Families: Music

For more information on how I plan and prepare my family storytimes, check out this introduction post. I starred the materials used in the plan. Some activities go unstarred because I only do this program once a week.

The Plan

Books

families-music

Be Quiet, Mike! by Leslie Patricelli
Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle
Music Class Today! by David Weinstone*
Tanka Tanka Skunk by Steve Webb*

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Dragon Dreams*

Featured Track: #13 We Make Some Noise Together*

Flannelboard: Seals on the Bus*

Props: Handbells with Track #13

Repeating Extension Activities

I had lots of back-up activities in case I needed them for time. I starred which ones I used in this storytime:

  • ABCs
  • Dance Your Fingers Up
  • Everyone Can March
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes*
  • If You’re Happy and You Know It
  • Open, Shut Them
  • Pat-a-Cake
  • Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
  • Zoom, Zoom, Zoom*

How It Went

We had a very noisy class today! (I had compliments from our Technical Services department which shares a wall with our meeting room.) Both books were immediate successes and we had a great time clapping along to Tanka Tanka Skunk. But the best part of the day was definitely when I let the kids have handbells to shake along to “We Make Some Noise Together.” The kids loved getting their energy out and I liked getting to watch them actually use an instrument.

Siblings: Colors

For more information on how I plan and prepare my siblings storytimes, check out this introduction post. I starred the materials used in the plan. Some activities go unstarred because I only do this program once a week.

The Plan

Books

siblings-colors

Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert (Board Book)*
Meeow and the Big Table by Sebastien Braun
Toot Toot Beep Beep by Emma Garcia*

Early Literacy Tip
It takes longer for children who are just learning to talk to respond to our questions. This happens because four different parts of the brain have to work together for your child to form a response to what you say. We need to be patient and wait anywhere from 5 to 12 seconds for children to respond. Adults only take 2 seconds! The extra time allows children the practice they need to respond more quickly over time.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Songs for Wiggleworms*

Flannelboard: “The Shape Game”*

Bounce: “A Smooth Road”
A smooth road, a smooth road, a smooth road, a smooth road (bounce baby gently)
A bumpy road, a bumpy road, a bumpy road, a bumpy road (bounce baby faster)
A rough road, a rough road, a rough road, a rough road (bounce baby faster)
A hole! (drop baby gently between your knees)
Credit: Co-worker

Lift: “Elevator Song”*
Oh the city is great and the city is grand
There’s a whole lot of people
on a little piece of land
And we live way up on the 57th floor
and this is what we do when we open the door.
We take the elevator up and the elevator down,
take the elevator up, take the elevator down
Take the elevator up and the elevator down
and we turn around.
Credit: Jbrary

Partnering: “These Are the Colors”*
Toddlers were given scarves to gently wave over baby’s head. I suggested that babies lay down on their backs for this activity so that they could see the colors.
Red and yellow, green and blue
These are the colors over you
Red as a flower, green as a tree
Yellow as the sun, blue as the sea
Red and yellow, green and blue
These are the colors over you
Credit: Read Sing Play

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Clap Your Hands
  • Open, Shut Them
  • Thumbkin

How It Went

I had a small and slow start to this program — only eight kids (four families) came to the first session. But I was so excited for this program. I think the toddler book Toot Toot Beep Beep was more successful today, although many of the toddlers loved sticking their arms and fingers through the cut-outs in Color Zoo. My first experiment with partnering was GREAT and I think really made the class special.

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 2/8

It’s back to school and back to the monthly format for Shake, Shimmy, & Dance!

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan

nosetotoesyouareyummy
Book
Nose to Toes, You Are Yummy! by Tim Harrington
This book is very similar to From Head to Toe by Eric Carle. There’s also a song version available that you can learn to sing the book. The book does end with a quieter tone, but that actually helps me re-set the room for dance. (I turn out the lights at the front of the room so that my Powerpoint is better visable.)

Props
Activity Scarves!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Movin’ Groovin’ — Mr. Jon & Friends
Freeze Dance — The Fresh Beat Band
Again! — Brady Rymer
Jump and Fly — Laurie Berkner
All My Colors — Ralph Covert
Butterfly — Laura Doherty
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

Whoa, hello crowd! I had SEVENTY-ONE people in the library on a single digit temperature day! I was stunned too. My new favorite song is “Again!” by Brady Rymer — this song is all about how kids love when their parents/caregivers toss them in the air and hug them and spin with them; they love it so much they keep saying “AGAIN!”. If you want a sure fire way to get the adults in your program involved, I highly suggest this song for encouraging joint participation.

