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.

 

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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

C is for Colleen and that’s good enough for me.

Ok, I lied, C is for Cookie is how Cookie Monster sings it, but I always liked changing it to my name because I thought it was pretty cool.

funny-gif-Cookie-Monster-surprised

 

I was on vacation for last weeks Thursday session and this week’s Monday session so there was some mixin’ up going on. Right before I left we were approached by some people involved in a “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” production who wanted to come in and do a storytime but I wasn’t sure which session they’d attend so it was a little up in the air theme wise this week. They ended up coming and doing the Monday session so their theme was cookies that evening where my co-worker then did rhymes and songs about cookies before they made a paper plate mouse craft to go with “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”. When I came in on Thursday I didn’t have a set plan for theme but then I heard that we had been generously given 4 tickets to the production to give away so I figured I should do something at least mildly cookie related. I ended up going with a theme of The Letter “C”.

I read the books:

The Police Cloud” by Christoph Niemann 

Cat Tale” by Michael Hall

and, of course, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Numeroff

The Letter C puzzle flannel which I shamelessly stole from Storytime Katie is what I used to kick off our storytime. I told the kids that I forgot what my theme was for storytime and though I brought a puzzle to remind me, the pieces were all jumbled and I’d need their help to figure it out. Each piece had something that began with the letter C on it which I held up and had them tell me what it was. My puzzle contained

cookies
caterpillar
cat
cow
cupcake
crayons
candy cane

 

c puzzle

I put them up on the board somewhat in the shape of the letter, but not too close so it wouldn’t give it away and then I had them help me move them to their proper places. I was silly about it by putting them in the wrong spots and upside down and it all got some good laughs. I was actually quite surprised at just how well they did. I had a huge group, over 70, so I obviously couldn’t have them come up and help physically so I was worried that it wouldn’t go well with them just vocally helping me but it did! I wish I could have made the puzzle a bit bigger so it’d be easier to see, but unfortunately our printer won’t print on very large paper.  :/

As soon as the puzzle was together they IMMEDIATELY got what I was going for and we figured out what our storytime was about, yay!

I then told them with my hands that we’d be reading a

BOOK

about The Letter “C”

The first book was we did was The Police Cloud. It was a cute book and turned out to be a great book for me to ask the kids questions after and sometimes during and the kids even asked me a few without having me solicit them to! One girl asked how the cloud put the fire out, so we went back and looked at that page and talked about the picture and came up with a few possible scenarios as to how it may have happened. It was a simple story but turned out to be quite engaging.

Between my first and second book I did down around the corner at the bakery shop which I also did during my Money Smart Storytime but it’s fun and the kids like it so why not put it to good use.

Down around the corner at the Bakery Shop

Down around the corner at the Bakery Shop
(tap hands on knees in rhythm or move arms down and over with “down around the corner”)

Were 5 little cookies with sprinkles on top
(hold up 5 fingers then “sprinkle fingers”)

Along came someone with a nickel to pay
(hold up nickel flannel piece and replace cookie on board with nickel)

They bought a little cookie and ate it right away
(pretend to eat cookie)

CONTINUE WITH 4, 3, 2, AND 1

Down around the corner at the Bakery Shop
(tap hands on knees in rhythm or move arms down and over with “down around the corner”)

Were no little cookies with sprinkles on top
(hold arms up and shake head no)

Along came someone with a nickel to pay
But they had to come back another day

 

After our first rhyme, I read our next book, in fact, kids started calling out “Read another book!” after we finished our rhyme. haha. Though I do plan an outline for each storytime so I’m not fumbling around deciding if I should read a book or do a flannel in the middle of the storytime, I do often try to include the kids in the decision making as much as I can so if I know that I can easily switch a book for a flannel or if I have 2 books that would each work equally as well order wise I’ll often ask which they prefer. This time I didn’t even have to. Up next was Cat Tale and let me tell you, I fell in love with that book. it’s such a fun and silly read! The illustrations are big and bold and the words and the way it was written just crack me up. I was a tad bit worried that I’d have trouble reading it as it can get quite twisty at times, but no problem at all! I do think that it’s one of those books that you really have to get into if you want it to come across well, if you just sit there and read the words on the page, it loses the silliness.

