Bunnies Storytime!

Today we had seven friends join us. It was a cold and rainy morning so our daycare kids didn’t walk down. I think there might be a virus making its rounds too so we had less kids.

Our theme today was bunnies. We read two books about bunnies, did four finger plays about bunnies and then we made our own bunnies to take home. Our fingerprint letter today was “B” and we made fingerprint bunnies too!

As kids came in today, I had them come up to the circulation desk and we painted their fingers gray and did their fingerprint letter b books right away. Then we had them paint their toilet paper rolls and two skinny popsicle sticks white so they could be drying while we did the rest of our storytime. First we did our good morning and welcome song. Then we did two bunny fingerplays that I found on Storytime Katie. This is the link: https://storytimekatie.com/2011/04/25/bunny-storytime/

Fingerplay: “Here is a Bunny”

Here is a bunny with ears so funny (hold up index and middle fingers for ears)

And here is his hole in the ground (make a circle with the other hand)

At the first sound he hears, he pricks up his ears (extend two fingers)

And hops in the hole in the ground (fingers jump into the hole)

Credit: Early Literature 

Fingerplay: “Little Bunny”

There was a little bunny who lived in the wood. (hold up two fingers)

He wiggled his ears as a good bunny should (wiggle on head)

He hopped by a squirrel. He hopped by a tree. (hop, hop)

He hopped by a duck. And he hopped by me. (hop, hop over fist)

He stared at the squirrel. He stared at the tree. (stare, stare)

He stared at the duck. But he made faces at me! (stare, make faces)

Credit: Texas State Library 

The first book we read today was “Hungry Bunny” by Claudia Rueda. This is a fun and interactive book that the kids really enjoyed. My preschooler loves it so much that she requested it for Christmas.

Image result for hungry bunny rueda

I absolutely love this book and I was excited to have one of our friends check out our other book by Claudia Rueda called “Bunny Slopes”. The kids really like the interactive structure of the book and it really engages their attention. I’m a huge fan!

Then we did two more fingerplays. The first one comes from “Sunflower Storytime” and you can find them here: https://sunflowerstorytime.com/2011/04/20/hop-like-a-bunny/

FINGERPLAY:  Here is a Nest

Here is a nest for robin (cup hands)

Here is a hive for a bee (close fists)

Here is a hole for a bunny (make circle with both hands)

And here is a house for me (make roof with hands)

And then our last fingerplay/action stuff to get out the wiggles of the day also comes from Storytime Katie and I linked her blog up above for what she does with bunny storytime.

Action Rhyme: “Little Rabbit”

I saw a little rabbit go hop, hop, hop

I told that little rabbit to stop, stop, stop

He wiggled his ears and wrinkled his nose

And wiggled, wiggled, wiggled right down to his toes.

Credit: Modified from Preschool Education Music & Songs

Then our last book of the day was “Wolfie the Bunny” by Ame Dyckman. I adore this book!

Image result for wolfie the bunny

The kids really enjoyed the repetition of how Dot thought her baby brother was going to eat them all and they loved the ending. I highly recommend this book. It’s sweet, funny and deals with sibling disagreements as well.

For our craft, we painted toilet paper rolls (that had been donated to us) white and then let them dry. We also painted two popsicle sticks white for the bunny ears. Once we were done with storytime, we glued white cardstock paper that I cut out into teeth, added googly eyes and then glued on pop-poms for the nose and tails. Super cute, easy and cheap. Win win win with our tiny storytime budget.

I think they turned out super cute!

Next week, our letter of the week will be C. We’re going to read two funny books we have about being courteous to others. We’re also going to make cats with our fingerprint books.

Here is the schedule for next month:

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Thanksgiving Storytime!

Today we had sixteen friends join us for storytime! I’m so thankful to see our story time numbers growing. It really helps our little library continue to thrive.

