Flannel Friday: Ten Babies

These adorable babies were inspired by Melissa of Mel’s Desk!

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To make a template, I blew up Melissa’s picture in Publisher so that I could just cheat off her genius.

I used this in several storytimes, including a baby storytime as my hidden Shape Game object and in a family themed storytime for my toddlers this spring. For the families, I used Melissa’s rhyme:

Five Little Babies
by Melissa Depper
Five little babies sitting in their cribs
The first one said, “I need another bib!”
The second one said, “I wish I had my ball.”
The third one said, “I wish that I could crawl!”
The fourth one said, “Oh, when can we play?”
The fifth one said, “It’s been a busy day.”
Then Shhhhh went the mommies and out went the lights,
And five little babies said goodnight.


Cate is hosting the round-up today! You can also check out our website, Pinterest, or Facebook!

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Babies: Babies (Haha)

For more information on how I plan and prepare my baby storytimes, check out this introduction post. And for a complete list of the baby rhymes/bounces/lifts/etc., visit this post. I starred the materials used in the plan; multiple stars indicate use for more than one session.

The Plan

Books
For baby time, my library passes out individual copies of board books to each caregiver/child pair. I typically keep two or three to the side of me in case a baby tries to grab my copy. I read face out; caregivers read to their children.

babies-babies

Babies on the Bus by Karen Katz*
Grow Up by Nina Laden*
I Kissed the Baby by Mary Murphy**

Early Literacy Tip

Babies love to look at themselves and at other babies. If tummy time is frustrating, try to angle a mirror so your baby can lift their head to see themselves.


Flannelboard: Shape Game

I hid a baby today. It was from my family set that I used in “Knock Knock” story.

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Cheek Chin*
  • Icka Bicka Soda Cracker*
  • Milkshake**
  • Open, Shut Them*
  • Round and Round the Garden*
  • Tick Tock**
  • Wake Up Toes**

How It Went

Tuesday morning
“I Kissed the Baby” inspired great interactions between child and caregivers. Lots of tickling, kissing, hugging, etc. And the babies were absolutely spellbound during “Wake Up Toes” — that song is the biggest winner ever!

Thursday morning
When I said that we were going to do “Tick Tock”, several of the walkers/wanderers raced oved to their caregiver’s laps. That is definitely their favorite movement activity. The babies were remarkably well behaved today and we were able to do so many activities. One of the little girls walked to the middle of the rug and modeled our ending routine motions for everyone. It was very endearing.

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Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 7/8

For the first time in our library’s history, we ran our own summer reading program — Make Some Noise! What better opportunity to do a bi-weekly music and movement dance party? This program was advertised for ages 0-7 and their families.

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan

monsterslovecolors
Book
Monsters Love Colors by Mike Austin
Scribble, scribble, mix, dance, and wiggle: what a great chorus and what a great set of new vocabulary for our youngest kiddos to learn! This book gives more than enough opportunity to move around while being read, but also teaches color recognition. One of my favorite new reads of this past year!

Props
Shaker Eggs!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Jumping With Variations — Ella Jenkins
Skip to My Lou — Old Town School of Folk Music
Let’s Dance Now — Jim Gill
Shake Your Sillies Out — The Wiggles
Fruit Salad Salsa — Laurie Berkner
Shake With You — Eric Litwin and Michael Levine
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

I really enjoyed “Skip to My Lou” because the kids decided to play follow the leader and made a line behind me. I was personally exhausted after the first three songs — jumping, skipping, and dancing was a LOT for me to do. And “Jumping With Variations” turned out to be a much longer song in actuality than when I was listening to it in my work space.

(For an example of the Powerpoint and handouts that I made for each Shake, Shimmy please visit the original post.)

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Toddlers: Bears

For more information on how I plan and prepare my toddler storytimes, check out this introduction post. And for a complete list of the repeating extension activities, visit this post. I starred the materials used in the plan; multiple stars indicate use for more than one session.

The Plan

Books

toddlers-bears

About a Bear by Holly Surplice***
Baby Bear’s Chairs by Jane Yolen
Bears in the Bath by Shirley Parenteau**
Polar Bear Morning by Lauren Thompson*

Early Literacy Tip

Learning through play is relaxed, fun, and creative. Through “Sleepy Bear”, children are learning to take turns and follow directions.

