Posts tagged ‘children’

Dr. Seuss’s Birthday

A local school asked me to do a special program for Dr. Seuss’s birthday last week for their third and fourth graders because the librarian didn’t have enough hours in the day to get around to every grade level with a special activity. So, I put together an age appropriate program.

First, we talked about who Dr. Seuss was, which books he wrote, etc. Then, we read The Lorax.

After some follow-up questions to The Lorax, we talked about pollution, and why it’s a big deal. I did the common experiment to explain this of putting one drop of food coloring in a mason jar of water to show them how it spreads.

After that, we played the “Build a Lorax” flannel game from Smashed Peas and Carrots.

They loved this game! It went over really well for this age group because it got them all involved and moving around in addition to the competitive aspect!

Then, we read Sneetches on Beaches.

After some follow-up questions for comprehension of this story, we talked a bit about being different, bullying, cliques, etc.

Then, we played a guessing game with my big board of stars!
 photo ab27a6c1-8388-49f2-957b-f8625c7ab6c0.jpg
The closest guess was 70 stars, and that lucky guesser got…the thrill of victory!

Instead of a craft, I decided this age group would like to make Seuss cootie catchers! So, that’s what we did. I found the download at The Country Chic Cottage.
 photo 8e95e0f4-657e-438a-ae9b-083e5c112cc6.jpg

Then, we did some Seuss word searches that I found on Google while we listened to some songs from Seussical: The Musical. No, even though I did perform in Seussical about two years ago, I did not sing for the kids. However, last year one of my friends who works in our library system (who played The Cat in the Hat in our production) did gather some of the cast to perform at his Seuss story time. But, if you’re curious, here is my in all my feathered glory as one of the Bird Girls in that production.

And that was it. It was a pretty simple 45-minute program for each grade.

Advertisements

Where Will Reading Take You?

For my spring display box, I decided to stray from my usual season themed displays (like my “Leaf through a good book” display from the fall) and do a travel theme. I decided to take it two ways and focus on travel books as well as a fantasy escape. So, I started out with the more involved portion which was making signs for each of the fantasy locations on which I wanted to focus (Hogwarts, Whoville, The Emerald City, Treasure Island, Narnia, Neverland, and Wonderland). I just cut out cardstock, painted them, and cut out the letters and any other additions for each themed sign. I wanted to make sure they were all very different and reflected their respective worlds.

 photo b877d14f-4621-4d95-98ae-60c1a053ef69.jpg
 photo bd255151-e8f3-4f69-9b3a-659463d10ab5.jpg photo eaf05574-c512-4a76-bc8a-ed938361ac50.jpg

Then, I started collecting maps to layer for a backdrop, cutting out my other words for the display, and finding a few accents. This is the finished product.

 photo 20150128_180026.jpg
 photo 20150225_094734.jpg
 photo 20150225_094802.jpg
 photo 20150225_094747.jpg

Since I use the display box to advertise my programs, I added pins to Chicago and Scottland for our two upcoming programs and added an arrow that said something like “Travel to Hogwarts at our Harry Potter party on 2/3 at 3:30” or
 photo 20150225_094704.jpg

In addition, at the bottom, I added a little sign for our weekly story times:
 photo 20150225_094825.jpg

So, where will reading take you? Check out a book, and find out!

Zoo Story Time

This week, I went with a zoo theme. As usual, I started with my opening song — “If You Want to Hear a Story.” Then, we jumped right into our first book.

First, we read Animal Strike At the Zoo by Karma Wilson.

Some groups liked this book more than others. It went over better with the older groups than the younger, but I wasn’t really impressed with any group’s reaction to it. I found myself wishing that I’d gone with my second choice (Two at the Zoo by Danna Smith).

Next, it was time to sing a song!

The Animals At the Zoo
(Sung to the tune of “The Wheels On the Bus”)
The lions at the zoo go, “Roar, roar, roar,
Roar, roar, roar, roar, roar, roar.”
The lions at the zoo go, “Roar, roar, roar.”
All day long.

The snakes at the zoo go, “Hiss, hiss, hiss,
Hiss, hiss, hiss, hiss, hiss, hiss.”
The snakes at the zoo go, “Hiss, hiss, hiss.”
All day long.

The monkeys at the zoo go, “Eee, eee, eee,
Eee, eee, eee, eee, eee, eee.”
The monkeys at the zoo go, “Eee, eee, eee.”
All day long.

The birds at the zoo go, “Tweet, tweet, tweet,
Tweet, tweet, tweet, tweet, tweet, tweet.”
The birds at the zoo go, “Tweet, tweet, tweet.”
All day long.

Found at KCLS.

