Saturday, May 17, 2014

Spring Storytime attendance

I won't break out the weekly tallies like I did with my winter attendance post, but I will happily say that my spring storytimes were MUCH better attended than the winter session!  Thank goodness.  For summer, we are changing my Monday evening Young Family Storytime and making it a drop-in baby storytime called Lullaby Babies.  I've never done a baby storytime before, so I am a little bit nervous about it, but I am sure I will find my stride.  The tough part is getting people to actually ATTEND, lol.  We had no one attend our Friday morning baby storytime during the spring session, so we are trying something new.  I have no idea if it will be successful, but I'm excited at the prospect of drawing some new families to the library!

Total spring attendance:
Monday evening Young Family Storytime, 8 weeks: 57 total
Wednesday morning Young Family 10AM: 142 total
Wednesday morning Young Family 11AM: 204 total

Wednesday AM total: 346 in attendance.

Book Bingo!

When planning my school-age Saturday programming for the spring session, I tried to do a few programs that required more planning and effort on my part (Cookies & Canvas, Mom & Me at the Library), and then a few that were more passive and took little time and zero money (LEGO Club!).  Book Bingo fell into the latter category, but it ended up being a really fun program that I will likely do again!

The premise was really simple.  I designed a blank 5x5 (25 squares total) bingo board and copied 30 popular children's picture and chapter book covers from the internet.  Each child got a blank bingo sheet, a copy of the book covers, scissors, a glue stick and markers.  They cut out the book covers and customized their bingo boards in the order they liked and then decorated the margins with markers.  We also listened to KidzBop while everyone worked!

The program lasted 45 minutes.  Since there was a fair amount of cutting and gluing, that actually took everyone about 25 minutes, which left 20 minutes for bingo.  Personally, I thought that was the perfect amount of time.  It allowed for several kids to get bingo (we played traditional bingo and 4 squares), but wasn't long enough for everyone to get bored and fidgety.  I let everyone pick a small prize from the prize box on the way out the door regardless.  Everyone was happy and it was a lot of fun!  I was a bit wary because I had a couple of kids register who are usually sort of naysayers, but everyone was in a great mood today!  (as always, remember to obtain those important signed photo release forms from parents!)


Mom & Me at the Library: A Mother's Day Program

Mom & Me at the Library was not my program originally, but since our head librarian is out on sick leave and we didn't want to have to reschedule too many programs, I took this over for her.  I was worried that we wouldn't have a very good turnout (Saturday morning spring sports are the biggest competition against Saturday morning library programs!), but it turned out okay.  Not necessarily something I would repeat next year, but worth the effort. 

Here was the program schedule that I came up with. The program lasted an hour, with the last 15 minutes being slated for a library scavenger hunt.  The two crafts were big hits and I think having cookies and lemonade was a nice touch (I used the 10 packs of chewy chocolate chip cookies from Aldi, only $.99/pack so you can't beat that!).

11:00 - 11:05 AM:  Meet ‘n Greet while everyone arrives
11:05 - 11:20 AM:  Find out the history of Mother’s Day and listen to a special Mother’s Day story
11:20 - 11:40 AM: Crafts!  Make a traced-hand butterfly using mother and child’s hands.  Then learn how to make color-tipped tissue carnations that last forever!
11:40 AM: Snack! Enjoy cookies and lemonade with your mom.
11:45 AM: Mom & Me Scavenger hunt!  Search the  library’s 1st, 2nd, and 3rd floors for purple posters featuring famous illustrated and animated moms.  Fill in the answers and return your sheet to Meeting Room A for a small prize!
Overall, the program went very well.  We had open registration for 25 children and their moms, and I had 23 children register.  Sadly, I had many people cancel the day before due to soccer and baseball schedules, and I only ended up having 25 people TOTAL (kids and their moms) attend, but it was still fun.  Everyone really loved learning how to make carnation flowers out of tissues!  The scavenger hunt really stumped an Indian family that attended, but overall it was a success.  Here are some photos I took during the program (and remember to always obtain those necessary signed photo release forms!)

