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!

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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It’s Easy Being Green! Family Storytime

Wide-Mouthed Frog A Pop-Up Book by Faulkner   Odd Egg by Gravett   The Best of the Laurie Berkner Band        

Weekly Opening Song — The More We Get Together
With signs for more, together, happy, and friends.

Weekly Opening Song — Bread and Butter
Bread and butter, marmalade and jam, [slap hands on knees to the beat]
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 to Theme — Green Puppets
I had a couple frog puppets, and a green octopus finger puppet in a picnic basket and took each one out in turn asking, “What kind of animal is this?” Then, I asked the kids what they all had in common. With the help of the parents, we determined they were all green = yay!

Book — The Wide-Mouthed Frog: A Pop-Up Book by Keith Faulkner
I taught the kids the song “I am a great big wide-mouthed frog, wide-mouthed frog, wide-mouthed frog, I am a great big wide-mouthed frog, and I like to eat bugs!” and got them to sing along every time Frog met one of the other animals.  I think that song came from one of Rob Reid’s books.

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Spring Mixer Family Storytime

peekabloom veryhungrycaterpillar  five-little-ducks    

Weekly Opening Song — The More We Get Together
With signs for more, together, happy, and friends.

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.

Intro to Theme — Spring clipart
We talked about spring and I posted some spring clipart on the flannel/felt board and the kids identified each one. Images included baby birds, nests, flowers, butterflies, leaves, etc.

Book — Peek-A-Bloom by Marie Torres Cimarusti
We have several of the books in the series and I kind of love them all!

Movement —  If You’d like to Read A Book Clap Your Hands
We clapped our hands, stomped our feet, waved our arms, turned around, wiggled around, jumped up and down, and then we did it all before sitting back down.

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A Good Case of the Stripes Family Storytime

Here is another instance where I did the same basic storytime two days in a row, and took the opportunity to refine things on the second go ’round. It was like instant feedback on which elements were keepers and which elements needed to be replaced

Round #1

itsatiger  buzzbuzz  sealsonthebus

Opening

Attention Getting Song — Hello Hello Everyone
Hello hello everyone
Now we’re here let’s have some fun!
First we’ll clap our hands like so
Then we’ll bend and touch our toes.
Hello, hello everyone
Storytime has just begun!

Source:  ??

basket of striped puppets

Theme/Guessing Game with Puppets –There’s Something in My Basket
There’s something in my basket
There’s something I can’t see
There’s something in my basket, now what can it be?
I think I can hear it making a sound
Grr, grr, grr, grr
A tiger’s what I found!

Repeated with raccoon, zebra, and bee puppets

Weekly Opening Song with Signs — The More We Get Together (x2)
Signs used were more, together, happy, and friend.

Weekly Opening Song — Bread and Butter
Bread and butter
Marmalade and jam
Can you say hello
As quickly as you can?

Repeat with slowly, high/low, loud/quiet.  My Fabulous CoWorker taught me this one.

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Cowboys & Girls Family Storyime

Oh, how I love a western theme and how I love our branch’s pony puppet.  Yeehaw!

areyouahorse    tabackfarmanimals

Hello Song — Hello Hello Everyone
[to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star]

Hello, hello, everyone
Now you’re here
We’ll have some fun.
First we’ll clap our hands just so.
Then we’ll bend and touch our toes.

Hello, hello, everyone
Now you’re here
We’ll have some fun.

(adapted from Welcome Everyone on ysostorytimes.pbworks.com)

pony puppet

Introduction to Theme — Wild West Clipart & Pony Puppet (everyone gets a pet)

Weekly Opening Song — The More We Get Together (x2)
With signs for more, together, happy, and friends.

Weekly Opening Song — Bread and Butter (x6)
Bread and butter, marmalade and jam, [slap hands on knees to the beat]
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.

Little Horse Little Horse

Flannel/Felt Guessing Game — Little Horse, Little Horse
Nice try, Little Horse. We see you there on the sheriff’s badge!  This was a fun western version of Little Mouse, Little Mouse.

Transition — If You’d Like to Read a Book, Clap Your Hands
Additional verses included stomp your feet, shout yeehaw, sit down quietly. I always seem to forget the best one, “do it all!”

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