Thanksgiving is next week so, of course, we had to talk about turkeys! We made our own turkeys today. I had them paint a piece of cardstock to make feathers. Then we glued brown construction paper, orange feet, orange beaks and sticky googly eyes to the cardstock. They also added their own brightly colored feathers. I got this great idea from https://stayathomeeducator.com/turkey-art-acivity/

 

Then we read a poem, “Funny Turkey”, https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-omdZs52971U/UKfPfV0G0kI/AAAAAAAABuE/hdNGfDlL6ow/s1600/turkey+poems.png

https://literacyminute.blogspot.com/2012/11/turkey-poems-for-thanksgiving.html

Next we read “Thanksgiving is for Giving Thanks” by Julie Markes. It has beautiful illustrations and gets the kids thinking about being thankful.

Then we did a super cute fingerplay that I found on https://thekindergartensmorgasboard.com/2017/11/thanksgiving-research-project.html. 

https://1ab7t83ossu73um951g2vaw3-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/five-little-turkeys-poems.001.jpg

 

We finished off with reading “Thanksgiving if for Giving Thanks” by Margaret Sutherland. I had the kids raise their hands for everything they were thankful for as we read each page.

Then I told them how thankful I am for them visiting me at the library every week. I’m also very thankful for our moms and caregivers that helped clean up our chaotic mess of a craft this morning. With 16 kiddos coming every week, we’ve got lots more space to corral and people to check up on. I couldn’t have done it without their help this morning! Seriously. They gathered up all the paintbrushes and the newspapers and wiped down the tables. They helped pick up the storytime cushions and put them away. They helped every kid get their turkey colored and their fingerprint apples made.

Speaking of fingerprint apples, we’re going to start doing alphabet books too. Every week, we’ll focus on one letter. Today was the first day, so we started with A. Our fingerprints turned into red, delicious apples!

           

Our red fingerprint dots will get a stem and a leaf added to them, once they’re dry.

Several years ago, I co-owned a preschool and this is something that we made every year for our parents. I remember crying when my oldest daughter’s book came home at the end of the school year. Her precious, tiny fingerprints are forever preserved in that little book.

Here is page one of our fingerprint books. I plan on doing “B” in two weeks on the back sides of these cards. I haven’t decided if we’re doing bees or balloons. Our theme is bunnies so it might even work at bunnies. We’ll see. 🙂

Cats Storytime!

I’m so excited to tell you that we had seventeen friends join us today for storytime! 17!!!! Our little children’s room was crowded!

Our theme today was cats and our color of the week was white. I had planned on reading, “It Looked Like Spilt Milk” but our big books haven’t arrived yet so I’ll read that one during “M” week. But, because it didn’t arrive, I was scrambling to find a new craft for this week. White themed crafts were a lot harder craft to come up with on the fly than I thought they would be.

We started with our good morning welcome rhyme, “Hands Go Up”. Our regulars are always excited to show the new kids our routine. Then we did two fingerplays. We started with “5 Little Kittens”. I found it on one of my favorite librarian bloggers, Storytime Katie. Here’s the link to her page: https://storytimekatie.com/2013/01/28/cats/

Fingerplay: “Little Kittens”
Five little kittens (hand in a fist)
All black and white
Sleeping very soundly
All through the night
Meow, meow, meow, meow, meow (raise each finger individually)
It’s time to get up now.
Credit: Pierce County Library

 

Then we did “Where is Big Cat?” to the tune of “Where is Thumbkin?” I found it on a website I just found. I love her website! It’s got lots of great ideas on there. https://www.adventuresofabookworm.com/2015/03/18/storytime-kitten/

Where Is Big Cat (Tune: Where is Thumbkin)

Before starting I introduce the kids to Big Cat (my thumbs) and Little Cat (my pinkies). The cats give a little meow and the kids show me their Big Cat and Little Cat.

Where is big cat, where i big cat (hide thumbs)
Here I am, here I am (bring thumbs out)
How are you today cat (wiggle one thumb)
Very well I thank you (wiggle other thumb)
Meow, meow, meow (put thumbs behind back)
Meow, meow, meow

(repeat with little cat)

Then we read “Big Cat, Little Cat” by Elisha Cooper. It’s a great book about friendship and showing the new guy around to make him feel more comfortable. It also touches on death briefly. I know the moms caught it but most of the kids didn’t. I did have one little girl in the front row tear up when the older cat “didn’t come back anymore”. So I tried to keep moving because the story ends happily. Great read for this age group. This book is also a Caldecott Honor book!