After that, I brought out the flannel board I had made from My Heart is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall.

 photo 20140717_165058.jpg

 photo 20140718_154526.jpg photo 20140718_154536.jpg photo 20140718_154531.jpg photo 20140718_154519.jpg

I didn’t make every animal in this book because it was the first flannel I ever sat down to make, and I doubted my artistic abilities, to be honest. I made the lion, heron, yak, fox, frog, caterpillar, jay, and bear (if you guessed that I made the easiest animals, you would be correct). I couldn’t find a full pattern for this flannel (though I know many other librarians have made their own), so I used a heart pattern for a lion puppet craft inspired by this book (found at Storytime ABC’s) and simply used the appropriate size hearts for each animal I made. It worked out well; I only had to resize a few of them for the smaller animals.

I have to say that I was insanely proud of how my first flannel turned out!

Then, we stood up to read From Head to Toe by Eric Carle.

Even my older kids seemed to like this book, even though I think its target audience is toddlers. They got really into the elephant movements and the gorilla movements. I’d recommend this action book.

If the kids were getting antsy, I would finish with The Underpants Zoo by Brian Sendelbach.

Every group loved this book! I knew it would be a hit because kids love animals and kids absolutely love underpants. Just the word had them cracking up when I read the title. Some groups screamed with delight when I showed the pictures, others giggled uncontrollably, but they all loved it.

If they seemed like they could hold out (or if I was reading to one of my older groups), I read one final story: Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell.

I didn’t know if they would like this book, so I kept it as an extra in case story time ended up being too short, as it sometimes does. They did enjoy showing off the fact that they knew their animals when I folded down each flap, so I’d recommend this short and sweet book.

Then, I ended with my usual closing song — “Goodbye, Goodbye.”

Our craft this week was a bendable monkey (originally found at Busy Bee).
 photo 20140724_170804.jpg

This was an easy craft to prep and for the kids to do. I’d recommend it, except they didn’t seem to want to wait for the glue to dry before playing with the pipe cleaner arms and legs, so there weren’t many whole monkeys that walked out today. They kept falling apart because they weren’t allowed to dry first.

Dance Story Time

This was my first story time I ever planned on my own. I did it in March of 2014, and it went over very well. It kept the kids very active which cut down on behavior issues.

I started with my usual opening song: “If You Want to Hear a Story.” (Words here.)

Then, I introduced my theme, and we talked about our favorite ways to dance.

Our first book was Hilda Must Be Dancing by Karma Wilson.

The kids loved calling out the refrain throughout the story and seeing what kind of mess Hilda would create next.

Then, I tried to appeal to the kids who would inevitably be forced to dance with the others against their will or sit while their friends had fun without them with an original poem, “I Do Not Like to Dance.”

I do not like to dance,
I do not like to prance.
You cannot make me move.
You cannot make me groove.
I do not like it, don’t you see?
Dancing is just not for me.
But every wiggle you keep in
Is a dance that might have been.
Every shake, shimmy, and tapping of a shoe
Is a dance itself, that much is true.
So, don’t be shy, let your dances out
Because that, after all, is what dancing is all about.

After learning how important and fun dance could be, we went on to our next book–Boogie Monster by Josie Bissett.
 photo 1a476f49-1afd-4543-8785-a3cb66f6e9d1.png

This book was a big hit since it focuses on different types of movement and you dance throughout the book. I’m also a big fan of her Tickle Monster book and read it often with my niece and nephew.

While we were standing, I moved on to another movement song.

Can You Move With Me?
(to the tune of “Do Your Ears Hang Low”)
Can you wiggle like a worm,
Can you squiggle, can you squirm?
Can you flutter, can you fly, Like a gentle butterfly?
Can you crawl upon the ground
Like a beetle that is round? Can you move with me?

Can you flip? Can you flop?
Can you give a little hop?
Can you slither like a snake?
Can you give a little shake?
Can you dance like a bee
who is buzzing in a tree?
Can you move with me?

(Found at KCLS.)

As we settled back down, we did a dance fingerplay.

Dance your fingers up, dance your fingers down
Dance your fingers to the side, dance them all around.
Dance them on your shoulders, dance them on your head.
Dance them on your tummy. Put them all to bed.

Found at KCLS.

Our final book was Hokey Pokey: Another Prickly Love Story by Lisa Wheeler.

For this one, I did storytelling without the book. Though there was some initial grumbling about missing the pictures, the kids soon got into it as I acted out each character and performed the various dances. The adults in the group enjoyed the more sophisticated humor thrown in too, and it became a big hit all around.

After that book, what else could we do but dance the “Hokey Pokey?”

Then, it was time for my usual closing song “Goodbye, Goodbye,” and for us to leave. We did not do a craft this week since I was just filling in at the last minute.

Imagination Story Time

I started this story time with my usual opening song–“If You Want to Hear a Story.”

If You Want to Hear a Story
(to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It”)
If you want to hear a story, clap your hands.
If you want to hear a story, clap your hands.
If you want to hear a story, if you want to hear a story, if you want to hear a story, clap your hands.

(Other verses include “zip your lips,” “sit so still,” “nod your head,” etc.)
Found at A Library Geek.

Next, I read and acted out an original poem titled “A Scarf Is Not a Scarf.”

