Interactive Play Space: Bakery Update!

interactiveplayspaces

Nearly a month ago, I posted about the beautiful and gorgeous Bakery play space that I created. Now I’m here to talk about what held up and what didn’t.

[Full disclosure: this month turned into two months once summer reading hit. The Bakery was out for 600 hours of play which is double what the Garden Shop was. I expected to see the items more decimated than they actually were!]

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1. So, yep, the kids did try to eat some of the pieces. I found a few cookies with what I suspected were bite marks. They immediately were pitched in the trash. (I did the same thing with foam blocks recently — we do not need to keep objects that have teeth marks or that are unsafe for kiddos!)

2. The only truly broken piece was the cupcake displayer. The top of the screw snapped off at some point. I found it during my nightly check and retired the item immediately. I don’t know if it was dropped or manhandled but it wasn’t worth the safety concern of putting it back out. I might try something like this next year to avoid the cost of replacing the no longer made Kidkraft Cupcakes.

3. And let’s talk about theft/loss. The cookies were hit HARD. This is all that was left when I packed up the center. Since it’s such an inexpensive product to replace (around $16 on sale), I’ll likely purchase the Melissa and Doug set again. Originally, I didn’t label them with our library’s name. I might need to do this in the future.

4. The most bizarre piece of destruction that happened — somehow a child managed to get high enough near the play center to tear down the Bakery sign. I lost the letter K and the letter E was mangled. It was a simple felt die-cut fix and I’m not at all worried about the cost of repair ($0.29 for a new felt piece) but more raised eyebrow here.

5. I knew that I’d have to replace the felt cinnamon rolls for the next play center. Grubby hands + lots of velcro pieces on the wooden cupcakes and cookies led to a lot of pilling on the felt. I’m totally okay with replacing these. Plus it will give me a chance to do them a little differently since I’ve read some new techniques on making them!

6. Our two chef hats became one chef hat very early on in the center’s time out in the space. And once I started packing up, I realized it just needed to be thrown out. I’m not sure that I will replace these for the next time the Bakery goes out. I sprayed disinfectant and checked the hat throughout the process, but it got pretty gross looking towards the end.


Last, but not least, a peek at the storage happening:

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Clockwise from top left: Preparations for Pizzeria, Preparations for Costume Shop, Bakery packed up, and Garden Shop packed up!


I’ll be back at the end of the month with a look at the next play center: Veterinarian Office!

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Flannel Friday: Scat the Cat

This week’s Flannel Friday is a folder story from the Storytime Katie archives. I made this years and years ago when Anne of So Tomorrow first posted about the amazing Scat the Cat!

Anne has direction and links to the templates that I used to make this fabulous folder story. I’ve used this in colors storytime and cats/pets storytimes. It is one of those amazing props where you become a magician in the children’s eyes. I absolutely love using this with preschoolers/family storytimes, but I’ve also done it in toddlers too.


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

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Families: Blankets & Teddies

For more information on how I plan and prepare my family storytimes, check out this introduction post. I starred the materials used in the plan. Some activities go unstarred because I only do this program once a week.

The Plan

Books

families-blanketsteddies

Bear In the Air by Susan Myers
Fly Blanky Fly by Anne Margaret Lewis*
Kiki’s Blankie by Janie Bynum
Small Bunny’s Blue Blanket by Tatyana Feeney*

Early Literacy Tip

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Ralph Covert’s “Ralph’s World”*

Featured Track: #1 Freddy the Teddy Bear*

Flannelboard: “Ten Teddy Bears”*

Flannelboard: “A Blanket for the Princess”*

Prop: “I Once Had a Blanket”*
I once had a blanket, it was fluffy and new
I once had a blanket, and its color was blue!
I once had a blanket, the prettiest I’ve ever seen
I once had a blanket, and its color was green!
I once had a blanket, soft as a pillow
I once had a blanket, and its color was yellow!
I once had a blanket, at the foot of my bed
I once had a blanket, and its color was red!
Credit: Anne’s Library Life

Puppet: “Where Is Bear?”*
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

Repeating Extension Activities

I had four back-up activities in case I needed them for time. I rarely used them, but here they are:

  • Dance Your Fingers Up
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes*
  • Itsy Bitsy Spider
  • Thumbkin

How It Went

“Fly Blanky Fly” was great for movement and imagination. The kids had a great time even though it was a smaller group today likely due to yucky weather. “Ten Teddy Bears” was a great flannelboard, which the kids loved. I had another set of new families with great compliments and that makes me so happy.

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Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 2/9

Since our summer session of “Shake, Shimmy, & Dance” was so successful, I started doing a monthly event in 2015.

