Friday, February 28, 2014

Flannel Friday - Goldilocks

We had some really bad weather here in Ohio!  When that happens, and I am home bound with all kinds of materials in my 'crafting lair', this happens.  I didn't expect to make this set, but there you have it.

Every librarian should have a personal collection of story boards of classic tales.  They can be used with several age groups and with many themes.  They also are great for re-telling!  Every time I tell one, someone tells me I am doing it 'wrong' starts a great conversation on making stories your own!  I used this classic tale in my BEARS STORY TIME which you can see HERE.

The illustrations are right out of this book:
Unfortunately for story time, the images in this book are smaller than a thumbnail!  I think the pictures are adorable, so I decided to make a felt set.  My daughter Sarah, my artist, hand drew the pictures on a larger scale.  Papa bear is approximately three inches Mama bear 2, and Baby Bear a little more than an inch and 1/2, just for perspective.

Of course, the Three Bears decide to leave their porridge cooling and go to the market.

Goldilocks comes in and, smelling the porridge, decides to try it out.  One was too hot.  One was too cold, and one was JUST right.  So she gobbled it up!

Spotting the chairs by the fire, Goldilocks decides to have a seat.  One was too hard, one was too soft, and one was just right.  So she sat down but broke it!

I changed things slightly here....Goldilocks became sleepy from the porridge so she went into the next room where she saw three beds.  One was too fluffy!  One was too firm!  But the last one was perfect and soon she was fast asleep.

The bears came home.  "Who's been eating my porridge?"  They said one by one!  "Mine is all gone!" Baby bear said. Then they saw the chairs.  "Who's been sitting in my chair?" they said one by one. "Whomever has been sitting in my chair has broken it!" said Baby Bear.  Then they went into the bedroom.  "Who's been sleeping in my bed?" they said. "Someone's been sleeping in my bed...and she is still there!" said Baby Bear.  This woke up Goldilocks, who went screaming out of the little cottage and never came back!

Ok, that was seriously paraphrased but you get the idea.  Everything but the bears was drawn on light peach colored felt and colored with marker.  The bears were drawn on tan felt with puffy paint and marker to fill.

A big THANK YOU to Jenna at Stories with Ms Jenna for hosting this week's Flannel Friday!  If you would like to learn more about Flannel Friday, Click HERE!  Thanks for stopping by!!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Toddler Story Time - We've Got Rhythm!

I have been away from the Library Village for the last month but I am super excited to be back!  Big giant thank yous to all of my co-workers who have fearlessly jumped into Toddler Story Time to cover my weeks away!  I heard nothing but good things about their story time adventures.  It was so good to start back up with story time and see how much some of the little ones have grown (yes two year olds grow in only one month's time!) and see several new faces!

This week we got right down to business and had some seriously musical fun!  After we sang our usual Welcome to Storytime song and our sillies were shaken, I borrowed the action song, If You Want to Read a Story...  from Miss Sue!  We sang this song before each of our three books.  This time we stomped our feet if we wanted to hear the story Dancing Feet by Lindsey Craig.  Great book, but perhaps a few too many animals..  I had to stop midway through the book to rescue my poster off the bulletin board so that may have been the reason we had extra wiggles during this book.
After the story, we sang a shortened version of Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes and played Pat a Cake.   NOW LET THE MUSICAL FUN BEGIN!!  First up: Egg Shakers!

To warm up, we shook our shakers to the song, Where is Shaker?  This is to the tune of Frere Jacques.  I found this great little song in the book 101 Rhythm Instrument Activities for Young Children by Abigal Flesch Connors.  Awesome book, full of great ideas! 

Where is Shaker?
Where is Shaker?  Where is Shaker? (Shaker behind your back)
Here I am!  Here I am! (Bring shaker out and shake it)
How are you today, friend? Very well, I thank you. (Pretend to talk to shaker)
Run away, run away. (Hide shaker behind your back again)
There are other verses as well such as rolling on the floor, tapping on your hand, and shaking on your tummy.  I bet you could make up your own as well!

We used the shakers to sing our ABCs and we shook our shakers for the next installment of If You Want to Read a Story...  The second book was appropriately titled, Shake It Up, Baby! by Karen Katz.  This board book has a built in shaker in the spine.  We followed the instruction given in the story and had a great time shaking! 
After collecting the egg shakers, I used one of my go to quieting rhymes to get all the little ones seated.  I needed their attention in order to explain the rules for our next fun musical instrument, the rhythm sticks!  I've used them once before and it went really well so I was confident it would be great again.  This was quite a bit larger group, so I won't say I wasn't nervous, but with the assistance of many awesome parents, all the little ones used their rhythm sticks for making music only.