Theme Extension Activities

Flannelboard: “Brown Bear, Brown Bear”**

Flannelboard: “Ten Teddy Bears”***

Puppet: “Sleepy Bear”**
(Tune: “Thumbkin”)
Where is bear? Where is bear?
Here I am. Here I am.
How are you this winter?
Very tired, thank you.
Go to sleep. Go to sleep.
(Have kids shout “WAKE UP BEAR” to do the song again.)
Credit: Preschool Education Music & Songs : Animals > Winter

Fingerplay: “Two Little Bears”***
Two little bears sat on a hill, (hold up two fingers)
One named Jack and one named Jill. (wiggle each finger)
Fly away, Jack; fly away, Jill, (put fingers behind your back)
Come back, Jack; come back, Jill. (bring fingers back)
Credit: Childhood

Song: “If You’re a Bear and You Know It”***
If you’re a panda bear and you know it, clap your paws
If you’re a polar bear and you know it, show your teeth
If you’re a grizzly bear and you know it, growl real loud
Credit: Childhood

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Dance Your Fingers Up**
  • Open, Shut Them***

How It Went

Tuesday morning
It was a hectic storytime this morning because of Veteran’s Day. I had several visiting siblings in the group and that always changes the group dynamic. Puppets were really engaging today (I had a set for “Two Little Bears” and one big one for “Sleepy Bear” — the kids were mesmerized.

Tuesday afternoon
This was a hard storytime because I only had one family (with two kids) show up. We went through the activities so fast and I felt like I was stretching to keep them entertained for the whole thirty minutes. But! This little boy has struggled so hard to open up and enjoy himself and this week, he had a breakthrough. Patience is so important!

Thursday morning
The kids in this class have our opening and closing routine down perfectly at this point in the seven week session. Also, this class had a lot of great parent involvement which I always love to see. “Brown Bear” became a chant during the flannelboard as nearly every caregiver joined in. The only downside is that there were a lot of sniffly noses. It’s getting to be cold season!

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Discovery!: Music

discovery

Full disclaimer: I have a heavy music background! I’ve been in choirs since preschool and took violin lessons (while in three different orchestras) seriously for ten years. I read music fluently in both treble and bass clef. I’ve self-taught imperfect technique piano and am working on the ukulele. I’m not sure I would have attempted this program without my background!

I broke the program into four sections: Rhythm, Sounds, Timing, Playing.

Rhythm

tankatankaskunk

I gave a brief introduction about rhythm and beats by having each child tell me their name. I let the group guess how many claps they thought each name would have. I finally took them and then we clapped out every child’s syllables.

Similarly, after practicing with our names, I pulled out Tanka Tanka Skunk, aka one of the very best storytime books ever. The whole group clapped along with the animal names and I once again managed to make my arm bright red from slapping my arm to keep the beat with the kids while holding the book up.

We finished up this rhythm section by listening to our first song: Clap It! by Bari Koral Family Rock Band. This song asks kids to clap left and right, clap high and low. It’s fairly simplistic in terms of directions, but it has such a great rhythm to practice with with nice strong beats.

Sounds

zinzinzinaviolin

One of most memorable experiences as a child was when my music teacher taught about the difficult instruments in the orchestra using “Peter and the Wolf”. I knew that I had to find a way to do that without the scariness for my three-year-olds.

I thought about “Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin!” It introduces the instruments. But I wanted to have that experience when the kids would hear the instruments as well. And bam! I found “Those Amazing Musical Instruments” with a interactive CD-Rom. I was able to use the clips of instruments from this book to create my own version of “Peter and the Wolf”.

Then it came time for a demonstration: my real-life violin!

violin

(That was my very nervous face at home practicing the week before.)

I played some very short classical pieces for them (Bach’s Minuet in G — my first solo/ensemble piece; Beethoven’s Ode to Joy) before leading them in a sing-along of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. Then, I sat down on the floor with my violin in my lap and let each child come up one at a time to pluck the strings. The kids were so precious and careful and respectful. I had to tell several of them to pull harder to make some sound!

[Sidenote: I also pulled a Meryl Streep and told them that there was a horse and a frog on the bow. That is one of my favorite music movies of all time. I still get weepy when I think about music education being cut in schools.]

Lastly for this section, I played Kathy Reid-Naiman’s “I Love to Hear the Sounds” and demonstrated to each child the instrument she was singing about. My library has an INCREDIBLE musical instrument collection; the only instrument I needed to buy was finger cymbals.

Timing

Now that the kids had basic knowledge of rhythm and sound, I wanted to talk about timing. We talked about how some songs are fast and some are slow. And to demonstrate, I put on Jim Gill’s “The Tempo Marches On” which we marched and ran around to.

