Family Storytime – We’re NOT Afraid of Monsters!

This week it was my turn to do family storytime. This is a storytime for all ages, so we do a little bit of everything. Last time, my theme was Robots so this time I went with monsters but with a twist. Our theme is “We’re NOT Afraid of Monsters!” So all my storytime activities will be about funny monsters or being brave.

Here’s what we did… I always open and close with the same routine:

  • 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.
  • Stretch – Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
    • I like to do a good warm-up before getting in to my theme. We do this one three times, faster each time.

Then we get into our theme:

  • ASL – MONSTERS / SCARED / BRAVE61e3aqma2bl-_sx456_bo1204203200_
    • I like to incorporate American Sign Language into my storytimes. We have a large deaf community in my area and it is a great way to help foster communication in and outside of the community. We always choose three signs that go with our theme.
  • Book – The Great Monster Hunt by Norbet Landa
    • This is a new book for me and a bit long but it is funny and it sort of feels like we are playing the telephone game by the end.
  • Action Song – Games Monsters Play by Sesame Street: Monsters a Monster Monstrosity
    • This is a funny little song that you start around 00:00:39. Grover and Elmo and all of the Sesame Street monsters teach you how to be a monster. 20180509_115237
  • Rhyme w/ Finger Puppets – Ten Little Monsters
    • As I mentioned in my earlier post, my monster finger puppets were too big for my hands so instead I will have them march across my flannel board to the rhyme.
  • Felt Board Story – Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberly
    • This is the perfect story for a felt board. I even found the template here.
  • Action Rhyme – Monster, Monster, Turn Around!
    • A themed take on Teddy Bear Turn Around. Thanks to Storytime Katie for this one.
  • Book – The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone61g8cli07xl
    • I just love a good picture book where I can use voices and involve the audience!
  • Song w/ Shakers – The Monster Mash
    • I believe I got this one from Kidz Bop Halloween. But I figured it would be the perfect one to pass out shakers to.

Finally, I always end with the same routine:

  • 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 was really fun. We learned that when things seem scary we can laugh at them or tell them to go away and they won’t be scary any more! Lots of fun!

That’s all for now!

-M-

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May The Fourth Be With You – Scavenger Hunt

Hi Guys,

You all know I love a good scavenger hunt. Takes very little prep, requires very little supervision and makes many, many kiddies happy! So obviously, I had to plan one for Star Wars Day.

May The Fourth or Star Wars Day is a day to celebrate all things Star Wars. Watch the movie, read the books, play with action figures–if it has anything to do with the mega-movie franchise, you’re on target!

To start, I found some cute characters online:

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Then I set up my hunt. For this scavenger hunt, I set it up like Yoda was asking for help. Thought it would give the hunt a fun little edge. I printed the document on half sheets to save paper.

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On the day of, we “hid” the eight characters throughout the children’s room. The hunt was run by the honor system, so the kids just come up and tell us when they found them all. They’re usually pretty honest.

Once they found all the characters they come back to the desk for a prize. Because I pulled this all together fairly last minute, we recycled old giveaways that we had extras from. The prizes weren’t Star Wars themed but hey, a prize is a prize right!

A few tips…

Place your characters within eye-sight of the younger ones but not low enough for them to grab. I have had too many hunt items go missing because the kids think they need to retrieve the pictures.

Have pencils ready because the kids like to mark off when they find something.

Finally, help guide the kids to pick a prize. Don’t just let them riffle through your whole prize chest. Disaster will ensue.

Easy-peasy! I created this scavenger hunt but didn’t actually run it. But I wanted to get the post out on Star Wars Day, soooo yea. I am looking forward to seeing how it went tomorrow!

Enjoy and…

MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU!

-M-

Dog’s Colorful Day – Magnet Board

Hi Guys,510lpvyswgl-_ac_us218_

For an upcoming storytime I decided to read: Dog’s Colorful Day by Emma Dodd. It’s a fun one for counting and identifying colors. It also was a really easy one to create a prop for.

First, I drew and cut out a nice big version of my dog. I laminated him with the intention of using dry erase markers to draw on his spots, so that I could easily erase them when he got his “bath.” But I didn’t have the right colors so I decided to cut out my dots too.

Then I attached magnets to my dog and each of his spots, so I can stick his spots on as the story progresses.

All of our magnet boards are white, which really washed out my dog, so I decided to put up a black background with thin paper so the magnets still work.

And that’s it! Really easy one. I’ll let you guys know how it goes!

That’s all for now!

-M-

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Family Storytime – Robots

Family storytime is for all ages, so I try to find themes, books and activities that would be suitable for a large audience. This month I went with Robots! Who doesn’t love a good robot?

Here’s what we did:

  • 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.
  • Stretch – Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
    • I like to do a good warm-up before getting in to my theme. We do this one three times, faster each time.

Then we get into our theme:

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  • Pass Out – Power Buttons
    • As the kids came in I passed out red ON/OFF buttons. These are our very own robot power buttons and can be used to “power down” if we are too loud or to “power up” if we are doing a stretch or movement exercise. I also have a few rhymes that use the button.
  • ASL – Robot / Science / Electricity
    • I also teach my kids some American Sign Language to go with my theme each week. This is a great way to promote communication within our community and any way we can help ease the frustration when learning to speak is helpful.
  • Book – Boy + Bot by Ame DyckmanThis one is a little long but I think it works well with the theme and has a little humor to it.
    • Don’t forget to have your robots power down before61nvajggm7l-_sx408_bo1204203200_ the story so the room will be nice and quite! 🙂
  • Song – If You’re a Robot and You Know It from ScholasticWe received a book called “If You’re a Robot and You Know It” that has pull tabs. The book is too small to use but Scholastic had a free download of the song, so I decided to use it as one of my songs.
  • Rhyme – I’m a Little Robot
    • There are lots of versions of this, I’m a Little Teapot, robot remix. Google and you’ll come up with a ton!

