Posts tagged ‘theme’

Harry Potter Party

Last semester when I was formulating my plans for programming in the spring 2015 semester, I was short on ideas for my teens. So, I sat them down after my Hunger Games Challenge in the fall and asked what they’d like to see me do. They told me that they’d like more game show programs (hence my Family Feud program) and that they would like for me to do a Harry Potter program, even though it was “old” because no other librarians in the system would do that until the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them rolled around.  I was thrilled!

Harry Potter is my fandom. I love other books and belong to a variety of other fandoms, but Harry Potter is my main one. I ran HP fansites growing up, I participated in HP roleplay, wrote HP fanfiction, went to HP conventions like Infinitus and LeakyCon, and cosplayed as Narcissa Black/Malfoy, Luna Lovegood, and Fleur Delacour. It’s my thing, so they knew that I would put together something fantastic, and I was excited since I hadn’t thrown a Potter party in at least four years or so.

I started with the activities. Since it was a party, I wanted it to be fairly free. I wanted to have one main organized activity for everyone and then stations they could go to as they wanted. So, I decided to do a few simple games like Harry Potter BINGO:

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I found a site to create your own Bingo cards and just plugged in some Harry Potter words. I made one card (the blue one for Ravenclaw) for people more familiar with the books where I would give them a clue like “Centaurs roam the Forbidden Forest by Hogwarts. In Greek mythology, centaurs are half man and half” that they would have to answer (“Horse”) in order to find the correct square to cover. The red cards were more straightforward, and I would just call the words on the cards themselves for those who weren’t familiar with the books or thought the Ravenclaw version of this game was a little too intimidating.

In addition to Bingo, we had Draw the Scar on Harry. I used Pin the Tail on the Donkey as a model and blew up a picture of Harry, laminated it, and put it on a poster. That way, each player could have a different color dry erase marker to try to draw the lightning bolt scar on Harry’s forehead in the correct position while blindfolded. The person who got the closest won, and we could just erase the marks and start another round.

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Our final small game was a Bertie Botts Challenge. I was warned when I was planning this program that the teens had been forced to eat the actual Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans that you can buy at the store at a previous Potter program, and they had hated it. Personally, I hate them too. So, we did a “guess how many jellybeans are in the jar” game with regular old jellybeans. The person who got the closest would win the jar.

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I originally got the idea to do a scavenger hunt (aka “Horcrux hunt”) from The Leaky Cauldron’s section on Harry Potter party ideas. There was a link to a finished hunt complete with clues, but I decided to make my own clues to better suit my needs. I just wrote up a few rhyming clues, printed out pictures of the horcruxes, and hid them around the room. (That’s really what spurred me to make the majority of my decorations.) Here are the clues I came up with:

  • Your journey begins “once upon a time,”
    But you won’t find Mother Goose near these nursery rhymes.
    Remember, you won’t get far without your card
    For how else would you check out the tales of this bard?

    This led to The Tales of Beedle the Bard in my Harry Potter book display in which was hidden the next clue and the diary horcrux.
  • Not much is seen of vampires in the world of young Harry.
    But what we do see makes they seem a bit scary.
    Unlike the ones in this tale that set everyone a-twitter,
    They feared the sun, but didn’t sparkle and glitter.

    This led to Twilight in my “Other” book display in which was hidden the next clue, a set of scrambled letters, and the ring horcrux.
  • Unscramble the letters and a word you will find.
    If you cannot, you’ll be in quite a bind.
    But save yourself some time and a bit of a pickle
    If you know where you get if a pear you do tickle

    This led them to the kitchen where they found the next clue with the cup horcrux.
  • This clue certainly separates the wheat from the chaff.
    To find what you seek, you must venture where none walk but staff.
    This closet may not be under the stair
    But in it, we keep all supplies that are spare.
    This led to the staff supply closet in the meeting room in which was hidden the next clue with the snake horcrux.
  • You’re getting close but still so far.
    What you seek next might fit a queen or a tsar.
    You must prove your worth, I decree.
    And Rowena Ravenclaw must surely agree.
    Solve the riddle. Show your worth
    For the next item you must unearth.
    Tall I am young,
    Short I am old,
    While with life I glow,
    Wind is my foe.
    What am I?

