Summertime and the living’s easy

sol

 

Last week was a very summery storytime! After doing a 4th of July storytime, I thought I’d celebrate some other summery things. I read 3 books this week and did two active rhymes as well as a flannel board and craft, we were busy busy!

The books we read were

Summery Saturday Morning by Margaret Mahy

Happy Dog Sizzles by Lisa Gruff

It’s Summer! by Linda Glaser
I really liked the rhythm of Summery Saturday Morning but wished the book was a bit bigger or the images were brighter or more eye catching, it felt like a better book to read to a small group or just one on one, not sure why. The story is cute though and it moves quickly so it keeps interest pretty well and because each page repeats the line “On a summery saturday morning.” I did noticed some kids mouthing out the line as we got to it which is great!
I LOVED Happy Dog Sizzles! It was a really cute and fun read about a dog and a cat that are super hot and trying to cool down but in the process see a contest for the best walla-pa-do; I wanted to act parts out and wished that I had more time to think up a craft because I would have tried to have them make their own”Walla-pa-doos” It’s a fun guessing book and the illustrations are super bright and colorful and very unique, I really dug it.
We also did a flannel board version of the board book “Mouse’s First Summer” by Lauren ThompsonThis was fun because it’s very self explanatory in that the whole story is basically Mouse and Minka running into summery things and wondering what they are so I basically had the flannel pieces in order and just kinda fed off the kids and ad-libbed.

The whole thing went along the lines of “Mouse looked to her right and spied something new! it was (insert description of item here). “What’s that?!” said Minka!” and then the kids would either shout out their guesses or I’d try to help them before I’d put the item on the flannel board. I also used it as a memory game, as I often do with my flannel boards, and asked them questions like “What did Mouse and Minka see that way juicy and sweet?” and then I’ll give them more clues if they get stuck, it’s nice and interactive.
The two active rhymes we did were:

I’m a Little Sunflower

Tune:  I’m a Little Teapot
I’m a little sunflower look and see (stand up straight and tall)
Here is my stem and here are my leaves. (put arms to side then raise out like leaves)
When the sun comes up, I turn my head. (raise arms above head in arch and look up)
When the sun goes down I go to bed. (swing arms down then pretend to sleep)

And then I took “Two Little Black Bears” and made it into “Two Little Sunshines”

Two little sunshines

Two Little sunshines
Two little sunshines shining on a hill
One named Jack and the other named Jill
Run away Jack, run away Jill
Come back Jack, come back Jill

Two little sunshines shining on the snow
One shines fast and the other shines slow
Run away fast, run away slow
Come back fast, come back slow

Two little sunshines feeling very proud
One shines quiet and the other shines loud
Run away quiet, run away loud
Come back quiet, come back loud

Two little sunshines bouncing with a ball
One bounced short and the other bounced tall
Bounce away short, bounce away tall
Come back short come back tall

For that rhyme I wore yellow ribbon danglers bracelets and had two little die cut paper sun “puppets” that I used to demonstrate. The kids LOVE that rhyme regardless of if it’s bears or suns or whatever, they just love the motions involved and often come up with their own great ones. This time when I asked if the had any other things for the sunshines to do, one suggested “TICKLE!” so I made a verse

Two little sunshines tickling the green grass
One tickles slow and the other tickles fast
Tickle away slow, tickle away fast
Come back slow, come back fast

I think the slow fast verses are their favorites. hah. This rhyme would be great for an “opposites” themed storytime and I’m sure I’ll use it for that eventually.

I then ended with our last book, It’s Summer! because it led right into my craft. The book is part of a 4 book series about seasons and this one talks about different things one sees in the summer. I love the illustrations as they are full of dimension and it is also a book where the main character happens to be ethnically diverse. The book mentions sunflowers a couple of times and has an excellent image at the end of great big sunflowers.
The craft that we did was paper plate sunflowers. I had paper plates with the center cut out, then squares of brown paper, and strips of yellow and gold paper that I put out with brown crayons and glue. The premise was to color some seeds on the brown square then glue it the the inside of the plate, then glue the strips of yellow/gold paper around so that when you flipped it over, you had a great big sunflower! I also put out some flower stickers for them to use because who doesn’t love stickers?  I actually really loved this project because it was full of big bold shapes and colors which prompts great talks and give them a chance to use a variety of the fine and gross motor skills; then, in the end, they come out with a HUGE sunflower that was super simple to make!

 

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The youth department was so cheery with all the sunflowers floating around after storytime. 🙂

Next week I’ll continue my summery theme because there are just so many fun things to use and then after that is my second StoryTech! I STILL haven’t written about the first one so I think I’ll just hold off and combine the two.

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Happy birthday, USA!

 

free-patriotic-borders

 

America just celebrated it’s birthday! It’s 238 years old!

As far as nations go, we’re still a wee thing, but to kids, that’s like, FOREVER! I was a bit hesitant to do a fourth of July theme for storytime because we have such a diverse group of patrons that come to storytime and I was worried that they wouldn’t be as interested but then after looking through lists of good fourth of July books and seeing lots of them that weren’t just “hooray for USA”  I stopped and thought, uhm, hello, you have a diverse group of patrons, what a great time to use some really diverse books and take advantage of that unique situation!

Unfortunately I was only able to get my hands on one about a young Chinese girl and her family living in america and how they celebrate, it’s called “Apple Pie, 4th of July” by Janet S Wong. While the book doesn’t delve too deep into cultural differences, it does touch on it; I loved the line where the girl complains that nobody wants Chinese food on 4th of July and her father says “Fireworks are Chinese.” as he hands her a pan of sweet and sour pork. I thought it was a cute story and I really liked the illustration style.

We also read “Fourth of July Mice” by Bethany Roberts, “Hats off for the Fourth of July” by Harriet Ziefert and “Red, White,and  BOOM!” by Lee Wardlaw. All of those titles have pretty good rhythm to them though there were some bits where the rhythm changes and it tripped me up a little while reading out loud, but it just keeps me on my toes.
Fourth of July Mice is full of good noise words and lots of repetition and super cute mice while Red White and Boom has great rhymes and I felt allowed for me to ask lots of types of questions; anything from “What are they eating at their picnic?” to at the very end when I asked them to put their memory to the test and try to remember all the places we visited on our busy fourth of July (beach, park, and parade) . Our version of Hats off for the Fourth of July is a “big book” version so it was fun to see lots of big images and it also has a lot of great guessing prompts; “What do you think comes next?” “Have you seen horses in a parade?”

 

We  also did a quick and dirty flannel activity where I threw together a super basic felt birthday cake and 10 birthday candles and we talked about the US having a birthday and then did the birthday flannel board. The rhyme I used was “Ten little candles” and I found it hereI did modify it a tiny bit because I didn’t like one of the words so I changed it to “blow blow blow”. I told the kids that we were going to not just practice our counting, but we were going to count…ready? BACKWARDS! and THEN I made it super crazy because we weren’t just going to count backwards, we were going to count backwards by TWOS. let me tell you, it’s harder than you think! Luckily, I’ve got a smart bunch of kids and we had no trouble. 😉

Here’s my version of the rhyme:

Ten Little Candles

10 little candles on a chocolate cake
BLOW BLOW BLOW!  Now there are 8

8 little candles on candlesticks
BLOW BLOW BLOW!  Now there are 6

6 birthday candles and not one more
BLOW BLOW BLOW!  Now there are 4

4 birthday candles red, white and blue
BLOW BLOW BLOW!  Now there are 2

2 little candles standing one by one
BLOW BLOW BLOW! Now there are none

Here is my SUPER basic birthday cake and candles. I will probably go back and add more details later.

Here is my SUPER basic birthday cake and candles. I will probably go back and add more details later.

This was lots of fun because it was an active rhyme, a flannel, and excellent counting practice; even the kids that aren’t super fond of counting had fun!

For getting our sillies out and moving around, I planned to make fireworks inside! I grabbed our scarves, and we have some neat ribbon bracelets as well so I had everybody pick a scarf or a bracelet and we threw them in the air like fireworks. We practiced using our right hands and our left hands, we made fast fireworks and slow fireworks and also just did some silly stuff, it was lots of fun!

Unfortunately I was quite stumped when it came to a craft because we have been running low-ish on craft supplies and I haven’t gotten around to placing a big restock order and I’ve been trying to kind of use up some random supplies we have laying around so for this week we made “parade wavers”  hah.

For some reason (probably masks?) we have a bunch of paper plates with the middles cut out so I grabbed those and some red white and blue crayons and markers and put those out with some red and blue foam stickers and yarn pieces and had them get creative and then glued them to big popsicle sticks.  It wasn’t my most inspired craft, but it was last minute and easy and I really like giving the kids the chance to just kinda go crazy. There was very little structure to this craft which allowed them to go as big or as basic as they wanted. 🙂

 

Next week is another regular storytime and I REALLY want to do a hat storytime, but there’s a flannel board I want to do with it and I don’t have the supplies to make it yet so I keep having to put it off so I think I might have to do something beachy or summery this week and then the week after is another StoryTech which I’m excited for.

 

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