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Showing posts from August, 2013

Ready, Set, Go To Kindergarten Storytime

One of the programs we do every year at my new library is "Ready, Set, Go! To Kindergarten," a storytime for kids who will be entering kindergarten in the fall. I only had about 30 minutes of actual librarian-directed time to work with and a lot of ground I wanted to cover to go over some of the kindergarten-readiness knowledge. This was an evening program we had on Monday for about 20 kids and their parents.
Books Read
Colors: Pete the Cat:  I Love My White Shoes
ABCS: Boom Chicka Boom Boom
School In General: Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come by Nancy Carlson

Song: Kindergarten Here We Come

Movement Song: The Bean Bag by Hap Palmer

Craft: School Words Book

We also sang "The Wheels on the Bus" with the parachute to close out the evening.

Note to self: Do not use the same date for this program (Monday, 8/26) next year! So many people had to cancel because it was a kindergarten open house at one of our school districts.

I actually ran a little short on time for this…

Summer Writing Center Activities

My new library has a small Writing Center complete with a pretend mailbox. Each month (ummm, roughly...) we change the suggested activity out. After June, I decided to experiment with using the Ellison machine to cut the papers for the kids' answers. I love the visual effect this has had in that small, dark nook!

In June, the kids told us what one thing that they "dig" was for our "Dig Into Reading" summer reading program.


In July, the kids told us what they would name a pet dinosaur if they had one:

In August, we asked the kids what their favorite ice cream cone flavor was. I'm proud to say that Superman ice cream remains a favorite. The kids are OK.


As you can see, we kept the background orange paper and balloon border up. It's really difficult to change the paper in particular given the small space that you have to work with in this spot. 

Program Idea: Parachute Playtime

This summer I offered a parachute playtime for kids 2-3 and 4-5. The idea for this program came from the genius that is my close personal friend Miss Lisa, so make sure you stop by her blog to see what activities she includes in her parachute programs. In addition to her program, I also got ideas from Parachute Play by Liz and Dick Wilmes

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 …

Moving Right Along: Transistions During Storytime

Lately I've been thinking a lot about how to improve my transistions between activities and books at storytime. I've been making a conscious effort to actually have some sort of transition and not just "Okay, now we're going to do __________." I don't write these down. They are things I kind of come up with on the fly but am sharing because it's always interesting (to me, anyway!) to see how other librarians handle this type of thing.

The pets storytime I did during the last week of July had some really great natural opportunites to move from one thing to another, so I thought I'd share how we did that. I'm still mastering this art, so if you have any suggestions or a favorite way to transition between activities, leave a comment!

Our last opening activity that we do every week is"Little Mouse, Little Mouse."So we talked about how mice are pets and then segued into picking out a pet for ourselves with "Goin' to The Pet Store&…

"Going to the Pet Store" Puppet Rhyme

Here's a fun activity also from last week's pet storytime tub, a rhyme called "Going to the Pet Store". These are puppets (all Folkmanis, as far as I know) that we had in our puppet closet. The hat box I used is where the snake puppet lives and the others I picked out to fit in there. I really liked the effect that using the smaller puppets (frog, dog, hamster?, mouse, turtle) first and then pulling out a giant snake had on the kids.


Going to the Pet Store Going to the pet store,   (Slap your knees to the beat) Gonna find a pet.  I wonder what to get?  Hmmmmm...  (Scratch your head)  (Look in the bag/box and pull out a puppet)

After the snake came out, he went around the room and gave snake kisses. I also let the kids who were brave enough wear him around their necks. Some of the parents/caregivers snapped photos which I have no doubt wound up on Facebook. Free PR for the library! 
P.S. Have you checked out the Storytime Underground website yet? Put together by my fr…

Instant Professional Development for Youth Librarians: Mr. Eric's Music Class

I plan to start sharing fun, free professional development and resource type-stuff. For this first one, I'm really excited to show a really fun video of Mr. Eric (Eric Litwin of Pete the Cat fan) teaching one of his music classes. There are tons of great rhymes, songs, and activities shared in this 41 minute clip. So check it out! It's the second video on this page.

No time to watch a whole class? Mr. Eric has some individual songs from the class on the YouTube page for his educational music exploration venture, The Learn
ing Groove. (It's similar to Kindermusik.)

The Birds on The Tree (lap song) Notice how he laughs off singing the wrong lyrics!
The Cookie Jar Taking audience suggestions.
The Wheels on the Bus
We are Monsters
Hey, Hello Song (this one has a sort-of "welcome to class" introduction approach that is light humored more than the typical THESE ARE THE RULES AND YOU WILL OBEY THEM approach. It's refreshing.)

When observing storytimes by other professio…

"Nesting Cats" Rhyme

This week's pet-themed storytime was a bonanza of awesome prop/puppet type stories. Here's one that I did with my 2's and 3's, who were completely fascinated by these awesome nesting cats. All credit for this one goes to my fabulous co-worker, Miss E.

"Nesting Cats" Kitty, kitty I hear a sound Who is it?  Meow! 
Kitty, kitty  I hear a sound Who is it?  Meow! 
Kitty, kitty I hear a sound Who is it?  Meow! 
Kitty, kitty, I hear a sound Who is it?  SQUEAK! a Mouse

The nesting cats set is $10.99 as of this writing at Bits and Pieces. They have other animals too, so check them out! If you sign up for their newsletter, you will get a coupon for 10% off your first order. Note: I haven't ordered anything from this company before so I have no idea how good their service is.

P.S. Thanks to the State Library of Iowa for recommending my blog in the August edition of its youth services newsletter. That's so cool! Also thanks to Liz Anderson for spotting it and lett…