Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Toddler Storytime: Happy Thanksgiving!

I had my last story time of the Fall session this week.  I usually take the month of December off from weekly story times (not that it's a vacation for me; I'll be working on projects that have been piling up) due to the busy holiday season.  Since Thanksgiving is tomorrow, I thought it was appropriate to end the Fall story times with a Thanksgiving theme.  Here is what I did:

DISCUSSION:  What Are You Thankful For?
The children in my toddler group are mostly 2-3 years old, so we had a quick discussion about things they are thankful for.  Trucks, toys, parents, cousins and families topped the list. :)

BOOK:  Splat Says Thank You! by Rob Scotton
Splat's best friend Seymour is sick and hasn't smiled in a while.  Splat decides to make Seymour a friendship book thanking him for all the wonderful things he has done for Splat, in hopes that it will make him smile.  This was a nice book to share after talking about things we are thankful for; the kids got to yell out "Thank you" each time Splat said something nice about his friend.

SONG:  "If You're Thankful and You Know It"
(tune: "If You're Happy and You Know It")

If you're thankful and you know it, clap your hands.
If you're thankful and you know it, clap your hands.
If you're thankful and you know it, and you really want to show it,
If you're thankful and you know it, clap your hands.

Continue with stomp your feet, shout "I am!", and do all three.

(Source: Sunflower Storytime)

FLANNEL SONG:  "Did You Ever Seen a Turkey?"
(tune:  "Did You Ever See a Lassie?")

Did you ever see a turkey, a turkey, a turkey,
Who struts around the farmyard with feathers so bright?
With red ones and orange ones and yellow ones and brown ones,
Did you ever see a turkey with feathers so bright?

Continue with pink ones and green ones and blue ones and purple ones
Continue with striped ones and spotted ones and glittery ones and a cow one

(Source:  Miss Sarah Storytime)

BOOK:  Run, Turkey, Run! by Diane Mayr
Turkey does not like Thanksgiving.  He needs to get away from the farmer - fast!  He tries hiding in various places around the farm.  Kids love shouting out "Run, turkey, run!"  For the toddlers, I ask them where turkey is hiding and what kind of animal is he pretending to be.  This is one of my favorite Thanksgiving books and is great to share with preschoolers, too.

FLANNEL SONG:  "We Eat Turkey"
(tune:  "Frere Jacques")

We eat turkey, we eat turkey.
Oh so good, oh so good.
Always on Thanksgiving, always on Thanksgiving.
Yum, yum, yum!  Yum, yum, yum!

Continue with mashed potatoes, corn, squash, and pumpkin pie.

Dinner's over, dinner's over.
We are stuffed!  We are stuffed!
What a great Thanksgiving, what a great Thanksgiving.
Yum, yum, yum!  Yum, yum, yum!

(Source:  Storytime Secrets)

For this rhyme, I printed out clip art of each food item, cut them out, laminated them, and glued a piece of felt onto the back.  I also acted out the verses, pretending to eat the food and rubbing and patting my tummy.  Between verses, I asked what are some things we eat on Thanksgiving and a little boy kept telling me "stuffing" each time I asked!  I'll have to find clip art for that for next year, buddy, because that's my favorite food, too!

CRAFT:  Paper Scrap Turkeys
I found this craft idea on Pinterest.  This is very easy and a great way to use up construction paper scraps.  Ahead of time, I cut out turkey bodies from brown construction paper.  Using scissors with a scalloping edge, I cut out squares of construction paper.  All the toddlers had to do was glue their turkey onto a piece of construction paper and glue paper scraps around it to make feathers.  Their grownups could also make a beak and feet out of scrap paper, if they desired.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Toddler Storytime: Pets

This is a versatile theme for storytime, because there are so many picture books about animals.  The obvious choices are cats or dogs, but you could include books about fish, snakes, hamsters, and the list goes on!  Here is what I did:

BOOK:  What Pet to Get? by Emma Dodd
Jack would like a pet and his mother said yes, but what should they get?  Jack has several suggestions, from an elephant to a Tyranasaurus Rex, but mom explains why each of these animals would be impractical.  This is a funny book, and I love the illustrations.

RHYME:  I Went to the Pet Store
I used puppets and had the kids "guess" the animal based on the rhyme.  You could also make the animals out of felt and use on a flannelboard.

I went to the pet store and made a special wish.
The pet that I wanted was a very special (fish)!

I went to the pet store, I went there at a jog,
To get a pet with a wagging tail, it was a little (dog)!

I went to the pet store, it had become a habit.
The pet I wanted now was a soft, white, fluffy (rabbit)!

I went to the pet store, I'm sure this sounds absurd,
But the pet I wanted was a colorful flying (bird)!

I went to the pet store, it was no mistake.
What I really wanted now was a hissing green (snake)!

(Source: Storytime Magic by Kathy MacMillan.  Chicago: American Library Association, 2009)

SONG:  "The Goldfish" by Laurie Berkner (from The Best of the Laurie Berkner Band)
This interactive song is so much fun!  Kids get to act out swimming like fish and other activities like riding a bike and taking a nap.  My toddler group loves to play with the musical instruments, so I usually put a bunch out when we dance to songs.

BOOK:  A Kitten Tale by Eric Rohmann
Four kittens have never seen winter or snow, and three of them are worried they won't like it, but their sibling can't wait to experience it.  The kittens watch out the window as the seasons change and snow finally arrives.  The three kittens watch as the fourth kitten has so much fun in the snow that they all decide to go out and enjoy it.  This is a really cute story.

FLANNEL STORY:  Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell
A child writes to the zoo asking for a pet.  The zoo sends a different animal, but there is something wrong with each one, so it gets sent back, until the perfect one arrives.  The template for this story is available at Kizclub.  I didn't have time to make it out of felt, so I printed out the images, laminated them, cut them out, and attached a magnet to each piece.  Voila!  Instant story on a board.

FLANNEL STORY:  Dog's Colorful Day by Emma Dodd
This is a great story to share because it incorporates colors, counting and a dog!  I did make this out of felt and it was very easy because there aren't a lot of pieces.  The template is from Storytime Magic by Kathy MacMillan and is available online.

CRAFT:  Tabby Cat
I found this craft idea from The Mailbox, a magazine for teachers our library subscribes to.  They have some easy and fun ideas for things to do in the classroom.  This was a great craft for toddlers because it didn't involve a lot of steps, just folding paper, tearing paper, gluing and coloring.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Toddler Storytime: Happy Halloween!

I love Halloween!  Carving pumpkins, dressing up, trick-or-treating, apple cider, creepy's all good stuff.  Get in the spirit by sharing some fun books with your children this year.  Here is what I did at this week's storytime:

BOOK:  Brooms Are For Flying! by Michael Rex
I read this every year because it's an awesome book for toddlers.  Short text and they get to act out the motions - that's my kind of read-aloud for this age group.  In this book, a young girl dressed as a witch goes out trick-or-treating with some other characters.

FLANNEL RHYME:  Five Little Pumpkins
Five little pumpkins sitting on the gate,
The first one says, "Oh my, it's getting late."
The second one says, "There's a chill in the air."
The third one says, "But we don't care!"
The fourth one says, "I'm ready for some fun."
The fifth one says, "Let's run, run, run."
Oooooh, went the wind, and out went the light.
And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight.

SONG:  "If You're a Ghost and You Know It"
(tune: If You're Happy and You Know It)
If you're a ghost and you know it, just say BOO!
If you're a ghost and you know it, just say BOO!
If you're a ghost and you know it and you really want to show it,
If you're a ghost and you know it, just say BOO!

If you're a black cat and you know it, say MEOW...
If you're a skeleton and you know it, shake your bones...
If you love Halloween and you know it, clap your hands...
(Source:  Sunflower Storytime)

BOOK:  Click, Clack, Boo by Doreen Cronin
Farmer Brown does not like Halloween, but the animals on his farm hold a party in the barn on Halloween night.  If you are a fan of the Click, Clack, Moo books, you must check this book out.  It's a fun book for toddlers.

PUPPET STORY:  Go Away, Big Green Monster
I purchased this puppet kit from Lakeshore Learning and it's great to use at storytime.  The velcro pieces make it easy to add parts to the puppet and take them away as the story progresses.  If you had older kids, you could pass out the pieces and have them come up and add them to the monster as you read the story.

FINGERPLAY:  Two Little Bats
Two little bats hanging in a cave,
One named Dawn and one named Dave.
Fly away Dawn.  Fly away Dave.
Come back Dawn.  Come back Dave.
(Source:  Sunflower Storytime)

BOOK:  It's Halloween Night! by Jennifer O'Connell
Everyone is getting ready to go trick-or-treating - what are they dressed up as?  This is a fun guessing book, because the pictures and words provide clues and the kids can shout out the answer.

CRAFT:  Paper Plate Pumpkins
I'm on a roll with painting crafts and Pinterest!  For this week, the kids painted a paper plate orange and added jack-o-lantern face cut-outs to their painting to create their own pumpkin.  This is very easy to do with toddlers; make sure you have washable paint and lots of baby wipes.

Skeleton for Dinner by Margery Cuyler
Over in the Hollow by Rebecca Dickinson
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
Pumpkin Eye by Denise Fleming
Just Say Boo! by Susan Hood
Little Goblins Ten by Pamela Jane
The Runaway Pumpkin by Kevin Lewis
A Very Brave Witch by Alison McGhee

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Toddler Storytime: Monsters

I absolutely love the month of October, because I get to do my favorite storytime - monsters!  Our library has a lot of great monster picture books, and because monsters fit in well with Halloween, there are always new books being published each year, so I'm never without great choices.  I try to pick stories that feature "non-scary" monsters.  Here is what I did:

BOOK:  Monster Needs a Costume by Paul Czajak
This is a new book and when I saw that it came in, I immediately grabbed it for storytime.  Monster can't decide what he wants to be for Halloween.  He tries on a variety of costumes, such as a cowboy, a ballerina, and a ninja.  In the end, he finds one that is just right.  The rhyming text makes this a fun read-aloud for toddlers.