I also used the Cat Tale book to ask lots of memory and observational questions, mostly about color since there were so many big blocks of it. “Can you tell me something that you saw that was blue?”  I obviously had certain things in my head that I figured they’d say, but they always surprised me by remembering random or little things that were whatever color. Kids are impressive!

After that it was on to our next active rhyme. I told them that one of my favorite fruits were cherries and then we talked about what color sherries were. I asked them if they’d ever seen purple cherries, or green cherries, or blue cherries which they all giggled no to but then I tried to trick them and asked if they’d ever seen yellow cherries, most of them giggled again and said no, but one kid yelled “YES! I HAVE!” haha. Then I said we were going to pretend to pick some cherries by doing a rhyme; Four Red Cherries. I found it here and changed it a bit and added a couple verses to make it a bit longer for the older kids. The kids helped me out by performing the actions as we said them and counting on their fingers. When we finished one kid asked what we should do with all the cherries and one kid suggested we throw them in the trash but then another shouted “I’ll eat them!” 😛

Four Red Cherries

Four red cherries on the tree,
Two for you and two for me.
So WIGGLE that tree and watch them fall.
One, two, three, four -that is all.

Four red cherries on the tree,
Two for you and two for me.
So CLAP at that tree and watch them fall.
One, two, three, four -that is all.

Four red cherries on the tree,
Two for you and two for me.
So BLOW on that tree and watch them fall.
One, two, three, four -that is all.

OH! I JUST NOW remembered that I had intended to do the other cookie rhyme I really like but totally forgot. bummer. Oh well, here it is in case anybody wants to use it.

Five Big Cookies

Five big cookies sitting in the bowl. (hold up five fingers)
One fell out and started to roll. (roll hands)
It bounced off the table and hit my toe (clap once, and touch toes )
How many cookies now sitting in the bowl? 1-2-3-4 (Count fingers)
Four big cookies sitting in the bowl. (hold up four fingers)
One fell out and started to roll. (roll hands)
It bounced off the table and hit my toe (clap once, and touch toes )
How many cookies sitting in the bowl? 1-2-3 (Count fingers)
Three, big cookies sitting in the bowl. (hold up three fingers)
One fell out and started to roll. (roll hands)
It bounced off the table and hit my toe (clap once, and touch toes )
How many cookies sitting in the bowl? 1-2 (Count fingers)
Two, big cookies sitting in the bowl (hold up two fingers)
One fell out and started to roll. (roll hands)
It bounced off the table and hit my toe (clap once, and touch toes )
How many cookies sitting in the bowl? 1-2-3 (Count fingers)
One big cookie sitting in the bowl. (hold up one fingers)
It fell out and started to roll. (roll hands)
It bounced off the table and hit my toe (clap once, and touch toes )
How many cookies sitting in the bowl? (Hold up one fingers)
No big cookies sitting in the bowl
They all fell out and started to roll (roll hands)
They bounced off the table and they hit my toes (clap once, and touch toes )
So don’t put those cookies back in the bowl (shake finger no) 

Original credit for this goes here, but I changed it up a bit for me.

Now, I quite like the “if you give a…” books so I had fun reading that one, but they aren’t really new and exciting books, but that’s ok!  While I do try to incorporate new and different books into my storytimes, it’s good to bring out an old favorite every once in a while. After we finished reading, I announced that we’d be giving out the tickets and then we headed back to the craft room for our craft. I had intended to do paper plate cookies with chocolate chips, but I couldn’t find the left over chocolate chips so I had to improvise and use sequins instead. It turned out just as fun though. I provided a paper plate, crayons, glue and sequins and let the kids each “bake” their own cookie.

