Fort Night

Hi Guys,

So one of our requirements for this summer was to swap a program with another library.20170727_184334 That’s where I got this fun fort night idea. I mean really, who doesn’t remember building forts out of blankets and cushions when they were little? That and we are building a better world, so fort night fits perfectly in with the summer reading theme.

This was a pretty easy actually. I spent about $25.00 on cheap plastic tablecloths in a variety of colors and we used some table clips / binder clips. About a day before the program I realized that plastic tablecloths were probably not the best choice but it was the most bang for my buck. That being said, I did sit the kids down before we got started and we had a little safety chat.

20170727_185241How we did this was by putting out a bunch of tables and chairs in our large meeting room that the kids could use as the base of their structures. I then let them pick out a few tablecloths and get building. This was actually a great teamwork program because we only had so much supplies so the kids had to work together to build their tents. I know another library who actually let the kids build their tents in the stacks, but our branch is too big for that and I was too nervous to be honest.

51zh4rf3k5l-_sx392_bo1204203200_After we finished building our tents, the kids brought in books and had some reading time. We finished up fort night by gathering around my fo-campfire and I read two camping themed stories: A Camping Spree With Mr. Magee by Chris Van Dusen & One-Dog Canoe by Mary Casanova.

Although hectic, this was a really great and unique program. I think it would also work really well if you incorporate some type of tent building into a PJ storytime.

51bngl7vkcl-_sx362_bo1204203200_This is definitely one I would consider doing again with just a little tweaking.

That’s all for now!

-M-

Family Storytime – ART!

For this storytime I really wanted to use my folder story of Scat the Cat, so I decided to go with an Art theme. Similar to my Imagination theme of a few months ago but I mixed it up with different rhymes and books.

Here’s what we did:

I always start with the same warm ups:

  • Song – Top of the Morning
    • This is a good song to warm up with because we stretch all the parts we will be using in storytime. Eyes, arms, legs, mouth, nose.
  • Rhyme – Say Hello
    • love this rhyme. Everyone claps along and at the end we say hello how ever I tell them to. Loud, soft, quick, slow.
  • Song – Skidamarink
    • It’s a classic, I know you all know it!

From here we get into our theme.

  • ASL – Art, Colors, Paint & Fun61uefap5vjl-_sy497_bo1204203200_
    • I like to include a few new ASL signs in storytime. I usually print my own flash cards from Baby Sign Language.
  • Story – Blue Chicken by Deborah Freedman
    • This is a cute one that talks about colors and what to do when the best intentions go wrong. I also love how it looks like paper!
  • Movement Exercise – If Your Wearing Any…
    • I sort of adapted this from a few site, here’s how mine goes:

If your wearing any red, if you wearing any red, if you’re wearing any red… stand up and touch your HEAD!

If your wearing any blue… bend down and touch your SHOE!

If your wearing any green… stand and bow to the QUEEN!

If your wearing any black… reach back and pat your BACK!

If your wearing any brown… just turn yourself right AROUND!

If your wearing any color… jump up and shout HOORAY!

  • Song – The Color Song from Parachute Express20170703_170420
    • Just an upbeat song to shake our sillies out to.
  • Folder Story – Scat the Cat!
    • I found this one online and I LOVED it! It was also a really big hit! You can look at my how to post here.
    • I would definitely recommend making a sign with the chorus on it. I had a volunteer hold up the sign for me and this was a big hit.
  • Game – All the Children Were Sleeping
    • This is a game my mom taught me (she’s a nanny). You go “sleeping, sleeping all the children were sleeping. And when they woke up, they were ____.” Lions, tigers, bears. You get the kids to act out different movements and sounds. It’s a big hit for my kids. Remember to turn them back to boys and girls at the end.
  • Action Rhyme – This is the way… art version61syrqojfnl-_sx425_bo1204203200_
    • You can get the words here.
  • Story – Ain’t Gonna Paint No More! 
    by Karen Beaumont

    • I passed out scarves and we pretended that our scarves were our paintbrushes and while I sang the story, the kids painted their arms, legs, heads…
  • Scarves w/ Song – De Colores from Dora’s World Adventure CD
    • We went through two verses of this one, so we got the Spanish and English versions of the son.

