Saturday, March 28, 2015

Baby Storytime--Good Night

Half of the group today were new families!  It is always fun and exciting to meet new babies (and try to remember their names!)  Everyone seemed to enjoy the program!


The More We Get Together
We Say Hello!
Little Bear
Cheek, Chin!
Tick Tock
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
Our Hands Say Goodbye

Here is the post with all the words.

Early Literacy Tip
Children love to hear the same book over and over again.  Reading the same book multiple times helps children learn vocabulary, patterns, and rhythm.  Through each reading they gain new understanding about books, language, and the world around them.

Read Aloud

Time for Bed
Mem Fox; illustrated by Jane Dyer
I read about half the book: mouse, goose, cat, cow, sheep, dog, and deer
I skipped: horse, fish, bird, bee and snake
This made the length just about right for the babies

Shared Reading

A variety of books about bedtime including:

Sally Symes; illustrated by Nick Sharratt

Time for Bed
Nick Horacek

Play/Social Time
I think the moms/grandmas/nannies had as much fun being together as the babies did!  I hated to end the program...

Moon and Stars Storytime

This is an "extra" storytime I got to do this month!  Horray!


Cindy Moo
Lori Mortensen; illustrated by Jeff Mack

Make a Wish Bear
Greg Foley

Songs/Rhymes/Flannel Board

Four Little Stars

Four little stars winking at me.
One shot off and then there were three.
Three little stars with nothing to do.
One shot off and then there were two.
Two little stars afraid of the sun.
One shot off and then there was one.
One little star, alone is no fun.
It shot off and then there were none!

We're Going to the Moon!
(can be sung to Itsy Bitsy Spider)

Climb aboard the spaceship
We're going to the moon!
Hurry up get ready
We're going to blast off soon!
Put your helmets on
And buckle up real tight
Here come the countdown
Let's count with all our might!
5, 4, 3, 2, 1, BLASTOFF!

Play and Learn Activities

Hey Diddle, Diddle Activity

Black paper and white chalk drawings

Coloring page

Learn to draw a star dot-to-dot

Train Set


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Baby Storytime--Bedtime

We celebrated the first day of spring with new songs, rhymes, and bounces at baby storytime!  Here is the post with all the words.


We Say Hello!
The More We Get Together
Little Bear in the Tree
Check, Chin
Alabama, Mississippi (parachute)

Read Aloud

Time for Bed
by Mem Fox; illustrated by Jane Dyer

Shared Reading

A variety of board books featuring bedtime or night time including Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang and Say Goodnight by Helen Oxenbury.

Play and Learn

I have started dividing the toys into two bins so that it is easier for babies to reach toys.  This seems to help those first few chaotic minutes when the toys first come out.  It also helps at clean up time because I can completely put away one bin while still having some toys out for the last of our babies.  A grandparent requested the tunnel, so I pulled that out again.  Even more brave ones this weeks who crawled through!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Preschool/Daycare Fair

When I started this blog I had said I would put up my well as my failures.  well, this past Saturday the preschool/daycare fair was basically a total bust! Grr...!!

The idea of the fair was a "one-stop childcare"...parents could come to one location to talk to several different childcare or preschool facilities--thus helping to alleviate the need to call and visit many different places when they were looking.

In January I wrote to about 25 preschools and daycares within the valley to invite them to participate in the fair.  In February I emailed another invitation.  In early March I visited several childcare centers to invite them personally.  For all that...I got four centers (two low-income preschool/daycares, 1 preschool, and 1 after school/summer camp center) and an Early Achievers rep.

That was kind of disappointing...I was hoping for at least 10.  But what was MORE disappointing was having just 2 (yes, only TWO) families come to the fair.

Thoughts about the fair...

  • Idea driven vs. member driven program--is it really meeting needs?
  • Basement meeting room is not an ideal place
  • Is Saturday afternoon the best time?
  • Didn't get the publicity it really needed--a flyer just doesn't cut it!
  • Though I am not assigned as the outreach storytime presenter to most of the preschools/daycares I invited, I either need to make personal contact sooner or really encourage the presenters to talk up the fair when they visit.
My boss has already said we will be doing the fair again next year...soooooo...what will I do differently to make it more successful next year?

Alligator Storytime

I had alligator name tags and an alligator stamp, so you would have thought Henrietta, my puppet, would have brought an alligator to storytime to show everyone.  Instead she brought a monkey...actually she brought FIVE monkeys!  Which lead into our 5 Little Monkey Swinging in a Tree flannel board song.


Snip Snap! What's That?
by Mara Bergman; illustrated by Nick Maland

Doodle Bites
by Polly Dunbar

Songs/Flannel Board/Movement

Five Little Monkeys

5 little monkeys swinging in a tree
Teasing Mr. Alligator, "You can't catch me!"
Along comes Mr. quiet as can be...
And SNAP that monkey right out of the tree!

Continue counting down until all the monkeys are gone.

