Hippos And Elephants Babytime

Our babytimes just keep getting bigger and bigger! Today we had approximately 50 babies and their caregivers.  In this case it was definitely the more the merrier as we shared songs, stories, and rhymes about hippos and elephants.      

Opening

Weekly Opening Song — Hello Babies
We sang this twice, with signs for hello, babies, time, and say.  Watch Jbrary’s Hello Friends video which  inspired this baby spinoff:

 

Rainbow Songs Oh Baby!

Weekly Opening Lift — Flying Babies from Rainbow Songs Oh Baby! CD
[to the tune of I’m a Little Teapot]

I’m a little baby and I fly high [lift baby and swing through the air]
Here is the ground [lower baby to ground]
And here is the sky [lift baby high in the air]
Like a little bird or a butterfly [lift baby and swing through the air]
I’m a baby and I fly high!

This song was recommended by a co-worker and it’s like babytime gold!  Caregivers and babies are instantly engaged and lots of giggling typically ensues.

 

Hippo Puppet

Weekly Name Song with Puppet — Higgeldy Piggedly Bumblebee
Higgeldy piggedly bumblebee
Won’t you say your name for me? [group sings these two lines all together]
[Insert name of baby here] [caregiver sings name of baby]
[Insert name of baby here] [group repeats name of baby]

We go around the circle, me with a puppet (this time a gorgeous hippo puppet from our library system’s bookable props stash) and with each caregiver singing the name of their baby.  Great way to warm up singing voices and getting some one on one time with each child.

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Silly Monsters Family Storytime

Hmmm…my last post was in October 2013.  Apparently, I decided to take some time off from blogging!  I’ll work on filling in the blanks. In the meantime, here’s our latest storytime, based on a silly monsters theme.

 Yeti Long   Don't Squish the Sasquatch Redecker  If you're a monster emberley 

Opening

Weekly Opening Song (with signs) – Hello Friends
Hello friends,
Hello friends,
Hello friends,
It’s time to say hello!

I keep thinking I want to switch up the opening song, but this one from  Jbrary is such a hit that I just can’t do it.

Weekly Opening Song – Bread and Butter
[slap hands on knees to the beat]
Bread and butter, marmalade and jam,
Can you say hello as slowly as you can?
Hello [very slow]

We repeated this with slowly, quickly, high, low, and ended with loud and quiet, so quiet, in fact, that it’s always the perfect time to read a book after it’s done.

Book 1 — Yeti, Turn Out the Light! by Greg Long
Big thanks to our new Library Assistant for choosing this one!  We talked a bit about yetis and other strange creatures before beginning the book and I asked them to pay special attention because I’d be quizzing them about what they saw in the story. The kids had a great time looking at the shadows and trying to figure out what they could be.

YetiTurnOuttheLight Inside

Game — What Do You Remember From the Book?
I asked the kids if they could remember what animals made the three shadows that scared the yeti (bunnies, deer + birds, and owl + bear), with a bonus question on what the yeti was eating at the start of the book (spaghetti!).  The animals were used as a jumping off point for the next three rhymes.  I’ve been doing more of these “Let’s talk about the book we just read!” activities in storytime and they seem to be going over well.  Oh, and they’re fun🙂

Fingerplay — Here is a Bunny With Ears So Funny
Here is a bunny with ears so funny (hold up two fingers, like rabbit ears)
And here is a hole in the ground (put other hand on hip, making a circle)
At the first sound he hears
He perks up his ears
And hops through the hole in the ground! (jump your fingers over and through the circle you’ve made)

We did this a few times. The younger kids had a hard time getting all their hands in the right spots but most caught on after a few tries.

folkmanis_cardinal_finger_puppet_2743 folkmanis_stellar jay_finger_puppet

Fingerplay — Two Little Birdies Sitting on a Hill
Two little birdies sitting on a hill (use pointer fingers, bounce up and down)
One named Jack
And the other named Jill (bring pointer up higher than other finger when each name is spoken)
Fly away Jack (put finger behind back)
Fly away Jill (put finger behind back)
Come back Jack (bring finger back)
Come back Jill (bring finger back)

Repeat with:

Two little birdies sitting on a cloud
One named Soft
And the other named Loud…

Two little birdies sitting in a row
One flew fast
One flew slow…

Inspired from the birds in the deer’s antlers in Yeti Turn Out the Light, this fingerplay is a rendition of the classic “Two Little Dickie Birds.” I used these great Folkmanis cardinal and stellar jay finger puppets  and the kids used their fingers.  I don’t know why I haven’t used these in storytme before.  Everyone loved them!

Movement/Transition — Little Owls, Little Owls, Turn Around
Little owl, little owl, turn around
Little owl, little owl, touch the ground
Little owl, little owl, reach up high
Little owl, little owl, touch the sky
Little owl, little owl, find your nose
Little owl, little owl, touch your toes
Little owl, little owl, touch your knees
Little owl, little owl, sit down please

Inspired by the owl and bear in Yeti, Turn Out the Lights, this is a take on the classic “Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear Turn Around.”

Go Away Big Green Monster storytelling kit from Lakeshore Learning

Puppet/Prop Retelling — Go Away Big  Green Monster by Emberley
Someone (awesome!) in our library system has made a homemade version of the Go Away Big Green Monster storytelling kit from Lakeshore Learning (pictured above).  I used it for an awkward retelling of the story, inviting the kids and caregivers to chime in with “Go Away!”  I really should have practiced some more, but I think the only one who really cared about the fumbling was me.

Book 2 — Don’t Squish the Sasquatch by Redecker
The kids and caregivers chimed in with “Don’t Squish the Sasquatch!” throughout.  There was some concern when the bus exploded, but after reassurrances that everything was going to work out okay, we read on.

Movement — Horns and Fangs, Knees and Claws
(Tune: Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes)
Horns and fangs,
Knees and claws,
Knees and claws.
Horns and fangs,
Knees and claws.
Knees and claws.
Eyes and ears and tail and paws

I introduced this song by first doing a round of “Head and Shoulder, Knees and Toes,” after which we proceeded to do this monster version a couple times.

Book 3 — If You’re a Monster and You Know it by Emberley
If you’re a monster and you know it, snort and growl!
If you’re a monster and you know it, snort and growl!
If you’re a monster and you know it,
And you really want to show it,
If you’re a monster and you know it—snort and growl!
SNORT GROWL!

Repeat with:
Smack your claws
Stomp your paws
Twitch your tail
Wiggle your warts
Give a roar
Do it all

A very fun version of “If You’re Happy and You Know It!”  The caregivers got quite a chuckle out of “wiggle your warts.”

Moving Rhymes For Modern Times

Movement with Recorded Music — Jump Up, Turn Around from Jim Gill Sings Moving Rhymes For Modern Times
Simple motions and a simple rhyme.
Say it as you play it and
repeat two times.

Jump up
Turn around
Clap your hands
Stamp the ground
(repeat)

Let’s play it again, but this time try
To say it as you play and stretch your arms up high.
Jump up
Turn around
Clap your hands
Stamp the ground
(repeat)

Let me suggest that this time you might
Say it as you play it with your eyes closed tight.
Jump up
Turn around
Clap your hands
Stamp the ground
(repeat)

Get ready my friends to take a deep breath
Because I challenge you to play it as you hold
your breath!
Jump up
Turn around
Clap your hands
Stamp the ground
(repeat)

I love this song and the kids do too!  Jim Gill, thank you!!

Closing

Wave Goodbye by Rob Reid
Wave high, wave low,
I think it’s time, we gotta go.
Wave your elbows, wave your toes,
Wave your tongue and wave your nose.
Wave your knees, wave your lips,
Blow a kiss with fingertips.
Wave your ears, wave your hair,
Wave your belly and derriere.
Wave your chin, wave your eye,
Wave your hand and say “goodbye.”
Last year, I was regularly using this goodbye chant by Rob Reid to close storytime, but decided to try something different last storytime session.  Why mess with something good, I’ve decided!  It’s such a fun rhyme that I think I’ll bring it back to my storytimes.Goodbye Song — Goodbye Friends
Goodbye, friends
Goodbye, friends
Goodbye, friends
It’s time to say goodbye.

We sang this with signs for goodbye, friends, time, and say.  Nice balance to “Hello Friends” that we started the program with.  See  Jbrary‘s fab video full of hello and goodbye songs.

How Things Went 

This was our first week of storytimes in 2014 and it was great to see so many new and returning faces.  I presented this storytime twice this week — once with our new Library Assistant with lots of great rhymes and songs that she contributed and once on my own — which gave me a chance to fine tune things.  I really like being able to do this!  The second go ’round is always a bit better and helps me build more confidence in trying new things.  All in all, a fun storytime!

