Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Scissor Skills

We've been talking a lot lately at Spokane Valley about scissor skills…or rather, the lack of scissor skills among our young (and not so young) members.

Children need lots of opportunities to practice cutting before they become proficient.  Storytime is an ideal place to practice scissors skills with children and to instruct parents and caregivers in teaching their children how to use scissors as well as the importance of scissor skills.

Reminders about scissor skills you may want to reiterate in storytime and one-on-one with the children:
  1. Thumb on top, three fingers on bottom
  2. Always keep the thumb on top when opening and closing the scissors.  I have even seen someone put colored tape on the handle to remind students to keep the scissors the correct direction.
  3. Sometimes cutting just for the sake of cutting is fun!  Not every cutting activity needs to part of a larger product.  For example:

  • Cut playdough “snakes”
  • Cut straws
  • Cut small pieces of paper (that can be cut in half with just one snip)
  • Cut “fringe” along a sheet of paper (just one snip, then later longer snips)
  • Place stickers in a line and have the child cut through the stickers

We have found several websites that offer scissor skill practice sheets.  These are easy to print off and have available during the play and learn part of storytime.  Here are a few:
practice cutting zig zag
printable scissors practice worksheets
Cutting On lines Worksheets

I have a Pinterest board with some websites that may be helpful to you as you plan activities that involve cutting or plan specific cutting activities.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Baby Storytime--December 12

I was excited...and a bit nervous for introducing all new songs and rhymes today.  Here is the link to all of them.

These are the ones we did today:

Hello Song

Good Morning To You

Little Bear

This is the Way the Lady Rides

Mix and Stir

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

Humpty Dumpty

Two Little Hands

Read Aloud Book

Hey Little Baby!  by Heather Leigh; illustrated by Genevieve Cote

Shared Reading

A variety of books featuring close up pictures of babies, including Global Babies and Look Baby Books by Margaret Miller

Play and Learn Activities

This week we did many of our "regular" toys including beach balls, stacking cups, scarves, discovery bottles, and a few "color boxes" from Lakeshore Learning.  Their favorite toy from the box?  The little ball!

Winter Session Songs and Rhymes

Here are the song, rhymes, and bounces we did for the Winter session of Baby Storytime (December 2014-February 2014)  We do six to eight each week. 

Hello Song
Tune: Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush
This is the way we clap hello, clap hello, clap hello
This is the way we clap hello - hello, hello, hello!

This is the way we tap hello...
This is the way we jump hello...

Good Morning To You
(Tune: Happy Birthday to You)
Good Morning to you,
Good morning to you,
Good Morning dear friends...
It’s Nice to See YOU!

'Round and 'Round the Garden
'Round and 'round the garden,
Goes the little mouse.
(draw circles on baby's back or tummy)
Up, up, up he creeps
(walk your fingers up baby's arm)
Up into his house.
(tickle under baby's arm)

'Round and 'round the garden,
Goes the teddy bear.
(draw circles on baby's back or tummy)
One step, two steps,
(walk your fingers up baby's arm)
Tickle you under there!
(tickle under baby's arm or chin)

This is the Way the Ladies Ride
(Parent legs out straight, baby facing them sitting on thighs)
This is the way the lady rides, the lady rides, the lady rides (gentle, slow bounces)
This is the way the lady rides so early in the morning.
This is the way the gentleman rides, the gentleman rides, the gentleman rides (faster bounces)
This is the way the gentleman rides so early in the morning.
This is the way the farmer rides, the farmer rides, the farmer rides (legs of parent alternate to make “bumpy bounce”)
This is the way the farmer rides so early in the morning. Boop! (open legs and let baby “fall”)

These Little Fingers
(tune:"The Wheels on the Bus")
These little fingers go wiggle, wiggle, wiggle,
wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle,
These little fingers go wiggle, wiggle, wiggle,
And now they're on my...head!
These little feet go tap, tap, tap

Mix and Stir
Mix and stir and pat in the pan (take baby’s hands and make stirring motion, then pat baby’s tummy)
I’m going to make a gingerbread man (trace outline of baby’s shape on head and shoulder with index finger)
With a nose so neat (touch baby’s nose)
And a smile so sweet (trace a smile on baby’s mouth)
And gingerbread shoes on his gingerbread feet. (pat baby’s feet)
From What’ll I do with the Baby-o?; by Jane Cobb

Two Little Hands
Two little hands go clap, clap, clap.
Two little hands lay in my lap.
Two little feet go bump, bump, bump.
Two little feet give one big jump!
Two little hands reach oh, so high.
Two little hands wave bye, bye, bye!

Humpty Dumpty
(Sit on floor with knees extended in front while bouncing baby)
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall (gently straighten legs)
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men  (gentle bounces)
Couldn't put Humpty together again.

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
Twinkle, twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are
Up above the world so high
Like a diamond in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are.

The Snowman
Roll him and roll him until he is big
Roll him until he is fast as a pig.
He has two eyes and a hat on his head.
He’ll stand there all night
While we go to bed.

Mother, Father and Uncle John
Mother, Father, and Uncle John Went to market one by one
Mother fell off (lean baby to one side)
Father fell off (lean baby to other side)
But Uncle John went on and on and on… (bounce faster and faster)

Alabama, Mississippi!  (From Jim Gill Sings The Sneezing Song and other Contagious Tunes CD)
(Parachute Play)
Alabama, Mississippi  (move parachute slowly)
Alabama, New Orleans
Alabama, Mississippi
Shake it on down to New Orleans! (move parachute fast)
Shake, shake, shake, shake it baby!
Shake, shake, shake, shake it baby!
Shake it on down to New Orleans!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Hibernation Storytime

This storytime evolved quite a bit from my initial plan.  I like how it finally came together and the children seemed to enjoy it a lot!