Are You Sleeping?
Are you sleeping? Are you sleeping?
Little alligator, little alligator?
Wake up little alligator
Wake up little alligator
Chomp, chomp, chomp!
Chomp, chomp, chomp!

Additional Verses:

Play and Learn

We received new toys for our children's area--so we tried them out today in storytime.

Shape Sorting Cube
Shape Sorting Cube Classic Toy
Latches Board

Latches Board

Magnetic Number Maze
Magnetic Number Maze


Walk/Balance on masking tape on the floor (including parallel lines with "alligators" in the pit)

Magnetic Alphabet Letters

Spring Session Songs and Rhymes

Here are some of the songs, rhymes, and bounces we will be doing at baby storytime over the next few months (roughly March 2015-May 2015)

We Say Hello!
(tune: Farmer in the Dell)
We say hello to ______________
We say hello to ______________
We say hello to ______________
We're glad you're here today!

Little Bear
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!

I Have a Little Duck 
(tune: Wheels on the Bus)
One little duck that says quack, quack, quack
Quack, quack, quack
Quack, quack, quack
One little duck that says quack, quack, quack
All day long!
Continue with other animals

There was a little grasshopper,
Always on the jump.
Because he never looked ahead,
He always went bump! (gently drop baby between legs)
From The Book of Bounces; compiled by John M. Feierabend

Baby Hokey Pokey

You put your arms up,
You put your arms down
You put your arms up,
And you wave them all around
You tickle, tickle, tickle
And you wiggle, wiggle, wiggle
That’s what it’s all about, clap, clap
Continue with different body parts

The More We Get Together
The more we get together, together, together
(lean forwards and back)
The more we get together the happier we’ll be.
We’ll go this way and that way, and this way and that way  (lean side to side)
The more we get together the happier we’ll be.  
(lean forwards and back)

Come Along and Sing With Me
(tune: Mary Had a Little Lamb)
Come along and clap with me,
Clap with me, clap with me.
Come along and clap with me
On a (windy, sunny, rainy, etc.) Friday!
Additional verses:  Tap, sway, jump

Rub-a-dub-dub, one child in a tub,
(rub knuckles gently up and down child's chest)
Tell me what you see.
One foot with toes, (point to parts of child's body)
A hand, a nose,
As clean as they can be! (rub hands together)

Rub -a-dub-dub, one child in a tub,
(rub knuckles gently up and down child's chest)
Tell me what you see.
Two ears, a cheek, (point to parts of child's body)
So clean they squeak, (gently rub child's cheeks)
A chin, a tummy, a knee. (point to parts of child's body)

Rub -a-dub-dub, one child in a tub,
(rub knuckles gently up and down child's chest)
Tell me what you see.
Legs and arms, (point to parts of child's body)
So clean and warm.
Do they have a hug for me?

Tick Tock
Tick tock tick tock,
I’m a little cuckoo clock.
Tick tock tick tock
Now I’m striking 1 o’clock!
Reapeat with 2 o’clock & 3 o’clock

Cheek, Chin
Cheek, chin, cheek chin, cheek chin
Cheek, chin, cheek chin, cheek chin
Cheek, chin, cheek chin, cheek chin
Up baby goes!

Our Hands Say Goodbye
Our hands say goodbye with a clap, clap, clap,
Our feet say goodbye with a tap, tap, tap.
Clap, clap, clap!  Tap, tap, tap!
We roll our hands around and say...
"Let's do it again!" *

* Second time through, replace with "Goodbye!"

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

What Do I Say?

​Storytime is not just for the children!  It is also a program for the adults who bring them.  This is why sprinkling in early literacy tips is important during storytime. I know, easier said than done!  It can be scary and intimidating to speak directly to the parents/adults but we have excellent information to share about early literacy, brain development, school readiness, and so forth.  We need to share this information with parents and caregivers! 

I have found that writing it down a tip ahead of time helps me to think through what information I would like to share and it also helps me to remember to share the tip with the adults. Even if you don’t think the adults will care, say it anyway! 

Here are a few examples of what you could to say from the “Grow Up Reading” Website:
  • Reading to babies right from birth stimulates their mind, develops language skills and lays a foundation for later reading success.
  • You can encourage comprehension by asking your child questions when you read together and by encouraging him to expand on his thoughts and feelings about the book.
  • Singing songs with your child helps them hear words being broken up into smaller sounds.  Later this skill helps with reading.
  • Play games such as Simon Says to promote following direction and learning body part names.

Still not sure “what to say”?  Take a look at these websites that have prewritten early literacy tips.  Copy one down and share it in storytime!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Shadow Storytime

We have finally been having some sunny days...after a long winter of cloudy/overcast days!  So we celebrated the sun by talking about shadows!  It was a very fun storytime!

