Flannel Friday: Butterfly Props

Even though I’m scheduling this post ahead of time (it’s actually 12/10 as I write this), I’m sure that it’s safe to say that I’m ready for spring. (I am not a winter person.)

So today’s post is looking ahead to warmer weather with some butterfly props.

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I made these ridiculously easy props for the kids to use while I sing “Flutter, Flutter”. I bought a set of foam shapes and some self-stick popsicle sticks and a few minutes later, boom, prop! Words to the song are below:

Tune: Twinkle, Twinkle
Flutter, flutter butterfly
Floating in the spring sky
Floating by for all to see
Floating by so merrily
Flutter, flutter butterfly
Floating in the spring sky

The kids love having their own way to act out the song, especially if I’m using one of my butterfly finger puppets at the same time!


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

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Baby Storytime

babystorytime

Baby storytime came as a complete and utter surprise to me. A week before the storytime session started (and two weeks after I had arrived at my new library), a co-worker had to pass baby storytime off to me for both the spring and summer session. For the spring session, I went off of her plan since I didn’t have a lot of time. For the summer session, I grew more comfortable figuring things out. I relied heavily on Brooke’s blog and Kendra’s blog and Jbrary to learn songs that I didn’t know or to substitute songs/activities I was more comfortable with. If I changed something from spring to summer session, I will note it in the write-up.

Opening

Welcome & Guidelines
Hi everyone! My name is Miss Katie and I’ll be leading the baby storytime class this session. I’d like to go over some guidelines with you before we begin. Because I’m used to working with small people, I understand that accidents happen — I have tissue, wipes, and paper towels on both sides of the room in case of accidents. Bathrooms are located on either side of the storytime room, please feel free to use the bathrooms and supplies as needed.

We all want storytime to be a positive experience. If your child isn’t feeling up to storytime, please take them outside of the storytime room. You can always come back in after they’ve calmed down or you can always try storytime on another day. I’m okay with movement, but I would like to point out two areas that I need you to keep your child clear of: the area by the door and the area right in front of me. They don’t have to sit down, but they do have to leave these spaces.

babykateSince this is a lapsit program, babies may not be able to fully participate in the motions and fingerplays during songs. I’ll provide modifications, but please do what is most comfortable for you and your child. Lastly, I use Baby Kate to model for you how to interact. Baby Kate weighs next to nothing so my gestures will be much larger than yours need to be. Again, do what is comfortable for you and your child.

Name Fingerplay
I learned this from the co-worker I took over for at baby time. I loved it so much that I also brought it to toddler storytime!

Everyone introduces themselves one at a time. Together, we hold up our hands and trace our fingers as the group says each child’s name five times. Parents can run their finger around each of their child’s finger or tap each finger or touch each finger — whatever the child is comfortable with. Before we say the child’s name for the fifth time, we say “OOPS!” and on the “OOPS!”, I flick my finger up before going back to trace the last finger. (At “OOPS”, some parents give their child a tickle.) So it sounds like this: parent/child says “Hi, my name is Barb and this is Katie” and the group says “Katie (thumb), Katie (pointer), Katie (middle), Katie (ring), OOPS!, Katie (pinky).”

This gives each child a chance to clap for themselves. It’s a great way for the whole group to learn names together and it doesn’t take too long with my classes capped at twenty baby/parent pairs.

You can watch me demo the fingerplay in this video:

Opening Song
I used “Hands Are Clapping” which is to the tune of “Skip to My Lou”:
Hands are clapping, clap, clap, clap
Hands are clapping, clap, clap, clap
Hands are clapping, clap, clap, clap
Clap your hands, my darling!
Toes are tapping, fingers are wiggling, eyes are hiding “peek-a-boo”

Program

Typically, my library’s has a lot of extension activities planned, as well as 3-4 board books to work with a theme. We are lucky enough to have multiple board book sets, with 25 copies to pass out. My co-worker had planned to use different flannelboards, but for me it didn’t work in baby storytime. The only flannelboard I used is “The Shape Game” to introduce the theme.