I felt really good about this session even though it was rather last minute. hah. Sometimes you just have those sessions that even though it feels super planned and great, it doesn’t go well, and sometimes you really luck out and go in pretty blind and flustered and things just go fabulously. 🙂

We’re now on a storytime break as we gear up for summer reading. I’ve got lots of fun stuff planned though so stay tuned! 😀

Money smarts

This week was Money Smart Week and we held special Money Smart themed storytimes for our Preschool crowd. We were generously provided with many many copies of The Berenstain Bears’ Trouble with Money to give out to attendees. We also had some pretty great MoonJar Money boxes to give out or do during craft time. I did still provide my own craft though which was a super cute papercraft piggy bank. (I’ll be honest, I found it online and edited it to fit my needs. p.s. the page isn’t in English.)

piggy bank 1

 

As for the craft, though it was super adorable and I had lots of comments on how cute and fun it was, I also noticed that many of the ESL families had trouble understanding the concept of it. I remember doing similar projects to this growing up, even things like paper dolls, so I never even considered that this might be a strange craft to people who haven’t grown up in america. Anybody else have similar experiences with a craft or activity that you assumed was relatively common knowledge only to find out that familiarity with it might be entirely dependent upon your country or even state of origin!?

Anyhow, we read 3 books and did some rhymes.

The first book I read was Bunny Money by Rosemary Wells. I made this an interactive book by also creating flannel pieces to go with the story. I made money that matched the money in the story to help them visualize as we went along. If I read this book again in the future, I might add other flannel pieces like a music box or the bluebird earrings. I think it’s a cute book and enjoyed reading it.

bunny money

 

After our first book with did a flannel rhyme.

Down around the corner at the Bakery Shop

Down around the corner at the Bakery Shop
(tap hands on knees in rhythm or move arms down and over with “down around the corner”)

Were 5 little cookies with sprinkles on top
(hold up 5 fingers then “sprinkle fingers”)

Along came someone with a nickel to pay
(hold up nickel flannel piece and replace cookie on board with nickel)

They bought a little cookie and ate it right away
(pretend to eat cookie)

CONTINUE WITH 4, 3, 2, AND 1

Down around the corner at the Bakery Shop
(tap hands on knees in rhythm or move arms down and over with “down around the corner”)

Were no little cookies with sprinkles on top
(hold arms up and shake head no)

Along came someone with a nickel to pay
But they had to come back another day

 

I had fun with this flannel and the kids interacted by telling me which cookie they wanted to buy next which gives them an opportunity to practice colors, shapes, or using other descriptive words. I also had fun making the flannel, who doesn’t like sparkly cookies?!

om nom glitter cookies

om nom glitter cookies

As you can see, my cookies were all round and featured different color and shaped frosting and glitter “sprinkles” but I would like to make  a few more cookies in different shapes, and maybe even doughnuts as those would also fit well with the rhyme.

 

Our second book was Caterina and the Lemonade Stand by Erin Eitter Kono. I thought this book was quite unique in terms of illustrations. it was very collage-y and kinda busy, but also had very pretty and soft illustrations. the story is a cute story about a little bird who wants to buy a scooter but needs to raise money so she does so by creating a very unique lemonade stand.

Our final book was You can’t buy a dinosaur with a dime by Harriet Ziefert. I quite liked the rhythm of this story, but it did have some somewhat strange bits thrown in about the money spent and such that didn’t fit the rhythm and felt cumbersome when reading out loud though I could see it working quite well for a one on one read. We talked about how many dinosaurs he had, what kind, what colors, what they’d buy with their money, good stuff.

 

Overall, I liked this theme, but if I do it again next year, there are a few things I’d tweak a bit.

Have any of you ever done a Money Smart or other money themed Storytime? Did you have anything that stood out as a huge win or huge fail?

 

hippity hoppity

Easter’s on its way

Sorta.

Once again, a loose take on a holiday theme. This time, Bunnies for Easter. This is my second year doing a bunny/Easter theme and this year, much like last, I kept it pretty bunny-centric without mentioning Easter much. I was hoping to do “Boy and his Bunny” again but couldn’t get my hands on it so I picked some new ones.

The first book I read was Muncha, Muncha, Muncha by Candace Fleming. ah, yes, I love these books. I considered doing “Tippy-Tippy-Tippy, hide but decided against it as it was more wintery themed so I’ll save it for another time. both of those books are great reads and excellent for reading out loud. The kids had fun trying to figure out how the bunnies would get around each obstacle.