I started off with Hap Palmer's song Tap Your Sticks from his cd, Rhythms on Parade.  This song begins with simple instructions to follow such as tapping your sticks in the air and on the floor and rubbing the sticks together.  Then suddenly, it gets advanced!  I explained to the parents before the start of the song that I would be cutting it off at a certain point.  The little ones did fantastic!
We also sang the song This is The Way..., to the tune of Mulberry Bush.  I found this great tapping tune at Ring Sing Play.

This is the Way...
This is the way we tap our sticks, tap our sticks, tap our sticks
This is the way we tap our sticks so early in the morning!
This is the way we rub our sticks, rub our sticks, rub our sticks
This is the way we rub our sticks so early in the morning!
This is the way we tap our knees, tap our knees, tap our knees
This is the way we tap our knees so early in the morning!

Rhythm sticks safely put away, we wiggled our fingers high and low and turned our attention to our last verse of If You Want to Read a Story...  This time we wiggled our nose.  Why you ask?  Because we read Wiggle by Doreen Cronin.  They loved it!  Great illustrations and funny story. 
And that wrapped up our musical story time!  It was a great morning and I think everyone deserved a good nap when we were through.  Or maybe just me..  We are very lucky to have access to such great props to use during our story times.  The little ones love it and I do too!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Picture Book Extravaganza!

This weekend, Kristen, Sue and Kristie got together at the Picture Book Extravaganza which was held at the Wright State University's Dunbar Library.  This annual event is a chance for librarians in the area to get together and see many of the latest picture books, readers, board books, etc and spend time reading and discussing the new materials.

Kristen, Sue and Kristie - the Library Village!
This all day event is a great opportunity for the librarians in the area to network.  At this year's event, there were multiple copies of 160 new books arranged in these categories
  • Beginning Readers
  • Biographies and Social Studies
  • Folklore, Poetry and Fine Arts
  • Holidays and Seasons
  • Math and Science
  • Fiction for Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers
  • Fiction for preschool- grade 3
  • Books for grades 4+
  • Pop ups, board and novelty books.

We were able to spend our day taking a few books at a time to our seat to read and review.  A meeting room was available for open discussion on our favorites.

There were also breakout sessions!  This year was 'Hands On Art II' where we got to try our hand at watercolor, pastel and cut paper collage techniques which are used in some of the picture books we read.

This was our collage work based on the sample by Henri Matisse.  There is a picture book biography about him this year.

The Degas pastel sample freaked us out a little - because it looked seriously hard.  Kristie decided to model her pastel on the book Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great.  I think her picture was pretty great!  That's another colleague in the village, Stacie, who was with us today.

I chose to do my pastel on the book Sing (Sing a Song).  I adore this book!  My smudging technique could have used work, but we really had only 10 minutes at each table.

We won't share our watercolors based on Georgia O'Keefe.  We'll just pretend they were so awesome that we wouldn't want to embarrass anyone.  (OK, so we are the embarrassed ones)

We really had a great day and recommend it for any librarian in the Dayton region.  Send us an email if you'd like to get on the mailing list for next year.  This was my second year attending and it really is a fun, inexpensive and worthwhile day.

Oh and one more thing!  There are some GREAT door prizes!  Kristen and I both won goodie bags this year!  Here's most of my cache.  Kristen's bag was different but I am sure she had tons of great stuff too.

Anyway, just sharing something different from our usual story time posts.  I hope that if you have anything like this happening in your area, that you take advantage of it.  The world of youth librarians is pretty small and I am sure there are many opportunities to bump into one another.  Next up for us is the PLA in Indianapolis.  Hope to see you there!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Flannel Friday - Where's Duck?

If you're starting to plan your spring story times and you work with babies or toddlers, you might consider a simple guessing game.  Today our babies looked for Duck - where could she be?

This was very simple and quick to make, and could be used for a lot of different themes.

Is Duck hiding behind the fence?
Nope! Is Duck hiding behind the log?
No! Is Duck hiding in the grass?
Yes! There she is! Quack quack!
(note: I borrowed Duck from another storytelling set - you can get her here.)
Wishing for Spring! Happy Flannel Friday!
Thanks to Storytime ABC's for hosting this week!  Learn more about Flannel Friday here.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Preschool Story Time- Letter of the Month is A

I decided to start something new in my story time this month. I thought I would try to do something that would bring my story times together, allowing me to bring back some favorite stories, flannel boards, and songs. So, I decided to start a 'Letter of the Month' story time for the first week of every month to see how it goes.  I might stop this by summer, but it will be a great exercise.

Check out my mailbag. I made it myself with fleece, felt, and a lot of hot-glue (See my Flannel Friday Post about this bag).  I also made lots of felt envelopes to use with it.  We introduce story time with the mailbag and wonder what 'letter' is inside it for us!  I will call up volunteers to peek inside the envelopes and tell me what is inside.  Today we had the letter A and 4 items that begin with A....Ant, Astronaut, Alligator, Apple (my Ant isn't in the photo).

Thanks to Kay Leigh for sharing her idea to felt the Animals in this book: Animals in Underwear by Todd Parr.  I literally ran out to the store, bought the book, and felted all of the animals that weekend.  Now I get to introduce the book and share a new animal in their underwear every week!  Yay!
Here are some of my animals...Squee!!!

After our mailbag offerings, I sang a new song with my ukulele.  I played Old MacDonald Had a Farm with these lyrics:
Our Librarian has a book - E-I-E-I-O
And in that book there were some As - E-I-E-I-O
With an A - A - here and an A-A there, here an A, there an A, everywhere an A-A
Our Librarian has a book - E-I-E-I-O
(for this letter, we repeated this verse with long and short A sounds)

For our Every Child Ready to Read fans, we talked about pointing to letters in books, starting with the first letter in their name, to get children excited about reading.  Simple repetition of pointing to the A and letting them feel successful, makes them excited of learning.  Songs like the one above are familiar, yet teaches sounds in a fun new way....just like they learned animal sounds with that song, they learn alphabet sounds.

Our first book was The Very Boring Alligator by Jean Gralley.
The alligator JUST WON'T GO!  This book shows kids how to take control of playtime and get rid of anything standing in the way of their fun.

Then we did the AlphaGator Poem.  Not sure who to credit for the poem, but my Alligator is made with scrapbook paper and a felt belly so the letters can stick while I read the poem.   The kids liked this!

Once there was an Alpha-Gator
Who absolutely adored the alphabet.
He ate the letters and had sweet
Alphabet dreams all night long.
On Monday, he ate the letters ABCDEF.
Then he closed his eyes to get some sleep.
But the pointy part of the A kept poking him in his tummy.
And he couldn’t sleep a wink all night long!
On Tuesday, he ate the letters GHIJK.
Then he closed his eyes to get some sleep.
But H and I made a word and said it over and over- HI, HI, HI!
And he couldn’t sleep a wink all night long!
On Wednesday, he ate the letters LMNOP.
Then he closed his eyes to get some sleep.
But the O kept rolling back and forth in his tummy-
And he couldn’t sleep a wink all night long!
On Thursday, he ate the letters QRSTUV.
Then he closed his eyes to get some sleep.
But the S kept saying SSSSS and playing snake in his tummy
And he couldn’t sleep a wink all night long!
On Friday, he ate the letters WXYZ.
Then he closed his eyes to get some sleep.
And he dreamed sweet Z’s all night.

Then the Ant and the Grasshopper fable retold by Mark White.  The kids decided this ant was too mean, and they would have helped their neighbor.  There were some strong opinions here - the moms even said that the Ant should have seen it coming and had a talk with the grasshopper sooner.  Wow.  I guess the discussion was a good thing on this one, but it cracks me up too that it was such a hot issue.  After all, it IS a fable with a moral to it.

After halftime and our usual Popcorn Dance, I told the story called That Apple is Mine by Katya Arnold.
You'll have to see my FLANNEL FRIDAY POST about this Story board set I made last fall.  This story is a hit every time I tell it.  There is a surprise ending that the parents really enjoy too.

Finally Animals Should Definitely NOT Wear Clothing by Judi Barrett.
Another book that delighted both the kids and parents.  What would happen if Animals DID wear clothing?  Funny book!

My craft was an Alligator made from the letter A.

And THAT'S the Letter of the Month!!  We had a really great story time this week and I am already looking forward to the next one! Hope you enjoyed it, and thanks for stopping by!  

Friday, February 7, 2014

Flannel Friday - Mail Call!

OK.  Sometimes I see something on Pinterest, and I have to have it.  Usually it is a felt set, or a recipe, or a story time theme.  This time it was a mail bag.

GASP!  As soon as I saw it, I thought of Valentine's Day!  You could do the 6 Little Valentines rhyme with this, or come up with a "What could be in this letter?" kind of activity.  But WAIT!  I had another idea! So, I got out some fabric and a glue gun and had at it!  It might not be as pretty as the one above because I didn't use any stitching, but mine is still functional.

OK, I made mine with fleece for the bag and the rest is felt.  To make the bag, I hot-glued a piece of felt to the fleece and cut a large enough rectangle around the felt.  The felt helps to give the bag some shape.  Then I put a book in the felt and folded up the sides and glued them well to make a panel on either side of the bag.   The long remaining end flaps over to make the flap you put the word MAIL on.  The strap is just a long piece of fleece folded in half and hot glued for shape.  The envelopes are just felt cut to that shape, and glued up the sides.

At my new branch, I inherited one extra story time per week.  So I thought I would use that week of the month as The Letter of the Month theme!  I made a bunch of envelopes and plan to have the letter of the day plus something that begins with that letter in each envelope. I will invite the children to come up and see what is in the mailbag today - they loved this part.  Then we will read stories, have rhymes, and a craft based on that letter.  I think it will bring a level of fun to the story time.

Check our labels and search for the Letter of the Month story times.  I did my first one this week and will blog on it over the weekend!

Thanks to Christine at Felt Board Stories for hosting this week's Flannel Friday!  If you like to learn more about Flannel Friday, Click HERE.   ALSO, Thank YOU for stopping by!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Preschool Story Time - Shadows

The Groundhog books have frustrated me as a children's librarian.  Some are too long, some are too dull, but with a little imagination, you can still do a story time that's JUST RIGHT!

First we talked about Groundhogs and Spring - it's funny how rotten our winter has been and it even was snowing today!  Will the groundhog see his shadow this year??  The kids voted MORE WINTER!  WHAT???  Then we got right into our stories!

My first book was Huff and Puff on Groundhog Day by Jean Warren. It's written in verse and isn't terribly long, but the kids did get to learn a little about Groundhog's Day.  There are also lots of Groundhog craft and activity ideas in the back.

Our finger play was Where is Groundhog? to the tune of Where is Thumbkin.
Where is groundhog, where is groundhog?
Here I am! Here I am!
Shadows on this sunny day
Frighten groundhogs all away.
Winter will stay. Winter will stay.

Where is groundhog, where is groundhog?
Here I am! Here I am!
My Oh My a cloudy day
I will stay outside and play!
Spring is near!  Spring is near!

This was GREAT! The kids and moms picked up on it really quickly and sang along.  It's not often that happens!

Next was The Black Rabbit by Phillipa Leathers.  I read this with great expression and the kids were fascinated.  Why doesn't the rabbit realize it's his shadow??  This was of upmost concern to some of my little peeps.

After our halftime, we did a quick flannel board story.  I have a professional felt set to Aesop's tale The Dog and the Shadow.

This little action rhyme is another I got from

Mr. Groundhog
(to the tune of "London Bridge")
Mr. Groundhog down below,
Pop up through the fluffy snow,
See his shadow watch him go,
Winter's here to stay.
Mr. Groundhog down below,
Pops up through the fluffy snow,
Wide awake he wants to play,
Spring is on it's way.

Our last book is a new favorite!  YAY a Groundhog book I just love!!  It's called Who Will See Their Shadow This Year by Jerry Pallotta.  If the Groundhog's shadow effects the weather, what will happen if we try OTHER animal friends' shadows?  Hilarious!

We still had time, so I did a bonus activity where we guessed shadows!  I used die cuts in black (such as the bird and bear below, but I had lots of other too), and held them up to the flannel board.  Most had no trouble guessing what they were, but they all had a great time with this.  So I then pulled out flashlights and showed them how shadows are formed.  I left the flashlights out with the die cuts and let them explore this activity further after story time, and man, they LOVED trying this out!  I couldn't get the flashlights BACK!

And our craft today!  I love this too!  Make black and brown hearts and cut them in half.  When put together, you can make a little groundhog scene!  Plenty of space for art exploration as kids add their own scene to the picture.

Sometimes you just need to think a little out of the box when these holiday story times come around.  Instead of Groundhog Day, St Patrick's Day or Fourth of July....why not Shadows, Rainbows, or Parades?  There's more than one way to celebrate a holiday in story shine on!

Thanks for stopping by!  Is it spring yet?