    The answer is a candle, so this led them to a battery operated candle on one of the tables where the next clue was hidden with the diadem horcrux.
  • One more item, and then you’re off the hook!
    Look for it alongside a spellbook.
    In order to solve this ongoing mystery,
    You might want to brush up on your history.
    This led them to the History of Magic spellbook I’d made and the final (locket) horcrux.

I also set out some Harry Potter crosswords and word search puzzles that I found online.
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I knew that in order to have a great party, you need to have a photo booth so I set aside some time and money to make some great photo booth props. First, I bought a set on Etsy that you can just print out and attach to dowels. It was easy and cost about $9. There’s another set for about $12 and another for about $8. I already had the Spectrespecs at home from my Luna costume.

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Then, I made a wanted poster similar to the one seen in the movies for Sirius Black as well as an Azkaban sign to hold (which you can see above under the props) for the photo booth. I used a technique similar to this tutorial, but I ended up just cutting out all my letters by hand and gluing them on the sign after painting it to look weathered and torn.

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For our backdrop, I just took a plain white sheet, cut it to the size I wanted, and stamped it with a spare brick dipped in red paint to make it look like a brick wall. Then, I made a sign to hang on it, and voilà! We had Platform 9 3/4. You could also cut a slit in the sheet to use it as an entrance/door, but I wanted it to be solid for the backdrop.
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Here are a few photos of me at the photo booth all dressed up in my Luna Lovegood costume.

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I am a huge wizard rock (or “wrock”) fan. If you’re familiar, it’s a genre of music based on the Harry Potter novels. Though other fandoms created their own genres (“Twi-rock,” for example), wizard rock was the first genre of music inspired solely by a series of books. There are plenty of amazing songs and wizard rockers out there, and I ended up going through my own wrock library and finding teen-appropriate songs. (Be very careful if you choose to incorporate wrock into a teen program because some lyrics aren’t appropriate for all audiences). I stuck with bands like The Butterbeer Experience, The Ministry of Magic, Marked As His Equal, and (my personal favorite) Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls.

What kind of party would it be without some themed treats? I found several printables for treat bags:
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Beverage Labels:
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Candy Labels (which went in the treat bags:
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(I used oatmeal cream pies for the Cauldron Cakes, Safety Pops for the Acid Pops, toffees from Dollar Tree for the Ton Tongue Toffees, random hard candies from Dollar Tree for the Fizzing Whizbees, turtle clusters for the Cockroach Clusters, and off-brand jellybeans for Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans.)

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Since we had so many games, we have to have prizes, right? I dug around in my collection of HP stuff and found a few magnets that I felt comfortable parting with as well as a few Dark Mark temporary tattoos, some Harry Potter gift tags, a couple journals, and some candy leftover from the Family Feud program.
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I also set up a Pottermore station with our laptop so the teens could check out the site that JK Rowling made to supplement the books. If you’re not familiar with Pottermore, you can get sorted (by a quiz that JK herself designed), buy books and pets, make potions, and see amazing artwork for each scene described in the books!
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Now, all that is left is decorations which were some of the most fun to create! I started with my potions table.
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The Hogwarts yearbook on the potions table was actually the program from LeakyCon 2011. It just went so well with the décor that I had to include it. Now, on to the potions!
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I already had the cauldrons at home. I bought one at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and one was a present from a friend. Then, I found printable labels for the bottles and cut them out. Most of the potions are just water with food coloring in pretty bottles (some of which were donated and some of which came from Michaels). I just got on the Harry Potter wiki and found out what color the potions were supposed to be and got the coloring as close as I could. For some of the ingredients, I had to make them myself.
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The bezoar is air-dry clay with lumps of glue painted as gross a color as I could manage. I ended up asking my co-workers every hour or so if it looked disgusting enough to have come from the stomach of a goat. This was the end product.
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The ashwinder eggs are just air-dry clay, and the moonstone I had at home.
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I mixed up some stage blood for the dragon’s blood (see the recipes on my Special FX Halloween makeup program post).
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The ground bicorn horn in the back is just sand, and the venomous tentacula leaves are bay leaves.
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I just used air-dry clay, wooden dowels, some paint, and some modge podge to make these. It was pretty simple. I was trying it out (as well as a few other methods for making wands) with the idea that I would incorporate this craft into the program, but I quickly realized that it was too time-consuming to be part of any program. It would need its own time slot. So, these would-be “examples” turned into decorations along with the wand I bought at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter during the Ollivander’s experience when I was chosen.

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I made these spellbooks by just printing out the covers from this site and covering old books with colored paper.

I also set up two book displays, one for Harry Potter books and the other for related young adult books. I included The Tales of Beedle the Bard, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Quidditch Through the Ages, and several books written about the series and fandom like Harry, A History and Dear Mr. Potter in my Harry Potter display and other very popular YA books in my related display.

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I also hung up a few Education Decrees around the room as a finishing touch.
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And that was our Harry Potter party. All together, it cost about $35 because I had so many materials at home.

Winter Animals Story Time

We only have two more story times from last semester to go before I’m all caught up!

This is my winter animals story time from December. We started with our “If You Want to Hear a Story” song and then talked about all the animals we think of in the winter like penguins, polar bears, etc. Then, we talked about all that animals do in the winter to introduce our first book: Sleep, Big Bear, Sleep by Maureen Wright

I loved this book! The kids thought it was pretty silly too that the bear couldn’t understand what Old Man Winter wanted him to do. It’s kind of long, but my kids sat through it with no problem. It is possible to cut it down a bit, though, if that’s a concern.

“Where Is Bear?” which was, as usual, from Preschool Education.
(Sung to the tune of “Where Is Thumbkin?”)
Where is bear, where is bear?
Here I am.
Here I am.
How are you today, sir?
Very tired, thank you.
Go to sleep.
Go to sleep.
(Repeat with snake, bumblebee, badger, hedgehog, frog, raccoon, skunk, etc.)

“Hibernation Song.” I also found this one at Preschool Education.
(Sung to the tune of “Frere Jacques”)
Bear is sleeping, bear is sleeping
In a cave, in a cave.
I wonder when he’ll come out, I wonder when he’ll come out.
In the spring, in the spring.

Birds are flying, birds are flying
In the sky, in the sky.
I wonder when they’ll come back, I wonder when they’ll come back.
In the spring, in the spring.

Then, we read our second book: Footprints in the Snow by Mei Matsuoka

This is a cute book about a big but  not so bad wolf. I’d recommend it for older classes since the younger groups (2 and 3 year olds) didn’t seem to understand what happened at the end and that it was all a dream.

I wanted to kick off our penguin portion of the story time with “The Penguin Poem” which is a little riddle I found on CanTeach.
I am a bird you know quite well,
All dressed in black and white.
And even though I do have wings,
They’re not designed for flight.

I waddle, waddle, waddle
On my funny little feet.
Across the icy snow I go
To find a fishy treat.

The kids loved trying to guess the answer, but only a few of my classes got it right.

Then, we sang “I’m a Little Penguin” from CanTeach.
(To the tune of ‘I’m a Little Teapot”)
I’m a little penguin
Black and white
Stout and fluffy
What a sight.

I can’t fly,
But I love to swim
So I’ll waddle to the water,
And dive right in!

And, of course, we did the “Penguin Shuffle” (also from CanTeach).
Penguins shuffle, shuffle, shuffle to the
Left, left, left.
Penguins shuffle, shuffle, shuffle to the
Right, right, right.
Give a little wiggle.
Give a little hop.
Waddle round the iceberg.
Never want to stop!

Our last book was The Not So Perfect Penguin by Steve Smallman.

This was pa pretty cute book, and it’s well-known that I love penguins. So, it was obviously one of my top picks for this story time. The kids thought it was cute too, especially the inclusion of certain gaseous bodily functions.

Then, we sang our “Goodbye, Goodbye Song,” and it was time to go.

