Friday, January 31, 2014

Sick & Get Well Soon Storytime

This week's Young Family Storytime was all about feeling under the weather. It is definitely the season for colds and sniffles! We also talked about getting hurt and having boo-boos, which tied into the craft (with band-aids!) and several of the children actually had boo-boos with band-aids on, so it was a great segue. One of the little girls had actually fallen on her way into the library and had a skinned-up knee--thank goodness for extra band-aids! For my 30 minute Young Family Storytime sessions, I have a typical format that I like to follow. I've based this format off of successful storytimes that I've attended in the past with my own children when they were toddlers and also what I have found to work best for me in the past year as a Children's Library Assistant. During a 30 minute storytime I devote 25 minutes to books, songs, rhymes, fingerplays and flannel boards or interactive activities and the last 5 minutes is for the craft.
My typical storytime format is as follows:
* Opening song: Shake Your Sillies Out (Raffi) and dance with colored juggling scarves

* Open Shut Them: we start by counting our fingers and then sing Open Shut Them (I wish I could give credit to someone in particular here but this is just the same song I've been singing with my own children for years!)

* Brief intro to the topic of the week: this week I talked about having the sniffles or being sick, and the children chimed in with "Me too!" or very brief accounts of past injuries

* First Book: First I read Bear Feels Sick by Karma Wilson. This is a wonderful rhyming tale of Bear getting sick and all of his animal friends rallying to take care of him. The children all felt bad for Bear's friends who end up getting ill at the end of the story, but we talked a bit about how since they took care of Bear when he was sick, now he is going to nurse his friends back to good health.
* Movement song: Since Bear drank some nice hot tea to help him feel better in the story, we danced to I'm a Little Teapot. We did the song several times through with the actions and it was a big hit.

* Flannel Board: Animal Friends Sneeze! This was a fun flannel board to do. I gathered up some animals I had made for previous flannel boards and used them for a rhyme. I had the children guess which sound the animal was going to say when it sneezed and then we all said it together very loudly. Great fun!
Sheep’s nose twitches, Sheep’s nose tingles, Sheep is going to sneeze! Baa-choo! Baa-choo! Baa-choo! (Pig says Oink-choo! Bird says Tweet-choo! Cat says Meow-choo! Frog says Ribbit-choo! Mouse says Squeak-choo!)

*Second Book: Next we read Boo Hoo Bird by Jeremy Tankard. This story isn't about getting sick, but it is about getting a boo-boo. Bird REALLY gets upset about getting bonked on the head in the story, and the children were very empathetic towards him while I was reading it! In the end, bird gets a kiss, a hug, a band-aid, a cookie and some distractions and finally feels better. I love the big bright illustrations of the animals and it is very fun to wail and moan quite a bit as Bird does in the book :-)


* Second Flannel Board/Story Tube or Activity: This week I borrowed this idea from Storytime Kate ( and made a set of colorful felt band-aids for the children to help me. I used our large dog puppet named Butterscotch and told the children that Butterscotch had some boo-boos today. I passed out the colorful band-aids (I made plenty and let the children choose their favorite color) and then said, "Butterscotch has a boo-boo on his ear. Will everyone with a yellow band-aid come put it on Butterscotch's ear to make him feel better?" Of course when it was done Butterscotch was covered in band-aids and was feeling much better--good enough to give puppy kisses to the kids! They loved it.

*Craft: This week's craft was a doctor bag craft based on the flannel-board Doctor Kit that Storytime Katie made. The children had to glue the handles to the inside of the bag, glue the red cross symbol to the outside of the bag, and then use glue or tape to affix colorful band-aids, q-tips, a tongue depressor and a cotton ball inside the bag. The children loved this craft (Doc McStuffins has really gotten all the preschoolers interested in being a doctor lately!). All in all, a great success.

* Closing Song: Our Storytime is Done for Today (to the tune of She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain)
Our storytime is done for today, goodbye! Our storytime is done for today, goodbye! Our storytime is done but we had a lot of fun, well our storytime is done for today, goodbye!
Generally speaking, this is the format that I follow for most of my storytimes, obviously allowing myself room for modifications if necessary and some weeks doing more fingerplays while others I do more interactive activities or flannel boards. I nearly always include some sort of "5 Little ________s" flannel board or story tube, but didn't fit one into this storytime. I had a few back-up movement rhymes and fingerplays that we didn't get to, and I always have a third book on stand-by to read, though we rarely have time for it with only 25 minutes for storytime and 5 minutes for the craft at the end.
This week's unused extras were:
If Beaver had a Fever by Helen Ketteman

Fingerplay/Action Rhyme: “I’ve Got a Cold”
I’ve got a cold                   (point to yourself)
My nose can’t smell        (point to your nose)
My eyes are red               (point to your eyes)
I don’t feel well                (hand on forehead)
So I’ll drink my juice        (pretend to drink)
And go to bed…                (fold hands under head)
My nose feels better       (point to nose)
And so does my head!    (point to head)

Action Rhyme:  “Chicken Soup”
When my forehead's feeling hot
put hand to forehead
Do I want pizza? I do not!
hold out hands in questioning gesture, shake head
When I cough or when I sneeze
cough, sneeze
Give me a bowl of hot soup please
make bowl with hands
Eating chicken soup with rice
pretend to eat
Makes me feel so very nice
hug self
So when you're feeling under the weather
frown, point thumb down
Chicken soup might make you feel better
smile, point thumb up

One last note, I always make a handout for my storytime children to take a reminder of the library home with them. I include more book suggestions to read based on the topic, a few of the songs or rhymes that we did (or perhaps didn't get to!) and an extension activity on the back to promote learning at home. It has been very well received by the attendees (although of course a few get left behind each week). This week's extension activity was a doctor's office matching sheet from Made by Joel:

Credit for some ideas this week:

Next week's storytime is going to be Tropical Vacation! I sure could use one right about now! I'm very much looking forward to it :-)

Sunday, January 26, 2014


If you have found my blog, welcome! This is a new endeavor to record the Children's Programming that I do as a Children's Library Assistant at a small library in Painesville, OH. I have been in my current position for just over a year, and I feel as though I have finally found my true calling in life. Being a librarian is really the only thing I can see myself doing for the rest of my life, so I made the decision to go Graduate School to earn my masters degree in Library and Information Science (MLIS) at Kent State University. I have only just begun the program, and I will definitely be taking the slow and steady path towards completing my MLIS, with a goal to finish in the fall semester of 2017. In the meantime, school, work and my two amazing children and husband keep me plenty busy!

Currently, I plan and lead three Young Family story times a week geared towards children ages 18 months to 5 years old to attend with a care giver. I also do one story time a week for school-aged children ages 6-10 years old and one special Saturday program a month geared toward school-aged children grades K-3rd. This blog will be a record of the programming that I plan and execute and a brief account of how each program went (as we who work with children know all too well, things rarely go exactly according to the plan!).

I plan on doing my absolute best to give credit where it is due if I use another resource for my fingerplays, songs, flannel boards, etc., and I will be posting pictures of the books that I use and props that I make. Feel free to use this blog to inspire your creativity if you plan literacy programs for children!

I am looking forward to all the fun that 2014 has in store! Stay with me!