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!
  • 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!



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!



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


Enjoy! That’s all for now!


The Wow Factor

Using window paint to create summer read and learn displays. 

Hi Guys,

So a few days ago, I was told we needed a “Wow Factor” to get people walking into the library talking about summer reading. Being the display guru of the branch, I was chosen for this task. Now I’d already decorated the Children’s Room with summer themed reading displays:




I wasn’t overly excited to do another summer reading display because it was a big task with a short deadline. But someone has to do it and it’s something I enjoy.

Our library has two entrances and we wanted something our patrons could see as they were walking into the building. I mentioned in passing–never a wise thing to do when a job needs doing–that window paint might be the quickest and easiest way to turn something out quickly. So that is what we decided to do.

20160702_093740            I settled on two different types of temporary window paint: basic car paint–the type kids decorate their cars with for weddings and graduation–and Crayola window paint for details.

Although my wrist was aching by the time I finished, the car window paint actually worked best. It was brighter and I could cover larger surfaces. It was also the easiest to “erase” when I made a mistake. Do be careful though, to get the brightest colors you have to squeeze while painting, which causes drips. Have a paper towel ready!

After taking care of logistics… who would clean the windows when summer was over and ensuring they wouldn’t get cleaned beforehand,  I drew out a rough plan and got to work.

Now I won’t lie, I was sooo intimidated working in this medium. I work great with cutouts and paper (check out my display page) but I don’t have the greatest freehand, so I won’t lie I moaned throughout the whole process.

For our upper level, technically the “adult” entrance, I stuck with the summer read & learn logos: IMG_20160702_164147

But downstairs, the “kids” and main entrance, I played around with the sports theme: IMG_20160702_163916On the tri-set of windows I played with a stadium and football theme. Including the Teen and Adult summer reading slogans.

IMG_20160702_164023On the opposite side of the doorways I went with the kids slogan and baseball and basketball. These were the easiest sports I could think of to display.

Ultimately, I was really pleased with these and within minutes of finishing my colleagues told me they were already getting asked about the windows and what the decorations were for.

Now, the real test will be: will they last and how hard will they be to get off in September. I guess we will just have to wait and see if any more window painting is in my future!