Friday, December 11, 2015

Baa Baa Black Sheep

I love bringing nursery rhymes into story time and one of my favorite is Baa Baa Black Sheep.  There is so much you can do with it, from rhyming to talking about colors.  This morning for story time, I made envelope puppets out of different colored sheep.  If you have never made an envelope puppet before, seal the envelope and cut off the end 3 inches or so.  You can make two puppets out of each envelope.  For these, I used different colored die cut sheep and used double-sided tape to stick them to the envelope.  While I could collect them back and reuse them, I like to send them home with the kids to retell the rhymes.  They are cheap and easy to make so I don't mind losing them.

After I pass out the sheep, we say the rhyme using the different colors.  For example:

Baa Baa Black Sheep, have you any wool?

Baa Baa Blue Sheep, have you any wool?

Baa Baa Red Sheep, have you any wool?

In this case, the kids who had each color held up their puppets as we told their verse.


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Flannel Friday Round-Up

It's a wrap!  Check out the great ideas from the week below.

Kate from Felt Board Magic (and one of our Southern Hemisphere participants!) shows off Apple Colour Sorting.  While it would be a great addition to a fall story time, I am totally stealing this one for our felt board that we have out all the time.

Kate also shows off Five Grey Elephants Balancing Step By Step on a Piece of String.  I had never heard this song before, but it is big in Australian play schools.

I show off my easy envelope puppets here at Libraryland and how I use them in story time.  This week's version was Baa Baa Black Sheep.

Jane at Piper Loves the Library gets into the holiday spirit with her post about the Nutcracker program that they held with the Connecticut Concert Ballet.  It is precious and looks like a lot of fun! 

Jen at Adventures in Storytime shares her snowflakes and the songs/rhymes that she uses them with.  Since winter starts in a week, this is a great one to add to your lineup! 

Amy at One Little Librarian shares her Do You Want to Feed the Reindeer? prop.  Not only is she injecting some play into her program, but the food items have letters and numbers on them.

Shawn at Read, Rhyme and Sing has a Christmas version of Little Mouse using jingle bells and sleighs.

Wendy at Flannel Board Fun shares a bunch of variations of Little Mouse using various rhyming words. My wheels are already spinning on this one!

Mary will be hosting next week's round-up at Miss Mary Liberry

 If you want to know more about Flannel Friday:

  • Check out the official Flannel Friday blog that includes schedules and other important information.
  • Search for images and links on our Pinterest page.
  • Discuss story time stuff (and other ys stuff) on the Flannel Friday Facebook page.
  • Follow #flannelstorytime on Twitter.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

It's been awhile!

It's been awhile since I have posted and some of you have expressed interest in what I have been doing.  Here's some of the neat stuff that I have been doing this fall (posts to follow someday):
  • Our school outreach program got pushed into high gear by participating in the ConnectED Library Challenge.  Our goal is to give every student in our service area a library card. Our library district hosts 47 schools in five districts, plus residents in a sixth.  We brought our first (and largest) school district on in September to great success and are slowly rolling this out to the other districts.  Our challenge right now is keeping up with demand and figuring out what is sustainable. 
  •  Along with that, I have done 4 presentations on our school outreach program since the beginning of October.  While one was for our library board and another for our coop, our school outreach librarian (plus some others for 1) have also presented at our state library association annual conference and our state media specialist preconference.  I now have a presenting break until PLA-if you're there on Thursday afternoon and are interested in school outreach, stop by our presentation.
  • Last week I attended Family Place training in New York.  It was a great experience and I highly recommend it to everyone.  My brain is currently spinning with future changes to go along with that certification. 
So that's where I am at.  This is on top of my manager duties, reference desk, programming, and other miscellaneous tasks that make up my day.  I will be honest-I still haven't put away our Trick or Treat supplies as many days lately I drop a pile on my desk and grab another to go off again.  I will be back and will have some great stuff for you all!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Hickory Dickory Dock Guest Post

This is a guest post version of Hickory Dickory Dock for Nancy.  She shared some pictures with me of something fun that she created in her children's department.  Presenting...Hickory Dickory Dock!

This week's Flannel Friday round-up is hosted by Melissa at Mel's Desk.

 If you want to know more about Flannel Friday:

  • Check out the official Flannel Friday blog that includes schedules and other important information.
  • Search for images and links on our Pinterest page.
  • Discuss story time stuff (and other ys stuff) on the Flannel Friday Facebook page.
  • Follow #flannelstorytime on Twitter.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Flannel Friday Round-Up


Welcome to the Halloween edition of Flannel Friday!  We have some great Halloween/fall posts and some great general posts for your story time pleasure!

Kathryn at Fun with Friends at Storytime is using her Crown for a Day rhyme at her Halloween program.  She shares both a flannel version and a file folder version of the rhyme!

I am always amazed at people who can play instruments in story time.  Check out Storytime Ukulele's post of Halloween songs.

Jess at From the Liberry of has created a neat version of This is NOT a Pumpkin by Bob Staake.  It has already gone on my TBM (to be made) pile and I am sure that you will feel the same!

Storytime Whoopdeedo shares their version of Fall is Not Easy by Marty Kelley.  If you haven't read this book before, definitely check it out for your fall story times.  The flannelboard version makes it even more awesome!

Lauren at The Dilley Dally shows off a great flannelboard that kids can play with.  Check out her mix and match monster station!

Other Great Stuff!
Meg at Miss Meg's Storytime shares a flannel/prop version of her vegetable rhyme.  What's really neat about it (other than the faces on the vegetables) is that there is a vegetable for every child in attendance.  It is a great way to encourage participation!

Amy at one little librarian shares her version of 5 Little Rocking Horses.  This is a great addition to a horse, nursery rhyme, or toy story time.

Melissa at Mel's Desk builds on her last post and adds Meow's friends.

That's a wrap for the week! 
Melissa at Mel's Desk is hosting next week.  It is a great flannelboard, especially if you work with the toddler age group.

Are you working with colors?  Check out Storytime Katie's inspired version of paintbrushes.

If you want to know more about Flannel Friday:

  • Check out the official Flannel Friday blog that includes schedules and other important information.
  • Search for images and links on our Pinterest page.
  • Discuss story time stuff (and other ys stuff) on the Flannel Friday Facebook page.
  • Follow #flannelstorytime on Twitter.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Harry Potter Day

My teen librarian and I got together and decided to hold our first major event that required no registration.  After some thought, Harry Potter Day was born.  This is a great event to hold as it is multigenerational.  You will have babies being wheeled in dressed in Gryffindor clothes and you will have grandparents talking about how they read this series.  While it is a little intimidating to plan a program with no registration, we prepped everything for 500 people.

We started off our day with Dumbledore's Magic Show.  One of our local magicians was willing to dress up in robes and pretend to be Dumbledore as he performed.  At the same time, our community relations person held a potions class for adults in a different room.  They made different natural cleaning products and soaps.

Of course you need a costume contest since you will have a lot of people dressed up.  I was actually surprised by how much they dressed up.  We split our age groups into kids and teens for prizes to make judging fair.

After the costume contest, Diagon Alley opened.  We have 3 conference rooms and an auditorium and put them all to use for different "stores".

After we opened Diagon Alley, we started Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone on the big screen, followed by Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.  While these weren't as heavily attended as the other events, they were still good to have on.  Many families took breaks and would pop in for some of the movie.  Plus, it is really hot here in July and gave people a break from the heat in our air conditioning.

During the afternoon, my teen librarian set up Quidditch on the field outside of the library.  She used hula hoops attached to PVC pipe that rested in a bucket of rocks to form the goals.  Arm bands identified the different teams.  The kids and teens were really good about taking turns and playing together in the different positions.

Throughout the day, we had some things that anyone could do at any time.  These included:
  • Harry Potter tattoos
  • Sorting Hat with Avery labels printed with different houses
  • Find the Harry Potter bear in the children's room
  • Have You Seen This Wizard? photo op 

Part of the fun of the day was in the details.  We made sure that we decorated and added fun things around the library.  For example, a Weasley family picture sat on our fireplace.  Here are some of the fun things from around the building:

Plans for Next Year
Now that we have one year under our belts, we would love to expand next year.  Some of our adult librarians wanted events in their departments.  We also have ideas for future activities.  Our tentative plan is to pull in more staff and expand.

Diagon Alley

As a part of our Harry Potter Day, we opened Diagon Alley for 2 hours.  This was a non-registration event so anyone of any age could attend.  The original plan was for volunteers to help staff the rooms and keep supplies filled, but all of our volunteers that day pulled a no-show.  Luckily, all of our attendees were good sports and the adults helped to keep the stations filled.

The Leaky Cauldron
If you have Harry Potter Day, then you definitely need to serve butter beer.  Our concoction was a mixture of vanilla ice cream, butterscotch syrup, and cream soda.  Our local Meijer graciously donated all of our food supplies, plus cups and napkins.

Every wizard needs a wand.  I used Brytani's idea (who was inspired by Pop Goes the Page) and precut 500 PVC pipes for magic wands.  Each wand was stuffed with unicorn hair (sparkly white yarn), dragon hearts (red pony beads), and Phoenix feathers (orange feathers).  We used Duct tape to wrap our wands.

Eeylop's Owl Emporium
Trying to find owl crafts for 500 people is a little tricky, but our pom pom owls turned out cute.  We used 1 1/2 inch white pom poms and glued googly eyes, an orange fun foam beak, orange fun foam feet, and white felt wings onto each owl.  Tacky glue worked best for this project.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Flannel Friday Round-Up

It's Flannel Friday time!  There are some great additions this week, so without further ado... 

Liz from Storytime Whoopdeedo shows off her version of Book! Book! Book! by Deborah Bruss.  This story is always a hit in story time!

Who doesn't love garbage trucks?!?  Check out Kathryn's three garbage truck flannelboards at Fun with Friends at Storytime.   

Danielle at Storytime with Library Danielle shows off her version of Five Strawberries.  I love how she added in animals eating the berries.  While not flannel, check out her scarf rhyme and early literacy messages here.  

Mel has been hard at work on an outer space set over at Mel's Desk.  She shows off many different ways to use it with multiple age groups.  Plus, it is a great addition if you are adding STEAM to your story time lineup.

Jaime at Ms. Jaime's Library Journeys shows off her version of Lynn Reiser's Hardworking Puppies.  I love all of the career felt pieces that she created to go with the puppies.   

Kathryn at Fun with Friends at Storytime is hosting next week's Flannel Friday round-up.

If you want to know more about Flannel Friday:
  • Check out the official Flannel Friday blog that includes schedules and other important information.
  • Search for images and links on our Pinterest page.
  • Discuss story time stuff (and other ys stuff) on the Flannel Friday Facebook page.
  • Follow #flannelstorytime on Twitter. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Flannel Friday-Pete's Back

We have a great relationship going this summer with our local Parks & Rec department (yay Julie for organizing!) and are doing a lot of neat outreach events out in the community this summer.  Next week we will be doing story time in the park.  There is a good possibility of there being 150+ people there, which means that we began to rethink how we will be sharing picture books with a large crowd.  We are pulling out puppets, props, and our newly painted Pete the Cat prop boards.

This is Pete the Cat painted on a large foam board with acrylic paints.  The buttons all have velcro so we can tell the story of Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin and have the buttons pop off.  Of course,  you need a way to see his belly button so we made a 2nd board.

While we will still be using the book to tell the story, these boards will help illustrate the actions to the crowd.

Kelly at Ms. Kelly at the Library is hosting this week's Flannel Friday round-up.

If you want to know more about Flannel Friday:

  • Check out the official Flannel Friday blog that includes schedules and other important information.
  • Search for images and links on our Pinterest page.
  • Discuss story time stuff (and other ys stuff) on the Flannel Friday Facebook page.
  • Follow #flannelstorytime on Twitter.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Summer Reading Prizes

Last summer Abby at Abby the Librarian had a great post about how she revamped her summer reading program prizes.  While I wanted to revamp our prizes for this summer, most of our staff didn't when we started to plan for 2015.  We all know that you need staff buy-in to make a radical change.  To test the waters, we offered her science activity packs as a prize option in our Winter Reading Club.  After seeing how popular those were, we were ready to go.

Our science activity packs form 1/4 of our first prize for summer reading (5 hours or 20 books).  This is the level where kids get to pick their own prize out of a treasure chest.  The other three prizes are mustache sticky notes, superhero erasers, and superhero kick balls.  The science activity packs are, by far, the most popular item in the treasure chest.  So if you were on the fence about this sort of prize, you will definitely want to try it!

Activity Pack #1-Balloon Rockets
We totally "borrowed" this one from Abby.  We used this as a winter reading prize and the kiddos still aren't sick of it.  In fact, they are picking it again.  Abby's directions and supply list are located here.  

Activity Pack #2-Catapults
We used the directions from our catapult program and created packs with all of the supplies needed.   We also included 1 pom pom so they had something to launch.

Activity Pack #3-Floating Ball
When looking for new ideas, we looked for things that we could easily and cheaply assemble in a plastic bag.  This is a little harder than it sounds.  We lucked out when we found the Floating Ball.  Our baggie includes:

  • 1 5-inch paper circle cut out of cardstock
  • 1 straw
  • 1 ping pong ball
With 2 pieces of scotch tape, a pair of scissors, and the instructions that we wrote up, kids can do this activity.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Early Literacy at Home

I am fortunate that I get to see 5 of my nieces and nephews often and end up watching them at least 1 time a week.  Their ages span from 2 to 9, so we are at various points on the literacy spectrum.  One of the things that we did this summer is to create our Summer List of various activities that we want to do.

What I like about this is that it addresses different levels of literacy.  With the 2 year olds, I am showing that words have meaning.  We are working on letter knowledge and we read the list as we decide what activity to do next.  The 5 and 6 year olds add their own activities to the list.  They may not always be spelled right, but they are sounding out their words as they write them.  Plus, they are reading items already on the list and adding their names to what they want to do.  The 9 year old is more like an adult.  She can read and write already so she is a good example for showing the younger kids what to do.

We make one of these lists every summer and hang it right on our refrigerator.  It is a lot of fun for all of us!  Plus, as the adult, it helps me to make plans.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Early Literacy Messages in Action

Let me start off by saying that I am not a parent.  I am an early childhood expert who is also a children's librarian.  Whenever I do story time presentations around the state, one of the biggest questions that I get is how to incorporate early literacy messages into programs.  We know that we SHOULD be doing it, but finding the HOW is more difficult.

First, as a manager, I view early messages as vital to story time.  While story times are edutainment, they serve a purpose in young children's literacy development.  Also, as we plan our departmental goals, early literacy factors big into the discussion as we talk about 0-5 year olds.  When I meet with the library's management team, I push our early literacy initiatives.

As for the how, I started off in a low-key way by dropping into our baby play times.  This gave me a chance to meet the kiddos and talk to the parents. I was able to quiz them as to what they liked about our services and promote new ideas.  Think of it like a focus group!  In this setting I was able to grow my confidence in my messages and get immediate verbal and visual feedback from parents, rather than the wall of faces that you see at story time. Here are some sample messages and when I used the:
  • Have you seen this new toy?  This is why we chose it.  I really like how it does ______.
  • Let's try building a wall while playing with blocks. Then we'll play we'll play the Three Little Pigs.  Who wants to be the Big, Bad Wolf and say "I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your wall down?"  Then we'll knock down the wall.  I love to play this game over and over as we are retelling the story while playing.  You can see here all of the fun words we are using, such as huff and puff, as we play.  This all builds language development.
  • While playing with letter magnets, look for the letters in your child's name.  This helps them to learn that letters have meaning.  Another fun thing to try is to identify names of people you know that start with different letters.  For example, if you found a "G", you could talk about Grandpa.
Once I got comfortable promoting early literacy, I started adding my messages to my story times.  I am not someone who needs to put the message in the same place every week, similar to an opening or closing song.  I fit them in wherever it feels natural.  Here are some examples:
  • As we sing our bubble song today, let's listen for all of the "b" sounds in the song. When we sing songs, it slows down the words so we can hear individual sounds.
  • With our scarves today, let's wave them in the shape of an "A".  What letter does your name start with?  Can you make that shape?  By writing our letters in the air with scarves, we are learning our letter shapes.  This will help us get ready to write.
  • Today we're going to read the book Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann.  You'll notice as we read the book that there are no words written on the page.  We are going to tell the story using only the pictures!  The next time you sit down to read a favorite picture book, try having your child "read" the pictures to tell you the story.
  • It's time for our next rhyme and we are going to use our fingers to show the actions.  Activities like this that use our fingers are like exercise, which helps to strengthen our fingers to get ready to write.
For more great early literacy messages, check out the round-up that will be appearing on Jbrary at the end of the week!


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Parachute Games, 2015 Edition

I love summer reading time because I get to pull out my favorite programs!  One such program is Parachute Games.  Once you have a parachute and access to music, it is a free program that you can run year after year.

Set Up & Registration
Parachute Games is one of those programs where it is handy to have registration.  You only have so many handles on the parachute.  While you can fudge the numbers a little, you don't want 60 kids showing up to play with a 20 handle parachute.  You also don't want only 1 child showing up.  We sign up 20 kids for our program (as we have a 20 handle parachute).  Normally a day or two ahead of time I will bump in an extra 2-4 kids as you will have kids who don't show up.  To make this decision, I look at how many siblings could possibly be available to pick up some slack in case a chunk of kids don't show up. 

Our Playlist
1.  Round the Village by Wee Sing on Wee Sing and Play-This is a good slow song to get going.  You get to go around the circle, go in and out, and turn the circle again.

2.  Moving in a Circle by Mr. Eric and Mr. Michael on Rockin' Red-This is a circle spinning song again.  It tends to slow the kids down as they get super excited about bouncing things.  You will get to walk, jump, and take baby steps with the parachute.

3.  Five Little Monkeys on the cd Five Little Monkeys-Since monkeys like to bounce, we pop some monkey finger puppets we have onto the parachute for the kids to bounce.  Like the monkeys in the rhyme, they tend to fall off and we have to toss them back on again.

4.  Spin Around by The Fresh Beat Band on The Fresh Beat Band Vol. 2.0-This is one of those songs that will stick in your head all day long.  It is a fun and peppy spinning song.

5.  The Popcorn Pop by Rosenshontz on Tot Rock-Now it is time for some bouncing.  I have a lot of mini beach balls from Oriental Trading that I use as "popcorn".  The hard part is getting beach balls off of the parachute when the song is done.  Today we just left them all on and it still worked great.

6.  Ring Around the Rosie by Caspar Babypants on Sing Along!-I am loving Caspar Babypants right now, but am having a hard time getting it to catch on.  This is a circle song again, but you get to fall down.  The 2-4 year olds love to fall down and think it is the silliest thing ever.

7.  Spin Again by Jim Gill on Jim Gill Sings Do Re Mi on His Toe Leg Knee-We have Jim Gill coming to perform on Saturday so I am popping his songs in everywhere I can.

8. Juggling, Juggling, Juggling Balls by The Wiggles on Hot Poppin' Popcorn-I have a bunch of mini beach balls that I got as part of a parachute set from Oriental Trading.  Beach balls are great for the parachute because they "pop", but you can also deflate them to maximize your storage space.

9.  Popcorn by Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights on I'm a Rock Star-We got to pop all of our beach balls again!

10.  Popcorn by the Barenaked Ladies on Snacktime!-Nothing beats Popcorn as a finale song as it is super fast and you get to bounce everything.  If you have any balls or props left, throw them on the parachute to bounce.

After the program was over, I let the kids play with the beach balls as I wasn't in a hurry to clean up.  It was great fun!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Toddler Art, 2015 Edition

This is one of my favorite toddler programs and it is always on my schedule every summer at the beginning of summer reading.   You can check out past programs here, here, or here.  I love it because each creation turns out different.  Plus, most of my parents end up going shopping right after the program for their own art supplies to make cool creations at home.  After all, every house needs a bottle of glitter glue!

Our shape this year is a fancy star shape to fit our Every Hero Has a Story summer reading program theme.  To make the shape, I printed the star shape using Microsoft Publisher on white cardstock.  As kids came into the room, I handed them two star shapes and explained that one would go home with them and one would stay with me.  Each of our stations had a different art supply.

This year's stations include: 
As kids finished their projects, I passed out paper plates so they could get their creations home.  As my stars dried, I added them to our bulletin board in our activity room.

Early Literacy Signage

A bunch of us in the blogosphere will be sharing our early literacy messages over the next couple of weeks.  I thought it would be helpful to start off by sharing some of the things that we do around the department at my library.

First, early literacy is our biggest initiative for our under 5 group.  It drives our goals, our programming, and our purchasing.  We have a great staff that I work with, but I tend to hear a lot of "but I know that already".  If the information stays in our heads, then our public doesn't know and we aren't staying relevant.  Here's the deal-our public doesn't know this stuff.  Many of our customers are first-time parents without an early childhood background.  They like the "why" of our messages, but what they are really looking for is the "how".  Signage is a pretty easy way to convey these messages.

Let's start with an easy one.  Does your library use ECRR2?  How do you convey that to your customers?  ECRR2 makes it really easy to share the five practices that lead to reading.  We have a poster in both our story time room and our activity room.

We have a giant magnetboard in our activity room with this sign posted next to it.  What I like about it is that it tells 1)why we use magnets, 2)ideas of how to play with magnets, and 3) the skills we are working on.  Every so often I change out the activity ideas, but the message and skills remain the same.

Our activity room also houses a flannelboard with a rotating sign.  We currently have a bunch of pairs of felt flowers.  While this sign doesn't highlight the "why", you will still see the "how" and the skills practiced. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Library Spaces-2015 Edition

I have been doing a lot of traveling again this past spring and have taken pictures of some of my favorite library spaces and features.  Some of these features would be easy to adapt in any library.

Kalamazoo Public Library-Main Branch
This year's MiKidLib was held at the Kalamazoo Public Library.  They had recently done some renovations and we have already borrowed some of their ideas.

I LOVE their reference desk signage.  The simple "ask here" tells kids and parents where to go for help.  It is in big letters and is easy to read.

They have also added nursery rhymes above the changing tables in the kids restrooms.  The cost to do this is one laminated piece of paper!  On our first day back at work after the unconference, we duplicated this great idea.

Kalamazoo is currently working on sorting their picture book collection by neighborhoods.  The bins were its predecessor to show that this type of thing would be popular.  While we aren't ready for a neighborhood reorganization as we are in the middle of converting our nonfiction to BISAC categories, we did put out two bins on bottom shelves for "princesses" and "trains".  These have been extremely popular!  As of this moment, every single train picture book is checked out and we have renamed the bin "things that go".  We also have bought a third bin for "dinosaurs".

MacDonald Public Library
This library is close to my home and is the workplace of Kelly at Ms. Kelly at the Library

I love her number circles that she added going down the ramp into the kids' room.  It's a great early literacy center that anyone can add with paper and book tape.  Kelly blogs about it here

I also was excited to check out her iPad setup as we are putting some into a new building.  Kelly talks about her process here.  I really like that the apps are organized by ECRR2 categories!

Bloomfield Township Public Library
I attend our Special Needs Roundtable at BTPL and love to check out what they are doing while I am there.

Here you can see their nonfiction organized with faceouts on all of the top shelves.  I really like this as it helps with the browsing users.  Plus, it looks awesome!  We are in the middle of a nonfiction redo (BISAC) and as we sort our categories at the end of summer, we will be organizing our section in a similar fashion.

Mission Viejo Public Library
MVPL is in California and I had originally stopped by to check out their Family Place offerings as we are just starting the process.  Below are some neat things that I saw.

As you enter the library, there is a window in the lobby.  At the top of the window is the mission statement.  How many libraries show off their mission statements in a really obvious place like this?  I love it!  Other text on the window are book-related quotes.

The adult reference desk has "ask here" above the desk.  Once again, I love how easy it is to locate help.  The simple "ask here" makes the desk staff seem more approachable.

As you enter a section of the children's area, these fossils are on the wall.  I really like the sensory aspect of it as some are raised and some are embedded.  Trust me, just like a kid, I was touching everything.

San Diego Public Library-Main Branch
If you are ever in Southern California, it is definitely worth a trip to visit the San Diego Public Library.  It is right downtown, within walking distance of Petco Park (I am a baseball fan!).

As you walk along the sidewalk, various Dr. Seuss silhouettes are in the windows of the children's room.  Since Dr. Seuss lived just north of San Diego in La Jolla, this makes sense.

Following the Dr. Seuss theme, there are Seuss murals covering almost all of the walls in the children's room.  It is so much fun to see what is there!

