a scratch. 
With an Aye, Aye Matey and a Yo Ho Ho!
This little pirate sailed the sea. 

This little pirate has a hat
Where a skull and crossbones sat. 
With an Aye, Aye Matey and a Yo Ho Ho!
This little pirate sailed the sea. 

This little pirate had a hook,
He used it to read a book,
With an Aye, Aye Matey and a Yo Ho Ho!
This little pirate sailed the sea. 

This little pirate had a ship,
He sailed the world in just one trip,
With an Aye, Aye Matey and a Yo Ho Ho!
This little pirate sailed the sea. 

This little pirate looked for treasure,
He wanted more than you could measure,
With an Aye, Aye Matey and a Yo Ho Ho!
This little pirate sailed the sea. 

There are more lyrics are available at Work of Heart 


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 BOARDS
Pirate Patch (T, P)
This was a fun song and flannel activity for the little ones to do! For one thing, it's a tune that I love to sing (awesome!), but it allowed the children to play with the colors, sing, and play with felt! To make the felt pirate I used the pattern that is available over at makinglearningfun.com (I modified the hat a little bit). since I had to make so many patches I did not include the strap on each one.

"Pirate Patches" flannel board,
created by Dorothy WP-CC, 2014. 


This Little Pirate (P)
I discovered this song at the last minute over at In the Children's Room and immediately loved it. I didn't have enough time to make all the felt pieces for all of the lyrics, but I made enough to make the song last a good couple of minutes with the preschoolers. For the pirate I used the same one from the Pirate Patch song and made the treasure chest, ship, and hook. I'll be making the parrot and map to add to the set. Other than the pirate ship, I simply created my own pattern for the treasure chest and hook.

"The Pirate Song" flannel board,
created by Dorothy WP-CC, 2014. 


ACTIVITIES
X Marks the Spot (T, P) 
I created a path with large dashed line (strips of laminated construction paper) and had a large red X at the entrance of the storytime room. Like they were on giant treasure map, families followed the line and found the X and they joined our storytime crew.

Movement Scarves (T)
I had the toddlers dance to two songs. The first one they were a little shy, but during the second song we played freeze dance, which opened them up and they danced!

CRAFTS
"________ the Pirate's Pet Parrot" Activity Sheet (T)
Every good pirate needs a pet. The toddlers got to have parrot. I created a simple activity sheet by using parrot image from Mailbox and adding the text "______ the Pirate's Pet Parrot" at the time. The toddlers can practice writing their name as well as their artistic skills by coloring the parrot. To add an extra element they were given two feathers to glue to their pet parrot. I got the clipart for the parrot from The Mailbox.

Toddler Storytime Craft,
created by Dorothy WP-CC, 2014. 


"________ the Pirate's Treasure Chest" Activity Sheet (P)
What good pirate is without a bountiful treasure chest? The preschool not only colored, but also glue colorful and shiny sequins and jewels to their treasure chest. There so much pirate treasure to be had the room was sparkling! The treasure chest clipart from The Mailbox

Preschool Storytime Craft,
created by Dorothy WP-CC, 2014. 







Friday, July 11, 2014

Squirrels! - A Storytime Outline

Families and I celebrated the little land creature - squirrels! At first I was a little apprehensive with the theme because I didn't know if I would be able to find enough stories or activities that would be great for my storytimes.  But I did! The programs were a huge success! The books were a great choice. The songs were fun.

LETTER OF THE DAY
 Since we squirrels was a the theme the Letter of the Day was "S." I asked the children to name words that begin with that letter. I had answers like "shark," "sun," "sky," "seed," "sea," "sandcastle," "spider," "snowflake," and "snake." I had some pieces from other flannel boards to help enhance the answers.


BOOKS
Nuts to You! written and illus. by Lois Ehlert (T)
I was wondering how the families would react to this story since the text is very simple and the illustrations were so close up. But, I was wrong! They loved it, especially when I shouted "Nuts to you!". 

The Busy Little Squirrel written and illus. by Nancy Tafuri (T)
To get the toddlers more into the story I asked them to help me identify each of the animals and make their animal noise.

Scaredy Squirrel written and illus. by Melanie Watt (P)
I find that reading this story you have to very dynamic and funny. The children loved this book! If you have the time - make props!

Erroll written and illus. by Hannah Shaw (P)
This story went better than I expected. They thought it was funny and silly, especially at the ending.

Ol' Mama Squirrel written and illus. by David Ezra Stein 
I had planned to read this during Preschool Storytime, but we were having so much fun with the other rhymes and stories that we didn't get to it. It happens. This is a fun book too. I was going to have the children make the "chook, chook" noise!  


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!) 

