Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Baby/Toddler Story Time, 11/29

Opening Song: Hello, how are you? 

Book: Mouse Count by Ellen Stoll Walsh (1991)
I had never read this at story time before, but I wanted something new for today, so I gave it a shot. It's on the long side, and the counting is broken up by text which threw off the nannies who like to shout the numbers from 1 to 10 on cue, but it was still probably the best of the Mouse books, in terms of this age group.

Rhyme: This is Big, Big, Big  

Rhyme: Blue is the Lake

Book: One Naked Baby by Maggie Smith (2007)
I didn't realize how Spring-themed this book really is until about the second reading. I want to remember it for  my Spring baby lap time, though, because the moms with babies all thought it was funny, even when no one else really seemed to like it much.

Song: I'm a Little Teapot

Song: Head and Shoulders

Song: Hands Are For Clapping 

Flannel Board Song: Who is  Knocking at My Door?

Rhyme: Little Mousie Brown (Session 1 only)
Well... this needs work. I need to practice it more.

Song: Rum Sum Sum (Sessions 1 and 2 only)
I'm trying to reintroduce some of the songs and rhymes I want to use this Winter, and I was amazed at how many remembered this one from the summer! 

Song:  Monkeys on the Bed (Session 2 only, by request)
One of my regulars specifically asked for this song, so I said I would do it. Unfortunately, if you allow one request, you open the floodgates for more, which is how session 3 ended up with The Wheels on the Bus.

Song: Wheels on the Bus (Session 3 only, by request)

Song: One Little Finger (Sessions 1 and 2 only)

Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This                   

Monday, November 28, 2011

Preschool Story Time, 11/28 (Family Theme)

It's hard to believe but I only have two more preschool story times left in 2011! I will almost miss it. Today's theme was families, and here is what we did:

Opening Song: Hello, how are you?

Book: My Dog Is As Smelly As Dirty Socks by Hanoch Piven (2007)

Flannel Board Song: Who is  Knocking at My Door?
This was a really good flannel board, so I'm going to save the details to share in a Flannel Friday post after all my holiday posts are done. 

Action Rhyme: Here Are Grandma's Glasses

Book: The Grandma Book by Todd Parr (2006)
I don't "get" Todd Parr, but so many other librarians in my system seem to love him, so I've tried to incorporate his books now and then. This seemed like it didn't really resonate with the kids, though.

Flannel Board Song: Family Scarves
I involved the whole family, giving Grandpa a blue scarf, Grandma a red one, Daddy a green one, and a little girl (named Mary, to suit the song) a rainbow one. 

Book: Big Sister, Little Sister by LeUyen Pham (2005)
I just love Pham's illustrations. And this is a funny take on the relationship between big and little sisters.

Song: Where is Thumbkin? (Family version)

Book: My Beastly Brother by Laura Leuck (2003)
Not my favorite, but the rhyming text is funny, and suits the sense of humor of four and five year old boys who think burping and spitting spiders are hilarious.

Song: One Little Monster
Off the theme? Yes. But I love it, and it goes so nicely with a monster book!

Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This

Friday, November 25, 2011

Flannel Friday Round-Up, 11/25/11

Here is this week's Flannel Friday Round-Up! I'm impressed by how many of us were able to post even with the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. I hope those of you who celebrated yesterday had a wonderful holiday and managed to survive any Black Friday shopping excursions you might have gone on today!

On to the links...

Angela (@annavalley) from valleystorytime has adapted Rebecca and Ed Emberley’s version of The Red Hen for the flannel board. 

Anne (@sotomorrow) is already thinking about Winter holidays, as she posts about Gregory Groundhog.

Cate (@storytimingcate) from Storytiming posts a rhyme about five wild coyotes.

Library Quine (@Library_Quine) from Loons & Quines gets in one last Fall flannel board with her version of  Five Little Leaves, as well a Little Mouse guessing game.   

Linda (@LMeuse) from Notes from the Story Room introduces to "Pebble Patterns" - a Native American game similar to Memory.  

Liz (@readmrsd) from Putting Smiles on Faces shares Tom Turkey's Colorful Tail/Tale, a flannel story whose pieces can be made entirely from paper. (Apologies to Liz - your link is working now!)

Melissa (@MelissaZD) from Mel's Desk gives us a wonderful way to create felt people that makes it easier to adapt folktales and picture books for the flannel board. 

Moxie (@moxie_mibrarian) from Storytimes with Moxie shares a Thanksgiving themed post featuring Five Little Turkeys and Turkey in the Straw. 