I’m a little robot, short and strong. (Stand up straight). Here are my handles, (One hand up. One hand down) just turn me on. (Press our ON buttons) When I get all warmed up, (Shake in place) watch me go. Sometimes I’m fast (move robot arms fast) and sometimes I’m slow. (move robot arms slow)  

  • Felt Board – Building a Robot with Shapes20180416_145715
    • I decided we would talk about shapes by building our own robot. I created a lot of felt shapes and I asked the kids to help me pick out the perfect head, arm, etc. by picking shapes and colors.
  • Rhyme – The Gears on the Robot
    • This is to the tune of “The Wheels on the Bus” and it is one I created on my own, with inspiration from one of our pages. Please credit me if you use it!

The gears on the robot go grind, grind, grind 
Grind, grind, grind. Grind, grind, grind. 
The gears on the robot go grind, grind, grind all day long. 
(move hands in a circle) 

The circuits on the robot go beep, boop, bop. 
Beep, boop, bop. Beep, boop, bob.
The circuits on the robot go beep, boop, bop all day long.  
(use pointer fingers to press invisible buttons) 

The motor on the robot goes rumble, rumble, rumble 
Rumble, rumble, rumble. Rumble, rumble, rumble.
The motor on the robot goes rumble, rumble, rumble all day long. 
(jump up and down) 

The robots all around say “do the robot!” 
“Do the robot!” “Do the robot!” 
The robots all around say “do the robot!” All day long. 
(Do the robot dance!) 

  • Book – Rolie Polie Olie by William Joyce51c2azzsh5l-_sx260_
    • I haven’t read this one in forever and it was great to get nostalgic!
  • Song w/ Shakers – Rockin’ Robot by the Mother Goose Club Rhymes for Kids

I always like to end the same way:

  • 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 was a really fun, themed heavy storytime. Haha! Maybe almost too themed heavy. But we liked our robot buttons and we thought some of the songs were super silly. I maybe wouldn’t do the felt board with such a big group because the kids really wanted to pick out the shapes themselves. But overall, fun was had!

That’s all for now!

-M-

Building Robots – Flannel Board

Hi Guys,

For my robot themed storytime this Saturday, I wanted to do a flannel board but didn’t want to do five little robots. So instead I decided we would build our own robots together using shapes.

What we are going to do is identify the shapes and colors I have on my flannel board. Then I am going to ask the kids to choose a shape and color for the head, the arms, the legs, etc. and we will do this a couple of times and make different types of robots.

A little plug for diversity… at the end you can explain that, just like people, robots come in all different “shapes,” “colors,” and sizes. —get what I did there!

For my flannel, I just robot-ish colors of red, blue, grey, white and yellow. For some reason, those colors just screamed robot to me. Then I cut out different shapes and sizes. Finally, I created a mouth and eyes to use for each robot we made.

Here are two samples of robots I made as examples:

We’ll see how it goes on Saturday!

That’s all for now!

-M-

Have a Pinkalicious Spring!

20180409_152156 (1)Man! It feels like forever since I’ve done a new display but I’ve got a really fun one for you this time.

We’ve been getting so many requests for Pinkalicious lately that I knew I just had to do a display. And then I came across this pithy saying on Pinterest and just had to recreate it in my own way!

I hand drew Pinkalicious and used accucut tulips for my flowers. Threw in a few bees, some grass and of course my saying! Other than drawing Pinkalicious this was a quick and easy display. 20180409_152201 (1)

Can’t wait to see what the kids have to say!

That’s all for now!

-M-

The Wild Robot Escapes

The Wild Robot Escapes by Peter Brown is the sequel to The Wild Robot, a middle school fictional novel for fourth or fifth graders.

After surviving and thriving on a wild island and making friends with the animal inhabitants, Roz the robot was taken by force from the only home she has ever known and wakes up in a robot factory. She is examined for fitness and shipped out to a farm, where she is supposed to work and care for a widower and his two kids.

But Roz isn’t a normal robot. She wants nothing more than to get back to her island and her son, a goose named Brightbill. Can Roz find her way home without getting caught and without hurting those she loves?

I really enjoyed the first book in this duology and the second didn’t disappoint. In this one we picked up right where we left off and we found out what happened to Roz after she was taken from the island.

One of the things I liked most about these books is that Roz doesn’t just go on physical journeys, she also is on a journey of self discovery. She becomes more and more self aware as the story progresses and she becomes more human, almost to the point that you forget she is a robot.

These books are also very realistic. The author doesn’t shy away from hard themes like pain and death. But he approaches them in a very accessible way for this audience. Even though Roz is a robot, you can see yourself in her shoes. Our main characters may be animals and robots but you can still learn something from each of them.

I did find this one a little slower paced then the first one. I also found myself wishing that Roz made more of an impact on society but I guess realistically it is the small steps that matter.

This will be a much requested sequel for those who have already read The Wild Robot and it is definitely one I would recommend to my 4th and 5th graders. This one gets 3.5 high stars from me.

That’s all for now!

-M-