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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