After our book we did our first action rhyme. Bunnies lend themselves very well to movement activities so we moved around a lot as opposed to doing flannel activities. I’ve seen about 32786545 versions of the following rhyme with different animals and creatures doing different actions and I don’t think I’ll ever tire of them.

Bunny, Bunny

Bunny, bunny, hop real low
Bunny, bunny, say hello
Bunny, bunny, hop 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

My second book was  The Little Rabbit who liked to say Moo by Jonathan Allen. This book read very interactively as all the kids wanted to make the animal noises which was great. I always love being able to give them free reign to make a bunch of noise. I like the illustrations in this book, and the concept behind it, but I will admit that I get a tad bit bored reading it. It feels quite repetitive to me, and maybe the kids don’t mind or enjoy it, but I do worry that they’ll also find it boring when each page is “What noise do you make?”

wait…. who am I kidding, what kid doesn’t want to scream “quack quack quack!!” at the top of their lungs in a library. 😛

On to our next active rhyme. The original for this can be found here and I tweaked the version below just a tad.

 

Little Bunny’s Ears

Little bunny’s ears are flop flop floppy,
(Place hands by ears and flop)

Little bunny’s feet are hop hop hoppy.
(hop)

His fur is soft,
(stroke arm)

And nose is fluffy,
(touch nose)

His tail is short and powder-puffy! (wiggle hands behind back)

We did this rhyme a few times in a row. I usually try to go through it once quite slowly to introduce them to the rhymes and the actions and then we’ll do it again and then almost always they ask to do it faster, then faster, then super-uper-duper fast which usually ends with me trying to do it as fast as humanly possible and then just flailing my arms and making funny noises because that’s always good for a laugh.

Our final book was Piggy Bunny by Rachel Vail which I LOVED. the illustrations were adorable, the story had some cute jokes (even if the kids didn’t quite get it), and honestly, it sent a really awesome message of “be yourself” without being too cheesy. If nothing else I think the kids enjoyed it because how silly is it to see a pig dressed as a bunny? (hint, it’s puh-retty silly).

In my first session on Monday I think I actually also read “Hey Rabbit” but I can’t clearly remember since I’m writing this up so far after. Either way, it’s on my outline notes so maybe I was just thinking about it? oh well. bunny
Our craft this year was a bunny ear headband craft. SUPER simple and yet SUPER adorable! I LOVED seeing all the little bunnies hopping around the storytime room and kid’s area after. Parents were snapping pictures left and right, just too fun. I *did* have some pictures of my set up but my phone was stolen and I sadly lost all my stuff. 😦  Here’s an excellent example I just pulled from online. Other versions I’ve seen have had fancy paper used for the accent color on the ears, that would be lots of fun too and you could do all sorts of neat things like polka dots or stripes, but I just used our plentiful stash of construction paper in white and brown with pink for inside the ears. They were equally as cute. 😉

 

Hoppy Easter!

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Star Wars Reads Day 2014

You guys! I never posted about Star Wars Reads Day 2014!!
How did this happen?

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I feel like I’m losing nerd cred…ok, on with it.

 

star-wars-opening-o

 

We had done May the 4th Be With You day but now it was time for Star Wars Reads Day

This day was full of Star Wars crafts, games, and lots of books. We made masks, had puzzles, screened the Star Wars the Clone Wars animated movie, and completed our Jedi training by building our very own lightsabers before posing for our glamour shots in the photobooth.

I actually “did” the program at TWO libraries because I’m magic and can be in two places at once (kidding, probably).

I planned, ordered and printed materials, booked, and coordinated both but was only at one library for the day while relying on amazing co-workers and volunteers to run the event at the other library. Star Wars Reads Day 2014 marks my 3rd year doing SWRD program and my 3rd year starting the program at a new library. I’ve started the program at 3 different libraries, one each year…to keep that trend going, it means I’ll have to find a new library to begin working at and start it there this year! (won’t happen, hah)

The day was full of awesome crafting, games, reading, and Star Wars. Here are pictures from the photobooths at each location!

http://tinyurl.com/SWRDlibrary1

http://tinyurl.com/SWRDlibrary2

Here’s me with one of my favorite costumed characters I saw all day!