Airplanes! A Flying Storytime

This was quite a fun storytime to end the spring session!  We had a bunch of leftover Oriental Trading Company foam plane craft sets from last summer, so I opted to use those and the kids loved them.  Books I shared:

Action Rhyme: “The Airplane”
The airplane has great big wings (arms outstretched)
Its propeller spins around and sings “vvvvvv!”
(make one arm go round)
The airplane goes up (lift arms)
The airplane goes down (lower arms)
The airplane flies high (arms outstretched, turn body around)
All over the town!
(fly around)
Preschool Rainbow
Action Rhyme: “Flying Fast, Flying Slow”
Flying fast, flying slow                                                                     (Spread out arms; move feet rapidly)
Flying high, flying low.                                                                     (Raise & lower arms)
Swooping & swirling, I glide through the air.                              (Glide arms around)
My special wings take me everywhere!                                       (Continue gliding)
Fingerplay: “Flying Airplane”
Here is an airplane flying around,                                                  (Right hand moving high)
Here is the landing field down on the ground.                            (Left hand held low, palm up & open)
The man in the tower tells the plane when to land.                 (Raise thumb of left hand)
Zoom-- the plane lands right in my hand.                                    (Right hand into left hand)
Music & Instruments: We jammed out to "Rocketship Run" by Laurie Berkner.  Not technically about airplanes, but rockets are really just planes that fly to space, right? ;-P
 Five little airplanes in the sky. Flying through the clouds way up high.
One little airplane, too tired to soar, landed on the ground and then there were four.
Four little airplanes in the sky. Flying through the clouds way up high.
 One little airplane flew too close to a tree. He landed on the ground and then there were three.
Three little airplanes in the sky. Flying through the clouds way up high.
One little airplane flew a loop-de-loop. He landed on the ground and then there were two.
Two little airplanes in the sky. Flying through the clouds way up high.
One little airplane tried to fly to the sun. He got too hot, so he landed, and then there was one.
One little airplane in the sky. Flying through the clouds way up high.
He got so lonely since no one was around. And joined his friends who were down on the ground.


And our foam plane craft:

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Finally, a Spring Storytime!

I had initally planned on doing my spring-themed storytime way back in March.  However, the weather this year did NOT cooperate with me!  So I ended up saving it for warmer weather, and I am glad I did!  The stories this week were pretty short, so I read three books.  Stories I shared:

Fingerplay: During the Spring
During the Spring, it often showers [Flutter fingers down.]
Or the sun shines for many hours [Form circle in the air with arms.]
Both are good for the flowers! [Cup each hand and extend arms like flowers.]
Action Rhyme:
A little seed for me to sow           (Pretend to hold a tiny seed.)
A little earth to make it grow      (Stoop down and touch the ground.)
A little hole, A little pat
                 (Pretend to dig a hole; plant seed; pat earth around seed.)
A little wish, And that is that
      (Touch index fingers to head; bring arms down and fold over chest.)
A little sun, A little shower           (Make sun with hands; use fingers to create rain.)

A little while, And then --- a flower! (Pretend to sleep; cup hands around face like flower.)
Movement Song: Mr. Sun by Raffi, Singable Songs Collection, disc 1
Feltboard: Caterpillars, Cocoons, and Butterflies
This was really fun to make and the kids LOVED it! Lots of counting is involved, which makes it a great Common Core preschool activity for storytime.
Five little caterpillars, and not one more,
One spun a cocoon, and then there were four.
Four little caterpillars, as happy as can be,
One spun a cocoon, and then there were three.
Three little caterpillars, munching leaves through and through,
One spun a cocoon, and then there were two.
Two little caterpillars, enjoying the sun,
One spun a cocoon, and then there was one.
One little caterpillar, all alone,
He spun a cocoon, and then there were none!Five little cocoons, laying in the sun,
Out came a butterfly, and that makes one!
Four little cocoons, hanging with nothing to do,
Out came another butterfly, and that makes two!
Three little cocoons, as peaceful as can be,
Out came a butterfly, and that makes three!
Two little cocoons, and not one more,
Out came a butterfly, and that makes four!
One little cocoon, just waiting to thrive,
Out came a butterfly, and that makes five!



Song:  “Ten Little Flowers” (Tune: Ten Little Indians)
One little, two little, three little flowers. Four little, five little, six little flowers
Seven little, eight little, nine little flowers, ten little flowers in the spring.
Give them rain and lots of sunshine, Give them rain and lots of sunshine
Give them rain and lots of sunshine, ten little flowers in the spring.
Credit: Modified from

 I also used this felt board that a librarian before me made and I love! She did a beautiful job making the daffodils!
Finally, for the craft, I actually ended up doing 2 crafts this week.  I had some extra kids come to my 10 AM Young Family storytime on Wednesday, so I was short on crafts for my 11 AM.  That has never happened to me before!  I hated that ill-prepared feeling, so I will defnitely be making sure to prepare extra crafts for next week and summer session.  In the short time I had, I whipped up a spare craft using the flowers from the first craft, popsicle sticks, and construction paper.  The lighting in the storyroom makes the paper look purple, but it was deep blue.  So for my first storytime, we made spring wreaths with flowers cut on the Ellison on cut-out paper plates, and then used the leftover flowers to plant "gardens" for my second storytime.  Crisis averted and both crafts were a success:-)


