Parachute ideas for all kinds of programs!

Stumped for ideas for using the parachute at storytime?

Think outside the picture books stacks!

Here are some great ideas for incorporating material from other areas of your collection.

Want to make your own clip art?

Here are a few tips and tricks to get you started!

Some easy ways to spice up your site!

Be sure to suggest your favorites in the comments!

Ideas for incorporating factual materials into storytime

There is lots of great nonfiction for kids out there. If I missed your favorite, leave a comment!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

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: Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin

Scarf Rhymes:
Shakers: 
Song with Stuffed Bats prop (1/child), would also work on parachute: 
Stretchy Band (would also work with parachute): 
Parachute:
  •  "Popcorn" by Joanie Leeds (I was introduced to this rockin' song by Angie Manfredi suggesting Joanie's music for programs. I had never heard of her before!) We have a bunch of loofahs that we threw onto the chute for this song. 
  • "Rolling Ball" by The Learning Groove (Goovy Green
  • "Sleeping Bunnies" by Kathy Reid-Naiman (Tickles and TunesBy request. I also like this version. 
Free Dance Songs (I put the scarves, shakers, rhythm instruments, and some streamers out for the kids to dance): 
  • "Old MacDonald" by The Learning Groove (Bouncy Blue)
  • "One Two Three Whee!"  by The Learning Groove (Goovy Green
  • "Itsy Bitsy Spider"  by The Learning Groove (Yummy Yellow)
  • "Moving In a Circle"  by The Learning Groove (Rocking Red)  
  • "I Hear the Water"  by The Learning Groove (Rocking Red)  Great cool down, soothing song
Image Credit: OpenClipart.org

Friday, February 13, 2015

"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 little more time between verses to pick up the next puppet. I find more of the adults join in when I sing instead of using a CD also. Another bonus of not using the CD is you could add or use different puppets. Next time I will grab more as this song really kept the kids' attention.

The first verse goes like this: 

I had a little rooster by the barnyard gate 
That little rooster was my playmate
That little rooster said, “Cocka doodle doo 
Dee doodle-ee doodle-ee doodle-ee dude.” 

The rest of the lyrics are here. Sheet music is here. You can download the song via CDbaby or iTunes. If you'd like to see a flannel version, In the Children's Room posted one a few years ago. 

This week's Flannel Friday is hosted by Kelly

Monday, February 02, 2015

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.