Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 5/18

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

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan

ifyourehappyandyouknowit
Book
If You’re Happy and You Know It by Jane Cabrera
This is a great book to get everyone up and moving. It poses the question of “If You’re Happy and You Know It” and answers by having the kids do a variety of movements and motions. The best, most wonderful part about (most of) Cabrera’s books is that you can end the book whenever your crowd gets done. Just don’t do it with “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”, haha.

Props
Shaker Eggs!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Can’t Wait to Celebrate — Jim Gill
Freeze Dance — Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights
Music (Keeps Me Movin’) — Fresh Beat Band
Singing With My Ukulele — Mr. Jon & Friends
Shake With You — The Learning Groove
I Know a Chicken — Laurie Berkner Band
Give a Hug — Bari Koral Family Band
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

Do you want to have a song stuck in your head until the end of your days? Listen to Mr. Jon & Friends’ “Singing With My Ukulele” — it is the CATCHIEST song ever! Another group that’s new to me; we were delighted with some new music! Kids really loved waiting with Jim Gill and had a great time with the Freeze Dance. I always get a few kids who are determined to freeze in funny faces and that makes me so happy.

(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: Dinosaurs

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-dinos

Dini Dinosaur by Karen Beaumont***
Dinosaur Parade by Shari Halpern*
Dinosaur Vs. Bedtime by Bob Shea*
How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? by Jane Yolen

Early Literacy Tip
Young children are able to absorb an amazing amount of information on topics that are of interest to them. They become experts, often knowning more than we do on some subjects!

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Whaddaya Think of That? (Laurie Berkner)***

Featured Track: #1 We Are the Dinosaurs***

Flannelboard: “Ten Little Dinosaurs”***

Puppets: “Five Little Dinosaurs”**

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Icka Bicka Soda Crackers*
  • Open, Shut Them*
  • These Are My Glasses*
  • This Is Big, Big, Big***
  • Thumbkin*
  • Zoom, Zoom, Zoom***

How It Went

Tuesday morning
My new kiddos have really warmed up this session. Storytime was packed with one stroller which prevented too much cruising (thankfully!). This group LOVED dancing/marching to “We Are the Dinosaurs” most.

Thursday morning (9:30)
It was a small class today, but a great one. The kids were energetic and happy to be there: one greeted me at the door with a hug, two others ran in squealing with joy, and one of my kiddos insisted on multiple high fives before going into the room. We had great motions during “Dinosaur Parade”.

Thursday morning (10:30)
Our preschool storytime at the same time was canceled due today. So, I had some older siblings in the class which made for a messier storytime. On the song cube, “I’m a Little Teapot” came up which is a rarity and I love using the literacy tip I memorized with it about handedness.

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Discovery!: Alphabet

discovery

This week, I took the time to focus on the Alphabet. My library gives parents a survey after every storytime session and no matter which storytime program parents are attending, we have constant requests for alphabet identification and practice. While it’s very difficult to do this in baby/toddler storytime, it was a great opportunity for preschool Discovery!.

This was another activity station Discovery! and our stations were: salt writing, letter building, lowercase/uppercase eggs, do-a-dot markers, and alphabet identification game.

Salt Writing
This was a great sensory experience for the kids, but I didn’t see too much actual letter writing take place. Most of the kids were content to draw in the salt. But that let me pass on a great parent tip — shapes are the precursors to letter writing. If your child isn’t ready to start learning letters, work on shapes instead.

Letter Building
One of my upcoming Book Bundles has this kit: Letter Construction Activity Kit. I borrowed it for the program. I love that this kit teaches both uppercase and lowercase letters and that it puts some great emphasis on the kinds of lines and shapes we use to create our letters and words. This was definitely the favorite station of the day.

Lowercase/Uppercase Eggs
I’ve seen this activity on Pinterest since Pinterest started. I bought some eggs at Target immediately after Easter on clearance for $1. I wrote letters on either side of the eggs and let the kids spent the time to match them up. I made sure that no uppercase/lowercase pair were on the same color to up the difficulty for the kids.

Do-a-Dot Markers
I had paper available and purchased Do-a-Dot Markers. Caregivers were able to write a particular letter that their child was struggling with for practice. Kids used the markers to trace the letter. This is great fine motor practice and lots of the kids walked away with their whole name stamped on a piece of paper. Easily one of the more popular stations.

Alphabet Identification Game
Since the library has a foam letters set, I tossed them on the ground and used some re-usable dry erase dice to write letters on the sides. Kids rolled the dice and had to find the corresponding letter on the ground. This game worked great in theory. But the dice didn’t work. Either the kids rubbed the letters off of the dice or the dice actually broke (the dry erase part came off the foam body).

This was another program that I got a lot of great feedback from and I’m so happy that my community found it useful.

I’ve included a Pinterest friendly image if you’d like to pin this program:

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Flannel Friday: The Shape Story

Today’s flannelboard comes from Miss Kristie at The Library Village — The Shape Story!

No template for this one still I free-handed it. This worked really well in my toddler storytime! We practiced identifying shapes as I told the story and my older toddlers were able to say “house” or “tree” at the end of the flannelboard. I also used this in a preschool outreach/partnership storytime with the DuPage Children’s Museum and they LOVED it. Afterwards, I let the preschoolers build with the shapes from this story and from this flannelboard. We had a great time!


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

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Families: Sick & Ouches

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-sickouches

Bear Feels Sick by Karma Wilson
Boo Hoo Bird by Jeremy Tankard*
Buzzy’s Boo-Boo by Harriet Ziefert
Llama Llama Home With Mama by Anna Dewdney*

Early Literacy Tip

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Jim Gill’s “Jim Gill Sings the Sneezing Song and Other Contagious Tunes”*

Featured Track: #1 The Sneezing Song*

Flannelboard: “All The Little Germs”*

Flannelboard: “Band-Aids”

Puppets: “Ah-Choo! Ah-Choo!”*
Farmer’s nose tingles (point to nose)
Farmer’s nose twitches (wiggle puppet)
And he is going to sneeze!
Ah-choo, ah-choo, ah-choo!
Ah-choo, ah-choo, ah-choo!
(Cow, moo-choo / pig, oink-choo / chicken, bawk-choo)
Credit: Modified from SurLaLune Storytime

Songs: “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed”*
Five little monkeys jumping on the bed
One fell off and bumped his head
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
“No more monkeys jumping on the bed!”
Credit: Childhood

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

“Llama Llama Home With Mama” went over great! The flannelboard “All the Little Germs” was so fun & interactive! And the kids were very enthusiastic with the “Ah-Choo!” rhyme. Lots of fun sneezing during the sneeze song too.

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Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 4/20

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

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan

canyoumakeascaryface
Book
Can You Make a Scary Face? by Jan Thomas
I had to pull this book in a pinch. I had another book on hold that didn’t come in on time and the morning of, I went to my personal storytime shelf and pulled this one out. It’s definitely a book I’ve read before in Shake, Shimmy but the kids just love it anyways. It’s fun, interactive, and hilarious! Parents were laughing right along with us.

Props
Activity Scarves!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Everybody’s Jumping — Aaron Nigel Smith
Shoes — Bari Koral Family Rock Band
Stick to the Glue — Jim Gill
Row Row Row Your Boat — Caspar Babypants
Shake Your Scarves — Johnette Downing
All My Colors — Ralph Covert
We Make Some Noise Together — Emmy Brockman
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

“Everybody’s Jumping” is a very recent SSD find and I absolutely adore it. The kids went NUTS for it! I love finding new color songs to use with the scarves since we have nine colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, neon pink, neon orange, and neon yellow) that really do pop when the kids are waving it around. I tried to do a cool-down song after the props and the kids were not having it — lots of them were ready to go after turning their scarf in.

(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: My Body

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-body

The Body Book by Shelley Rotner
From Head to Toe by Eric Carle***
My Nose, Your Nose by Melanie Walsh***

Early Literacy Tip
By developing an awareness of the designs and shapes that bodies can make as well as where their bodies are in space, children also gain an awareness of others and the world around them.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Rockin’ Red (The Learning Groove)***

Featured Track: #13 Hip Hop Body Rock***

Flannelboard: “Me and My Body”***

Props: Egg Shakes (with featured track)***

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Elevator Song***
  • Open, Shut Them***
  • This Is Big, Big, Big***

How It Went

Tuesday morning
We had really great dancing by all the kids but particularly a few in the middle of the carpet. This was an overall wonderful theme and one of those storytimes that was just an almost perfection execution of a plan.

Thursday morning (9:30)
I had a kiddo really respond to my redirection today. I asked him to help pass out shakers and to point to his body and it really brought him back into storytime. Kids were excellent with the Hip Hop Body Rock and with clean-up too. Both books were awesome and I desperately want another book like “From Head to Toe”. Also, one of my toddlers said her name for the first time in class!

Thursday morning (10:30)
After our flannelboard, kids had trouble settling back down, so I went around the circle for high fives, but I would give them if the kids went back by their caregivers. It worked like a charm! This class had excellent caregiver involvement with finding body parts on the kids. Another awesome theme execution!

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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!]

image

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:

image

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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