Preschoolers: Farm

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

farm

Farmer’s Away! Baa! Neigh! by Anne Vittur Kennedy*
Farmyard Beat by Lindsey Craig**
Old MacDonald Had a Farm by Jane Cabrera**
Punk Farm by Jarrett J. Krosoczka*

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: The Apple Tree & The Honey Bee**

Featured Track: #11 – Back to the Farm

Flannelboard: B-I-N-G-O

Flannelboard: Open Up the Barn Door**

Letter of the Day: F**

Puppets: When Animals Get Up in the Morning*

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
A smaller group this morning, but it was Halloween and I know that my families have a lot of things going on in the community. Most of our schools do a costume parade during the morning which did create conflicts if families had older children. But because the group was smaller, we got through THREE books at storytime! The kids had a great time reading me the story of Farmer’s Away! Baa! Neigh! by telling me the animal noises. And they really enjoyed guessing what animals would be coming up next in Old MacDonald Had a Farm.

Tuesday morning
It was another great day with my preschoolers. I’m so proud at all the progress this group has made over the past few weeks. Several of my kids ran into the room and hugged me/told me they missed me last week. (I was home sick with a head cold.) It was really lovely and made me feel very important. This group was the group that I specifically picked out Punk Farm for. They LOVED it. They thought it was the best, most hilarious book ever. They were several requests to read it again. This group also really loves to sing, so “When Animals Get Up in the Morning” was another hit.

Toddlers: Water

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

water

Dini Dinosaur by Karen Beaumont**
Get Out of My Bath! by Britta Teckentrup*
Hooray for Fish! by Lucy Cousins
Row, Row, Row Your Boat by Jane Cabrera***

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

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Songs for Wiggleworms***

Featured Track: #11 If All of the Raindrops

Flannelboard: “Five Clean and Dirty Pigs”**

Flannelboard: “Ten Little Raindrops”

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Egg Shakers Up***
  • Put Your Shaker On***
  • Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
  • This Is Big, Big, Big***
  • Tick, Tock**

How It Went

Monday morning (9:30)
This was a really full group! My grown-ups were engaged with both of our books today: Dini Dinosaur and <emRow, Row, Row Your Boat. I’ve been having trouble using the flannelboard with all of my toddler groups this session, and that continued into the start of the third week. But I’ve really enjoyed handing out a different prop every week and using two extension activities with the prop. Today’s prop of egg shakers was a smashing success!

Thursday morning (9:30)
A fabulous storytime this morning! All of the toddlers were really engaged throughout the whole half hour. And I managed to talk a little bit about soft skills thanks to Mary’s great post! Their favorite book was Row, Row, Row Your Boat with lots of participation. I broke out of my flannelboard funk with this class! They LOVED jumping into the mud with “Five Clean and Squeaky Pigs” and then helping me to wash the piggies before we put them away.

Thursday morning (10:30)
Today was a day for running. Lots of toddlers were zooming in this class (it probably had to do with the yucky weather outside and our smaller class number — more room to run), but I had a toddler have a breakthrough today! The toddler had been having a hard time participating and sitting still in the previous two classes, but this class stood right in the middle of the rug and kept having the best reactions to the books. When I asked the toddler if I should turn the page to hear what happens next, toddler shouted, “YES!” enthusiastically and clapped when I turned the page. So rewarding!

Outreach Storytime: 7/25

Another outreach storytime for this summer — at a local bank! Afterwards, they took the kids on a tour which was so in-depth! We got to go in the vault, behind the counter, press the button to send the carrier through the tube, see the coins get sorted, etc. This was an amazing opportunity and we had seventy people show up!

The Plan

Books

bank

Bunny Money by Rosemary Wells*
If You Made a Million by David M. Schwartz
Lemonade in Winter by Emily Jenkins & G. Brian Karas
Out and About at the Bank by Nancy Garham Attebury*
You Can’t Buy a Dinosaur on a Dime by Harriet Ziefert*

Extension Activities

Flannelboard: “Down Around the Corner”*

Props: “Song Cube”*

How It Went

This storytime was really about letting the bank shine. I read two books about money: Bunny Money for the younger kids and You Can’t Buy a Dinosaur on a Dime for the older kids. I loved that the older kids did the sums in their heads and helped the younger children remember how much money we had left in both books. I didn’t plan a lot of extension activities because I wasn’t sure how much space I would have. I was glad that I didn’t since it was SUCH a large crowd and the bank was still technically open for operation.

Preschoolers: Ocean

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

ocean

Hooray for Fish! by Lucy Cousins**
I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry*
Peanut Butter and Jellyfish by Jarrett K. Krosoczka
The Three Little Fish & the Big Bad Shark by Will Grace**

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Victor Vito**

Featured Track: “The Goldfish”

Flannelboard: Five Little Ocean Friends*

Letter of the Day: O**

Props: Slippery Fish**

Puppets: Did You Ever See a Shark?*

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 had two new friends in storytime today. One made the transition immediately into the room and the other became my special helper for the Letter of the Day. By the time we had said all of our objects and practiced our letter sounds, my friend was able to sit down and join the group. Thumbs up! The kids LOVED the re-telling, The Three Little Fish & the Big Bad Shark. I had one friend who kept saying, “The wolf says huff and puff; the shark says munch and crunch!” It was a great connection that the stories were the same! This group also appreciated the BURP! at the end of “Slippery Fish”. Burps are great preschool humor!

Tuesday morning
My friend who has had a REALLY hard time adjusting to storytime came into the room like a pro today: took my hand, walked up to the board and added their name tag, found a seat on the floor. It was so wonderful and allowed me to help another friend separate from their grown-up! We had kind of a “eating animals humor” themed class with The Three Little Fish & the Big Bad Shark, I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean!, and “Slippery Fish” that just happened to be all ocean animals. I really enjoyed my time with this class today and am already dreading the end of session in four weeks.

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 9/16

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan

ahopisup
Book
A Hop Is Up by Kristy Dempsey
I snatched this book off of the new books cart and immediately set it aside for today’s Shake, Shimmy, & Dance program. I love the opportunities for movement and interactivity that this book allows. The kids had a great time playing along with me and also really enjoyed the fact that they were the FIRST people to ever read this book!

Props
Activity Scarves!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Great Day — Play Date
Bouncing, Hopping, Jumping — Jim Gill
Rocketship Run — Laurie Berkner
Hello, Goodbye — Caspar Babypants
Suzuki Twist — The Learning Groove
Butterfly — Laura Doherty
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

We did free dance for our first song “Great Day”, and then followed the instructions during “Bouncing, Hopping, Jumping”. During “Rocketship Run”, we pretended to be rocketships and the kids really enjoyed when their grown-ups lifted them up in the air. Then it was time for our scarf songs. We practiced waving hello and goodbye with our scarves during “Hello, Goodbye”. We twisted with our scarves during the “Suzuki Twist”. And then we made butterfly by pinching the middle of our scarves to make butterflies during “Butterfly”.

My grown-ups LOVED the Beatles cover by Caspar Babypants. Seriously, it was like Beatles fever all over again. “Butterfly” worked really well as a cool-down, lots of kids landed their butterflies on each other which was really sweet. And I think “Bouncing, Hopping, Jumping” will become a Jim Gill standard!

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

Toddlers: Pets

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

pets

Ah-Choo! by Lana Wayne Koehler & Gloria Adams
Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell**
Here Comes Poppy and Max by Lindsey Gardiner**
Meeow and the Big Box by Sebastien Braun**

Early Literacy Tip
It takes longer for children who are just learning to talk to respond to our questions. We need to be patient and wait anywhere from 5-12 seconds for children to respond. That feels like a long time because adults usually respond in about 2 seconds.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Kids in the City***

Featured Track: #2 Kitty Cat (with puppets)***

Flannelboard: “Dog’s Colorful Day”

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
  • Roly Poly***
  • These Are the Colors***
  • This Is Big, Big, Big***
  • Zoom, Zoom, Zoom***

How It Went

Monday morning (9:30)
This group absolutely loved the little puppet show I put on while singing our featured track: “Kitty Cat” by Laura Doherty. And I’m so proud of all the kiddos for doing a great job using the wrist ribbons and cleaning them up. Dear Zoo was the biggest book hit. I had several toddlers who kept wandering up to the edge of the blue carpet “no fly” zone to try and reach for the pop-ups!

