Moooving pastures.

I have allowed this to fall by the wayside, but for good reason; library life got BUSY.

However, it’s about to get even more so!

 

I will begin a new job at a new library very soon where I will focus on Teen and YA programming.

I. Am. Thrilled.

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I grew up in a library with a librarian mother and even with that, by the time I because a tween/teen, I noticed that the library was no longer the exciting magical place it had been and was slowly becoming lackluster. There simply weren’t offerings for a patron my age. I wanted to keep visiting the library, I wanted to still love it, but it wasn’t making it easy for me.

I thought, I can only imagine how hard it must be for teens who didn’t grow up so attached and for the library to bring them in because, why? What was there to convince them?

Ever since then I decided to make it my mission to work on better offerings for teens through libraries.
I’ve worked in both adult and youth services, but never teen…until now. I’ll be starting as a YA services specialist in a couple weeks and will focus on programming and outreach for teens which is, like, basically my dream, so, yeah, you could say I’m looking forward to it.

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I’m so excited and hope that my efforts will make a difference for at least a few young patrons.

I can’t wait to see what I have to write about next, I envision it’ll be something along these lines:

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see what I did there?

Teen Titans Go! because, yay teens, and batgirl…cuz….she’s a librarian…. and hilarious montage because that essentially sums up my life.

Likely my upcoming experiences will be more like what I just wrote; me explaining my lame jokes and puns to people way cooler than me.

BRING IT ON.

 

Mittens in the Mitten

It’s certainly becoming mitten weather in the Mitten State, what better time to do a mitten storytime?

We got a good dusting of snow recently and I wanted to incorporate that into a storytime theme,  but it’s still mid November so I didn’t want to do anything too wintery and that’s when I decided upon mittens! They’re worn in cold weather and are great for making snowballs! 😉

The books I read were:

One Mitten by Kristine O’Connell George

The Missing Mitten Mystery by Steven Kellogg

The Mitten by Jan Brett

Three Little Kittens by Paul Galdone

 

Ok, I didn’t actually read the last book because for both of my sessions this week, we had a super small turnout of around 10-15 as opposed to our typical 40-50  and the groups were quite subdued. I had to really work to get them to interact at times. It always nice when they all sit quietly while we read, but it rough when you’re trying to do rhymes and fingerplays and you’ve got a tiny group of sleepy eyed kids just staring back. hah. This weather sure has calmed them down.

I did one rhyme (I only did it with one group because the other group was so tough to get to interact) and one flannel board. With the flannel board I actually got a pretty good response and ended up milking it as long as I could by asking them lots of questions about the pieces and really having them think about lots of the details. I found a rhyme online about ten mittens and I used some mini clothespins that we had in the craft room and some yarn and printed out / laminated some mitten clipart and made myself a little mini clothesline for my mittens!

 

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Ten warm mittens

Ten warm mittens, hanging on the line,
One blows away and then there are nine
Nine warm mittens, one without a mate,
A squirrel carries one away and that leaves eight.
Eight warm mittens, just eight not eleven,
One gets buried in the snow and that leaves seven.
Seven warm mittens, which one do you pick?
I’ll pick the red one and that leaves six.
Six warm mittens, put one on to try.
Then you take it from the line and that leaves five.
Five warm mittens, we had ten before!
A fluffy bunny needs one and that leaves four!  
Four warm mittens, two for you and two for me,
I lost one on the ski slope and that leaves three.
Three warm mittens, looking very new,
One falls into the mud and that leaves two.
Two warm mittens, drying in the sun,
A bird comes down and snatches it and that leaves one.
One warm mitten, what good is one?
A little mouse can have a bed, and that leaves none!

 

Originally when I put the mittens on the board, they were in random order, all mixed up, then we did the rhyme and I took them down, one by one. Then, I put one of each pair up with an empty clothespin between them and I asked the kids to help me match my mittens. I had them help by calling out the number of the matching mitten to the one I held up. For example, I held up a blue mitten and the matching mitten was the 3rd mitten on the board so my mitten matched mitten #3. it was kinda tricky, but they caught on pretty fast and it’s excellent practice for counting, matching, and comparing! Yay! Secret math! I made sure to have some mittens that were similar but not the same so that we could discuss. “The blue mitten with zig zag stripes does NOT match the red mitten with zig zag stripes, but what is similar about them? The red mitten with zig zag stripes does NOT match the plain red mitten, but what is similar about them?” Activities like that are always good for building their language skills. THEN, we went a whole step further (which was probably a bit beyond their skill level still, but not too far) since we had the mittens matched up, we counted by TWOS! They’re a smart bunch.

 

The other rhyme I had prepared but only used for one session was a basic fingerplay. I actually had trouble remembering BOTH my rhymes this week, maybe my brain is slowing with the cold weather, but even with a few round of practice, I had to read my sheet much more than normal. boo.

Mitten Finger play
by Lucia Kemp Henry

Here is a mitten, (hold up one hand)
A snug, fuzzy one- (rub palms together)
With a place for my fingers (wiggle 4 fingers)
And a place for my thumb (wiggle thumb)
Here are two mittens, (hold up two hands)
A colorful sight. (hands back and forth)
One for the left hand (hold up left hand)
One for the right. (hold up right hand)
Here are OUR mittens, (hold up two hands)
As soft as can be (stroke the back of one hand)
A warm pair for you (point to the neighbor)
And a warm pair for me (point to yourself)

 

For our craft, I did a very simple design a mitten craft. I printed mitten outlines on colored cardstock and gave them crayons and foam stickers and let them go to town. Again, very open ended craft that gives them the freedom to do whatever they want but is also very simple and easy to prepare for staff, always good.

I enjoyed this theme and wish the crowds were a bit bigger because I always like to feel like I got my money’s worth out of a theme. 😛

 

Soon I’ll be posting about an underwater storytime we did with a craft that I loved but worried would be too much for the kids. Stay tuned!

 

Sensory Storytime!

Today I teamed up with a co-worker to do a sensory storytime for children with special needs.
Sensory play and activities have been growing in popularity over the recent months / years and can range from simple activities that parents and kids do at home to much more elaborate events held at libraries, daycare centers, schools, or other learning institutions. There is a plethora of material out there and many libraries or library bloggers have already written great stuff about it, but now it’s my turn.

My co worker and I planned our event for a group of up to 15 kids; the aim for these is generally to keep the groups smaller to allow for those who don’t do well in the often 40+ groups of kids coming to typical storytimes. Unfortunately, literally every road surrounding our library is currently under construction and it’s been having an impact on library attendance, including program attendance. 😦 We required registration and while we had 4 families registered, we only had one mother and her son that showed up.

While I wish we had more, my co-worker and I thoroughly enjoyed our time with this family and we got excellent feedback from his mother. The young boy stayed in the storytime room for more than 30 minutes even though the scheduled time was only 30 minutes long, we were in the “go with the flow” mode and just let him play until he was bored.

what we had planned to do was read a couple books, maybe read them more than once, as well as do some singing, moving, and free play time.

Many write-ups I found strongly suggested that we have an outline and a visual representation of it posted so that the parents and children attending could follow along.

Here are the images I used, all credits to the owners.

hello read sing dance play goodbye

 

we printed these out and posted them on our flannel board, we also printed them on sheets of paper to hand out to those attending.

The first book we planned to read was Fuzzy Fuzzy Fuzzy by Sandra Boynton

This is a great touchy feely book, but we were running into trouble with how to share that, until, another co-worker came up with the genius idea of buying fabric to match the touchy bits in the book and did an AMAZING job matching them. Once we had the fabric we cut it up into small pieces and compiled them into packets for each child. I had wanted to attach them together on a key ring or something like a sample swatch packet but we didn’t get around to doing so so we just put them into a zippy bag. While one staff member was reading the book, the other staff member would be up front showing the fabric so the kids could follow along.

We also had the book Feely Bugs by David A. Carter, but this was a last minute addition and we did not have any support materials to pass out. Turns out that we didn’t need it though since we just had the one boy so he had the privilege of simply reading the book along with us and touching all the pages.  🙂

Aside from reading the books, the rest of the schedule went pretty much out the window and we just followed along with what our attended wanted to do.

I had also set up some sensory bins and some fidget toys in the back of the room for free play time and that’s where we headed next.

As many children’s libraries do, we have a variety of colored scarves, ribbons, and so on, we also have a small collection of fidget toys that we purchased after I experimented with passing out some of our quiet toys during storytime so that kids had something to play with and help focus their attention without being loud or distracting to others. These fidget toys include nubby balls and rings in different colors and resistance levels. I’d like to expand the collection in the future.

 

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some of our quiet fidget toys. not shown are our tactile nubby rings.

 

 

here are some websites that I browsed when deciding what to purchase. Obviously not all the toys listed are suitable for quiet play, but many are and are also excellent for helping to develop many skills from problem solving, to fine or gross motor skills, and strength.

http://funandfunction.com/calm-and-focus/fidgets.html

https://www.therapyshoppe.com/category/educational-toys/1685-sensory-toys

http://www.sensorytoywarehouse.com/

 

I also put out bins with dry pasta shapes, colored rice, beans, sponges or various sizes, and play dough.

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The play was unscripted and undirected and we followed what he wanted to do.  This was my favorite part because he really opened up and we were able to see just what an incredibly intelligent and fun kid he was. He built a volcano from the dough and told us about how lava dries and turns black and that when it touches water it steams because it is hot and the water is cold. At one point he was playing with the rice and letting it fall slowly from his hands and it sounded and looked like rain. During that point I asked if he wanted to make a rainstorm with us. We did the “human rain storm” where you use your hands to simulate the sound of a storm.

 

Our version was obviously not quite as epic or impressive as the video, but it was still fun and with help from our thunder maker, we had a great time. 🙂

 

We also asked him a few random problem solving questions as he played and he continued to show off just how clever he was. His mother told us that he had never handled a sponge before, but when I asked him to take the water from one bin and move it to the other, he took only seconds to grab a sponge and squeeze it over the empty container until the sponge was dry and he had to re-wet it.

 

All in all, I think it was and can be an invaluable experience for kids, parents, and libraries involved. It gives the kids a chance to participate in library activities that they may otherwise avoid due to their individual needs, it gives the parents a chance to network and connect, and it gives the staff at the library a chance to better understand how to meet the needs of their patrons and better serve their community as a whole.

 

For more information on autism and other special needs, check out the sites below.

http://www.autismspeaks.org/

http://www.chadd.org/

http://www.cdc.gov/Features/adhdresources/

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/facts.html

http://nationalautismassociation.org/

 

 

Summer StoryTech

 

Well, I’ve just finished my first round of StoryTech.

don't worry, it looked nothing like this.

don’t worry, it looked nothing like this.

 

Actually, as of right now, I don’t have any other scheduled, but I’m sure we’ll do more in the future.

How was it?

 

Well…..

It certainly had its highs a lows. There were aspects that I really enjoyed about it and others that were awkward or didn’t work as well as I’d like them to or things I’d change for next time.

For example, I don’t sing or dance, it just is not my thing; because of that, I don’t often incorporate songs into my storytimes and I feel both kinda guilty and a little embarrassed.

awkward

 

I have tried to incorporate them in ways other than me singing or dancing by using a laptop or iPad or playing songs on the boombox, but it just hasn’t gone over very well and the kids don’t seem terribly engaged.

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With StoryTech, however, I feel like the kids are much more engaged because they have something they can both listen to as well as look at that isn’t my awkward face trying to figure out how to mouth the words so it looks like I’m singing along without actually making noise. hah. Youtube and the app store have so many things that work really well for storytime when they’re projected onto a big screen and one of those things is songs. We’ve done the itsy bitsy spider, old macdonald, the works!

One thing I noticed about my experience with this is that it doesn’t work for every kid. Many kids seemed more engaged and willing to participate, others seemed to become more unruly and hard to keep focused, while still others seemed to disconnect and not enjoy the experience as much.

Traditional storytime is the same, it won’t appeal to every child, but it’s very interesting to see just how differently they can all be affected.

 

Now even though this was a “tech” version of storytime, I didn’t want to read entirely from the iPad for multiple reasons:

1. I didn’t want to eliminate “real” books from storytime.
2. I wanted to keep the apps I used and listed for parents to go home and try as free apps which limits selection.
3. I feel slightly awkward sitting there while the story reads itself on screen and didn’t feel comfortable spending a while 30-45 minutes letting the tablet do my job for me.

 

With many of the book apps, I’m able to either control the advancement of the pages which gives me a chance to ask questions and interact, but not with all of them which means I just kinda press go and sit back while it runs itself while I try to look participatory or ….something.

 

Not-Sure-What-to-do-With-Hands-Talladega-Nights-Ricky-Bobby

 

 

One other interesting thing I’ve noticed about StoryTech versus Storytime is that for both events I often pick out 4-6 books to read and 2-4 extension activities like active rhymes or flannel boards; I know I’ll only have time for half that but I like to have a variety of styles and pacing and moods in case we have a very active crowd that can’t sit through a long and quiet book or vise versa, or one of the apps doesn’t work right (mr fox and mr rabbit book simply WOULD NOT display properly and was always sideways through the projector) and so on.
Well, with storytime I find that the kids almost never shout out things like “I WANNA READ THE PURPLE BOOK!” or “DO THE CHICKEN RHYME!” because a pile of books and papers is a lot less attention grabbing than a screen full of bright pictures of iPad apps.

My organization style for regular storytimes often involves me picking the order of the books and then putting them on the table next to my chair in that order with printouts of the rhymes and flannel boards shuffled in between the books in the order I want them. It’s certainly not set in stone, but it gives me a comfortable outline.
My style for StoryTech has been similar; pick out my apps and put them in order in a group and have that group loaded on the screen titled at the top with our theme so that the kids will look at our books and apps and not all the other random apps and menus on the iPad
….but it’s seeming like I might need to start having two groups, one for my plan a and then a second separate group that isn’t shown on the screen with my backup apps because I find that I spend lots of time fielding “CAN WE DO THE CHICKEN BOOK?!” questions and promising that I’ll read as many as I can but we might not get to (insert brightly colored attention grabbing app name here).

Like I mentioned earlier, the tech seems to really bring some kids alive which is great, but I find myself walking a very fine line of active participants and overly exuberant distractions.

I also noticed that while I was afraid that there might be some push-back from anti-tech or tech fatigued parents who might think that the tech aspect was a bit of a cop out or not what they wanted from a library (like I have mentioned before, there are still some very hostile pockets of tech opponents) I found that I got lots of good feedback from the adults present in the form of thank yous, or “we had lots of fun today” or  “tell me more about ____” and more; if there have been any parents that didn’t like it, I sure haven’t heard it.

I think the app world is daunting, especially for finding kid appropriate apps, and I like to think that I’m helping them dip their toes in or hold their hands a little while they begin their exploration of it all. Obviously the apps I use are by no means the only good ones out there and there are often many great apps I find but don’t use because they wouldn’t translate well for a large group, but they’re a great introduction and I often put out a list other “suggested apps and activities for home” along with the outline and activities wee used.

 

So all in all, I’ve really enjoyed my StoryTech experience, it’s certainly very different from a typical “old fashioned” storytime and can often be more difficult to plan, but I like them and hope to continue them!

Without further ado, here are the outlines with all the information on the apps I used, stories we read, and videos we watched. I also have all the extension activities we did listed below as well, those will work great with any kind of storytime.

 

Outlines:

StoryTechAugust4

StoryTechJuly21

StoryTechJune23

 

Extension Activities:

Animal active rhymes

Climb Aboard the Spaceship

Going to the moon

 


 

 

Have any of you had experience bringing tech into storytime or doing a tech based storytime?

What were your experiences?


 

 

eBook-Libary

keep reading!

 

…now to catch up on all my other regular storytime posts!  😉

 

I’m not dead….yet!

It’s true, I’m alive! We’ve been on a break from storytime here at my library but we’ve still been busy what with getting ready for the Summer Library Program, yay!

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bring on the registrants, we are caffeinated and mobile!

 

In fact, today is the official start and we are off and running! We’ve registered 86 kids in the first 3 hours, yowza!

This will actually be my first year doing the summer program at this particular library but I am MORE than familiar with the various aspects of summer reading / programs when it comes to libraries having worked at my fair share and used many growing up. I love that they all put their own little spin on things. Here we are doing something call “Top Ten” which is a list of activities or features of the library that are either well used or we wanted to highlight such as “Read a Book” or “attend a library program” or”use the tech farm”. Kids pick an activity from the list, complete it, then log it to claim this week’s prize. I love that it gives kids the option to make their summer program work best for them; maybe they aren’t big readers yet, or maybe they aren’t one for “computing” as one young gentleman informed me today.

“Hello!” said the youth department head, “Have you heard about our summer library program? Can we sign you up?”

“well, to be honest, I’m not really one for computing.”

 To which she informed him that if he changed his mind to let us know and with that he tipped his cap and said “Cheerio”  and was off on his merry way. No joke. This actually happened today and it made my morning. Loved that kid.

Anyhow, as I was saying, not everything appeals to every person and this gives people the chance to explore in their own way and make the library their own experience. Speaking of tech and computing, I will have my very first Storytime Plus (I still wanna call it StoryTech, but it’s already on the calendar as “storytime plus”. curse my slow creativity) in a week! Ahh, nerves! I have lots of ideas and am hoping they go over well but I’m also dreading the wrench(s) in the wheels that are bound to happen.

What do I do when the sound doesn’t work or the picture goes out or some kid comes and smacks at the very tempting smartboard causing the app to go haywire?!

*deep breath* I improvise and move on. At least I now have a hefty bit more storytime experience under my belt than when I first started here.  I know that if nothing else, I’ll have back up books and other fun stuff to make up for any technological failures.

Speaking of storytime, We’re back on track with our summer session starting Monday; I hope that the return is berry, berry fun.  😉

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StoryTech

Right now I’m up on Michigan’s gorgeous Mackinac Island on “vacation”. I decided I wanted to attend a library conference even though neither of my jobs were able to send me officially so I’m taking a “busman’s holiday”. Because of that, I’ve written this entry up ahead of time and have scheduled it to post while I’m away. I’m planning to update again after my return with not only a post about the conference, but also maybe a guest post from the co-worker that will be doing my storytime while I’m away. In the meantime, enjoy this probably disjointed entry about some of my feelings about and plans for tech in storytime! 😀

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I’ve been in the process of developing a “techy” storytime; it’s been given it the working title of “Storytime Plus” and I plan to run it much like a regular storytime but with added bonus of storytelling apps or digital books. This, I have found, is a difficult process. Maybe I’m over-thinking it, maybe I’m just not doing it “right” because even though there seems to be a plethora of resources out there I am certainly feeling challenged.

As I said, I’m still working on it and it’s not yet ready for the masses, but it’s something I wanted to start writing about. For now, my thoughts will probably be rather scattered as there is just so much through which I have to sift and there will probably be more as time goes on! One thing I do know is that the eBook debate is still a hot button topic in many circles but I think that regardless of one’s personal convictions the fact that tech is currently and will continue to be a large part of our lives is simply not up for debate.

Though I am a twenty something willingly living in a tech-soaked world, I am not a user of eBooks (gasp, shock!), I am, however, an advocate. I believe firmly in access for all and if access is preferred or only available via electronic format, so be it; it’s not my job to tell them how to access their knowledge, it’s simply to provide said access and to hopefully do so as efficiently as possible.

That being said, I don’t want this to just turn into “hey kids! look at the screen!” I want this to be just as interactive as any other storytime, if not more so, all while using tech. I’ve come across a few felt board apps in the apple store and I think that these are great tools! I think they not only give those of us that are creating and performing storytimes the chance to make flannel boards that we many not have been able to by traditional means, but it’s something that can be taken home and made available for kids to use for themselves.  Literacy isn’t only strengthened by hearing stories, but by being able to create them and I feel like this is an excellent way for them to do so.

I’ve talked about how playing is learning and apps like this not only help facilitate playing to learn, but any simple search on the internet will show you that like it or not, tech literacy is incredibly important and I think that any effort we can make to help bridge or stop the digital divide is worth it. I hope that using technologically based tools will kill two birds with one stone, so to speak, in that it will help develop their tech literacy as well as covering all the basics we do in a standard storytime.  Fellow library blogger, Anne Hicks, sums up pretty much exactly how I feel in her post on her blog here.

Now, I’m, by far, not the first person to have this idea so luckily there are lots of great ideas out there, it’s just finding what works well for you and your group. I’m looking forward to testing things and seeing how they work, but I’m also quite worried about how it will be received; it’s like starting fresh with storytime and goodness knows that stressed me out!

Have any of you had any experience on either end with tech in a storytime type setting?

Would you like to share your feedback?

Funny Bunny Storytime

Little Peter Cottontail, Hopping down the cotton trail, Hippety hoppity Easter’s on it’s way!

Easter is right around the corner so it’s a great time to do an “Easter” themed storytime. As I’ve said before, I try to steer clear of getting too immersed in most holidays because of religious or cultural reasons, but that being said, I do think it’s good to acknowledge the holiday and maybe expose people to it who may have not heard of said holiday before. Yay learning!

With Easter, I’ve decided to focus on, what else, BUNNIES! I love bunnies and have had them as pets for many many years; you can see a picture of me and my current bunny, Ginger, on my About Me page. 🙂

 

I changed the format up a bit for this storytime, I have had crafts that I’ve done that I thought would have been cute for them to have during storytime, but it’s been too difficult for me to figure out how to make that work, but today while I was setting up, a co-worker said something to me about doing the craft first and I thought “you know, that might actually work for this particular craft!” So, I tried it! I had them come in as usual and we all sat down and chatted for a bit but then I told them that we were going to go make something that we could use during storytime, they seemed pretty thrilled about that. We made Bunny Noses!

 

bunny nose

 

I had them make their noses and then I passed out our egg shakers; I talked about Easter eggs and how the Easter bunny hides eggs, and then we practiced hopping around the room with our eggs in one hand and noses in the other using this rhyme:

 

Hip hip hippety hop Hippety hippety hop
We’ll hop and hop around the room
Until it’s time to STOP!

Hip hip hippety hop Hippety hippety hop
hippetyhippetyhippetyhippety
Hippety hippety hop
We’ll hop and hop around the room
Until it’s time to STOP!

It’s a pretty fun rhyme because you can improvise however you want; it can be as long or as short as you want and all you have to do is ad a few hippity hops here and there or change up the order before you shout STOP! It reminds me of a combination of Simon says and red light green light. You basically say random versions of hop or hippity hop and the kids jump around like goofballs and then freeze when you say stop. Not only is it a fun way to transition from one activity to the next, but it helps get out some pent up energy,and also helps kids to learn. I also thought that this would be a fun little game to play either at the end or if the kids seemed a bit wiggly during the stories but luckily, we didn’t need to use it. There are lots of books and website that talk about the concept of play to learn, one site I enjoy is Help My Kid LearnI stumbled across it while looking for reading related activities that are both fun and educational and have found a wealth of information there. “One of the ways children learn is through play. A child who is playing is refining learning skills that continue to develop during childhood and beyond.

“Pretend play” is important for developing your child’s language skills. Children make up their own games, but playing games with others helps their concentration and social skills. Play can also help to show what children know and understand.”

So hopping around like bunnies isn’t just fun, it’s helping them develop their listening skills, balance and motor skills, as well as social skills, but it also super fun, I mean, do we really need an excuses to make noise and look even more adorable? NOPE.  🙂

After we got our hops out, I had them hop the eggs back to the bucket and we sat down for our first story. I started both sessions off with “Looking for Easter” by Dori Chaconas. I loved this book because not only does it have super adorable illustrations, but it’s an excellent non-religious Easter story that still has a great message and ending.

Speaking of great messages and endings, one of the other books I read was a great take on the classic story “Little Bunny Foo Foo: Told and Sung by the Good Fairy” by Paul Brett Johnson. I wasn’t actually too thrilled about the illustration style, personally, but it’s a great book; very colorful and eye catching and I like the way it was written.  The kids really liked seeing the trouble that Little Bunny Foo Foo kept getting into and laughed surprisingly hard at the end….even though I’m pretty sure they’re too young to catch the pun. 😉

We also practiced our counting with “10 Easter Egg Hunters: a Holiday Counting Book” by Janet Schulman which was fun but kind of difficult to read because it’s small and hard to see for a large group and it’s also super tempting for the kids to run up and point out where the eggs are on each page. I did have trouble with that in both of my sessions, but all in all, worth it since the kids really liked it.

And last, but not least, we read“A Boy and his Bunny” by Sean BryanSUCH a cute book. The only thing I don’t like about it is the pacing. The story wants to be read quickly, but then you don’t have a chance to show the kids the pictures for very long but if you take the time to do so, you kind of lose the rhythm of the story. It has a companion book as well that I was almost tempted to read with it, but alligators don’t have much to do with Easter, so I passed. 😛

Aside from the 4 books we read, we put out bunny noses to good use with a couple other rhymes. I saw a super cute rhyme online that I thought would be fun for the kids to act out, but it was only one stanza:

Funny little bunny
Sat on a stump
Flicked his floppy little ears
And then he gave a jump!

So I took that and ran with it and made up a few more actions that bunnies do and then also used it as a way to let the kids suggest different activities with some fill in the blank verses.

Funny little bunny
Sat on a stump
Twitched his little nose
And then he gave a jump!

Funny little bunny
Sat on a stump
Wiggled his fluffy tail And then he gave a jump!

Funny little bunny
Sat on a stump
Stomped his great big feet And then he gave a jump!

Funny little bunny
Sat on a stump
(encourage kids to shout out jump)
And then he gave a jump!

 I think that my groups really like being able to make up parts to the rhymes and activities more than just listening to them and doing the actions as they hear them. Half the time it ends up being a yelling mess of suggested actions, but that’s ok, it’s still fun. I also like to make up super random or weird actions because the kids think it’s hilarious. For example, in this rhyme we hopped, and twitched, and wiggled as bunnies are wont to do, but then I also had them swim and skip and do other things that bunnies totally don’t do, or that kids don’t think bunnies do (I’ve seen some bunnies do some pretty silly things) and those always get some good giggles in response.

Not only did I change things up a bit with the craft, but I also catered my welcome and closing rhymes to the theme. I like to do that sometimes just to mix things up, though I do also like having a constant in my storytimes so I don’t change it with every theme.

For this week I modified some rhymes I saw online to fit what I needed. My welcome rhyme was:

Bunny Bunny

Bunny Bunny, hop real low
Bunny Bunny, say hello
Bunny Bunny, hope up high
Bunny Bunny, touch the sky
Bunny Bunny, wiggle your nose
Bunny Bunny, stomp your toes
Bunny Bunny, hop around
Bunny Bunny, please sit down.

And for my goodbye rhyme I used:

I saw a Little Rabbit

I saw a little rabbit go hop hop hop
I saw his great big ears go flop flop flop
I saw his little nose go twitch twitch twitch
I saw his furry paw for itch itch itch
I wished the little rabbit would sit and stay
but that little rabbit had to hop away.

I ended up giving out all 4 of my books this week so I think that’s a good sign that they liked them and I saw lots of hopping with whiskers and cute little noses after as well so I’m counting this one as a success.

 

Now, next week. I’m thinking I still want to stick with spring-ish themes for a while because mother nature still seems to be confused as to what season it is, but after doing bunnies/easter, rain/weather, and flowers, I have some ideas brewing, but I’m not entirely sure where else to take it.
Guess it will be another surprise!

 

hoppy_easter_grande