Closing

Rhyme
I used Melissa‘s “This Is Big, Big, Big” as the beginning of my closing routine. I also use it in toddler time!

Song
Our closing song is also from my co-worker’s plan: “With My Little Hands”
With my little hands I go clap, clap, clap
With my little feet I go tap, tap, tap
With my little arms I wave bye, bye, bye
With my little legs I kick high, high, high
With my little eyes I play peek-a-boo
With my little mouth I say “I love you”

Bubbles
Young babies are fascinated with bubbles and older babies are using great muscles to reach bubbles and pop bubbles. It’s such a joy to watch them grow up and change how they interact with bubbles.

And that’s the bones of every baby program. I had a wonderful set of plans to ease into babytime and I felt very thankful to be taken care of so thoroughly.

In my write-ups, I’ll talk about what I actually used and what worked/didn’t. I’ll also likely talk about why I didn’t use some materials. As always, if I did a theme multiple times, I’ll write about all the sessions in the same post. Look for a weekly baby storytime update starting next week!

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Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 6/12

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

hildamustbedancingBook
Hilda Must Be Dancing by Karma Wilson
I love Hilda. I love that the book talks about different kinds of dancing. I love inviting the kids to get up and join me as we romp around the room. I love that Hilda figures out how to keep doing what she loves to do when her friends/fellow animals try to stop her. I think the book worked amazingly as a Shake, Shimmy read.

Props
Parachute! (WARNING: Measure your room before you buy a chute!! This one just fits in our large meeting space, but I almost bought the next size up based on the handles…)

The Playlist
Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Hands Are for Clapping — Jim Gill
Dance, Freeze, Melt — Eric Litwin & Michael Levine
Jump, Jump — Joanie Leeds & the Nightlights
Round in a Circle — Greg & Steve
Hot Poppin’ Popcorn — The Wiggles
Under the Shady Tree — Laurie Berkner Band
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

This was the very first session with the parachute. I had purchased a larger one for this program and I’m glad that I did! When I shook it out, delighted screeching ensued. The kids played with the parachute with such enthusiasm and they absolutely went mad for “Under the Shady Tree” when I let them go under and had the adults lift up and down with me. Parents definitely grew more tired as we went along, doing the bulk of the parachute lifting, but I made jokes about skipping the gym that day and got a lot of laughs.

(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: Farm

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

toddler-farms

Charlie Chick by Nick Denchfield and Ant Parker*
Clip Clop by Nicola Smee*
Old MacDonald by Jane Cabrera
Say Hello Like This by Mary Murphy*

Early Literacy Tip

Children want familiar sounds from people who mean a great deal to them. Sing along even if you feel your voice is not the greatest.

Theme Extension Activities

Flannelboard: Five Clean and Dirty Pigs*

Flannelboard: Ten Fluffy Chickens*

Action Song: “Farm Chores”
(Tune: “Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush”)*
This is the way we plant our seeds, plant our seeds, plant our seeds
This is the way we plant our seeds so early in the morning
[Water our seeds, weed our seeds, our seeds grow up, pick our plants, eat our plants]
Credit: Library School

Song with Puppets: “When Animals Wake Up In the Morning”*
When animals wake up in the morning, they always say hello
When animals wake up in the morning, they always say hello
And what do they say? [animal noise]
And that is what they say!
Credit: Jbrary

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Dance Your Fingers
  • Open, Shut Them
  • This Is Big*
  • Tick, Tock
  • Two Little Blackbirds*
  • Where Is Thumbkin?

How It Went

This was my first ever toddler storytime. It also coincided with the week of PLA, so I was only able to lead Tuesday’s session since I was in Indianapolis during Thursday’s. I thought that this storytime went very well. I started with the same set-up that I did at my old library and quickly learned that a floor easel flannelboard would not work without preschoolers in the group to model how to sit. I had a slew of toddlers next to me the whole time, running their hands on the soft felt. I adjusted for the next week and used one of our tabletop easels.

