Toddlers: Houses

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

houses

Bear at Home by Stella Blackstone
The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson**
My House by Byron Barton***
Where is Tippy Toes? by Betsy Lewin*

Early Literacy Tip
All children need to learn how to stop what they’re doing. Playing games the incorporate the concept of stop gives children the opportunity to practice and hone their stopping skills.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Lemonade (Justin Roberts)***

Featured Track: #10 Tree Home

Flannelboard: A House for Birdie*

Flannelboard: Little Mouse, Little Mouse***

Props: The Three Little Pigs (Melissa and Doug, no longer available from what I can see)

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Egg Shakers Up***
  • Heads Shoulders Knees and Toes
  • Put Your Shaker On***
  • This Is Big, Big, Big***
  • Zoom, Zoom, Zoom*

How It Went

Monday morning (9:30)
This was a fantastic class. They loved both My House and The House in the Night. I think I really did a good service to The House in the Night by saving it for last, introducing it a quiet-down book, and promoting a chance to soothe our toddlers. It worked! I mean, it really worked — I had one toddler who was doing the sleepy eye blink, haha. They loved playing “Little Mouse” which I played twice with them!

Thursday morning (9:30)
This group really only had success with My House today. They were too keyed up to enjoy Where Is Tippy Toes?, so I skipped a few pages to finish up the book early. They were PROFESSIONALS at “Put Your Shaker On” — even when I changed up the song and added in elbow for the toddlers to get a chance to cross the midline. (Which also gave me a nice opportunity to share a caregiver tip!)

Thursday morning (10:30)
And my last group was the most low-key, but really opened up when we played “Little Mouse” on the flannelboard. I loved hearing them shout colors or point to colors on their clothes (which is a tip I give for my non-verbal kiddos). I could tell that we were getting tired by the end of storytime because I had a couple of criers. I tried to remedy this with The House in the Night, but it wasn’t as successful as Monday. But we ended with bubbles and as everyone knows, those are magical to toddlers.

Preschoolers: Books

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

books

I’m Not Reading! by Jonathan Allen**
Lola Loves Stories by Anna McQuinn*
This Book Just Ate My Dog! by Richard Byrne*
Where Are My Books? by Debbie Ridpath Ohi*

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: The Bossy E**

Featured Track: #5 More Books for Me

Flannelboard: Five Little Books**

Props: Alphagator*

Letter of the Day: B**

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
Both I’m Not Reading! and This Book Just Ate My Dog! really captivated the kids. They thought it was hilarious that Baby Owl was covered up by Tiny Chicks and his friends. We had a great conversation about whether or not all of my storytime friends could fit on my lap. One of my kiddos kept shaking their head and saying, “Only one of us!” I appreciated that no one decided to turn that into a hands-on learning experience, haha! We used Lola Loves Stories as a prediction text. I asked the kids what they thought Lola would be after every book that she read. They got very good at paying attention to see what she would be the next day!

Tuesday morning
The kids were very into I’m Not Reading! and trying to count the birds in this storytime. They also LOVED “Five Little Books” because I used finger puppets to check the book out and let my rabbit hop on their shoulders or my dog licking their arms (if they wanted a puppet visit, most of them did). The books were a little bit too restless while I began the second book Where Are My Books?, but they did settle down once they realized the gravity of the book’s situation. One of them commented, “No one should steal books, Miss Katie.” I’m sure my dramatic reading helped focus their attention.

Toddlers: Winter Animals

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

winteranimals

Jingle Jingle by Nicola Smee*
Little Penguins by Cythnia Rylant**
Time to Sleep by Denise Fleming
Winter, Winter, Cold and Snow by Sharon Gibson Palermo***

Early Literacy Tip
Be sure to share factual books with your young children. Follow their interests, whether in a particular animal, in how things work, in trains, or in anything else the piques their curiosity.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Stinky Cake***

Featured Track: #18 The Penguin Song

Flannelboard: Five Little Bears

Props: There’s Something In the Snow***

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Roly, Poly***
  • Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
  • These Are the Colors Over You**
  • This Is Big, Big, Big***
  • Tick, Tock*

How It Went

Monday morning (9:30)
For this class, I opened up with Winter, Winter, Cold and Snow and had the kiddos get up and pretend to be the animals featured in the pages. The toddlers really enjoyed showing me how they could hop like the rabbit and fly like the owl and chickadee. I followed this with lots of movement before settling into Jingle Jingle as a bounce & read. The whole class seemed a bit tired this morning and I think that affected how our second book went.

