Preschoolers: Feelings

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

preschool-feelings

Glad Monster, Sad Monster by Ed Emberley*
Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard*
Hooray for Hat! by Brian Won
My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Rock & Roll Playground*

Featured Track: “Jump Up (It’s a Good Day)”

Flannelboard: Go Away Big Green Monster*

Letter of the Day: F*

Prop: “If You’re Happy and You Know It”*

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Icky Sticky Bubble Gum
  • Five Little Monkeys Swinging in the Tree
  • Dance Your Fingers Up*
  • Everyone Can March

How It Went

Monday morning
My co-worker covered my Monday morning class while I presented a Guerrilla Storytime at one of the local networking groups.

Thursday morning
We spent a lot of time in this morning’s storytime talking about feelings and making faces. If you haven’t had a group of children stamp their foot and make grumpy faces with you during Grumpy Bird, you are missing out on life. They had a great time with the masks from Glad Monster, Sad Monster too. I took turns and left each child come up and pick a mask to be. Since I have a class of twenty, this took three go arounds but was time well spent in my opinion!

Outreach Storytime: 5/13

This was a preschool outreach program. The facility let me choose the theme, so I went themeless.

The Plan

Books

outreach513

Butterfly, Butterfly by Petr Horacek*
From Head to Toe by Eric Carle*
If You’re Happy and You Know It by Jane Cabrera*
I’m Not Cute! by Jonathan Allen*
Press Here by Herve Tullet

Extension Activities

Flannelboard: Dear Zoo*

Flannelboard: Little Mouse, Little Mouse*

Flannelboard: Lots of Cars

Puppets: Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed*

How It Went

I still have to admit that going themeless has made my storytime planning life much easier for these outreach visits. I also like having the variety of book choices to go to because I don’t know how a group will respond whereas at the library, I know and recognize the majority of the participants ahead of time.

This visit was pretty remarkably fantastic though. And I was SO HAPPY when the director took pictures and then emailed me a copy. I finally know what my storytime faces look like! I’m very expressive. I think my favorite moment was two children who were perfect imitators of my Baby Owl voice as they shouted, “I’m not cute!!” with me.

Siblings: Bedtime

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-bedtime

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown (Board)*
Baby Bedtime by Mem Fox*
A Book of Sleep by Il Sung Na

Early Literacy Tip
It takes longer for children who are learning to talk to respond to our questions. We need to be patient and wait anywhere from five to twelve seconds for children to respond.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Tickles & Tunes*

Flannelboard: “The Shape Game”*

Bounce: “Toast in the Toaster”*
I’m toast in the toaster
And I’m getting very hot!
Tick, tock,
Tick, tock
Up I pop!
Credit: Jbrary

Lift: “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

Partnering: “Put Your Scarf On” Tune: If You’re Happy and You Know It*
Toddlers had scarves and I sang through the verse the first time using “your”. Then, for the second time I sang the verse with the same body part as “their”, asking them to put the scarf (gently!) on their sibling’s head. This was MUCH MORE successful with the scarves than with the bean bags!!
Put your scarf on your head, on your head
Put your scarf on your head, on your head
Put your scarf on your head, put your scarf on your head
Put your scarf on your head, on your head
Credit: Modified from Co-worker

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Clap Your Hands
  • Open, Shut Them
  • Thumbkin

How It Went

I know I already wrote about it up there under the “Partnering” section, but the scarves worked SO MUCH BETTER than the bean bags. I’m so happy that I tried again. Since we read Goodnight Moon, we had a lot of sentimental attachment to the book. At least two of the grown-ups “read” the book without looking. I was also able to talk about how wonderful it is for children to hear rhyming words like you do in Goodnight Moon.

Book Bundles: Animals

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.

image

Itemized List

  • Backpack ($7.39) — 4Imprint
  • Brown Bear Brown Bear by Bill Martin Jr. ($8.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell ($11.95) — Baker & Taylor
  • Finger Puppets ($15.99) — Amazon
  • Lakeshore Learning: Picture-Word Rubbing Plates ($12.99) — Lakeshore Learning
  • Melissa & Doug Animal Puzzle Book ($16.99) — Amazon
  • Vinyl Bags (2) ($5.98) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total: $82.83

Both of my animal books are classics. And while we have a plethora of copies of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, we don’t own Dear Zoo in the collection because of the flaps/pop-ups. I was really excited to put it in a kit since it won’t be subjected to constant use in our front-facing shelves. I chose a book that covers mostly domestic/forest animals and a book that does jungle/zoo animals for variety.

We had a TON of puppets available in our previous kits. Like every single kit had puppets. So I knew that I needed to have puppets in one of my kits. I think animals made the most sense for me and I hope families are making up silly songs and talking lots with these manipulatives.

My favorite idea for working on write skills! We don’t provide crayons and paper, but I know these are being used with the amount of crayon wiping our volunteers have had to do on the plates themselves. I also really like that each plate also has the name of the animal printed on it which is great for print awareness.

One of the biggest brand names that I trust in the early childhood toy field is Melissa and Doug. This puzzle book is organized by where the animals live and I thought that was such a great way to do an animal book. I also like that the book is magnetic puzzle so it doesn’t involve lots of loose pieces in the Bundle. (Now, I wasn’t always able to avoid the loose pieces but I sure tried when I could!)


It’s the beginning of May and the Animals Book Bundle has gone out 13 times since launching at the end of November! With our two week circulation, that means it goes right back out the minute it hits the shelves — this is one of the Bundles that patrons often request for holds as well.

Preschoolers: Transportation

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

preschool-transportation

I’m Fast! by Kate and Jim McMullan
Old MacDonald Had a Truck by Steve Goetz**
Race Car Count by Rebecca Dotlich**
Supertruck by Stephen Savage**

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Ladybug Music — Green Collection**

Featured Track: “Big Fire Truck”**

Flannelboard: Clickety-Clack

Flannelboard: Lots of Cars*

Letter of the Day: T**

Prop: Stoplight Sorting**

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Icky Sticky Bubble Gum
  • Five Little Monkeys Swinging in the Tree
  • Dance Your Fingers Up*
  • Everyone Can March*

How It Went

Monday morning
The first class of our preschool storytimes can be difficult as children separate for the first time from their families. But Monday’s group? Not a problem. Every child came in and sat down and stayed throughout the whole storytime. It does help that most of the kids in preschool storytimes were my first and second group of toddlers. So at this point, I am a familiar person to them and they’re happy to see me. We had a great success with our Stoplight Sorting and I taught the kids our storytime routine. Their favorite book was Supertruck which timed nicely with a later snowfall in Chicagoland.

Thursday morning
My Thursday group had one child who wasn’t ready to separate. Their caregiver sat in the back of the room with the child and I continued on with storytime as usual. (Full disclosure: this child never wound up separating throughout the entire seven-week session. It happens. But since the caregiver was willing to keep trying, I was too.) This group LOVED Race Car Count with the kids voting by hand-raise about who they thought would win!

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 4/18

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

shakeshimmyanddance

The Plan

fromheadtotoe
Book
From Head to Toe by Eric Carle
A classic Shake, Shimmy book. I always like to use it after a “re-boot” and since we take off March because of tax seasons and room reservation conflicts, April always feels like a soft-launch for summer to me. The kids always love this book and when I do Shake, Shimmy I can do all the pages and not skip the donkey kick page since we have enough room during the school year! Also since I was introducing a brand-new prop, it was nice to have a familiar book.

Props
Wrist Ribbons

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Get Your Move On — Mr. Jon & Friends
The Airplane Song — Laurie Berkner
Wiggledy Woo — The Learning Groove
Jump, Jump — Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights
Roller Coaster — Bari Koral Family
Mixing Up Colors — Yo Gabba Gabba
Wave Your Ribbons In the Air — The Wiggles
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

I am in love with the wrist ribbons. These are great for my babies and toddlers because we can focus on large arm movements and gross motor skills without having to master the fine motor skills of pinching at the same time. For “Roller Coaster”, we practiced lifting our arms up and down while having our wrist ribbons on, making a “whooo” noise along with the song. In “Mixing Up Colors”, we found a friend to mix our colors with promoting social interaction. And “Wave Your Ribbons In the Air” was the first time I used the song and felt correct. (I had previously used scarves with it.) I had a great time with this group today and definitely look forward to using the ribbons over the summer!

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

Siblings: Things That Go

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-thingsthatgo

Trucks by Byron Barton (Board)*
Freight Train by Donald Crews
Tip Tip Dig Dig by Emma Garcia*

Early Literacy Tip
Knowing shapes lays the foundation for being able to identify letters later on as well as lays the formation for math and geometry. Use blocks or cutout shapes to have your child make something.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Wiggleworms Love You*

Flannelboard: “The Shape Game”*

Props: “Green Says Go”

Bounce: “Toast in the Toaster”
I’m toast in the toaster
And I’m getting very hot!
Tick, tock,
Tick, tock
Up I pop!
Credit: Jbrary

Lift: “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

Partnering: “Put Your Bean Bag On” Tune: If You’re Happy and You Know It
Toddlers had bean bags and I sang through the verse the first time using “your”. Then, for the second time I sang the verse with the same body part as “their”, asking them to put the bean bag (gently!) on their sibling’s head. This wasn’t as successful as I’d hoped, but I would be willing to try it again.
Put your bean bag on your head, on your head
Put your bean bag on your head, on your head
Put your bean bag on your head, put your bean bag on your head
Put your bean bag on your head, on your head
Credit: Modified from Co-worker

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Clap Your Hands
  • Open, Shut Them
  • Thumbkin

How It Went

Spring break time! We make special allowances during this week for siblings and so I had a larger crowd than usual with more preschoolers. It did throw the group dynamic off a bit and Trucks didn’t work as well as the board book usually does — Tip Tip Dig Dig which let the whole group participate was definitely the better choice this week. I also had to do some bubble crowd control and make sure that the preschoolers stayed in one area to not run over my toddlers!

Book Bundles: ABCs

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.

image

Itemized List

  • Backpack ($7.39) — 4Imprint
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. & John Archambault ($17.99) — Baker & Taylor
  • Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert ($6.95) — Baker & Taylor
  • Here Comes the ABCs by They Might Be Giants by They Might Be Giants ($11.99) — Amazon
  • Learning Resources: Letter Construction Activity Set ($39.99) — Learning Resources
  • Smarty Kid A-Z Flash Cards ($16.99) — Amazon
  • Mesh Laundry Bag ($3.99) — The Container Store
  • Activity Sheets ($2.55) — created in-house

Total: $107.84

This books for this Bundle were a hardcover of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and a board book copy of Eating the Alphabet. Obviously, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom was a classic choice and I wanted to include it for caregivers familiar with the book to realize that they are already helping their child learn their letters. And Eating the Alphabet was chosen primarily because of the large vocabulary included in the book. I often get asked how to increase vocab and unique alphabet books are a great way to do that.

“Here Comes the ABCs” is awesome because it’s not a typical alphabet CD/song like many of the offerings out there. It’s fun and upbeat and is the kind of music that caregivers can listen to without bemoaning children’s music.

The Letter Construction Activity Set was actually one of the very first items that I saw when looking to build the Book Bundles. And I knew that I had to have it. I love the opportunities it presents to talk about straight lines and curved lines and the different connections kids can be shown because of the color of the pieces. (The curve of a lowercase “b” is the same as a lowercase “d”! etc.) For less potential for loss, I made sure to only include enough pieces to make each lowercase and uppercase letter at the same time. The other pieces are being held for when pieces go missing.

Flash cards are an easy choice because this is a part of the kit that caregivers can throw in their diaper bag or purse/bag if they’re going to the grocery store. And there’s just something about having a small toy contained with a ring that really appeals to me — nothing to count and inventory for caregivers and our adult volunteers.


It’s the beginning of May and the ABCs Book Bundle has gone out 9 times (with two renewals) since launching at the end of November! I’m just as happy with renewals as check-outs. Maybe more so because the patrons want to keep the kit longer!

Preschool Storytimes

preschoolstorytime

Hello and welcome to Preschool Storytime! This is the page where I explain my typical preschool storytime routine. First things first, preschool storytime is for ages 3-6 and is an “on our own” storytime setting where caregivers do not attend with their child. Which means that my storytime runs more akin to a classroom setting. I do have an adult volunteer in the room with me who is able to shuttle kids back to their caregivers if they need the restroom.

Opening

Welcome & Introductions
This happens as I greet each child at the door instead of as a large group. I make sure that each child knows my name and either Miss K or Miss J’s name depending on what day it is. I introduce myself to the caregiver if I don’t already know them. I answer any questions for caregivers and I help the children separate from their grown-up. Most of the kids separate just fine (I had only one child who never separated this session and their grown-up just sat in the back with them), even if it takes a few weeks.

Name Tags
Each child has a pre-made name tag with Velcro on the back to attach to our free-standing flannelboard. I use this to take attendance and to learn everyone’s names. After I shut the door, we count how many friends are here today using the name tags. We also sort them by color (I always have two colors). I’m trying to think of a way to make the name tags more exciting next session. Maybe stickers for each week that they come. I’m not sure yet.

Opening Song
I sing “It’s Time to Say Hello to All My Friends” which I learned from Jbrary. (The video link is actually the goodbye version. For hello, I sing “It’s time to say hello to all my friends, it’s time to say hello to all friends, it’s time to say hello, stretch up high and touch your toe, it’s time to say hello to all my friends.”

Letter of the Day
When I took over preschool storytimes, I made the decision to buy Lakeshore Learning’s Alphabet Teaching Tubs for the library. I use them in the same way that I did during Growing Readers storytime. I pulled out items and the kids identify them. Then we practice the sound of the letter together: “S-s-s-sun!” Afterwards, I ask them to help me find the lowercase letter and the uppercase letter: “What color is the uppercase S?”

Program
I plan a lot more than I actually use. I plan 3-4 books, 1-2 puppet activities, 1-2 flannelboard activities, 1-2 music choices, and 4 fingerplays/movement that I can grab. There is absolutely no way that I would USE all of these activities, books, and songs in a single program, but I wanted to have them.

Closing

Rhyme
I used Melissa‘s “This Is Big, Big, Big” as the beginning of my closing routine. I use it in every storytime program that I do. Ever. They love it!

Closing Song
I sing “It’s Time to Say Goodbye to All My Friends”. I always tell the kids if they can’t wink, to cover one eye and be a pirate. This

Take-Homes
Since caregivers are not in the room with us, I included a take-home handout that directly explains why I chose to do specific activities and what skills we are working on during the class. I also had a simple craft included so that caregivers could participate at home on the theme of the week. I also decided to include this activity because my co-worker used to do crafts during the class. I didn’t want to use class time, but still wanted to give the kids that chance to create at home. These were packaged together in a plastic ziploc bag every week.

There you have the framework of my preschool storytimes. In my write-ups, I’ll talk about what I actually used and what worked/didn’t. I’ll also likely talk about why I didn’t use some materials. As always, if I did a theme multiple times, I’ll write about all the sessions in the same post.

Outreach Storytime: 5/5

I do a regularly scheduled (sometimes twice monthly and sometimes just monthly) at a local business that we’ve partnered with. For these storytimes geared towards ages 3-6, I’ve thrown out themes! I’m just reading favorites books, new books that strike my fancy, and doing favorite flannels/props/activities. Materials starred are the ones used at the storytime. Other than this difference, I’ll report on these like I do with all of my other storytimes.

The Plan

Books

outreach-55

Hooray for Fish! by Lucy Cousins*
I Ain’t Gonna Paint by Karen Beaumont*
Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin and James Dean*
Ten in the Bed by Jane Cabrera*
What a Wonderful World by Tim Hopgood

Extension Activities

Flannelboard: “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?”*

Flannelboard: “Paintbrushes”*

Prop Sticks: “Green Says Go”*

Props: “Song Cube”*

Action Rhyme: “Dance Your Fingers”*
Dance your fingers up,
Dance your fingers down,
Dance your fingers side to side,
Then dance them all around.
Dance them on your shoulders,
Dance them on your head,
Dance them on your knees,
Then put them straight to bed.
Credit: Best Kids Book Site (site no longer has link)

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!
In five, four, three, two, one, BLASTOFF!
Credit: Jbrary

How It Went

This was a hard storytime to do. My location within the store moved to a much smaller location with less horizontal space and more vertical space, which made my families further away from me. I thought that the most books were Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons for the song engagement and Hooray for Fish! because of the trim size of the book. Other than that, props were a big hit today. Also had some very interesting conversations (one involving a political candidate and a child expressing their opinion of the candidate) while reading. All in all, a good storytime. But I will be making some adjustments for next time.

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