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!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Baby Storytime--Karen Katz

A baby storytime featuring author Karen Katz

(words found at this post)

Hello Song
Good Morning to You
Little Bear
Mother, Father and Uncle John
Mix and Stir
Humpty Dumpty
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
Two Little Hands

Read (Sing) Aloud
I wasn't sure how this would was a TON of fun!!  We only did these verse:
(We skipped 5 "verses"...the length was perfect without them)

Shared Reading
Board books written by Karen Katz including these...

Play and Learn

In addition to a "regular" toys we pulled out the tunnel and I brought a few new balls (that light up!)

Hat Storytime

Hooray For Hat! was the new book I read that inspired this storytime!  It was a lot of fun!

Hooray for Hat
by Brian Won

A Hat for Minerva Louise
by Janet Morgan Stoeke

Flannel Board/Songs

Scat the Cat and His Magic Hat

Once upon a time, there was a black cat. His mother was black, his father was black and his brothers and sisters were black, but one day he decided he did not want to be black anymore. So, he put on his magical hat, and he said, "I'm Scat the Cat and with my hat, I'm going to change my colors just like that!" And he changed himself into an orange cat, and he was as orange and orange could be. He was as orange as....?? (have the children give answers). But then he was tired of being orange, so he put on his hat and said, "I'm Scat the Cat and with my hat, I'm going to change my colors just like that!" 

Silly Hat Song
Use party hats…
(Tune: This Old Man)

On my head, I wear my hat.
It is such a silly hat
That my head will wiggle waggle to and fro
Where else can my silly hat go?

[Repeat using foot, elbow and knee.]

The children came up with some very fun body parts...ear, eye, nose.  Wish I had my camera!!
I had the children take their hat to the grown-up to brought them.  They got to decorate them after the stories.

When Winter Winds Blow
(adapted from When March Hats Blow)

When I hear the winter winds blow
I look up in the sky
Instead of things like birds or planes,
I watch the hats fly by.

Each one different from the last,
Every color do I see.
Some are big and some are small,
As they fly by me.

Here comes a blue (police officer) hat flying by,
Now a yellow (construction) hat in the sky.
Next a red (firefighter) hat on its way,
Then a brown (cowboy) hat flies away.

Green (ball cap) and black (top/magician), orange (party) and white (baker)
Even purple (snow)--what a sight!
I like it when there's rain and snow,
But most of all when winter winds blow!

Play and Learn

Of all the days to forget my camera...

Decorate "party hats" with foam stickers (hearts, flowers, alphabet, stars) and streamers!

Hat coloring page
This was a page with 8 winter hats on it.  I typed a color in each hat, then underlined the color word with its color.  The children then finished coloring the hats with the correct colors.


Lacing with buttons

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Outreach Storytimes--Cookies!!

I've had so much fun with this theme that I have done it for my outreach storytimes for January and into February!


The Cow Loves Cookies  
by Karma Wilson; illustrated by Marcellus Hall

Baking Day at Grandma's
by Anika Denise; illustrated by Christopher Denise

The Best Mouse Cookie
by Laura Numeroff; illustrated by Felicia Bond

Books for Toddlers

Mr. Cookie Baker
by Monica Wellington

Who Took the Cookie from the Cookie Jar? 
by David A. Carter 
(Lift the flap and pop-up version) 

Flannel Board

Five Little Cookies
Five little cookies at the bakery shop,
Shining bright with sugar Look so yummy with frosting on top.
Along came a ____________ with a nickel to pay,
He buys the __________ one and takes it away.

I'm glad I didn't glue the "frosting" on the cookie, because first we would count the cookies, then name the frosting color.

Who has the cookie? 
(Flannel Board Guessing Game)

Cookie, cookie soft and sweet
Who wanted to eat the tasty treat?

I used my "pet" animal magnet board pieces for this activity and hid a small clipart cookie behind one.  The children had fun guessing animals.

Soup's On! Storytime

When I planned this storytime I thought we would be in the midst of a cold winter...but it has been a very mild winter, not a huge pull for hot soup.  But the storytime was still very fun!


Fox Tale Soup
by Tony Bonning; illustrated by Sally Hobson

Soup For One
by Ethan Long

Songs/Rhymes/Flannel Board

We started our new Welcome Song today.  It is one I've used at storytimes in the past and I was excited to teach it to this group!

ABC Welcome
(sung to: ABC Song; words by Tammy Henry)

Welcome all to storytime
We will sing and we will rhyme
Read a book and then we'll play
Time for storytime, hip-hip-hooray!
Now we'll sing our ABCs
We'll do them all just wait and see!

Y and Z
Now I've sung my ABCs
Let's start storytime, yes-sir-ee!

Out in the Garden Early in the Morning

Out in the garden early in the morning
See the purple cabbages all in a row.
See the happy farmer coming out to pick them
Pick, pick, pick, pick
And off he goes.

Continue with the other vegetables
Red tomatoes
Green beans
Yellow squash
Orange carrots

The Soup is Boiling Up!
(tune: The Farmer in the Dell)

I printed off several different vegetable clipart pictures...and handed one out to each child.  When we sang about that vegetable they could come up and put it in the pot!

The soup is boiling up
The soup is boiling up
Stir slow around we go
The soup is boiling up.

First we'll add tomatoes
First we'll add tomatoes
Stir slow around we go
The soup is boiling up.

Next we'll add the _______

Continue add each vegetable and singing a verse about it.
End with:

Last we'll add the ________.

Make sure everyone gets a "taste" at the end if they want!

Play and Learn

Alphabet Soup

Vegetable Soup

Magnetic Letters