Outreach Storytime: Pets

My turn to choose the theme at our grocery store storytime! I went with Pets since I really wanted to re-use my new flannelboard for My Bus.

The Plan

Books

Caring for Your Lion by Tammi Sauer*
My Bus by Byron Barton*
Stack the Cats by Susie Ghahremani*
This Book Just Ate My Dog! by Richard Byrne
What Pet to Get? by Emma Dodd*

Extension Activities

Flannelboard: “Dear Zoo”*

Flannelboard: “My Bus”*

Puppet & Song: “The Goldfish”*

Puppet: “I Have a Little Turtle”*
I have a little turtle (put hands on top of one another)
He lives in a box (make box)
He swims in a puddle (swimming motion)
He climbs 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”)
Credit: Childhood

How It Went

This was such a fun storytime! I did My Bus with the flannelboard and the kids loved being able to play the part of a dog or cat to board the bus. (To accommodate larger groups, I double or triple the amount of animals in the story. A bit of math, but it’s manageable.) Our most successful book was What Pet to Get? by Emma Dodd. The kids really enjoyed imagining different kinds of pets and I think the grown-ups appreciated the spot of humor at the end.

I did have a storytime blunder today and completely miss-rhymed during “I Have a Little Turtle”. I’m not sure where my mind was! I think my favorite part of storytime was swimming along to Laurie Berkner’s “The Goldfish” song in the grocery store though. I highly recommend it!

Outreach Storytime: Interactive Stories

I was so happy when one of my preschools asked for “Interactive Stories” as a theme because there are SO MANY good books that invite audience participation and movement!

The Plan

Books

Hop, Hop, Jump! by Lauren Thompson****
The Mixed-Up Truck by Stephen Savage**
Play This Book by Jessica Young*
Shake the Tree! by Chiara Vignocchi****
Ten in the Bed by Jane Cabrera***

Extension Activities

Flannelboard: “Going on a Bear Hunt”****

Flannelboard: “Red Crane, Red Crane”**

Prop Sticks: “Green Says Go”***

Prop: Song Cube****

How It Went

Preschool 1 (four classrooms)
I got to read in this preschool’s library! Each classroom had their own storytime. Both The Mixed-Up Truck and Shake the Tree! worked well in every classroom. Hop, Hop, Jump got one class too riled up and their teachers had to redirect them a few times to make sure they gave their classmates enough space. The “Going on a Bear Hunt” flannelboard continues to be a massive success when paired with a hidden bear puppet. I actually didn’t use any rhymes or songs on their own, other than my opening/closing routines since the kids were up and moving the entire storytime. I would definitely repeat this theme again!

Outreach Storytime: Spring

As it was seasonally appropriate, so many of my preschools and centers requested a “spring” theme. Needless to say, while this is a great storytime plan that worked well for every group that I visited, I’m very glad to put it away for the year.

The Plan

Books

Butterfly, Butterfly by Petr Horacek********
Plant the Tiny Seed by Christie Matheson*******
Splish, Splash Ducky! by Lucy Cousins******
When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes****
Wow! Said the Owl by Tim Hopgood******

Extension Activities

Flannelboard: “Five Little Ducks”*******

Flannelboard: “Planting a Rainbow”****

Folder Story: “Old MacRainbow’s Flower Garden” (found at Fun With Friends at Storytime)****

Puppet: Flutter, Flutter Butterfly********
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 (site is down)

ASL: “Butterfly”********

Fingerplay: “Here is the Beehive”********
Here is the beehive. (hold up fist)
Where are the bees? (shrug)
Hidden away where nobody sees. (move other hand around fist)
Watch and you’ll see them come out of the hive (bend head close to fist)
One, two, three, four, five. (hold fingers up one at a time)
Bzzzzzzzz! (wave fingers)
Credit: Co-worker at old library

How It Went

Preschool 1: four classrooms
At this preschool, I presented in one of the larger classrooms and different groups rotated to storytime. This preschool was enamored with Wow! Said the Owl and did the best job of remembering our secret code to say “WOW!” together. (I wave my hand at the group instead of pointing.) As always, Butterfly, Butterfly is a sure-fire win due to the pop-up page at the end. And it worked so well with our ASL sign!

Preschool 2: two classrooms
My friends at this school remained in their classrooms and I traveled. Since it was only two storytimes and their classrooms were right next to each other, it worked out. This group really responded to the planting element of spring. Their favorite activities were definitely the “Planting a Rainbow” flannelboard and the folder story. I really appreciated the teachers in this group because they carefully wrote down each book and I could tell that they were just as engaged in the storytime as the kids were.