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

Caldecott 2018 Ballot

A picture of my favorite Caldecott winner to read in storytime...can you guess it?

A picture of my favorite Caldecott winner to read in storytime…can you guess it?

I’m standing for election on the Caldecott 2018 ballot. First of all, I’d like to say that I’m incredibly humbled and honored by this and still can’t believe that it’s happening.

But it IS happening, starting today. If you’re a member of ALSC (Association for Library Services to Children), you can vote as soon as your ballot is emailed to you. Here’s some links for information on the ALA Election process or the 2016 ALSC Elections.

So, just a few quick things about me and my qualifications:

Above all, I am committed to children’s librarianship and love to give back to the community. Being on the Caldecott Committee would, in my opinion, be the ultimate lasting contribution to the field. It would give me an opportunity to be a part of a decision that would change the lives of libraries, children, and illustrators permanently.

Thank you very much for reading this post.

If you’d like to know a lot more details about my involvement in the field, please visit my online resume.

Families: Counting

For more information on how I plan and prepare my family storytimes, check out this introduction post. I starred the materials used in the plan. Some activities go unstarred because I only do this program once a week.

The Plan

Books

families-counting

Count! by Denise Fleming
Counting Ovejas by Sarah Weeks*
One Family by George Shannon*
Ten in the Bed by Jane Cabrera*

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: The Irrational Anthem*

Featured Track: #7 Jumping and Counting*

Flannelboard: “Pretty Ladybugs”*

Puppets: “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed”*

Repeating Extension Activities

I had lots of back-up activities in case I needed them for time. I starred which ones I used in this storytime:

  • ABCs
  • Dance Your Fingers Up*
  • Everyone Can March
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes
  • If You’re Happy and You Know It
  • Open, Shut Them
  • Pat-a-Cake
  • Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star*
  • Zoom, Zoom, Zoom*

How It Went

This was honestly a really weird family storytime. I only had four kiddos in the room and it’s been a REALLY long time since I had such a small audience. (My guess is that because Shake, Shimmy, & Dance was this week and we had snow that families opted not to come to our weekly event and instead go to the monthly. That resulted in SSD having a super high attendance of 71, so I’ll take it!) Anyways, we got through a TON of material since it was an all preschool crowd and they were great. I put the flannelboard on the floor and let them add the spots to the ladybug. All of the books worked well, but Jane Cabrera has something really special with Ten in the Bed so I’ll call it the favorite — I loved watching the kids play along with the characters as they fell out.

Families: Arctic Animals

For more information on how I plan and prepare my family storytimes, check out this introduction post. I starred the materials used in the plan. Some activities go unstarred because I only do this program once a week.

The Plan

Books

families-arcticanimals

Baby Penguins Everywhere by Melissa Guion
Polar Bear Night by Lauren Thompson*
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr.*
Where Is Home, Little Pip? by Karma Wilson*

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Stinky Cake*

Featured Track: #18 The Penguin Song*

Flannelboard: “Five Bears”*

Flannelboard: “The Penguin Went Over the Iceberg”

Puppets: There’s Something In the Snow
There’s something in the snow, now what can it be?
There’s something in the snow that I can’t really see.
Hear its funny sound…HOWL HOWL HOWL
A wolf is what I found! HOWL HOWL HOWL
(CAW CAW CAW, A cardinal is what I found! / GRR GRR GRR, A bear is what I found! / WADDLE WADDLE WADDLE, A penguin is what I found!)
Credit: Modified from “There’s Something In My Garden” originally found at SurLaLune Storytime

Repeating Extension Activities

I had lots of back-up activities in case I needed them for time. I starred which ones I used in this storytime:

  • ABCs
  • Dance Your Fingers Up
  • Everyone Can March*
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes
  • If You’re Happy and You Know It
  • Open, Shut Them*
  • Pat-a-Cake
  • Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
  • Zoom, Zoom, Zoom

How It Went

Every storytime that includes a guessing game with animals makes my storytime kids lose their minds, so the clear winner was “There’s Something In the Snow” this week. I enjoyed reading all the books this week, but probably pushed it by including Where Is Home, Little Pip? after we had already done two books. Because this is a drop-in program, I have to cater to the larger group which was preschoolers this week, but the few toddlers in the room were definitely out of attention. I found myself skipping page spreads in Little Pip so that the preschoolers could hear the end since they were still super invested.

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 12/21

It’s back to school and back to the monthly format for Shake, Shimmy, & Dance!