Thursday morning (9:30)
My first class of Thursday morning toddlers was nice and full! Their favorite book was definitely Here Come Poppy and Max, which incorporates a lot of large animal movement. This group was very into using the wrist ribbons and I saw some great caregiver engagement during this activity; modeling for the toddlers that weren’t yet participating. During the first few weeks, I often have to remind caregivers that we’re still learning our new friends and the room.

Thursday morning (10:30)
Second group of toddlers also really enjoyed Here Come Poppy and Max for their favorite book. These kiddos were spellbound during “Zoom Zoom Zoom” and I almost did the rhyme a third time just to see their smiling faces again. I had a few extra people (visiting relatives and two drop-ins) and I was happy that everyone jumped in and participated.

Outreach Storytime: 7/25

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 inventions.

Normally, I’m able to use many of the same books over and over, but not with this theme. I basically created three separate storytimes.

The Plan

Books

inventions

Going Places by Peter Reynolds*
Hoop Genius by John Coy*
Imaginative Inventions by Charise Mericle Harper*
Meeow and the Blue Table by Sebastian Braun*
The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires*
Not a Box! by Antoinette Portis*
Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beauty**
Tip Tip Dig Dig by Emma Garcia*

Extension Activities

Flannelboard: “Building Blocks”**

Props: “Song Cube”***

Fingerplay: “Five Little Nails”**
Five little nails, standing straight and steady
Here I come with my hammer ready!
Bam, bam, bam! That nail goes down.
Now there’s just four nails left to pound.
(count down)
Credit: Mel’s Desk

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

Toddlers
Books: Meeow and the Blue Table, Not a Box!, Tip Tip Dig Dig.
Inventions are a hard theme for toddlers! I went with very simple books and some fun rhymes/fingerplays to keep their attention. They really liked acting out all the construction vehicles in Tip Tip Dig Dig and also enjoying “Zoom Zoom Zoom” after I read Not a Box!. (Rabbit imagines a rocketship in the story.)

Preschoolers
Books: Going Places, The Most Magnificent Thing, and Rosie Revere, Engineer.
I would normally do four books with preschool, but Rosie is such a long story that I stuck to three! This group really benefited from my Monarch reading. Two of the titles are current 2017 Monarch Award nominees! This group LOVED “Five Little Nails”!

School-Age
Books: Hoop Genius, Imaginative Inventions, Rosie Revere, Engineer.
I really feel like the School-Age group got the best books. Hoop Genius is another Monarch book and tells the story of how basketball was invented. They were so excited about this book. I have a lot of boys in the school-age group and I could just see their engagement during this whole text. I read out the index (which let me do a little information literacy about how books are organized!!) of Imaginative Inventions and had the kids pick some of the inventions that interested them most. What a fabulous storytime!

Preschoolers: Clothes

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

clothes

How to Dress a Dragon by Thelma Lynne Godin*
Hurry Up, Alfie! by Anna Walker*
Maggie and Michael Get Dressed by Denise Fleming*
Naked! by Michael Ian Black
Under My Hood, I Have a Hat by Karla Kuskin*

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Anna and the Cupcakes**

Featured Track: “Shoes”

Flannelboard: Froggy Gets Dressed*

Flannelboard: Socks Match-Up**

Letter of the Day: C**

Props: Crown for a Day*

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
It was a smaller crowd in today’s storytime because of a day off of school. We tend to be a travel for the long weekend library population. The smaller group let me really get to have one-on-one time with each of the kiddos. Each of them got to assist in a special task today! Our best book was Maggie and Michael Get Dressed — the group just loved the silliness of watching Michael try to dress Maggie. And they were also in stitches over “Froggy Gets Dressed” on the flannelboard.