This was one of my favorite crafts from last semester! I saw a picture on Google, but there wasn’t a template or instructions, so I just kind of made it up as I went along. It was easy and fast for the kids. I just made separate templates for the back legs to attach a little cotton ball tail to, the front legs, the scarf, and the head. Then, we drew a mouth, folded the feet, glued the tail and nose balls on, glued the googly eyes,and chose our scarves from the variety of scrapbook paper patterns. Once we did all that, we glued the ends to the center “body” toilet paper tube, and we were done!
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Winter Story Time

As I said last week, I’m still trying to catch up, so here’s my winter story time from December.

We started with our usual opening song: “If You Want to Hear a Story.” Then, I introduced the theme since a lot of the kids might not remember or even know what snow is. We talked a bit about what winter looks like here to get them interested. Then, we read our first book: Winter Is the Warmest Season by Lauren Stringer

This is a really cute book about all the things that are warmer in winter (blankets, clothing, drinks, food, hugs, etc.), and it has some great illustrations that the kids enjoyed.

Then, we sang “Dance Like Snowflakes” from Preschool Education.
(To the tune of “Frere Jacques”)
Dance like snowflakes,
Dance like snowflakes
In the air
In the air.
Whirling, twirling snowflakes
Whirling, twirling snowflakes.
Here and there.
Here and there.

Then, we used a “Mitten Match Flannel” that a former youth facilitator made and left. She originally got the idea from Miss Mary Liberry.
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After that, we sang “Who Is Made of Snow?” which is also from Preschool Education.
(To the tune of Do Your Ears Hang Low?”)
Who is made of snow
When the temperature is low?
Who stands outside
When the ground is cold and white?
Who starts to melt
When the warm sunshine is felt?
Who is made of snow?

Of course, the kids loved shouting out the answer to the riddle!

Then, we read our next book: Snowmen At Night by Caralyn Buehner

This is a cute book, but, surprisingly, some of my classes found it a bit scary. So, I ended up cutting it from my younger classes and only using it for my 4 and 5 year olds.

Then, we stood up for our next action rhyme: “Five Little Snowmen Fat.” This is also from Preschool Education.

Five little snowmen fat (cheeks puffed out, arms open wide)
Each with a great big hat (place imaginary hat on head)
Out came the sun (point to the sky)
And m…e…l…t…e…d one! (melt whole body to the floor)
Oh, how sad was that? (wipe away tears)

I cannot stress enough how much the kids loved this action rhyme! They wanted everything to melt after this.

Then, we sang “Dance Around Our Snowman” from Preschool Education.
(Sung to the tune of “Mulberry Bush”)
This is the way we dance around,
Dance around,
Dance around.
This is the way we dance around
Our snowman in the morning.

Other verses:
skip around
twirl around
crawl around
hop around
gallop around
spin around
sneak around

Our last book was Hello, Snow by Hope Vestergaard

This was a pretty cute book, and the kids thought the crash was so silly!

Then, we just had to sing “Frosty the Snowman” before our “Goodbye, Goodbye Song.”

Our craft this week was a snowflake ornament made from popsicle sticks, cotton balls, and, yes, some glitter. You know it’s a special week when the glitter comes out! The kids and parents loved them!
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Thanksgiving Story Time

I’m still a bit behind on the end of last semester. It got so crazy that I didn’t get a chance to update this blog. So, here’s my Thanksgiving story time posted incredibly late.

As usual, we started with our opening song  — “If You Want to Hear a Story.” Then, we talked about our favorite foods that we eat at Thanksgiving.

Then, I sang a song I found at Preschool Education called, “I Am Thankful.”
(To the tune of “She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain”)
I am thankful for my doggy and my cat
And my teddy bear so furry and so fat.
I am thankful for soft kittens
And for nice warm woolen mittens
And my swing set and my baseball and my bat.

I am thankful for my crayons and my books
And the way our brand new baby smiles and looks.
I am thankful for potatoes
And for juicy ripe tomatoes
And for all the tasty food that mommy cooks.

I am thankful for my mommy and my dad.
They both love me when I am good or when I’m bad.
I am thankful for the flowers
And refreshing summer showers.
All the pretty things around me make me glad.

Then, we used a pre-made flannel that was left fat my branch and sang “We Eat Turkey” (which can also be found at Preschool Education).
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(To the tune of “Where Is Thumbkin?”)
We eat turkey, we eat turkey
Yum, yum, yum.
Yum, yum, yum.
Only on Thanksgiving, only on Thanksgiving.
I want some.
I want some.
(Repeat with corn, ham, pie, etc.)

One Is a Feast For Mouse by Judy Cox

This book is honestly a little long, but it’s so cute that the kids stayed with it throughout the story. I really liked it, and the kids couldn’t believe that a mouse could carry all that food!

Then, we sang “The First Thanksgiving Song” also from Preschool Education.
(Sung to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle”)
Pick the corn and pick the beans
Pick the squash and other greens
It is harvest time you see
Come and share a feast with me
Bring your family out to play
We’ll call this Thanksgiving Day.

Then, we sang the “Where Is the Family?” song that we sang the week before during our Family story time.

Thanksgiving for Emily Ann by Teresa Johnston

This is another cute book. I’d originally planned to read The Great Thanksgiving Escape by Mark Fearing, but because my classes are so young, I didn’t think they would get all the jokes. I love that book, though. This book was pretty cute, and the kids loved the illustrations.

Then, we sang the “Turkey Song” from Preschool Education.
(Sung to the tune of “I’m a Little Teapot”)
I’m a  little turkey
Short and fat
Thanksgiving Day is coming
Now what do you think of that?
I had better run as fast as I can”
Or your mommy will roast me in a pan!

Then, it was time to stand up and “Shake Your Sillies Out
before reading our last book: The Best Thanksgiving Ever by Teddy Slater

This was a cute twist on the Thanksgiving feast and had a few cute jokes in there that some of the parents got too. The kids seemed to like it and thought it was super silly that turkeys would celebrate Thanksgiving.

Then, we sang “Skidamarink” and our typical “Goodbye, Goodbye” song, and it was time to go.

For our craft this week, we made turkey hats! They were the cutest things ever, and they weren’t that hard for the kids. I found the idea here.
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Family Story Time

This week, we started off with “If You Want to Hear a Story,” our usual opening song. Then, I introduced the theme this week.

After that, we did the “My Family Fingerplay” from KiDiddles.
This is mama, kind and dear (point to thumb).
This is papa, standing near (point to index finger).
This is brother, see how tall (point to middle finger).
This is sister, not so tall (point to ring finger).
This is baby, sweet and small (point to pinky).
These are the family, one and all (wiggle all fingers).

After learning about who is in the family, we sang “Where Is the Family?”
(To the tune of “Where is Thumbkin?”)
Where is papa?
Where is papa?
Here I am.
Here I am.
How are you today, sir?
Very well, I thank you.
Run away.
Run away.
(Repeat with other fingers — mama, brother, sister, the baby, and the family.)

Then, we read our first book: Ninety-Three In My Family by Erica S. Perl

I love this book. The kids loved it too because of how silly it was. It’s kind of long, so I cut out the bit about going out as a family, but it still worked.

Then, we sang “My Special Friend” from The Music and Rhyme Station.
(To the tune of “BINGO”)
I have a very special friend and Mommy is her name-o.
M-O-M-M-Y, M-O-M-M-Y, M-O-M-M-Y,
And Mommy is her name-o!

There was also a flannel I used to illustrate the claps. It just had each letter cut out of flannel as well as a bunch of hands to put over each letter when it isn’t spoken. It’s a good way to keep everyone on the same page, especially with younger children.

Then, it was time for our second book: Daddies Do It Different by Alan Laurence Sitomer

This was a pretty cute book that compared Mommies and Daddies and how they do things like tuck someone into bed, go to the grocery store, make breakfast, etc. It’s pretty cute, and there are a few jokes that the parents will appreciate too.

After that, we had to include our furry family members! So, we sang “How Much Is That Doggie In the Window?”

Our last book was: Just Like My Mom/Dad by Jorge Ramos

This is a nice book to teach us how we’re all alike in our family, and there is a bilingual component that you could use for your story time.