SONG:  "Monster Boogie" by Laurie Berkner from the album Buzz Buzz
You can't do a monster-themed storytime without playing this song!  I play a Laurie Berkner song at least once every couple of weeks, because her songs are so fun.  Give the kids some shakey eggs or other musical instruments and boogie around the room.  Don't forget to growl!

ACTIVITY RHYME:  Shape Monster
Shape monster, shape monster, munch, munch, munch.
Would you like a ____________ (insert shape) for your lunch?

I found this rhyme a couple of years ago on PUBYAC (a great listserv for youth services librarians); I apologize for not knowing who it came from.  I made a monster out of a tissue box, covering it with construction paper, wiggle eyes, pom-poms, and other odds and ends craft supplies.  If you Google "tissue box monster," you will see some images that will give you inspiration.  I cut out circles, squares and triangles out of felt, passed them out to the kids, and when their shape was called, they came up and "fed" it to shape monster.  If you have older kids, you can also include the color; for the toddlers, I stuck with the shape, because they are still learning how to take turns and listen.

BOOK:  Nighty Night Little Green Monster by Ed Emberley
This is another new book that I wanted to share with the toddlers.  It's a smaller version of Emberley's Go Away Big Green Monster.  In this book, little monster's face appears in die-cut shapes as you turn each page.  When the stars come out, though, it's time for little monster to say good night.

BOOK/SONG:  If You're a Monster and You Know It by Rebecca Emberley
I decided to sing this book instead of reading it.  My crowd was also getting a little antsy, so I skipped some of the lyrics.  This is a great choice for storytime.  I love books that require sing-along participation!  Children can snort and growl, smack their claws, stomp their paws and more monster-y movements.  This is a great choice if you are looking for something to get them up and moving.

SONG:  "Horns, Fangs, Knees and Claws"
(tune: Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes)
Horns and fangs,
Knees and claws,
Knees and claws.
Horns and fangs,
Knees and claws,
Knees and claws.
Eyes and ears and tails and paws,
Horns and fangs,
Knees and claws,
Knees and claws.
(Source: Youth Literature)

CRAFT:  Masking Tape Mummy
This was another Pinterest find - what a great source for finding craft ideas!  This was very easy to do with toddlers, especially if you cut out the mummies ahead of time.  Kids love things that "stick," so give them the task of putting the masking tape on their mummy.  Easy peasy!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Toddler Storytime: Owls

Another fun storytime idea for the fall is owls.  I was pleasantly surprised by the number of picture books in our collection that were about owls.  Here is what I did:

BOOK:  "I'm Not Cute!" by Jonathan Allen
A baby owl gets upset when all the other animals tell him he is cute.  He thinks he's a rough and tough fighter; thankfully, mama owl knows just what to say to her little guy.  The other books in this series about baby owl are fun, too.

FLANNEL RHYME:  Five Hoot Owls
Five hoot owls sitting in a tree
One flew away! How many do you see?
Four hoot owls sitting in a tree
One flew away! How many do you see?
Three hoot owls...etc.
(Source:  Sunflower Storytime)

BOOK:  Bear's New Friend by Karma Wilson
There's a new animal in the forest, and Bear and his friends would like to play with him, but he is very shy.  What animal could it be?  Will they ever coax him out of his hole?  I love the Bear series, and knew I had to share this book!  This is great to share with toddlers and preschoolers because of the rhyming text.

ACTION RHYME:  Wide-Eyed Owl
There's a wide-eyed owl     (circle eyes with fingers)
With a pointed nose            (make a beak with your fingers)
Two pointed ears                (make ears with your fingers)
And claws for toes              (make claws with your fingers)
He lives way up in the tree   (point up/reach up)
And when he looks at you   (point to children)
He flaps his wings                (flap your arms)
And says, "Whoo! Whoo!"
(Source:  King County Library System)

SONG:  "Owl's Hokey-Pokey"
You put your right wing in, you put your right wing out,
You put your right wing in, and you flap it all about.
You do the owl hokey pokey and you fly yourself around.
That's what it's all about.  Hoo-hoo!
Additional verses:
left wing
right claw, left claw
whole, feathered self
(Source:  Ms. Hegna's Storyroom)

BOOK:  Little Hoot by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Little Hoot doesn't like to stay up late, like he is supposed to.  He wants to go to bed and begs his parents to let him.  (When does that ever happen?!)  A fun take on the bedtime story.

CRAFT:  Hand-Print Owls
I saw this idea on Pinterest and my initial thought was "Painting with 2 year olds?  Jen, what are you thinking?"  It worked fine!  Crayola washable paint and lots of baby wipes are a must.  I also had a smaller group that morning.  If it was bigger, you could forego the painting and glue feathers onto the owl.  I also had an awesome helper who helped me cut out all the pieces the night before storytime.  Pretty cute, huh?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Toddler Storytime: The Color Orange

To celebrate the season, I decided to a storytime on the color orange.  The inspiration came from Storytime Katie's blog.  I took her advice and matched rhymes with the stories I read, rather than trying to come up with activities about the color orange.  I think it worked well.  Here is what I did:

BOOK:  Where is Tippy Toes? by Betsy Lewin
Tippy Toes is a cat who spends his day doing fun things, but what does he do at night?  This is a great book to share with toddlers, because of the flaps hiding the cat.  Children had fun telling me what Tippy Toes was doing.  I included this book because Tippy Toes is bright orange.