Tuesday morning
I had 100% attendance today; it’s such a rare occurrence that I always feel the need to celebrate it! I did an almost completely different storytime for this group. Clothes is such a great theme full of awesome materials. These kiddos really responded to the “Socks Match-Up” game and were jumping off the floor waiting for their turn to match up a sock. I love letting the kids handle flannelboard pieces now that they’re older. Their favorite book was How to Dress a Dragon.

Toddlers: Shapes

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

shapes

Apples and Robins by Lucie Felix
Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert**
Go, Shapes, Go! by Denise Fleming***
Round is a Mooncake by Roseanne Thong*

Early Literacy Tip
Identify the shapes you see and talk about them with your child. Circles and triangles are often parts of letters. Being able to see shapes will help children later recognize letters.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Rockin’ Red***

Featured Track: #19 Moving in a Circles (scarves)*

Flannelboard: “The Shape Game”**

Flannelboard: “The Shape Story”

Repeating Extension Activities

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

How It Went

Monday morning (9:30)
This is the toddler class most in demand this session and it was a very full group to start! I had some great, involved caregivers that were champs chiming in on songs that they were just learning. Both books in this group (Go, Shapes, Go! and Color Zoo) went over well. Many of the toddlers were friends of mine from our Shake, Shimmy, and Dance classes so they were glad to get up and move during Go, Shapes, Go. Also, “Popcorn Kernels” got a ton of smiles and we sang it three times!

Thursday morning (9:30)
I had a great time this morning getting to know so many new faces. My co-worker took over toddlers last winter, so it’s been a year since my toddler times and the kids have mostly transitioned over. I shortened Go, Shapes, Go! in this class; I stopped once the monkey was formed and didn’t read the rest of the book. It worked much better than Monday’s class and I continued it for the second Thursday session. I also used my edit as an extra early literacy tip to empower caregivers to end a book when their toddler is ready vs. when the book actually ends.

Thursday morning (10:30)
The 10:30 class was my most wiggly class. We only got through three animals in Color Zoo, and that’s okay! It did mean that I got to not only do the featured CD track — “Moving in a Circle” by The Learning Groove, but also got to teach everyone “The Elevator Song”. I saw a ton of great smiles from the kids as we sang the song twice. It truly is a magical trick for every storytime presenter’s bag!

Outreach Storytime: 7/11

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 circus.

The Plan

Books

circus

Circus by Lois Ehlert***
Circus Opposites by Suse MacDonald***
Circus Surprise by Sue Harris*
Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell***
Olivia Saves the Circus by Ian Falconer**
Song of the Circus by Lois Duncan*

Extension Activities

Flannelboard: “Five Little Kernels”***

Flannelboard: “One Elephant Went Out to Play”***

Props: “Song Cube”***

Fingerplay: “Dance Your Fingers Up”**

Song: “Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes”***

Song: “Sticky, Sticky Bubblegum”*

How It Went

This is my group with three storytimes:

Toddlers
I went very basic with the toddlers and stuck with Dear Zoo (which I changed to Dear Circus), Circus Opposites, and Circus. These basic books got the theme across very nicely and in an accessible way for the two year olds. I rolled the “Song Cube” a few times in this storytime to help get our wiggles out.

Preschoolers
This group found “Five Little Kernels” to be the most hysterical thing ever. They laughed so hard when the popcorn appeared and loved shouting POP with me. Their favorite book was definitely Olivia Saves the Circus. They loved Olivia taking charge. They also enjoyed doing “Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes” really fast and slow.

School-Age
I was pretty worried about the circus being a babyish theme for the school-age group. But it wound up being one of the best storytimes because the kids were really engaged and I found a great read for older kids: Song of the Circus by Lois Duncan.