Next, we read a folder story. I really love these! This one came from Dr. Jean. You can find her here: http://www.drjean.org/html/monthly_act/act_2009/02_Feb/pg16.html

 

 

Folder stories are great and the kids love them. I modified our story to have a white cat for our color theme. It’s really easy and the kids liked to snap along with the words.

Our last story today was a classic. “Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes” by Eric Litwin and James Dean. We had two kids that knew this book and were reading along with me (LOVED this!!!!). The other kids picked it up pretty quickly and started singing Pete’s song with us. Hands down, my favorite storytime book that we’ve read this fall. When the kids can pick it up that quickly, you know you’ve got a winner.

For our craft, I said I was struggling. Everything I found involved a lot of cutting, which I didn’t have time for. I also didn’t want to do something difficult. So, I printed off cat outlines on yellow paper because both of our covers today were yellow.

Then I handed out white stickers and told the kids to make their yellow cats turn white. We didn’t have enough white stickers (they are from the 8th grade level accelerated reader stickers that NEVER get used!) because we had 17 kids there and I was planning on around 9 so we just had to make do with yellowish white cats.

I tried to keep it simple because they are toddlers and preschoolers. This craft helped them with hand eye coordination and attention to detail because those white stickers are hard to see on those white sheets.

I also have a three year old who loves to put stickers on everything she sees so I figured this crowd would also enjoy it.

It gave the moms and caregivers a chance to chat too.

Next week, we start our alphabet storytime themes. I’m excited!

Bedtime Storytime!

This morning we had ten friends join us! I put our November calendar in our trunk-or-treat bags that I handed out last night and that brought in a lot more people. It was so worth the time to do that!

Today we talked about the different things we do to get ready for bed. Then we read “Penguin and Tiny Shrimp Don’t Do Bedtime” by Cate Berry.  It is a delightful book about not wanting to go go bed and all the different things that they wanted to do instead. On every page, I asked the kids, “Is that what you do before bed?” and they would giggle and say, “No!”

Then we did a fingerplay that I adapted from Library Village. She had adapted it to say “llama” for her storytime book. You can visit her website here: http://libraryvillage.blogspot.com/2013/11/toddler-story-time-shh-its-bedtime-html

Fingerplay: Tired Little Penguins

(count on fingers)

Said this little penguin “I’m as tired as can be”

Said this little penguin “My eyes can hardly see”

Said this little penguin “I’d like to go to bed”

Said this little penguin “I want to rest my head”

Said this little penguin “Come climb the stairs with me”

1, 2, 3, 4, 5 they tiptoed

(tiptoe fingers)

Just as still as still could be

Then we sang, “Five in the Bed” and did the actions with it.

Laurie Berkner does a great, short video on this song that we did. I found it on Youtube. She is a fantastic children’s musician!

Five in the Bed [tune: “Ten in the Bed” ]
There were five in the bed and the little one said,

“Roll over, roll over.”
So they all rolled over and one fell out, there were four in the bed,
and the little one said, “Roll over, roll over.”
So they all rolled over and one fell out, there were three in the bed,
and the little one said, “Roll over, roll over.”
So they all rolled over and one fell out, there were two in the bed,
and the little one said, “Roll over, roll over.”
So they all rolled over and one fell out, there were one in the bed,
and the little one said, “I got the whole bed to myself, I got the whole big bed to myself,
I got the whole bed to myself, I’ve got the whole bed to myself.”

This song came from one of my favorite librarians, Storytime Katie. You can see some of the great stuff she’s done here:

https://storytimekatie.com/2010/09/23/bedtime/

Then we talked about our color of the week: purple! It’s one of my very favorite colors but I didn’t have any pajamas that were purple so I had to wear my Halloween costume from last night because it’s purple. And because unicorns.

