Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Two Kinds of Play

At the Starting Strong conference in August I attended a workshop presented by the Institute of Learning and Brain Science (ILABS) from the University of Washington about the Power of Play.  There I learned about two kinds of play and the importance of both in fostering child development.
  • Free Play
  • Guided Play

Free play does not mean “free-for-all”.  Children are given parameters and specific supplies to use during free play.  But this is the play that is both child initiated and child directed.  They are choosing to play and they are determining what and how play will proceed.  The child (or children) set their own “rules” of play (think about children playing house—“you be the mom and I will be the baby”).  Children are left to explore and manipulate the supplies in a way that they want, that fit into the preset parameters.  Free play is important for children so they can experiment, manipulate, discover, try new things, test ideas, and try again.  

However, children cannot learn all that they need to just through free play.  This is where guided play comes in.  This kind of play is still child centered, however, adults gently ask questions to the child during play that assists in learning.  Such questions may include: “How many? What color? How else could you…? Why did that work/not work?  Tell me about what you are doing.”  This helps the child to make connections and think critically, which they may not be able to on their own.

We need to explain to parents and caregivers the two kinds of play and why they are both important.  One way we can do this is through incorporate both of these kinds of play into our play and learn storytimes.  ...letting kids explore on their own, but also take opportunities to talk to children about what they are doing.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Tub Time! Storytime

You can never go wrong with a bath-themed storytime, followed by water play!


Dini Dinosaur
by Karen Beaumont; illustrated by Daniel Roode

Squeaky Clean
by Simon Puttock; illustrated by Mary McQuillan

Flannel Board/Songs

Flannel Board:  Five Elephants in the Bathtub

One elephant in the bathtub, going for a swim
Knock, knock (clap twice)
Splash, splash (slap knees twice)
Come on in!

Continue adding elephants one at a time until...

Five elephants in the bathtub going for a swim
Knock, knock
Splash, splash
They all fell in!

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

My Hands
My hands upon my head I'll place
Upon my shoulders, on my face
At my waist and by my side
And then behind me they will hide
Then I will raise them way up high
And let my fingers fly, fly, fly
Then clap, clap, clap and 1, 2, 3
Let's sit down, quietly.

Play and Learn

Water Table with duckies and other water toys
Musical Instruments
Coloring Page

Of course, the water table was most popular, following closely by the bubbles!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Baby Storytime

It looks like I will only be doing baby storytime every other week in September because of meetings!  So since I missed last week I was very excited to see "my" babies this week!

words can be found here

Hands are Clapping
Hello Song
Little Bear
When Cows Get Up in the Morning
Tiny Little Babies
Roly Poly
If You're Happy and You Know It
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Hey Diddle Diddle
Humpty Dumpty
One Bright Scarf

Read Aloud Book

How About a Kiss for Me?
by Todd Tarpley; illustrated by Liza Woodruff

Shared Reading
A variety of board books featuring animals including

published 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
(ISBN 9780544512658)

Mommy! Mommy!
by Taro Gomi

Play and Learn

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Dragon Storytime

A big group of young preschoolers with school having started last week.  It was a fun storytime that one of my co-workers put together.  Thanks Kelsey!


The Sunflower Sword
by Mark Sperring; illustrated by Miriam Latimer

How to Dress a Dragon
by  Thelma Lynne Godin; illustrated by Eric Barclay


ABC Welcome Song

Flannel Board: Colored Dragons
(written and created by my talented co-worker, Cindy!)

In my family, we see dragons.
For us all it's quite a game.
Why not play with me today and
Dragons' colors we will name.

Each and every sleepy nighttime,
When I crawl into my bed,
There's a dragon on my pillow
And he is colored red.

In the morning when I get up,
And switch on the bathroom light,
In the bathtub hides a dragon
And she is colored white.

When I'm hungry and go looking
For a snack or juice to drink
There's a dragon in the kitchen,
And he is colored pink.

When we need to get some groceries,
Dad and I drive into town.
There's a dragon by the roadside!
And she is colored brown.

At the park when we are hiking,
And Mom stops to tie my shoe,
Atop a rock we see a dragon--
And he is colored blue.

When we get hot and cranky
Brother and I are sent out back
There's a dragon in our wading pool!
And she is colored black.

Working warmly in the garden,
Sis and I pick ripe string beans.
A dragon's munching our tomatoes--
And she is colored green.

We see dragons everywhere, now.
They are friendly, smart and mellow.
My most favorite is the smallest--
And he is colored yellow.

Though our color game is over,
Just tell me, please, if YOU know:
How many dragons are there
In this living dragon rainbow?

If You're Happy and You Know It

Clap your hands
Stomp your feet
Shout "Hooray!"
Do all three

Dragon, Dragon

Dragon, Dragon turn around
Dragon, Dragon touch the ground.
Dance on your toes
Touch your nose
Reach up high
Touch the sky
Bend down low
Touch your toe
Jump up now
Take a bow
Stomp your feet
Take a seat.

Play and Learn

Make a flying dragon (from Create in the Chaos)
Duplo Legos
Straws and Connectors
Sorting Dinos
Pool Noodle "Blocks"
Coloring sheet

Friday, September 9, 2016

Unusual Animals Storytime

A catch all theme for all those adorable animals that only have a book or two...


Wombat Walkabout
by Carol Diggory Shields; illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Who Has This Tail?
by Laura Hulbert; illustrated by Erik Brooks


ABC Welcome

The Bean Bag Song
(tune: If You're Happy and You Know It)

There's a bean bag on my hair, on my hair
There's a bean bag on my hair, on my hair
There's a bean bag on my hair, now leave it right up there
There's a bean bag on my hair, on my hair.

Additional verses:

There's a bean bag on the ground, now step and step around

There's a bean bag on my toe, lift it high and lift it low

There's a bean bag on my hand, toss it up and watch it land.

Play and Learn

Arctic Animal Do-a-Dot Maze (from Gift of Curiosity)





Sunday, September 4, 2016

Summer Reads

We haven't had our book club all summer...but here are the books I've read, re-read, or listened to since June.

The Candymakers (re-read)
Wendy Mass
Image result for candymakers

The Secrets of Solace (audio)
by Jaleigh Johnson

The League of Unexceptional Children (audio)
by Gitty Daneshvari

The Boy at the Top of the Mountain
by John Boyne

Unlikely Warrior: A Jewish Solider in Hitler's Army (audio)
by Georg Rauch

Weekends with Max and His Dad
by Linda Urban; illustrated by Katie Kath

We will not be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement that Defied Adolf Hitler
by Russell Freedman

The Beautiful Pretender
by Melanie Dickerson

The Goose Girl (audio; re-read)
by Shannon Hale

Princess Academy (audio; re-read)
by Shannon Hale

Hitler Youth: Growing up in Hitler's Shadow (audio)
by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Pax (audio)
by Sara Pennypacker

Saturday, September 3, 2016

First Baby Storytime of the Fall

Like I said in my previous post...it's time to change up the songs at Baby Storytime!  My parents are great about singing along with me and learning the new rhymes and bounces!

Words can be found here

Hands are Clapping
Hello Song
Little Bear
When Cows Get Up in the Morning
Trot, Trot to Boston
Tiny Little Babies
Itsy Bitsy Spider
The Rain is Falling Down
Pease Porridge Hot
Hey Diddle Diddle
Two Little Hands

Read Aloud

The Cuddle Book
by Guido Van Genechten

Shared Reading
A variety of board books featuring animals including

by Giuliano Ferri

A Day at the Farm
published by Sterling Children's Books

Play and Learn