FINGERPLAY:  Kitten Was Hiding
Kitten was hiding under a chair
I looked and I looked for her everywhere
I looked under the table
I looked under the bed
I looked in the corner
And then I said,
"Here kitty, kitty, kitty, kitty.  Here kitty, kitty, kitty, kitty.
I have a bowl of milk for you."
And then the kitten came running, saying "mew, mew, mew, mew."
(Source: King County Library System)

BOOK:  How Big Could Your Pumpkin Grow? by Wendell Minor
You can't have an orange storytime without a book about a pumpkin!  This is a new picture book we have at the library, and I wanted to share it with the kids.  I love the illustrations and that it's about the concept of "big."  Children get to see how the pumpkins get bigger and bigger on each page.

ACTION RHYME:  Pumpkin, Pumpkin
Pumpkin, pumpkin on the ground     (crouch down)
How'd you get so big and round?     (stretch arms to make a big circle)
Once you were a seed so small        (pretend to hold a seed)
Now you are a great big ball            (make a big circle with hands)
Pumpkin, pumpkin on the ground     (crouch down)
How'd you get so big and round?     (stretch arms to make a big circle)
(Source: King County Library System)

BOOK:  Little Owl's Orange Scarf by Tatyana Feeney
This is another new picture book, and when I read it I knew it would be perfect for an orange storytime.  Little Owl dislikes his orange scarf for many reasons, but mainly because orange is not his favorite color.  This is a really cute story, and would also be perfect for an owl-themed storytime.

FLANNEL RHYME:  Five Hoot Owls
Five hoot owls sitting in a tree
One flew away.  How many do you see?
Four hoot owls sitting in a tree
One flew away.  How many do you see?
Three hoot owls, etc.
(Source:  Sunflower Storytime)

For a craft, we made pumpkin collages, which is an easy craft to do with 2 year olds.  I printed out a pumpkin shape onto cardstock paper (or you can use construction paper).  I gave them crayons, Halloween stickers, and orange tissue paper squares which they could glue onto their picture with a glue stick.  Easy-peasy!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Preschool Storytime: Superheroes!

Books about popular superhero characters fly off our library shelves.  I thought it would be fun to do a Superheroes storytime.  I told the kids the week before, so they could come dressed up, if they liked.  Here is what we did:

BOOK:  The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man by Michael Chabon; illustrated by Jake Parker
If you couldn't tell by the title, Awesome Man is just awesome.  He has amazing powers, which he uses on evil villains.  He has a trusty sidekick, his awesome dog Moskowitz.  And, like most superheroes, he has a secret identity.  Can you guess who he is?  You'll be surprised!

SONG:  "Chicken Impossible" from the album Songs Inside the Radio from the Greasy Kids Stuff radio program
The theme song to "Mission Impossible" sung by chickens?  Oh, we are so playing this song during storytime!  This was perfect to use with shakey eggs as the chickens cluck along to the theme.  I had the kids pretend to fly around the room and jump up and down.

BOOK:  Super Hair-O and the Barber of Doom by John Rocco
This is a new picture book at my library and when I saw it, I knew it would be perfect for this storytime.  A young boy fears he lost his super powers when a villain (the barber) captures him and cuts his hair!  Egads!  The boy believes his hair is the source of his strength - how will he ever be a superhero again?

RHYME:  Superman
Put your hands way up high,
Like Superman flying across the sky.
Fly to the left.  Now fly to the right.
Now show me your muscles with all your might.
Now Superman's putting his suit away,
So he can go flying another day.
(Source:  Pubyac)

BOOK:  Superhero ABC by Bob McLeod
Different superheros from A to Z are described in this fun book.  I love the illustrations and some of the wacky superheroes.  Kids will love reading about Bubble-Man, Goo Girl, Laughing Lass, and The Volcano.  Full of alliteration, with the description of each superhero matching the letter, this is fun to read aloud.

RHYME:  Superhero, Superhero
Superhero, superhero, turn around.
Superhero, superhero, touch the ground.
Superhero, superhero, put on your suit.
Superhero, superhero, put on your boots.
Superhero, superhero, jump up high.
Superhero, superhero, fly, fly, fly!
(Source:  Pubyac)

CRAFT:  Superhero Masks
This is an easy craft, especially with a template you can print out.  I found mine here.  Kids color, cut out, decorate, and add some string to put on their heads.  Instant superhero!

Charlie's Superhero Underpants by Paul Bright
Max by Bob Graham
Superhero School by Aaron Reynolds
The Superheroes' Employment Agency by Marilyn Singer
The Amazing Adventures of Bumblebee Boy by David Soman
Mighty Max by Harriet Ziefert

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Preschool Storytime: Summer Fun!

