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.

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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-

Crafting Great Minds!!!

Hi Guys,

I have been dying to do a minecraft display for months but wasn’t sure quite how to do it. It seemed like the perfect subject to compliment our summer reading theme of Build a Better World but I had this picture in my mind and wasn’t sure I could pull it off.

Finally, I decided to just cut up a bunch of different sized squares, in complimentary colors and give it a whirl. I wasn’t super impressed with my minecraft dude but the rest came out great.

I can’t wait to see how the kids respond.

That’s all for now!

-M-

Family Storytime: Building

For this storytime I figured we’d try to keep in line with our Summer Reading theme of Build a Better World and focus on all things building and construction.

Here’s what we did:

I always start with just about 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 – Tap Your Toes and Follow Me by Susan Salidor
    • This is just a easy song with simple movements to get us warmed up.
  • Movement Exercise – Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
    • Now that we are warmed up we get moving with this classic. Do it three times faster and faster each time.

From here we get into our theme.

  • ASL – Summer. Read. Build.
    • 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 Exercise – Cranes61dm42gzvul-_sx484_bo1204203200_
    • We pretended we moved like cranes; reaching up high and low and all around. You can find the words at: Jen in the library.
  • Story – Rex Wrecks It! By Ben Clanton
    • Kids can always relate to building things and then knocking them down. I love this one because you know what’s coming and so do the kids.
  • Song -Shake my Sillies Out
    • By this time we were ready to get our wiggles out so I played this classic and we shook out all the sillies.
  • Rhyme w/ Prop – Five Little Nails
    • I made my own version from Mel’s Desk. This was such an easy and awesome prop!
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  • Flannel Board – Construction Countdown by K.C. Olson
    • I actually created my own flannel board using the vehicles listed in the book. We counted 10 dump trucks, 9 cement mixers, etc. Counting is popular with this crew.
  • Game – Sleeping sleeping sleeping all the children were sleeping
    • This is a game my mom uses when she nannies. Basically, you put the kids to sleep:
      • Sleeping, sleeping all my friends were sleeping. And when they woke up they were… (name an animal to act out).
    • Don’t forget to turn them back to good boys and girls at the end!
  • Story – Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey 61tbwcfq1wl-_sy487_bo1204203200_Rinkey and Tom Lichtenheld
    • This is a longer one then I normally do but I cut down on how many vehicles we say goodnight to.
  • Movement w/ Scarves – Toss Your Scarves
    • Simple rhyme and lets us use our scarves more than once.
  • Song w/ Scarves – Let’s Go Fly A Kite (yes the Mary Poppins song 🙂
    • I pass out scarves and we pretend they are kites while we sing along.

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.
  • 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: This one started off really great. We got a little fussy toward the end so I barely read any of Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site and pretty much went straight to the scarf song. With a big crew like this it is good to have lots of songs and movements ready just in case we can’t sit still.

That’s all for now!

-M-

Build A Better World

Hi Guys,

Finally got a new display for you all. We’ve been short staffed lately and with school visits, I haven’t gotten a chance to make many new ones. But Summer Read and Learn is coming up so it was time to get one done.

Our theme this year is Build a Better World, so of course I went with a lego themed display!

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Came out pretty good actually. Wasn’t so sure about the scale but not bad.

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Enjoy! That’s all for now!

-M-

PAX

Pax by Sara Pennypacker is a juvenile fiction book and a nominee for the 2017-2018 Maryland Black-Eyed Susan award.

Pax was taken in a just a baby fox by a human boy and his father. For seven years Pax and Peter were inseparable but the war in encroaching and Peter’s father enlists, forcing Peter to move in with his grandfather, where there is no room for a fox. Forced to separate, Peter leaves his fox deep in the woods where he hopes he will be safe. Almost instantly Peter regrets this decision and so begins a 300 mile trek into a war torn wilderness.

Pax is the story of two journey’s: Peter’s journey, alone to retrieve his friend and fulfill a duty all his own; and Pax’s journey to survive a world he has never known, to do more than survive… to thrive.

Being pregnant, I can’t seem to keep my eyes open at night lately but I really want to get through some of these BES’s, so I went to my trusty audiobook. This will actually be a good one to play in the car for your kids; the story has a good flow and the voices are quite captivating.

As much as many of my librarian friends really like this one, it faded for me a little about midway. A great story but a few too many branches in my opinion. This isn’t just Pax and Peter’s journey, it’s the father’s, Vola’s, Runt’s, etc. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but the middle lagged for me and I was craving some more details about the setting and a bit more background.

