Picking back up…

We had a rather long break from storytime, and I’ve had an even longer break from blogging. But now we’re both back!
I’m currently in the midst of week two back on the storytime train and it’s been crazy! My first week back we had almost 50 for my Monday night session and around 70 for my Thursday morning session…week two has so far only increased with around 60 for my Monday night and around 60 again for Thursday morning! I wish I had a more accurate count, but our clicker broke a while back and we’ve yet to get a replacement and there’s no way I can count, greet, ring the storytime bell, and hold the door all at once so I’ll have to just keep guestimating. hah

My first week back I did apples!

Gif-Apple

FOREVER APPLE

I’ll be honest….the books I read weren’t my absolute favorite, but even though I started planning these way in advance, I just couldn’t get my hands on too many apple books! They weren’t bad, just maybe not something I’d pick again.

41398-Emma-Stone-shrug-gif-cK4y

I read The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall which I quite like. I think the illustrations are cute and the book talks about the changing of the seasons in relation to an apple tree so it’s a perfect story for transitioning to Autumn. this was my favorite of the three and the kids seemed to enjoy it as well.

After our first book I passed out the egg shakers and did our first active rhyme: Five Red Apples which you’ll find all over in storytime-internet-land. I’ve modified it to fit my usage more comfortably (as per usual. hah)

Five Red Apples

Five red apples growing on a tree (place apples on flannel board)
Some for you and some for me. (point out then point to self)
Let’s shake and wiggle the tree just so (Shake shakers/scarves/wiggle body around)
And 1 red apple will fall below (Remove 1 apple from board. Hands fall or have the kids fall down)

Four red apples growing on a tree (place apples on flannel board)
Some for you and some for me. (point out then point to self)
Let’s shake and wiggle the tree just so (Shake shakers/scarves/wiggle body around)
And 1 red apple will fall below (Remove 1 apple from board. Hands fall or have the kids fall down)

I continue each verse counting down to none and usually end with something like

No red apples hanging on the tree
None for you and none for me
What should we do with a tree so bare? 
Let’s pick more apples from over there! 

or

No red apples hanging on the tree
our basket’s full for you and me
What should we do with apples piled high 
Let’s go inside and bake a pie!

This worked great with my first session but then we encountered and issue with my second session in that I ran out of shakers and had to resort to bean bags for the extra empty hands. Unfortunately we had a lot of too little littles in preschool storytime for this session who had a difficult time with understanding the concept of one per person or egg or beanbag, not both. This is not surprising, but it did derail us for a hot minute there. Oh well! After we finally had ourselves sorted, the rhyme went great and we then moved on to our second book. Ten Red Apples by Pat Hutchins… which I continually slip up and call “Ten RAD Apples” haha

Speaking of Rad Apples...

Speaking of Rad Apples…

I’m actually not really a fan of this book; the illustration style, uh, weirds me out. Sorry! 😦
However, I thought the concept looked fun to read with the kids and the interactive bit about guessing which animal comes next and having them make the noise is always good. I’ll admit, about 1/2 way through I was wishing I’d picked a different book; I apparently have a “Yippee, fiddle-dee-fee!” limit, and it’s not 10. oops.

After book 2 we went on to our next rhyme, another five little rhyme that is all over the place, in many incarnations and that I’ve used for apples, cookies, uh, maybe even donuts, basically anything round!

Five little apples sitting in a bowl (hold arms in bowl shape)
One fell out and started to roll (roll fists)
It bumped the table and hit my feet (pat legs then touch feet)
How many apples left to eat? 

Each time I do a round we try to go faster and faster until we all basically erupt into giggles. I didn’t actually get to do this rhyme with my Thursday session as they were quite rowdy already and there were 582604756 of them so we hurried through to craft time.

Our third and final book was the classic Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell. I wish this book were physically larger because it’s so cute but quite small. It’s a quick read and at the end I love to chat about the different costumes with the kids.

For our craft, we made apple pies! I used our die cut to cut out different shades of green and red apples and then had a volunteer cut a million strips of brown paper. We then glued the apples and strips (crust) onto paper plates. had I thought ahead, I would have brought in spice shakers to sprinkle cinnamon on so they’d smell like apple pie. Next time!

As usual, I brought back our Sign Language word and today it was, you guessed it, Apple

Apple

Apple

Animal House

This storytime was all about animals. I didn’t get too specific or differentiate between farm or wild or jungle or anything, just animals. I’ve done specific animal storytimes before like a dog storytime or cats, or night animals, and I’ve done an Animal StoryTech before but never just plain old normal animal storytime.

Now normally I try to pick books for my storytime that are new or different because I don’t want them to be bored with the selection since they’ve read that title 8527485 times at home and or in school, but this week I did pick a book that is quite well known. I actually came across a few books that I thought were quite interactive and because of that I thought that it’d be fun to have them help me read the more well known book.

The first book I read was called No Sleep for the Sheep by Karen Beaumont. I quite liked this book and thought it was just the right amount of silliness, rhymes, noises, and repetition. I also liked the fact that you could kind of improvise. for example, as new animals join the sheep it has a line that says “soon the ____ and the sheep, they fell fast asleep” But instead of just reading the two animals, I repeated and had the kids help me list off all the animals to that point. it was a bit of a challenge, but loads of fun! This book might just be one of my new favorites; I could see it working well for a noise or sound themed storytime as well. Both my Monday night and Thursday morning groups giggled and enjoyed it. 🙂

After that book I had three animal themed active rhymes. On both Monday and Thursday, I let the kids help me pick which order I do them in. I listed off the three I brought and let them vote. Now, this can be a very dangerous road to go down if you have a more…enthusiastic crowd that day, but I braved it and it turned out ok.  Here are the three active rhymes I had in tow:


5 little Ducks

5 little ducks went out one day
Over the hills and far away,
Mama duck called quack quack quack,
But only 4 little ducks came wandering back.

4 little ducks went out one day
Over the hills and far away,
Mama duck called quack quack quack,
But only 3 little ducks came wandering back.

3 little ducks went out one day
Over the hills and far away,
Mama duck called quack quack quack,
But only 2 little ducks came wandering back.

2 little ducks went out one day
Over the hills and far away,
Mama duck called quack quack quack,
But only 1 little duck came wandering back.

1 little duck went out one day
Over the hills and far away,
Mama duck called quack quack quack,
But no little ducks came wandering back.

No little ducks went out one day
Over the hills and far away,
Mama duck called quack quack quack,
And 5 little ducks came wandering back.


Five little kittens

Five little kittens standing in a row
(hold up 5 fingers)
They nod their heads up and down, like so
(bend fingers)
They run to the left, they run to the right
(run fingers to the left and then to the right)
They stand up and stretch in the bright sunlight
(stretch fingers out tall)
Along comes a dog looking for some fun
(hold up opposite hand like a puppet)
With a WOOF! and MEOW! See those little kittens run
(bark with dog hand, wiggle kitten hand, then wiggle hand behind back)


There was a little Turtle

There was a little turtle. (make fingers for small)
He lived in a box. (draw out box shape with fingers)
He swam in a puddle. (pretend to swim)
He climbed on the rocks. (pretend to climb)

He snapped at a mosquito. (use hand to pretend to snap like a turtle mouth)
He snapped at a flea.
He snapped at a minnow.
And he snapped at me.

He caught the mosquito. (grab air with hand)
He caught the flea.
He caught the minnow.
But he didn’t catch me. (wave finger no)


With the Kitten rhyme, I actually did 10 little kittens and had them hold up both hands (personal preference) and with the Turtle rhyme, I had them name a random animal and I changed the line from “He snapped at/caught the minnow” to the animal they suggested. This made for great fun a squeals of laughter because we repeated this twice in a row and they picked cow and cat and each time I got to the part with those animals they laughed hysterically and shouted about how a turtle can’t catch a cow or a cat, they’re way too big and fast! (obviously)

The second book I read was Barnyard Song by Rhonda Gowler Greene I quite liked this book as well! Much like the first book, it could easily be used in a noise or sound themed storytime as well as a storytime about being sick. The animals make all sorts of silly noises when they get sick but then everything rights itself again after the farmer makes them some good soup (vegetable, I’m sure). The kids in both sessions of course thought it hilarious to hear me “moo choo!” and “cough-a-doodle-doo” and all sorts of snorts and whistles. After this book we did a second active rhyme.

The third book we read was the classic Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin. We didn’t just read the normal version though, we read the BIG BOOK version

brown bear

These things are seriously the size of a small child, they’re great! 😀 This is the book that we all read aloud together and they LOVED being able to do that! Again, after this book, we did our third and final active rhyme.

In my Monday session I then went right in to our fourth and last book but in my thursday session I ALMOST skipped it because they were quite rowdy and I wasn’t sure they could handle another, but then I remembered that it’s a SUPER interactive book. Well, I don’t know if it’s really supposed to be, but that’s how I read it. If I hadn’t read it the way I did, I think it would have been too awkward for a storytime book.

My fourth and final book was Wiggle Waggle by Johnathan London. I read this book less like the book itself and instead I read the first page as an introduction and then simply turned the pages and had the kids act it out. The book is all about how animals walk or move, and instead of just turning pages and reading “How does the kitten walk? Pish-Posh” (…uh, what?) I would turn the page and say “How does the _____ walk?!” and the kids would show me while I made up my own noises. Maybe it’s just me, but I thought the sounds / descriptors used for the animal walks in this book were…awkward, so I used my own at times. I actually really liked that book because while it’s reading, and the kids are still seeing the words and letters and pictures, they’re also playing and acting and putting 2 and 2 or 3 and 3 together and that kind of multi-sense connection building really cements things and helps them retain much more information than me just saying “the cat walks like this”.

After we finished all our books and rhymes, I released the little animals into the craft room for our craft. On Monday I managed to get my segue out and teach them 3 words in ASL: Lion, Tiger, and Bear.

oh-my-takei

 

In my Thursday session, there was no chance and I simply had to un-cage them so they could run wild.

The reason for my ASL segue is that we were making Lion, Tiger (ok, a cat) or Bear masks!

10441466_845789740624_5854956134228460566_n

I couldn’t find a tiger, ok?

 

These were SUPER basic, just printed on regular paper and I put out scissors, crayons, hole punches and string. the kids went nuts!

 

I haven’t quite gotten next week’s theme nailed down (I keep not getting around to making the flannel I want to use) but either way, I’m SURE I’ll figure something fun out. 🙂

I’m back!

So we took quite a bit of a storytime break over the holiday season and then I managed to lose my voice a day before we started back up again and was out for an extra week! Boo! But it’s back now. ( well, mostly,I’m still working on hitting some of those high notes on my drives in to work.)

In other news, I’m excited to say that though I’ve been in library work for over 10 years, I’ve hit a new and exciting milestone; it’s officially been 1 whole year of storytimes for me! I was TERRIFIED to start doing storytimes, hello panic attacks, and even though I still get nervous before each one, they’ve become such a rewarding and exciting part of my job. (cheesy? oh well!)

confetti

YAY!

This week’s storytime was all about things that go. Transportation, motors, bikes, cars, horses, you name it!

The books I chose were:

Wake up engines by Denise Dowling Mortensen
Bunnies on the Go, Getting from Place to Place by Rick Walton
The Little School Bus by Margery Cuyler
Good Night Engine by Denise Dowling Mortensen

I read them in that order, the two middle ones were relatively interchangeable, though the school bus one was shorter and easier to skip if the kids were feeling extra antsy, and the two end cap books were perfect for introducing and then wrapping up our theme.

Wake up and Good Night Engines both read more like poems than a story but are fun and filled with excellent image evoking words and lots of onomatopoeia which is always fun for the kids and it gave me lots of chances to have them help me make noise.

