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-

Scat the Cat

Oh man guys, I was looking for some fun new storytime ideas today and I became obsessed with this folder story Scat the Cat.

I’m Scat the Cat. I’m sassy and fat.
And I can change my colors ~ (snap) ~ just like that!

This was SOO easy to make. Just take a manilla folder, cut out your cat, tape/paste your plastic wrap on the inside of the folder, decorate and viola!

Whatever color paper you put in the folder will make the cat a different color.

I took the words from drjean.org:

Once there was a little black cat. (Hold up the file folder showing the black cat.) He was a magic cat because he could change his colors ~ (snap fingers) ~ just like that. All he had to say was:

CHORUS:     I’m Scat the Cat. I’m sassy and fat.
                      And I can change my colors ~ (snap) ~ just like that!

       One day Scat decided he was tired of being black. He wanted to be a new color so he said: CHORUS. (Remove the black sheet of paper to make the cat blue.) And he changed blue! Scat went down to the pond to look at himself in the water. Unfortunately, he fell in, and he couldn’t swim. Timmy Turtle came along and helped Scat get back on shore.

       Scat decided he didn’t want to be blue any more, so he said: CHORUS. (Remove the blue sheet of paper to make the cat red.) And he changed red. He went walking down the street, and everybody started laughing at him. “Whoever heard of a red cat!” they said.

       Scat decided he didn’t want to be red any more, so he said: CHORUS. (Remove the red sheet of paper to make the cat yellow.) And he changed yellow. Scat went walking in the woods, and who did he run into but his cousin Leo the lion. “Grrrrrr!” roared Leo. “I’m the only cat who can be yellow.”

       Scat decided he better not be yellow any more, and he quickly said: CHORUS. (Remove the yellow sheet of paper to make the cat green.) Scat wanted to play with his brothers and sisters in the grass. He tried to play with them, but he was green like the grass, and they couldn’t see him.

       Scat decided he didn’t want to be blue, or red, or yellow, or green, so he said: CHORUS. (Remove the green sheet of paper to make the cat black.) Scat knew that being himself was the best thing to be. And do you know what? Being yourself is the best thing you can be, too. Because there’s nobody else exactly like you. And I like you just the way you are!

I cannot wait to use this folder story in my next storytime!

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-

Ice Cream Scoops – Flannel

Hi Guys,

For an upcoming storytime I am doing all things Summer Snacks! What better snack to cool off with on a hot day than ice cream!

I found a cute little rhyme from the Perry Public Library and decided it would make a really easy felt board.

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,

A super-duper scooper cone Just for you!

One scoop, two scoops, Three scoops, four

We love ice cream Let’s have some more!

20170624_155803This is also a rhyme you can have the kids do on their hands as you do it on the flannel board. Have them make a fist with one hand to use as their ice cream cone. The other hand is each scoop.

So I made my cone and each of my scoops. This is such an easy one to make! It took me maybe five minutes and now I have an ice cream flannel that I can use again and again.

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-