Saturday, March 28, 2015

Baby Story Time - Bubble Play!

Let's talk about Bubble Play in Baby Story Time! 

Around the end of the summer, I did some research, invested in some bubbles, and dove in to bubble play during story time!  We pull them out about once every other month (sometimes more often) and they are just so much fun!

I posed a question about using bubbles in story time to the Storytime Underground group on Facebook (Are you in this group? Such a great resource!), and the overwhelming response was to use Gymboree's Bubble Oodles Bubble Blower.
I headed straight to our local Gymboree store and picked up this small set for about $6.00.

They are MAGICAL!! The blower makes these teeny tiny bubbles that float and hang in the air for the longest time.  When they finally land, they don't pop! We've found them resting on bookshelves hours after story time has finished!

There are only two negatives: you have to put your mouth to the blower, so A) it's harder to sing a song while blowing the bubbles, and B) you wouldn't want to share the blower with your fellow librarians! (We're close, but not THAT close!)

A story time mom also brought me in a Fubbles Bubbles Mini Bubble Blaster (a bubble fan) which she got from Target, on clearance for about 75 cents! The bubbles are a little bigger and don't last as long, but it's small and quiet, and you don't have to use your mouth, so it's a great alternative!

So you've got some bubbles, now what?

Bubbles go great with themes like "Bathtime" or "Playtime" or just any time you feel like using them!

I went to YouTube in search of bubble songs and what do you know? Gymboree to the rescue, once again! They use bubbles in their classes and have posted some of the songs they use - check them out here and here!

Here are a few easy ones:

(Tune of "If You're Happy and You Know It")
There are bubbles in the air, in the air. (blow, blow)
There are bubbles in the air, in the air. (blow, blow)
There are bubbles in the air, there are bubbles everywhere,
There are bubbles in the air, in the air. (blow, blow)

There are bubbles way up high, way up high. (blow, blow)
There are bubbles way up high, way up high. (blow, blow)
There are bubbles way up high, there are bubbles in the sky,
There are bubbles way up high, way up high. (blow, blow)

There are bubbles way down low, way down low. (blow, blow)
There are bubbles way down low, way down low. (blow, blow)
There are bubbles way down low, there are bubbles on your toes,
There are bubbles way down low, way down low. (blow, blow)

(Tune of "Ten Little Indians")
One little, two little, three little bubbles,
Four little, five little, six little bubbles,
Seven little, eight little, nine little bubbles,
Ten little bubbles go POP! POP! POP!

You can also sing each child's name, blowing bubbles at them. Hint: Try to blow them just over the children's heads, not right into their faces!
(Tune of "Frere Jacques")
Bubbles for ______, bubbles for ______
Bubbles for ______, bubbles for ______
(just continue with the tune until you've done each child, ad lib to finish the tune)

You can also just have music playing while you blow bubbles. I recently used them with the first two songs on Hap Palmer's cd More Babysongs - "Rub-a-dub" and "My Baby." The music really complemented the gentle play, and allowed me the freedom to play with the babies and bubbles, rather than trying to juggle blowing bubbles and singing at the same time!
Maybe it's time you try bubbles in your baby or toddler story times! They are fun, inexpensive, and easy, and add an extra special touch to your program.  Give it a try, and let me know what works well for you and your babies!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Baby Story Time - Bathtime!

Rub-a-dub-dub, babies love the tub!

OPENING SONG: "The Hello Song" *

GREETING SONG: "Hello" (Name Song) *

WAKE-UP RHYME: "Bubbles, Bubbles" ("Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear" chant)
Bubbles, bubbles all around.
     (roll baby's arms)
Bubbles, bubbles on the ground.
     (lower baby to ground)
Bubbles, bubbles on my nose.
     (touch nose)
Bubbles, bubbles on my toes.
     (touch toes)
Bubbles, bubbles in my hair.
     (touch hair)
Bubbles, bubbles everywhere!
     (reach arms out)

1st Book: Tubby by Leslie Patricelli
"I'm naked! Wheee!!" What's not to love about this cute board book?
Action Song: Tiny Tim (from Dr. Jean Sings Silly Songs)
I learned this funny song from an early childhood teacher.  Just mime the actions in the song.
Sing it to the tune of "We're Going to Kentucky."
I had a little turtle, his name was Tiny Tim.
I put him in the bathtub to see if he could swim.
He drank up all the water, he ate up all the soap.
And now he's sick in bed with a bubble in his throat!

Lap Bounce Song: "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" (from cd "Songs for Wiggleworms")
This song is so PERFECT to do with a baby in your lap! Get your hands on this cd if you don't already have it!

Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.

2) Twist, twist, twist your boat...
3) Bounce, bounce, bounce your boat...
4) Sway, sway, sway your boat...
5) Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle your boat...
6) Tickle, tickle, tickle your boat...

2nd Book: Barnyard Bath! by Sandra Boynton
This is actually a water-proof book, made for the tub! We got out our washcloths (scarves) and followed the directions!
Since we had our scarves out, we did some more fun scarf activities:
Action Song: "This is the Way" (tune of "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush")
This is the way we wash our arms,
Wash our arms, wash our arms.
This is the way we wash our arms
When we're in the bathtub!
Keep scrubbing different body parts - try tummies, toes, nose, and hair!
Next we did some free play with the scarves.  A natural thing to do is play peekaboo! Since the scarves are see-through, this is a non-scary and gentle game for babies to play with their caregivers. Very sweet!
3rd Book: Noisy Peekaboo! Splash! Splash! by Dawn Sirett (from DK)
This is one of those books you can't really read aloud to a group, but the noises are too fun to resist. We just lifted the flaps and heard what each animal had to say.
CLOSING SONG: "If You're Happy and You Know It" *
GOODBYE SONG: "Babies, Bye-Bye" *

CLOSING RHYME: "Thank You" *

*Check out my Baby Story Time page for the words to all of my weekly songs and rhymes.
This was a very fun story time! Check out my next post to see how to incorporate BUBBLES into your next baby story time.  They go great with the "Bathtime" theme!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Flannel Friday - Easter and Spring Resources

True to form, March came in like a lion here in Ohio.  Just because there is snow on the ground (which I am happy to report is MELTING!) doesn't mean that children's librarians everywhere aren't preparing for their spring story times.  I realized the other day that some of the felts we are featuring today have not had their own Flannel Friday Day, so I thought I would group them together with some of our Flannel Friday Favorites for our own roundup of Easter and Spring themed Flannel Friday Spectacular. Phew!

Planting a Rainbow - Lois Ehert 
Way back when Miss Kristie was new to the village, I asked ever so kindly if she would make this set for me, and I am so glad I did.  She did such a great job with them.  They are gorgeous!  The art is right out of the book Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert.  I haven't blogged that story time yet, but that doesn't mean this set isn't used in a variety of other themes!

Miss Kristie wrote an entire Flannel Friday post on this felt set with close-ups on each of the flowers which you can find HERE.

Miss Kristen used them in her Baby Story Time - Spring theme.  You can CLICK HERE for the rest of the theme.

Baby Story Time Game - Where is duckie?
Miss Kristen used this sweet little guessing game in her baby story time.  She says she borrowed the idea from Mel's Desk.  I think the eggs and duckie would work perfect for any spring or Easter story time!  Click HERE for more information on this activity.

Jelly Bean Countdown
I just used this OH-so-simple set in my Easter story time.  There is a cute little poem you can use with or without the set.  But of course, who doesn't love using felt sets?  Click HERE for this rhyme.

There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Chick
If you like singing along to Lucille Colandro's books, here is another felt set for you!  I like to let the participants put the pieces on the board, and leave them up for exploration after story time.

There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Clover
Speaking of Lucille Colandro, here is another one!  While not technically a spring book, I thought I would include this one because it can be used in March. St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner!  Click HERE for this story time.

Owen's Marshmallow Chick
This one is all about Easter!  Miss Kristen adapted Kevin Henke's sweet little board book into a felt board story (ok, they're cardstock, not felt!) for babies and toddlers. Check out her post from last Easter here.

Too Many Bunnies!
Too Many Bunnies - by Matt Novak, is a super-fun and funny book that is just-too-small to use in story time.  Have no fear, it was easy to recreate larger and in felt!  Click HERE to see how this story works.

Little White Rabbit
Kevin Henke's book Little White Rabbit is perfect for baby and toddler story time.  Miss Kristen immortalized his book in felt!  Click HERE for this felt set.

Duck!  Rabbit!
Rabbits are great for an Easter or spring theme.  If your preschool group is a little older, give Duck! Rabbit!  a try!  Click HERE for more.

But wait!!  Library Village has a ton of duck resources.  Click HERE for a number of sets and ideas.

Blackbird finger puppets?  Yes please!  Click HERE for more!

Nursery Rhymes
This Itsy Bitsy Spider felt set is perfect for spring story time!  Click HERE for more on this set and on the Bugs Toddler Story Time.

More Nursery Rhymes
What says Easter and spring more than a little lamb?  We have a bunch of lamb and sheep resources including this set for three nursery rhymes - The one above is Mary had a Little Lamb!  Click HERE for more!

Ten Fluffy Chicks
Miss Kristen used this in Baby Story Time.  Ten Fluffy Chicks poem with felt set.  Click HERE for more.

PHEW I think I got them all!  If not, you can always search our website by our labels on the right.  Use your imagination and you will always have plenty of resources for your story times!  And don't forget to check out our colleague's blogs in our blog roll.  We all share each others ideas and tweak them for our story times.  We all work together, encourage and support each other.  We three librarians know we would never have blogged or become so addicted to felt if it wasn't for some seasoned professionals sharing their passion for their profession.  We hope you enjoyed this roundup.

Special THANKS to Laura from Library Lalaland  for hosting Flannel Friday this week.  If you need more information on how you can get involved with the Flannel Friday community, CLICK HERE. Or you can find Flannel Friday on their Facebook page, by following #FlannelStorytime on Twitter or on Pinterest!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Flannel Friday Guest Post Palooza - Pete The Cat

Flannel Friday is 4 years old!  WHOOT!  To celebrate, seasoned bloggers such as Library Village were paired with guest bloggers who wanted to give blogging and Flannel Friday a try.  Miss Sue was paired with Mary Eames, an early childhood specialist and stay-at-home mom who wanted to share a multitude of ways she uses Pete the Cat with her adorable sons.  She sent along a ton of great photos, ideas, and resources.  I bet you NEVER thought about SHOELACES on Pete's shoes!  Read on for more about that!  Without further ado, here is Mary:

Pete the Cat Activities

My sons LOVE Pete the Cat! We have definitely hoped on the bandwagon with this one. I have an Early Childhood Education degree and a degree as an Intervention Specialist. Currently though, I stay home with my 3 year old son and 16 month old son. In order to keep us busy, we do lots of FELT activities! So I knew as we rented all these books from the library, that we just HAD to make some felt-board activities with Pete!

My felt board is a piece of big green felt hooked to a metal drip tray that is attached to our playroom door. The inspiration for the magnet board part was found at:

But the idea for the green felt board part was my own idea.

 We also have a small one that I made by taking the glass out of an 8x10 picture frame and putting blue felt into it. This is our “on the go” one or when we feel like sitting at the table or on the couch to do a felt activity.

These are our felt pieces for Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin.

