Families: Pilots & Astronauts!

During the summer, staff rotates a Saturday morning storytime for all ages. The program is drop-in which means we never know how many families will attend or the age range. This summer, we’re focusing on community helpers and I played to my strengths — space! Well, pilots and astronauts really. I only starred the materials used at storytime, but I pulled more than I needed.

The Plan

Books

pilotsastronauts

ABCs on Wings by Ramon Olivera*
The Airport Book by Lisa Brown
Astronaut Handbook by Meghan McCarthy
Flying by Donald Crews
Hello, Airplane by Bill Cotter*
Higher, Higher by Leslie Patricelli
I Want to Be an Astronaut by Byron Barton*

Extension Activities

Flannelboard: “Four Rockets”*

Finger Puppets: “Two Little Astronauts”*

CD: Laurie Berkner’s The Airplane Song*

Action Rhyme: “Zoom, Zoom, Zoom”*
Zoom, zoom, zoom, we’re going to the moon
Zoom, zoom, zoom, we’re going to the moon
If you want to take a trip,
Climb aboard my rocket ship,
Zoom, zoom, zoom, we’re going to the moon
5, 4, 3, 2, 1, blast off!
Credit: Jbrary

How It Went

I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced the “please come, please come, please come” storytime mantra like I did during the wait before this program. I was scheduled for Fourth of July Saturday and I just had that gut feeling that I might not have any families attend that day because of the holiday.

It started small with only a few friends (two families) but grew to have eight families of fifteen friends! It was definitely a more toddler crowd, but I had books that would work for them. Caregivers loved ABCs on Wings especially after I gave my vocabulary tip and kids had the best time waving along to Hello, Airplane.

You’ll notice that I did all of the extension activities to hold the crowd’s attention. Since it was such a younger crowd, I knew that doing the activities would help me out. The toddlers and babies had the best smiles during both “The Airplane Song” and “Zoom, Zoom, Zoom”.

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 7/12

It’s summer time again, which means eight weeks straight of Shake, Shimmy, & Dance!

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan

aintgonnapaint
Book
I Ain’t Gonna Paint by Karen Beaumont
I think the parents and caregivers laughed the loudest I’ve ever heard right before we almost said “butt”. It seemed to be one of those days when the book and the crowd were perfectly matched. The kids had fun pretending to paint themselves with their imaginary paintbrushes and it was good body identification practice. It was a good warm-up before we started dancing.

Props
Shaker Eggs!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Hands Are for Clapping — Jim Gill
Everybody’s Jumping — Aaron Nigel Smith
Heartbeat — Laura Doherty
Milkshake — Old Town School of Folk Music
I Know a Chicken — Laurie Berkner
Maraca Cha-Cha — Monkey Monkey Music
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

This was an ambitious playlist. I wound up skipping the song “Maraca Cha-Cha” because we were already over time and still had to say goodbye. I typically aim for my playlists to be between 16-18 minutes. With the book, introductions to each song and time to pass out/collect the prop, this works out well 95% of the time. Sometimes we end a little early and sometimes we have to skip a song.

Today’s first three songs all have instructions in the lyrics. My favorite was definitely Laura Doherty’s “Heartbeat” and I really enjoyed watching the caregivers/kids hug during the chorus of the song. My ultimate goal for this program is that parents and caregivers love it just as much as the kids!

For our shaker eggs, I pulled out two classics: “Milkshake” and “I Know a Chicken”. The kids loved these and really enjoyed hearing some favorites. “I Know a Chicken” is just one of those perfect Shake, Shimmy songs.

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

Book Bundles: Weather

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.

image

Itemized List

  • Backpack ($7.39) — 4Imprint
  • Like a Windy Day by Frank Asch ($7.00) — Baker & Taylor
  • Maisy’s Wonderful Weather Book by Lucy Cousins ($14.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Wow! Said the Owl by Tim Hopgood ($16.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Lakeshore Learning Storytelling Lapboard ($9.99) — Lakeshore Learning
  • Wally the Weather Dog Felt Figures ($19.95) — Amazon
  • Windsock ($8.99) — Amazon
  • Vinyl Bags (2) ($5.98) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total: $93.83

I wanted a very general weather book and again went with a Maisy book, Maisy’s Wonderful Weather Book to cover all the weather. By doing this, I also was able to provide another book that I wouldn’t put in the general collection because of the pull tabs and pop-up aspects. Wow! Said the Owl besides being great fun also covers sunshine, rain, and rainbows which made it a great choice. And since I was including a wind activity, I decided that Like a Windy Day would round out the book collection in this Bundle.