After introducing “This Is Big”, I had a grandparent stop me and ask for a copy. Her daughter was going to teach abroad in China and she thought it would be perfect for teaching opposites in English! As always, Charlie the Chick was a huge pop-up success. I don’t know what I would do if I ever lost my copy of that one.

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Storytime Essentials: Opening & Closing Songs

storytimeessentials

Since I started doing storytime, I’ve done a few different opening/closing songs before I finally settled on the ones at my old library: “Clap and Say Hello!” and “We Wave Goodbye Like This”.

In the past, I’ve done “Here, Here” and “Mr. Sun” for opening songs and mostly the “ABCs” for closing.

At my new library, I wanted to try something different! Since I was doing Toddler Storytime, I wanted a song that I could repeat for as long as I needed depending on the energy of the group. And my other thought was that I wanted a song that was available on CD so that the rest of my team could play the song if for whatever reason (like PLA/ALA) that I can’t be there. I first read about the song on Kendra’s blog Read Sing Play and found this video from King County Library System to learn it.

As for my closing song, I wanted something short and it wound up that the rhyme “Tickle the Clouds” worked out the very best for me and for my group.

The reason I think opening and closing songs/activities are so essential is that they create a framework for your storytime, encourage repetition, and set-up a routine for your patrons to recognize.

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Flannel Friday: Goldfish Puppets!

These adorable goldfish finger puppets come from Library Quine who was inspired by Lisa.

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You can see from my hand picture that the goldfish are pretty big. I wanted to make them big so I used them as stick puppets that they would be seen by kiddos. Like Lisa, I’ve used these with the Laurie Berkner song “The Goldfish” and swam around the room with the kids and puppets.

Unfortunately, it looks like the original site with the template no longer exists. So I traced my puppets to make a template, which is available here.

Happy flanneling!


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

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Toddler Spring 2014 Fingerplays, Rhymes, & Songs

To read more about how I plan and prepare my Toddler Storytimes, please visit this post.

toddlerstorytimes

Each session, I pick some extension activities to repeat from week to week. Most of the time these have nothing to do with my theme of the day and just allow me to add more movement or songs if that’s what the toddlers need that week. Of course, I don’t use every activity every week. I’ll note in the individual theme summaries which activities I used. These are the activities that I had planned for Spring 2014.

Action Rhyme: “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”
Head, shoulders, knees, and toes, knees and toes
Head, shoulders, knees, and toes, knees and toes
Two eyes, two ears, a mouth and a nose
Head, shoulders, knees, and toes, knees and toes
Credit: Childhood

Action Rhyme: “This Is Big”
This is big, big, big (stretch hands far to sides)
This is small, small, small (cup hands together)
This is short, short, short (hold palms close vertically)
This is tall, tall, tall (hold palms far apart vertically)
This is fast, fast, fast (roll hands quickly)
This is slow, slow, slow (roll hands slowly)
This is yes, yes, yes (nod head)
This is no, no, no (shake head)
Credit: Mel’s Desk

Fingerplay: “Dance Your Fingers Up”
Dance your fingers up, dance your fingers down
Dance your fingers to the side, dance them all around
Dance them on your shoulders, dance them on you head
Dance them on your tummy, and put them all to bed
Credit: Best Kids Book Site (Site appears to be completely reorganized…)

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

Fingerplay: “Where Is Thumbkin?”
Where is thumbkin? Where is thumbkin? (put hands behind back)
Here I am! Here I am! (bring hands around from behind the back)
How are you today, sir? Very well, I thank you! (wiggle thumbs, one at a time)
Run away, run away! (hide hands behind back again)
(Repeat for each finger; I did leave out middle finger/tallman. It was too early in the morning and I feared I would burst into giggles.)
Credit: Childhood

Lift/Rhyme: “Tick, Tock”
Tick, tock, tick, tock
I’m a little cuckoo clock
Tick, tock, tick, tock
Now I’m chiming one o’clock
Cuckoo!
(Count up to three o’clock)
Credit: My co-worker Jane