The display case on one of the endcaps highlights local authors.  It almost looks like a program in conjunction with the schools.  I know that our local schools run a yearly writing program called Young Authors.  How cool would it be if they could display their books in the local library???

Also from a school perspective, there is a high school run from two floors of the library building!  That would make it really easy to get the librarians involved in database training and teaching teens how to use the library.

That's all for now.  I will highlight more travels as I take more pictures.  If you like this kind of thing, you may also want to check out my 2014 edition.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Jim Gill Dance Party

Jim Gill will be coming to our library on June 13!  In preparation (and to promote his concert), we held a Jim Gill Dance Party last week.  Here is our list of songs from the program:
  • Hands are for Clapping 
  • Poison Ivy
  • Silly Dance Contest
  • Spaghetti Legs
  • Shakin' Everywhere
  • Spin Again
  • Silly When You Stop
  • Color Game
  • Jump Up, Turn Around
  • Stick to the Glue
  • List of Dances
  • Jumping and Counting
My goal was to come up with a 30-minute program where I used at least 1 song from each of his CDs.  We made it all Jim Gill-themed as we wanted kids to be familiar with some of the songs, especially those who don't attend story time.  I also wanted another place to pass out our concert flyers.  

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Pete the Cat Party

Pete the Cat is one of my favorite book characters and I was really excited to host a Pete the Cat party at my library!  This was an event where everyone who registered showed up (which NEVER happens).

We started off by reading Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes and Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin.  I chose these two stories as the crafts and activities all centered around these books.

After the stories, I opened up our 4 stations.  Everybody got to do everything, but it helps congestion to spread the kids out.  At our first station, we made these awesome Pete the Cat headbands.

At our second station, we made Pete the Cat out of shapes.

At our third station, we added numbered button stickers to our yellow shirts.

Our fourth station was a Button Sorting Center.

We also have a Pete the Cat standee that we use for a lot of our school outreach visits.  I brought him into the room and a lot of the parents were taking pictures of their kids with Pete.

The whole program lasted about 45 minutes.  Everybody had a great time!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tot Time-Babies & Doggies

While I don't normally share my story time plans, I really liked how this program turned out.  Our Tot Time program is for 12-24 months and we preregister 15 toddlers for a 5-week session. 

Opening Song: If You're Happy and You Know It from Songs for Wiggleworms

Book:  Naptime with Theo and Beau by Jessica Shyba

Scarf Rhyme:  Peek-a-Boo (to the tune of Are You Sleeping?)
Peek-a-boo, peek-a-boo 
I see you, I see you
I see your button nose
I see your tiny toes
Peek-a-boo, I see you!

--Written by Jim Thomas and found on What Happens in Storytime

Scarf Rhyme: Wave Your Scarf
Wave your scarf, one, two, three
Wave your scarf, just like me!
(Repeat with roll and throw)

-Adapted by Mollie from What Happens in StorytimeOriginally from Lapsit Services for the Very Young II by Linda L. Ernst. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc, 2001.

Scarf Rhyme: Roll Your Scarf
Roll your scarf and make it into a ball.
Make it very small. 
1, 2, 3, throw!

Book: I Kissed the Baby by Mary Murphy
For our middle book, we pass out a board book copy for every participant to follow along.

Action Rhyme: Here is the Beehive
Here is the beehive, but where are the bees?
Hidden away where nobody sees.
Watch and you'll see them come out of the hive.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, buzzzzz! 

Flannelboard Rhyme: Two Little Bluebirds
Two little bluebirds sitting on a hill.
One named Jack and one named Jill.
Fly away Jack. Fly away Jill.
Come back Jack. Come back Jill.
(Repeat with yellow, pink, and purple birds)

Book: Babies and Doggies by John Schindel and Molly Woodward

Depending on the day, we spend 5-10 minutes playing with bubbles.  I use a bubble stick to blow the bubbles and the toddlers pop them.  Many of my first time parents and caregivers are amazed by the bubble stick and are stopping by their local Target to pick up their own to use at home. 

We spend an additional 5-10 minutes playing with mini beach balls.   

Closing Song-Clean Up Song
Clean up, clean up, everybody, everywhere.
Clean up, clean up, everybody does their share. 
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