Preschool 3: eight classrooms (two per storytime)
I had a lot of fabulous surprises at this preschool — mostly especially the “thank-you” notes that were given to me as each set of classrooms came for their storytime. I had a child notice the endpapers of Splish, Splash Ducky which led to a great conversation about authors and illustrators and why that book had a picture of a person on the inside cover. My friend asked me after every book if there were any more author/illustrator pictures and we checked every time. These groups *loved* singing “Five Little Ducks” with the flannelboard, as well as the “Flutter, Flutter Butterfly” puppet and rhyme. I extend this song now to other silly actions (jumping, spinning, hiding) and the kids love when the butterfly peeks out from behind me during the hiding verse.

Bookgarteners: Karen Beaumont

For an overview of the Bookgarteners program, please visit this post.

Karen Beaumont is an author that I think needs to have a larger following. So many of her books are storytime hits, that I wanted to call attention to her as an author for my kiddos.

Group Program

To begin our program, I explained what an author was and what an illustrator was. I talked about how each book has one of each. Sometimes they are the same person and sometimes they are not. Karen Beaumont was the author of the books that I had chosen to highlight, but she worked with lots of different illustrators. One of my favorite connections was a preschooler that recognized David Catrow’s art from both I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More and I Like Myself!. We didn’t watch any YouTube videos because I couldn’t find any. Ms. Beaumont, please record some videos for your young fans!

Afterwards, it was time to read Move Over, Rover! together.

Sequence Cards with Move Over, Rover!
2.B.ECb: With teacher assistance, retell familiar stories with three or more key events.

I had originally wanted to make several flannelboard copies of the story for the kids to use in their retelling, but time got the best of me this past spring and I opted instead to purchase a set from Teachers Pay Teachers which included story character cards that I used as sequencing cards. Each child got their own pack and we worked through the story together. I was impressed at their recall for the order of the animals!


Activity Stations

Four activity stations were spread out around the room. I had one adult volunteer in the room with me to help control the flow of kiddos. (You’ll notice that I changed from a teen to an adult volunteer at this program. Ultimately, it was too much for one teen volunteer to handle and I was unable to get two teens during the after-school time.)

Do-a-Dot Marker on the Wall for I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More
25.A.ECd: Visual Arts. Investigate and participate in activities using visual arts materials.

This wall art activity was inspired by TeachPreschool, via Pinterest. I simply had to let them paint on the wall, right? TeachPreschool’s blog post is amazing, with tons of great art content. Since I was doing this activity in another program, I chose to make it a bit tidier with do-a-dot markers and large post-it notes. And the great part was I could change the “canvas” with each child so they got to take their pictures home.


Music Dancing with Baby Danced the Polka
19.B.ECa: Coordinate movements to perform complex tasks.
19.B.ECc: Combine large motor movements with and without the use of equipment.
25.A.ECa: Movement and Dance. Build awareness of, explore, and participate in dance and creative movement activities.
25.A.ECc: Music. Begin to appreciate and participate in music activities.

This idea came from my own head. I love music and I love exposing children to different kinds of music. Baby Danced the Polka gave me an opportunity to play some polka music and dance around the room with the kids. We did wind up playing a rousing edition of Freeze Dance as well, inspired by the lead of some of the kids.


I Like Me/All About Me Paper for I Like Myself!
5.A.Eca: Experiment with writing tools and materials.
5.B.ECa: With teacher assistance, use a combination of drawing, dictating, or writing to express an opinion about a book or topic.
16.A.ECb: Develop a basic awareness of self as an individual.
30.B.ECa: Describe self using several basic characteristics.

This writing exercise came from Simply Second Grade, via Pinterest. I knew that this activity was going to prove more difficult for my three-year-olds, which is why I had my adult volunteer stationed here to either spell words out loud for them or to write down what they dictated. All of the kids were able to at least write their names, hooray! I used a coloring page that I was able to find online.


Dino Wash for Dini Dinosaur
12.C.ECb: Experiment with changes in matter when combined with other substances.

The station that could have ended all stations. The kids were so excited with this station and I loved the science component. Before class, I made a sloppy mixture of flour and brown tempera paint to make the mud. I did not use a recipe and added more flour to the paint to make it more consistent. I tossed some dinosaurs in the muddy bin and put water in the cleaning bin. Ta-da — they were cleaning Dini Dinosaur. Seriously, I could have just had this station and they would have been happy as clams.


Wrap-Up

This was a perfect spring Bookgarteners. All the kids really loved the two very messy stations (painting and dino washing) and my older friends really spent time working on their “All About Me” papers. The dancing station was hard to integrate as a station and I’m not sure that I’ll repeat it like that or if I would just do a dance before stations.

Bookgarteners: Donald Crews

For an overview of the Bookgarteners program, please visit this post.

Donald Crews was a natural pick for the Bookgarteners program. His books are beloved by children, and he also has a huge fanbase with all of the fabulous vehicle books at our library.

Group Program

To begin our program, I explained what an author was and what an illustrator was. I talked about how each book has one of each. Sometimes they are the same person and sometimes they are not. Donald Crews had written and illustrated all of the books I had with me today, but I knew that he had worked as only an illustrator on a few books so I mentioned that to the kids. Then, we watched a YouTube video from the Association of Library Service to Children that Crews recorded about his influences.

Afterwards, it was time to read Freight Train together.

Sequencing Color Bracelets with Freight Train
2.B.ECb: With teacher assistance, retell familiar stories with three or more key events.

This is a weird source of inspiration, but nonetheless…I will forever remember a church story/lesson because it was told with a beaded bracelet. I thought that the kids would benefit from making a pipe cleaner beaded bracelet to “tell” the story of Freight Train. This did require a bit of prep work on my part. I sorted beads into ziploc bags to make the distribution of the activity easier. You could also set up a line with small buckets with each of the colored beads.


Activity Stations

Four activity stations were spread out around the room. I had one teen volunteer in the room with me to help control the flow of kiddos.

Sensory Transportation Scene for all books
19.A.ECd: Use eye-hand coordination to perform tasks.

This sensory transportation scene came from Lalymom, via Pinterest. I bought foam stickers from Oriental Trading and used clear contact paper with the sticky side out towards the kids. And if you’re wondering what it looked like at the end of the class, I give you this:


Shape Train Matching with Freight Train
7.A.ECa: Compare, order, and describe objects according to a single attribute.

This shape matching activity came from Toddler Approved, via Pinterest. I made two trains so that more kids could use this station at the same time. I also did not create an outline of the shape and opted instead for the word since I was aiming for preschoolers as opposed to toddlers. The kids LOVED this section and I had some families who asked if they could take this one home.


Counting Dots with Ten Black Dots
6.A.ECd: Connect numbers to quantities they represent using physical models and informal representatives.

This math activity came from Munchkins and Moms, via Pinterest. I invested in some foam puzzles from the dollar store and splurged for the black gems online. I absolutely plan to reuse both of these items in future Bookgartener programs. This was the most self-directed station and I think it gave the kids great confidence to be able to do it “all by themselves”. (The two art stations were also self-directed, but needed supervision from me and my volunteer.)


Wheel Stamping for all books
25.A.ECd: Visual Arts. Investigate and participate in activities using visual arts materials.

This art station came from Pre-K Pages, via Pinterest. I didn’t need to buy anything for this station as both ink and vehicle cars were something that the library already owned. This was a FRENZIED station, as exhibited by the only picture I managed to get during the program:


Wrap-Up

I loved every minute of this program and the activities that I had curated and chosen. I think this would be better suited for a fall session though, as my older kids breezed through a lot of activities. Luckily, they all wanted to go back and go the activities again, so I was safe!

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 11/17

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan


Book
Music Class Today! by David Weinstone
I know that I’ve used this book before and will continue to use it again. It depicts so many of the things that kids will see in our Music & Movement programs, it’s a great primer for them before we start. I also think it’s important to reinforce that kids may not join in right away and that’s okay too!

Props
Scarves!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Hello, Goodbye — Caspar Babypants
Move Like an Animal — Birdie’s Playhouse
If You’re Happy and You Know It — Old Town School of Folk Music
El Train — Laura Doherty
Pop Goes the Weasel — Caspar Babypants
Dance Floor Super Hero — The Fresh Beat Band
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

I kicked today off with a cover of a Beatles song, by Caspar Babypants: Hello, Goodbye. Some of the best reactions came not from caregivers (who did really appreciate it!), but from co-workers who heard it passing by the door or through the vent system. They had a great time with it!

Move Like an Animal was fun and initiated a great game of pretend with all of the kiddos. And another version of If You’re Happy and You Know It drew in the caregivers around the room. We kept that interaction going by jumping on the El Train and traveling around the room.

For our scarves, we practiced tossing them into the air when Caspar Babypants said “POP” during Pop Goes the Weasel and then they became superhero capes with Dance Floor Super Hero. A fabulous program with lots of fun had by all.

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

Parenting Packs: Caring for Your Teeth

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

  • Brush, Brush, Brush by Alicia Padron ($6.95) — Baker & Taylor
  • I Have a Cavity by Lisa M. Herrington ($23.00) — Baker & Taylor
  • Maisy, Charley, and the Wobbly Tooth by Lucy Cousins ($6.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Pony Brushes His Teeth by Michael Dahl ($7.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Social Stories (2) by DuPage County Health Department ($10.00) — donated
  • Play-Doh Doctor Drill ‘n Fill ($29.99) — Amazon
  • Smile Tooth Brushing Timer (2) ($11.98) — Amazon
  • Mesh Bag & Vinyl Bag ($6.98) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets & Resource Guide ($3.00) — created in-house

Total: $122.87


The Manners Pack has been checked out three times in the past two months since its debut.