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan

flyblankyfly
Book
Fly, Blanky, Fly! by Anne Margaret Lewis
We acted out all of the pages of this book. Blanky becomes lots of different animals and vehicles — you can choo-choo like a train and slither like a snake as two examples. I had forgotten how wonderful and interactive this book could be until I saw it on the recently returned shelf and it was perfect for Shake, Shimmy, & Dance!

Props
Shaker Eggs!

The Playlist
Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
All Around My Room — Laurie Berkner
Hands Are for Clapping — Jim Gill
Big Fire Truck — Ladybug Music
Dance Til Your Drop — Brady Rymer
We Make Some Noise Together — Emmy Brockman
I Can Shake My Shaker Egg — The Learning Groove
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

I only did two prop songs today and I thought that worked better. Now that it’s the school year, I see more toddlers than preschoolers/school-age kids and three prop songs was pushing it. (You may have also noticed that I tend to not use the parachute during the school year. Too many unsteady feet underneath makes me nervous.) The biggest success this week was “We Make Some Noise Together”.

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

Siblings Storytime

siblingstorytime

This winter — after DOZENS of requests by parents — I was able to create a brand-new storytime designed for families with two children under the age of 36 months. Since both our baby storytime and toddler storytime class allow no siblings, parents have to either find another adult to watch the child not in storytime or miss out. While we do have a drop-in all ages storytime, it’s in our huge meeting room and typically has between 30 and 50 people present. It can be overwhelming for little ones!

So…what is a siblings storytime?

For me, it became a hybrid storytime between baby storytime and toddler storytime. It also became a chance for children to have equal amounts of attention. I do every rhyme three times — once as a demonstration and two more times so that baby and toddler can each have a chance on their adult’s lap. And it also gave me a chance to work on good sharing for my big siblings and to help create bonds between them and their new siblings.

So…why does it matter?

I think welcoming a new sibling is a transitional time in a young toddler’s life. If I can give them a bit of stability by continuing storytime, that’s great. If I can make the older sibling feel like a helper and a part of their new sibling’s life, I’ve succeeded. I also have a chance to do the same things that other storytimes accomplish: making peer friends, creating a community place to caregivers to meet, modeling behavior, teaching early literacy components.

So…what did it look like in the program?

Opening

Welcome & Guidelines
[Typical storytime talk.]Hi everyone! My name is Miss Katie and I’ll be leading siblings storytime. I’d like to go over some guidelines with you before we begin. Because I’m used to working with small people, I understand that accidents happen — I have tissue, wipes, and paper towels on both sides of the room in case of accidents. Bathrooms are located on either side of the storytime room, please feel free to use the bathrooms and supplies as needed.

We all want storytime to be a welcoming environment. If your child isn’t feeling up to storytime, please take them outside of the storytime room. You can always come back in after they’ve calmed down or you can always try storytime on another day. I’m okay with movement, but I would like to point out two areas that I need you to keep your child clear of: the area by the door and the area right in front of me. They don’t have to sit down, but they do have to leave these spaces. [New stuff for siblings storytime!] Our adult volunteer Miss K is here today to help us out if anyone needs a hand during the program.

You’ll hear and see me asking your children to interact during the storytime — we want this class to be a bonding activity for them. We’ll be practicing gentle touches and games with one another. If your children don’t want to interact with each other, that’s okay. We’ll keep trying, but let them make the decision to interact so it’s a positive experience.

Name Fingerplay
I learned this from the co-worker I took over for at baby time. I loved it so much that I brought it to toddler storytime and siblings storytime, too.

Everyone introduces themselves one at a time. Together, we hold up our hands and trace our fingers as the group says each child’s name five times. Parents can run their finger around each of their child’s finger or tap each finger or touch each finger — whatever the child is comfortable with. Before we say the child’s name for the fifth time, we say “OOPS!” and on the “OOPS!”, I flick my finger up before going back to trace the last finger. (At “OOPS”, some parents give their child a tickle.) So it sounds like this: parent/child says “Hi, my name is Barb and this is Katie” and the group says “Katie (thumb), Katie (pointer), Katie (middle), Katie (ring), OOPS!, Katie (pinky).”

This gives each child a chance to clap for themselves. It’s a great way for the whole group to learn names together and it doesn’t take too long with my classes.

You can watch me demo the fingerplay in this video:

Opening Song
I used “Hands Are Clapping” which is to the tune of “Skip to My Lou”:
Hands are clapping, clap, clap, clap
Hands are clapping, clap, clap, clap
Hands are clapping, clap, clap, clap
Clap your hands, my darling!
Toes are tapping, fingers are wiggling, eyes are hiding “peek-a-boo”

Program

So here’s where the hybrid starts coming. I start with our board book offering and then my second/third books are picture books.