Pete the Cat loves his brand new white shoes so much, he walks down the street singing this song, “I love my white shoes, I love my white shoes, I love my white shoes...”
Oh No! (My son loves yelling this part out). Pete stepped in a large pile of (I let my son tell me the fruit here) STRAWBERRIES! What color did they turn his shoes? (I let him tell me the color) Red! But did Pete cry? (My son will yell out) GOODNESS NO! He kept walking along and singing....
Once again- he’s walking and singing his song....Sing it now, inserting the word “Red.”
Repeat all steps again, except it’s a pile of BLUEBERRIES! So they turn his shoes BLUE.
Now after you’ve done, “Did Pete cry? Goodness no!” He keeps on walking...just now with BLUE shoes. Until....he steps in a pile of MUD this time, turning the shoes BROWN. So repeat all steps using these words and props.
So continue the song about the BROWN shoes, same as before. Until he steps in a BUCKET OF WATER! Now his shoes are (back to white because it washes off all the red, blue and brown) WET! He sings, “I love my wet shoes, I love my wet shoes, I love my wet shoes...”

Story ends with, “The moral of the story is- no matter what you step in, keep walking along and singing your song, because it’s all good.”

My son enjoyed being able to put the shoes on Pete the Cat, along with putting the items on the board for Pete to “step in.”

In order to keep add a “mathematical element” to this, I put one “shoelace” (aka a black marker line) on the first shoe, two on the second, etc. It also helps me to keep them in piles to minimize the shoes from getting lost.

These are our felt pieces for Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin:

This is Pete with just his shirt on, to show what it looks like. I made Pete separate from the shirt, so that I could reuse him with other stories. The shirt is also 2 separate pieces, so it could make it as close to the story as possible when the buttons pop off.

So the story talks about how much Pete puts on his favorite shirt with four big, colorful, round, groovy buttons. He loves them so much he sings this song, “My buttons, my buttons, my four groovy buttons. My buttons, my buttons, my four groovy buttons.”
But then POP! A button pops off (I pull it off dramatically) and rolls away. How many are left? (I have my son count the number left and tell me) 3! 4-1=3. Did Pete cry? My son yells- Goodness no! Buttons come and buttons go! He kept on singing his song....
My belly button is hard to see because my son keeps pulling it off. I think I’m going to put a new one on using white puffy paint instead of a small piece of white felt. It will last much longer!

We also found an AMAZING extension activity on that has free printables of “Pete the Cat’s” with blank shirts and numbers next to them. The activity called for velcro and paper buttons, but I put them in a binder with page protectors and gave my son large real buttons to put on the shirts. He loves to count the buttons out and put them on each cat. I have to admit I love it too! I used buttons I had, but I know Wal-Mart carries buttons that look just like the ones in the book. This can work one-on-one as shown here, or for a group!

GREAT JOB Mary!  It was my pleasure to host you this week.  Big thanks to Mollie Kay from What Happens In Storytime for hosting Flannel Friday this week. Mollie has a great blog which you can read (and make sure to follow!) by CLICKING HERE!  If you would like to know more about Flannel Friday, read their blog by CLICKING HERE.  You can also follow Flannel Friday on Pinterest and Facebook (just search for Flannel Friday), or on Twitter with the hashtag #FlannelStorytime

I really enjoyed hosting this week.  If you are a gentle reader who would like to share your ideas but do not blog, I would be happy to host you sometime.  Just let one of us at the Library Village know you are in need of a space.

For everyone else, I hope you enjoyed all of the guest posts this week.  Shine on everyone!
Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Preschool Story Time - St. Patrick's Day!

I don't know about you, but the January-March holidays seem to be my rough months.  Mostly because the books for story time with a theme of an early year holiday (such as Chinese New Year, Easter, Valentine's Day, Groundhogs Day, President's Day, or St. Patrick's Day) aren't always plentiful or easy to read in a group.  I like to play homage to the holiday du jour though, so I try my best to work around the books and use more songs and dances or a great craft.  Being an Irish lass from Boston, I could not skip St. Patrick's Day no matter what, so here we go!

Green Shamrocks - Eve Bunting
This one is cute and eye catching for the kids.  It's also an opportunity for counting, animal sounds, or general conversation. Sometimes holiday books are just too long for preschoolers, but this one seemed to do the trick.

Musical Interlude - The Unicorn Song
I have known The Unicorn Song and all of the hand movements ever since I was a little kid.  I understand it might not be familiar to you (as I have discovered while living in the mid-west by the blank expressions on some faces!).  The original poem is by Shel Silverstein and the song was made famous by the Irish Rovers in the 1960's.  It still makes the circuit in Irish Festivals around the country however.

Jim Cosgrove does an EXCELLENT version for kids.  At the end he gets faster and faster which was very fun in the Kindergarten classroom of the school where I once worked.

I sang the song A Capella so I could first teach it a couple times and sing it nice and slowly.  I'll let you Google the hand motions on Youtube, but here is what I do:

Song: Unicorn Song
There were green alligators (extend arms like long gator mouth)
And long neck geese (fluff your neck feathers)
Humpy back camels (put your hands on your back as humps)
And Chimpanzees (make chimp arms)
Cats (ears), and Rats (whiskers), and Elephants (one arm is trunk while the other arm supports the first arm)
As sure as you’re born (cradle baby)
But the Loveliest of all was the Unicorn. (Show your best horn!)

A long time ago when the earth was green, there were more kinds of animals than you’ve ever seen.  They would run around free while the Earth was being born, and the loveliest of all was the Unicorn!

Repeat Chorus.

The Luckiest St. Patrick's Day Ever - Teddy Slater

I always enjoy Ethan Long's illustrations!  It also will open up the kids' vocabulary with words like leprechaun, luck, shamrock, etc....sort of like the next book.  My goal of holiday story times are to do just that, increase exposure and vocabulary and talk about culture (and of course make it fun!).

Finger Play Interlude

Leprechaun, Leprechaun
Leprechaun, Leprechaun Hiding in the hay. (cover one pointer finger with other hand)
Leprechaun, Leprechaun Don’t you run away. (hop pointer finger around)
Leprechaun, Leprechaun Let’s go out and play. (hop both pointer fingers around)
Leprechaun, Leprechaun It’s Saint Patrick’s Day! (hopping fingers together)

I’m a Little Leprechaun (Sing to the tune of I’m a Little Teapot)
I'm a little leprechaun
Dressed in green, (tug on your shirt)
The tiniest man
That you have seen. (make your index and pointer finger close together)
If you ever catch me,
so it's told, (make like both arms are catching something)
I'll give you my big pot of gold. (hold out hands as giving)

There Was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Clover - Lucille Colandro

Yet another Lucille Colandro "Old Lady" book making its way into my holiday-themed story times!  And once again I did it in felt!  Here is my set:
Did you notice my mistake?  Yep - I was in such a rush to finish this set, that my rainbow colors are screwed up.  Miss Kristie was so kind to notice and let me know right before my story time!  Oh well, it was just fine in the end.  There are also several sites that offer more classroom resources for this story.  The one I used was Crazy Speech World.  There are some templates that can be used for sequence and retelling.

Craft - Lucky Necklace
So in line with St. Patrick's Day, we made rainbow colored pasta necklaces.  The kids really love this activity and the parents do too!  I Googled how to make colored pasta - it was easy peasy.  Then I bundled the craft in snack size zippy bags so the kids would have the perfect amount of pasta for their craft.  The shamrock was die cut from green paper.  Here is a tip - tape one end of the yarn to make a 'needle' and tape the other end to the table so the pasta doesn't fly off the other end!

Bonus Craft! Pot of Gold
I snitched this one from the DLTK website where they had a template.  Click HERE for that. Some kids didn't want to do the necklace, and some preferred to take the craft home to do.  I used die cut circles (I have a 1 inch punch at home) and black paper which the kids could then use white crayon or chalk to decorate.

Luck of the Irish to ye!  Thanks for stopping by!