Tuesday, July 29, 2014

"At the Beach" Storytime

I finally got to get back to the thing I truly love about being a librarian--storytime!!  After weeks of training and trying to figure out a new library (policies, collection, staff, expectations, etc) it felt so good to get back to something I felt totally comfortable with!!

Three times a month I will present an "all ages" storytime at Otis Orchards Library.  I am so excited to get to know the children and families and to share my love of books and the importance of early literacy!

However, in all the stress of a new job, I forgot my camera.


Tippy-Tippy-Tippy, Splash!  by Candence Fleming and G. Brian Karas
I loved this book...but it was a little long for this group.  They did really well during the story, but when I was finished one of the children commented, "That was a really long story!"   I'll probably try shorter stories and work my way up to longer ones!

The Crocodile Who Didn't Like Water  by Gemma Merino

Songs/Rhymes/Fingerplays/Flannel Board

Repeating songs

Five Little Starfish  (source)
Five little starfish by the shore,
The yellow one got lost and that left four.
Four little starfish in the sea,
The blue one swam far away and that left three.
Three little starfish in the ocean blue,
The red one took a seahorse ride and that left two.
Two little starfish in the sun,
The orange one took a dive and that left one.
One little starfish swimming along,
The green one floated towards home and that left none!

Can't Wait to Celebrate on Jim Gill's Irrational Anthem CD
The children loved the "freeze" part!

Five Little Fishes
Five little fishes swimming in the sea
Teasing Mr. Shark, "You can't catch me!"
Along came Mr. Shark, as quiet as can be
And snap that fish right out of the sea!

Continue counting down to one.

Play and Learn Activities
I love that the new library system I'm working at includes activities at the end of storytime.  They call it "Play and Learn".  It is very similar to my "Enrichment Activities" I did at my old library.  I feel strongly about giving the children (and parents!) the opportunity to play--one of the five practices that build a foundation for reading.  Playing and exploring builds experiences and lends nicely to talking.  In my new position I hope to encourage other storytime presenters to be more "intentional" in their play and learn portion of storytime.  Instead of just putting out a bunch of toys and activities make the experiences meaningful.  And I firmly believe that less is more when it comes to activities.  Four or five choices is sufficient!

  • Take a closer look at shells using magnifying glasses
  • Octopus "craft" (source)
  • Sink and Float "experiment"
  • Parachute

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Repeating Songs for Summer

Over the summer I will be presenting a weekly "all ages" storytime.  These will be the songs we sing each week.

Welcome Song...
My Hands Say Hello
(Tune: The Farmer in the Dell)

My hands say hello
My hands say hello
Every time I see my friends
My hands say hello.

Then we say hello with other body parts:
Nose (tap your nose)
Elbows ("wave" with elbows)
Knees (bend knees)
Feet (stomp)
Tongue (stick out tongue while we sing!)

Rhyme Time Song...

I'm so happy that you've come to storytime
Now listen very carefully to my rhyme
Stand up straight...
And stomp your feet...
Clap twice...
And take a seat
We'll be begin when I ring...
The rhyme chime.

Animal Good-byes

See ya later, Alligator!
Blow a kiss, Goldfish!
Be sweet, Parakeet!
Take care, Polar Bear!
Too-da-loo, Kangaroo!
Give a hug, Ladybug!
See ya soon, Raccoon!
Bye-bye, Butterfly!
Out the door, Dinosaur!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


“There was a farmer who had a dog and Bingo was his name-o.”  As a child I hated singing that song because I could never remember which letters to say or when to clap or how many times to clap.  It was never a fun song for me, instead it caused me stress!  I have learned/developed four “tricks” that has made this song fun to sing with preschool children!

1. Think beyond just Bingo the dog!  What other words have five letters you can sing about?  I have sung about teddy, donuts, hippo, daddy, heart, green, and rainy using the tune to Bingo.  Some of the songs I found online and others I made up myself.

2.  Display the letters of the word.  This is a perfect time to discuss the importance of letter recognition with the parents and caregivers!  I like to put the letter on one side of a card—you can write it out, print it out, or use die cut letters.  Point to each letter as you sing.  I also review the letters before we sing the next verse.

3.  On the other side of the letter card glue a picture of hands clapping.  When we “take away” a letter and replace it with a clap we just turn the card over.  Now the children can visually see the letters to sing and the number of times to clap.  You can use magnets or strings to hang the letter/clap cards.

4. Sing the song “backwards”.  I saw this on a storytime blog and decided to try it—and it has worked extremely well.  Take the letters away from the back first.  Having the claps come at the end instead of the beginning helps the children sing the letters and then clap the correct number of times.  So the second verse of R-A-I-N-Y  goes like this:
There is a day when I get wet
And rainy is the weather
And rainy is the weather!

Link to Teddy
Link to Heart

Friday, June 20, 2014


I have accepted a position as a Librarian on the Developing Young Learners team at the Spokane County Library District.  I will continue to post my ideas for children's programming and storytimes, but it will be several more weeks, as I am currently going through training at my new position.

I am excited to be able to present a weekly Baby Lapsit beginning in the fall and later this summer I will begin an "all ages" storytime three times a month.

Being a member of a large team as well as a large library district will take some adjusting!  My library experiences have only been with a single library within a city and being on a team of two!  But I am excited for this new opportunity for growth in my professional development!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Fizz, Boom, Read!

Summer Reading is here again!!  

And we are going to have a great time with our science theme this year!!

This year we tried something new--having a week of pre-registration for the reading club--instead of signing up on the first day of the program.  Children can start recording their days on Tuesday--our first day of the Summer Reading Program.  Our program runs from Tuesday, May 27 through Friday, July 11th.  All of our programs are free and open to the public.  Some events do require pre-registration.

Some of our programs will include:
  • Kickoff event with Wildlife Encounters
  • Park and Read at Washington Park every Monday at noon
  • Legos @ your library every Tuesday from 10-11 AM
  • Mad Scientist University (for students entering 1st - 6th grades)  Four Tuesday afternoon sessions in June
  • Baby & Me Storytime every Wednesday and Thursday at 9:15 AM
  • Power Up and Read Storytime every Wednesday and Thursday at 10 AM
  • Song and S'mores
  • Stories and S'mores
  • Evening storytimes
  • Stuffed Animal Sleepover
  • And a Storytime Play Day!!

Visit our library's website for more details!!

We will also continue our reading program--with small prizes as reading incentives.  (Read more about our reading program here). We have a special early literacy program for children birth through prekindergarten...

and our regular reading program for children going into kindergarten through 6th grade.

Hop, Hop, Horray!

It's Frog Jumping Day!  (May 13th!)  So most of the month of May we focused on FROGS at our Do It Yourself Table!

Here are the five activities children could when they visited the library...

Create a jumping frog craft (from freekidscrafts.com)  I fell in love with these adorable frogs!!

Play the Frog Food File Folder Game (from File Folder Fun)

Do a frog crossword puzzle (from dltk-kids.com)

Put the life cycle of a frog in order (from MontessoriMom.com)

Color a frog picture (from education.com)

Monday, May 5, 2014

R is for Rabbits

Outreach Storytime for Welcome School and Kindercare


What Noise does a Rabbit Make?  by Carrie Weston; illustrated by Richard Byrne

Tiny Rabbit's Big Wish  by Margarita Engle; illustrated by David Walked

Dinnertime!  by Sue Williams; illustrated by Kerry Argent


5 Little Bunnies  (words by Tammy Henry)
Sung to: 5 Little Ducks

5 little rabbits went out to play
Over the hills and far away
When Mother rabbit went thump, thump, thump

4 little rabbits came back; jump, jump!

[Continue counting down to zero]

1 little rabbit went out to play
Over the hills and far away
When Mother rabbit went thump, thump, thump
No little rabbits came back; jump, jump!

But when the Daddy rabbit went "THUMP! THUMP! THUMP!"
5 little rabbits came back; jump, jump!

Have you ever seen a bunny?
Sung to: Have you ever seen a lassie?

Have you ever seen a bunny, a bunny, a bunny
Have you ever seen a bunny that hops like this?
It hops, and hops, and hops, and hops
Have you ever seen a bunny that hops like this?

Additional verses:

Have you ever seen a bunny that hops so slow

Have you ever seen a bunny that hops so fast

Have you ever seen a bunny that hops on one foot