Thursday, August 7, 2014

Nighty-Night : Bedtime Books

50+ year old Meg
Storytime may happen in the morning right after we've all gotten out of bed, but that's no reason to NOT celebrate the closing of the day! All our stories today were about bedtime, going to sleep, and what happens at night. I wore my flannel jammies (which was a bit of a mistake in early August ...), fuzzy slippers and brought my oldest, dearest teddy to storytime.

Here are the books we shared today :

I whipped out my old Monkey Mitt with the pom-pom monkeys and got out a toy telephone and we
all chanted the "Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed" rhyme ... some things never grow old, do they?

A fun song to sing (or game to play) is "Five in the Bed" -- we shared this today as a flannel :

Don't forget to include the last line where the littlest bear hogs the big feather bed all to himself, complete with a big feather pillow -- good night!

 Finally, we ended with a very sweet bedtime story courtesy of Amy Hest. "Kiss Goodnight" tells the story of Sam who is waiting and waiting for that one special something to conclude a proper bedtime. Can you guess what it is? Yes, a giant goodnight kiss (AGAIN!). We shared this story with the fabulous prop set from Book Props. Unfortunately, this prop is no longer available, but with a little effort could be made into a fabulous feltboard prop!

Our early literacy tip today was "Write Together!" -- to that end, I handed out an activity sheet designed for the earliest letter writers to use in working on control of their marker, pencil or crayon. Simply trace the dotted red lines as you tell Sam's story and list each of the things he needs (plus a kiss!) before going to sleep.

For at-home use only.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Beautiful Butterflies

Caterpillars, moths, cocoons, butterflies and chrysalises -- today we celebrated the wonder that is the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly or moth.

Here are the books we shared :

I took the tried and ever so true song/fingerplay "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" and tweaked it for today's theme :
The itsy bitsy caterpillar
Crawled upon a leaf
She munched on some milkweed
Just like it was roast beef (yum!)
Curled into a chrysalis ... (snore)
And when her time was through ...
Unfurled her wings
And into the sky she flew!
Your caterpillar is your wiggly index finger.
A leaf can be the palm of one hand.
Tuck your finger into a fist for the chrysalis.
To make the butterfly, hook your thumbs together and wiggle your fingers for the butterfly wings.

Our flannel story for today also involved chrysalises (we do love our Monarch butterflies in Minnesota).

This idea was purposefully stolen from the awesome Miss Mary Liberry who provided not only the artistic inspiration but the text for the rhyme as well :

Five little caterpillars and not one more,
One made a chrysallis (see??) and now there are four.

Four little caterpillars sitting on a tree
One made a chrysallis and now there are three ...

... big job to do ... now there are two
... basking in the sun ... now there's just one
... knew his work was almost done ... now there are none

BUT ...

One chrysallis opened up underneath the sun
Now there's a beautiful butterfly and that makes one!

... with the morning dew ... that makes two
... shade of the tree ... that makes three
... spreading her wings galore ... now there are four
... feeling so alive ... at last there are five

We concluded our Butterfly Storytime with a group re-telling of the familiar "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle. I used a large caterpillar puppet (old Folkmanis stock) and the monarch butterfly puppet as well as flannel pieces for all the food Mr. Caterpillar ate.

Our handout for today was to encourage the "Play Together" aspect of ECRR2.
"The Very Hungry Caterpillar BINGO" game is something everyone can enjoy, so I sent home a sheet with BINGO cards as well as the images for drawing pieces to play the game. This BINGO game comes courtesy of articulation360 :

For at home use only -- please do not distribute outside of your home

Saturday, June 21, 2014

It's (finally) SUMMER!

After what seemed like the coldest, longest winter in Minnesota, we were finally able to celebrate SUMMER at storytime today!

Here were our book selections for the day :
In preparation for outdoor summer eating, our fingerplay for today was "Five Little Hot Dogs" ... with a bit of a twist at the end :
Five little hot dots
Frying in the pan
(five fingers of R hand rest in palm of L hand)
The pan got hot (pssss!)
And one went ... BAM!
(clap hands together)
Four little hot dogs ...
Three little hot dogs ...
Two little hot dogs ...
One little hot dog
Frying in the pan
The pan got hot
And one went .....
"Please put me in a bun, put ketchup and mustard on me,
and EAT ME UP! yummm ..."
The story "Red Chalk" by Iris van der Heide was shared courtesy of Book Props, Inc.
I find this book to be a bit jarring, so I took some liberties with the text to soften the message. The toys go round the circle, trading hands, but at the very end, all the kids come together to play a game of hopscotch -- something they can all share.
Summer means ice cream ... and ice cream means this flannel song!
"Ice Cream Man"
Ice cream man,
Do you know?
I love chocolate ice cream so,
Find some, find some if you can!
Thank you, ice cream man!
I especially love putting the cherry on the top of the ice cream cone at the end.
If you would like to create this song at home, here is the handout we had at storytime today!
Cut out the pieces, color them in any flavor you like and SING TOGETHER to create your very own topsy-turvy ice cream cone!
Please use only for at-home, personal use

Monday, June 9, 2014

Tremendous Trains

All aboard?
It's time for a TRAIN storytime!

Storytime was introduced today with a demo of a wooden train whistle. The train whistle I have is from Lionel and can be purchased here for the low, low price of $3.99. If you have a true train afficionado in your household, you may want to consider this for the next birthday gift.

Then we climbed aboard and shared these stories :

This chant is something I've known since I was about five years old -- we used it when I was a child to count off for who was "it" in tag. Can also be used as a nice train chant and tied in great with the text of "I'm Fast!" which involved, what else? a race to Chicago!

Engine, engine, number nine
Going down Chicago line,
If the train should leave its track,
Do you want your money back?
Yes ... (nod head)
No ... (shake head)
Maybe so ... ("so-so" hand sign)

For our flannel today, I used the pieces from my longer "Freight Train" flannel to accompany this text (thanks to Storytime Katie for the fab idea!) :

Clickety-clack, clickety-clack,
Here comes a train on the railroad track!
Clickety-clunn, clickety-clunn,
Here comes the engine -- that's number ONE!
Clickety-clew, clickety-clew,
Here comes the coal car -- that's number TWO!
Clickety-clee, clickety-clee,
Here comes the box car -- that's number THREE!
Clickety-clore, clickety-clore,
Here comes the tank car -- that's number FOUR!
Clickety-clive, clickety-clive,
Here comes the cattle car -- that's number FIVE!
Clickety-clicks, clickety-clicks,
Here comes the caboose -- that's number SIX!
Clickety-clack, clickety-clack, there GOES the train on the railroad track ...
Chooo - chooooo .... goodbye!

My handout today was intended to help with "Read Together!" at home.
Courtesy of Making Learning Fun, this is a cool activity to take home and work on together.
Simply color in each train image, cut on the long edge, tape the ends together, and fold accordian style to form a book.
(this image is intended for at-home use only)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bunny, Bunny, RABBIT!

Since Easter is a taboo subject at our county library system, I decided to host a rabbit/bunny themed storytime for this week before Easter.

We read ...


I know rabbits are considered pests in the garden and they reproduce like bananas, but I just can't resist them ... those little bunny faces chewing furiously while occasionally rubbing their eyes with their paws ... WHO can deny that face anything?
Here is a cute bunny photo :

... and another one :
I rest my case.
OK, back to storytime!
I shared a very silly rhyme which included a subtle commentary on rabbits, er, reproduction prowness. I sang it to the tune of "Frere Jacques" :
Gail and Sue had two little rabbits
(put two index fingers up, on top of head)
Two little rabbits,
Two little rabbits,
Gail and Sue had two little rabbits
Bing and Bong
(dip each finger down on the name)
Gail and Sue had four little rabbits
(show two fingers of L and R hand)
Two little rabbits ...
Ding and Dong
Six little rabbits ...
Ping and Pong
Eight little rabbits ...
Sing and Song
Ten little rabbits ...
Gail and Sue had ten little rabbits ...
Our friend Peter Rabbit made an appearance with this silly song from my co-worker Anna over at Future Librarian Superhero :

The words were put up individually on the flannel board. After singing the song through once (to the tune of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic") I replaced the red words with question marks ... I let the kids help me figure out which words were missing as we sang the song. I then replaced the red words, but not in the proper location (which was tricky ... I ended up with "Little Fly Rabbit had a Nose upon his Peter" ... this elicited giggles from the parents, but the kids were blissfully unaware of my off-color word placement).
To end our storytime, I "performed" the all-too familiar song "Little Bunny Foo Foo" using the rabbit puppet and mice finger puppets from Folkmanis, and a fancy tiara and wand.
Remember ... the moral of the story is : "HARE today, GOON tomorrow!"
(yuk yuk yuk).
This was our handout today, to encourage playing the "Little Bunny Foo Foo" game at home. Please print for at-home use only.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Do You Know Your ABCs and 123s?

Counting and Letters!
Storytime today focused on the alphabet and numbers.

Here are the books that we shared :
For the Lois Ehlert book, we played an "I Spy" game.
I put a bunch of flannel fruits and veggies up and we tried to figure out what might be on each page of the book. You can do this at home too -- read the book, and try to find things you might have in your cupboard or fridge that match the letters and pictures on the page. Try to find other foods that might fit in with each letter as well!

Do you know the A-B-C song?
Do you know the backwards A-B-C song?
Try this out!

Our last story today was Splash by Ann Jonas
I had a great prop courtesy of Book Props (unfortunately, this title is no longer in stock) that was a great way to practice counting while telling a silly story.
Here is the handout I had available to accompany the book -- this is for at-home use only. Please duplicate only as needed.

 Happy counting and reading!


Monday, March 31, 2014

Dinosaurs BIG, Dinosaurs small

Who doesn't like a giant lizard?
Today was all about that big extinct beast, the dinosaur.

Here are the books we shared :

I love this silly take on "Baby Bumblebee" -- such a fun little number.

I'm bringing home a baby dinosaur,
Won't my mommy fall right through the floor?
I'm bringing home a baby dinosaur ...
Ouch! He bit me!

I'm bringing home a baby dinosaur,
Feeding him will make my mommy poor,
I'm bringing home a baby dinosaur ...
Hey, where did all the dog food go?

I'm bringing home a baby dinosaur,
My mommy says, "Don't bring home anymore!!"
I'm bringing home a baby dinosaur ...
Um, Mom? Where are you going with all your suitcases?

These dinosaur flannel pieces (courtesy of Piper Loves the Library) are absolute perfection for any storytime, for children of all ages :

One little dino went out to play
On a bright and sunny day,
She had such ENORMOUS fun
That she called for another dinosaur to come
"oh ... DI-NO-SAUR!!!!"
tromp, tromp, tromp
Two little dinos went out to play ...

For those of you who were unable to receive an activity sheet today, here is a copy of what I handed out -- please only use at home for personal use.


Monday, March 3, 2014

Cows in the Meadow, Moo! Moo! Moo!

Moooooo ....
It's a bovine celebration at storytime today!

Among the books we shared today are two of my absolute favorites -- Jackie French's Too Many Pears falls in my "perfect for storytime" category -- fantastic double-page illustrations, humor, a touch of the exotic (womat! Australia!) and a story that both toddlers and preschoolers can appreciate, as long as it is read during the front-end of storytime. It was my lead-off book for today.

David LaRochelle and Mike Wohnoutka collaborated to publish Moo!, a book that is a little gem and works extremely well in supporting the "Read Together" aspect of the ECRR2 curriculum. Additionally, they are from my area and all-around good guys, so you can't go wrong with this book. I love it.

Rounded out the selection with classics from Denise Fleming and Nancy Tafuri, both grand dames of the children's picture book publishing world.

There was a bit of discussion several weeks ago on Storytime Underground about which flannel sets were the most basic and important to have in your collection. Prompted by this, I decided to update my "farm animals" flannel (which can be used for a myriad of stories) to use at this storytime.

I adapted the "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" text to "Brown Cow, Brown Cow" -- since I ran out of traditional colors, I ended with a purple chicken which, naturally, everyone thought was very silly ... unless, of course, there is a purple marshmallow chicken in your Easter basket. I had all the animals end in the red barn at the end :
I'm sure I'll be using this set again at both my Family and Baby storytimes.

Along those same lines, I adapted the book Lunch! by Denise Fleming to involve a cow rather than a mouse -- why not??  In some ways, it was a lot more humorous because I used my Folkmanis cow puppet which has a large mouth and each food item was able to be "eaten" by the cow.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Who's Sick Today?

We all hate being sick.

Today at storytime we shared stories about illness which included toothaches, sore throats, sneezes and sniffles. We also talked about washing hands to keep those pesky germs AWAY from our bodies!

Books We Shared Today
Who's Sick Today?  by Lynne Cherry (young stoats with sore throats!)
Hippo Goes Bananas  by Marjorie Dennis Murray
Llama Llama Home with Mama  by Anna Dewdney
Hunky Dory Ate It  by Katie Evans

For a hand-washing excersise, we shared this fingerplay rhyme.
I made these silly germ monsters with art work from which I used on my fingers -- each germ was washed away as the rhyme progressed :

Five nasty germs going out to play
Along came the water ... and washed one away!

Four nasty germs trying to have some fun,
Along came the soap ... and one had to run.

Three nasty germs trying to make you sick,
Along came the scrubbing and said, "you're not going to stick!"

Two nasty germs got into a fight,
Along came the rinse and washed one out of sight.

One nasty germ thought it couldn't be seen ...
But I dried my hands with a towel and now my hands are nice and clean!

Many years ago, I made a book prop from the Lois Sachar book Monkey Soup. It is one of the best book props I have ever made and I use it every year. Best thing about this prop? You can always replace the pieces.

The book (which is out of print) tells the story of a little girl whose daddy is sick.
Just like mommy is making him chicken noodle soup to feel better, the girl is making "monkey soup", named such because of the help from her stuffed monkey (who ends up as a soup ingredient at the end). I skip the entire monkey part and just stick with the main ingredients.

They are :
crayons for Daddy's pale face
balloons to make Daddy happy
band-aids to make him feel better
a blanket to keep him warm
kleenex for all his sneezes
buttons for fun (because Grandma gave her a sweater with buttons she loves)
bubbles because who doesn't love bubbles??
a napkin so he stays clean while he eats
soap and a toothbrush so he can clean up before & after eating
YUM! Eat up!

Monkey Soup!

Finally, to finish we did "Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed". I brought along a phone prop so I could "talk" to the doctor after each monkey bumped his or her head.

I also had this available for parents to make at home -- the monkeys are two-sided so that they can turn to the hurt (or sad) side when they bump their heads :

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

All About Our Senses

Taste! Touch! Smell! Sight! Sound!
Today we celebrated the way most of us experience the world.
We talked briefly about people who had difficulty with sight and sound, but most of us can taste, touch and smell things -- sometimes all at once!

Books We Read Today :
My Five Senses  by Aliki
Five For a Little One  by Chris Raschka
Seven Blind Mice  by Ed Young
Polar Bear, Polar Bear  by Eric Carle

I borrowed heavily from Ryan the Librarian for this version of the chant/song/poem "The Five Senses" :

Rub your hands to get some feeling,
Stretch your ears to check your hearing,
Sniff to smell what's in the air --
Good or bad? Nose beware!

Blink, blink, blink - what can you see?
How many fingers - one? two? three?
Last it's time for tongue push-ups :
Up, down, left, right and round and round!

I ended up singing this text on an upward scale, going up stepwise and ending the ocatve on "nose beware!" I then made the trip down the octave stepwise, ending with the last line. Worked pretty well.

My flannel for the day wasn't really about the senses, but featured putting together the man in the moon complete with meatball eyes, cheese nose, and a pizza mouth ...
"Aiken Drum" Flannel :

The last story we shared is an old one from Book Props. It involves the antics of a silly goose and a siller duck who decide to play a game they call the standing-still-for-the-longest-contest. Unfortunately, they both want to win the game so much they do not move even when a fox comes and sweeps them both up in his bag for lunch and dinner.

The prop is based on the book Don't Fidget a Feather! by Erica Silverman.
While retelling the story, I took some liberties with the plot to incorporate the senses (the sound and feel of the bumblebee, the smell and feel of the tickly bunnies, the sharp claws and loud caw of the pesky crows, etc. etc.)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Let It Snow!

Now that (hopefully) the worst of winter is behind us, we can actually celebrate the season! Well, sort of ... it's only mid-January.

Books We Read Today
"Winter is the Warmest Season" by Lauren Stringer
"Under My Hood I Have a Hat" by Karla Kuskin
"The Snowy Day" by Ezra Jack Keats
"Pip & Squeak" by Ian Schoenherr

I recited this silly poem with flannel pieces.
The brilliant Jack Prelutsky wrote this and it can be found in the collection "It's Snowing, It's Snowing! : Winter Poems (An I Can Read Book)" :

My snowman has a noble head
He's broad and he is tall.
His ears are tin, his eyes are coal,
He has no neck at all.

Beneath his ragged hat he wears
A bit of tangled wool,
His barrel chest is buttoned up,
His belly's rather full.

My snowman has a handsome face
Complete with carrot nose,
His arms are long, his legs are short,
He hasn't any toes.

He wields a broom, the helpful guy,
His smile is wide and bright.
"He looks like you!" my father says.
You know ... he may be right!

I also shared one of the few cut-and-tell stories that I think actually works at storytime.
This one is titled : "Just Like That".

On Sunday it snowed ... just like that  (show piece of blank white paper)
On Monday I made a snowman ... just like that (cut out a snowman from the paper)
On Tuesday the wind blew ... just like that (cut away some of the snowman)
On Wednesday it rained ... just like that (cut away yet more of the snowman)
On Thursday it rained and RAINED! ... just like that (cut away most of the snowman)
On Friday the sun shone ... just like that (cut snowman until it is a small puddle)
On Saturday I stayed inside ... just like that (make "harumph" sound and cross arms)
On Sunday it snowed ... just ... like ... that ... (show a new piece of blank white paper)

Finally, we did one of my all-time favorite fingerplays ... first we did this as an actual fingerplay with no props. Then I got out my prop carrot and prop bunny and we did it again. Love this.

There was a little snowman (show L fist)
Who had a carrot nose (show index finger of L fist)
Along came a bunny (R hand makes rabbit ears)
And what do you suppose?
That hungry little bunny
Was looking for some lunch ... (bunny ears turn to "look" at snowman)
He saw the snowman's carrot nose,
Nibble ... nibble ... CRUNCH! (hop bunny all the way over to snowman and "eat" carrot)