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Bath Storytime

I had a lot of fun with this week's bath storytime so I thought I would share my plan. I was particularly proud of the transition between the Teckentrup book and the "Elephants in the Bathtub" rhyme. I am also a huge lover of the Mrs. Wishy-Washy books so I was glad for a chance to read one too.

Book 1: Bath Time by Eileen Spinelli

Song: "All Through Bath Time"
Tune: Wheels on the Bus

The bubbles in the tub go,
Pop, pop, pop! Pop, pop, pop!
Pop, pop, pop!
The bubbles in the tub go pop, pop,pop!
All through my bath time! 


The washcloth in the tub goes scrub, scrub, scrub... 
The ducky in the tub goes quack, quack, quack... 

Book 2: Get Out of My Bath by Britta Teckentrup

Rhyme: Elephants in the Bathtub (I did this as a finger play, but I found this rhyme via Storytime Katie who has it as a flannel rhyme. I also changed the motion for knocking)

One elephant in the bathtub,
Going for a swim. 
Knock, knock (knock in the air)
Splash, splash (clap hands twice)
Come on in! (moti…

Maker Project: Artbots!

For this summer's maker program, I wanted to make artbots! I discovered artbots through the fabulous Show Me Librarian. I had originally planned on copying her program exactly (true confession) but I could not get enough of the Luminant brand electric toothbrushes at my local dollar stores. This was pretty disappointing, but I thought I would share some instructions for how to make this project work with the GB brand instead.

Please note that the Luminant brand toothbrushes work out to be cheaper as they include a bettery. GB toothbrushs do not, so the project is marginally more expensive (instead of $1/artbot, it's more like $1.25 with dollar store batteries). So I don't expect many people on a tight budget to attempt this way but if you're having trouble sourcing enough Luminant, this is an option. Please note you may be able to buy either brand (GB or Luminant)  in bulk from the Dollar Tree's website. This was not an option for me due to the scourge of Temporar…

"All Types of Bears" Rhyme

"All Types of Bears" is a fun song I found in Artsy Toddler Storytimes by Carol Garnett Hopkins(page 36). The book has flannel board templates but I used some puppets instead. I left out the koala bears section since I didn't have a koala bear puppet handy. I also changed the panda bear line to "like to eat bamboo". The book suggests singing to the tune of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" but I used "London Bridge is Falling Down" instead. 
All Types of Bears
To the tune of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" 
Grizzly bears are big and brown, big and brown, big and brown.
Grizzly bears are big and brown, and live in the woods.

Polar bears are soft and white, soft and white, soft and white.
Polar bears are soft and white and live where it's cold.

Panda bears are black and white, black and white, black and white,
Panda bears are black and white, and live with bamboo.

Koala bears have great big ears, great big ears, great big ears.
Koala bears have gre…

Collection Development for Kids: Computer Science and Coding Books

I've worked for 3 different library systems and one thing I've noticed at all of them is that the computer science books don't check out. I actually think the problem is that libraries are collecting the wrong kind of computer science books for kids altogether. (Feel free to disagree with me on this point in the comments!) I've observed that collections tend to focus on writing emails and the basics of computer history and how a computer works (this is a monitor, etc.). Those are not books that are going to interest a lot of kids. In fact, most of our books along those lines haven't checked out in three years or so.

J nonfiction is one of my collection responsibilities at my current branch. I took a huge leap of faith that people would be interested in computer programming and ordered some titles in late summer and fall of 2014. No one had asked me for these types of books, but I am immensely pleased with the interest our patrons have shown in them. So I thought I…

Starting With Scratch

Another program I ran during Spring Break was an introduction to Scratch for kids in grades 3-6. We used the adult computer lab (divided in half) for this program. I taught myself Scratch using Help Your Kids with Computer Coding, which is a fantastic book I would recommend for all public library youth collections. I decided to also use this book as the backbone of a program.

So, when the kids came in, I started by showing them some sample Scratch projects to get them excited about the possibilities. Only one of the 6 kids had heard of or used Scratch before so this was to introduce them to the idea. Then we warmed up by learning how to drag and click blocks of code together and started writing the code for the first project in Scratch, a game called Donut Breath. It took about a half hour as a group to work all the code for that project in. They learned how to use variables to create a timer and how to add sound effects.

Then we spent about 10 minutes and I showed the kids how to ha…

Spring Break Minute to Win It

Spring Break seemed like a great opportunity to host another round of Minute to Win It games. I like to use a mix of games we've played at past programs and then sprinkle in some new ones too. This time around we played: Back Flip, Don't Blow the Joker, Penny Hose, Separation Anxiety, and Baby Blockin'.