Thursday morning (9:30)
I changed it up for this class and opened with a quieter book — Little Penguins — to start and saving Winter, Winter, Cold and Snow as the more active second book. This worked WONDERS and helped my class stay with me throughout the day. This class *really* benefited from the caregiver tip when I talked about using non-fiction with kids. Most of the caregivers had a look of “Oh, I can do that? I can do that!” and it was a delight.

Thursday morning (10:30)
Since it worked so well for the class before, I did the same book pairing again with this class. Again: total success! This was the only class that I did “Tick, Tock” with this week and it’s because it’s my smallest class. We have more time since passing out ribbons/cleaning up doesn’t take as long. They LOVED “Tick, Tock” so much. Some of my kids are new to storytime this session and it was their first ever “Tick, Tock”!

Preschoolers: Shapes

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

shapes

Apples and Robins by Lucie Felix
City Shapes by Diana Murray*
Go, Shapes, Go! by Denise Fleming**
Round is a Mooncake by Roseanne Thong*
Round is a Tortilla by Roseanne Thong*

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Forest Friends’ Nature Club Album**

Featured Track: #4 Shapes Are Everywhere

Flannelboard: Color Zoo

Flannelboard: The Shape Story**

Letter of the Day: S**

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
This was my first session on Monday mornings and it went pretty well. I had a kiddo that did so good for the first fifteen minutes and then asked to go to the bathroom. Then, they all wanted to go to the bathroom. Luckily, I was able to clarify with the group that only the first kiddo needed to go. This morning I read Round is a Mooncake & Round is a Tortilla and had the kids trace the shapes in the air. And I invited the kids to come up to the book and find shapes in the page spreads that asked readers if they could find more shapes. It worked SO WELL. I really liked using both titles and talking about the different examples of shapes that we saw.

Tuesday morning
This is my large group (19 kids) and there is a bit more class management that’s needed for everyone to remember to sit still and follow directions. That being said, we had a really interactive class today that involved chomping monkeys, acting like shapes in Go, Shapes, Go! and finding shapes in City Shapes. Our flannelboard story really captivated this audience. They really enjoyed telling me what color shape and the name of the shape. And they were guessing very quickly after the new shape was placed what the shapes made together.

Toddlers: Things That Go

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

thingsthatgo

Good Night, Truck by Sally Odgers
Hello, Airplane by Bill Cotter**
Supertruck by Stephen Savage*
Toot Toot Beep Beep by Emma Garcia*

Early Literacy Tip
Because children love to imitate their parents, it is very important for you to be engaged in all of the activities we do today. Seeing you participate will inspire your children to join in.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Ladybug Music Green**

Featured Track: #10 Big Fire Truck

Flannelboard: Lots of Cars**

Flannelboard: Red Crane, Red Crane

Repeating Extension Activities

  • The Elevator Song**
  • Everyone Can March
  • Popcorn Kernels**
  • This Is Big, Big, Big**
  • We Wave Our Scarves Together**

How It Went

Monday morning (9:30)
I didn’t get to do a Monday class because I was at ALA Midwinter. But my fabulous co-worker covered for me and the kids had a good time!

Thursday morning (9:30)
I really missed my toddler classes during our storytime break. So many of my friends came back to visit and they had grown and developed new skills and I missed it! This group really loved waving to “Hello, Airplane” and paid really close attention to the storyline. Our second book — Supertruck — did not hold their attention as well. But I think that’s because this was a first session. Those are always harder because we’re settling into a routine.

Thursday morning (10:30)
Another class that enjoyed “Hello, Airplane” especially when I told the kids that I had just been on an airplane for the ALA Midwinter Conference. I like making personal connections when I can so my families can get to know me & the larger library world. I also used a tip from the most recent Guerrilla Storytime which Kendra shared about doing rhymes in threes so kids can see/hear, learn, and then do.

Preschoolers: Manners

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

manners

Blocks by Irene Dickson*
Horrible Bear! by Ame Dyckman
Please Mr. Panda by Steve Antony*
One Word From Sophia by Jim Averbeck & Yasmeen Ismail*
That’s Not Mine by Anna Kang

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Juice Box Heroes*

Featured Track: #6 Please and Thank You

Flannelboard: All the Little Germs*

Flannelboard: Thanks a Lot

Letter of the Day: M*

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
I didn’t get to do a Monday class because I was at ALA Midwinter. But my fabulous co-worker covered for me and the kids had a good time!

Tuesday morning
We had a great time at storytime today. This storytime included a visitor from our administration department to take pictures and they caught an EPIC grumpy face from me on film as we were talking about how some of the animals might be feeling in Please Mr. Panda. I really loved using Blocks in a preschool setting because it wasn’t just a story; it became a conversation starter about how using manners and being kind can make us all feel better. SOCIAL JUSTICE IN STORYTIME.

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 1/17

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan

flyblankyfly
Book
Fly Blanky Fly by Anne Margaret Lewis
This is a very easy read for Shake, Shimmy. The longest page spread is the first and it sets up the story. Then, I lead the kids and caregivers in following along with the motions that Blanky does. This morning, I decided not to demonstrate what a “whoosh” or “choo-choo” looked like and instead I asked the kids first to show me. This led to a lot of great movement and really encouraged their creativity. After a little bit, I did demonstrate a motion for the friends who needed some guidance.

Props
Activity Scarves!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Take the Sun — Caspar Babypants
Get Up and Go Go — The Fresh Beat Band
Rocketship Run — Laurie Berkner Band
Jump Up (It’s a Good Day) — Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could
Colors of You — Miss Nina and the Jumping Jacks
Popcorn — Mr. Jon and Friends
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

I kicked this dreary January day off with “Take the Sun” which I used as a stretching song. We stretched up and down along with the lyrics and then I let the kids stretch however they wanted during the instrumental part and end of the song. This was a good choice to start with as everyone seemed pretty sleepy this morning.

We then went straight into a free-dance song with “Get Up and Go Go”. This didn’t work as well as I wanted. My regulars were ready to go, but I could see that some of the newer friends needed more direction. I just worked with it and shouted out some suggestions and followed through with keeping up the energy.

Then came “Rocketship Run” and “Jump Up (It’s a Good Day)”, both of which have actions in the lyrics. Both of which are classic Shake, Shimmy songs and beloved by my patrons.

It was time for the activity scarves to come out with “Colors of You” and “Popcorn”. During “Colors of You”, I asked the kids to wave their scarves. I really love how that song can work two ways: with colored scarves and also in a social justice way. And for “Popcorn”, we bunched up our scarves and tossed them into the air. I saw lots and lots of giggles during this activity and will definitely repeat it, though I typically do popcorn themed songs with the parachute!

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

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 12/16

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan

igottherhythm
Book
I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison
This book is a favorite of mine for Shake, Shimmy, & Dance. It starts off slow, warming up the smaller body movements (eye blinking, nose sniffing, etc.) and then builds to moving a lot. Because of this, it’s a great book to get my patrons warmed up and ready to dance!

Props
Shaker Eggs!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Clap Your Hands, Clap Your Hands — Kathy Reid-Naiman
Jumping and Counting — Jim Gill
Spin Around — The Fresh Beat Band
Heartbeat — Laura Doherty
Milkshake Song — Old Town School of Folk Music
The Shimmie Shake — The Wiggles
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

I used a new song to kick-off today’s Shake, Shimmy program. “Clap Your Hands, Clap Your Hands” is a quieter song, but a great one for even the youngest of patrons to follow along with. During the school year, I see a majority of toddlers at Shake, Shimmy and I do adjust my playlists to best serve them.

And who doesn’t love jumping and spinning? This led to my next two songs: “Jumping and Counting” and “Spin Around”. “Spin Around” is a new Shake, Shimmy song and I loved it. The kids had a great time spinning and dancing to it. (We danced during the verses and spun during the chorus.) But I think what made it the most fun was seeing the kids holding hands and spinning together or the grown-ups picking up their kids to spin them in the air. And as always, “Jumping and Counting” provided great interaction as we counted until we could jump again.

My cool-down song was “Heartbeat” by Laura Doherty. Yes, this song has some large movements (dance, swim, jump), it also has quieter opportunities for kids to pause and listen to their heartbeats. It also incorporates science principles! And during the “when you love someone” chorus, I ask the kids to either hug themselves or to find a friend to hug. Some kids just choose to dance through it and that’s okay too!

This month, I just used two shaker egg songs: “Milkshake” and “The Shimmie Shake”. The “Milkshake” song has instructions in the lyrics and I try to lead the kids into following them. This is a storytime favorite here, so many of the patrons know it well. And I love the music of “The Shimmie Shake”. I know that some people dislike the television music like The Wiggles or The Fresh Beat Band, but I think it’s great engaging music for kids.

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

Toddlers: Colors

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

colors

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.***
Edible Colors by Jennifer Vogel Bass
Little Green Peas by Keith Baker*
Monsters Love Colors by Mike Austin**

Early Literacy Tip
When you enjoy a book, let your child know that you like it and why. Sharing your enjoyment gives them a positive attitude towards books which will influence them when they get to school and learn to read.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Rock and Roll Garden***

Featured Track: #6 Colors

Flannelboard: “Lunch”***

Repeating Extension Activities

  • The Elevator Song***
  • Everyone Can March*
  • Popcorn Kernels***
  • This Is Big, Big, Big***
  • We Wave Our Scarves Together***

How It Went

Monday morning (9:30)
Today was Week Seven of Seven for our fall session. In other words, I was a very sad panda because all of my storytime classes are done this week until JANUARY. I know that this it a good thing and will allow me to work on other projects (like my new Baby Bundles — Book Bundles for infants/early toddlers), but I will miss the kids. This storytime was wonderful. I got to see so many great journeys: a child who has struggled to engage sitting next to the flannelboard waiting for the next piece to be placed, another friend who stayed close to their caregiver for most of the weeks jumped into the bubble group this morning, and so many caregivers left the room with confidence in their own teachings. I loved ending today on Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? because everyone read it chorally, cementing our group one last time.

Thursday morning (9:30)
This morning’s group had several guests with it — grandparents, other caregivers, and a brand new two-week old baby! We had a full house for our last session. Their favorite book was definitely Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?. I will remember the wonderful smiles that the kids gave me this week. So many of my friends have opened up and become comfortable in our space. I am very much looking forward to the next session.

Thursday morning (10:30)
My most active storytime group loved Monsters Love Colors and acting out the mixing of colors. I had quite a few friends come right up to the book to wiggle and dance with me. This group has really mastered the scarves! When I said it was time to pull out the scarves, I had a whole crew of little ones waiting to get their own scarf. Afterwards, they gleefully participated and absolutely loved throwing their scarves into the air! We finished up in record time and I was actually able to pull out the Song Cube for them, so we sang “Itsy Bitsy Spider”.

Outreach Storytime: 8/9

During the summer, I visit several area preschools to do storytime. They all request specific themes, relevant to their curriculum. At this school, I visit a total of six classrooms. Each classroom doubles up with another group creating three storytimes at the visit. I’ll star the materials each time I use it. This week’s theme was the ocean.

The Plan

Books

ocean2

Fish, Swish! Splash, Dash! by Suse MacDonald**
Hooray for Fish! by Lucy Cousins**
I’m a Shark by Bob Shea**
I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry**
Peanut Butter and Jellyfish by Jarrett J. Krosoczka*
Surprising Sharks by Nicola Davies*
Ugly Fish by Kara LaReau*

Extension Activities

Flannelboard: “Five Little Ocean Friends”***

Flannelboard: “Five Big Whales”*

Flannelboard: “The Three Little Fishes & the Silly Shark”*

Stick Puppets: “Slippery Fish”**

Puppet: “Did You Ever See a Shark?”**

How It Went

This was a fun set of storytimes. All three groups really enjoyed the theme, particularly the extension activities. The older group got to hear Surprising Sharks because their teacher requested some easy non-fiction, preferrably about sharks. I was happy to oblige with this Monarch nominee from a couple of years ago. I think the kids enjoyed I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean the most out of any of the books.