Friday, April 24, 2015

Preschool Story Time - Bikes!

In line with Bike Safety Month, I did a story time on bikes!  We have some incredible rail-trails here in the mid-west, and I have been turned on to biking ever since I discovered them.  Biking is something I love to do, so I thought it would be great to do a story time about it.

The Best Bike Ride Ever - James Primos
Bonny O'Boy REALLY wants a bike!  That's all she could say for a week until her parents bought her one.  Bonny then goes on a fantastical adventure on her new bike as she learns about riding and bike safety first hand.

Show and tell - Biking Safety
Encouraged by a former supervisor, I learned that show and tell works great in story time.  I have brought in some instruments from around the world, tools, and even a squash!  This break from books and songs is more conversational and the kids seem to really like it.  This time, I brought all of my cycling gear.  My gloves, funny shorts, jersey, ID bracelet, water bottle, click shoes, sunglasses, water bottle, and my helmet.  We talked about what all of this gear is for and how together it all keeps me safe.  When you do a show and tell, be prepared that kids want to touch everything, so make sure to bring in things that can safely be out of your hands for a moment, or be ready to show them HOW to touch.   The moms were thankful I talked about bike helmets because some of them struggle to get their kids to wear them.

Everyone Can Learn to Ride a Bike - Chris Rashka
This book is super short, but a perfect little book about learning how to ride a bicycle, safety, and persistence.  You are sure to recognize Chris Raschka's drawings.

Finger plays and Song

My Bicycle--finger play
One wheel, two wheels on the ground
(revolve hand in forward circle)
My feet make the pedal go round and round
(pedal with feet)
Handle bars help me steer so straight
(pretend to steer)
Down the sidewalk and through the gate!

My Bike--song (sung to "The Farmer in the Dell")

Pedal round and round,
(roll hands around each other)
Pedal round and round,
I steer my bike
(pretend to steer bike)
To where I like.
Pedal round and round.

Go! Go! Go! - David Goldin
Check out this funny bicycle race!  The words "Go - Go - Go" are repeated throughout - the perfect opportunity for audience participation and word recognition.

Duck on a Bike - David Shannon
This was a quick, alternate book I used because I had some really interested listeners!  It isn't a very long book, but the kids love the expressions on the animals as Duck glides around the farm on his bike.

I also used this book for a StoryWalk. What is a StoryWalk you ask?  Well, I think it is a great way to encourage family reading outside of the library!  Click HERE for more about StoryWalks.

I have to explain my crafts this week.  At the time of this session, I had a lot of 5 year olds ready for Kindergarten who had their younger siblings with them.  So I had two crafts available.  One could be done at home with guidance, and one in house.

First up for the older kids, we had a TANGRAM.  I used this image I found below to create shapes on colored paper that could be used to finish the puzzle.
These were easier to scan from white paper, but I did have them on colors.  The older sibs could take them home or do them in house.  I supplied glue as well if they wanted to keep it as a finished picture.  Scissor practice before Kindergarten is ALWAYS a good idea in my book.  In fact, scissor use is a common answer when asking Kindergarten teachers what the one skill they wish incoming students had. 

We also used dotters to decorate a bicycle helmet!  Have you ever used dotters for crafts?  Safe, clean, and totally fun times in the library.  They can be expensive but will last a long time if you take care of them.

The littles just love this way of using 'paint' and the parents appreciate the light cleanup.

Well, that  is it for Bicycle Month!  Hope you enjoyed this story time - I think I hear the trails calling me right now - Be Safe! and Thanks for stopping by!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Preschool Story Time - Earth Day!

Earth Day can be a great theme!!  I was nervous about pulling this one off, but I received so many compliments on our songs and crafts that I just had to share.  I was slow to blog this one, but I wanted to put up this post to give everyone ideas for this year's celebration.

Recycling is Fun! - Ghigna
A sweet little book in a rhythmic verse, it introduces the concept of recycling and all the ways we can help the earth.  There is even a recyclable craft idea in the back!

Action Rhyme - Pick it up
I found lots of Spring Rhymes and Action Songs at

Pick it up!
(To London Bridge)
See the litter?  Pick it up!
Pick it up!  Pick it up!
See the litter?  Pick it up!
We’re not litterbugs!

The Big Bear Hug—Oldland

This is a darling book about a very loving bear and all of the creatures he loves to hug.  His favorites are the trees.  What will he do when he sees a forester ready to cut down one of trees?

The Garden Song:
This song was recorded by so many artists, but I found it recently on the album Peter, Paul and Mommy Too!  It's really quite lovely.  The hand motions make it easy to learn and fun for both the kids and their moms.  I learned the hand motions from my colleague overseas when I worked in a Kindergarten classroom, so I do not know where the original motions come from or if she make them up.

OK, to be honest, I was going to record a video of the hand motions but just never got around to it.  I think the stellar videologists at Jbrary need to do it because quite frankly, they rock!  First I taught the motions and then we sang this a few times.

Inch by Inch (make inch fingers with pointer and thumbs on the words inch)
Row by Row (make a line with each hand on the word row)
Gonna Make this Garden Grow (wiggle fingers from below palms up 'growing')
All I need is a rake and a hoe (make a rake with one hand-fingers spread...and a hoe with another-fingers together, and pull back like you are raking or hoeing)
And a piece of fertile ground (spread hands out palms down like you are smoothing a blanket)
Inch by inch (inch fingers)
Row by row (make lines)
Someone bless these seeds I sow (bring hands together)
Someone warm them from below ‘til the rain comes tumbling down (wiggle from below on the first part and then make it 'rain' on the second part).

The Earth Book—Parr
While not really a preschool book because there is only one sentence per page, this was a nice read with it's bright colorful artwork.  My kids grew up on Todd's World when we were living overseas, and I remember they loved them.  I read it slowly and allowed for discussion, and the kids seemed to like sharing their opinions.

Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What do you see? - Carle
I think all children love the rhythm of this book, and all of the similar ones in print.  This one however, is special to the Earth Day theme because all of the animals portrayed in this book are endangered.  We talked about taking care of the animals just like the trees and earth.

Today's Craft - Recycling by making an I Spy bottle craft
As an Earth Day special, all of my crafts in April were made from recycled/recyclable materials. This was not lost on the moms who thought it was special that I did it that way.  This week's edition is the I Spy bottle for back seat entertainment.

This is simply a recycled water or soda bottle with rice and little interesting things hidden inside.  I glued the caps on so there was no chance of the rice getting out.  Some ideas for things inside are:

* Colored Sequin—round or shaped
* Colored or glitter bead
* Pipe Cleaner
* Foam Letter or Shape
* Fish
* Toy Ring
* Wood Bead
* Black Bean
* Colored Pasta
* Toothpick
* Colored Paper Clip

This is fun for a long ride or for a conversation piece.  Kids just like rolling it and looking at everything.  It was a fun craft to make and take!   Click HERE for the blog I took the idea from - although I am not sure anyone claims the original idea.

I hope you enjoyed this Earth Day special!  Thanks for stopping by!