Friday, February 27, 2015

Outreach Storytime--Community Helpers

One of the preschool/daycare centers I went to this month requested a "Community Helpers" storytime.  Here is what I shared (age dependent)


Hardworking Puppies
by Lynn Reiser
Image result for hardworking puppies

Even Firefighters Hug Their Moms 
by Christine Kole MacLean; illustrated by Mike Reed

Guess Who?  
by Margaret Miller

Fire Engine Man
by Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha


The Wheels on the Bus

And somehow I forgot my "Find the Puppy" guessing activity.  I was NOT happy with myself...

Baby Storytime--Colors!

I was excited to be at storytime today after being ill last week.  Baby Storytime truly is the highlight of my week!  The babies are really starting to respond to my "Little Bear".  Their faces light up and there were squeals of delight today when the bear popped out.
Bear in Tree Stump Puppet  |  Folkmanis
Little Bear in the tree
Sitting oh, so still
Won't you come out?
Yes he will!
He looks to the left
He looks to the right
He looks straight ahead
Then he pops out of sight!

(can be found  this post)

Hello Song
Good Morning to You
Little Bear
Mother, Father, and Uncle John
Humpty Dumpty
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
Alabama, Mississippi (with parachute)

Read Aloud 

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
by: Bill Martin Jr.; illustrated by Eric Carle

Shared Reading

Books about colors including:

Eating the Rainbow: A Colorful Food Book

Colors (Say & Play)

Play and Learn

In addition to our "regular" toys we played with Color Discovery Boxes from Lakeshore

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Kids Club--Can You Believe Your Eyes?

Another interesting change with regards to programming in my new position--executing a program having not planned the program.  This is challenging for me!  Not that the program that had been planned was flawed, I am just used to having to do it all...decide on program, find ideas and think about what I want the program to look like, (change my mind), finalize plans, buy/gather supplies, THEN have the program.  So the 5 or 6 hours of planning and tweaking are lost.  I now open the box, pull out the instructions and supplies, set up the room and do the program with the kids.  I just didn't feel as prepared or excited like I usually am for programs.

Our Kids Club event today was all about our eyes!

I began by reading Whose Eyes are These?  A Look at Animal Eyes--Big, Round and Narrow by Peg Hall; illustrated by Ken Landmark

We also talked about why pirates might have worn an eye patch.  Google answer: Pirates frequently had to move above and below decks, from daylight to near darkness, and...the smart ones "wore a patch over one eye to keep it dark-adapted outside."

We then investigated four stations

Eye Model and Hello, Red Fox by Eric Carle


Penny Drop (using both eyes, then one eye)

Blind Spot

Make your own Phenakistoscope

Community Helpers Storytime

Have you ever had one of those storytimes that you are excited about, but then it just kind of "flops"?  Well, today was one of those days.  Storytime wasn't bad by any means, but it was a great program either.  To tell you the truth I really wasn't that excited about the theme until I came up with some fun enrichment activities.  I did this theme because I will be doing an outreach storytime next week and the school requested "Community Helpers"--not my first choose for a theme for storytime.  But since I had to develop it for my outreach I figured I might as well use it for regular storytime as well.

I even found some decent books...I thought of a fun guessing game...and several fun activities.  It just didn't go over all that well.  Anyway, here's what we did today.


Guess Who?
by: Margaret Miller

Clothesline Clues to the Jobs People Do
by Kathryn Heling and Deborah Hembrook
illustrated by Andrew Robert Davies

Hardworking Puppies
by Lynn Reiser

Songs/Magnet Board

The Wheels on the Bus
verses we did:
Doors (open and shut)
Driver ("Move on back!)
Wipers (swish, swish, swish)
Horn (beep, beep, beep)
Babies ("Waa, waa, waa!")
Mommies (Sh! Sh! Sh!)

Guessing Game
To end program we did a guessing game to go along with Hardworking Puppies.  Guess which job the puppy wanted to do today--with the puppy hiding behind one of the community helpers vehicle (fire engine, police car, dump truck, mail truck, ice cream truck, school bus, airplane, and tractor)


Dramatic Play

  • Deliver the Mail

  • Bakery (with playdough)
  • Construction Worker

Guessing Game

Career Hats cut and paste activity from The Education Center

Jez Alborough Storytime

I was introduced to Jez Alborough at storytime in Idaho when my first daughter was just two years old.  The theme was Teddy Bears and the children's librarian read Where's My Teddy?  My little girl absolutely loved the book and we read it many, many times.  My second daughter loved the book too...I read it so often I had it memorized (and 10 years later I still have it memorized!)  We absolutely feel in love with Bobo the little monkey in Hug.  The facial expression are so powerful in that simple, sweet book!
I was excited to find in our collection Watch Out! Big Bro's Coming!  My last library didn't have this book, so I'd nearly forgotten about it.  But the illustrations were unforgettable and I knew I wanted to share that book at storytime!


Watch Out! Big Bro's Coming!

Duck in the Truck

I decided to go with an opposite theme so we could talk about big and small with the book "Big Bro".

Sing a Song of Opposites
(tune: Mary had a Little Lamb; actions to suit words)

This is big and this is small
This is big
This is small
This is big and this this is small
Sing along with me!

Additional verses:

Parachute Opposites
(tune: Farmer in the Dell)
Words by Tammy Henry

The parachute goes up
The parachute goes down
Up! Down! Up! Down!
The parachute goes up...and down!

Additional verses
Round and round (it's too difficult for young ones to switch directions left/right, but older kids would enjoy it)
Fast/Slow again
End with up and down...and under!

Play and Learn

Heart Sort from PreKinders since it was Valentine's week

Opposite Matching Game

Super Duck Coloring Page


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Asking Questions

A blog post for staff training

One way to engage children in storytime is to ask questions.  This is beneficial in many ways such as: connecting the story to their lives, verbal skills, expressing self, learning from their peers, listening skills, predicting, inferring, and developing critical thinking skills.  We can ask many questions before, during and after reading a book.

This can be tricky, however, when you have a large group for storytime or if you have a group that tends to lose focus easily.  Here are a few tricks that can help you to ask more questions.

At the beginning of most storytimes ask a question to get the children thinking about the theme.  These are usually questions that can be answered yes/no by the raise of hands.  For example, “How many of you like to eat cookies?”  You can then ask about different kinds of cookies, such as chocolate chip and Oreo.  You can even throw in a “trick” question to see how well they are listening! “Who likes to eat cookies with worms?” 

Ask questions that allow children to answer in unison.  This works when there is just one “right” answer—such as:
  •  What animal is this?
  •  What sound does this animal make?
However, it’s important to ask more complex questions as children get older such as:
  • What are they doing?
  •  What do you think will happen?
  •  Why do you think they are doing that?
  •  What does this picture tell you about the story?

Two ideas that can help encourage answers to these more complex questions:

Before you ask a question tell the children that you want them to tell the answer to their adult. 

Announce that you will call on x number of children (three for example).  This works well if you will be asking several questions.  When you ask the next question call on children that didn't already answer a previous question.

Asking questions helps to not only engage children in storytime, but to help develop listening, verbal, and critical thinking skills.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Seed Library Kickoff!

Last Saturday was the kickoff of our Seed Library!!

In addition to opening up for checkouts of seeds we also hosted a seed swap...

...and a propagation of seeds workshop with a Master Gardener

We had a FULL HOUSE!!

We checked out more than 300 packages of seeds!