Finally, I always end with the same three things:

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  • Movement Exercise – If You’re Happy and You Know It
    • I tell the kids that I want to know how happy they are.
  • Rhyme – Say Goodbye
    • This is the same rhyme we started with, so the new guys are familiar with it by the end of storytime.
  • Song – Goodbye, So Long, Farewell my Friends by Music Together
    • I always put this one on as I go to open the door. Its a nice, slow, peaceful song to wind down on.

How’d it go: We had a couple of screamers in this storytime but overall it went pretty well. The parents put up with my singing and they all loved participating in Scat the Cat. About 80 people in total.

That’s all for now!

-M-

Family Storytime: Summer Time Snacks

For this storytime, I wanted to focus on all the yummy snacks we get to eat over the summer. Especially, with fourth of July coming up where we get to pig out on all these delicious treats.

Here’s what we did:

I usually start with many of the same warm ups:

  • Song – Top of the Morning
    • This is a good song to warm up with because we stretch all the parts we will be using in storytime. Eyes, arms, legs, mouth, nose.
  • ASL – Hello Friends
    • I like to use sign language in my story time. We go over the signs for: Hello, Friends, Time and Say. Thanks to Jbrary for this one!
  • Song – Hokey Pokey
    • Once we were warmed up we did a little hokey pokey to shake things up.

From here we get into our theme.41zqronjptl-_sy343_bo1204203200_

  • ASL – Food/Eat, More, Ice Cream, Summer
    • I like to teach my my kids a few American Sign Language signs at the start of every storytime. This helps foster communication and with a large deaf community in our town it’s a great tool to have.
  • Movement Rhyme –  Two Green Apples

Way up high in an apple tree

(Raise Arms High)

Two green apples smiled at me.

(Big Exaggerated Smiles)

So I shook that tree as hard as I could,

(Pretend to Shake tree)

And down fell the apples. Mmmm, they were good!

(Rub Tummy)

  • Story – The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle’41b16y3md8l
    • A colleague of mine has this one in lap theater format. I borrowed it for this storytime.
  • Song – We’re Going on a Picnic by Raffi
    • This is a fun little song to give my voice a little break. And picnics are fun!
  • Flannel / Movement Exercise – Ice Cream Scoop
    • The kids use their fists, one for the cone and one as the ice cream scoop and we count as we add ice cream to the cone. 20170624_155814

First we need a cone, Nice and crunchy

Then we need some ice cream, Sweet and yummy,

Scoop ’em on; stack ’em on’ Up to the sky

We love ice cream; my, oh my!

First comes vanilla, Cold and sweet

Then comes chocolate A delicious treat.

Here’s some strawberry; Orange sherbet, too,

 

One scoop, two scoops,

Three scoops, four

We love ice cream Let’s have some more!

A super-duper scooper cone Just for you!

  • Story – The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli 51chadzju3l-_ac_us218_I used my Alligator puppet to tell this story. He had a felt watermelon to eat and at the end he “spits” a seed (crumpled ball) into the audience.
  • Game – Stoplight freeze dance
    • I created red, yellow and green circles on popsicle sticks.
    • When I held up the green, they’d drive their cars. Yellow and they would drive in slow motion. Red and they would have to freeze in place.
    • I showed them in different orders and at different paces to make it more fun. A freeze dance for cars!
  • Movement Rhyme – Banana’s Unite
    • This is the silliest, cheerleader-esq, movement rhyme

Bananas unite (place arms over head) 
Bananas split (open arms and place at sides) 
Peel banana, peel, peel banana (move to left) 
Peel banana, peel, peel banana (move to the right) 
Bananas to the left (circle arms to the left) 
Bananas to the right (circle arms to the right) 
Peel it down the middle and (uh) take a bite (grab and pull from out in front of you) 

  • Story – Should I Share My Ice Cream? by Mo Willems51lnloyjufl-_sx348_bo1204203200_
      • Ice cream is an iconic summer snack, so of course I had to include it. I also had cut outs of Elephant and Piggy from a display I did a while back, so I thought I could pin them up when I do this story.

