Since I’m preparing to take a new job at a new library, I wrote about leaving my current library at the ALSC blog. It’s been a long, hard process but I know I’m leaving my job in the best shape I can.
This past week, I posted over at the ALSC blog about why you should go beyond storytime and do other preschool programming. It’s a topic I’m super passionate about, so please click on through and read why!
One Mitten by Kristine O’Connell George
Red Hat by Lita Judge
The Three Little Kittens by Jerry Pinkney
Under My Hood I Have a Hat by Karla Kuskin
Action Rhyme: Mittens
Mittens for the snow time when the world is white
Mittens for my two hands (hold out two hands)
Mittens left or right (show left and right)
Mittens with a thumb place (show thumb)
Mittens warm and snug
Mittens make me feel like a bug in a rug (hug self)
Credit: Perpetual Preschool
Song: Winter Pokey (To the Tune of Hokey-Pokey)
You put your right mitten in,
You take your right mitten out.
You put your right mitten in,
And you shake it all about.
You do the winter pokey, [shiver] and you turn yourself around.
That’s what it’s all about!
Other verses: boots, scarf, hat, snowsuit
Credit: Modified from Childhood
This tissue paper craft was another Oriental Trading craft kit that I bought years ago when it was on clearance. I prepped this craft by attaching the foam outline to the acetate sheet with hot glue so all the preschoolers had to do was glue down the tissue paper with gluesticks, which they love doing.
How It Went
No one showed up! It was a Polar Vortex week and sometimes these things happen!
The kids loved doing the Winter Hokey Pokey — we probably could have done three or four rounds of it! Their favorite book was definitely “Under My Hood, I Have a Hat”, with “One Mitten” as a fairly close second. They loved matching the mittens on the flannelboard and laughed uproariously when they realized Froggy forgot his underwear.
Since it’s finally, officially spring (and actually feels like spring in Chicago), here’s a great seasonal flannel:
Flannelboard: “Butterfly Colors”
The first to come to the garden bed
Is a lovely butterfly of brilliant RED.
Then in comes another and that makes two.
Fly right in, my friend of BLUE.
“The garden is fine, the best I’ve seen,”
says the butterfly of softest GREEN.
Our garden needs a sunny fellow,
Fly on in, butterfly with wings of YELLOW.
Little friend of PURPLE, fly in too.
The garden is waiting for a color like you.
ORANGE, orange, you’re waited so long.
Fly right in, where you belong.
Butterflies, butterflies, you’re such a sight!
Flying together – what a delight!
Credit: Miss Meg’s Storytime
(Since I was out of yellow felt — SHOCKER — I just made the others and omitted that line when I did the flannelboard.)
This was a basic butterfly shape that I cut out using clip art. Then I bent a pipe cleaner in half and wrapped it around the felt piece to make antennas. Fear not though, Meg has a template for you to use in the above link if you’d rather not hunt down your own clip art!
Big Hugs, Little Hugs by Felicia Bond
Every Little Thing by Cedella Marley
Little Mouse by Alison Murray
Maria Had a Little Lamb by Angela Dominguez
Meeow and the Big Box by Sebastien Braun
Action Rhyme: “Little Birds”
Little birds, little birds, jump up and down
Little birds, little birds, don’t make a sound
Little birds, little birds, tip-toe to me
Little birds, little birds, bend your knees
Little birds, little birds, peep, peep, peep
Little birds, little birds, sleep, sleep, sleep
Little birds, little birds, fly to the leaves
Little birds, little birds, sit down please
Credit: Greatest Resource Education Child Care
Action Rhyme: “This Is Big”
This is big, big, big
This is small, small, small
This is short, short, short
This is tall, tall, tall
This is fast, fast, fast
This is slow, slow, slow
This is yes, yes, yes
This is no, no, no
Credit: Mel’s Desk
Fingerplay: “Little Turtle”
There was a little turtle (put hands on top of one another)
He lived in a box (make box)
He swam in a puddle (swimming motion)
He climbed on the rocks (climbing motion)
He snapped at a mosquito (clap)
He snapped at a flea (clap)
He snapped at a minnow (clap)
And he snapped at me (clap)
He caught the mosquito (cup hands together)
He caught the flea (cup hands together)
He caught the minnow (cup hands together)
But he didn’t catch me! (shake finger “no”)
I let the kids work on scissor skills since only the preschool class does the craft. (The twos & threes goes back to their classrooms and I’m left with the fours & fives for the activity.) I had cardstock circles print out on paper and the kids cut them out. Then they sorted them by size to string into rainbow necklaces. I had pre-punched the circles with a hole punch prior to arriving. Then, the kids strung the circles with yarn that I had taped at the ends for stability. This amazing idea came from Hands On As We Grow.
How It Went
This was a great opposite set storytime. The kids loved “Meeow and the Big Box” and “Little Mouse.” Doing “Go Away, Big Green Monster” as a flannelboard is always a crowd-pleaser. The kids absolutely adored this craft though and it was easily the hit of storytime. I loved seeing the kids wearing their necklaces as I left the classroom.
After the library stopped hosting “Afternoon Storytime” and a trial program of “Starry Night Stories”, I made the decision to start a monthly “Pajama Storytime” session at the library. I wanted to give families the chance to enjoy hearing stories together — and especially wanted to try again to host an evening program. Our suggested age range is ages 0 to 7 and their families, which means I sometimes get a few older siblings. The goal in this program is simple: foster a love of reading and particularly of reading together as a family!
Dinosaur Vs. Bedtime by Bob Shea
No Go Sleep! by Kate Feiffer
The Sleepy Little Alphabet by Judy Sierra
Ten In the Bed by Jane Cabrera
Flannelboard: “Counting Sheep” (AKA, Ten Little Sheep)
Rhyme Wheel: “Baa Baa Black Sheep”
Nursery Rhyme: Twinkle, Twinkle
Fingerplay: “Dance Your Fingers”
Dance your fingers up,
Dance your fingers down,
Dance your fingers side to side,
Then dance them all around.
Dance them on your shoulders,
Dance them on your head,
Dance them on your knees,
Then put them straight to bed.
Each month will have a different rhyme that we do at storytime and then send parents home with the words. This is a picture of the rhyme cards after quite a few months. This month was “Twinkle Twinkle.”
How It Went
Since “Ten In the Bed” worked so well as an action song last time, I decided to use the book this time. The kids LOVED the book and it was definitely the favorite of the night. A very, very, very close second was “Dinosaur Vs. Bedtime” since it allowed them to be very loud right before bed. I had the cutest family this month who brought not only their favorite stuffies, but pillows and slippers and blankets and they curled up on the rug together.
Bunny Mail by Rosemary Wells
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt
Mail Carriers At Work by Karen Latchana Kenney
The Postman by Rosalinda Kightley
Flannelboard: “Six Little Valentines”
Six little Valentines were sent to my house,
The first one said, “I love you, From Mouse.”
Five little Valentines in my mailbox,
The second one said, “Be mine, Love Fox.”
Four little Valentines full of love,
The third one said, “You are sweet, From Dove.”
Three little Valentines just for me,
The fourth one said, “Be my honey, Love Bee.”
Two little Valentine’s mailed with care,
The fifth one said, “Here’s a hug, From Bear.”
The last little Valentine, from my friend Jay,
This one said, “Happy Valentine’s Day!”
Credit: Busy Crafting Mommy
Action Rhyme: “Early In the Morning”
Early in the morning at eight o’clock
You can hear the postman knock
Up jumps Ella to open the door
One letter, two letter, three letter, four
Action Song: Mailing Letters (Tune: “The Mulberry Bush”)
(Write a letter, stamp a letter, mail a letter)
This is the way we mail a letter,
Mail a letter, mail a letter.
This is the way we mail a letter,
So early in the morning.
Credit: A to Z Kids Stuff
This was another Oriental Trading craft kit. The mailboxes open and close and inside I had tucked the letter I had written and had translated for parents that I was leaving the library in two weeks. The storytime was planned months and months ago to coincide right around Valentine’s Day and it came to me as I was going through the job interview process that I needed to find a way to say goodbye — the mailbox was the perfect platform to start the conversation with my families.
How It Went
I barely remember anything about this storytime since I was so, so nervous to start telling families that I was leaving. I was prepared for tears and angry words and…it was absolutely nothing like that. My families were sad, but happy for me. They had lots of questions about my new library and well wishes and made sure to let me know I’d be missed. That is always what I will remember from this storytime — that outpouring of love and support.
This storytime I remember much better since I didn’t have the jitters from the day before. “Bunny Mail” was the most successful book and they loved the “Early In the Morning” rhyme. As always, this group loves a guessing game and really enjoyed the flannelboard as well.
Today I present a flannelboard that is awesome for kindergarten tours, library card sign-up month, and National Library Week!
Flannelboard: “Five Little Books”
Five little books at the library
Five little books as great as can be
Along comes (name) with their library card
To take one home and read
Credit: What Happens In Storytime
For this set, I actually traced and copied a set that my old library had once I knew I was leaving. I wanted to make sure that I had my own set of five little books to come with me to the new library! And yes, I was brave enough to use puffy paint again.
Last week I gave a workshop to Milwaukee County librarians last week on how to make flannelboards! Since I’m me and always take things further than they probably need to be, I made a quick presentation before doing a Q&A while the group made the flannelboards.
And I also made a hand-out with flannelboard resources that I’m also including here: Flannelboard Workshop Resources.
I want to thank everyone that came to the workshop — I had such a wonderful time meeting and talking with you! If you have any questions, please let me know either through a comment, email [simplykatieATgmailDOTcom] or via Twitter — @katietweetsya.
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.
Books & Group Activities
Building blocks from Kendra.
(Tune of Good Night Ladies)
Come build something with your blocks!
Life-Size Zoo by Teruyuki Komiya
Measuring Penny by Loreen Leedy
Size: Many Ways to Measure by Michele Koomen
I put out a dozen of our puppets and had the kids practice measure and compare the sizes of the animals. Some of the kids lined them up in size order, others wrote down their measurements on scrap pieces of paper. I should have had a worksheet made and printed, but I didn’t think about it until I was at the program. (And yes, I visited IKEA and had each of my family members take a measuring tape at every station that we passed. To be fair, we wound up purchasing over $5,000 of furniture between the three households! It should be no surprise that I needed more bookcases.)
At this station, I challenged the kids to be able to get the scale to balance using different materials. One of my kids spent the whole time here, playing with popsicle sticks and pipe cleaners and various other supplies, creating a balanced scaled over and over again.
Kids can challenge one another to build the highest tower using no more than twenty blocks. Since it was mostly preschoolers at this event, I found that a lot of them just stacked the same sized blocks one on top of another instead of hunting for bigger blocks or creating a base or anything. So, it was a meh station in my opinion since it didn’t accomplish what I wanted it to — but they love Legos!
How Do You Measure Up?
At this station, kids measured themselves on the wall with the help of a parent or librarian to see how they measured up to animals. I was totally inspired by our local zoo — they have tons of interactive displays where kids can see how they measure up to animals. I didn’t get quite as creative as Brookfield, I just put an animal picture bar on the side and marked where the animals would be. The kids walked around the programming room, introducing themselves to other kids: “I’m baby dolphin sized!” This was by far my favorite station.
3-D Rainbow Art
I really wanted an art station that required the kids to do the measuring to create. I found this amazing rainbow craft at Free Kids Crafts and knew that this is what we’d be doing. The kids measured and cut each strip (you can see my example strips in the picture), put them in order and stapled each end.
As always, I had a book display and a take-home packet for my families. I also let them take home the measuring tapes that I had left-over since my plan was just to recycle the extras.
And for you guys, a Pinterest friendly picture: