Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 5/26

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan


Book
Monsters Love Colors by Mike Austin
Another favorite of my crowd. This crowd really got into mixing up the colors and the kiddos were pros at telling me what colors we were making! This title is a great way to incorporate STEM ideas (color mixing) into your preschool and toddler events/storytimes. Also, it goes great with our prop, too.

Props
Activity Scarves!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Music (Keeps Me Movin’) — Fresh Beat Band
Wiggle Your Lah-de-Dah — Ralph Covert
Dance With Me — The Not-Its
Beep Beep Beep — Dan Vapid
Colors — Play Date
Fireworks — Laurie Berkner
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

Since we’ve had a few weeks of Shake, Shimmy to re-acclimate to moving together, I started today’s class off with a free dance! I absolutely adore the energy of the Fresh Beat Band and I really appreciate that they have diversity in their group (unlike many of the other TV show adult singing groups), so “Music (Keeps Me Movin’)” was an awesome choice. Then, a Shake, Shimmy song that hasn’t been used in quite some time: Ralph Covert’s “Wiggle Your Lah-de-Dah”. This song really works best for preschool, so I probably should have held off until the summer when my crowd ages up.

“Dance With Me” is one of my favorite ‘trick’ songs. I always introduce the song by having my friends find the best grown-up to dance with. I remind caregivers that the kids *like* dancing with me, but they *love* it when their familiar grown-ups join the group. And then it was time for a new Shake, Shimmy song called “Beep Beep Beep” by Dan Vapid. I told the kids today was a special day that they got to drive around the room. And believe me, they took off!

For our props today, I used two brand-new Shake, Shimmy songs. I started with “Colors” by Play Date to encourage the kids to look at the different colored scarves around the room. If this hadn’t been at the tail end of a germy couple of weeks at the library, I would have had them practice exchanging scarves with a friend to share their colors. For “Fireworks”, we tossed our scarves up in the air to simulate fireworks. (And yes, my arm mysteriously hurt the next day from this activity, ha!)

(For an example of the Powerpoint and handouts that I made for each Shake, Shimmy please visit the original post.)

Baby Bundles: Bugs

For an overview of the Baby Bundles early literacy kits, please visit the original post. The cost listed is the list price of each item, regardless of whether or not we got it on sale/discount. The activity sheets amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

Itemized List

  • Tote Bag ($6.89) — 4Imprint
  • Hello Bugs by Smriti Prasadam-Halls ($6.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • In My Flower by Sara Gillingham and Lorena Siminovich ($8.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Melissa and Doug Caterpillar Gears Toddler Toy ($9.99) — Amazon
  • Vinyl Bag ($2.99) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total Cost: $38.40

Confession time: I actually started with toys while I was creating Baby Bundles. Since baby/toddler toys are a relatively small market compared with children’s toys, it seemed like I should get a list of toys that were appropriate for circulation before I picked out themes. Luckily, the toys lent themselves to natural themes and I still have a list of toys that I may use for future kits!

The Melissa and Doug Caterpillar Gears toy is definitely geared for older children as opposed to young babies. But I felt it was important to have some toys for the 2-3 age range, since babies grow up to be toddlers, and they also need Bundles of their own. I love that this toy provides opportunities for caregivers to help their child with colors, basic engineering, and bugs! And since it’s Melissa and Doug, I know that it will also stand up against multiple circulations.

Hello Bugs is one of my favorite board books to give to friends who are expecting. The high contrast pages make it ideal for young children, but the shiny bits can also capture the attention of older children. And the vocabulary building is great. In My Flower is part of a wonderful series of books, but it’s books that won’t get added to the library’s general collection due to wear and tear. But it works in a Bundle!


It’s been three months since the Baby Bundles debuted and this Bundle has circulated four times. I think it’s because it’s one of the older toys that I’ve used in the Bundles

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 5/12

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan


Book
Can You Make a Scary Face? by Jan Thomas
This is a classic Shake, Shimmy, & Dance book that always manages to get my preschools and toddlers up and engaged. I think that the silliness and pretending aspects of the book are absolutely fantastic and that preschoolers in particular love the twist ending.

Props
Stretchy Band!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Can’t Wait to Celebrate — Jim Gill
Get Your Move On — Mr. Jon & Friends
It’s a Doo Da Day/You Are My Sunshine — Wendy & DB
Roller Coaster — Bari Koral Family Rock Band
Rainbow — Milkshake
Row, Row, Row Your Boat — Charity and the JAMband (Putumayo Rock N’ Roll Playground)
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

One of two May editions of Shake, Shimmy, & Dance! Since we were on hiatus in both February and March, I scheduled two events to take place in May. And for the first event, I decided to try out our stretchy bands. We purchased bands (two XL Latex-free bands) last summer and one of my co-workers has used them in outreach events to much success. I used the stretchy bands in our Romp & Rhyme program (more info on that program coming soon!), and also had great feedback. It was time to try it as a Shake, Shimmy prop.

To start our day though, I picked another classic Jim Gill song, “Can’t Wait to Celebrate” that gave me an opportunity to pass along a great caregiver tip about using this song as a game to practice patience and waiting. I continue with “Get Your Move On” by Mr. Jon & Friends, which also has directions in the lyrics.

For “It’s a Doo Da Day/You Are My Sunshine”, I encourage the kids to find a grown-up to dance with for a free dance. “Roller Coaster” involved me leading a group of kiddos around in a circle as we lifted our arms up during the “wheeee!” lyric of the song.

And then it was time for the stretchy bands! Since we have two of these bands, I asked one be a less active band (aka babies and young toddlers) and one be a more active band (older toddlers and preschoolers). My less active band sat down on the floor and my more active band had grown-ups on the floor, kiddos standing. My groups did a great job splitting up and using these new props!

During “Rainbow”, I had the kids practice working together with the stretchy band and lifting the band up and down in the air as the song played. And for “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”, they pretended to row a boat while pulling the stretchy band back and forth. This was a fun activity, and I was happy that I had separated the groups as my preschoolers tended to pull much harder than my littles.

(For an example of the Powerpoint and handouts that I made for each Shake, Shimmy please visit the original post.)

Baby Bundles: Balls

For an overview of the Baby Bundles early literacy kits, please visit the original post. The cost listed is the list price of each item, regardless of whether or not we got it on sale/discount. The activity sheets amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

Itemized List

  • Tote Bag ($6.89) — 4Imprint
  • A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka ($8.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Where is Baby’s Beach Ball? by Karen Katz ($6.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Infantino Textured Balls Multi Set ($9.99) — Amazon
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total Cost: $35.41

Confession time: I actually started with toys while I was creating Baby Bundles. Since baby/toddler toys are a relatively small market compared with children’s toys, it seemed like I should get a list of toys that were appropriate for circulation before I picked out themes. Luckily, the toys lent themselves to natural themes and I still have a list of toys that I may use for future kits!

The Infantino Textured Balls are actually a set that we have in our in-house play items for after storytimes/during play groups. I know from personal experience that babies loooooove to chew on them and that toddlers love to put them into boxes/bins or to throw them. I figured that it would be worth it to have a kit dedicated just to balls!

I included a board book adaptation of A Ball of Daisy. This is a board book that I did not purchase for the general collection because our picture books versions do not circulate very well. I thought that the board book is a great choice for the older toddlers who are started to develop their own words and that the story would be relate-able — the best kind of book to put inside of a kit. It will reach a whole new audience! And Karen Katz is a genius of board books — her flap books, like Where is Baby’s Beach Ball? are beloved here. An easy decision to include it!


It’s been three months since the Baby Bundles debuted and this Bundle has circulated a whopping six times! Impressive!

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 4/21

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan

Since I’m on the Caldecott committee, I won’t be writing about the book that I used in this storytime since it is eligible for the award.

Props
Shaker Eggs

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Reach for the Sky — Alison Faith Levy
Hands Are for Clapping — Jim Gill
The Airplane Song — Laurie Berkner
Go! Go! Go! — Caspar Babypants
Shake & Sing — Little Miss Ann and Amy D
I Can Shake My Shaker Egg — The Learning Groove
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

For our first Shake, Shimmy, & Dance after tax season (when our meeting room is taken over for tax help), this was an excellent turn-out. I wish I could talk about the book I read because it was an excellent introduction to the program.

“Reach for the Sky” was a good warm-up song. I like that it’s instructional and gives the kids an idea on how to start moving. Often times (especially after a re-launch), I have to get everyone comfortable with moving around again and this song worked well. And I went straight into a classic Jim Gill with “Hands Are for Clapping” to keep that momentum going. I pulled out one last favorite: “The Airplane Song” before I segued into some new Shake, Shimmy material. “The Airplane Song” also gives directions in the lyrics and it is beloved by all of my patrons.

“Go! Go! Go!” was our first new song today. It is by a classic Shake, Shimmy artist though! I had to work to get motions for each of the lyrics (For example, I asked the kids to find a friend to dance with during “just met a baby with an entourage”), but I thought the song went over really well. I love the music, because the “go, go, go” part is really easy to dance to.

And then, I introduced Little Miss Ann and Amy D to my storytime audience, with “Shake & Sing”. They had shaker eggs for the song and really just enjoyed using their instruments with some great tunes. I also used “I Can Shake My Shaker Egg” and later had a kiddo come up to tell me that that song “sounds like HALLOWEEEEEEEEEEEEEN”. Needless to say, it was probably my favorite moment of the day.

(For an example of the Powerpoint and handouts that I made for each Shake, Shimmy please visit the original post.)

Baby Bundles: Alphabet

For an overview of the Baby Bundles early literacy kits, please visit the original post. The cost listed is the list price of each item, regardless of whether or not we got it on sale/discount. The activity sheets amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

Itemized List

  • Tote Bag ($6.89) — 4Imprint
  • Alphabet by Matthew Van Fleet ($19.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • My First ABC by DK Kids ($5.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Sassy A to Z Letter Links ($9.99) — Amazon
  • Vinyl Bag ($1.99) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total Cost: $47.40

Confession time: I actually started with toys while I was creating Baby Bundles. Since baby/toddler toys are a relatively small market compared with children’s toys, it seemed like I should get a list of toys that were appropriate for circulation before I picked out themes. Luckily, the toys lent themselves to natural themes and I still have a list of toys that I may use for future kits!

I found the Sassy A to Z Letter Links pretty early on in my searches online. These were a great opportunity to expand popular linking toys to really be about literacy. I got to include activities about spelling words, the textures on the letters, and about the colors. A great toy with a lot of caregiver tip opportunities.

As for the books, alphabet board books tend to fall apart because of their chunkiness and the sheer amount of pages that the books have in them. It worked out well for the My First ABC book. I had just weeded it from the collection and decided it would be better suited for a Bundle.

And Matthew Van Fleet’s Alphabet is such a gem of a book. But with its flaps and movable parts, it doesn’t circulate more than a few times if it’s on the floor. I’m pleased to report absolutely no damage to the book in the first four months of circulation!


It’s been three months since the Baby Bundles debuted and this Bundle has circulated five times.

Baby Bundles Overview

Baby Bundles were something that I had on my SOMEDAY list. After the success of Book Bundles, I knew that I wanted to create a Bundle that would target the very youngest patrons and their caregivers. Part of this was because baby/toddler toys often become obsolete quickly after a child loses interest. The other part of this was to teach caregivers how to use simple toys and books to teach their child early literacy skills.

This past fall, my manager was putting together a list of proposals for a sponsor and I worked out a very quick budget for the Baby Bundles without any guarantee of seeing the project come to fruition. I was pretty darn floored when Baby Bundles was chosen by the sponsor!

The Details

[pic]

Baby Bundles

  • I created sixteen Baby Bundle themes: Alphabet, Balls, Bugs, Colors, Counting, Faces, Farm, Food, Make Music, Ocean, Peek-a-Boo, Pets, Shapes, Sounds, Things That Go, Zoo.
  • The backpacks were purchased from 4Imprint and are the “Chervon Zippered Business Tote” style.
  • Book Bundles are shelved on the floor with a zip-tie securing the tote closed. I punched a grommet into the tote to allow the Bundles to be secured.
  • I provided a lot of input for our logo, but it was created by our fabulous graphic designer.
  • For each Baby Bundle, I made both an Inventory and an Activity Guide. The Activity Guides for Baby Bundles differ from Book Bundles because I wrote ideas based on the five practices of Every Child Ready to Read (read,
    sing, talk, play, and write). For Book Bundles, I wrote activities based on each item in the kit.
  • The Baby Bundles were sponsored by a donation from a patron and we do recognize that patron on our materials. I did remove the donation logo for uploading purposes in order to protect their identity.
  • Twice a week one of our adult volunteers checks the returned Baby Bundles against the Inventory sheet and then staff checks them in, backdating to the date that the patron returned the item. Because baby toys often go in the mouth, each item is cleaned with disinfectant or washed before going back out on the shelf.
  • They circulate for two weeks, with a fine of $1.00 per day if returned late. That’s the library’s standard for kits like Book Bundles, Parenting Packs, LeapFrogs, etc.

The tags on the Baby Bundles give a recommendation age range for the toy inside (provided by the manufacturer of each toy) as well as a picture of all the items inside the Bundle so that patrons know what they are checking out without having to open the Bundle on the floor.

[pic of tags]

Circulation of Baby Bundles is now handled by the front desk (and for that matter, so are Book Bundles and Parenting Packs which they were not originally)!

Over the next sixteen weeks, I’ll be showing off a kit a week so you’ll get to see what was chosen and why.

And that’s about it in terms of specifics in getting the kits put together. Technical Services helped SO MUCH in creating a catalog record for these items from scratch and making sure all the materials got tagged with the barcode. I am so appreciative of how everyone at the library works together.

Parenting Packs: Safety

bookbundlesparentingpacks

For an overview of the Book Bundles and Parenting Packs early literacy kits, please visit the original post. The cost listed is the list price of each item, regardless of whether or not we got it on sale/discount. The activity sheets and resource guide amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

Itemized List

  • Carrying Tote ($15.99) — The Container Store
  • Be Safe Around Strangers by Bridget Heos ($8.95) — Baker & Taylor
  • Fire Safety by Lisa M. Herrington ($23.00) — Baker & Taylor
  • I Can Be Safe by Pat Thomas ($7.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Safe Kids, Smart Parents by Rebecca & Elizabeth Bailey ($15.00) — Baker & Taylor
  • Stranger Safety DVD ($9.99) — Amazon
  • Melissa and Doug Firefighter Costume ($29.99) — Amazon
  • Playmobil Crossing Guard Set ($14.99) — Amazon
  • Traffic Sign Puzzle ($9.99) — Amazon
  • Vinyl Bags (3) ($6.97) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets & Resource Guide ($3.00) — created in-house

Total: $145.86

I chose pretty much the only adult book that I could find about safety: Safe Kids, Smart Parents. I enjoyed this book and actually read it carefully because I wanted to see how it would handle many safety scenarios (consent, law enforcement, etc.). For the children’s books, I tried to select a variety of safety topics: strangers, fire, and a catch-all that mentions other situations.

The “Stranger Safety” DVD was actually one that we already have in non-fiction and have to replace every now and again for wear. It made sense to include it here.

The toys were really fun to select with this kit. I knew that I wanted to have a dress-up component and chose the Firefighters costume since kids are often frightened of the firefighter’s gear. Hopefully this will help them get used to it; although it doesn’t have the big face mask.

The Playmobil set offers a chance for caregivers to do role-playing with different scenarios (biking, crossing the street, etc.) and I thought that aspect would be helpful.

And lastly, the Traffic Sign puzzle — something that would appeal to the smallest patrons while teaching them about road signs.


The Safety Pack has been checked out eight times since debuting five months ago, which is higher than I expected!

Preschoolers: Gardens

For more information on how I plan and prepare my preschool storytimes, check out this introduction post. I starred the materials used in the plan; multiple stars indicate use for more than one class.

The Plan

Books

Dig In! by Cynthia Jenson-Elliott**
Lola Plants a Garden by Anna McQuinn**

(I had additional titles, but they are Caldecott eligible so I won’t be discussing them on the blog.)

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: More, Please!**

Featured Track: #5 Rocks and Flowers

Flannelboard: Planting a Rainbow

Flannelboard: Six Little Bumblebees**

Letter of the Day: G**

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Five Little Monkeys Swinging in the Tree**
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
  • Icky Sticky Bubble Gum*
  • Movement Cube

How It Went

Monday morning
The last week of the spring session went off wonderfully. We were able to read three books in each class! Unfortunately, two of the books I won’t be discussing on the blog. But what I can tell you is that all books were well-received in Monday’s class. They were disappointed that we didn’t get through all four books that I had pulled and wanted to stay late to finish the last book. But their grown-ups were waiting. We also sang two of their favorite songs “one last time” in class.

Tuesday morning
This group is where I will lose the most friends to kindergarten this year, so this storytime was bittersweet to me. I actually thought as I reminded a friend to sit on their bottom that it was the last time I would be telling this particular friend that! I think their favorite book of the day was Dig In! which is really more of a toddler book, but worked so lovely as an interactive book.

Parenting Packs: Manners

bookbundlesparentingpacks

For an overview of the Book Bundles and Parenting Packs early literacy kits, please visit the original post. The cost listed is the list price of each item, regardless of whether or not we got it on sale/discount. The activity sheets and resource guide amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

Itemized List

  • Carrying Tote ($15.99) — The Container Store
  • Be Polite and Kind by Cheri J. Meiners ($10.95) — Baker & Taylor
  • Emily Post’s The Gift of Good Manners by Emily Post ($19.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Excuse Me! A Little Book of Manners by Karen Katz ($5.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Manners Time by Elizbeth Verdick ($7.95) — Baker & Taylor
  • Time to Say “Please”! by Mo Willems ($16.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Golly Geepers Manners Flash Cards ($12.99) — Amazon
  • Playskool Picnic Basket Manners Game ($16.95) — Amazon
  • Vinyl Bag ($2.99) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets & Resource Guide ($3.00) — created in-house

Total: $97.80

I wanted to have a variety of kid-appropriate titles for caregivers to use. I went with two board books: Manners Time (which has caregiver tips at the end of the book) and Excuse Me!. Both of these titles work well for the younger crowd and will help toddlers navigate beginning manners. For the older kids who might be using this Pack, I included Be Polite and Kind and Time to Say “Please”!. Be Polite and Kind is very much a “teaching” book. With Time to Say “Please”!, I hoped that including a favorite author’s take on manners would help kids engage with the material.

For the caregivers, I choose Emily Post’s The Gift of Good Manners. It took me some time to find a caregiver book that specifically addressed teaching children manners as opposed to adult manners. I could have easily have selected a book on grown-up manners and etiquette, but that didn’t seem productive in the Pack.

I found the Golly Geepers Manners Game very quickly on Amazon and I was impressed with the quality of the cards and the customization for families. I also liked that this was a game to play DURING a meal together. What a great way to encourage manners and family together time!

The Playskool Picnic Basket Manners Game was another purchase from Amazon. I think this one appeals more to children because of the brightly colored pieces and the picnic basket and tablecloth game board. It encourages polite manners and turn-taking during gameplay.


The Manners Pack has been checked out six times since debuting five months ago. (That’s pretty much on par for the Parenting Packs average circulation. I find that these kits stay out for the full two weeks since there’s so much information and lots of materials in them.)