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Showing posts from July, 2013

Traditional Songs to Sing and Act Out at the Library

Yesterday I shared some of my favorite songs to play when we're using recorded music at storytime. To add to the list, here are some great traditional and camp songs that are perfect for when you don't have a CD player handy. A lot of these are perfect for school or scouting visits. Most of them work wonderfully to start off slow while the kids learn the motions and then get faster and faster until the audience is a sweaty, giggling mess. If I missed your favorite, please leave a comment! I'm always on the lookout for more activities like these.

"Johnny Works with One Hammer," perfect for a construction themed storytime (pair it with "Five Little Nails"). Or anytime you want to get a little bit silly. The Wiggles popularized this song so the odds are good some of the kids will know it.

"Hi, My Name is Joe and I Work in a Button Factory" I actually learned this song at summer camp as a rising fourth grader and have very fond memories of singing …

Favorite Recorded Music at Storytime

I've been making it a point to share more recorded music at storytime, to introduce parents to the many awesome kids' performers out there. We still sing traditional songs without recorded music, particularly my personal favorite "The Wheels on the Bus," but I like to promote our CD collection too.  I've included YouTube videos when possible. The kids get scarves and we boogie, sometimes we freeze dance and sometimes we are all-out dancin' fools. Here's some songs that have been big hits!

"Jump Up" by Dan Zanes (Track 1 on Family Dance) I looked up the lyrics online for this song and all of the sites had the verses out of order, so that's an FYI. I just copy and pasted them and then fixed them in Word. I think this would be a bigger hit with babies and toddlers under my current age group though. It's a bit slow for my 2's and 3's storytime kids (very rambunctious crowd), but I could see it being a hit at a baby storytime. I love …

"Lazy Daisy, Cranky Frankie" Puppet Show

Today for Flannel Friday, I'm sharing a version of a new picture book called Lazy Daisy, Cranky Frankie. It's by Mary Ellen Jordan and Andrew Weldon (a couple from a farm in Australia, according to the book's end flap). Judging by its reviews on GoodReads, it's not been a popular one, but I found it funny. I guess everyone can't be as much of a fan of chickens in purple underwear as I am.

Since I do storytimes just for kids 2 and 3 now, I decided to tell this one with puppets for our upcoming pig storytime. It's an easy one! All the puppets you'll need are (in this order):

CowPig (I'm actually using a different, full-body oen when I do this with the kids, but it was too much darkness to get a good photo) ChickenDog

How Our Summer Reading Program Works

We're about half-way through with the summer reading program at my library, yay! I thought I'd share how our children's summer reading program works. My system also has separate reading programs for teens, adults, and staff members that each work a little bit differently.

Summer Reading by the Numbers
Starting Date: Monday, June 10 (first day for sign-ups)
Prizes Begin: Monday, June 17 (also the first week of storytimes, although each branch designated a program as it's "Kick Off Event" during the first week of SRP)
Ending Date: Saturday, August 10 (last day for prizes)
Total number of kids we expect to sign-up at my branch: 2,000 (approximately, we're at about 1,950 as of Friday)
Books purchased to give away this year at my branch: 1,262
Books left over from last year: 254
Total number of books available to be given away: 1,516 (there will be leftovers)

Reading Logs (Click on the pictures to enlarge them) 
When kids come in to sign up, we hand them one a …

Putting It All Together: What My Storytime Prep Looks Like

I always enjoy hearing about the process that other librarians go through while preparing their storytimes, as well as seeing the space they present the finished product(s) in. Here's what I do now that I'm in my new library.

I get a sheet listing what my branch's themes will be for the entire session a few weeks prior to the start of storytimes. For summer 2013 the themes are: fish/beach/pond, ducks/chickens, bugs, pirates, tool time, pigs, and pets. We do 7-week sessions. I have three classes of 2's and 3's each week: 2 on Tuesday mornings, and 1 on Wednesday mornings.

The tubs begin rolling in a week or two before the session is scheduled to begin. I always get really excited to open them (we will have 1-2 at a time, generally as they rotate between our 4 branches). Here's a peek into the tub for this week (pirates!) :

There's usually anywhere from 1-3 puppets, 1-5 flannel boards, and some extension activities. The binder has a table of contents for the…

Recommended Reading

Here are 4 great articles I've been sending to everyone I've ever met and a few people I haven't:
10 Interesting Ways to Use Instagram for Your Library These are all adaptable to Facebook too, and it's easy to post instagram photos to your Facebook page. You definitely want as many of your social media posts as possible to include images as humans are so incredibly visual. Follow me on instagram @sotomorrow. There will be cats. An Ode to Library Story Time Being a new mom is hard! One of our most unrecognized services is simply being a friendly face to parents and families. This is a nice "thank you" from BookRiot9 Books About Families with Gay & Lesbian Parents There's some new ones I haven't seen yet, so I'm ordering more for our collection. How to Design Library Spaces with Kids in Mind Some good tips here!

"Spider on the Floor" Scarf Activity

This week's theme at storytime was bugs! Since my storytimes now are just for kids ages 2-3, I'm always looking for something extremely interactive and fun for them to do. One (probably not original) activity that was really fun this week was acting out the Raffi song "Spider on the Floor" with our dancing scarves. Each kid got a scarf, then they tickled themselves with it as the spider crawled up their legs, stomach, neck, etc. I will warn those of you who object to this sort of thing that Mr. Raffi rhymes the word "stomach" with "dumb ol' lummock," just for your information. If you sing live/without the CD, you can use whatever rhymes you fancy. I've also done this by acting the song out with a spider puppet. I have this one at home.

For the record, my preferred method of incorporating music into storytimes is to sing aloud with a CD/iPod accompaniment. For whatever reason, I find it easier to remember song lyrics this way.

If you don&…

"Dig Into Reading" Decorations

We have a unique problem (or I guess I should say "challenge") at my new library. My branch's children's room is quite large. I'm not sure how many square feet it is, but it just keeps going and going and going. So, when it comes time to decorate the space for summer reading, it can be difficult to make a big impact. I think my staff did a great job, so I'm going to share some pictures I snapped of their efforts.

Top of the fiction shelves