The Black Rabbit
by Philippa Leathers

Guess Whose Shadow?
by Stephen R. Swinburne

Songs/Flannel Board/Movement

My Shadow Movements

If I walk, my shadow walks
If I run, my shadow runs,
And when I stand still, as you can see,
My shadow stands beside me.
When I hop, my shadow hops,
When I jump, my shadow jumps,
And when I sit still, as you can see,
My shadow sits beside of me.
Shadow, Shadow
Shadow, shadow turn around
Shadow, shadow touch the ground
Shadow, shadow dance on your toes
Shadow, shadow touch your nose
Shadow, shadow jump up now
Shadow, shadow take a bow
Shadow, shadow stomp your feet
Shadow, shadow take your seat.

Guess the Shadow
Shadow, shadow that I see
Shadow, shadow what can it be?

I just found clipart and cut out a black "shadow" from cardstock as I cut out the clipart. I put the shadow up first and let the children guess what it was.  They did very well! 

Here's the tricky one...


Shadow Play
Children cut out shapes from cardstock, colored, and taped on a craft stick.  I had a desk lamp set up and they made shadows with their stick puppets.

Henrietta's shadow!
Shadow Matching Game (from Busy Little Bugs)

Shadow Matching Farm Animal "worksheet" (from Gift of Curiosity)


Magnetic Shadow Guess/Match

I had one little girl who absolutely loved doing the shadow guessing game.  She even used my wording, "This will be tricky!".

Family Construction Zone--Take 2

Last Saturday I took Family Construction Zone on the road to one of our smaller branches.  Since the meeting room was smaller I just took 4 or the 5 stations.  It was challenging transporting all those tubs of blocks--there must be an easier way!

We had a small turn out for the event, but those that were there had a good time.  One advantage to a small crowd was I got to build with kids.  One boy and I made fortresses and then tried to destroy each others using a cylinder block.  Here are some of our creations we made.

Dog Sledding @ the Library!

As part of our Big Read this year featuring Jack London's Call of the Wild we invited the Inland Empire Dog Sled Association to visit several of our branches and discuss dog sledding.  We had three members (well, actually four if you count the Siberian Husky sled dog!) visit our library a few weeks ago.  We heard about the history of dog sledding, how it has evolved over the years, and some basics of dog sledding.  They brought some of the equipment they use to show us as well.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Seed Library Update

This past week we have finished up our gardening workshop series in conjunction with our Seed Library kickoff.  

The classes were hugely popular...some coming from out of town to attend!  Our little meeting room was packed tight every week!  Our classes included:
  • Propagation from Seeds
  • Gardening in the Inland Northwest
  • Soil and Composting
  • Growing Tomatoes from Seed to Harvest
  • Vegetable Gardening 101
We have also checked out over 600 seed packets!!

The real test of this innovative project will be if members bring back seeds.  So to keep momentum going we are working on a gardening series for the fall.  We hope to include: Saving Seeds and Putting Your Garden to Bed for the Winter.

We have had so many positive comments about this project.  I hope it continues to be successful!

Baby Storytime--Colors

We had several new families join us for Baby Storytime!  It is great to have new faces and wonderful to see familiar faces too!  I won't be at storytime next week because I will be at a training (for ironic!)  But I will be starting our Spring Session the following week with a few different songs and bounces.

(can be found  this post)

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

Read Aloud

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

Shared Reading

Maisy's First Colors

Zoom:  A Fast-paced Book of Colors!

Play and Learn
Among our regular toys we also had some tunnel fun!!  We had some brave babies who went through the tunnel!!  The little balls that light up helped to encourage them through! :)

Penguin Storytime

My storytimes have started to skew to younger children.  It is advertised as an "All Ages" storytime (ages 2-5) but for the last several weeks I have gotten more 2 and 3 year-olds and not so many preschoolers.  So I have started to adjust my storytimes to three shorter books instead of two longer books.  So far so good!

If You Were a Penguin
by Wendell and Florence Minor

Up & Down: A Lift-the-flap Book
by Britta Teckentrup

Penguins, Penguins, Everywhere!
by Bob Barner

Songs/Rhymes/Flannel Board

Six Little Penguins
by Nancy J. Smith

Six little penguins off an iceberg did dive
One bumped its head and then there were five.

Five little penguins swam the ocean floor.
One saw a whale and then there were four.

Four little penguins twirled around, wheeee!
One spun off and then there were three.

Three little penguins with nothing to do
One went fishing and then there were two.

Two little penguins having lots of fun
One slid away and then there was one.

One little penguin, when the day was done,
Waddle home to sleep and then there were none.

One Little Penguin
(Tune: Five Little Ducks)

One little penguin in the snow
Waddles fast and waddles slow
Flaps his wings and calls, "Come on!"
"Join me for some winter fun!"

Two little penguins in the snow
Waddle fast and waddle slow
Flaps their wings and calls, "Come on!"
"Join us for some winter fun!"

Continue counting up to five.

Play and Learn

Penguin coloring sheet/Dot-to-dot

Gone Fishing (color sorting) from Criss-Cross Applesauce

Ice Sensory Play

Compare sizes
How tall are you compared to penguins?!

Fishing Activity  (from Lakeshore)

Colored beads (from Lakeshore)