Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 7/31

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

howdoyouwokkawokka
Book
How Do You Wokka-Wokka? by Elizabeth Bluemle
This book is a celebration where a little boy gets his whole neighborhood to dance with him. To me, it felt like a giant celebration of the success of “Shake Shimmy” this whole summer. The kids really enjoyed their last chance to dance around with me and this book just embodied that joy.

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
Fee Fi Fo Fum — Ralph Covert
List of Dances — Jim Gill
Dance, Freeze, Melt — Eric Litwin and Michael Levine
Sunny Day — Elizabeth Mitchell
Hot Poppin’ Popcorn — The Wiggles
Parachute Bop — Michael Plunkett
Ring Around the Rosie — Caspar Babypants
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

And with my very last session, I dropped the ball. I have absolutely no notes! I chose to end with the parachute since it was my absolute FAVORITE prop from the whole summer. And I think every song here is one that I’ve used before. Towards the end of the program, I really wanted to use material that I knew worked and so that’s what I wound up doing! I’m taking a break from Shake Shimmy for this fall, but have it back on the schedule in winter and spring sessions. Those posts should be right around the corner!

(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: Cats

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-cats

Come Here, Cleo! by Caroline Mockford*
How to Be a Cat by Nikki McClure
I See Kitty by Yasmine Surovec*
Meeow and the Pots and Pans by Sebastian Braun**

Early Literacy Tip
It’s fun and easy for children to learn about topics that are relevant to them. For instance, books are everyday experiences (like animals) help young children make sense of their world.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Kids In the City (Laura Doherty)**

Featured Track: #2 Kitty Cat** (With puppets!)

Flannelboard: “Three Little Kittens”**

Prop: “Scat the Cat”*

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Elevator Song*
  • Open, Shut Them**
  • A Smooth Road*
  • This Is Big, Big, Big**

How It Went

Tuesday morning
A very restless group today and I suspect the sudden reappearance of snow in the Midwest set them off. They loved “Kitty Cat” as a puppet show and one caregiver took a picture of the album to check it out at another time. Two of my new kiddos warmed up to me during bubbles and some of my older kiddos (I’ve had them since babies) were the cutest BFFs today, switching caregivers every other activity.

Thursday morning (9:30)
Didn’t happen! My alarm clock broke and I didn’t make it to work until my second storytime. Luckily, my amazing co-workers helped cover for me so my kiddos still got a storytime.

Thursday morning (10:30)
All of the kids wanted to touch the kitty in “I See Kitty” to show me where I could find it. After two or three caregivers tried to redirect (per Miss Katie’s blue no-fly zone rules), I finally brought the book around the circle so each kid could find kitty and we could still obey the rules. Again, the “Kitty Cat” puppet show was a huge success!

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Discovery!: Mini-Masters

discovery

I also want to include an art activity in every session of Discovery!. Last fall, I had an art class that talked about the importance of process art vs. product art. This session, I wanted to spend some time and talk about how all artists started as kids. And that artists create art in different ways.

To start off the program, I read two books:

discovery-minimasters

Art by Patrick McDonnell
Henri’s Scissors by Jeanette Winter

Both books were huge successes with the kids. I absolutely loved reading a non-fiction book for the event and “Henri’s Scissors” was perfect. The book naturally led to our table activities. I put out images of each artist along with the accompanying materials. I made sure to tell caregivers that the point of this class was to try different art techniques and not to make a masterpiece.

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Henri Matisse: I put out colored paper and scissors and let the kids go to town.

Georges Seurat: I put out white paper and markers for the kids to practice pointillism.

Piet Mondrian: I had pre-cut blue, yellow, and red squares and added black markers to the table.

Georgia O’Keefee: I had planned to put watercolors out on the table. But on the day of the program, the watercolors weren’t where they were supposed to be. So, I had to make a last minute substitution…

Claude Monet: I took some black paper and sidewalk chalk and let the kids go to town.

The kids spent the most amount of time at the Matisse table and the Mondrian table. They had such a good time and I had so many compliments from parents about the ideas presented. And a true librarian victory: my book display was completely gone by the end of the program.

And a Pinterest friendly picture:

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Flannel Friday: Hearts Matching

[Edited…this fits in with our Shark Week theme because I love sharks!]

This hearts matching game was inspired by Lisa from Libraryland!

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These hearts were made with an Ellison die-cut machine. I went home and puffy painted them. (The ones that look smeared were created because I messed up the design I was working with or because the puffy paint sputtered!)

I used these in toddler storytime (theme: hugs and kisses) and had the toddler find their match “friend” and put them on the board together. Obviously the toddlers needed parent/caregiver help, but that was just my tricky way of getting everyone to participate!


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

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Families: Pets

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-pets

If You Were a Dog by Jamie A. Swenson
Matilda’s Cat by Emily Gravett*
Pet Shop Lullaby by Mary Ann Fraser
This Book Just Ate My Dog by Richard Byrne*

Early Literacy Tip

When you enjoy a book, let your children know that you like it and why. Sharing your enjoyment gives them a positive attitude towards books. This positive attitude will influence them when they get to school and learn to read. Let your child choose books and tell you why he/she likes them.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Laurie Berkner’s “Best of Laurie Berkner Band”*

Featured Track: #13 The Goldfish*

Flannelboard: “Dear Zoo”*

Flannelboard: “B-I-N-G-O”*

Prop: “Scat the Cat”

Song: “How Much Is That Doggie In the Window?”
How much is that doggie in the window? (arf! arf!)
The one with the waggley tail
How much is that doggie in the window? (arf! arf!)
I do hope that doggie’s for sale
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

“This Book Just Ate My Dog” is fabulous fun and a book I definitely recommend for preschool aged storytimes! “Dear Zoo” remains one of my most successful flannelboards ever. And yes, I did repeat “The Goldfish” from earlier in the session when we did ocean as our theme. But the kids just loved it so, so much. I felt the repeat was more than justified.

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Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 7/29

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

dragondancing
Book
Dragon Dancing by Carole Lexa Schaefer
I actually had some of the kids decide follow me around like a dragon during this book. It was very cute and while they were missing some incredible pictures, they were still having a great time and I’m all for more fun. And this book was another time to include some diversity in Shake, Shimmy.

Props
Shaker Eggs!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
If You’re Happy and You Know It – Eric Litwin and Michael Levine
The Goldfish — Laurie Berkner Band
Silly Dance Contest — Jim Gill
The Shimmie Shake — The Wiggles
Hip Hop Body Rock — Eric Litwin and Michael Levine
Shakin’ Everywhere — Jim Gill
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

One of my older kids brought a giant stuffed bunny rabbit to dance with today and it was absolutely precious. The very last “Silly Dance Contest” for the summer was the best and I’m glad that it went out on such a high note. I have two more victories in this last week: one of my little girls finally got up and danced and one of my little boys shook my hand at the end! I’m really excited since both parents reassured me that their children would constantly sing songs from the program at home and that they looked forward to coming, but I had never *seen* it before. And I got to today!

(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: Family

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-family

The Baby Goes Beep by Rebecca O’Connell***
The Family Book by Todd Parr
Faster, Faster by Leslie Patricelli**
Peekaboo Morning by Rachel Isadora*

Early Literacy Tip
Library programs like this can be considered a child’s first class. Encouraging personal interactions with a group leader help children develop a positive attitude towards learning.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Wiggleworms Love You***

Featured Track: #20 You Are My Sunshine***

Flannelboard: “Ten Little Babies”***

Puppets: “Five Little Ducks”**
Five little ducks went out one day
Over the hills and far away
Mother Duck said, “Quack, quack, quack, quack”
But only four little ducks came back
(Continue until…)
Sad Mother Duck went out one day
Over the hills and far away
Mother Duck said, “Quack, quack, quack, quack”
And all of her five little ducks came back!

Repeating Extension Activities

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

How It Went

Tuesday morning
With this group, I only did “Three Little Ducks” instead of five. The kids kept reaching for the puppets, so I wound up standing up to finish the song. This was a very full class with lots of new faces. My average age went from 26 months to 19 months, so expect more extensions with this group & more bounces/lifts than before. I did “Faster, Faster” as a bounce and that worked really well!

Thursday morning (9:30)
We had lots of dads and grandparents as additional guests at this storytime which was a lovely surprise for me! This group really enjoyed dancing to “You Are My Sunshine” and they really participated with “The Baby Goes Beep”. The kids loved the baby faces on the board!

Thursday morning (10:30)
I brought Mama Duck around the circle to say hello to everyone and continued to stand during the song for more control. “Everyone Can March” stretched fabulously and we did that rhyme for quite a while. As this was my oldest group, I read “Peekaboo Morning” instead of “Faster, Faster” with them.

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Interactive Play Space: Bakery

interactiveplayspaces

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[A quick recap of the reusuable supplies: Constructive Playthings Create It Space, Target White Plastic Bins, & Target Grey Plastic Bins.]

1. Melissa & Doug Cookie Set from Amazon, $19.99.
I waited for a good price on this set and got it at around $15.99. It’s absolutely perfect if you’re planning on making any kind of bakery. The baking pan, cooking mitt, spatula, and knife were put inside the Cookware bin for storage. I left the cookies, frosting, and the tube in this bin.

2. Flour & Sugar Containers from Target, $2.
I’m the crazy lady that scours through not only the dollar bin, but also the clearance section at Target. These were (I suspect) originally in the dollar bin for $3 each, but I got them for $1 each. I love that the chalkboard labels mean I can re-use these for lots of play centers. I don’t love that chalk easily wipes off.

3. Cinnamon Rolls, approximate cost was $5.97.
To make these, I bought six sheets of each color felt and a tube of white puffy fabric paint. I didn’t follow a tutorial for these and just kind of winged it. I would recommend reading a tutorial if you don’t feel comfortable winging it. (Here are a few.)

4. Green Toys Tea Set from Amazon, $27.99
The one thing I was absolutely willing to pay full price for was a tea set that wasn’t pink. Seeing as a bakery could easily be seen as more “girly” than other centers, I really didn’t want to discourage anyone from using the center. I’m also really happy with how nice the Green Toys line is — made from recycled materials — it has a nice texture to the plastic that makes it much more appealing in my opinion.

5. Bakery Awning, approximate cost was $4.07.
I bought a spool of ribbon and two sheets of turquoise felt. The white and purple felt I had on hand…because I always have yards of felt available. Further information is below!

6. Cookware: Measuring Spoons, Cups, & Muffin Tin from The Dollar Tree, $3.
I bought simple cookware items from the local dollar store. Easy peasy!

7. KidKraft Wooden Cupcakes & Stand from Amazon, $15.95.
For the record, something *weird* is going on with the price on Amazon and I think it has to do with the fact that the product is no longer available on the KidKraft website.

8. Menus, no cost.
I made these in Publisher and the files are below for those of you who would like to re-create them!

9. Melissa & Doug’s Cutting Bread Set, donated (list price $19.99).
This was a donated toy living in our cupboards for a while before I got my hands on it. I knew right away that it would be perfect for the bakery set since I didn’t want to only include sweet treats since bakeries sell bread!


I wish I could walk you through making the awning complete with patterns. But I completely and utterly winged this. I started by cutting the fabric down to the size of the center. I made sure to leave some overhang on either side. I also folded it in half so it was nice and thick. I was ready to start making the awning!

1. I wrapped each end kind of like how you would with a present and wrapping paper. I used a TON of hot glue to glue each line down as I went. I also used three safety pins on each end for each assurance that it wouldn’t fall apart. I also put a lot of hot glue over the safety pins just in case.

2. I folded and hot glued an end piece over my very messy internal work. It makes it look much nice that the first photo, right?