Song: “Open, Shut Them”
Open, shut them, open, shut them
Give a little clap, clap, clap
Open, shut them, open, shut them
Lay them in your lap, lap, lap
Creep them, crawl them, creep them, crawl them
Right up to your chin, chin, chin
Open up your little mouth
But do not let them in, in, in!
Credit: My co-worker Sarah

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Explore the World: Snow

In response to the STEAM movement (and with great thanks to such great inspiration & encouragement from colleagues: Amy, Abby, and Kendra), this past fall I started a STEAM storytime series at the library. This is primarily aimed at preschoolers and their families, registration open to ages 3-7 in our library.

exploretheworld

Books & Group Activities

Opening Activity
Building blocks from Kendra.
“Building Blocks”
(Tune of Good Night Ladies)
Hello ________
Hello ________
Hello ________
Come build something with your blocks!

Books

snowscience

The First Day of Winter by Denise Fleming
Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner
Winter Is for Snow by Robert Neubecker

I think the most successful book for this day was “The First Day of Winter” — the kids were very into the cumulative nature of the book and it definitely held their attention.

Station Activities


Snow Painting
I brought snow in from outside. I put it in giant plastic bins (that normally housed our cushions for storytime) and let the kids paint with watercolors in the snow. This station BLEW their minds. I don’t think that any of the kids had ever thought that it was possible to paint with snow. I heard a lot of good conversations as to why the snow worked like water.


Mixing “Snow”
Using cornstarch and shaving cream, the kids made snow dough. I found out about this on Kendra. This is obviously a station full of mess, but another station that the kids thoroughly enjoyed. I had parents tell me that the dough lasted for a couple of plays after the program — I gave each kid a ziplock bag to take their dough home. This was a great trial and error experiment for the kids. They had to figure out which ingredient they needed more of to make a consistent dough.


Marshmallow Snowmen
I also took this station from Kendra. I put out a bunch of toothpicks, paper, glue, marshmallows, cotton balls, etc. and let the kids build their own snowmen. I spent a good deal of time during the introduction of the stations to remind parents that these were crafting marshmallows and that they were not meant for eating! I had a few kids that didn’t want to get their hands messy, so this station was a lot better for them.


Spin-a-Snowman
This was a flannelboard made by a predecessor. It has a little spinner and tells the kids what parts to add to the snowman. We played it as a group during the storytime session and I left it out during the station activities. Honestly, I so didn’t need it! The kids were more than happy to keep rotating between the first three stations.

Take-Home

My book display for this program:

And my handouts: which included an activity page, booklist, and a coloring page.

This is my official last Explore the World post! I did this last winter before I left my old library. I just felt like holding off the post until it was actual winter again.

And a Pinterest friendly image!

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Toddler Storytime

toddlerstorytimes

I thought before I write up any of my toddler themes, that I would first give a run-down on how my new storytimes are planned and prepared!

I have been using Lindsey’s AMAZING toddler planning sheet for toddler storytimes. I tweaked it just a little bit by changing “Stamp Used” to “Supplies Needed” since we don’t use stamps at my library. That way I have a supply list of things to make sure I have everything.

Opening

Welcome & Guidelines
Hi everyone! My name is Miss Katie and I’ll be leading the toddler storytime class this session. I’d like to go over some guidelines with you before we begin. Because I’m used to working with small people, I understand that accidents happen — I have tissue, wipes, and paper towels on both sides of the room in case of accidents. Bathrooms are located on either side of the storytime room, please feel free to use the bathrooms and supplies as needed.

We all want storytime to be a positive experience. If your child isn’t feeling up to storytime, please take them outside of the storytime room. You can always come back in after they’ve calmed down or you can always try storytime on another day. I’m okay with movement, but I would like to point out two areas that I need you to keep your child clear of: the area by the door and the area right in front of me. They don’t have to sit down, but they do have to leave these spaces.

Lastly, you are your child’s best model for storytime. If you participate, they will participate. So, I want to see lots of movement and hear lots of voices! Let’s get started!

Name Fingerplay
I learned this from my wonderful co-worker who does it at her baby storytimes. Since babies “graduate” into the toddler storytime, I really wanted to keep the consistency of a few things between the program.

