Preschoolers: Alphabet

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

alphabet

ABCs on Wheels by Ramon Olivera
LMNO Peas by Keith Baker*
Oops Pounce Quick Run! by Mike Twohy*
Square Cat ABC by Elizabeth Schoonmaker
The Turn-Around Upside-Down Alphabet Book by Lisa Campbell Ernst*

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Here Comes the ABCs*

Featured Track: #15 Who Put the Alphabet in Alphabetical Order?

Flannelboard: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom*

Letter of the Day: A*

Props: Foam Letters on the Parachute*

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
My storytime crowd was very talkative this morning! One of my kiddos announced that we were reading a ladybug book when I pulled out LMNO Peas and another kiddo immediately said, “No, it’s an ALPHABET book.” I immediately ended the argument by saying, “Well, maybe there is a ladybug, let’s keep our eyes out!” Little did I know! There’s a small ladybug on nearly every page spread in the book and my group had a great time looking for it. We spent a bit more time on this title, but it was time well-spent in my opinion!!

Tuesday morning
No storytime today, sadness! It was election day and our meeting room serves as our local polling place.

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 10/21

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan

canyoumakeascaryface
Book
Can You Make a Scary Face? by Jan Thomas
A book guaranteed to get kids up, moving, and laughing. I loved watching all of my friends trying to get that pesky bug out of their shirts. Today was a day off of school for some of our districts, so I had more preschoolers and kindergarteners than usual which was great because they understood the humor!

Props
Wrist Ribbons!

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
At the Bottom of the Sea — Ralph Covert
Up & Down — Miss Nina and the Jumping Jacks
De Colores — Old Town School of Folk Music
There’s a Little Wheel a’Turning in My Heart — Laurie Berkner
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

Our first three songs were: “Jump Up! (It’s a Good Day)” that has instructions in the music, “Dance With Me” which we did as a free dance, and “At the Bottom of the Sea” where we pretended to be swimming in the ocean. Today’s activity songs were: “Up & Down” where we practiced waving our ribbons up and down, “De Colores” where we wave our scarves around, and “There’s a Little Wheel a’Turning in My Heart” where we turned our scarves around for the wheel.

There is something about “There’s a Little Wheel a’Turning in My Heart” that really gets me choked up. I have to actively avoid thinking about what I’m saying when I’m leading the group in the song! The kids LOVED swimming in the room. I had such enthusiastic friends during that number! And excellent jumpers during “Jump Up! (It’s a Good Day)”.

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

Toddlers: Construction

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

construction

Busy Builders, Busy Week by Jean Reidy
Construction by Sally Sutton
The Mixed-Up Truck by Stephen Savage**
Tip Tip Dig Dig by Emma Garcia**

Early Literacy Tip
Scarves are very versatile and can be almost anything. Sometimes we pretend they are popcorn, sometimes we pretend they are falling leaves or rain. All of this pretending encourages imaginative play and growth.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: More, Please!**

Featured Track: #5 Rocks and Flowers

Flannelboard: “Red Crane, Red Crane”**

Repeating Extension Activities

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

How It Went

Monday morning (9:30)
Monday morning’s storytime didn’t happen! I was home sick with a cold. 😦

Thursday morning (9:30)
My first storytime back at work. I was really nervous about my voice giving out, but I managed! This group was so happy to see the scarves again and to do our first set of repeating rhymes. I’m really glad that I incorporated a weekly manipulative and that I’m repeating the rhymes/songs every three weeks. Their favorite book was definitely Tip Tip Dig Dig.

Thursday morning (10:30)
Seriously, I’m so glad that this theme was so excellent because I don’t know if I could have done back-to-back storytimes without an awesome theme. This group was ENTHRALLED during the flannelboard “Red Crane, Red Crane, What Do You See?” which is basically Brown Bear, Brown Bear using the characters from Tip Tip Dig Dig. I let both groups know that the cadence is different, especially during “blue dump truck” so when they were chanting with me everyone was prepared for the speedier rhythm. Their favorite book was The Mixed-Up Truck for sure. I had several boys who kept shouting “Noooo!” when I asked if trucks made cakes.

Outreach Storytime: 8/4

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 Epic Explorers.

The Plan

Books

explorers

Explorers of the Wild by Cale Atkinson**
It’s a Tiger by David LaRochelle***
Row, Row, Row Your Boat by Jane Cabrera***
Shark in the Park! by Nick Sharratt**
Where is Tippy Toes? by Betsy Lewin*
The Woods by Paul Hoppe***

Extension Activities

Flannelboard: “Campfire Hokey Pokey”*

Flannelboard: “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt”***

Prop: “Song Cube”*

Puppets: “Five Little Monkeys Swinging from a Tree”**

How It Went

This theme ABSOLUTELY stumped me until I reached out to my librarian cohort and got suggestions for It’s a Tiger, Row, Row, Row Your Boat, Shark in the Park!, and “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt”. So the moral of the story is you’re never too experienced to stop and ask for help! All three of these storytimes were great. I was able to share many of the books across the three different age groups. Their favorite books were Shark in the Park! and It’s a Tiger!.

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.