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, June 27, 2016

STEM + Stories: Robotics

Ozobot in action
This summer I am doing a monthly program called Stories + STEM. Each meeting, we'll have a different topic and we will read a story or biography and then have different stations with activities related to the topic. This program is for ages 5-12 and I limited it to 40 kids at a time. June's topic was robotics.

I read two books: Beep! Beep! Go to Sleep! by Todd Tarpley and Oh No!: Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World by Mac Barnett. Then I divided the children into three groups and they visited three stations in a rotation.

Two of the stations were competition robots from the local high schools' robotics teams. The children were able to drive the robots, learn how they were built, and ask questions of the students on the teams. The coaches were also there supervising.

The last station was run by one of the robotics coaches who brought a set of 8 Ozobots to the program and showed the kids how to program them using paper and colored markers. I was not familiar with Ozobots before the program and they are so cool!

This was a simple program to put together and made an awesome community collaboration between us and our nearest public and Catholic high schools. The robotics coaches actually reached out to us to hold a program during Robotics At Your Library Week, a Michigan initiative to have robots visit every library in the state between June 19-June 25 this year. We had 78 people attend, including parents and grandparents. We are hoping to repeat this program (or one very similar) next year! 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Finger Play: Five Lovely Starfish

I wanted to share with everyone a really simple but fun fingerplay I spotted in Artsy Toddler Storytimes, which is my favorite resource for planning my 2 and 3 year old storytimes. In that book, this rhyme i sused as a flannel board rhyme but I decided to adapt it as a fingerplay. I like it because it's simple enough I can actually memorize the words. I adapted it on the fly to use some fun vocabulary words that are synonyms for "big" so each verse was a little different.

Here are the words as given in the book:

Five Lovely Starfish
Five lovely starfish sitting on the beach,
Along came a wave and now there are four.
(count down to zero)

So what I did was insert a different word in front of wave like: big, giant, huge, enormous etc. I used my left hand to count and made my right arm a wave with a rolling motion that knocked my left fingers ("starfish") down.