     

  • Song w/ Shakers – Mr. Sun
    • We just shake our shakers and dance. By this point in storytime we just need to dance!

img_20160514_152037Finally, I always end with the same three things:

  • Movement Exercise – If You’re Happy and You Know It
    • I tell the kids that I want to know how happy they are.
  • ASL – Goodbye Friends
    • We learn to say goodbye in ASL and use the same signs and song as our hello.
  • Song – Goodbye, So Long, Farewell my Friends by Music Together
    • I always put this one on as I go to open the door. Its a nice, slow, peaceful song to wind down on.

How’d it go: This one went pretty well. A decent crowd with lots of little, little ones this time. Everyone put up with my use of the lap theater for The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which I feel like I need three hands for, and fun was had by all. We got a little fidgity toward then end and could have used another song. Other than that a good storytime.

That’s all for now!

-M-

Harry Potter Scavenger Hunt

Hi Guys,

In honor of 20 years of Harry Potter all of our library branches put on themed events throughout the month. A committee put together some fun activities for us and our branch chose the scavenger hunt. Our library has put on scavenger hunts before and they tend to be a huge success with minimal effort.

20170626_141412

For scavenger hunt number one the kids had to use clues to locate the seven horcruxes 20170626_141336throughout the library. We hid note card size pictures of the images above and the kids had to look for them using the clues.

The kids could ask the librarians for directions to certain areas of the library and use the catalog computers to find the horcruxes. This was also a good way for the kids to better familiarize themselves with the library.

20170626_141431

Originally, this was our only scavenger hunt but I decided I also wanted something my 20170626_141342early readers/toddlers to do, so I created a secondary hunt. In this one we hid ten golden snitches throughout the children’s room and the kids could go around looking for them.

A lot of the kids did both hunts even though the could only get one prize. The prizes were slap bracelets from Oriental Trading.

Overall, this was a hugely successful event, even though we had some wise-guys steal some of the horcruxes halfway through the day. Gotta love a good scavenger hunt!

That’s all for now!

-M-

Story Yoga

Hi Guys,

A while ago I had to develop a STEAM program without any funds or supplies. We were at the end of our supply budget for the year, so we wanted to see what we could come up with that would still fall under the STEM or STEAM category but take very little materials.

I came across Cosmic Kids Yoga one day and thought this would be perfect. Cosmic Kids Yoga has a ton of awesome videos and lesson plans and just some really great goodies for making yoga fun for kids. Seriously check it out.

I was totally sold when I saw a lesson plan for We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen. This is a storytime book we use all the time and I thought the repetition would be great for getting the kids used to the moves as we got further along in the story. This lesson plan has all of the moves laid out for you and even comes with some picture poses, so even a novice yogi will be able to do it with the kids. 51r454qvsal-_sy440_bo1204203200_

I changed a few things around in the lesson plan, but for the most part stuck with the majority of the poses. When promoting this program I targeted it for kids 2 and up and said that yoga mats are welcome but optional.

I started out by getting everyone to gather around and we all sat on the floor. I told them what we would be doing today and explained how we were going to combine our love for books with some fun yoga moves. (The parents were pretty impressed!) Then we read through our story first, to give the kids a feel for the story. From there I asked if we were ready to give the story a try with some yoga poses.

inhabitants-npc-yoga-frog

We started out real slow and each move we did together while repeating the line before moving on to the next one. There was quite a mix of ages so I wanted to make sure that the little ones were getting it before we moved on. Then, as we started to get familiar with the story and the poses that repeated, we were able to move a little faster. By the end we were laughing and the kids were asking for more.

That was really all I had planned and when I practiced it took a lot longer. Only 15-20 minutes had gone by and everyone wanted to do some more yoga, so we repeated some of our moves from the story and sort of played follow the leader, while I told them what to do.

I am doing this program again next week, so I am definitely going to tweak a few things to prepare to make it longer. I think I will start off with the story again, then the lesson plan all-but a little slower, and then I am going to show one of Jamie’s 15 minute videos and we can all do it together.

Overall, this was a really fun and pretty easy program with plenty of room for adjustment.

That’s all for now!

-M-

Time For Two’s: Transportation

Hi Guys,

For this storytime I pretty much recycled the transportation family storytime I did back in October, so this post may seem familiar.

I started out with:

  • Song – Top of the Morning
    • This is a good song to warm up with because we stretch all the parts we will be using in storytime. Eyes, arms, legs, mouth, nose.
  • Rhyme – Say Hello
    • love this rhyme. Everyone claps along and at the end we say hello how ever I tell them to. Loud, soft, quick, slow.
  • Movement Exercise – Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

From there we went on to our theme of transportation.61adayapugl-_sy424_bo1204203200_

  • ASL Rhyme – I taught the group the ASL signs for Red, Yellow & Green. For the rest of the storytime anytime we used these colors the kids did the signs.
  • Story – I’m Dirty by Kate & Jim McMullanYou have to be really expressive with this one in order to make it fun. Shorten if you have to but throw a little swagger in when you read it.
  • Song – The Wheels on the Bus
    • Just a classic movement song.
  • Feltboard – Cars & Colors 20160917_154101
    • Basically, I just told the kids that “There are lots of cars driving down the street. What color do you see? Beep, Beep, Beep.” For the colors we knew signs for we did them while shouting out the colors. We also practiced our counting by counting out the cars as we went.
  • Game – Stoplight freeze dance
    • I created red, yellow and green circles on popsicle sticks.
    • When I held up the green, they’d drive their cars. Yellow and they would drive in slow motion. Red and they would have to freeze in place.
    • I showed them in different orders and at different paces to make it more fun. A freeze dance for cars!
  • Movement exercise – Have You Ever Seen A Sailboat
    • Put baby on your lap and sway back and forth with the music. Or just sway with the older kids.

Have you ever seen a sailboat, a sailboard, a sailboat

Have you ever seen a sailboat waving its sails.

Wave this way, and that way. 

This way and that way. 

Have you every seen a sailboat, waving it’s sails!

  • Story with puppetDon’t Let The Pigeon Drive The 20161007_155100Bus! by Mo Willems
    • I created a pigeon puppet and instead reading the 51bi6f3mrll-_sx496_bo1204203200_story, I told the kids that no matter how much the pigeon begged, they couldn’t let him drive the bus. So I was the pigeon and the kids kept telling me no every time I asked. It was really fun.
  • Movement Rhyme – Zoom, Zoom, Zoom

    Zoom, zoom, zoom

    We’re going to the moon.

    Zoom, zoom, zoom

    We’re going to the moon.

    If you want to take a trip

    Climb aboard my rocket ship.

    10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 BLASTOFF!

  • Song with Shakers – Chugga-Chugga-Choo-Choo
    • Always a risk, but I passed out shakers and we shook our fanny’s off to the song.

Finally, I always end with the same three things:

  • Movement Exercise – If You’re Happy and You Know It
    • I tell the kids that I want to know how happy they are. We do this three times, faster and FASTER each time.
  • Rhyme – Say Goodbye
    • This is the same rhyme we started with, so the new guys are familiar with it by the end of storytime.
  • Song – Goodbye, So Long, Farewell my Friends by Music Together
    • I always put this one on as I go to open the door. Its a nice, slow, peaceful song to wind down on.

How’d it go:

One of our other branches recently closed for a refresh so I wasn’t sure how many people to expect in this one, but it wasn’t that bad. We had a good crew and for the most part all two year olds, which is unheard of! Lots of participation, which makes storytime so much more fun. Overall, this was a good group of twos.

That’s all for now!

-M-

LapSit Storytime – 4/10/17

It’s time for another LapSit Storytime! This is our last LapSit until September. We take a little break in May to make school visits and over the summer we only do Family Storytime, along with other programming.

Here’s a list of what we did:

  • Rhyme – Welcome, Welcome Everyone
    • This is to the tune of twinkle, twinkle little star and it is my way to welcome my crew to storytime.

Welcome, welcome everyone

Now you’re here, we’ll have some fun!

First we’ll clap our hands just so,

Then we’ll bend and touch our toes.

Welcome, welcome everyone

Now you’re here, we’ll have some fun!

  • ASL – Hello Friends
    • I like to use sign language in my story time. We go over the signs for: Hello, Friends, Time and Say. Thanks to Jbrary for this one!
  • Song w/ Movements – Hands are for Clapping by Jim Gill
    • We follow along with the lyrics and do the movements.
  • Movement Rhyme – Patty Cake1100072
    • I went with a lot of classic movement rhymes this time. Get those little hands moving to work on dexterity.
  • Story – Barnyard Banter by Denise Fleming
    • This is a great one to work on phonetic awareness. We get to make fun animal sounds and then put them all together in the end into one big gobblygook.
  • Movement Rhyme – I’m a Little Tea Pot
    • Another classic. We do allo of these rhymes twice because repetition is important for the little ones.
  • Song – The Wheels on the Bus
    • I planned quite a few songs this time because my allergies have all but taken my voice. So what’s better then playing a song with easy movements.
  • Bounce – Trot Trot to Boston
    • This one is so much fun. You put baby on your lap and then bounce, bounce until the end, where you open you knees and baby “falls” through.

Trot trot to Boston

Trot trot to Lynn

Trot trot to Grandma’s house

But don’t fall in.

  • Bounce – This is the Way the Lady Rides
    • This is one of my most popular bounces. We get faster and faster with each verse.

This is the way the lady rides

Lady ride, lady rides.

This the way on her way to town. 

Repeat with Gentleman, Doctor and Cowboy.

  • Song – Old MacDonald Had a Farm
    • I broke out my puppets and walked around the room while the song played and we make our own animal sounds.
  • Bounce – Going Up and Down in an Elevator
    • Obviously we like our bounces. Baby goes up and down as you do the rhyme.

Going up and down in an elevator

Up and down in an elevator

Up and down in an elevator

First floor, second floor, third floor, Yay!

  • Story – Barnyard Dance By Sandra Boynton31314
    • For this one I have my grownups and little ones keep a beat by slapping their knees and clapping their hands. Then I “sing” the song.
  • Song w/ Scarves – Let’s Go Fly a Kite from Mary Poppins
    • I like to switch between a song with shakers and a song with scarves. This week we went with the scarves. They’re my personal favorite.
  • Movement Rhyme w/ Scarves – Toss Your Scarves
    • We decided to use our scarves twice this time.

Toss your scarves, toss your scarves
Toss them way up high.
Toss your scarves up in the air,
‘til they reach the sky.

Wave your scarves, wave your scarves,
Twirl them ‘round and ‘round.
Twirl your scarves one more time,
Then let them, all fall down.

  • ASL – Goodbye Friends
    • We learn to say goodbye in ASL and use the same signs and song as our hello.
  • Song – Goodbye, So long, Farewell My Friends by Music Together
    • Just a slow, goodbye song I always put on as I open the doors to say goodbye.

How’d it go? Other than the fact that I kept having to stop for water, this was a great storytime. I actually had a Lapsit where all of my kiddies were babies, which was great because we did so many rhymes and movements targeted for babies. Overall, fun was had by all!

That’s all for now!

-M-