DSC_0095

is this not adorable!?!

 

As for the activities, aside from the photobooth, One year I had a really awesome Trivia session (if you ask really nicely, I might even share the powerpoint I made)

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I’ve also stuck with the classic DIY lightsabers craft which you can find a variety of different ways of doing. I personally found that some basic posterboard and craft tubes work best. Here are the links to the printable hilts and a link to the posterboard I used which is inexpensive and worked perfectly!

Lightsaber Hilt from Disney
Discount Poster Board

I’ve also had a Star Wars Character Mask station each year with very basic printouts out cardstock which only require that the kids cut them out, punch the holes and tie them on. Easy peasy and super popular.
Excellent Printable Star Wars Masks from GeekMom Mashup
(love her site!)

I’ve also found the “Droid Creation Station” to be a big hit. Basically, I gathered various cardboard supplies (think trash lab programs) and supplemented them with a plethora of shiny, sparkly, do-dads and let kids go wild in our craft room and build their own droid, just like Anakin!

buy all the shiny crafts!

buy all the shiny crafts!

I’ve also had games that range from very basic lo-tech like the “force relay race” game that we did using our red and green (perfect colors for jedi and sith!) wooden rhythm sticks to keep our storytime scarves afloat as they walk up and down a line as fast as possible or our Deathstar beanbag toss game to a much more hi-tech game using Speros (spheroes?) to play our “Drive a Droid” station where kids or staff create an obstacle course that they then have to navigate a droid (sphero) through.

I made two versions of the Deathstar Beanbag toss game. The first one was very last minute and kinda crummy, the second one (next year) was way better since I planned ahead.

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here’s the first one I made that was only cardboard so the force was not very strong with this one. The paint came out pretty great though so I may try to mount it to some wood for strength.

The second version I made out of wood with the help of my boss who did all the woodworking for me. (yay, boss!)

 

Random Star Wars crafty things. This page has a great collection of crafts, games, and printables. Many of the crafts are things I’ve considered for events but couldn’t manage for our large crowds of 200-300, maybe I’ll use them for a smaller event, or they would work great for smaller libraries.

For most of the crafts / activities I’ve done, I’ve tried to make them relatively simple so that people can drop in and work at their own pace and not have to worry about what time they get there or how busy it is. For example, one of the stations I put together was a writing station. this isn’t just any writing station though, it’s writing in Aurebesh which is “a writing system commonly used to represent the Basic language” Kids could write their name, a secret note, a whole story if they wanted! This might seem silly or just fun, but it also encourages literacy and creative writing skills.

Aurebesh-GMSR

I’ve always gotten excellent feedback about these programs. I love not only seeing the kids dress up and geek out, but their parents and even older kids do as well which I think makes it even cooler for the little kids to be able to see that. The event itself is awesome in so many ways but I just love that they have such a recognizable and well loved franchise that pairs up SO well with reading! there are Star Wars books GALORE! And have you seen Wookieepedia?!  And these are not just books, these are graphic novels, Omnibus collections, phonics learning tools, chapter books for kids, early literacy readers, and even picture books. There is literally a Star Wars book out there for any kind of reader. Or if you’re an super-nerd, like me, sometimes you get so into a book or character that you then have to go read up on their entire history and other character relations and back stories on their wiki page which can take HOURS. ok, this analogy might be a bit…brash, but talk about a gateway drug, these books have the ability to not only get kids hooked, but they are so many formats and option our there that before they know it, kids (or reluctant adult readers) will soon find themselves perusing other sci-fi books or mysteries, or even, (GASP) non-fiction! Science of Star Wars anybody?

Check out my May the Fourth post to read more about our Star Wars programs and to see some pictures.

I’m REALLY hoping that we secure a visit from the 501st for this Star Wars Reads Day at one or both of my libraries because it makes it just that much more amazing.

This coming year I plan to keep the old standbys of DIY lightsaber, and the print out masks, but I’d like to change the event up a bit as well, maybe instead of a photobooth we make a mural wall for photo ops? Maybe make your own Star Wars graphic novel with pre-drawn scenes that just need words in the word bubbles? Who knows!? I’ve got a bunch of ideas a brewin’ and I can’t wait!

DIY Lightsabers are excellent for protecting against cupcake thieves.

DIY Lightsabers are excellent for protecting against cupcake thieves.

 

Love is in the air

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Love is in the air!

For Valentine’s Day, and many other holiday themes, I like to keep things pretty generic as far as the book that I read go. I usually will engage the kids by asking if anybody celebrated any holidays recently and then chat about their answers before starting the books, but I don’t really, or try not to, read too many holiday specific titles. For Valentine’s Day I chose 3 books about love.

My first book was “Henry in Love” by Peter McCarty I LOVE the illustrations in this! they were simple and the colors are rather muted, but they stand out well on the page and are simply adorable. The text is a bit long so I don’t know that it would work with younger kids, but having it as the first book worked well for my preschoolers. I will admit that I did find a few of the transitions (or lack there of) a bit abrupt or awkward, but that may have just been me.

After our first book, I went right into our second title, “How do I Love You” by Leslie Kimmelman unfortunately our copy is a bit…well loved, but the illustrations are bold and fun and the text has great flow and rhymes. This book is actually in our concept collection as it teaches basic counting skills, but it worked very well for storytime.

After we made it through 2 books, we did our first active rhyme. Actually, I guess I’d call this more of an interactive flannel board. This is yet ANOTHER version of what I like to call a hide-away flannel. I’ve seen a few of these floating around the storytime blogosphere and my preschoolers love it. I’ve done a hat themed one, a lovebug themed one, a school themed one, and I think maybe even one more that has slipped my mind currently. Either way, it’s a great way to refocus any extra enthusiastic kiddos, or kill some extra time if your books go faster than planned or whatever. I also just love how much fun we all have.

For this theme we did “Lovebug” which I originally found on Deb’s Design blog

Lovebug, lovebug, oh so smart
Are you under the ______ heart?

Each time you say the rhyme, the kids get to yell out the color you’ve picked. I find it’s easiest if I explain the game then ask them which color we should pick first, then, we do the rhyme and that way they all know what color to call out in the rhyme. After we finish the rhyme, we remove that color item and see if the object is hidden under and we guessed correctly or if we have to pick a new color. We usually play 2 or 3 rounds of this depending on how quickly they find the item. I always try to trick them a little bit by pretending there’s no hidden item or picking the wrong colors or something. They always find it silly and love to correct me. 😛

After a few rousing rounds of that, we read our final book, “A Kiss like this” by Mary Murphy which is super cute. We read this as an interactive book where I asked them how they thought each animal would kiss. For giraffe I got lots of tall kisses and for the mice I saw lots of teeny tiny kisses, and for fish, fishy faced kisses! 😀

Aside from the 3 books and the hide-away flannel, I also did my valentine card rhyme on the flannel board. I think I’ll need to make new cards next year because I made them from paper last year and they were a bit rough looking after being stored for a year. hah

I originally found the rhyme on Storytime Katie’s blog and made the cards myself.

Six little Valentines were sent to my house,
The first one said, “I love you, From Mouse.”
Five little Valentines in my mailbox,
The second one said, “Be mine, Love Fox.”
Four little Valentines full of love,
The third one said, “You are sweet, From Dove.”
Three little Valentines just for me,
The fourth one said, “Be my honey, Love Bee.”
Two little Valentine’s mailed with care,
The fifth one said, “Here’s a hug, From Bear.”
The last little Valentine, from my friend Jay,
This one said, “Happy Valentine’s Day!”

I held each card up as we counted and then open them when we got to the second line and had them call out the animal they saw. (I’ll try to get pictures and upload them later)

For our craft, we made silly love bug headbands. I cut long strips of construction paper and then cut out a bunch of construction paper hearts and put those out with some googly eyes and glue sticks and let them go to town.
It’s always fun to watch them make something they can wear after storytime. hah

So next week I’ll finally get to that Dino storytime that has gotten bumped back a few times. RAWR!

 

 

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