Remember my Five Little Pumpkins Craft Stick Puppets from way back before Halloween? Well, what I didn't tell you then is that I actually use that same box for three different rhymes: that one; Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary; and Humpty Dumpty (coming soon to a Flannel Friday near you!).
The words, as I learned them, are below. Wikipedia, as always, has an interesting article about all the different variations of this rhyme, most changing the last line.
Silver bells and cockle-shells, And marigolds all in a row.
I made the stems of the puppets by hot gluing felt to a craft stick. The flower petals are left over from a duct-tape flip-flop program last summer. The flowers grow as I slide the craft sticks through slits in the bottom of the box. Since my dinosaur finger puppet is in the background, let's pretend she's Mary.
"Mary, Mary" is a lesser-known nursery rhyme, but I think it's time we brought it back. This would tie in nicely with storytime themes like spring, gardens, flowers, or even this summer's Dig Into Reading national theme.
I like to do a lot of nursery rhymes with the parachute for a few reasons: Parents/kids are more likely to participate in activities where the content is already familiarI already know them so I don't have to learn a whole bunch of material at once (just being honest here)Easy for the families to replicate this activities at home with whatever props they might have. If they (or you!) don't have a parachute, a bed sheet or blanket can be substituted easily. Even a beach towel would work for one parent and one child to play together. This is my mean reason and I tried to hammer this in at all three programs I did the past two weeks! Parachute …
One of my favorite things to do in my library is create displays. I thought it might be helpful if I shared the calendar that I drew up to make sure I don't miss any of the "must-do" displays. It is so helpful if you can take people over to a seasonal display versus trying to look up in the catalog or find Easter books or whatever. I hope this helps any new librarians who might be overwhelmed by the process of marketing your collection!
As a general rule, I tend to keep displays up for about 3-4 weeks or if I run out of books all together. One tip I'd recommend if you have the space for multiple displays is to change one display in each space every week and rotate around the youth department like that. For example, one week you put up a new picture books display, then nonfiction, then YA/teen, etc. Don't forget to raid your CD and DVD collections for a multi-category display.
Here's one of my favorite parachute activities! I actually mentioned it a few months ago when talking about my summer parachute playtime but it's become a storytime staple since. We've been doing this here at my 2 and 3 year old storytimes and it's a great activity that I thought deserved its own post. I learned the song "Sleeping Bunnies" from Mary and I had the idea to adapt it to a parachute activity.
Here are the words: Sleeping Bunnies See the little bunnies sleeping til it's nearly noon. Come and let us gently wake them with a merry tune. Oh, how are still. Are they ill? Wake up soon. (Here I yell "WAKE UP BUNNIES!" and the kids shake the parachute.)
Hop, little bunnies, hop, hop hop! Hop, little bunnies, hop, hop hop! Hop, little bunnies, hop, hop hop!
Then we say "good night" to the bunnies and repeat a few times.