Even though Mother Nature seems to be a bit confused about what season it is, it's summer in storytime-land.  To get everyone in a summer-time mood, here is what I did:

BOOK:  The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant; illustrated by Stephen Gammell
We talked about some of the things families did during the summer, and someone mentioned going on trips, so this was the perfect book to start out with.  A family from Virginia packs up their car for a long trip up north to visit their relatives during the summer.  While they are visiting, they have fun spending time together having picnics, playing games, and just spending time together.  This is a great story about families and the joy that comes from having them visit.

FINGERPLAY:  Happy Summer
Five little ladybugs napping a tree     (close eyes and pretend to sleep)
Wake up to the sound of a bumblebee,     (BZZZZZZZ)
A little bunny's feet go hop, hop, hop,     (bounce up and down)
A shower of raindrops go plop, plop, plop.     (pat hands on legs)
Then a silly little bird sings loud and clear     (TWEET, TWEET, TWEET)
And the ladybugs say, "Summer must be here!"
(Source: King County Library System)

BOOK:  What Can You Do With a Paleta? by Carmen Tafolla; illustrated by Magaly Morales
Most kids screamed out "ice cream" when I asked what they like to eat during the summer.  This is a good multi-cultural choice to share with kids.  A paleta is a popsicle, and this story tells the joy of eating a cold, yummy paleta during a hot summer day, and the fruity choices available.  Okay, now I want one.

FLANNEL GAME:  Ice Cream Cones
For this game, I have a cone and several colors of ice cream made out of felt.  The kids help me "build" an ice cream cone by shouting out flavors (for smaller children, you can put the scoops on the board and see if they can guess the color and flavor).  If you have a smaller group, you can hand out the scoops of ice cream and call up children based on what flavor they have in their hand.

BOOK:  Froggy Learns to Swim by Jonathan London; illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz
It wouldn't be summer without swimming, and you can't go wrong with Froggy.  Froggy is afraid of the water, but with a little encouragement and help from his mom, he learns to swim.

SONG:  "If You're Going to the Pool" (tune: "If You're Happy and You Know It")
If you're going to the pool, wear your suit.
If you're going to the pool, wear your suit.
If you're going to the pool, then a suit will keep you cool.
If you're going to the pool, wear your suit.
...wear your hat
...wear your flip flops
...wear your sunglasses
(also, you can ask children for suggestions)
(Source:  Mel's Desk)

Marshmallow Kisses by Linda Crotta Brennan
A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever by Marla Frazee
One Watermelon Seed by Celia Barker Lottridge
The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli
Beach Day by Karen Roosa
Mouse's First Summer by Lauren Thompson
The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog by Mo Willems
Should I Share My Ice Cream? by Mo Willems

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Toddler Time: How Does Your Garden Grow?

Today was the last day of Toddler Time for the Spring.  The weather has been a bit odd the past week (even for Central New York standards), going from temperatures in the 80s to the 40s!  This week is supposed to be nice, so in honor of Spring and all the beautiful things that grow during this time of the year, I thought a garden themed storytime fit the bill.  Here is what we did.

I started out by asking the children what things grow in gardens.  I got a lot of good responses like carrots, peppers and pumpkins.  So we started out by pretending we had a garden.

FINGERPLAY:  Dig a Little Hole
Dig a little hole,     (pretend to dig)
Plant a little seed,  (pretend to plant)
Pour a little water, (pretend to water)
Pull a little weed.   (pretend to weed)
Chase a little bug,  (shoo with hands)
There he goes!      (wiggle fingers away)
Give a little sunshine, (arms circle overhead)
Grow a little rose.   (pretend to hold a flower)
Source:  Perry Public Library

BOOK:  Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
This is a great book to share with toddlers.  The text is short and the illustrations are bright and bold.  Ask them to identify colors and then share the names of the different flowers on each page.

By this time, the kids were quite wiggly, so we broke out the shaky eggs and got up and danced.

SONG:  "Shake My Sillies Out" by Raffi (from his album More Singable Songs)

FLANNEL RHYME:  Five Little Flowers
One little flower growing just for you.
(hold up 1 finger)
Up came another and then there were two.
(hold up 2 fingers)
Two little flowers growing near a tree.
Up came another and then there were three.
(hold up 3 fingers)
Three little flowers growing more and more.
(move hand up)
Up came another and then there were four
(hold up 4 fingers)
Four little flowers growing side by side.
Up came another and then there were five.
Source:  King County Library System

BOOK:  My Garden by Kevin Henkes
After she helps her mother water and weed their garden, a little girl imagines a garden of her own complete with chocolate rabbits, jellybeans, flowers of all colors and tomatoes the size of beach balls.  A cute story!