Then it was time to get shaker eggs in their hands. This led to back-to-back songs that have great examples of timing. Just like “The Tempo Marches On”, The Learning Groove’s “I Can Shake My Shaker Egg” starts slow and gets faster and faster. It’s also set to Edvard Grieg’s In the Hall of the Mountain King, another piece of classical music! Secondly, I played Laurie Berkner’s “Fruit Salad Salsa” which alternates between a slow tempo and a fast tempo. I challenged the kids to switch between the two which they did awesomely!

Playing

For this last section, I let the kids switch their instruments around. I had rhythm sticks, bells, shaker eggs, sand blocks, finger cymbals, and tambourines. The kids played whatever they wanted to the songs of “Ring Them On the Floor” by Kathy Reid-Naiman and “All You Pretty Babies” by Caspar Babypants.

Lastly, I pulled out our set of six gathering drums for our very last song “Drumming the House” by Jim Gill. We alternated using our fingertips lightly, our hands softly, and finally our mallets. This was definitely the loudest section of the day but 100% worth it!

How It Went

I had a few little girls who were AMAZING at identifying beats and syllables. And this activity really helped me finally learn everyone’s names this week. I think the most thrilling part of the day for the kids was touching my violin. They were so thrilled to actually touch a real professional musical instrument! I had so many compliments from caregivers about the recorded instrument samples being very educational. It made me feel like I had maybe just given a “Peter and the Wolf” experience to the next generation!

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ALSC: Teaching Early Literacy to Staff

newalscblog

If you wanted more information about the YOLO: Early Lit 101 presentation that I wrote about a few months back, I talked more about the whole presentation on the ALSC blog.

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Flannel Friday: Five Turtles

This post was inspired by Kathryn at Fun With Friends at Storytime!

Kathryn not only made these amazing felt turtles, but she also wrote a rhyme to go with them. Rather than re-print her work, visit her Google Doc to see the rhyme.

To make Kathryn’s turtles, I printed off a picture to get the idea of how the shell and turtle would work. I played around with colors and wound up choosing a gold piece of felt as the shell even though Kathryn’s turtles have an olive green shell and a tan belly. (My turtles are lacking their bellies!)

I will be using these at a family storytime this spring — frogs and turtles!


Mallory is hosting the round-up today! You can also check out our website, Pinterest, or Facebook!

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Babies: Colors

For more information on how I plan and prepare my baby storytimes, check out this introduction post. And for a complete list of the baby rhymes/bounces/lifts/etc., visit this post. I starred the materials used in the plan; multiple stars indicate use for more than one session.

The Plan

Books
For baby time, my library passes out individual copies of board books to each caregiver/child pair. I typically keep two or three to the side of me in case a baby tries to grab my copy. I read face out; caregivers read to their children.

babies-colors

Butterfly Colors and Counting by Jerry Pallotta**
Maisy’s Colors by Lucy Cousins*
Spot Looks at Colors by Eric Hill*

Early Literacy Tip

Talking about different colors is a great way to introduce new vocabulary. Don’t shy away from using words like “turquoise” and “gray” as well as the primary and secondary colors.


Flannelboard: Shape Game

I used a rainbow piece from my “Rainbow Stew” flannelboard. Once I revealed the rainbow, we talked about all of the different colors in the rainbow.

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Bouncing Bouncing*
  • Colors Over Me**
  • Rock the Baby*
  • Roly Poly**
  • Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear**
  • These Are Baby’s Fingers**

How It Went

Tuesday morning
During this storytime (I nearly always sit on the floor with the babies), I have two of the babies come over and start rubbing my back. It was really sweet and I have to admit, I could use a back massage! The babies were in love with the scarves today and “Colors Over Me”.

Thursday morning
We had a baby take FIRST EVER STEPS in storytime! He came over to get a book from me and I nearly cried along with his caregiver. But as amazing as this was, while we read “Butterfly Colors”, I invited families to read in their native language. I got to hear some Farsi, Hindu, Chinese, Polish, and Spanish. It was a great moment for me to hear all those great new words!

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Classic Children’s Books and Authors

The Plan

Books

classicchildrensauthors

Bark, George by Jules Feiffer
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr.
Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert
Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems

Extension Activities

Flannelboard: “Very Hungry Caterpillar”

Flannelboard: “Seals on the Bus”

Fingerplay: “Two Little Tigers”
Two little tigers sitting on a hill
One named Jack, the other named Jill
Run away Jack, run away Jill
Come back Jack, come back Jill
(Other verses: cloud/quiet & loud; pole/fast & slow)
Credit: Modified from childhood

Song: “Red and Yellow, Green and Blue”
Red and yellow, green and blue
These are the colors over you
Red as a flower, blue as the sea
Yellow as the sun, green as a green
Red and yellow, green and blue
These are the colors over you
Credit: Read Sing Play

How It Went

Site Information
At this location, I visit four classrooms total, reading to five classrooms total. The first classroom is a combined two-year-olds classroom. Then I visit two three-year-old classrooms and finally a four-year-old & five-year old classroom. I’m at the facility for about two hours, and my voice is definitely feeling it by the end of the visit!