Then, we sang “Skidamarink” and our “Goodbye, Goodbye Song,” and that was it. We did not make a craft this week.


Trains Story Time

As usual this week, we began with “If You Want to Hear a Story,” and I introduced the theme this week.

Then, we sang the song “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.”

After that, we read our first book: Steam Train, Dream Train by Sherri Duskey Rinker.

This book is a little long, so I had to trim it a bit to maintain interest, but the animals and toys on board the train kept the kids pretty interested throughout the book, especially once we got to the ice cream car!

Then, we sang the “This Little Train Flannel” song from SurLaLune Storytime.
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(Sung to the tune of “This Old Man”)

This little train, painted black
It comes chugging down the track
With a “Choo-choo; Toot-toot”
Hear the whistle blow
This little train goes chugging home.

This little car painted blue
It has seats for me and you
With a “Choo-choo; Toot-toot”
Hear the whistle blow
This little train goes chugging home.

This little car painted yellow
It shimmies and shakes like a bowl of jello
With a “Choo-choo; Toot-toot”
Hear the whistle blow
This little train goes chugging home.

This little car, painted green
It’s the fanciest car you’ve seen,
With a “Choo-choo; Toot-toot”
Hear the whistle blow
This little train goes chugging home.

This little car; it is grey
It takes you places far away
With a “Choo-choo; Toot-toot”
Hear the whistle blow
This little train goes chugging home.

This caboose; it is red
It will take you home to bed
With a “Choo-choo; Toot-toot”
Hear the whistle blow
This little train goes chugging home.

Then, we sang ” Train” from Preschool Education:
(To the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”)
Ride, ride, ride the train
Quickly down the track
Clickety clack, Clickety clack
When will you be back?

Our next book was And the Train Goes by William Bee.

This book had a bit of audience participation with all the repetitive noises the train makes, but it does drag a bit at the end. I had a bit of trouble finding good train books for the age groups I work with. I was surprised there wasn’t more of a selection.

Then, we sang “Down By the Station” and “Little Red Caboose.”

We did the “Little Choo-Choo Train” rhyme from Bklyn Public Library.
Here’s a little choo-choo train
Chugging down the track (move arms in a “chugging” motion
Now it’s going forward (lean forward)
Now it’s going back (lean back)
Now the whistle blows
Whoo! Whoooo!
What a lot of noise it makes (cover ears)
Everywhere it goes.

Our last book was The Goodnight Train by June Sobel.

This book was pretty cute, and the kids got a kick out of the weird train cars (especially the bathtub). They also liked finding the hidden pictures in the smoke and clouds. It was the biggest hit out of all the books at this story time.

Then, we sang our “Goodbye, Goodbye Song,” and that was it. We didn’t do a craft this week.

Dinosaurs Story Time

Then, This week started off like all the others with our opening song: “If You Want to Hear a Story.”

Then, we did the Dinosaur, Dinosaur Rhyme from Kidsparkz.
“Dinosaurs, dinosaurs, stomped around.
Dinosaurs, dinosaurs, shook the ground.
Dinosaurs, dinosaurs, some gave fear.
Dinosaurs, dinosaurs,  we wish you were here.”

Then, we read The Super Hungry Dinosaur by Martin Waddell.

This is a cute story that the kids seemed to enjoy, especially when the dinosaur finally got some spaghetti.

After that, I performed a Draw and Tell Story called “William and Warble” from Draw-And-Tell: Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking, Viewing, Shaping by Richard Thompson.

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This is really a cute story, but I’m not sure if it was my poor drawing skills or an issue with the way I retold the story. The kids didn’t get that it was a dinosaur. Maybe I should have taken a few art classes before attempting this one!

Then, we read Shape by Shape by Suse Macdonald.

This was a cute story that really challenged the kids with harder shapes to identify than just your usual triangle, square, and circle. Almost all of them recognized the creature at the end by about the fifth page or so.

After that, we did the Pretend Dinosaur Action Rhyme from The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire’s Website:
Spread your arms, way out wide
Fly like Pteranodon, soar and glide
Bend to the floor, head down low
Move like Stegosaurus, long ago
Reach up tall, try to be
As tall as Apatosaurus eating on a tree
Using your claws, grumble and growl
Just like Tyrannosaurus on the prowl

Then, we did a Five Little Dinosaurs Flannel, also from The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire’s Website:
Five enormous dinosaurs
Letting out a roar–
One went away, and
Then there were four.
Four enormous dinosaurs
Crashing down a tree–
One went away, and
Then there were three.
Three enormous dinosaurs
Eating tiger stew–
One went away, and
Then there were two.
Two enormous dinosaurs
Trying to run–
One ran away, and then there was one.
One enormous dinosaur,
Afraid to be a hero–
He went away, and
Then there was zero.

Then, we sang “I’m a Mean Old Dinosaur” which was also from The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire’s Website (they have a lot of great dinosaur ideas!):
(To the tune of “I’m a Little Teapot”)
I’m a mean old dinosaur.
(Make a mean face)
Big and Tall
(Gesture hands big and tall )
Here is my tail, here is my claw.
(Gesture hands behind your back for tail and make claw hands)
When I get all hungry
(rub your tummy)
I just growl
(kids grrroooowwwlll)
Look out kids I’m on the prowl.
(Teacher walks around students acting like a dinosaur)

Then, we sang our “Goodbye, Goodbye Song,” and that was it.

For our craft this week, we made a paper dinosaur out of the letter “D.” I got the idea from Little Page Turners.

School Story Time

Since school started here last week, I thought it would be fun to do a school themed story time for those kids who just started. So, we started with my usual opening song “If You Want to Hear a Story.”

Then, we read our first book:  Foxy by Emma Dodd.

The kids really liked the silly magic gone wrong in this story. I’d highly recommend it.

After that, we had to have a round of “The Wheels on the Bus” as well as another song I found on Preschool Education: “I Like to Go To School.”

I Like To Go To School
(To the tune of “The Farmer In the Dell”)
I like to go to school.
I like to go to school.
I like to go to school.

I like to sing new songs.
I like to sing new songs.
I like to sing new songs.

I like to play with friends.
I like to play with friends.
I like to play with friends.

Then, I decided to include an appropriately themed parody of There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. This one was called There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Books by Lucille Colandro.

We didn’t just read this book, however. We brought out my friend “Miss Edna” who was made by Alma’s Designs.

I bought this doll a few days ago because I’d seen it used by a teacher about a year ago, and I fell in love. I knew that it would pay off with the number of parody books about the Old Lady (i.e. There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat, There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell, There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Shell, There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Chick, There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Rose,  There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover, There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves, There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow, etc.). It’s only about $25, and the kids loved her! They kept asking what else was in her tummy!

Instead of trying to find props for each parody book that would fit inside her mouth, I decided it would be easier and cheaper to print off clip art, laminate it, and use it to tell the story. For my smaller story times, the children loved being able to feed her themselves.

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Then, we jumped right into our next book:  Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney.

This book was just okay. This kids weren’t crazy about it like they were for Foxy, but the Llama Llama books read really well with the verse.

Then, we stood up and had time to “Shake Your Sillies Out.” I also sang the “Button Factory” song for some of my story times.

Button Factory
Hello, my name is Joe,
And I work in a button factory.
I have a wife, a dog, and a family.
One day, my boss came up to me and said, “Hey, Joe!
Are you busy?” I said, “No.”
He said, “Push this button with your right hand.”

(Repeat with left hand, left foot, right knee, forehead, tongue, or whatever else you’d like.)

Then, we sat back down for our last book:  How Does a Dinosaur Go to School? by Jane Yolen.

I didn’t know if they kids would like this book, but I didn’t find a ton of options for this particular theme. So, I gave it a try, and they loved it! After every page, I got a resounding, “Noooo!” from the kids when asking about the dinosaur’s behavior. They thought it was so crazy for a dinosaur to go to school with kids! Overall, they were pretty tickled by this book.

Then, we sang the “Skinnamarink” song and my “Goodbye, Goodbye” song and called it a day. There wasn’t a craft this week because I couldn’t find one that I thought would be easy enough to do, so I just printed off some school-themed coloring sheets.

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