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!

Book Bundles: Family

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
  • Families by Shelley Rotner and Sheila M. Kelly ($7.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Families, Families, Families! by Suzanne and Max Lang ($16.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • The Family Book by Todd Parr ($8.00) — Baker & Taylor
  • Learning Resources All About Me Family Counters ($22.99) — Amazon
  • My Family Builders ($84.95) — My Family Builders
  • Mesh Bag ($3.99) — The Container Store
  • Vinyl Bag ($1.99) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total: $156.84

It was really easy for me to choose quality books about being a family. You’ll notice that all three books: Families by Shelley Rotner and Sheila M. Kelly, Families, Families, Families! by Suzanne and Max Lang, and The Family Book by Todd Parr include a lot of different kinds of families. It was important to me that all kids could see their family reflected in this Bundle and I didn’t want any specific family to stand out. So, while there are many great family books, most of them focus on one family at a time which isn’t what I was going for.

[If I was making this Bundle right now, I would include We Are Family by Patricia Hegarty, published in 2017. It’s an English illustrator, which means I can talk about it as it’s ineligible for Caldecott.]

Honestly, I knew immediately that I wanted to use the My Family Builders set as the interactive tool for this Bundle. It is simply fantastic and I would recommend it to any family or library. Great quality, really fun and interactive. I brought the Bundles to our Farmer’s Market over the summer as a “sneak peek” and the kids would not stop playing with the My Family Builders.

I also liked having the All About Me Family Counters which really provided opportunities for kids to build their extended family (and to include babies and pets!).


This is the most popular kit of the recent editions, circulating fifteen times in five months!

Preschoolers: Senses

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

Five for a Little One by Chris Raschka
Hooray for Hoppy! by Tim Hopgood**
I Hear a Pickle by Rachel Isadora**
Rain by Manya Stojic

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Chicken & ABCs**

Featured Track: #8 Five Senses Blues

Flannelboard: Lunch**

Prop: Texture Beanbag Sort

Letter of the Day: S**

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
This class was really engaged with the theme. I asked them to point to what part of their body they used for each sense and we went through that a couple of times before I started reading the books. I think that really helped them and I was surprised at how many of them already knew the senses, but they didn’t know the word “senses”. This group enjoyed both books equally; there wasn’t a clear favorite book between Hooray for Hoppy! and I Hear a Pickle.

Tuesday morning
On the other hand, this class was kind of all over the place today and I’m not sure why. It seemed like everyone was having a hard time concentrating. I had to utter phrases like, “Please put your tongue back in your mouth, we don’t lick friends in storytime.” So, while everyone was paying attention to the material (which I knew based on their knowledge), they were also fidgeting and rolling around on the ground. Movement activities only seemed to make it worse. Towards the end of I Hear a Pickle, they all lined up to see me their ouches since the book talks about not touching ouches. I guess I can be thankful that they were engaged in the material even if they weren’t on their best behavior.

Book Bundles: Construction

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 Construction Crew by Lynn Meltzer ($15.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker ($18.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Crystal Climbers (48 pieces) ($24.99) — Lakeshore Learning
  • Hardwood Construction Vehicles (6 pieces) ($29.99) — Lakeshore Learning
  • Wooden Tool Belt Set (6 pieces) ($17.99) — Amazon
  • Vinyl Bags (3) ($8.97) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total: $126.86

For this Bundle, I took advantage of the fact that a favorite book was being re-released in a new format — Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site is now glow-in-the-dark! So I added that to the Bundle rather than re-buy it for the collection. And I got to write some pretty fun activities to go with the glow-in-the-dark aspect of the book. I also wanted to include a book that has not only racial diversity, but gender diversity as well. And that book was The Construction Crew.

The Crystal Climbers were a lighter option to building blocks and I like the opportunities that it provides to build something a bit more unusual that kids may not have seen before.

Hardwood Construction Vehicles were a great choice since I knew that I wanted to have actual vehicles in this Bundle. I love the weight of these vehicles — much better quality than plastic vehicles.

And the Wooden Tool Belt Set was something that I just couldn’t resist to buy for this kit. I’m always interested in providing dress-up clothes at the library, but I’m often concerned with germs. This wooden set allows for disinfection without needing any clothes to be washed.


This Bundle has circulated twelve times in the past five months!

Book Bundles: Clothes

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
  • Let’s Get Dressed by Caroline Jayne Church ($7.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Maggie and Michael Get Dressed by Denise Fleming ($17.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Alex Toys One Two Tie My Shoe! (2 shoes/laces & instructions) ($14.99) — Amazon
  • Lakeshore Learning: The Jacket I Wear in the Snow & Book ($36.98) — Lakeshore Learning & Baker & Taylor
  • Lakeshore Learning Lapboard ($9.99) — Lakeshore Learning
  • Melissa and Doug Teddy Wear Plush ($19.99) — Amazon
  • Vinyl Bags (2) ($4.98) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total: $122.85

For the books in this Bundle, I knew that I wanted to include a board book for the younger kids and a picture book for the older ones. I found the perfect picture book in Maggie and Michael Get Dressed. I read this in preschool storytime and the kids just laughed at Michael dressed Maggie. And Let’s Get Dressed! is simple and has the pages tabbed out for little hands.

The Alex Toys One Two Tie My Shoe! is a great way to learn how to tie your shoes and it’s a toy that we have in our Family Center as well. I only included two shoes in the Bundle so I’ll have replacement laces or shoes if needed.

I made a whole kit of The Jacket I Wear in the Snow that includes the book, a lapboard, and the Lakeshore Learning puffy cloth pieces to re-tell the story.

And the Melissa and Doug Teddy Wear Plush is perfect because it has some different kinds of closures (snaps, Velcro, ties, zippers, and a buckle) and is non-gender specific!


The clothes Bundle has been very popular and has circulated eleven times since releasing five months ago! It was the fastest one out of the gates, circulating four times in the first month.

Preschoolers: Water

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

All the Water in the World by George Ella Lyon and Katherine Tillotson*
Puddle by Hyewon Yum**
Rain by Linda Ashman
Wave by Suzy Lee**

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Wiggleworms Love You**

Featured Track: #18 Rain, Rain Go Away

Flannelboard: I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean**

Flannelboard: Ten Little Umbrellas & Ten Little Raindrops*

Prop: Slippery Fish*

Letter of the Day: W**

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 class was very quiet this morning. But I sure did pick the right theme for this week — we’ve got nothing but rain happening here in Illinois. I started with Puddle since I thought the kids might relate to being stuck inside at this point in our weather. It was a hit! They were really enthralled even though they all knew that there would be a puddle at some point because of the title. All the Water in the World was kind of a flop today, but it has worked for me in the past at storytime. They also really liked counting “Ten Little Umbrellas & Raindrops” with me!

Tuesday morning
This morning’s class was a bit disrupted. We had to switch classrooms because of election day in our state, so we were in a small group study room. It was a bit weird. But the kids came alive during “I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean” and I had one friend who had already read the book. I asked him to keep it a secret until the end, but I let him say the last line with me. But my favorite part of this class was when I became “too tired” to read our last book — Wave — and had the kids read it to me. They loved being able to tell me what was happening in the pictures. I had one friend who kept tracking the path of the seagulls and letting me know where they were. I had another friend who liked speaking for the little girl: “Don’t do that, ocean!” “::raspbery::” “Ahhhhh runnnnn!” It was a great experiment and I would definitely use a wordless book again in storytime!