One of the best activities for preschoolers about weather is choosing what kind of clothing is required for the weather. This helps them practice real-life skills and also is fun! So I chose a flannelboard and lapboard that included some science concepts (temperature), time concepts (yesterday, today, and tomorrow) and also had a fun dog to dress up.

The windsock was a “OH MY GOODNESS, PERFECT IDEA” moment. I was struggling with what else to include as a manipulative in this Bundle when it occurred that having a science experiment or observation item would be exactly what this Bundle needed. I wanted something that was easy to contain, didn’t require any extras for the family to provide, and didn’t have any replenishables for the library to manage. Observing a windsock is perfect! Families just need to go outside and hold it, or can hang it outside of their house/apartment.


It’s the middle of May and the Weather Book Bundle has gone out 12 times since launching at the end of November! I mildly regret not including anything related to snow since we are an Illinois library but…it was so complicated to try and figure out!

Outreach Storytime: 7/7

I do a regularly scheduled (sometimes twice monthly and sometimes just monthly) at a local business that we’ve partnered with. For these storytimes geared towards ages 3-6, I’ve thrown out themes! I’m just reading favorites books, new books that strike my fancy, and doing favorite flannels/props/activities. Materials starred are the ones used at the storytime. Other than this difference, I’ll report on these like I do with all of my other storytimes.

The Plan

Books

outreach-77

Can You Make a Scary Face? by Jan Thomas*
I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry*
This Book Just Ate My Dog! by Richard Byrne
Toot Toot Beep Beep by Emma Garcia*
Wow! Said the Owl by Tim Hopgood*

Extension Activities

Flannelboard: Ice Cream Colors*

Flannelboard: Pretty Ladybugs

Flannelboard: Seals on the Bus*

Folder Story: Scat the Cat*

Props: “Song Cube”*

Action Rhyme: “Zoom Zoom Zoom”*
Zoom, zoom, zoom, we’re going to the moon
Zoom, zoom, zoom, we’re going to the moon
If you want to take a trip,
Climb aboard my rocket ship,
Zoom, zoom, zoom, we’re going to the moon
5, 4, 3, 2, 1, blast off!
Credit: Jbrary

How It Went

This outreach storytime went well. The kids seemed to enjoy all of the books that I brought along with me, although Can You Make a Scary Face? was probably the biggest hit. My group really enjoyed the participatory nature of the book and I will definitely make a note to bring another Jan Thomas book with me next time. Other than that, I often forget how magical Scat the Cat is until I use it again!

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 7/5

It’s summer time again, which means eight weeks straight of Shake, Shimmy, & Dance!

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan

tiptipdigdig
Book
Tip Tip Dig Dig by Emma Garcia
It occurred to me during storytime this past spring that this book would be an excellent Shake, Shimmy book because of the active movement that all the construction vehicles go through. So the kids got up and dug, mixed, lifted, tipped, pushed, and rolled along with me and the book. It was also a good choice because of the short length of the book — after a holiday weekend with lots of excitement, the kids were ready to move!

Props
Activity Bells!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Stomp the Floor — Monkey Monkey Music
I Just Want to Dance — They Might Be Giants
We Are the Dinosaurs — Laurie Berkner
Are You Happy? — Alison Faith Levy
Shake With You — The Learning Groove
Oh Children Ring Your Bells — Kathy Reid-Naiman
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

Today’s SSD saw lower numbers than normal, but I expected that coming off of a holiday weekend. But everyone that attended had a really great time!

We did a lot of stomping in “Stomp the Floor” — loud enough that our first floor computer bank heard us. “I Just Want to Dance” was a silly, fun free dance opportunity for my families. I challenged my grown-ups to teach the kids a dance from their childhood. I then proceeded to demonstrate the Macarena, mashed potato, and YMCA. I led the kids around the room during “We Are the Dinosaurs” and had everyone sit down during “Are You Happy?” to practice our emotion faces. (Full disclosure: this was the least successful song of the day, more preschool than all-ages.)

