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.)

Preschoolers: Yoga

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

ABC Yoga by Christine Engel**
Good Morning Yoga by Mariam Gates*
A Morning With Grandpa by Sylvia Liu*

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Storytime Singalong**

Featured Track: #6 I Am a Yoga Song

Letter of the Day: Y**

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’ve been waiting SO LONG to do this theme and I was so excited to be up and moving with the kids. As previously talked about on the blog, I taught yoga in college but do not have an official certification. AHHHH, THIS DAY THOUGH, SO GOOD. The kids absolutely loved being up and moving throughout storytime. I could feel the room getting calmer as we held each pose for five breaths. It was absolutely a joy and I highly recommend it.

Tuesday morning
This group was excited for yoga, but a little bit unfocused at first. I had trouble getting the kids to give each other enough space (which was weird because this group meets in our larger meeting room with more than enough room to spread out) and finally had each friend choose a square on the carpet pattern. But once we started, yoga + kids did come together finally! All of the books worked well in both classes because we were up and moving. My favorite was Good Morning, Yoga.

Book Bundles: Patterns

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

  • Backpack ($7.39) — 4Imprint
  • The Game of Patterns by Herve Tullet ($8.95) — Baker & Taylor
  • Spotty, Stripy, Swirly: What Are Patterns? by Jane Brocket ($26.65) — Baker & Taylor
  • Too Purpley! by Jean Reidy ($7.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Lakeshore Learning Bead Sequencing Kit ($39.99) — Lakeshore Learning
  • Lakeshore Learning Texture Rubbing Plates ($14.99) — Lakeshore Learning
  • Vinyl Bags (2) ($4.98) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total: $113.49

I’ll be honest: finding books on patterns was hard! But I’m pretty pleased with all three of the choices offered in this Book Bundle. The Game of Patterns is a really fun interactive book that encourages one-on-one reading and play with a caregiver or older sibling. Spotty, Stripy, Swirly: What Are Patterns? clearly defines patterns for young children. And Too Purpley! is a board book that many children can relate to.

The Bead Sequencing Kit from Lakeshore Learning might be one of my most favorite things that I’ve ever purchased for the Bundles. I love that the kit comes with patterns for kids to replicate and build, but I also love that it allows for creativity as kids can create and match their own patterns.

And Texture Rubbing Plates! We have another Bundle that has rubbing plates in it (Animals) and that item has been a big hit with our patrons. I thought that having a second Bundle available with rubbing plates would be a good idea and the Patterns Bundle made perfect sense once I found the Texture set!


This Bundle has gone out eleven times since it was originally released five months ago!

Preschoolers: Neighborhoods

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

Blackout by John Rocco
How Do You Wokka-Wokka? by Elizabeth Bluemle**
Maybe Something Beautiful by F. Isabel Campoy*
Say Hello by Rachel Isadora*

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Macaroni**

Featured Track: #3 Alphabet City

Flannelboard: Little Mouse, Little Mouse**

Flannelboard: Seals on the Bus

Letter of the Day: N**

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
Today, we read Say Hello! and How Do You Wokka-Wokka? in this class. The kids liked both books, but I think Say Hello! edged it out to be the favorite. I do have some repeat friends from last session, one of whom remarked the traditional “We read that book!”, but wanted to read it again once I asked. They really enjoyed when we talked about what makes a neighborhood and I was impressed with all of the places that they listed: houses, the park, police station, school, grocery store, the library, etc. A few of the kids didn’t think they lived in a neighborhood, but once we listed all of the places, they did finally agree that they were in a neighborhood!

Tuesday morning
This is my older class (average age is 4.5) and I definitely wanted to highlight Maybe Some Beautiful with this group. And I think they enjoyed the book and liked tracking the changing colors. They were excited once I told them that the story was based on something that had really happened in another state — I think it’s important to share non-fiction with kids and this picture book is a great place to start. Also, it should be noted that this group could not get enough of “Little Mouse”.

Book Bundles: Opposites

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

  • Backpack ($7.39) — 4Imprint
  • Animal Opposites by Petr Horacek ($15.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Eric Carle’s Opposites by Eric Carle ($7.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Elmo’s World Opposites ($9.99) — Amazon
  • The Learning Journey Opposites Puzzles ($11.99) — Amazon
  • Melissa and Doug Soft Activity Book ($12.99) — Amazon
  • Vinyl Bag ($1.99) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total: $70.88

Ahhh, Animal Opposites is such a wonderful book that I can *never* have in the regular collection because of the flaps and pop-ups. We have it in our storytime collection and the kids really enjoy it whenever we take it out. So, it made sense to put it in a Book Bundle! Eric Carle’s Opposites is one of the better board books I found when I was looking for one on opposites.

I tried not to have too many Bundles with DVDs in them, but I couldn’t resist for this one. (Finding manipulatives on opposites is hard!) “Elmo’s World Opposites” is part of the Elmo’s World collection and a big patron favorite at my library.

The Learning Journey’s Opposites Puzzles were perfect for this kit. I did not include every pair of opposites though, as I thought some of them weren’t illustrated in a way that made sense and I wanted to have some back-up pairs for when some of these go inevitably missing.

And the Melissa and Doug Soft Activity Book gave a sensory component to the Bundle. I can also imagine that it is the favorite item for the younger side of patrons using the kits. And it’s machine washable!


The Opposites Bundle has circulated thirteen times since debuting five months ago!