Grey Squirrel, Grey Squirrel (T, P) 
Before you begin, have the children practice sharking and swishing their pretend squirrel tails! 
Grey squirrel, grey squirrel
Swish your bushy tail!
Grey squirrel, grey squirrel
Wrinkle your funny nose!
Hold nuts between your toes (dance on tippy toes!)
Grey squirrel, grey squirrel
Swish your bushy tail!
Shake your bushy tail!
Mix up the actions to make it a suspenseful yet fun action rhyme!
Modified from Grey Source: Small Town Story Time Lady

Five Little Squirrels (T, P) 
Tune: Five Little Ducks 
1 little squirrel went out to play
Up in the branches one autumn day.
He had such enormous fun,
He called for another little squirrel to come.

2 little squirrels...
3 little squirrels...
4 little squirrels...

5 little squirrels went out to play
Up in the branches one chilly day.
They had such enormous fun,
Then all scurried home 'cause winter had come.
Note: you can change the season if you need to. I switched it to Summer and they went home because it started to rain (we had a really rainy morning we had our storytime).
Source: Storytime Stuff  

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 BOARDS
Five Little Squirrels  (T, P)
This rhyme is so much fun because you're counting UP and not down, which is typical for counting rhymes. I made simple squirrels for this rhyme by using the template created by Melanie Fitz that was shared on the Storytime Stuff blog. I didn't make a tree branch or anything to go with the the squirrels, but I did place them on the lower portion of my flannel boar and moved them up when another one joined in on the fun.
Source: Storytime Stuff 

"Little Squirrel, Little Squirrel" Guessing Game (P)
I really wanted a guessing game rhyme like "Little Mouse, Little Mouse," and I essentially made one. However, I could not come up with a rhyme to go with it. So! All I did was have the children recite, "Little Squirrel, little squirrel, where are you?" before I asked them if a squirrel was hiding behind a certain felt item. This game was a HUGE hit with the preschoolers. Whenever they found a squirrel the room would erupt in loud cheers of victory! Awesome!

When it came to making the felt pieces (tree, bird feeder, bird bath, acorns, and leaves) I mostly drew everything by hand. The leaves was the only thing that came from a die cutter. For the bird feeder I used a piece of scrap laminate and some bird seeds from home to create an "authentic" look.

"Little Squirrel, Little Squirrel" flannel board,
created by Dorothy WP-CC, 2014.

ACTIVITIES
Movement Scarves Dancing (T)
Instead of the usual egg shakers I had the toddlers dance around with the movement scarves. I played one song on the iPod to get them loosened up. Then we played Freeze Dance. This was the first time that I have ever done Freeze Dance with Toddlers, and I was very happy with the result... they knew what they were doing! Yay! The families loved it!

"Little Squirrel, Little Squirrel" Guessing Game (P)
See above.

Tree Hopping (T, P) 
I came across this simple activity while searching the web for more interactive things to for the children to do. This was perfect (especially since my Room of Requirement had two hula hoops handy). I taped die cut leaves to the hoops to make them more tree-like. For Toddler Time I had the little ones jump from one "tree" to another after they picked their craft bag. Since the Preschool Time program was very large (34 children total!) I couldn't do that. So! Instead, they tree hopped as they left the program room after they finished their craft. I even had a couple of parents jump from tree to tree too!
Source: Twiggle Magazine


CRAFT 
Ss is for Squirrel Activity Page (T, P)
Since it's summer I really wanted a simple craft (Hey! There's a lot of S's in that sentence!). So I created an activity sheet that the children could color, glue a letter S to, and, for the older kids, answer questions. The body of the squirrel came from a Mailbox image and I erased the tail. The letter S was created by die cutting, and it was glued to the squirrel to be its tail. I typed out a few words that began with the letter S and left empty spaces for the children to write their own words. Several of the children did a really good job at doing this. I also had a little question tucked down in the corner of the page: What do squirrels eat? A couple of children new the answer (acorns or nuts). The is was a perfect craft for everyone!

Squirrel Storytime Craft, created by Dorothy WP-CC, 2014

Monday, June 30, 2014

The Ones That Stick With You (AKA Books You Grew Up With)

Just recently I helped a mom find books for her children and grandchildren. We didn't have a copy of a book that her daughter grew-up with, but I did find something along the same theme. We then explored books that I remember from my own childhood. The mom really wanted books that her little ones would love and remember when they're older.

This got me to thinking: what are all of the books that I had grown up with. Do you smell a new reading list? I do!




Whenever I see these books I reminisce and smile.

PICTURE BOOKS
  • Madeline books written and illus. by Ludwig Bemelmans
  • Berenstain Bears series written and illus. by Stan and Jan Berenstain
  • The Day It Rained Hearts written and illus. by Felicia Bond
  • Annie and the Wild Animals written and illus. by Jan Brett
  • Arthur's Halloween written and illus. by Marc Brown
  • The Little House written and illus. by Virginia Lee Burton
  • Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel written and illus. by Virginia Lee Burton
  • Brush written by Pere Calders and illus. by Carme Sole Vendrell
  • Stellaluna written and illus. by Jannell Cannon
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar written and illus. by Eric Carle
  • Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type written by Doreen Cronin and illus. by Betsy Lewin
  • Are You My Mother? written and illus. by P.D. Eastman
  • The Happy Lion written and illus. by Louise Fatio
  • Bark, George written and illus. by Jules Feiffer
  • Wynken, Blynken, and Nod written by Eugune Field and illus. by
  • Possum Magic written and illus. by Mem Fox
  • Where is the Green Sheep? written and illus. by Mem Fox
  • Full Moon Soup written and illus. by Alastair Graham 
  • Corduroy books written and illus. by Don Freeman
  • Orlando the Marmalade Cat series written and illus. by Kathleen Hale
  • Bailey Goes Camping written and illus. by Kevin Henkes
  • Snow White written by Paul Heins and illus. by Trina Schart Hyman
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon written and illus. by Crockett Johnson
  • Elmer written and illus. by David McKee
  • Zin! Zin! Zin!: A Violin written by Lloyd Moss and illus. by Marjorie Priceman
  • If You Give A Pig a Pancake written by Laura Numeroff and illus. by Felicia Bond
  • Curious George written and illus. by H.A. Rey
  • The Dot written and illus. by Peter Reynolds
  • The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales written by Jon Scieszka and illus. by Lane Smith
  • Where the Wild Things Are written and illus. by Maurice Sendak
  • Green Eggs and Ham written and illus. by Dr. Seuss
  • The Pop-Up Mice of Mr. Brice written and illus. by Dr. Seuss, Theo LeSieg
  • Gregory the Terrible Eater written by Mitchel Sharmat and illus. by Jose Aruego and Adriane Dewey
  • Caps for Sale written and illus. by Esphyr Slobodkina
  • Calvin and Hobbes comics written and illus. by Bill Watterson 
  • A Chair for My Mother written and illus. by Vera B. Williams
  • Teddy Bear Farmer series written by Phoebe Worthington and illus. by Joan Worthington
  • Harry the Dirty Dog written by Gene Zion and illus. by Margaret Bloy Graham 



  NONFICTION

  • Mummies Made in Egypt written by Aliki


CHAPTER BOOKS

  • The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle written by Avi
  • Who Stole the Wizard of Oz written by Avi
  • Chasing Vermeer written by Blue Balliett and illus. by Brett Helquist
    • The Wright Three written by Blue Balliett and illus. by Brett Helquist
    • The Calder Game written by Blue Balliett and illus. by Brett Helquist
  • Time For Andrew written by Mary Downing Hahn
  • The Doll in the Garden written by Mary Downing Hahn
  • The Gentleman Outlaw and Me - Eli written by Mary Downing Hahn
  • Following the Mystery Man written by Mary Downing Hahn
  • Following My Own Footsteps written by Mary Downing Hahn
  • Daphne's Book written by Mary Downing Hahn
  • Look For Me By Moonlight written by Mary Downing Hahn (YA level)
  • Nancy Drew series written by Carolyn Keene 
  • From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler written by E. L. Konigsburg
  • Harry Potter series written by J.K. Rowling
  • The Egypt Game written by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
  • Little House on the Prairie series written by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • The Mozart Season written by Virginia Euwer Wolff
  • American Girl series
    • Molly and Felicity books written by Valerie Tripp and illus. by C. F. Payne,
    • Samantha books written by Susan S. Adler and illus. by Dan Andreasen,
    • Kirsten books written by Janet Beeler Shaw,
    • Addy books written by Connie Porter and illus. by Dahl Taylor

GROWN-UPS ARE STILL GROWING
In my mind, I'm still growing up. These are books I discovered once I became a grown-up (with a job) that I will never forget.

  • A Little Book of Sloth written by Lucy Cooke
  • Cows in the Kitchen written by June Crebbin and illus. by Katharine McEwen 
  • Flora and the Flamingo written and illus. by Molly Idle
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? written by Bill Martin, Jr. and illus. by Eric Carle
  • Anne of Green Gables series written by L. M. Montgomery 
  • Smells Like Dog written by Suzanne Selfors
    • Smells Like Treasure written by Suzanne Selfors
    • Smells Like Pirates written by Suzanne Selfors






What books did you grew up with that you will always remember?