I always have a lift, bounce, and partnering activity planned. For the lifts, I have caregivers lift up babies and encourage my toddlers to jump with me. The bounces everyone can do and my toddlers really seem to love that time on their adult’s lap. I do have a few that would rather jump along to the bounce and that’s fine too. (I also have several who like to take turns in my lap!) The partnering activity is a rhyme or song that gets the two children interacting. I’ll explain more about these in each week’s write-ups.

Closing

Rhyme
I used Melissa‘s “This Is Big, Big, Big” as the beginning of my closing routine. I literally use this rhyme in every storytime. It’s a great cue to everyone that we’re winding down.

Song
Our closing song is also from my co-worker’s plan: “With My Little Hands”
With my little hands I go clap, clap, clap
With my little feet I go tap, tap, tap
With my little arms I wave bye, bye, bye
With my little legs I kick high, high, high
With my little eyes I play peek-a-boo
With my little mouth I say “I love you”

Bubbles
My kids LOVE bubbles. They just do. And I’m happy to give them something to look forward to before we say goodbye.

And that’s my siblings class! I’ll talk specifically about which materials I used in each storytime’s post and what worked/didn’t work. Keep an eye out for those starting next week!

Families: Dinosaurs

For more information on how I plan and prepare my family storytimes, check out this introduction post. I starred the materials used in the plan. Some activities go unstarred because I only do this program once a week.

The Plan

Books

families-dinosaurs

Dini Dinosaur by Karen Beaumont*
Dinosaur vs. the Library by Bob Shea*
How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? by Jane Yolen
Inside-Outside Dinosaurs by Roxie Munro*

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Whaddaya Think of That?*

Featured Track: #1 We Are the Dinosaurs*

Flannelboard: “Ten Little Dinos”*

Puppets: “Dinosaur, Dinosaur”*
Dinosaur, dinosaur, turn around
Dinosaur, dinosaur, touch the ground
Dinosaur, dinosaur, reach up high
Dinosaur, dinosaur, touch the sky
Dinosaur, dinosaur, find your nose
Dinosaur, dinosaur, find your toes
Dinosaur, dinosaur, find your knees
Dinosaur, dinosaur, sit down please

Puppets: “Two Little Dinosaurs”*

Repeating Extension Activities

I had lots of back-up activities in case I needed them for time. I starred which ones I used in this storytime:

  • ABCs
  • Dance Your Fingers Up
  • Everyone Can March
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes
  • If You’re Happy and You Know It
  • Open, Shut Them
  • Pat-a-Cake
  • Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
  • Zoom, Zoom, Zoom*

How It Went

Seriously, how fun is this theme? I love doing dinosaurs stories and would read them every week to joy of many of my preschoolers. I had a young man who dropped his jaw when I revealed that our theme for the day was dinosaurs! He was very on top of answering questions and leading the group in roaring. It was a perfect storytime to come home to after ALA Midwinter. Really, everything was a great success. Dini Dinosaur has such a great refrain and lets the kids practice body identification, but it also lets parents with babies and toddlers do some touching and tickling as we identify “head” and “stomach”. It’s a great cross-over title and I love giving my families those modifications to make a book work for all attending this drop-in.

Families: Milk & Cookies

For more information on how I plan and prepare my family storytimes, check out this introduction post. I starred the materials used in the plan. Some activities go unstarred because I only do this program once a week.

The Plan

Books

milkcookies

The Duckling Gets a Cookie by Mo Willems*
It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw
Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes*
Who Took the Cookies from the Cookie Jar? by Bonnie Lass

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Dizzy*

Featured Track: #12 A Cookie As Big As Your Head*

Flannelboard: “Down Around the Corner”*

Flannelboard: “It Looked Like Spilt Milk”*

Repeating Extension Activities

I had lots of back-up activities in case I needed them for time. I starred which ones I used in this storytime:

  • ABCs
  • Dance Your Fingers Up
  • Everyone Can March
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes
  • If You’re Happy and You Know It
  • Open, Shut Them*
  • Pat-a-Cake
  • Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
  • Zoom, Zoom, Zoom

How It Went

I really enjoyed this storytime plan. The kids were really into Kitten’s First Full Moon and loved acting out kitten’s actions along with the book. Even though The Duckling Gets a Cookie is normally a crowd-pleaser, it kind of flopped this time in storytime. I’m not sure that my group was old enough (on average) to get the humor of the story. Both flannelboards were wonderful hits, but “Down Around the Corner” is especially fun when you use puppets to “buy” and “eat” the cookies.

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