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan

fromheadtotoe
Book
From Head to Toe by Eric Carle
I went back to the very first book for this storytime. I love Eric Carle’s From Head to Toe because of its interactivity, its simple text and language, and the excellent pictures. And I felt like I was almost doing a reboot for the whole group.

Props
Shaker Eggs!
&
Activity Scarves!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Sunny Day — Elizabeth Mitchell
The Tempo Marches On — Jim Gill
Dance, Freeze, Melt — Eric Litwin and Michael Levine
Wiggle Your Lah-De-Da — Ralph Covert
Under the Sea — Georgiana Stewart
Bounce Your Baby — Caspar Babypants
Fruit Salad Salsa — Laurie Berkner
Boom Boom — Bari Koral Family Rock Band
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

They loved “Sunny Day” as a stretching activity to start off our crazy dancing. This was my first time using two props and it went so well; I was so, so happy! Their favorite song for the day was definitely Jim Gill’s “The Tempo Marches On”, although “Boom Boom” was a great ending song, too.

(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: Spring Animals

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-springanimals

Charlie Chick by Nick Denchfield & Ant Parker***
Counting Ovejas by Sarah Weeks**
Little Quack by Lauren Thompson
Where Is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox*

Early Literacy Tip
Even little rhymes present knowledge about our world. “Flutter, Flutter Butterfly” tells the story of a butterfly flying in the spring sky, just as real butterflies do.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Anna and the Cupcakes (Bari Koral Family Rock Band)***

Featured Track: #9 Butterfly***

Flannelboard: “Ten Little Sheep”***

Puppet: “Flutter, Flutter Butterfly”***

Props: Butterfly Props (during featured track)***

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Everyone Can March**
  • Open, Shut Them*
  • Roly, Poly**
  • This Is Big, Big, Big***
  • Tick, Tock***

How It Went

Tuesday morning
I used “Counting Ovejas” as a parent tip/lesson today. We skipped pages and I reminded parents that we don’t always have to count to ten since a toddler often can’t wait that long in a book. We counted five sheep. Everyone did well with the props, but I did have one child whack his mom, so she took his prop from him.

Thursday morning (9:30)
“Ten Little Sheep” on the flannelboard pulled two of my wanderers back into storytime. This class was utterly delighted to visit my butterfly puppet with their butterfly props for butterfly kisses. “Charlie Chick” is a magic book and I will never give it up. Both “Tick, Tock” and “This Is Big, Big, Big” brought kids back in from the edges of the room.

Thursday morning (10:30)
We had a sudden downpour in the middle of the storytime; loud enough for some of the toddlers to become startled. I led them in a spontaneous rendition of “Rain Is Falling Down” to help calm their nerves. One of my toddlers stood in the middle of the rug during our opening song and modeled all the actions for the other kids.

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Discovery!: Building

discovery

Another station activity for this week’s Discovery!. I decided to take the time to focus on building/engineering. I was really excited for this event since we have so many wonderful building kits and equipment at the library.

(We’re in the process of developing circulating kits, so I was able to use the materials from these kits for this program.)

I put out the following materials: Legos, Duplos, Megablocks, wooden blocks, Castlelogix, Jenga, Gears Gears Gears!, Goldieblocks, playing cards, clay (ModelMagic), Tangrams, and a paper/pencil station.

While the kids loved lots of different parts of this program, my favorite part was reading “Dreaming Up” by to them. “Dreaming Up” is one of the Monarch nominees (our state’s K-3rd award) and I had the pleasure of serving on the committee. It was really exciting to share one of our choices with the kids.

I had a lot of great feedback from this event. Several of my kids picked a station and stayed there for most of the time. One little boy spent his time mastering the Gears Gears Gears station. Another family spent their time at the pencil/paper station and drew house plans and cotton candy factories. But the biggest hit was the Lego station. One parent remarked that if the library had an all-day Lego program that the kids would never leave!

A Pinterest friendly picture for you:

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Flannel Friday: A-P-P-L-E

I hope you’re ready to start thinking school time. (We’re almost near the end of summer reading, I promise!)

Today’s “BINGO” spin-off came from Erin at Falling Flannelboards!

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“A-P-P-L-E” (Tune: BINGO)
I know a fruit that’s good to eat and apple is its name-o.
A-P-P-L-E, A-P-P-L-E, A-P-P-L-E
And apple is its name-o.

[As the song goes on…]

I know a fruit that’s good to eat and apple is its name-o.
Crunch-Crunch-Crunch-L-E, Crunch-Crunch-Crunch-L-E, Crunch-Crunch-Crunch-L-E
And apple is its name-o.

