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!