Image result for unicorns because

Our craft for today was SUPER easy! I put white cardstock into gallon sized bags that I found at Dollar General. Then I put a spot of blue and a spot of red paint on the cardstock. Then (after making sure the bags were totally closed), we used our fingers to spread the paint around together to make….purple!

I loved watching how they moved the paint around inside. Some got purple paint made really quickly and some took a bit longer. One starting writing her name and then all the other preschoolers wanted to “write” their name in the paint. I sent them home with the baggies still on them. I’m leaving it up to guardians to decide if they want to pull the paper out to dry to hang on the fridge or if the experience of making the purple was enough and then toss the baggie mess!

Then we came back to our circle area and read “Goodnight Everyone” by Chris Haughton.

I love this book! It’s a super cute book that has fun details like different sized pages. It’s about all the animals that want to go to sleep but little bear doesn’t. We did actions with this one too, like snoring, sighing and stretching. I really fell in love with this author and will definitely use his books for more storytime books!

Then we did Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear (a classic!)

Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn around

Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch the ground

Teddy bear, teddy bear, reach up high

Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch the sky

Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch your knees

Teddy bear, teddy bear, sit down please

Next we did a fingerplay called Dance Your Fingers

“Dance Your Fingers”

Dance your fingers up,

Dance your fingers down,

Dance your fingers side to side,

Then dance them all around.

Dance them on your shoulders,

Dance them on your head,

Dance them on your knees,

Then put them straight to bed.

And I found it on another library’s blog called: Johnson County Library.

You can find them here:

https://www.jocolibrary.org/kids/storytime-blog/march-17-bedtime

Then we finished up with our Tickle the Clouds goodbye rhyme. Next week is our last week for colors and then we’ll switch gears and get started with our alphabet. I’m pretty excited to see how our November schedule works out. Here’s our calendar:

Halloween Trunk-or-Treat

Last night was our annual trunk-or-treat that our town puts on. I was worried that we wouldn’t have a good turnout this year because our boys made it to the football playoffs and we knew lots of people were going to be out of town.

Last year, I made up 150 bags because it was our first year doing the trunk-or-treat. In previous years, it was held at the school and everyone just walked through the school. This was great because even if the weather was bad, the kids could still get their treats. However, it switched over last year and a lot of us didn’t know how many kids to buy treat for. We decided that 150 would be enough.

Our theme was pirates so I decorated my mini-van to look like a pirate ship and dressed up as a pirate. It was an hour long trunk-or-treat and I was out of bags after the first half hour! I had included our November storytime schedule, a bookmark that has all our library information on it, some cheap candy and some toys from Oriental Trading Company. It was a lot of work ahead of time and we ended up running out so quickly that I knew I had to switch things up this year.

This year, we decided to do 300 bags. Again, we weren’t sure how many to allow for because our boys and their families were at football playoffs. We actually had a great turnout and I handed out 256 bags! Inside the bags this year, I put our November calendar, our library bookmarks and a bag of jellybeans. The first lucky 100 also got a glow-in-the-dark bookmark!

For our theme this year, I found a unicorn onesie and wore that. I decorated my mini-van with rainbows and clouds. It snowed on Halloween last year and was very cold so I dressed for warmth this year!

I’ve started thinking about next years Halloween. I wanted to just hand out the candy but we have enough bags left over to stuff them with library information and candy for one more year. I’m also starting to think about our theme for next year. Stay tuned! 🙂

I’m also really glad that I did decide to stuff the bags again this year because we had ten kids join us today for storytime! We usually only have around four and those four weren’t able to attend today. Both ladies who brought kids over said it was because of the storytime newsletter that I had included in the trunk-or-treat bags! One mom said her daughter wanted to come but she didn’t know when the storytime was. That tells me that I need to put more information in our local paper and in our front window. I’ve got to get the word out! Our other lady does daycare and brought her kids over to join us. I’m so glad they all came!

 

Halloween Storytime!

This morning we had four friends join us for a Halloween themed storytime.

Our color of the week is black.

We read “Sheep Trick or Treat” by Nancy Shaw.

We read a cute little poem about pumpkins and then acted out the actions.