Baby Bear Counts One

Don't Wake Up the Bear!


Brown Bear

Brown bear, brown bear turn around
Brown bear, brown bear touch the ground. on your toes
...touch your nose
...reach up high
...touch the sky
...bend down low
...touch your toe
...jump up now
...take a bow
...turn out the light
...say "Good Night!"

There were 5 in the Bed
There were 4 in the bed
And the little one said,
"I'm crowded! Roll over!"
So they all rolled over
And one fell out.

Continue counting down to 1

There was 1 in the bed
And the little one said,
"I'm lonely!  Come back!"

There were 5 in the bed
And the little one said,
"Good Night!"

Pattern from Making Learning Fun


Put the bear to bed

Magnet board--put animals together

Animals Puppets (that hibernate)

Colored Beads

Straws and Connectors

December Outreach Storytimes

For the month of December I used the theme "Winter is Coming!" for my three outreach storytimes.

Three to four of the following books:

Time to Sleep by Denise Fleming

Hibernation Station by Michelle Meadows; illustrated by Kurt Cyrus

A Kitten Tale  by Eric Rohmann

Hello, Snow! by Hope Vestergaard; illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott

Don't Wake Up the Bear!  by Marjorie Dennis Murray; illustrated by Patrica Wittman
This is my favorite "hibernation/animals in winter book!

Two to three of the following songs:

The Hibernation Song
(Tune: Wheels on the Bus)

The weather's getting cold so bundle up
Bundle up, bundle up
The weather's getting cold so bundle up
Winter's on its way!

The bears in the cave sleep all the time...
The squirrels in the trees get lots of nuts...
The frogs and toads go deep in mud...
The ducks and the geese are flying south...
The people in the town wear hats and gloves...

Jingle Bells

(shake jingle bells slowly and quietly)
Dashing through the snow
In a one horse open sleigh
Over the fields we go
Laughing all the way
Bells on bobtail ring
Making spirits bright
What fun it is to laugh and sing
A sleighing song tonight.

(shake jingle bells fast and loud!)
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way!
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh--
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way!
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh!!

Five Little Snowmen
5 little snowmen riding on a sled
One fell off and bumped his head
Frosty called the doctor and the doctor said,
"No more snowmen riding on the sled!"

Continue down to one.

Got Legos?

When I started a Lego program at my former library I thought I had ordered a good amount of Legos... Six tubs ($500) worth of Legos!  There was always plenty of Legos to go around--even with the larger groups (of around 50 people).

Here are the Legos at my new library district...

Yes, 64 tubs of Legos plus 14 tubs of Duplos!!  Now that is a lot of Legos!!  Basically each child got their own tub (whereas at my old library 3-4 children shared one tub).  Obviously the district had more than just $500 to spend on Legos.  I also found out they bought their Legos "by the pound" off Ebay.  To tell you the truth I think this amount of Legos is an overkill.  Even with all the creations made there was barely a dent made in the number of Legos!

Here are a few of the cool Lego creations made at the all day build event!

Who knew Legos could be put together like this!


Santa's Rocketship

Rosemary Wells Storytime

Another author storytime that I was very excited to I have meet Rosemary Wells in person and have a signed copy of "Read To Your Bunny"!  She is a great advocate of the importance of reading everyday.  Her analogy--you brush your teeth every day, so read every day.  If you miss one day you don't stop, you get right back at it! I have fond memories of sharing Max and Ruby books with my own children.

Noisy Nora

I edited the language of the sister--I just don't like the "Why are you so dumb?"  Instead I said,
"Quiet!", said her father.
"Hush!", said her mom.
"Nora!", said her sister,
"Why can't you stay calm?"

Max and Ruby's Treasure Hunt


Sing a Song of Opposites (from The complete Daily Curriculum for Early Childhood, Revised (2011), Pam Schiller and Pat Phipps, p. 292)
(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 is small
Sing along with me!

Tall and short
Happy and sad
Fast and slow
Loud and quiet

Hey Diddle Diddle
Hey diddle, diddle
The cat and the fiddle
The cow jumped over the moon
The little dog laughed to see such sport
And the dish ran away with the spoon!


Treasure Hunt
I copied all the rhymes from Max and Ruby's Treasure Hunt.  I found clipart of all the things Max and Ruby had found in the book.  I put the clipart around the children's area and the children searched for each item.

When they finished the treasure hunt they received a gold coin--just like Max and Ruby!

I used Microsoft Word to make this fill in the blank rebus of Hey Diddle Diddle nursery rhyme.  I chose this rhyme because 1. it was in Max and Ruby's Treasure Hunt and 2. it had a lot of nouns!

The pictures are from PreKinders.  I printed four sheets to a page to make them small enough to fit onto one page.  The picture cues help children to retell the nursery rhyme.  They also enjoyed cutting and pasting!

To honor Noisy Nora we made our own noise makers with paper plates and pony beads.  Very simple, but very fun (and noisy!!)

The children also got to explore a variety of musical insturments!

Coloring sheet from Rosemary Wells' website