Metafiction for Kids

A while ago I had a patron who was looking for metafiction picture books for a children's literature class. I had so much fun looking up titles that could work that I kept going long after (and I mean LONG after) finding enough books for him. I put together a list of books for the rest of my staff in case we get this question again and I'm sharing with you all too. I will note that this in no way a complete list of all metafiction books but simply ones we happen to own at my branch. I hope this will be useful for reference and collection development purposes. I happen to be a fan of metafiction myself, so please share in the comments if you have a favorite title not on the list and I'd love to read it!

To start us off, I loved the definition of "metafiction" from What Do We Do All Day:  A metafictional text is one that subverts traditional, straightforward storytelling.

Okay, here we go!

Easies E-Ahlberg-The Bravest Ever Bear (c1999) E-Ahlberg-The Pencil (c2008) …

Seuss Celebration 2015

Every year we throw a party in March to celebrate Reading Month and Dr. Seuss (read about last year's event here). I didn't get a chance to take a picture of all of our stations this year, but I will tell you about them anyway. Most of them were adapted from ideas we found online. I tried to include the sources when I could find them again, apologies if your idea was not credited--let me know, please and I will fix it! Our program is a 90-minute drop in, station-based program.  Here we go:

Cat in the Hat Toss (used a store-bought Seussian hat and giant craft pom poms)One Fish, Two Fish, You Fish fishing game (we did this one last year and it was a hit again!)Reading corner where my co-worker treated us to some awesome read-alouds of Dr. Seuss books, which I was madly impressed by because I do not find his books easy to read aloud to groups at all.Seuss Photo Booth We are loving photo booths at our programs because they are simple to put together and it provides a word-of-mouth…

Life Size Chutes and Ladders

I wanted to share a really fun, easy program we did here that I learned about through Amy, Anna, and Kelly: life-size chutes and ladders! This would be a great program to fill out summer library programs or even a quick one to throw together on a snow day. It took about an hour of prep to put down the construction paper squares but that would be relatively easy to hand off to a volunteer even. We used masking tape for the ladders and yarn for the chutes (not easily seen in this picture thanks to the striped carpeting in our program room).

This program was for 45 minutes after school but the kids would have happily played for an hour or more. We played one round with the board as I laid it out in this picture (taken before the program). Then I had the kids start modifying the board. They wanted more and more chutes! We also played some rounds starting from the original finish point. In the last game, the kids added some extra twists in the form of squares that would have a player: los…

Mother Goose Jam: A Musical Program for Preschoolers

Last week I hosted a program called Mother Goose Jam, which was basically an hour-long music themed preschool storytime. It was a lot of fun to plan and present! I was able to try some new material for storytime as well as to incorporate some of our lesser-used props. I put all the recorded music onto an iTunes playlist and burned it to a CD to save switching CDs around. I do not like to use an iPad/iPod/iPhone for this type of program personally (I prefer the bigger buttons of a CD player).

Here's what we did:

Opening rhyme: Let's All Do a Little Clapping (I actually did not learn this song from Jbrary and thus I had no idea you were supposed to sing it to the tune of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" so I... do not. I don't know how to describe how I sing it without actually making a video myself though) I changed the words to "and spread a little cheer" so I can do this year round and it has become my opening rhyme for my storytimes as well.

Story: Pe…

"I Had a Little Rooster" With Puppets

Sometimes I come across a song I can't believe I did not already know. Right now it's the folk song "I Had a Little Rooster" which I discovered by listening to The Learning Groove's Outrageous Orange, which is one of my daughter's favorite CDs. She's 2.5 and gets her excellent taste in music from her parents. I thought this would adapt to a puppet song really quite easily. Of course I didn't have a rooster puppet at my library but I was able to borrow one from our neighboring branch (thanks, E!).We did have the dog, rabbit, and cow puppets here though. They are sitting on a metal bookshelf propped up on metal bookends. This is the easiest way to manipulate four puppets with my mere two hands. 

If you don't know the song, you can listen to it on the Learning Groove website, which is just a ridiculously amazing treasure trove of stuff. Please buy all the CDs. You won't regret it. I sang this myself instead of using the CD though. It gave me a li…

Self-Directed Maker Program

We have started doing regular maker programs for kids (grades 3-6). These will be self-directed programs where the attendees can choose from 6-10 different activities and spend as long as they want at one or many. The program will be open for 90 minutes. I did a shorter trial run at my branch to see how it would go before rolling it out system-wide.

The projects I set out: Lite Brite, Littlebits, rubber band bracelets, paper airplanes, thumbprint art, straws and connectors building set. We had 9 kids and they spent well over an hour playing. It was a really nice, low-key opportunity to get to know them one on one. I especially liked working with them on the Littlebits projects. We will be doing something similar, but probably with more stations in April.





I Have a Little Pocket: Animals

Four years ago, I posted an activity called I Have a Little Pocket. At the time, I used a homemade board with repurposed clothes. It wasn't as sturdy as I hoped and fell apart. Just when I was thinking of making a new one, a co-worker found these awesome vinyl pockets with a magnet back. I'm not sure where she found them but think these could work. The pockets have a see-through window that I have made opaque using lime green copy paper.

The rhyme I used originally used household items like a flashlight and clock, but this activity was so popular at storytimes that families asked to repeat it. Which is awesome but meant I had to write new clues and come up with new objects. The first week I tried animals! 
I Have A Little Pocket: Animals I have a little pocket where something can hide...
It says "RIBBIT RIBBIT"
Do you know what's inside?  GREEN--FROG
I have a little pocket where something can hide.
It lives on a farm and says "BAA BAA"
Do you know what&…

Process Art Projects for Preschoolers

On Friday morning, I held a Preschool Art class. Registration was limited to 25 kids (ages 2-5) and their caregivers. The room is big enough for two projects to go on at once with that number of kids. Our projects were homemade watercolor paints and chalk resist drawings. This was a very fun program for me and I was pleasantly surprised by how little mess was made. I did have to wipe down all the tables and the chairs, but nothing out of the extraordinary. I also did a quick run with the carpet sweeper. This program ran from 11am-12pm and was attended by 38 people. I received quite a few compliments on this program and it was a fun one to plan! The pictured artwork is by my daughter, age 2.5.


Homemade watercolors (have plenty of towels handy to wipe up messes quickly):
Use ice cube trays as palettes (we used one per two kids). Dollar Tree sells a 2-pack of trays for $1. Put one drop of each color of food coloring in the tray. I did 4 spots for each child. Fill the spot about half-way …

"Sleeping Bunnies" on the Parachute!

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.

We use the version from Kathy Reid-Naiman's Tickles and Tunes CD.

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.

Today's Flannel Friday is hosted by Cate! 

Celebrate Flannel Friday's Birthday!

Flannel Friday is celebrating its fourth birthday, and we have decided to do something a little different.  What started out with a few librarians sharing their flannel story ideas on Twitter has grown into something pretty special.

We are hosting a Guest Post Palooza.  If you’ve ever wanted to share one your favorite flannel boards, but don’t have a blog, this is your opportunity.  We will pair you up with a blogger who is willing to share their spot in the blogosphere.  

We need people who are willing to post flannel stories and we need bloggers who are willing to post someone else’s work.  Is that you?  

Remember, every single one of us, from Melissa D to you, had to start blogging sometime. This is a great way to dip your toe into the blogging pool..  

Please fill out the attached Google form.  Sharon or Mollie will contact you with your match.
Have questions about this?  Check out our FAQs page.

You may see this message on more than a few blogs today! We apologize but are trying to sp…

Registration open for MI KidLib 2015!

Registration is now open for MI KidLib 2015, a youth services unconference. This year we will be in sunny Kalamazoo, Michigan. The event is Friday, April 24th.

Details are on our website. If you have questions not answered there, please email MIKidLib@gmail.com and one of the planning team members will get back to you. Thank you to Kalamazoo Public Library for hosting!

Announcing the Storytime Petting Zoo at ALA Midwinter!

If you will be attending ALA's Midwinter conference in sunny Chicago, please join myself and some of the Flannel Friday crew for a Storytime Petting Zoo! You are welcome to bring your own flannel story or other storytime prop or try some of ours. We are meeting immediately after Saturday's Guerrilla Storytime session. Any questions, send me an email-- anne@sotomorrowblog.com.

Hope to see you there!


Resolve to Rock 2015: Readers Advisory

2014 was an incredible year for me, professionally. I was honored with an award from the Michigan Library Association, and did a number of conference presentations. It was an exciting year, but I am looking forward to a quieter 2015*.  
For 2015, I resolve to better rock readers advisory. I am someone that struggles with long reading slumps. I want to be a little more methodical in my reading and be sure to hit genres that I am less familiar with. I plan to concentrate on middle grade fiction. I have learned that it is best for me to have a specific plan to follow or things tend to fall off my radar, so I developed a Genre of the Month plan, heavily inspired by Abby's Reading Wildly staff RA project. If any of my staff members or co-workers from other branches reading this want to join in, please do so, but I plan to do this individually.

January: Mysteries
February: ALA Youth Media Award Winners
March: Science Fiction
April: Reluctant Reader
May: Realistic Fiction
June: Historical…