Flannel Friday — I’m the Biggest Thing In The Ocean

One of the first felt stories I made was I’m the Biggest Thing in The Ocean by Kevin Sherry.  It’s a pretty fun story and translates well onto the flannel board.  I used this one in my Same & Different / Opposites Family Storytime a while back and am sure to us it again.

I'm the Biggest Thing In the Ocean by Kevin Sherry

I used the template from Kidz Club. This site is a treasure trove of felt stories!  If you haven’t checked them out for some reason, I recommend you do so.  New templates are added semi-regularly so it’s always worth giving them another look from time to time.

I spent a while matching up the colours from the template with the illustrations in the book.   Was this necessary? Probably not but it seemed very important at the time. I had lots of fun adding details, like the turtle shells and the sparkly felt for the jellyfish, which unfortunately doesn't show that well in the photos.

I spent a while matching up the colours to the illustrations in the book. Was this necessary? Probably not but it seemed very important at the time.

 All the characters are backed on black felt except for the mondo-huge-o version of the whale that I made.

All the characters are backed on black felt except for the mondo-huge-o version of the whale that I made.

The giant sized whale allowed me to fit all the characters onto the whale to indicate that they had been swallowed.  Again, this seemed very important at the time. Yes, these are the things that keep me up at night!

The giant sized whale allowed me to fit all the characters onto the whale to indicate that they had been swallowed. Again, this seemed very important at the time. Yes, these are the things that keep me up at night!

One day, I would like to make a puppet and shadow puppet version like this awesome video from Salt Lake Public Library.  You know, once I figure out how to manipulate the squid puppet and all the shadow puppets at the same time since our storytimes are typically a one-person show…

This week’s Flannel Friday Round-up goodness can be found over on Libraryland.  Check it out!

Flannel Friday — Mouse’s Halloween House

Here’s one of the felt stories that I made last year for one of our Halloween programs. The story comes from Judy’s Sierra’s Mother Goose Playhouse.  I saw many versions of this on the internet, including  So Tomorrow, Jen in the Library, and Busy Crafting Mommy, to name a few. These examples provided the inspiration to try my hand at this sweet and simple little story. I substituted a mouse finger puppet from Folkmanis when I told the story, mainly because I thought she was so darn cute!

Little field mouse found a big orange house

Mother Mouse found a big orange house. Lucky her!

Well, that orange house had the perfect brown chimney and a nice little bit of green on the roof!

Well, that orange house had the perfect brown chimney and a nice little bit of green on the roof.  Mouse must have had an excellent real estate agent to find a gem like this.

Mouse nibbled a door so her children could come inside the house

Mouse nibbled a door so her children could come inside the house.

Then Mouse nibbled two windows

Then Mouse nibbled two windows so her children could see outside.

Then Mouse nibbled a wide hole at the bottom

Then Mouse nibbled a wide hole at the bottom so her children could run in and out.

Then she lit it all up with a candle.

Then Mouse turned on the lights, lighting her house up.

 

Well, now.  What a nice little house for Mouse and her children.  Hey, isn’t that house a jack-o-lantern?  Why, yes, yes it is!  When I told this in storytime, one of the boys in attendence shouted out “Jack-o-Lantern!!” with so much glee that I decided this story was a keeper.

I used Judy Sierra’s double felting method, making these felt pieces extra sturdy. I’m sure I can find some double duty uses for them as Halloween rolls around again this year.

Check out Flannel Friday‘s 2nd Annual Halloween Extravaganza Round Up over on Storytime’s ABC!

**UPDATE** — here is the link to the template that I used for the jack o lantern.  I’ve tried to track down its source, but it’s one of those mysterious Pinterest pins that doesn’t list credentials.  Please let me know if you know where this came from and I’ll be sure to give credits!

Monkey Business Family Storytime

Phew! What a summer! Like most libraries out there, we had Summer Reading Club madness at my library system.  We adopt an abbreviated storytime schedule during that time, giving us time to do outreach to the schools in June and giving us a breather in August before we get back into the swing of things in the fall.

We’re back into full-on storytimes season here and I’m happy to share my latest program with y’all.  Here we go!

   giant pop out safari   ape by jenkins   If You're Happy Cabrera

Opening

Weekly Opening Song (with signs) – Hello Friends
Hello friends,
Hello friends,
Hello friends,
It’s time to say hello!

This is a new opener for me!  It’s a simple one with signs for hello, friends, time and say, that was easy for even the littlest children to sign and sing along too.  Big thanks to Jbrary for this one!

Weekly Opening Song – Bread and Butter
[slap hands on knees to the beat]
Bread and butter, marmalade and jam,
Can you say hello as slowly as you can?
Hello [very slow]

We repeated this with slowly, quickly, high, low, and ended with loud and quiet.

Monkey Business Really Begins!

folkmanis chimpfolkmanis monkey

Introduction to Theme — Let’s talk about Monkeys!

We talked about different animals that we might see in the jungle, the rainforest or out on safari.  I told them that I was thinking of one in particular, and we’d see if they could guess which one was our theme today from all the ones in the pop-out book

Book 1 — Giant Pop-Out Safari Animals from Chronicle Books
Holy moly! All the books in this series are storytime gold.  Gold, I say!  And, boy, were those kids ever good at guessing which animal our theme was about — monkeys, of course!  We did a little show and tell about the various types of monkeys out there, starting with our fabulous Folkmanis monkey and chimp puppets (cuteness visible below), and continuing with a little tour of Steve Jenkins’ beautiful book, Ape.  We talked a bit about bonobos, orangutans, and more members of the ape family, and I snuck in an early literacy aside to the parents about increasing their kids’ vocabulary.

5 Little Monkeys

Counting Song with Finger Puppets– 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed
5 little monkeys jumping on the bed
1 fell off and bumped his head
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
“No more monkeys jumping on the bed!”

[Count down to 0 monkeys jumping on the bed, then awkwardly make joke about how the doctor got his way. Or don’t repeat my mistake and come up with a better ending than that].

These super cute finger puppets come from the treasure trove of storytime props owned by my library branch.  There is also a crocodile finger puppet (not pictured) that allows these little monkeys to play “Can’t Catch Me!” on other occassions.

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Same and Different Family Storytime

Opposites_Tad Carpenter   Tiny Little Fly_Rosen

Opening

Weekly Opening Song – The More We Get Together
We sang this twice, with signs for more, together, happy, and friend.

Weekly Opening Song – Bread and Butter
[slap hands on knees to the beat]
Bread and butter, marmalade and jam,
Can you say hello as slowly as you can?
Hello [very slow]

We repeated this with slowly, quickly, high, low, and ended with loud and quiet.

Introduction

We talked about what opposites are and talked about some well-known opposites like up and down, in and out, short and tall, and big and small.  I brought a number of finger puppet and larger puppet versions of the same animal and asked the children which one was small and which one was big, ending with three owls.  The puppet idea came from Beyond the Books Storytime and was lots of fun!

Book 1 — I Say, You Say Opposites by Tad Carpenter
This bright, simple, lift the flap book is great for toddler and babytimes.  I basically planned this storytime around this book.

Movement/Stretch — This is Big, Big, Big
This is big big big
This is small small small
This is short short short
This is tall tall tall
This is fast fast fast
This is slow slow slow
This is yes yes yes
This is no no no

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Baths and Bubbles Babytime

30 babies and their caregivers at a summer babytime? Apparently, yes.  Our theme this week was baths and bubbles. 

duckling  Mrs-Wishy-Washy
      

Opening

Weekly Opening Song — The More We Get Together
We sang this twice, with signs for more, together, happy, and friend.

Weekly Hello Song — Hello Babies
Our adorable duckling puppet sang this to each of the babies and their moms. It was the closest I could get to a rubber duckie.

Weekly Opening Song — Bread and Butter
[slap hands on knees to the beat]
Bread and butter, marmalade and jam,
Can you say hello as slowly as you can?
Hello [very slow]

We repeated this with slowly, quickly, high, low, and ended with loud and quiet.

Literacy Tip for the week
Using music or singing during everyday routines make them more enjoyable. For example if your child doesn’t like taking baths sing a song while washing your babies body parts – this turns it into a game!

Bathtime

Nursery Rhyme — Rub-a-Dub-Dub Three Men In A Tub
Rub-a-dub-dub, three men in a tub
and who do you think they be?
The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker
And they all set out to sea!

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