3. I laid more felt over the awning and free-cut the stripes. I used sticky back Velcro to secure it. I also wanted to use Velcro so I could easily change the color of the awning for different centers. I know that I’ll definitely be using the awning again for the pizzeria I’m planning for later in the summer! I already bought the red felt for it.

4. I used our Ellison die-cut machine to cut out the felt letters. Then I simply hot glued them to the ribbon. I used safety pins to attach the sign since I knew I wanted to be able to change that as well.


This center cost a bit more than the Garden Shop. We paid $78.97 for the materials here. But we didn’t need to buy the Melissa & Doug cookies and could have made our own from hardened Model Magic. I didn’t have to insist on having a neutral colored tea set and bought a cheaper pink one. But since I had the budget, I bought the stuff! Full cost of the center is $98.96 which includes our donated Melissa & Doug bread set.

And here are the PDF files:

Bakery Labels

Bakery Menu

Bakery Open/Close Sign

Bakery Parent Tips

I’ll be back next month to discuss how things held up with the bakery!

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Flannel Friday: Red, White, & Blue

Today’s flannelboard is a long overdue post that was inspired by Melissa of Mel’s Desk!

I used this a very long time ago in “Letter U” storytime. The kids had a great time telling Miss Katie how wrong she was about the various colors. They didn’t guess what was coming but after the flag was up it all made sense to them!

I wound re-making this flannelboard when I got to my new library. I had printed clip-art pieces for the first one and since we had a TON of brand new Ellison die-cuts for me to play with, I couldn’t resist, haha.


There is no Flannel Friday today in honor of American Independence Day, but I vowed to post a flannelboard every week this year and I can’t break that resolution!

You can also check out our website, Pinterest, or Facebook!

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Families: Weather

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-weather

Maisy’s Wonderful Weather Book by Lucy Cousins
Tap Tap Boom Boom by Elizabeth Bluemle
Under My Hood I Have a Hat by Karla Kuskin
Wow! Said the Owl by Tim Hopgood

Early Literacy Tip

Scientific studies of the brain suggest that a child’s natural approach to learning is through play. Songs about weather can be followed by games. Tell your child what you are doing as you pretend you are twirling an umbrella or stomping in rain puddles.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Caspar Babypants’s “More Please!”*

Featured Track: #1 Take the Sun*

Flannelboard: “What’s the Weather?”*

Flannelboard: “Fall Is Not Easy”

Song: “If All of the Raindrops”*
If all the little raindrops were lemon drops and gumdrops
Oh, what a rain it would be!
I would stand outside with my mouth open wide,
Ah ah-ah ah ah-ah ah ah-ah
If all the little raindrops were lemon drops and gumdrops
Oh, what a rain it would be.

If all the tiny snowflakes were cupcakes and milkshakes
Oh, what a snow it would be!
I would stand outside with my mouth open wide,
Ah ah-ah ah ah-ah ah ah-ah
If all the tiny snowflakes were cupcakes and milkshakes
Oh, what a snow it would be!

If all the bright sunbeams were jellybeans and ice cream
Oh, what a sun it would be!
I would stand outside with my mouth open wide.
Ah ah-ah ah ah-ah ah ah-ah
If all the bright sunbeams were jellybeans and ice cream
Oh, what a sun it would be!
Credit: Childhood

Song: “Rain Is Falling Down”*
The rain is falling down (flutter fingers down)
SPLASH! (clap once loudly)
Pitter patter pitter patter (tap legs softly)
The rain is falling down (flutter fingers down)
SPLASH! (clap once loudly)
Pitter patter pitter patter (tap legs softly)
[Repeat until kids are worn out.]
Credit: Modified from King County Library System

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

Pop-up books are so stellar; they completely grab everyone’s attention, so “Maisy’s Wonderful Weather Book” was definitely the winner today. There was a lot good singing and dancing. And the kids were really good at talking about the weather during the “What’s the Weather?” flannelboard.

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