Everyone introduces themselves one at a time. Together, we hold up our hands and trace our fingers as the group says each child’s name five times. Parents can run their finger around each of their child’s finger or tap each finger or touch each finger — whatever the child is comfortable with. Before we say the child’s name for the fifth time, we say “OOPS!” and on the “OOPS!”, I flick my finger up before going back to trace the last finger. (At “OOPS”, some parents give their child a tickle.) So it sounds like this: parent/child says “Hi, my name is Barb and this is Katie” and the group says “Katie (thumb), Katie (pointer), Katie (middle), Katie (ring), OOPS!, Katie (pinky).”

This gives each child a chance to say their name (some will, some won’t) and if not, the parent can introduce. It’s a great way for the whole group to learn names together and it doesn’t take too long with my classes capped at twenty toddler/parent pairs.

You can watch me demo the fingerplay in this video:

Opening Song
Although I sing it a capella, I used “Clap Everybody and Sing Hello!” by Kathy Reid-Naiman, from her album “Sally Go Round the Sun.” I got the suggestion from Kendra who uses it for her toddler times and I learned it from King County Library System.

Program

Like Lindsey, I plan a lot more than I actually use. I plan 3-4 books, 1-2 puppet activities, 1-2 flannelboard activities, 6 songs/fingerplays, and 6 movement activities. There is absolutely no way that I would USE all of these activities, books, and songs in a single program, but I wanted to have them.

Closing

Rhyme
I used Melissa‘s “This Is Big, Big, Big” as the beginning of my closing routine. I also used it while I was covering baby storytime in the spring and summer, so it was another nod of continuity.

Song Cube
I’m still using a Song Cube, but I have changed up the songs that are on it. At the old library, I had “Apples and Bananas”, “Five Green and Speckled Frogs”, “The Ants Go Marching”, “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”, “The Wheels on the Bus”, and “Itsy Bitsy Spider”.

But I got rid of “Apples and Bananas” since I started to dread singing it and “The Ants Go Marching” since it was too long of a song for the cube. I added “I’m a Little Teapot” and “ABCs”. Overall, I’m so much happier with this incarnation of the cube. I also took the time to memorize literacy tips to go with each of the songs on the cube so matter what song we roll, parents get a hopefully new tip!

Closing Rhyme
After seeing a version on Pinterest, I was absolutely IN LOVE with “Tickle the Clouds.” I knew that it had to be my new closing activity.

Bubbles
Bubbles are a strong tradition at my library. The librarian before me did bubbles in toddler storytime, and we also do bubbles in baby storytime. And I certainly wasn’t going to break with tradition! Bubbles have become one of my favorite parts. Kids are SO EXCITED and parents surround them with phones to capture those moments. It’s adorable.

And that’s the bones of every toddler program. In my write-ups, I’ll talk about what I actually used and what worked/didn’t. I’ll also likely talk about why I didn’t use some materials. As always, if I did a theme multiple times, I’ll write about all the sessions in the same post. Look for a weekly toddler storytime update starting next week!

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Flannel Friday: Shape Game

A Flannel Friday post inspired by possibly the best hugger in the world, Brooke at Reading With Red!

(No, seriously, I think Brooke has the hugger title locked in.)

The shape game!

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I started using this flannel immediately after starting my position and taking on baby time. I scoured websites looking for ideas and I have to report: there’s something magical about the shape game. I would hide another flannel piece behind one of the shapes and talk to the babies and caregivers.

One by one, I would “eliminate” one shape as I talked about it. All of these guesses would end with some variation of “No, it’s not under there. Let’s try another shape!”

“Can we find a shape that makes a noise? What about the heart? What kind of sound does it make?”

“Which shape has three points?”

“Miss Katie is wearing a dress that matches a shape. What color is it?”

I always keep the object hidden until the very last shape. Then our theme for the day is revealed!

The shapes are are large as I could get them on a 9×12 piece of felt. The star is the tiniest, so I hide things under it very rarely.


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

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