Erin has a template available to download on her site. I simply used her template and laminated the pieces. I used this song in my toddler apple storytimes from last fall.


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

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Families: Birds

For more information on how I plan and prepare my family storytimes, check out this introduction post. I starred the materials used in the plan. Some activities go unstarred because I only do this program once a week.

The Plan

Books

families-birds

Charlie Chick by Nick Denchfield and Ant Parker*
Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard*
I’m Not Cute by Jonathan Allen
Peck, Peck, Peck by Lucy Cousins*

Early Literacy Tip

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Elizabeth Mitchell’s “You Are My Little Bird”*

Featured Track: #4 Little Bird, Little Bird*

Flannelboard: “Ten Fluffy Chickens”*

Flannelboard: “Five Little Birds”*

Prop: Bird Sticks*

Puppets: “Two Little Blackbirds”*

Repeating Extension Activities

I had four back-up activities in case I needed them for time. I rarely used them, but here they are:

  • Dance Your Fingers Up
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes
  • Itsy Bitsy Spider
  • Thumbkin*

How It Went

I have the sweetest story ever to share. A young lady got a wishing ball from her grandmother for her birthday. Her grandma told her that she had three wishes with it. Her first wish? That grandpa would take her to storytime next week. AWWWW. “Grumpy Bird” was the most successful book and the most fun, but using the bird sticks (a paper bird attached to a popsicle stick) during “Peck, Peck, Peck” was a great prop idea for this crowd.

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Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 1/19

Since our summer session of “Shake, Shimmy, & Dance” was so successful, I started doing a monthly event in 2015.

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan

canyoumakeascaryfaceBook
Can You Make a Scary Face? by Jan Thomas
Have you ever seen a more wonderful thing that a group of children jumping around pretending to get a bug out of their shirts? The answer is probably no, in case you were confused. This was a great title to read after re-launching a monthly Shake, Shimmy after the success of the summer programs. (This is the hard part of youth librarianship — fall programs are due so early — July for us! — that you can’t tell if a program is successful enough to warrant a repeat in the fall.)

Props
Shaker Eggs!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Jump, Jump — Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights
The Goldfish — Laurie Berkner Band
Hands Are for Clapping — Jim Gill
Get the Sillies Out — Yo Gabba Gabba
Dance Around — Ralph Covert (Ralph’s World)
Milkshake — Old Town School of Folk Music
The Airplane Song — Laurie Berkner
Take the Sun — Caspar Babypants
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

For the re-launch, I used some of the best songs from the summer. What I didn’t factor in was that I wouldn’t have as many preschool/kindergarten kids during the school year than I did during the summertime. This was a longer playlist than my group really could handle. I wound up skipping “Get the Sillies Out” and brought out shakers for “Dance Around”.

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

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Toddler: Nursery Rhymes

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-nurseryrhymes

1, 2, Buckle My Shoe by Anna Grossnickle Hines**
Big Fat Hen by Keith Baker*
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear by Steve Scott*
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star by Jane Cabrera***

Early Literacy Tip
When you give your children positive reinforcement by clapping or telling them that they did a great job, you are encouraging them to act both independently and cooperatively.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Sing a Song of Wiggles***

Featured Track: #25 It’s Raining, It’s Pouring****

Flannelboard: “Humpty Dumpty”**

Flannelboard: “Mary Had a Little Lamb”*

Prop: “Baa Baa Black Sheep”***

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Open, Shut Them**
  • This Is Big, Big, Big***
  • Thumbkin**
  • Zoom, Zoom, Zoom***

How It Went

Tuesday morning
We lulled the toddler into serenity with our singing during “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” and I asked parents/caregivers to remember this the next time they needed to calm their kiddos. It’s week three for this group and we’ve finally hit our stride. “Mary Had a Little Lamb” has many verses; I just sang the first one on the flannel.

Thursday morning (9:30)
This group was a bit riled up by a new classmate who had a hard time transitioning. He wound up only staying for the first ten minutes, but ten minutes is better than no minutes in storytime! One of my toddlers from last session (whose caregiver was very concerned about his lack of sitting still) has grown up so much — he sat for all of our books today! And every child pulled Humpty off of the flannelboard!

Thursday morning (10:30)
We read three books in toddler storytime today! Nursery rhymes are great soothers for rhythm and cadence. One of my toddlers shouted “AGAIN!” after “Zoom, Zoom, Zoom”, so the group obliged! Some of my parents got tripped up during “1, 2, Buckle My Shoe” because of the “open the gate” line instead of the more traditional “lay them straight”. And another group full of Humpty success — everyone pulled him down off his wall!

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