Then we did this fun cutout story that I found on Speech Sprouts website. You’re supposed to have the kids cut out the parts as they listen to the story but that’s geared more towards 1st/2nd grade level and I didn’t want our preschool/toddlers cutting quite yet. They just listened as I read the story and then cut out the pieces. They loved seeing the jack-o-lantern face when I opened it up. You can find the link to this story here: https://www.speechsproutstherapy.com/2015/10/try-this-easy-story-telling-craft-for.html

 

Next we read a classic book by Eve Bunting called, “In the Haunted House” which the kids really enjoyed.It was spooky without being too scary.

Then we read one more pumpkin poem.

Here is our craft for this week. We actually painted these first so that they could start drying while we were reading stories. Can you spot the candy-corn hand-prints? Some kids really enjoyed getting their hands painted but we had one kiddo that didn’t like to be “dirty” so she was reluctant to get her hand painted. It’s something to think about and maybe I should have had a backup craft in mind for her to complete.

Farm Animals Storytime!

This week at storytime, we read books about farm animals. Our color of the week is blue. We only had two friends join us this morning but they both had a blast.

We started off by playing with all the fun new toys we have in the children’s room.

Then we sang our good morning song followed by the “Animals Say Good Morning” song.

It’s a super cute one that I found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYp0RlHdjNU

These ladies from Jbrary are amazing and I go to them for storytime ideas all the time!

Then we did “farm animal” brain breaks where each kiddo picked an animal and then they

had to act out that animals actions by moving around the children’s room.

Then we read the classic book by Alice Schertle, “Little Blue Truck”.

 

Next we read a “file folder” story. I cut out the truck and then placed colored construction paper inside the folder. As you read the story, take out the sheet of paper and continue. I found it here: https://thelibraryann.wordpress.com/tag/old-mcdonald/

 

 

Then we read, “Blue Chicken” by Deborah Freedman.

Then it was time to “paint” our own little blue trucks. We used toy cars and drove them through blue paint. Can you see the trucks in these pictures? It was a really simple craft and they really enjoyed painting in this unconventional way.

Before we said goodbye, we read parts of “I Wonder Why: Farm Animals” by Karen Wallace and Nicki Palin.

Next week, we will celebrate Halloween and our color of the week will be black. Then on Halloween, look for us at the annual trunk-or-treat party. We have goodie bags for everyone that comes to see us!

 

Friendship Story Time!

This week at toddler/preschool story time, we read books about friendship. Our color of the week is green.

First, we read the book, “Grandpa Green” by Lane Smith.

It’s a beautifully illustrated book that’s told from the great-grandson’s perspective of his great-grandfathers life. His great-grandfather loves to create topiary’s and that’s how the story is told; through various topiary’s. The sad note in this book that the parents picked up on but the kiddos didn’t, is that his great-grandfather has Alzheimer’s Disease and is starting to forget things.

To celebrate the color green and to tie in with the book, we made paper doll elephants and used our dot-dot markers to color them green. I really think the kids enjoyed this craft. My problem is that we had six kiddos here but only two markers.

In hindsight, I should have brought my dot-dots from home and asked a story time mom to bring in hers as well. Ah well. This gave the moms a chance to talk, the kids a chance to learn how to take turns and to play with one another and me a chance to check out books for our story time friends.

We then sang, “If You’re Friendly and You Know It” which I think the kids enjoyed. I was the only one singing so that was terrifying but it worked out well because the kids had big grins on their faces.

If You’re Friendly… added 1-26-00 Original Author Unknown

Sung to: “If you’re happy and you know it”

If you’re friendly and you know it,
clap your hands.
If you’re friendly and you know it,
clap your hands.

If you’re friendly and you know it,
and you really want to show it,
If you’re friendly and you know it,
clap your hands!

I know that type is tiny but I’m not sure how to make it bigger. Please bear with me! I’m learning more every time I blog! Here’s the website that I found a variation of the song we did today:

http://www.preschooleducation.com/sfriend.shtml

 

Our second book of the day was “Pine and Boof” by Ross Burach.

This is a great book about friendship and has lots of silly giggles thrown in. The kiddos were a bit distracted because we had that down time in between with the craft. I won’t put the craft in the middle of story time again! Either at the very beginning or at the end. I’ve learned my lesson! But, I got loud with this book to help draw their attention back and that seemed to work well.

Finally, we did a finger-play called “Two Little Friends”. At my conference last week, one of my classes was about diversity in story time and tips on how we can make everyone feel welcome while adding some cool things to our kiddos worlds.

 

We did this finger play using American Sign Language. First, we counted to ten using ASL and then we did this finger play:

Two little friends are better than one,

And three little friends are better than two

And four are much better still

Just think what four little friends can do!

Here our friends are painting their elephants.

My children’s school was selling this old kindergarten stand because they didn’t need it anymore. I picked it up for $5 you guys! I was super excited. It’s our new story time corner toy shop. The kids really like it because it’s their size and all of our fun toys fit perfectly on it’s shelves. We had to drag them away for story time!

 

Author Spotlight: Shel Silverstein

This week at preschool/toddler story time, we read “The Little Yellow Leaf” by Carin Berger because our color of the week is yellow! It’s a great tale about a leaf that’s just not ready to let go of the tree until she makes a friend. The kids really liked this book.

 

Our craft today was painting a yellow leaf. This was our messiest craft so far this school year. I took contact paper and cut it out into the shape of leaves. Then the kids painted the paper and the moms and I pulled off the contact leaves to leave a white space where the leaf had been. Here’s our mixed results: This is before we pulled the contact paper leaves off. Some kids just wanted to paint the leaf and some wanted to paint all over.

Here is when the contact paper leaf was pulled off. It’s not too bad.

This is the sample one I did, using a permanent paint.

Image result for shel silverstein*Poetry Foundation*

For our author spotlight, we read books by Shel Silverstein because his birthday was on Tuesday. I love his books and poems. I read about four poems that the kids really seemed to enjoy. I think some of the humor and irony was too mature for the kids though so I probably won’t do Silverstein with this age group again.

I also read “The Giving Tree” by Shel Siverstein to the kids because it’s one of my favorite books! However, I had to paraphrase it because it’s too long and the pictures aren’t as engaging for this age group. I had worried that might be the case but I wanted to try it out just to make sure. I had one little girl that was really listening well but the other kids got really restless.

Here’s our moms and daycare providers helping the kids with their paintings:

We also did the song, “What Color Are You Wearing?” and each kid got a chance to stand up. I found it on this great website called Teaching Mama. Here’s her link:

10 Preschool Songs About Colors

We had some kids that popped up every time, regardless of what color they were wearing. We had kids that didn’t want to pop up at all. We had kids that listened really well and only popped up when it was their color. I was happy with all of it! I thought it was reinforcing some color names, working on listening skills and helping them learn one another’s names. All great skills to work on so I was thrilled.

What Color Are You Wearing Song

 

 

Autumn Story Time!

This week, we read books all about autumn. We read “Leaf Man” by Lois Ehlert and “In the Middle of Fall” by Kevin Henkes. We read poems about leaves and played with some during our story time. The color of the week is orange.

I posted the few books we have that either have an orange cover or are about autumn. That’s a category that we definitely need to beef up for next year.

 

We even tried out the new flannel board that I just finished yesterday. I found this website SUPER helpful in creating our flannel boards.

DIY: Make your own flannel board for preschool

The kids really had a blast looking for the blue bird and naming the different colors of trees.

I found this website called “Sunflower Story Time” and that’s where I got today’s ideas for our autumn themed story time. You can click here to see more fun ideas for autumn:

Fall Leaves Fall

Our craft today was fingerprint trees.

 

 

Next week, we’ll read books about leaves and talk about Shel Silverstein because his birthday is next Tuesday. Our color of the week will be yellow.

 

On a side note, this years story time is really a lot more fun and less stressful than last years. I feel like the kids are learning more things and the ability level is spot on for what they can do. I’m so glad I changed how I was running story time. Best.decision.ever!

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