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Fizz, Boom, Read! Bulletin Board


I can't believe that Summer Reading is almost upon us.  It feels like the past year has really flown by!  This will be my second year doing the Summer Reading Club, so I feel a little less nervous about the process and all of the hard work that goes into making sure it runs smoothly.  I got a head start on the Story Room bulletin board today, and I'm really happy with the way it turned out.  I used the Fizz, Boom, Read! Bulletin Board Kit that we purchased, and then added my own touches with the bubbles, "germs," and magnifying glasses.  The idea came from the old black science tables we always used in science class--so I hope that it isn't lost in translation!  The art on the beakers is kind of hard to see without being up close, but they are wonderful illustrations and I am really pleased with the way the bulletin board turned out.

A Laura Numeroff Storytime!

I have never attempted a storytime theme based on an author, but I really LOVE Laura Numeroff's books and decided to give it a go this session.  It was a really great storytime!  I used big books, since we have them, and only read two books this week since her books are on the longer side.  The kids had a great time and I am already planning my next author-themed storytime (Eric Carle!).

Stories I shared:

I used one feltboard this week, 10 Muffins on the Windowsill, which came from

Flannel Board: “10 Big Muffins”
Ten big muffins on the window sill. Moose came along and ate his fill.
Now how many muffins are on the window sill?...Now no more muffins are on the window sill.

After I read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, I did my cookie storytube, 5 Little Cookies, which I changed a bit from

Feltboard/Story Tube: “5 Little Cookies”
5 little cookies with chocolate galore, mother ate one and then there were four.
4 little cookies, two and two you see, father ate one and then there were three.
3 little cookies, but before I knew, sister ate one and then there were two.
2 little cookies, yum, yum, yum, brother ate one and then there was one.
1 little cookie, here I come! I ate it up and now there are none.

We also played instruments (the kids just love playing those instruments!)

Instrument Song:  Do You Know the Muffin Man? 150 Toddler Tunes, disc 1, #44
> play with instruments: rhythm sticks, jingle bells, shakey eggs

And I used This Little Piggy on our fingers as an extension activity for If You Give a Pig a Pancake, although we didn't read the book due to time.

For our craft, I used the Ellison to cut our mice, used a circle punch and a hole punch to make some nibbled on cookies, and used small black dot stickers as chocolate chips.  This was such a cute craft!

Baa, Baa, Sheep!

Originally, I had wanted to do my sheep-themed storytime at the end of March, as the saying goes, "in like a lion and out like a lamb."  But March this year in NO way went out like a lamb, lol, so I saved it for more spring-like weather.  We have a fantastic metropark nearby called Lake Farmpark where many new lambs have just been born, so it was a great introduction to the theme.  I just love little baby lambs!

Stories I shared this week:

I did two flannel boards this week.  One was a variation of "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep" and the other was a variation of "Mary Had a Little Lamb."  We sang both as we went and they were both great fun!  My pictures have a bit of a glare for some reason--my apologies!!  These are original ideas of mine, but I'm sure if you looked hard enough they've been done in some capacity before--feel free to copy them from me!
Feltboard: “Baa, Baa, Shape Sheep”
Pass out colorful felt shapes to the children. Then sing, and have the children bring the shapes to the board:
Baa baa, red sheep, have you any hearts? Yes, Miss Barbara, we have hearts!
Baa baa, green sheep, have you any squares? Yes, Miss Barbara, we have squares!
Baa baa, blue sheep, have you any triangles?  Yes, Miss Barbara, we have triangles!
Baa baa, pink sheep, have you any circles?  Yes, Miss Barbara, we have circles!


Song: “Mary had a Little Lamb”
Sing the traditional song, but use the colorful sheep. Use clipart of colorful items that match what the sheep could be the same color as.
Mary had  a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb, Mary had a little lamb whose fleece was yellow as…the sun! green as a frog…red as an apple…white as snow…orange as an orange…blue as blueberries, etc.

Other extension activities this week included:

Fingerplay:Two Little Sheep
Two little sheep sitting on a hill. One named Jack, one named Jill.
Run away Jack, run away Jill.  Come back Jack, come back Jill!
And we played shakey eggs, rhythm sticks, and bells to Raffi's version of Baa, Baa, Black Sheep, which is always a blast.  Kids love to play instruments!

Our craft this week was a magnetic fluffy sheep.  A simple craft with a paper plate, cotton balls, wiggly eyes, and black construction paper: