Tag Archives: puppet crafts

Firefighters!

The Plan

Books

firefighters

Firefighter Frank by Monica Wellington
Firefighters! Speeding! Spraying! Saving! by Patricia Hubbell
Firefighter Ted by Andrea Beaty
I Love Trucks! by Philemon Sturges

Extension Activities

Flannelboard: “Calling All”
Fire! Fire! Emergency!
Someone is in trouble.
Calling all *blue fire trucks
Come on the double!
Spray the water,
Now the fire is out!
“Everyone is safe!”
We all shout.
Credit: Fun With Friends at Storytime

Action Song: “Hurry, Hurry Drive the Fire Truck”
Action Rhyme: “Hurry, Hurry”
Hurry, hurry, drive the fire truck (pretend to turn wheel)
Hurry, hurry, drive the fire truck (pretend to turn wheel)
Hurry, hurry, drive the fire truck (pretend to turn wheel)
Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding! (ring bell)
(Turn the corner (lean over to one side, then the other), climb the ladder (pretend to climb), spray the water (pretend to spray a hose).)
Credit: Childhood

Fingerplay: “Five Brave Firefighters”
Five brave firefighters
Sleeping in a row
Ring goes the bell
And down one goes….
Credit: Read, Rhyme, and Sing

Craft

This template came from KidsSoup! I am lucky enough that I took pictures as most of the families arrived and had a co-worker print up their pictures, ready for crafts after all the stories! The kids loved having their photos on their firefighters and gleefully danced around with them.

How It Went

Thursday morning & Friday morning
I bought Fire Chief hats for them. Do I really have to say what they thought of this theme? THEY GOT FIRE CHIEF HATS. Both groups really enjoyed “Firefighter Frank” which is a classic. (And I love Monica Wellington books something fierce.) And besides fire hats, the only thing that compares is firetrucks, which we have a lot of stuff about. All in all, I highly recommend doing this storytime!

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Magic!

The Plan

Books

magic

Anton Can Do Magic by Ole Konnecke
Foxy by Emma Dodd
Magic Box by Katie Cleminson
Maisy’s Show by Lucy Cousins

Extension Activities

Flannelboard: “Five Magic Rabbits”
Five magic rabbits in a tall black hat
Along comes a magician who gives each one a pat
He waves his magic wand high above their ears,
Abracadabra, poof! One rabbit disappears (count down)
Credit: Youth Literature

Action Rhyme: “Magic Finger”
Magic finger in the air
Magic finger in my hair
Magic finger on my hip
Magic finger on my lips
Credit: Youth Literature

Magic Trick: Bubble Wand

Magic Trick: Color Changing Scarf

Rhyme & Puppets: “Hat Trick”
Magic, magic, in my hat!
I’ll pull out a rabbit – (pull anything other than a rabbit)
Ahhhh! What is that?!
(repeat until ready for the rabbit)
Magic, magic, in my hat!
I’ll pull out a rabbit –
See! Look at that!
Credit: SLC Book Boy

Craft

I modified this craft from Best Kids Book Site to make it a puppet so that the kids could “pop” their rabbit up out of their hat. As an extra special bonus, I let the kids have glitter which is always storytime magic.

How It Went

Holy moly, this was one of my favorite ever storytimes! The magic tricks made storytime extra special and I wish I had thought of a few more to include. (The bubble wand trick was just that I was using a bubble wand as my magic wand the whole storytime and then all of a sudden, Miss Katie made BUBBLES come out of the wand!! Genius.) The best books were “Maisy’s Show” and “Magic Box.” The kids freaked out in the best way possible when I brought out glitter. All in all, this storytime will remain a favorite for a long time to come!

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Elephants!

The Plan

Books

Elmer by David McKee
Hide and Seek by Il Sung Na
My Elephant by Petr Horacek
What to Do If An Elephant Stand on Your Foot by Michelle Robinson

Extension Activities

Flannelboard: “Five Elephants in the Bathtub”

Action Rhyme: “Big Gray Elephant”
The big gray elephant slowly walks.
She doesn’t make a sound.
She swings her trunk from left to right.
When she puts her feet on the ground.
Swing, swing, left and right,
She doesn’t make a sound.

Fingerplay with Puppets: “Two Big Elephants”
Two big elephants were sitting on a hill
One named Jack and the other named Jill
Run away, Jack! Run away, Jill!
Come back, Jack! Come back, Jill!

Fingerplay: “Up the Hill”
Here goes a turtle up a hill, creepy, creepy, creepy, creepy (crawl up arm)
Here goes a rabbit up a hill, boing, boing, boing, boing (bounce up arm)
Here goes a snake up the hill, slither, slither, slither, slither (slide up arm)
Here goes an elephant up the hill, thud, thud, thud, thud (clap up arm)
Here comes an elephant down the hill, boom, boom, boom, boom, CRASH! (bounce down, clap hands for crash)

Song: “One Elephant Went Out to Play”

Craft

This craft came from this amazing Pinterest pin, originally from Tippytoe Crafts! Parents and kids loved this craft, and Miss Katie made sure to buy noisemakers that were super difficult to make the noise with.

How It Went

I had a lot of new families in this storytime and I got a lot of high compliments on their way out the door! (It is totally reassuring, even if you a veteran, to hear that your work is appreciated!) I think they had the best time during “What If An Elephants Stand on Your Foot,” which was the book that inspired this theme! I also modified the “Up the Hill” fingerplay, which led to lots of giggles once the elephant went down the hill!

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Zoo!

July’s afternoon storytime session was “Zoo!”

The Plan

Books

Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert
Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell
From Head to Toe by Eric Carle
My Heart Is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall
Two at the Zoo by Danna Smith

Extension Activities

Action Rhyme: “Big Gray Elephant”
The big gray elephant slowly walks.
She doesn’t make a sound.
She swings her trunk from left to right,
When she puts her feet on the ground.
Swing, swing, left and right,
She doesn’t make a sound.
Credit: Alphabet Soup – Zoo Poems, Songs, and Fingerplays

Puppet Song: “Came to the Zoo” (Tune: My Body Lies Over the Ocean)
I came to the zoo to see lions, elephants, tigers, and bears!
I came to the zoo to see zebras. I love all the animals there!
Lions, tigers, elephants, zebras, and bears, and bears!
Lions, tigers, elephants, zebras, and bears!
Credit: Mel’s Desk

Action Rhyme: “Kangaroo”
Jump, jump, jump (jump)
Goes the kangaroo. (jump)
I thought only one – (hold up one finger)
But now I see two! (hold up two fingers)
Mommy and her baby
With his head popping out (wiggle thumb from fist)
He holds on tight (hug self)
As they jump all about! (jump around)
Credit: Preschool Education — Animals: Zoo

Song: “You Can Hear” (Tune: She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain)
You can hear the lions roaring at the zoo, ROAR ROAR!
You can hear the lions roaring at the zoo, ROAR ROAR!
You can hear the lions roaring, you can hear the lions roaring,
You can hear the lions roaring at the zoo, ROAR ROAR!
(Snakes hissing, bears growling, wolves howling, frogs croaking, zebras braying)
Perpetual Preschool

Craft

Puppets! The kids glued their foam pieces onto the bags. I got the kit from Oriental Trading, but the bag glue was kind of stinky. (I wound up having to re-glue some of the bags after the ripped at the seems.) They got to choose between zebra, lion, tiger, and giraffe.

How It Went

This was an awesome group of storytime kids. I skewed way older for this session (averaging around a 7-year-old), so I was mildly worried that the books would be too young for them. But I had nothing to fear! Their favorite book was “From Head to Toe” because I always do it in a big book form and let them play along with me. It’s a great book for movement. The kids loved the craft and once I fixed the bags, many of them chased each other around roaring and braying and well, whatever noise a giraffe makes.

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Up and Down!

This was my first week of opposite pairs with my daycare kids. I have four weeks of opposites planned, and then summer reading programming begins. Since I’ve got so much going on, I’ll be repeating storytimes for the first time ever. It’s looking like I will be doing two-three storytimes a week (Thursday mornings, Friday mornings, and maybe Friday afternoons).

Our first book for the day was “Up, Down, and Around” by Katherine Ayres.

We have this book in big book form, so the kids are always very involved because the book is so large. While I was reading this one, they caught on to the up, down, and around refrain, chiming in with me after I named the vegetable on the page.

Next, a book that is kind of pushing the theme limit, but that I love nonetheless: “Fish, Swish! Splash, Dash!” by Suse MacDonald.

Whenever I read this book, all the kids join in the counting with me and it’s such a great experience to read with the kids. I choose this book because at the end you flip the book upside down and begin again. We wound up flipping the book a total of four times before I called it quits!

Then it was on to a very successful fingerplay:

Fingerplay: “Up the Hill”
Here goes a turtle up a hill, creepy, creepy, creepy, creepy (crawl up arm)
Here goes a rabbit up the hill, boing, boing, boing, boing (bounce up arm)
Here goes an elephant up the hill, thud, thud, thud, thud (clap up arm)
Here goes a snake up the hill, slither, slither, slither, slither (slither up arm)
Here comes a rock down the hill, boom, boom, boom, boom, CRASH! (bounce down, clap hands for crash)
Credit: Bright Spot — Brighton Memorial Library

And then it was time for our flannelboard: “Wheels on the Bus.” This is a set that we had from before I was even at the library! It’s a build-able flannelboard that you build as you go along in the song. By the end, you have a completed bus on the board. Obviously, I choose this flannel for the “people on the bus go up and down” part.

Our next book was “Up Above & Down Below” by Sue Redding.

I fell in love with this book after Inter-Library loaning it for this week’s storytime. What really captured me was that it showed a ton of different kinds of up and down. My favorite spread was the theater page. I am a Broadway geek after all.

Next up, was a traditional action rhyme:

Action Rhyme: “Noble Duke of York”
The noble Duke of York, he had ten thousand men
He marched them up to the top of the hill & marched them down again
And when you’re up, you’re up, and when you’re down, you’re down
And when you’re only halfway up, you’re neither up nor down
Credit: Library School

I always forget how exhausting it is for me to do “Noble Duke” but that’s because I do it normal, slow, fast, and super fast to exhaust the kids. Afterwards, I sang “London Bridge” with the kids and was surprised that they knew the song. Thankfully, they sang with me and I was able to catch my breath.

Next, an “up” book with “I Love Planes” by Philemon Sturges.

This is a super easy book, but my kids are always really happy to have books that showcase items that they love — and living so close to O’Hare, we have a ton of plane lovers!

After that, we did another action rhyme:

Action Rhyme: “Merry Go Round Ride”
Ride with me on the merry-go-round
Around, around, around, around
Up go the horses, up
Down go the horses, down
You ride a horse that’s white
I’ll ride a horse that’s brown
Up and down, up and down
Around, around, around, around
Credit: Perry Public Library

I just added in actions, up, down, twirling, and pointing to me/them. They really liked spinning! Then it was on to the last book of the day, “Subway” by Anastasia Suen.

Since we do live in a suburb of the city, I did have to explain that subways were trains that ran under the ground. Only one of the kids had been on the El in the city before. But as much as the kids love familiar books and objects, they also love unfamiliar transportation!

We played our traditional flannelboard game, “Can We Find?,” at the end of storytime and then sorted what we found into up (kite, balloon, bird) and down (car, cat, mouse).

And then it was on to the craft:

My teens cut out the butterflies, I folded and taped them to popsicle sticks to make the puppets. The kids got to make some beautiful colored butterflies and really loved making the wings go up and down! I got the craft from: Preschool Corner.

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Yellow!

This was the third color in my daycare storytime cycle: yellow! (Orange is here. Red is here.)

Since my group tends to be a little rowdy at they settle in, I sang two songs to get them calmed down this week — our welcome song and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

After a brief recap of what colors we had already done, I showed all the books to the kids and asked what color they thought was next. Unanimously, they proclaimed it to be yellow and I opened up “Banana” by Ed Vere to start.

I think this is a great book to start off storytime with because it warms kids up by creating a lot of discussion moments. With only two words in the book (banana and please), it also gives the reader opportunities to play with tone of voice and I really appreciated that! The kids had a good time telling the book to me as well. This led us into a very silly song…

Song: “Apples and Bananas”
I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas
I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas
I like to ate, ate, ate ay-ples and ba-nay-nays
I like to ate, ate, ate ay-ples and ba-nay-nays
I like to eat, eat, eat ee-ples and bee-nee-nees
I like to eat, eat, eat ee-ples and bee-nee-nees
I like to ite, ite, ite i-ples and bi-ni-nis
I like to ite, ite, ite i-ples and bi-ni-nis
I like to ote, ote, ote oh-ples and bo-no-nos
I like to ote, ote, ote oh-ples and bo-no-nos
Credit: Childhood

Followed by another book about a yellow fruit, “Lemons Are Not Red” by Laura Vaccaro Seeger.

This worked much better in daycare storytime than in regular storytime this week, and I think it was just because my daycare kids were much more talkative than my regular storytime kids. After the book, I went straight into our flannelboard game:

Flannelboard Game: “Can We Find?” (Tune: Muffin Man)
Can we find a yellow cat, yellow cat, yellow cat?
Can we find a yellow cat? We want to say hello.

Last week, the daycare teacher told me that the daycare was learning about the color pink and the letter “P” this week, so I did put a pink heart behind one of the houses. The kids were SO surprised when we uncovered a pink heart! I might try hiding a different color item every week.

Next up, “Little Quack” by Lauren Thompson.

I knew that this would be a hit, because it is one of those books that seems to capture their attention every single time I read it. Anyways the book has great repetition, lots of great counting, and a sweet story. The kids in this session were very eager to cheer Little Quack on as he prepared to jump. That led us to our duck action rhyme:

Action Rhyme: “Little Duck”
I saw a little duck go hop, hop, hop (hop three times)
I told the little duck to stop, stop, stop (hold up hand for stop)
I went to the window to say, ‘How do you do?’ (handshake)
He wagged his little tail and away he flew! (shake tail and fly away)
Credit: Childhood

And then, I introduced our next yellow object — school bus — by doing my “Seals on the Bus” flannelboard. Whenever I do this flannel, the kids and I always wind up singing the book which is part of the fun. After our first bus, the kids were ready for a book about buses, “School Bus” by Donald Crews.

As with all Donald Crews books — this is a great way to introduce transportation to kids! Short words on each page; bright illustrations; engaging storylines. I love that these books have stood up over the years!

Next, I introduced our last yellow item with a puppet — bumblebee! I buzzed him around the room for a few and the kids were very excited to meet him. I promised that they could all come up and pet the bee after we finished storytime if there was good behavior!

First up, another flannelboard: “Six Little Bumblebees!” (I couldn’t resist using two in this storytime — they were both so perfect for the theme.)

Six little bumblebees sitting on a hive
One flew away and then there were five
Bumblebee, bumblebee fly away!
Bumblebee, bumblebee happy all day!
Five little bumblebees sitting on the floor
One flew away and then there were four
Bumblebee, bumblebee fly away!
Bumblebee, bumblebee happy all day!
Four little bumblebees sitting in the tree
One flew away and then there were three
Bumblebee, bumblebee fly away!
Bumblebee, bumblebee happy all day!
Three little bumblebees looking at you
One flew away and then there were two
Bumblebee, bumblebee fly away!
Bumblebee, bumblebee happy all day!
Two little bumblebees sitting in the sun
One flew away and then there was one
Bumblebee, bumblebee fly away!
Bumblebee, bumblebee happy all day!
One little bumblebee left all alone
He flew away, safe to his home
Credit: Modified from Monkey Business Creative

And then the last book for storytime, “Little Bea” by Daniel Roone.

This book JUST came out last week, but when I read the review ahead of time I pre-ordered it for our storytime collection. This is an adorable story about a bee who visits all her friends in one day. There’s great rhyming text, sounds, and even knock-knock jokes! I’ll be using this one again in “Bugs” storytime later on this spring.

One last song…

Song: “I’m Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee”
I’m bringing home a baby bumblebee
Won’t my mommy be so proud of me?
I’m bringing home a baby bumblebee
Ouch, it stung me!
(Squishing, what a mess; Washing up, now I’m all clean!)
Credit: Childhood

(And yes, I did cut out the licking and barfing parts. Not for storytime!)

Our craft was a bee finger puppet that the kids colored, printing off from KidsSoup. My teens once again cut and glued everything — the kids just colored!

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Orange!

The second color in my colors storytime cycle: orange! (Red can be found here.) I have to admit I was a little frazzled because I did not know my group was coming. (They missed a week and didn’t call to let me know they were still interested in coming.) But a librarian is ALWAYS prepared to go.

Started off storytime with “Where Is Tippy-Toes?” by Betsy Lewin.

I first saw this book in one of Sarah’s Storytime Contenders posts and immediately put it on a list that I keep of books that I want to incorporate into a storytime one day. Tippy-Toes’s bright orange fur gave me the perfect opportunity for this week. This was an instant attention grabber and the kids eagerly stayed with the book until the sleepy ending.

I tried to match activities with books, instead of doing a bunch of color extensions. So, after reading about Tippy-Toes, I led the group in a little kitten fingerplay:

Fingerplay: “Kitten”
A kitten is fast asleep under the chair [Hide thumb under one hand.]
And I can’t find her anywhere. I’ve looked everywhere! [Circle eyes.]
Under the table and under the bed. [Peek under each hand.]
I looked in the corner and then I said: [Motion to come.]
“Come Kitty, come Kitty, this milk is for you. [Cup hands for dish.]
And out cam the kitty calling, “Meow, meow.” [Thumb walks across lap.]
Credit: SurLaLune Storytime

Next, a last minute find in the orange category, “Waiting for Wings” by Lois Ehlert.

I was SO happy to find this book because it features Monarch butterflies, which are orange. A lot of other butterfly books are wonderful, but they don’t feature Monarchs as much as I wanted them to. The kids really enjoyed this one, I think because of the vibrant colors (they were quick to point out any orange on the page) but also because of the size of the book and the size of the pages.

Then, I used our Folkmanis butterfly finger puppets to do this song:

Song & Puppet: “Flutter, Flutter” (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
Credit: Best Kids Book Site

Then, we played a slightly different version of “Can We Find?” that I used two weeks ago in Hello, Goodbye storytime.

Flannelboard Game: “Can We Find?” (Tune: Muffin Man)
Can we find an orange cat,
An orange cat, an orange cat?
Can we find an orange cat?
We want to say hello!

I just used all orange items hidden behind the houses. This was once again a BIG hit, and I was so pleased that by the last verse I had almost every kid singing along with me.

Then, continuing in our participation elements, I had the kids read me “Orange Pear Apple Bear” by Emily Gravett.

I always introduce this book as only having four words, and most of the time I have the kids read it along with me, if they want to. This time, I asked them to read me a book and after teaching the four words to them, they did it! We only had one major misstep — when bear was pear bear, because the pear shape wasn’t as obvious — and the kids were very proud of themselves for reading me a book.

I let our action rhyme introduce our next orange item.

Action Rhyme: “Pumpkin, Pumpkin”
Pumpkin, pumpkin on the ground (touch the ground)
How’d you get so big and round? (make a big circle)
Once you were a seed so small (pinch fingers together)
Now you are a great big ball (make a big circle overhead)
Pumpkin, pumpkin on the ground (touch the ground)
How’d you get so big and round? (make a big circle)
Credit: Step by Step — Pumpkin Theme

And then, I read “Piggies in the Pumpkin Patch” by Mary Peterson and Jennifer Rofe.

This is such a good book for storytime. It’s got a great build to action and a nice, soft ending. When I introduced the book and told them the title, I asked the kids why a piggy was at a pumpkin patch. The unanimous answer was that piggies live in pumpkin patches, silly Miss Katie!

I did a quick modified “Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear” just substituting Dinosaur instead of Teddy Bear like I did in dinosaur storytime.

After thoroughly wearing them out, we sat back down to read “Brontorina” by James Howe.

I know I say this all the time, but I LOVE this story. And so did the kids. I was very proud of their behavior during this one — it was the longest book and I did save it for last — and the kids completely rose to the occasion. (Also, I think the story is JUST THAT GOOD to capture their attention.)

After the last book, I did a quick flannelboard: “Ten Little Dinosaurs” (tune of “Ten Little Indians”), of which three of the dinosaurs in my homemade set are orange!

And that brought us to our craft: dinosaur finger puppets!

This was a great craft, and the kids were tickled by my dinosaur wearing her ballet shoes.

(I believe that Sarah’s friend drew this for her dinosaur storytime — the file was in her storytime folder on our library’s network, but Sarah has it uploaded for download on her site!)

Also, I did make a handout. I can email it to anyone who wants it, but my PDF Complete put its label right over the word “orange.”

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Mice!

I have a lot of posts to catch up on, but I am now on a four-week storytime break! Plenty of time to prepare for the next session of storytimes, and plenty of time to write-up the posts I’ve been remiss on.

I opened up storytime with “Busy, Busy Mouse” by Virginia Kroll.

I really enjoyed the storyline in this book — and so did the kids! I thought it was very clever to have the mouse and people each sleeping and being awake at different times. And the pictures are so warm and welcoming, too.

Next up, I improvised a quick “Where is Mousie?” (Where Is Thumbkin?) with two of the fingerpuppets from the Hickory Dickory Dock set from Manhattan Toy. (It came with a boy mouse and a girl mouse and it is positively adorable.) I’ve been doing a lot of adaptations of Thumbkin over this storytime session, and the kids are definitely recognizing it and humming along!

Next up, “Back to Bed, Ed!” by Sebastien Braun.

I wasn’t sure how this story was going to go because it’s a bit longer than my usual pick for a second book, but the kids were absolute angels during this one. I am going to have to try to pick longer books to mix things up if the kids continue to sit for them!

I really wanted to do my “Mouse Paint” flannel, but I didn’t have enough to make it for storytime, so I pulled out my “Where is Maisy Mouse?” game for a second go-round instead. Immediately, I went into one of our fingerplays:

Fingerplay: “Baby Mice”
Where are the baby mice?
Squeak, squeak, squeak
I cannot see them
Peek, peek, peek
Here they come out of their hole! (bring your fist forward)
One, two, three, four, five, and that is all! (open your fingers one at a time)
Credit: Perry Public Library Storytime

And then I read “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Numeroff.

I am so happy when I get to share books that *I* read as a child with my storytime kids. And both this one, and “Squeak-A-Lot” are classics from my childhood. The kids loved guessing what would happened next, and I had a lot of kids who said, “He’ll want another cookie” to almost every question. So adorable.

Next, another book from Miss Katie’s childhood: “Squeak-a-Lot” by Martin Waddell.

When you read this book, encourage them to make the animal noises with you. Your storytime will be so much fun, and the kids will be really involved with the book. This next fingerplay/rhyme, I used for my Maisy Mouse program and I knew that I had to use it again, because the kids love boinging and squeaking.

Rhyme & Fingerplay: “Boing, Boing, Squeak”
Boing, boing, squeak
Boing, boing, squeak
A bouncing mouse is in my house
He’s been there for a week
He came from out of nowhere
He quickly settled in
I’m thankful that he came alone
I heard he had a twin
He bounces in the kitchen
He bounces in the den
He bounces in the living room
Look, there he goes again
The mouse just keeps on bouncing
Every minute of the day
He bounce, bounce, bounces
But he does not bounce away
Credit: SurLaLune Storytime

Last up, “Cat and Mouse” by Ian Schoenherr.

What really sold me on choosing this book was the chance to use “Hickory Dickory Dock” without having the long-drawn extra verses. I also loved the addition of “Eeeny Meeny Miney Mo.” A great combination!

To close up, we sang “Hickory Dickory Dock” together before our goodbye song.

And as for craft, we made little mice finger puppets from KidsSoup.

A great way to close out the winter storytime session! I am looking forward to planning new storytimes for the first of two spring sessions during my break.

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Penguins!

Weeks ago, I did a penguin storytime for the kids. I just got a little behind on posting my summaries because my library has been closed for the past three Fridays (typically when I have time to write up my summaries). Anyway, here it is!

I started off storytime with “Playful Little Penguins” by Tony Mitton.

A rhyming story with bright pictures, this was a great book to start off with. Mitton’s penguins are cute and expressive — the kids were really able to follow the story easily. Next up, “If You Were a Penguin” by Wendell & Florence Minor.

This was a great switch into realistic looking penguins — and the text is nice and short for a quick read before our first extension activity:

Action Song & Puppet: “Did You Ever See a Penguin?”
Did you ever see a penguin, a penguin, a penguin?
Did you ever see a penguin waddle this way and that?
Waddle this way and that way, waddle this way and that way
Did you ever see a penguin waddle this way and that?
Credit: Childhood

I paired our song with a really cute penguin puppet, and had the kids hold up their make-believe penguins with me. Next, I found a version of our session song — “I’m a Little Teapot” — with an arctic twist.

Action Song: “I’m A Little Penguin”
I’m a Little Penguin
In the sea.
I can swim as fast as can be!
When I catch a fish, just look at me.
I’m as proud as I can be.
Credit: Step by Step — Penguin Theme

After the kids sat down again, I pulled out “I Like It When…” by Mary Murphy.

This turned out to be a super quiet read, and some of the kids wound up laying down during the book. That led me straight into our flannelboard this week, which turned out to be a big hit!

Flannelboard Song: “Penguin Went Over the Iceberg”
The penguin went over the iceberg,
The penguin went over the iceberg,
The penguin went over the iceberg,
To see what he could see,
To see what he could see,
The penguin went over the iceberg,
The penguin went over the iceberg,
The penguin went over the iceberg
To see what he could see.
The other side of the iceberg,
The other side of the iceberg,
The other side of the iceberg,
Was all that he could see,
Was all that he could see,
The other side of the iceberg,
The other side of the iceberg,
The other side of the iceberg,
Was all that he could see.
Credit: The Best Kids Book Site

The kids could not get enough of the penguin, and I sang this song three times.

Lastly, “10 Little Penguins” by Jean-Luc Fromental.

This is a very small pop-up book. I thought that it might be a big problem because of its size — but the kids were okay as I panned back and forth. The only problem with the book was that I had one little boy who kept trying to help me move the penguins around. I had to repeatedly tell him to sit down, but because of the size of the book I couldn’t hold it any higher to get him away! Last fingerplay before craft:

Fingerplay: “Two Little Penguins”
Two little penguins sitting on the ice (hold up two fingers)
One bows once, the other bows twice (made index fingers bow)
Waddle little penguins. Waddle away. (put fingers behind back)
Come back penguins. Time to play! (bring fingers to the front)
Credit: King County Library System

And the most adorable craft ever – penguin puppet.

This is another one from KidsSoup. Teen volunteers cut everything out, and pre-glued the puppet down so that the kids could immediately slip their hands into their puppets. Super cute craft.

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Maisy & Friends

This month, I was very excited to be able to do a Maisy themed program for my 3 to 7-year-old age group. The kids at my library are crazy about Maisy, and her books are rarely on the shelf. I knew that this would be a successful program, and was pleased that I could devote a whole hour to one of their favorite characters.

I began storytime by laying down expectations for kids and parents — something new I’m trying to see if we have some better behavior. (Which we totally did!) And then, went ahead and read “Maisy Goes On Vacation” by Lucy Cousins.

This is one of those “First Experience” books, so it walks Maisy through packing, getting to the beach, and her first day on vacation. I love the Maisy “First Experience” books because they do such a good job of explaining these new places and activities to preschoolers. After we finished this book, the kids had a lively discussion of where they had each gone on their last vacation. Super cute.

Next up, “Maisy Big, Maisy Small” by Lucy Cousins.

Introducing this book was SO easy, because the kids had seen the cover of this book in the last one. (Maisy reads one of her own books on the way to her vacation.) The kids were pumped that we had Maisy’s book here! This tale of opposites led to a lot of laughter with the kids, especially the “Maisy fluffy and Maisy spiky” page layout.

After such a rousing success, I had to follow it up with my flannelbaord: “Maisy Mouse, What House Are You In?”

Talk about another instant-hit, they LOVED guessing which house Maisy was in. I was successfully able to re-hide Maisy twice before kids started to peek. I followed this with a quick fingerplay:

“Hickory Dickory Dock”
Hickory, dickory, dock
The mouse ran up the clock
The clock struck one,
The mouse ran down
Hickory, dickory, dock

Afterwards, I asked the kids about what kind of animals Maisy and her friends were. They kept telling me that Maisy was a mouse, but I had one little girl rattle off the other animals (crocodile, elephant, etc.) very proudly. I asked if Maisy had any fish friends, and the kids shook their heads, and that led us into “Maisy Goes to the Library” by Lucy Cousins, where Maisy searches for a fish book.

This was an accidental hilarity — THREE of the kids before the program asked me where the fish books were, so that naturally led to the kids shouting out that they were like Maisy. Then, the non-fish-asking kids all said that they asked for a fish book too, to which I nodded and let it go, asking everyone to raise their hands if they wanted to find a fish book with Maisy. That let us finish our story, thankfully. We needed the next action play to help discharge some energy:

Action Play: “The Old Grey Cat”
The old gray cat is sleeping, sleeping, sleeping,
The old gray cat is sleeping in the house
The little mice are dancing, dancing, dancing (children dance)
The little mice are dancing in the house
The little mice are nibbling, nibbling, nibbling (children nibble)
The little mice are nibbling in the house
The little mice are resting, resting, resting (children rest their heads on hands)
The little mice are resting in the house
The old gray cat comes creeping, creeping, creeping (cat begins to creep)
The old gray cat comes creeping in the house
The little mice go scampering, scampering, scampering (children run in place)
The little mice go scampering in the house (cat can surprise Maisy and meow!)
Credit: Everything Preschool Mice Games

Then, our next story, “Maisy Cleans Up” by Lucy Cousins.

This one is super quick, and easy, and the kids loved guessing what kind of chores Maisy and Charley would do next. The kids clapped when Maisy and Charley finally got to eat their cupcakes after such hard work. Another quick fingerplay:

Fingerplay: “Mouse Fingerplay”
Chorus: Boing, boing, squeak
Boing, boing, squeak
A bouncing mouse is in my house
He’s been there for a week.
He came from out of nowhere
And quickly settled in.
I’m thankful that he came alone,
I heard he had a twin.
He bounces in the kitchen
He bounces in the den
He bounces in the living room
Look, there he goes again
That mouse just keeps on bouncing
Every minute of the day
He goes bounce, bounce, bounce
But he does not bounce away
Credit: SurLaLune Storytime

This was by far one of my favorite fingerplays ever. The kids were so happy to bounce their finger-mouse up and down, and we had a lot of gigglers. And a couple of them picked up the chorus by the end of the chant!

And to finish up, our grand finale was “Maisy’s Show” by Lucy Cousins.

My co-workers tease me about how much I enjoy pop-up books that don’t require you to fix the pop-up before moving on. This book is easily my new favorite pop-up book! The actions are thoughtful and appropriate, the kids are wow-ed by them, and I don’t have to fix the book before turning the page!

Lastly, the kids played a quick game of “Pin the Tail on Maisy” that I printed off from the official Maisy website.

Followed by a quick craft of making Maisy ears (also on the official site) and a puppet coloring craft of Maisy riding a bicycle.

(Teen volunteers cut everything out, and had already attached the popsicle stick to the back of the puppet so that no one’s Maisy went flying suddenly.)

A hugely successful program, with no headaches, and a great afternoon spent at the library.

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