I loved Bunnies on the Go because it was a guessing game! each page features a short stanza about the bunnies going somewhere in some mode of transportation and then gives you a hint to the next mode of transportation they use. The last word of each stanza is on the next page and shows a picture of it. I liked the flow, and the kids got to practice rhyming and sounding out words to guess. If you’re really good and look close enough, you’ll find that the answer is actually shown in each illustration. Some of the rhymes are pretty easy, but some are pretty tough! It’s super interactive and a great confidence boost when they make their guesses and also does a pretty good job of touching on common core standards in foundational reading skills. Also, bunnies. 🙂

I admit, I have mixed feelings about I’m a little school bus. The illustrations are super cute, and I like the kinda cheeky writing style (Bus driver Bob needs his coffee!) but I found myself getting kinda tongue tied with some of the rhymes and though the repetition of “I’m a little school bus…..” on each page is good, I felt it was a bit longer than it needed to be maybe? I’m not sure. The kids seemed to like it though so yay! Oh! and it KILLED my hands to hold it up and read it, the pages are more like a board book and the spine wasn’t cracked or anything so it was hard to hold open, so beware! haha.

Aside from the four books we read (and we did get through all 4 books in both sessions!) I did a few extension activities.

On Monday night we had a small crowd that seemed kinda sleepy so I tried really hard to get them to interact more by drawing out the activities a bit more. My Thursday morning crew was big, bright eyed, and bushy tailed though so they certainly didn’t need quite as much encouragement in the interaction department. hah.

I love the idea of teaching sign language words that relate to our theme to the attendees and I found this awesome rhyme activity on the Sunflower Storytime blog.

RHYME – Helicopter; Sign Language Rhyme
Sign “Helicopter” as you say this rhyme:  Right thumb in palm of Left hand. Left hand fingers spread and shake. 

Helicopter goes up
Helicopter goes down
Helicopter turns, turns all around

Helicopter goes left
Helicopter goes right
Helicopter goes up, up, and out of sight (hands behind back)

Watch a video clip of the sign here.

We had a blast flying out helicopters all over the place!

I also did a firetruck activity on Monday night, though we skipped it on Thursday because it is a kinda rowdy activity and we were already reaching maximum rowdiness. All we did was basically pretend we were driving a firetruck!

Oh no! somebody called for a firetruck! Hurry, start the engine! (VROOM VROOM) I then had them bounce up and down in their seats and pretend to steer as I narrated different actions.

We’re coming to an intersection, ring the bell and run the siren! (ding ding ding! weeeooo weeeooo!)
Turn the corner! (lean to the left)
Turn again (lean to the right)
We’re here! Climb the ladder!
Spray the hose!
Phew! fire’s out, good job!
Now back to the station. Everything in reverse!
Roll up the hose (roll our fist over one another)
Down the ladder.
In the truck.
Turn right (lean to the right)
Turn left (lean to the left)
We’re coming to an intersection, make sure to stop! (beep beep)
And back into the station.

you can obviously narrate this however works best for you. It’s a great storytelling tool though, you can have the kids help narrate by having them suggest different actions, or you can do the narrating and let them use their imaginations!

The other activity we did involved egg shakers, yay! I had them all grab a shaker and I pulled out 3 foam circles in red, green, and yellow. We talked about how lots of vehicles see those colors when they’re on the road and asked them if they knew what each one meant. Of COURSE they did because kids are smart and awesome. I then explained that they were gonna shake the shakers based on what color sign I held up. When it was green, we shook FAST. Yellow, shake sloooowwww, and red means FREEZE! lots of fun and giggles with this one, obviously. It was a very silly time and we all loved it. I then had them drive their shakers back home to the bin and we sat down for our last story before our craft. Luckily Goodnight Engines features trains pretty heavily which was a good segue into our craft; Name Trains!

10923779_844124817144_3830984111888428664_n

choo choo!

 

For this super easy craft I put out large pieces of construction paper in a few colors, paper with a train engine printed, crayons, glue sticks, scissors, and little squares of different colors construction paper. This craft, though basic, helps strengthen fine motor skills, spelling, and counting! It also helps meet some of the common core standards for language arts presentation of knowledge and ideas with early literacy. Kids got to color and then cut out their engines, then counted out the letters in their name for the train cars, then practiced spelling and writing by putting a letter on each car, and then create a scene for their train. Again, pretty simple sounding, but lots of little things for them to do and they churned out some pretty amazing trains! WAY better than my example. I also got some pretty good feedback from the parents about liking this craft which is always good. 🙂

 

It felt good to get back in the saddle and I’m ready for more!