Topic
This particular facility selects themes for me to do ahead of time to tie into their curriculum. They were doing an author study each day this week: Eric Carle, Kevin Henkes, Leo Lionni, Tomie dePaola, and Beatrix Potter. I was asked to do classic authors without reading books by these authors. (You can see I did use an Eric Carle flannelboard and a Bill Martin Jr. book that Carle illustrated, but I felt that was okay.) So I took it in the direction of “new” classics.

Two-Year-Olds (Combined classes)
I’m going to be really honest here — I was shaky as heck as I started this storytime because I was dealing with a medical issue and had spent the first hour of my day trying to get in to see the doctor before I went to ALA Annual on Friday. I do not know how I managed to pull this off, but the toddlers were absolute angels. I sang “Brown Bear” and that was definitely their favorite. They also loved when I passed out the scarves!

Three-Year-Olds (First classroom)
This classroom is my least favorite in terms of set-up. I’m right next to the door and was interrupted a few times by attendance checks and meal counts. I did my best as putting that aside. One of the girls in this classroom knew the book “Dear Zoo” by heart and I had to ask her not to reveal the animals to everyone. This group loved getting to be quiet and loud during “Two Little Tigers”.

Three-Year-Olds (Second classroom)
This group made a lot of great connections between the tiger and “Color Zoo” and our “Two Little Tigers” rhyme. I was impressed that also knew hexagon and octagon as shapes! They absolutely loved “Bark George” and I got the biggest laughs of the day when George said hello at the end. This was also the group that told “Very Hungry Caterpillar” with me since they knew it so well!

Four-Year-Olds & Five-Year-Olds (Single classroom)
These kiddos became my best friends immediately since I was carrying my books in an Elephant and Piggie tote bag. It was a natural segue to start with “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” which they loved. This was also the class that made me laugh the hardest. During “The Seals on the Bus”, I always ask what everyone thinks the boy and girl will say. One little boy stood up and shouted, “LET ME OFF!” which I decided to sing instead of the traditional HELP HELP HELP.

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Toddlers: Shapes

For more information on how I plan and prepare my toddler storytimes, check out this introduction post. And for a complete list of the repeating extension activities, visit this post. I starred the materials used in the plan; multiple stars indicate use for more than one session.

The Plan

Books

toddlers-shapes

Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert*
Not a Box! by Antoinette Portis**
Press Here by Henri Tullet
Shape by Shape by Suze MacDonald***

Early Literacy Tip

Identify the shapes you see and talk about them. Shapes are the precursors to letters!

Theme Extension Activities

Flannelboard: “Shape Game”***

Flannelboard: “The Shape Story”***

Props: “Green Says Go”***

Action Rhyme: “Big, Bigger, Biggest”*
A little ball, a bigger ball,
And a great big ball I see
Now help me count them,
One, two, three!
Credit: Debmonn PB Wiki

Action Song/Fingerplay: “Where Is…?”**
(Tune: Where Is Thumbkin?)
Where is triangle? Where is triangle?
Here I am. Here I am.
How are you today, sir? Very well, I thank you.
Run away. Run away.
(Circle, rectangle, square, diamond)
Credit: KidsSoup

Repeating Extension Activities

  • The Elevator Song***
  • Open, Shut Them*
  • Put Your Hands Up High*
  • Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear*
  • This Is Big***

How It Went

Tuesday morning
I got SO MUCH accomplished this storytime and I probably could have done a third book for most of the crowd, but I didn’t feel like pushing it. “Shape by Shape” was the best book. Both flannels were well-received and “Green Says Go” was a great chance for movement!

Tuesday afternoon
One of my little girls absolutely stole the show for participation. She stood in the middle of the rug and did all of the motions. It was adorable! “Where Is Circle?” was a great opportunity to repeat the Thumbkin tune especially because “Where Is Animal?” worked so well for this group in zoo storytime. And bubbles finally got through to some of our shier kids — it was great to see them on the carpet, jumping around.

Thursday morning
“Green Says Go” was the best thing I could have ever given these kids this morning. We played for nearly five minutes with everyone participating! Kids are now squealing if I say “Let’s do The Elevator Song” which gives me so much happiness. “Shape by Shape” was again a great hit.

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