A scarf is not a scarf when you can dream.
It can be a hat or even a tiny stream.
Is it what makes a superhero fly?
Or whipped cream on pumpkin pie?
Is it a princess’s gown for a grand ball?
Or an old witch’s ratty shawl?
Is it a tent pitched to keep out the storm?
Perhaps a baby’s blanket to keep them warm?
It can be a sash for a pirate so scary,
Or, perhaps, a beard on a man, oh so hairy!
Is it a sail on a great adventure ship?
Or a towel to dry after a quick ocean dip?
It could be the waves of the great ocean blue,
Or it could be a ghost to jump out and say “Boo!”
A scarf is not just a scarf when you can dream.
For nothing is as it may seem.

This poem was a big hit! I wasn’t sure about it (even though I personally loved it) beforehand because it is somewhat long, but every group that came to story time had a favorite from the poem and repeatedly requested it for the rest of the program.

After that, I read Not a Box by Antoinette Portis.

The kids loved calling out the things the box turned into throughout the story and were really engaged through this short book.

Then, I did a flannel board I made based on It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw. (I found the pattern from Kidclub.)

The kids also loved calling out what each shape was, though my artistic abilities were called into question with the birthday cake which only a few kids guessed correctly.

 photo 20140815_212242.jpg

Then, we sang a shortened and adapted version of the traditional Scouts song “I Wish I Were.”

I Wish I Were
(to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It”)
Oh I wish I were a little bitty orange
Oh I wish I were a little bitty orange
Oh I’d go squirty squirty squirty over everybody’s shirtey
Oh I wish I were a little bitty orange

Oh I wish I were a little hunk of mud
Oh I wish I were a little hunk of mud
Oh I’d ooey and I’d gooey under everybody’s shoey
Oh I wish I were a little hunk of mud

Oh I wish I were a little stinky skunk
Oh I wish I were a little stinky skunk
Oh I’d sit beneath the trees and perfume all the breeze
Oh I wish I were a little stinky skunk

Then, we read Ella’s Games by David Bedford and Peter Kavanagh.

This book is somewhat long, but the kids seemed to enjoy it pretty well. It didn’t seem as popular as the other two books I read, but they were amused by the tall tales Ella invented.

After Ella’s Games, it was time to stand up, sing, and dance a bit.

We started with “Shake Your Sillies Out”

Shake Your Sillies Out
I’ve gotta shake, shake, shake my sillies out,
Shake, shake, shake my sillies out,
Shake, shake, shake my sillies out,
And wiggle my waggles away!

I’ve gotta clap, clap, clap my crazies out,
Clap, clap, clap my crazies out,
Clap, clap, clap my crazies out,
And wiggle my waggles away!

I’ve gotta jump, jump, jump my jiggles out,
Jump, jump, jump my jiggles out,
Jump, jump, jump my jiggles out,
And wiggle my waggles away!

I’ve gotta yawn, yawn, yawn my sleepies out,
Yawn, yawn, yawn my sleepies out,
Yawn, yawn, yawn my sleepies out,
And wiggle my waggles away!

I’ve gotta shake, shake, shake my sillies out,
Shake, shake, shake my sillies out,
Shake, shake, shake my sillies out,
And wiggle my waggles away,
And wiggle my waggles away!

by Raffi

Then, we sang a song that I’d used in a previous story time that I knew was a hit and happened to go with this theme.

Can You Move With Me?
(to the tune of “Do Your Ears Hang Low”)
Can you wiggle like a worm,
Can you squiggle, can you squirm?
Can you flutter, can you fly, Like a gentle butterfly?
Can you crawl upon the ground
Like a beetle that is round? Can you move with me?

Can you flip? Can you flop?
Can you give a little hop?
Can you slither like a snake?
Can you give a little shake?
Can you dance like a bee
who is buzzing in a tree?
Can you move with me?

(Found at KCLS.)

Then, we read Miss Smith’s Incredible Storybook by Michael Garland.

I love this book! I was worried because, like Ella’s Games, it’s kind of long. However, the kids loved it too! They sat through the whole book and loved calling out the various fairytale characters who popped out of the book. Be prepared to spend several minutes on the last few pages so they can spot and name every single one!

Then, I wrapped it up with my closing song that I typically use.

Goodbye, Goodbye
(to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”
Goodbye, goodbye, time to go.
I had lots of fun, you know.
I’ll come back another day.
I’ll come back to read and play.

Our craft was going to be one where we had to use our imaginations to create something out of a paper circle. I originally found this craft at The Wielded Pen. Here are the examples I  made.

 photo 20140815_145449.jpg
 photo a5c964bd-4473-4e4b-bd96-d8aaea7ffdfa.jpg

However, most of the kids in attendance weren’t quite old enough for this particular craft, so we just did some imagination-themed coloring sheets.

NOTE: I did this storytime a second time at my new branch and used Diggy Dan: A Room Cleaning Adventure by David and Daniel Kamish instead of Ella’s Games, and it went very well. This is an adorable book about making things fun by using your imagination!

Tag Cloud