Sarah (@sarah_e_hay) from Read It Again presents  Five Hungry Ants, a great food-related rhyme.

And finally, I'm Katie (@sharingsoda) from Story Time Secrets, and I'm sharing my flannel board ideas for my upcoming hibernation story time.

As always, the list of past round-ups and future hosts is kept by Anne at So Tomorrow. Don't miss next week's Flannel Friday Holiday Extravaganza, which will be hosted by Library Quine at Loons and Quines. Also visit Flannel Friday on Facebook and Pinterest.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Flannel Friday: Hibernation

I am taking just a brief break from holiday themes this week to share two flannel boards I'll be doing at a preschool story time about hibernation. Depending on how well they go over at my public story times, I might also use them for preschool and Pre-K school visits. 

This first rhyme sounds somewhat suggestive, so I gave it a title that states from the get-go what we're talking about. The rhyme sounded familiar to me as though I'd read it somewhere before, but my source for  this post was educationworld.com.

Who Hibernates?

Brown bears do it.
Ladybugs too.

and snakes,

And a frog or two.


and chipmunks
in a sleepy state.

What do they do?
They hibernate!

This song is sung to the tune of Frere Jacques, which makes it ideal for my group since we sing that as part of Laurie Berkner's ABCD Medley almost every week. My idea is to put one animal on the board at the time, then put up the place where it hibernates as we approach that point in the verse.
Time for Hibernation

Are you sleeping, are you sleeping,
Big brown bear, big brown bear?
Time for hibernation.
What is your location?
In a log, in a lair.

Are you sleeping, are you sleeping,
Hanging bat, hanging bat?
Time for hibernation.
What is your location?
In a cave is where I'm at.

Are you sleeping, are you sleeping,
Garter snake, garter snake?
Time for hibernation.
What is your location?
In the mud, in a lake.

Are you sleeping, are you sleeping,
Little green frog, little green frog?
Time for hibernation.
What is your location?
In a pond, near a log.

Are you sleeping, are you sleeping,
Meadow mouse, meadow mouse?
Time for hibernation.
What is your location?
in a field, near a house.

Are you sleeping, are you sleeping,
Turtle friend, turtle friend?
Time for hibernation.
What is your location?
In the stream, till winter's end!
All clipart in this post came from Clker.com.

This week, the Flannel Friday round-up will be posted right here at Story Time Secrets! I'll be checking Twitter throughout the day, but also feel free to comment here with your links. The round-up will be up this afternoon!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

7 Thanksgiving Books for Kids

I Am the Turkey (I Can Read Book 2)I Am The Turkey by Michele Sobel Spirn
Mark gets stage fright when he plays the turkey in the class Thanksgiving play.
Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved ThanksgivingThank You, Sarah by Laurie Halse Anderson
A historical picture book about the woman who saved Thanksgiving.
Thank You, ThanksgivingThank You, Thanksgiving by David Milgrim
A little girl gives thanks for everything that matters to her.
Turkey Monster ThanksgivingTurkey Monster Thanksgiving by Anne Warren Smith
Katie is upset when her dad doesn't want to have a traditional Thanksgiving like their neighbors'.
Molly's PilgrimMolly's Pilgrim by Barbara Cohen
Molly is embarrassed when her pilgrim doll isn't like everyone else's in her class.
One Is a Feast for Mouse: A Thanksgiving TaleOne is a Feast for Mouse by Judy Cox
A little mouse indulges on yummy Thanksgiving food.
It's ThanksgivingIt's Thanksgiving by Jack Prelutsky
A collection of funny rhyming poems for beginning readers.

Gettin' Crafty Post #7: Magnetic Poetry

For an introduction to this new series of Gettin' Crafty posts, visit Post #1.

I. Supplies 

Color-a-Mag Magnetic Paper (from Michael's)

Krylon Magnetic Paint (from Home Depot)


II. Prep
Note before I begin this description that my intended plan for this craft did not work. With my fiance's help, I cut up a cardboard box and spray painted small squares with the magnetic paint, so the kids would be able to use their magnets on their own small board. The paint seemed to work, but we only tested it with a very small magnet. When I got it to work on the day of the craft, none of the cardboard pieces would hold a magnet at all. 

The only other preparation required was to cut the magnet paper on the cutting board into various sizes. My original idea was that kids would use it to make words of different lengths, but when the magnetic paint failed, I advertised it as simply "make your own magnets" instead and most of the kids drew pictures instead of writing.

III. Instructions
The sign I put out with the craft invited the kids to create their magnets and then test them out on some metal bookends. It was not a very well-attended program, and unless I can figure out how to make magnetic boards for each child, I won't be doing it again.

Next time: Stencils.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Did You Ever See a Turkey? Puppets

Sarah shared this amazing Thanksgiving song on Flannel Friday the week before last, and I thought it was an absolute stroke of genius. She did hers as a flannel board, and designed super-cute feathers for her adorable turkey. I loved her idea of changing the feathers so much, that I adapted the concept and made my own Popsicle stick puppets.

Here's my process.

I needed a turkey that didn't already have feathers, so I chose this one from my new favorite clipart website, Clker.com. I didn't have time to get fancy, since this was a last-minute addition to my Thanksgiving story time plans, so I just cut out the turkey and taped him to a Popsicle stick. (I normally would have laminated him with Contact paper and stuck some Velcro to his back, but I am out of both of those things right now!)

Once I had my turkey, I needed a simple pattern to use for tracing my feathers. I started going through the list of what I already had that would work and realized I had just the thing - ties! I borrowed one of Daddy's Ties from my Father's Day flannel board, and traced it, leaving out the knot at the top. Then I turned it upside down, and voila! A turkey feather. I made three sets, using construction paper, and other patterned paper I had sitting around in a closet.

My sets of feathers are on three separate Popsicle sticks, which look like this:

The feathers are stapled together, then taped to the back of the Popsicle sticks. (I made sure they lined up correctly with the turkey stick puppet before setting down the tape.)

When we sang the song at story time, here's how it went. (Italicized parts are my banter with the audience. I find spontaneous commentary between songs or verses to be very difficult sometimes, so I thought I'd share it in case it helps anyone else!)

Did you ever see a turkey, a turkey, a turkey?
Did you ever see a turkey with feathers like this?
With brown ones, and pink ones, and green ones, and purple ones.
Did you ever see a turkey with feathers like this?

You might have seen a turkey with colorful feathers, but I bet you never saw a turkey that looked like this! Let's see what we have here. This one looks like an elephant. This one's like a tiger. And here's one that looks like a zebra. And this one looks like a parrot. Wow!

Did you ever see a turkey, a turkey, a turkey?
Did you ever see a turkey with feathers like this?
Like an elephant, like a tiger, like a zebra, like a parrot.
Did you ever see a turkey with feathers like this? 

I definitely never saw a turkey that looked like that. But what about this? Whoa, fancy feathers! Look at these. This one has fireworks, this one has bugs, or insects, this one is tie-dyed, and this one has sunflowers. Let's sing about this very silly turkey!

 Did you ever see a turkey, a turkey, a turkey?
Did you ever see a turkey with feathers like this?
Like fireworks, and insects, and tie-dye, and sunflowers.
Did you ever see a turkey with feathers like this? 

Great job! Let's all say goodbye to our turkey. Bye, turkey!

I am already trying to come up with other flying creatures whose wings could use a makeover. This was one of the most fun songs I've done at story time this whole year, and the kids absolutely loved it. 
Now I am officially done with Thanksgiving-related story time posts! On to Christmas! (Well, after I take my five-day Thanksgiving vacation...)

ETA: Apparently, Google had the same idea! http://g.co/doodle/q5wz5s

Baby/Toddler Story Time, 11/22

Opening Song: Hello, how are you? 

Book: Five Silly Turkeys by Salina Yoon
I liked this book for its feathers, but that was about it. There is an annoying tense change from present to past in each verse of the rhyme, and the illustrations are just sort of okay.

Song: Hello, Mr. Turkey

Song: Did You Ever See a Turkey?They really loved this. I took pictures of my puppets, finally, and I'll probably make a separate post for them later today.

Book: Thank You, Thanksgiving by David Milgrim (2003)
This book was not the hit I was expecting. The collection of things the girl is thankful for is just too random and abstract.

Song: I'm a Little Teapot

Song: Head and Shoulders

Song: Hands Are For Clapping 

Flannel Board Song: Thanks a Lot
The first session parents all sang with me, but the second two sessions weren't as interested. Possibly because my voice gets deeper with each session, until finally I sound like a man! 

Song: If You're Thankful and You Know It
The nannies laughed at me for this one, but they sang along, so it was a success.

Flannel Board Song: We Eat Turkey
The foods I used for this song didn't work so well, but I had trouble finding clip art for cranberry sauce and other more common foods. I'd like to revamp it, though, for other occasions.

Song: Tommy Thumb

Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This

Monday, November 21, 2011

Preschool Story Time, 11/21 (Thanksgiving Theme)

Opening Song: Hello, how are you? 

Song: Hello, Mr. Turkey

Song: Did You Ever See a Turkey?

Book: 'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey (1990)
This book is more silly than clever. I chose it because it was one of the few Thanksgiving books returned today, and I didn't want to repeat all my books from Saturday.

Song: This is the Way We... (Thanksgiving version)

Book: Thanksgiving Is Here by Diane Goode
This is a story about a family celebrating Thanksgiving at Grandpa and Grandpa's house. It starts out strong, but becomes boring as it literally narrates every moment of  the day.

Flannel Board Song: We Eat Turkey

Book: Giving Thanks by Chief Jake Swamp, illustrated by Erwin Printup, Jr. (2003)
This beautifully illustrated book contains the text of a "Native American Good Morning Message" translated to English from the language of the Mohawk. I was surprised that even with some of  the bigger words, the youngest kids seemed interested.

Rhyme: My Hands Say Thank You

Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This 

Saturday Story Time, 11/19 (Thanksgiving Theme)

I woke up unexpectedly sick on Thursday morning and didn't make it in for my scheduled Thanksgiving story time, but thankfully, I had another opportunity on Saturday to do all those songs and rhymes I've been planning for weeks. Attendance was low as it usually is on a Saturday - just four kids, and five adults - but it was a nice, low-key story time, which was nice for someone who hasn't been feeling well in a few days. It was also my birthday, so it was nice to have the gift of a calm, relaxed story time!

Here is what we did:

Opening Song: Hello, how are you? 

Song: Hello, Mr. Turkey

Song: Did You Ever See a Turkey?
A million thanks to Sarah at Read It Again! for sharing this song on Flannel Friday! I made my own adaptation based on the materials I had available for making feathers. I have yet to find time to take a picture, but hopefully, I'll get that done before Thursday.

Book: Over the River: A Turkey's Tale by Derek Anderson (2005)
I loved this song as a kid, and had originally thought to sing this book. I have so many other songs, though, that I wound up reading it like a poem instead. And while the text is nice to listen to, it's so disconnected from what's happening in the illustrations, I don't think it made a very good read-aloud. I felt an urge to constantly stop and try to sort out the drama in the pictures while also keeping my place in the text and it didn't work for me at all.

Rhyme: Mr. Turkey
This is a pretty easy action rhyme for preschool, even if it's not the most exciting. 

Flannel Board Song: We Eat Turkey
Everyone who commented on my Flannel Friday post about this song was 100% right - what a great crowd-pleaser! We did the first verse twice to make sure all the adults had it, and once they did they sang the entire thing right along with me. I'm already considering ways to change it up for Christmas, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, cultural feasts... and on and on and on.

This is the Way We... (Thanksgiving version)
The kids at this session were all very young, so though I told them we'd pretend to prepare for the first Thanksgiving, they had no idea  what I meant. The moms did the motions with me, though, and again, because of the familiar tune, they sang right out loud. 

Book:  This First Thanksgiving Day: A Counting Story by Laura Krauss Melmed, illustrated by Mark Buehner (2001)
I love this interpretation of the first Thanksgiving. It focuses on a specific Native American group, instead of lumping every tribe in together, and it mainly deals with how the meal would have been prepared on that first Thanksgiving. And bonus - it's a counting book!

Flannel Board Song: Thanks a Lot
This worked so amazingly well, I'm going to repeat it for the other two story times I have before Thanksgiving. I did sing it without the recording, and to my surprise, even folks who didn't know the song at first joined in as soon as they caught on. One thing that made it easier to sing  - I repeated the phrase "Thanks a lot" twice in each verse, singing where Raffi plays the guitar. That helped me keep the rhythm and made it a nice, calming song for the kids as well.  

Book: Thank You, Thanksgiving by David Milgrim (2003)
This is another one where the illustrations contain plot that the text doesn't discuss, but the simple text is just right for babies and toddlers, and the message works well for the holiday.

Rhyme: We Are Thankful
I like this rhyme because it could be used as a grace before meals, but works just as well as a generic form of thanks, without bringing any sort of religious belief into it. 

Rhyme: My Hands Say Thank You
This is the goodbye rhyme I learned from a children's librarian at my last job, who was also my librarian when I was growing up. We repeated it three times - once at normal volume, once soft, and once in a loud voice. 

Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This 
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