The bells today were used during “Shake With You” and “Oh Children Ring Your Bells”. Both songs have instructions in the lyrics, although “Shake With You” does say shakers and not bells. No one seemed to mind!

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

Book Bundles: Transportation

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.

image

Itemized List

  • Backpack ($7.39) — 4Imprint
  • I’m Brave! by Kate and Jim McMullan ($16.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Toot Toot Beep Beep by Emma Garcia ($6.95) — Baker & Taylor
  • Hape Lacing Vehicles ($9.99) — Amazon
  • Honk and Rumble Wheel ($24.99) — Amazon
  • Transportation Pocket Flash Cards ($4.99) — Amazon
  • Vinyl Bag ($2.99) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total: $76.84

I could have had 100 books in this Bundle and still call them all favorites. But I did limit it down to just two books: I’m Brave! and Toot Toot Beep Beep and I feel like fire trucks and cars are probably the most popular of the transportation vehicles. And I’m happy to have Toot Toot Beep Beep in the collection again even if it means having it in board book form.

The Hape Lacing Vehicles are great for imaginative story play and also for fine-motor skills. I hope that the families are lacing them together and telling a story as they go. Or that a child is stringing their most favorite to least favorite pieces. Good ordering practice too!

The Honk and Rumble Wheel. Oh, the fun. Oh, the headache. This is probably the item I most regret buying for all the Bundles. Not because it’s a bad item — I think it’s great for play and it’s got fun sounds and shakes when you’re using it — but because it doesn’t have an off switch. We’ve had several patrons give us feedback that it’s too noisy. On the other hand, we’ve also had parents that thank us for having a noisy toy that doesn’t live at home.

And the Flash Cards were included to show photographs of the vehicles. A little bit of non-fiction where I can put it, right?


It’s the middle of May and the Transportation Book Bundle has gone out 13 times since launching at the end of November! I’m actually SURPRISED that this one doesn’t go out more!

Outreach Storytime: 6/20

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 Road Trip USA.

The Plan

Books

outreach-roadtripamerica

Go, Go, America by Dan Yaccarino**
Red, White, & Boom by Lee Wardlaw***
Tulip Sees America by Cynthia Rylant & Lisa Desimini**
Who Is Driving? by Leo Timmers*
Wow, America! by Robert Neubecker***

Extension Activities

Flannelboard: “Lots of Cars”***

Flannelboard: “Red, White, & Blue”***

Prop: “Song Cube”***

Action Rhyme: “Everyone Can March”**
Everyone can march, march, march
March, march, march, march, march, march
Everyone can march, march, march
And then we’ll make it stop!
Credit: Jbrary

Fingerplay: “Where is Thumbkin?”***
Credit: Childhood

How It Went

This wasn’t the easier storytime theme to find appropriate books for — let me tell you that! I wound up having a good mix of younger titles (Who Is Driving?, Red, White, and Boom), all ages titles (Wow, America!), and older titles.

A couple of quick notes: I paperclipped one spread in Tulip Sees America because the main character takes his clothes off (nothing showing). And I also didn’t read all of Go, Go, America. I read the pages that introduce the Farley family and then read the Illinois facts that were easy for preschoolers to understand. For my oldest group, I flipped to another couple of states and read a few more facts for them.

My favorite book was definitely Wow, America! because it was perfect for all ages. In my toddler classrooms, we just marveled at the cool things in America. In my preschool and pre-k classrooms, we had great discussions about the monuments and landmarks.

I had a couple of friends who were AMAZING in their US knowledge. One pointed out that the Statue of Liberty was “a gift” and another pointed out that “[the White House] had burned down once”. I was really impressed.

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 6/21

It’s summer time again, which means eight weeks straight of Shake, Shimmy, & Dance!