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 10/20

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan


Book
From Head to Toe by Eric Carle
This is the book that basically inspired the whole interactive book portion before the group begins to dance along to the music. Body identification, movement, animals, Carle’s illustrations, large trim-size…what more could you ask for?

Props
Wrist Ribbons!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Wake Up, Shake Up — Rolie Polie Guacamole
Dance Like There’s Music In Your Pants — Sara Lovell
Spin Again — Jim Gill
Rocketship Run — Laurie Berkner
A, B, C, D, E — Justin Roberts
Falling — Joanie Leeds
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

My first four songs set an energetic mood for the rest of the program. Wake Up, Shake Up has a great beat to it and I asked the kiddos to shake up their bodies as we started our dancing. This led to lots of interesting hair as they all shook their heads at some point. I followed this up with another free dance, Dance Like There’s Music In Your Pants, and I actually think that was poor planning on my part. They needed some instruction before free dance again.

Luckily, both Spin Again and Rocketship Run have excellent instructions in the lyrics and we were able to follow along for the next two songs.

For the wrist ribbons today, I wanted the kids to use them to draw letters or shapes in the air during A, B, C, D, E. And I got to include some great caregiver tips about letter and shape identification being a precursor to reading. And then we practiced taking our ribbons off our wrists and letting them fall to the ground with the seasonally appropriate Falling. (At least, it was perfect for Chicago in October.)

Definitely a bumble this edition, but that’s 100% on me. See? You can still make mistakes even after a ton of storytimes!

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

Book Bundles: World

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 amount was calculated by cost of binder clip + lamination sheets.

Itemized List

  • Can You Say Peace? by Karen Katz ($7.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Global Babies by Global Fund for Children ($6.95) — Baker & Taylor
  • Same, Same But Different by Jenny Kostecki-Shaw ($17.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Barefoot Books “Children of the World” Memory Game ($15.99) — Amazon
  • Constructive Playthings Magnetic Global Children ($39.99) — Constructive Playthings
  • Constructive Playthings World Buildings ($69.99) — Constructive Playthings
  • Mesh Bag (1) & Vinyl Bags (2) ($9.97) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total: $178.81

Choosing books for this Bundle was a delight. The Global Babies series is one of my favorite all-time board books. While we own all of them at the library, I went with the original offering for this Bundle. I wanted to include a book that used language and Can You Say Peace? did so in a global setting. And Same, Same But Different is a great title that needs more recognition for sure.

The Barefoot Books “Children of the World” memory game focuses on the word hello in many languages, hooray!

Constructive Playthings Magnetic Global Children is a way for children to match different items with the children. The pieces are also swappable, so kids can blend the children to make a multicultural child. And the Constructive Playthings World Buildings are a great way to pack the world into a Bundle. (Though I do wish it was a bit less Europe-centric.)


This Bundle has gone out six times in the two months since its release.

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 9/22

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan


Book
A Hop is Up by Kristy Dempsey
This rhyming picture book is one that I used a while ago and was so happy to bring back to the Shake, Shimmy programming. I love the urban setting, the diversity of the characters, and the great opportunities for interaction with the kids. I just recently added this to our books-you-can’t-miss-section and all of those copies are checked out!

Props
Wrist Ribbons!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Get Your Move On — Mr. Jon & Friends
Subway — Bari Koral Family Rock Band
Friends Give Friends a Hand — Fresh Beat Band
The Countdown — Jim Gill
Paint the Day Away — Imagination Movers
My Butterfly — Joanie Leeds
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

I spend a lot of time thinking about the best opening songs and ways to capture my group’s attention from the get-go and Get Your Move On is a great suggestion to do so. I love the countdown aspect and the free dance. That lets the littles (who are almost always raring to go) immediately show off their best dance moves.

Subway was a fun way to introduce a new vocabulary words and let us form a train around the room, ensuring that ALL the grown-ups were up and moving. I highly recommend doing such an activity if you need to get the grown-ups to buy-in. Friends Give Friends a Hand was a great way to promote social-emotional development at this month’s event. I also love to talk about consent here — some friends love to give high fives, but some friends prefer waving so ask before you say hello! And then I get to model it around the room. SO GOOD.

Jim Gill’s newest CD has some great material on it, but my favorite might be The Countdown. I love practice waiting in an easy, friendly environment. And reminding caregivers that they can use these kinds of songs to practice while out and about in the world too.

Our wrist ribbons today became two different kinds of imaginative play: paintbrushes and butterfly wings. I like to see the different kinds of movement the kids use and how it changes from one song to another.

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