PUPPET RHYME:  There's Something in My Garden
There’s something in my garden,
Now what can it be?
There’s something in my garden
That I can’t really see.
Hear its funny sound....
A FROG is what I found!
There’s something in my garden,
Now what can it be?
There’s something in my garden,
That I can’t really see.
Hear its funny sound....
A RABBIT is what I found!
There’s something in my garden,
Now what can it be?
There’s something in my garden,
That I can’t really see.
Hear its funny sound....
A MOUSE is what I found!
There’s something in my garden,
Now what can it be?
There’s something in my garden,
That I can’t really see.
Hear its funny sound....
A CROW is what I found!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Toddler Storytime: Sweet Treats

I'm not sure if it was best idea to do a storytime based upon sugary, yummy things with a bunch of hyper two-year olds, but I went with it, because that's how Miss Jenny rolls!  Here is how you can have sweet storytime, too.

BOOK:  Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum by Lisa Wheeler; illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith
I found this gem while weeding the picture book section.  When I read it, I knew it would be perfect for storytime.  Full of rhymes and fun noises, this book is a great read-aloud.  Starting out with a toad, a variety of animals get stuck in a big wad of bubble gum melting in the road.  They must try to get out of the way of a big blue truck and a mean bear coming down the road.  We had fun yelling out the different animals and I had fun making the noises.

SONG:  "Shakin' Down the Sugar" by Laurie Berkner (from her album Victor Vito)
My toddlers love using the shakey eggs, so whenever I can bring them out for a song, I do.  This song fits perfectly into the theme as well as being a great outlet to shake and dance around!  I love that they get to shake left, right and up and down.

FINGERPLAY:  Making Cookies
I am making cookie dough,                       (point to self)
Round and round the beaters go,               (rotate hands over each other)
Add some flour from a cup,                       (pretend to pour flour in)
Stir and mix the batter up,                          (pretend to stir)
Roll them, cut them, nice and neat,             (pretend to roll out cookies)
Put them on a cookie sheet,                       (hold hands out flat in front of you)
Bake them, count, two, three,   (count with fingers)
Then serve them to my friends for tea!        (pretend to pass cookies out)
Source:  Avon Lake Public Library

BOOK:  The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? by Mo Willems
I love the Pigeon books and couldn't wait to share this book with the toddlers.  They loved it!  Seriously, can Mo Willems write a bad children's book?  I think not.  This is a great choice because you can talk about asking for things politely, sharing, and why throwing a fit is not a great option to get what you want.

FLANNEL RHYME:  Five Gingerbread Men
Five little gingerbread men laying on a tray,
One jumped up and ran away,
Shouting, "Catch me, catch me, catch me if you can...
I'm really quick, I'm a gingerbread man!"
Four little gingerbread men... (count down the numbers repeating the above rhyme)
No more gingerbread men laying on a tray,
They all jumped up and ran away.
Oh, how I wish they had stayed with me to play.
Next time I'll eat them before they run away!
Source:  King County Library System

FINGERPLAY:  Good Things to Eat
Will you have spaghetti,    (wiggle fingers up and down)
Or a piece of pie?             (make a triangle with your fingers)
How about a cookie?        (make a circle with your hands)
Then so will I!                   (pretend to eat cookies)
Source:  Avon Lake Public Library

If You Give a Dog a Donut by Laura Numeroff
Who Put the Cookies in the Cookie Jar? by George Shannon
The Donut Chef by Bob Staake
Whopper Cake by Karma Wilson

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Preschool Storytime: Choo-Choo!

Children love trains.  Thomas, Chuggington - these are popular series at my library and their books and DVDs circulate very well.  We even purchased a train table for our Children's Room that is well loved by our little patrons.  It seemed high time to do a storytime about trains.  All aboard!  Here's what I did.

Book:  And the Train William Bee
I really like this book.  One of its strengths is its repetition.  Passengers get on the train and make comments and noises (like the businessmen who say "time is money, time is money"), and the entire time the station parrot is listening carefully to all the sounds.  The train maintains its sound of "clickerty click, clickerty clack." I had fun reading this aloud and encouraging the kids to make the noises along with me.

Action Rhyme:  This is a Choo-Choo Train
This is a choo-choo train,
     (bend arms at elbows)
Puffing down the track.
     (push arms forward)
Now it's going forward,
     (lean forward)
Now it's going back.
     (lean back)
Now the bell is ringing.
     (pretend to pull the cord)
Now the whistle blows.
     (blow "toot, toot")
What a lot of noise it makes.
    (cover ears with hands)
Everywhere it goes.
    (bend arms again and push them forward)

Book:  Clickety Clack by Rob and Amy Spence; illustrated by Margaret Spengler
Another fun book to read aloud!  The train gets filled with very loud passengers - like talking yaks, dancing acrobats and quacking ducks.  Pretty soon the conductor has a headache!  Will everyone quiet down?  We had fun making the different noises.

Flannel Song:  This Little Train (tune: "This Old Man")
This little train, painted black
It comes chugging down the track
With a "choo-choo, toot-toot"
Hear the whistle blow
This little train comes chugging home.

This little train painted blue
It has seats for me and you
With a "choo-choo, toot-toot"
Hear the whistle blow
This little train comes chugging home.