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan

monsterslovecolors
Book
Monsters Love Covers by Mike Austin
A classic favorite of Shake, Shimmy, & Dance! I’ve been trying to not overuse books, but I can’t help it with this one. Tons of movements, color identifications, a surprise rainbow at the end? They love it! I also like the different kinds of movement (both gross and fine motor) can be done with this book. I make “dance” and “wiggle” large movements, but “squish” and “squash” are smaller hand gestures.

Props
Parachute!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Jump Up (It’s a Good Day!) — Brady Rymer
Dance With Me — The Not-Its
Clap Your Hands — Old Town School of Folk Music
Wheels in the City — Laura Doherty
No More Monkeys — Asheba
Under a Shady Tree — Laurie Berkner
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

The group REALLY enjoyed Monsters Love Colors today and I’m happy that I chose it. Both “Jump Up” and “Clap Your Hands” have instructions built into the song. “Dance With Me” was our free dance for the day — there are instructions if parents want to listen, but it was a lot of movement.

I love the first time that I pull out the parachute every session. It’s such a magical experience watching the kids who know and love it squeal, AND watching the first-timers eyes widen as the colors get bigger and bigger. Our parachute songs were: “Wheels in the City” where we held the parachute and walked, making a wheel; “No More Monkeys” which included five stuffed monkeys jumping on the “bed” aka the parachute; and “Under a Shady Tree” which the grown-ups made a “tree” for the kids to run under.

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

Book Bundles: Time

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.

image

Itemized List

  • Backpack ($7.39) — 4Imprint
  • Maisy’s First Clock by Lucy Cousins ($14.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Telling Time by Jules Older ($7.95) — Baker & Taylor
  • Munchkin Math: Telling Time ($16.98) — Amazon
  • Lakeshore Learning: Time Match-Up Puzzles ($9.99) — Lakeshore Learning
  • Melissa and Doug Shape Sorting Clock ($14.99) — Amazon
  • Vinyl Bags ($2.99) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total: $77.83

With the book, I wanted to provide an easy book and a harder book. I don’t know of any easier books than the Maisy series. Great to introduce concepts in an easily understood way. I was also thrilled that Maisy’s First Clock also has a movable clock embedded in the board book. Telling Time is my older book and covers both analog and digital time telling.

I struggled with what else to provide as manipulatives in this Bundle and was happy to find the Munchkin Math: Telling Time DVD. It makes learning to tell time fun and engaging for kids.

And then just like the books, I wanted to provide an easy puzzle and a harder puzzle. The Melissa and Doug Sorting Clock is great for the little kids because the shapes help guide the child into choosing the correct place for each number. It’s also nice to have a working clock. And my harder puzzle is the Time Match-Up Puzzles. These puzzles match digital and analog clocks that display the same time together. It’s also self-checking!


It’s the middle of May and the Time Book Bundle has gone out 10 times since launching at the end of November! I’m surprised that this one has gone out so many times — pleasantly so!

Book Bundles: Shapes

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.

image

Itemized List

  • Backpack ($7.39) — 4Imprint
  • Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert ($17.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • My Very First Book of Shapes by Eric Carle ($5.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Round Is a Mooncake by Roseanne Thong ($7.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Lauri Shape and Color Sorter ($14.99) — Amazon
  • Melissa and Doug Lace & Trace Shapes ($9.99) — Amazon
  • Vinyl Bags (2) ($5.98) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total: $72.87

The book choices for this Bundle were so easy. These are all favorites and in particular Color Zoo has a large fanbase here in our storytimes. I also like that all of these books talk about a variety of shapes — Round is a Mooncake focuses on circles, squares, and rectangles while Color Zoo talks about so many different shapes from a circle to an octagon.

The Lauri Shape and Color Sorter was a FIND for me. I was looking for some lighter manipulatives to go in this kit since I knew it was going to have three books. Being about to have a foam shape sorter that detaches to store nicely in one of our vinyl bags? Priceless!

And of course, Lace and Trace Shapes. I love these kinds of toys for fine-motor development and tactile exposure. And because this is a Melissa and Doug product, I could trust it immediately to withstand the normal kid wear and tear. And I know that I’ll be able to buy it again in case pieces go missing.


It’s the middle of May and the Shapes Book Bundle has gone out 10 times since launching at the end of November! This Bundle is probably one of the lightest ones that we have.