I also felt there wasn’t much resolution in the end. Peter and Pax’s journey ends but what about everyone else. Yes, Peter and Pax both grow throughout this book and we see how they’ve grown apart but still maintain their deep forged connection, but I still missed the rest of Peter’s story. There was so much build up about Peter’s family life that I felt a little cheated with what we get in the end.

I did love Pax’s narrative. Very believable that a fox was telling this tale. We get his scents and his worldview and the writing even felt almost animalistic in its telling.

Overall, this was a really good story and one I think the kids will like. It may open the door to conversations about nature, war, family relations and finding oneself and growing up. This is definitely a coming of age novel and reminded me a little (very little) of Call of the Wild.

This one gets 3.5 stars from me.

That’s all for now!

-M-

Family Storytime: Birthdays

Hi Guys. My family storytime this week just happened to fall on my birthday, so I decided what better then to have a birthday theme storytime!

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.
  • Movement Exercise – Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
    • We do this three times, faster and FASTER each time.
  • 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.

  • ASL – Happy Birthday
    • 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.
  • Flip Chart – Happy Birthday to You
    • This is sung to the tune of twinkle, twinkle little star.

Happy Birthday, it’s your day.51e9i59kinl-_sx456_bo1204203200_

Hope it’s great in every way. 

We are here to celebrate

Because we thing that you are GREAT!

Happy Birthday, it’s your day.

Hope it’s great in every way. 

  • Story w/ Props – It’s My Birthday by Helen Oxenbury
    • My colleague had this one all ready for me. She had all the ingredients, a paper oven and I pulled all of my puppet friends to help me bake the cake.
  • Song – Happy Birthday
    • This is a great dancing birthday song. My colleague gave it to me from a CD of hers but I have no idea what it actually is. It goes something like “Happy Birthday, hap happy birthday. It’s your birthday…”
  • Movement Exercise – Make a Wish

Big Chocolate cake (Make big bowl with your arms)5151ugpa-tl-_sx444_bo1204203200_

Dish of ice cream (Make a cup out of your hands)

Ten candles (Wiggle your fingers)

Make a wish and blow them out! (Blow on each of your hands and make a fist to show the candles are out)

  • Flannel Board – Ten Little CandlesI used candles we already had made and got the words from here. I used the flannel instead of my fingers but it would have worked just as well.
  • Song -Shake my Sillies Out
    • By this time we were ready to get our wiggles out so I played this classic and we shook out all the sillies.
  • Story w/ Magnets – Wibbly Pig Opens His Presents by Inkpen
    • Another one from my colleague. She had magnets of all the presents ready and laminated wrapping paper to put over them. It was like a big reveal. I even used a “Wibbly” pig puppet.
  • Song w/ Shakers – Can’t Stop the Feeling! Trolls Soundtrack I passed out shakers and we danced our fanny’s off to this song. Not a normal storytime song BUT we loved it and so did the adults.81acafb99pl-_sx425_

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.
  • 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: Now that we are reaching our summer months, we have to do our storytimes in a little bit smaller of a room. So we can get a little crowded with our 75-100+ people. I was totally prepared to put up a “we’re full” sign but fortunately, our crowd was about the top of what I could handle in this room.

Overall, it went really well. Everyone wished me a happy birthday and I even successfully used my puppets, which can be dicey depending on the day. I was super thankful to have my colleagues help with getting this one ready. We’ve been busy scheduling and doing summer reading visits that I kind of had to throw this one together at the last moment. But teamwork prevailed and we made it through!

That’s all for now!

-M-

BLASTOFF with a good book!

Hi Guys,

Got a new bulletin board display for you all and I have to say, I love this one!

I knew I wanted to do something with a rocket-ship because I had this 3D image in my 20170427_152347mind. Basically, I folded a small lip on either side along the length of the rocket and I used the lip to staple onto the bulletin board, which gave it the bubble effect. Word to the wise, leave yourself a big lip to staple; mine was too small and I really struggled to maneuver the stapler. Then I created cones for my boosters and used tissue paper for my fire/smoke.

From there it was pretty simple. I had a gold 20170427_152401boarder, black background and some simple accucut stars. I used 3… 2… 1… BLASTOFF with a good book! as my quote but another one I’ve found that would work well is Reading lets you soar! or some version of the two.

This was such a fun display and pretty simple to put together.

That’s all for now!

-M-