This little train painted yellow
It shimmies and shakes like a bowl of Jell-O
With a "choo-choo, toot-toot"
Hear the whistle blow
This little train comes chugging home.

This little train painted green
It's the fanciest car you've ever seen
With a "choo-choo, toot-toot"
Hear the whistle blow
This little train comes chugging home.

This little train, it is gray
It takes you places far away
With a "choo-choo, toot-toot"
Hear the whistle blow
This little train comes chugging home.

This caboose, it is red
It will take you home to bed
With a "choo-choo, toot-toot"
Hear the whistle blow
This little train comes chugging home.

Pattern for Flannel Board:  Kiz Club

Book: Chugga Chugga Choo Choo by Kevin Lewis; illustrated by Daniel Kirk
I read this to both my toddler and preschool groups and encouraged them to very loud with their "chugga chugga choo choos."  They did not disappoint.  I'm still regaining the hearing in my right ear.  Just kidding!  This is another great choice to read aloud.  The rhyming and repetition make this a good choice for both age groups.

Song:  The Wheels on the Train (tune: "The Wheels on the Bus")
The wheels on the train go clickety clack, clickety clack, clickety clack,
The wheels on the train go clickety clack, on the railroad tracks.

Repeat with:
The engine on the train goes chug, chug, chug...
The conductor on the train says, "tickets please..."
The people on the train go bounce, bounce, bounce...
The whistle on the train goes toot, toot, toot...

Craft:  Train with Paper Towel Wheels
This was super easy.  We have an Ellison die cut of a train, which made cutting these out a breeze.  The kids decorated them and used a toilet paper roll cut in half for the wheels.  I did cut a slit in the middle of the "wheels" so the train could fit in.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Preschool Storytime: Bunnies, Eggs and Chicks

Easter Sunday is tomorrow, so in honor of the holiday, this week's storytime theme was about Easter things.  I chose not to focus on the religious aspect of the holiday due to the diverse community we have at our library, and instead chose to read books about rabbits, eggs and chickens.  For an added treat, one of the families brought in their pet rabbit, Cocoa and kids learned about the breed, what they eat, and how to take care of a rabbit.  They also got to pet Cocoa.  Check out our library's Facebook page for pictures!

Book:  What Does Bunny See? by Linda Sue Park; illustrated by Maggie Smith
A perfect choice for the spring (not that the weather in Central New York has been very spring-like), this book is about a little bunny who wanders through a garden and discovers flowers in different colors.  The rhymes make this fun to read aloud and the kids loved shouting out the colors.

Flannel Rhyme:  Five Little Bunnies
One little bunny, wondering what to do,
Another bunny came along, and now there are two.
Two little bunnies, hopping just like me,
Another bunny came along, and now there are three.
Three little bunnies, jumping around outdoors,
Another bunny joined them, and now there are four.
Four little bunnies, so fluffy and alive,
Another bunny joined them, and now there are five.
Five little bunnies, ready for some fun,
Hopped away in the warm, spring sun.
Source:  King County Library System

Book:  Roly-Poly Egg by Kali Stileman
I adore this book!  The illustrations are adorable and full of color.  Splotch is a colorful bird who lays a spotted egg that rolls out of her nest in the tree.  As it rolls through the story, it passes many animals and kids can follow the egg along on its journey.  As it makes its way back home, you will discover a surprise ending.

Song:  "I Know a Chicken" by Laurie Berkner from her album Whaddaya Think of That?
A storytime favorite, I could NOT have a storytime about chickens and eggs and not play this song.  Make sure you break out the shaky eggs.

Book:  Blue Chicken by Deborah Freedman
When I was choosing books for this storytime, I discovered this one which was a little different than your average chicken book.  A little chicken tries to help an artist paint the barnyard in the book, but she ends up making everything blue -even the animals.  How will she fix it?

Fingerplay:  Ten Fluffy Chickens
Five eggs and five eggs, that makes ten.
(Hold up two hands.)
Sitting on top is the Mother Hen.
(Fold one hand over the other.)
Crackle, crackle, crackle; what do I see?
(Clap hands three times.)
Ten fluffy chickens, as yellow as can be!
(Hold up and wiggle ten fingers.)
Source:  King County Library System

Craft:  Bunny Mask
A very easy craft to prep - you just photocopy the template onto cardstock.  I had the kids choose a pom-pom nose and they also added cotton balls to bunny's face.
Source:  First Palette

More Books to Share About Easter Things:
The Easter Egg by Jan Brett
The Odd Egg by Emily Gravett
Good News, Bad News by Jeff Mack
The Little Gray Bunny by Barbara Barbieri McGrath
Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein
Minerva Louise and the Colorful Eggs by Janet Morgan Stoeke
The Easter Bunny's Assistant by Jan Thomas
Max's Chocolate Chicken by Rosemary Wells

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Passover Books for Children

Passover starts next week.  If you celebrate and are looking for books to share with your children, try these ones available at the DCL!

The Passover Lamb by Linda Elovitz Marshall; illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss
New York: Random House, 2013
This sweet book tells the story of Miriam who has to figure out how to save a baby lamb and her family's Seder dinner!  Snowball, a lamb on her family's farm, gives birth to triplet lambs, but is only able to provide milk for two, so one must be bottle-fed continuously.  But, it's almost time for Passover, and it's Miriam's turn to ask the Four Questions at her grandparents' Seder.  How will the baby lamb get fed if Miriam's family must leave for her grandparents' house?

What Am I? Passover by Anne Margaret Lewis; illustrated by Tom Mills
Chicago: Albert Whitman & Co., 2012
This lift-a-flap book is perfect for younger readers.  Children lift flaps to discover things that make Passover a special celebration, from a family getting ready for their Seder to the different foods eaten and special items needed for the dinner.

A Sweet Passover by Leslea Newman; illustrated by David Slonim
New York: Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2012
Miriam loves matzoh, especially during Passover.  She eats it for breakfast, for lunch, and with dinner.  But, in the middle of Passover, she decides she's had enough matzoh.  But, Grandpa has a special recipe for matzoh brei (kind of like French toast).  Will Miriam give it a try?  Includes a recipe to make matzoh brei with your kids!

The Little Red Hen and the Passover Matzah by Leslie Kimmelman; illustrated by Paul Meisel
New York: Holiday House, 2010
This retelling of the folktale makes it perfect to share at Passover!  Little Red Hen needs to make matzoh for Passover, but none of her friends will help her make it.  After she's done all the work, her friends show up for Seder dinner to eat it.  What will the Little Red Hen do?  Includes a recipe to make matzoh.

Dayenu! A Passover Haggadah for Families and Children by Carol Boyd Leon; illustrations by Gwen Connelly
Jersey City, NJ: KTAV Publishing House, 2008
This book is perfect for introducing children to Passover, as well as explaining the many elements of a Seder dinner.  It tells the story of Exodus, and relates why Passover is such an important story of the Jewish people.  Easy to understand text and brightly colored illustrations makes this a good choice to share with your family.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Preschool Storytime: Green Things

With St. Patrick's Day coming up next week, I wanted to do a story time around the holiday.  Alas, there are few picture books about St. Patrick's Day geared towards the under five year old set.  So, I expanded my theme and did "It's a Green Storytime!"

Book:  The Croaky Pokey by Ethan Long
I started out by asking the children what animals are green.  They shouted "frogs," so this was our first book.  I love books that I can sing along to, because they make them more interactive and fun.  This book follows "The Hokey Pokey" and involves a frog trying desperately to catch a fly.  Will he catch it?

Flannel Rhyme:  Five Little Froggies
(If you don't feel like making a flannel board, this may be done as a fingerplay.)

Five little froggies sat on a shore,
One went for a swim, and then there were four.
Four little froggies looked out to sea,
One went swimming, and then there were three.
Three little froggies said, "what can we do?"
One jumped in the water, and then there were two.
Two little froggies sat in the sun,
One swam off, and then there was one.
One little froggie said, "this is no fun!"
He dived in the water, and then there were none!

Book:  Snip Snap! What's That? by Mara Bergman; illustrated by Nick Maland
Another green animal the children picked was an alligator (or crocodile).  This book involves a scary alligator that makes its way into a home to scare the children.  But, the children have a trick up their sleeves to get rid of the alligator.  We had fun making alligator noises with our hands.

Puppet Activity:  Go Away, Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley
Since we read a book about a "scary" animal, I decided to follow with an interactive activity about a green monster that "doesn't scare me!"  I purchased the puppet kit from Lakeshore Learning, handed out different pieces to the kids, and they came up and gave our monster a face.

Fingerplay:  Five Green Peas
Five green peas in a pea pod pressed.
(children hold hand in a fist)
One grew, two grew, and so did all the rest.
(put thumb and fingers up one by one)
They grew and grew,
(raise hand in the air slowly)
And did not stop,
Until one day the pod went POP!
(clap hands together)
(Source: Storytime Katie)

Book:  There Was a Tree by Rachel Isadora
This is one of my favorite "new" books we've got in our picture book collection.  Based on the song "The Green Grass Grew All Around," this book is set in Africa and depicts a tree growing and all the things that land on the tree.  I really loved singing this, and was so happy that the parents and kids sang along with me!

Craft:  Shamrock Crowns
Just because I didn't read any books about St. Patrick's Day didn't mean I wasn't going to get my shamrock on with a craft!  The kids had a blast making these cute crowns.  Thankfully, we have an Ellison machine and a shamrock die shape, so it was easy to prep this.  And yes, that is me modeling my crown (I have a tough job, but someone's gotta do it)!
(Source:  DLTK)

Other Books to Share About Green Things:
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover! by Lucille Colandro
In the Tall, Tall Grass by Denise Fleming
Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox; illustrated by Judy Horacek
Emeraldalicious by Victoria Kann
Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
My Snake Blake by Randy Siegel; illustrated by Serge Bloch
Hooray for Amanda and Her Alligator! by Mo Willems
The Night Before St. Patrick's Day by Natasha Wing