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!

Monday, October 26, 2015

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! (motion "come over" with hands)

... 
Five elephants in the bathtub
Going for a swim. 
Knock, knock
Splash, splash
They all fell in! 

Book 3: Wishy-Washy Day by Joy Cowley

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 Temporary Backorder. We had dud toothbrushes of both brands, so be sure to account for that possibility as well.

One other difference to be aware of between brands is that the Luminant ones are larger in diameter and fit very snugly inside the pool noodle housing. The GB is smaller in diameter and may need a little bit of help (duct tape) to keep it inside. The Luminant feels more powerful to me as well, but that could be a function of motor or battery power. Here are some really simple instructions for building an artbot with a Luminant toothbrush.

It is a bit tricky to access the battery compartment on the GB toothbrushes, so I decided to take care of that step ahead of time since we had so many kids (32) register for this program. I also had a volunteer cut the pool noodles down ahead of time (into sixths).

Supply List (all supplies from our local Dollar Tree unless otherwise noted): 
1) 35 GB brand travel electric toothbrushes ($1 each)
2) 48 Sunshine brand alkaline AA batteries ($1 per package of 4)
3) Many rolls of duct tape (various sources)
4) Rubber bands (library owned)
5) Skinny markers ($1 per set of 20)
6) 6 pool noodles ($1 each) buy the kind with grooves for the markers to rest nicely
7) Bulletin board paper to cover the tables (library owned)
8) Pipe cleaners (library owned) for hair-- sticks into the pool noodle
9) Googly eyes (library owned)--used glue dots to attach
10) Scissors (library owned)

Instructions for building an artbot with GB brand Dollar Tree Toothbrushes: 

1. Put the battery in the toothbrush. Test it to make sure it works.
2.  Put the cap on the toothbrush and place the entire toobrush inside the hollow center of the pool noodle. I recommend that the button to turn the toothbrush on be on the top of the artbot.
3. Rubber band 3-5 skinny markers in the grooves of the pool noodles. Leave the markers capped until ready to test.
4. Test the artbot and make adjustments, if needed. Sometimes they balance too well.
5. When satisfied with the function of the artbot, it's time to decorate. Duct tape over the rubber bands and add decorations as desired. You may wish to add a strip of duct tape to the bottom of your artbot, over the hole, to keep the toothbrush from falling out as the robot moves. Scotch tape will also work.

If you're looking for another fun robotics idea, last summer we made bristlebots! Artbots are even easier and cheaper too! They would be a great program for a librarian new to "making" or robotics to tackle. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

"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 great big ears and live high in a tree.

Teddy bears are just my size, just my size, just my size.
Teddy bears are just my size, to cuddle with at night.

My book choices were a flannel board of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and Welcome Home, Bear: A Book of Animal Habitats by Il Sung Na (loved it). I also had Byron Barton's The Three Bears pulled but decided it was too long for my group, which is skewing closer to 2 than 3 right now.

This week's Flannel Friday is hosted by Melissa