 

 

 

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!

 

10806465_827489539374_1093198995800018272_n

 

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!

 

A Berry, Beary storytime

Bears are known berry fans. Some, like this fine bear below, like to sample. 520833238_5c977b90b1_m   Some are more aficionados as you can see demonstrated by this lovely bear… bear-berry1   And some would go to just about any length to get their cute little paws on some berries like this risk taker below. Careful Mr. Bear! Don’t fall! poster,375x360,ffffff

 

Since we ended our Spring storytime session with a bear theme, I thought it might be fun to sort of carry that over into the start of summer with another related theme, berries! I’ll be honest, I don’t expect anybody to have really remembered the theme from almost 3 weeks ago, let alone get the connection to this week, I just like to amuse myself with abstract continuity.  😀

It also gives me the chance to test the waters with bringing in a puppet / stuffed mascot. I wanted to use a stuffed bear in one of my flannel boards for some added fun.

oooh, maybe I could try to work bears into every storytime…. nah, that might be silly.

Anyhow, I actually have TWO whole flannel boards that I made for this theme, one of them is a play off the book Jamberry by Bruce Degen I got the idea from Jbrary when I was searching for ways to do Jamberry as a flannel since we (GASP) don’t own a copy here! Jbrary also makes an excellent point in that the book doesn’t have much of an actual story line so it ends up being great as a flannel activity.

You can see their video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFns_G4PrP0

I modified it slightly in that my berries will be going into a basket since I don’t think the boat makes much sense if you haven’t or aren’t reading the book and I changed the wording a tiny bit too.

As I spoke the lines I (and the kids) acted out the motions like they do in the Jbrary video which I thought was fun and makes it a bit of an active rhyme as well as a flannel board all while helping to develop gross motor skills and vocabulary with the motion and word associations. Yay, learning!

 

Jamberry

Under the bridge and over the dam, looking for berries, berries for jam. 1 berry, 2 berries, pick me some blueberries

Under the bridge and over the dam, looking for berries, berries for jam. 3 berries, 4 berries, pick me a strawberry

Under the bridge and over the dam, looking for berries, berries for jam. 5 berries, 6 berries, pick me some red cherries

Under the bridge and over the dam, looking for berries, berries for jam. 7 berries, 8 berries, pick me a blackberry

Under the bridge and over the dam, looking for berries, berries for jam. 9, berries, 10 berries, pick me a raspberry.

Under the bridge and over the dam, baskets of berries, berries for jam.

10346445_788163254564_2993165281769538111_n

In addition to Jamberry the flannel, I’ll be doing  Five Ripe Strawberries and this is where Mr. Bear comes in handy. As I’m doing the counting and taking the berries off the board, I give them to Mr. Bear to eat. I make silly eating noises and the kids giggle, what’s not to like?

Five Ripe Strawberries

Five red strawberries, sweet to the core.
Bear came and ate one (om nom nom nom) and then there were four.

Four red strawberries, growing near a tree.
Bear ate another one (om nom nom nom) and then there were three.

Three red strawberries, for you and you and you.
Bear came and ate another (om nom nom nom) and then there were two.

Two red strawberries, sitting in the sun.
Bear ate the biggest one (om nom nom nom) and then there was one.

One red strawberry, where five had been before.
Bear ate the last of them (om nom nom nom) and then there were no more.

No more strawberries, whatever will bear do?
He’ll have to go berry picking with all of you!

 10371893_788163164744_4833049745551169379_n

 

I’ve found this or very similar rhymes on various sites though I changed the last line for my use. Aside from the two flannel activities, I also picked 3 books about berries. 2 of them are about blueberries; Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey and Blueberry Mouse by Alice Low, and then this mouthful of a title, The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Audrey Wood.

Blueberries for Sal is a classic that I remember reading when I was young which I was a tiny bit worried wouldn’t make for a great storytime read due to the small size, monochrome and detailed illustrations, and somewhat wordy text, but I figured if I read it first it might be ok. Both groups did very well with it. It doesn’t hurt to involve the kids every couple pages by asking them questions like “do you think Sal found her mother?” “How many blueberries are in her pail?” things like that.

Blueberry Mouse was a new one for me but I thought it was all around pretty cute; great rhyming and rhythm, cute illustrations and a fun guessing game at the end. “What kind of house do you think Blueberry Mouse will live in next?!”

After those two I ended with The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear. I think this is such a fun and cute book. I love the relaxed tone and had comments from kids and parents alike about liking the book. There are actually very few words, maybe 5 or so a page in general but it’s a big book with bright and detailed illustrations.

I had a lot of fun with the two flannels and all three of the stories. Having more than one flannel gave me lots of room for improv. During one storytime, counting was a big thing so we counted the berries we picked for jam, then we counted how many of each color, then I brought out the strawberries from the other flannel and we counted ALL the berries, then the types and so on. You could also easily use them to play memory games by adding and taking away different ones and asking the kids to remember.

I’ll admit that I was a bit nervous going back into storytime after such a long break, I was worried I’d fallen out of sync with it but all was well.

Now, next storytime to conquer will be a StoryTech storytime! I’ll be busting out the apps and videos on our iPad and using them along with regular books to enhance our storytime in a new and hopefully exciting way!

RIBBIT!

frog_jumps

 

Froggies!

I kinda love frogs, from afar. I don’t want to touch them or anything, but they are quite cute. You know what else is cute? The frog books I picked for this storytime! I had a BIG book, a pop up book, and flannel sotries. Super awesome!

In the past for a spring storytime I read “999 Frogs Wake Up” by Ken Kimura and I loved it, super cute illustrations, but I didn’t want to repeat a title that close together. Luckily he has another book “999 Tadpoles” Equally as cute and fun as the other book. I read that and the kids quite enjoyed it. I heard them gasp at the snake and whisper “oh no!”  when papa frog gets captured or they all fall (don’t worry, they’re ok). they really got into the story!

I also read “Wide Mouth Frog” by Keith Faulkner in pop up version because it should be read that way. The kids gasped at every turn of the page and the parents loved it. I liked the end where he makes his mouth all small and I tried to do the same as I was reading and I saw the kids sort of subconsciously purse their lips. hehe.

The BIG BOOK that I read was “Jump Frog, Jump!” by Robert Kalan.  This book was tons of fun but also a challenge! It reminds me of “there was an old lady” stories where it builds and builds as the story goes on but also has at least one constant. It’s a great story for us who perform storytimes to practice pacing and memory but also great for the kids to practice their memory because it gives you the opportunity to let them chime in when they remember the order of things on the list. They also get the chance to yell “JUMP FROG, JUMP!” a whole buncha times and who doesn’t like that?

So as if the awesome books we did weren’t good enough, I also did a “5 Little Speckled Frogs” flannel board using this video

 

I let the song play in the background behind the flannel board and the kids sang / clapped along and acted out the bits with me while I acted out the song on the flannel board. it was fun.

we also did a couple action rhymes:

Polliwog

Polliwog swims in the pond all day
Swishing his tail every which way
Swim, polliwog, swim, polliwog
How fun your life must be! 

Polliwog grows four legs one day
Becomes a frog and hops away
Hop, little frog, hop, little frog
How fun your life must be! 

Little frog sits under a blue sky
He jumps real low and he jumps real high
Jump, little frog, jump, little frog
How fun your life must be!

Ribbit!

Ribbit said the frog (make croaking noise)
With his great big eyes (put hands around eyes like goggles)
sitting on a lilypad (squat like a frog)
catching flies (reach hands out in the air)
“I have a sticky tongue it’s as fast as can be” (stick tongue out)
“And I catch flies…”
1, 2, 3! (stick tongue out to catch flies and count)

We did both of those rhymes a couple times each and they worked pretty well in getting out the wiggles.

All in all, I really enjoyed this storytime, we had lots of fun stuff going on AND we still managed a craft!

It wasn’t super complicated, I just cut out some frogs with the die cut machine and then grabbed some googly eyes and black pom poms and used some left over little white hearts and we made frog and fly collages.

 

Next week we have BEARS, RAWR!

 

Frog (1)

CHOO CHOOOOOO!!!

Well hello! You’ll have to forgive me as I went on vacation and didn’t que up my posts properly. so here ya go!

 


 

 

chugga chugga chugga chugga

This week, we did TRAINS!

Z010533

 

I was pretty excited to do this theme because it lends itself to so many different and fun activities so it allows for a lot of creativity. Weirdly enough though, I wasn’t able to come up with a very good craft for this theme. Of course I thought of all sorts of neat ideas AFTER, but none of them came to me in time. Oh well.

I picked out 4 books but I was almost positive that I wouldn’t read one of them as it was quite long, but I grabbed it anyway just in case.

The books I read were:

Dinosaur Train by John Steven Gurney
Steam Train Dream Train by Sherri Duskey Rinker
A Train Goes Clickety-Clack by Jonathan London

I also did a few different train active rhymes and a flannel board. I had picked up a book about trains that I liked but something about it didn’t jive well with me so I turned it into a flannel board/active rhyme. The books wasThe Train Ride by June Crebbin  I took the text from the book and altered it very slightly to turn it into a rhyme that flowed a bit more since I didn’t have to turn pages and allowed kids to still see the things described by putting them up on the flannel but also allowed them to move a bit since I had then tap their knees or swish their hands to make a train noise.  What’s really weird is that I can’t for the life of me remember how I stumbled across this particular book or where because when I went to look it up after storytime, it didn’t exist. I couldn’t find it in the OPAC and according to Polaris, our copies were removed from the collection years ago. WHAT?!  Ghost Book!

Anyhow, here’s the text I used:

 

We’re riding on a train out of town
What shall I see, what shall I see?
Sheep running off and cows laying down
That’s what I see, that’s what I see

Over the meadow up on the hill
What shall I see, what shall I see?
A mare and her foal standing perfectly still
That’s what I see, that’s what I see

There’s farm in the distance down the road
What shall I see, what shall I see?
A shiny red tractor pulling it’s load
That’s what I see, that’s what I see

Here in my seat, my lunch on me knee
What shall I see, what shall I see?
A ticket collector smiling at me
That’s what I see, that’s what I see

Through the window I’m looking out
What shall I see, what shall I see?
A gaggle of geese, strutting about
That’s what I see, that’s what I see

Over the treetops, high in the sky
What shall I see, what shall I see?
A hot air balloon, sailing by!
That’s what I see, that’s what I see

Listen! The engine is slowing down
What shall I see, what shall I see?
The market square in the seaside town
That’s what I see, that’s what I see

Now in the station, who shall I see?
Who shall I see? who shall I see?
There is my grandma! Welcoming me!

I made up some simple images for the flannel board using clipart and simply placed them up as I recited the rhyme/story. It goes quite quickly so you could easily add more lines or stanzas to it if you’d like. I often like to let the kids suggest things and incorporate it to the rhyme…even though it usually doesn’t rhyme because I’m just not that quick on my feet like some librarians. (would storytime librarians make good rap battlers? That should be a thing. )  The kids seemed to get a kick out of this activity and the parents liked the ending a lot. 🙂

I also did “The wheels on the train”

 

 

“The Wheels on the Train”
(to the tune of “Wheels on the Bus”)

1. The Wheels on the train go clickety-clack all down the track
2. The Whistle on the train goes toot, toot, toot all down the track
3. The Conductor on the train says “all aboard” all down the track
4. The Crossing Gates go clang, clang, clang all down the track
5. The People on the train go bumpety-bump all down the track

And stole this little activity from TheBettyJulie on youtube. As she states, it’s not just a fun and cute rhyme, but it’s a great way to develop brain connections and fine tune some motor skills. In fact, I found out that I certainly could work on some of mine as I was far less coordinated on one side than I was on the other!

 

Again, I let the kids make some suggestions for where we go on the train because it’s fun and it’s good practice for me to improvise.

 

I enjoyed this storytime theme a lot but wish I could have come up with a fun craft to incorporate. oh well.