Wow! Color Toddler Storytime

I’m filling in for a 6-week session of the in-house baby and toddler storytimes at the Poplar Creek Public Library. This blog actually started when I was doing toddler storytimes in California, so I feel like I’m going back to my roots in a way. I’m excited to repeat some of my favorite storytimes, maybe tweaking them a bit to add in some new books or flannels. Back in the day, I didn’t post the order I did my stories, rhymes, and songs. So this time around, I’ll be sharing my actual plans.

We started last Thursday with a fun Color theme. I loved meeting new friends, acting silly, and dancing with scarves. I’m already looking forward to next time!

*Opening: The More We Get Together
*Rhyme: If You’re Wearing Red Today
Book: Wow! Said the Owl by Tim Hopgood
*Rhyme: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
**Flannel: Little Mouse House
*Rhyme: If You’re Happy and You Know It
***Visual Prop: Baa, Baa [insert color] Sheep & Sing “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep” song
Book: Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox
Flannel: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin
Dancing Song (with scarves): “Dancing Scarf Blues” from Carole Peterson: Dancing Feet
*Closing: We Wave Goodbye

Craft: Doily Sheep

*Rhymes can be found on the August/September 2018 Toddler Rhyme Sheet

**Little Mouse, Little Mouse, Are you in the [insert color] house?
(Underneath different colored flannel houses, I place different flannel animals. Using a cat puppet, we go in search of the mouse flannel… This time, under the houses that didn’t have the mouse, I put all sheep flannels. That was pretty silly!)

***Created “flash cards” of colorful sheep. One side of each card has a colored sheep. The other side of the card is blank… except the Black Sheep card. On back of Black Sheep card, there is an illustration of three bags. We chanted “Baa, Baa, [insert color] Sheep, have you any wool?” (Show side with colored sheep.) “No, sir, no, sir, no bags full.” (Show empty back side of card.) UNTIL you get to the Black Sheep. Then say, “Yes, sir, yes, sir, three bags full.” (Show the illustration of the three bags.) We sang the traditional rhyme. Then, we counted the bags on the back of the card.

Weird Summer

Here’s another summer school/camp program:

“Weird” books are always popular!

Storytelling: “At Midnight” (I learned this “boo baby” story from storyteller Priscilla Howe)
Nonfiction Book: Weird But True! 9 (National Geographic Kids)
Fiction Book: If… by Sarah Perry
Fiction Book: Rot by Ben Clanton

Reminder: I’ll be performing at the Streamwood Farmer’s Market this Friday, July 27th at 11:30 am at the Poplar Creek Public Library. I’ll be repeating my farm-themed Story Sparklers program.

The Dog Days of Summer

So, this summer, I’ve been keeping busy reading stories to kids visiting the library as part of their summer school program and also to kids participating in an apartment community summer camp. I’ve been repeating some old programs, but I also came up with some new ideas, too.

Here’s my “Dog Days” theme:

Nonfiction Book: “Hank’s Home Run” from Five-Minute True Stories: Animal Rescue by Aubre Andrus (plus book talk other animal books including National Geographic’s 125 True Stories of Amazing Animals and Five-Minute True Stories: Animal BFFs)
Fiction Book: Dog Breath by Dav Pilkey
Activity: My Dog Spot! Mad Libs

Story Sparklers V

I hope that everyone had a fantastic 4th of July! I spent my holiday sharing farm stories at Crystal Lake’s annual Lakeside Festival. This was my FIFTH year bringing storytime to the fest. I had a really fun audience and a great turnout. Miss Illinois Teen, Rachel Hodson, also visited to say hello to the kids and to assist with the event. She’s a big supporter of reading and was great with the kids. So nice to have her there.

For anyone interested, I will be repeating this farm-themed storytime at the Streamwood Farmers Market on Friday, July 27th at 11:30 a.m. The Farmer’s Market will be located in the parking lot of the Poplar Creek Library (where I work!) at 1405 Park Avenue, Streamwood. It’s a drop-in outdoor storytime– no need to register; just show up for fun and stories!

*Opening Song: If You Want to Hear a Story

Read-aloud #1 (Big Book): Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin
Song with Puppets: Old MacDonald
Puppet Story: Who Said Meow? from the book by Maria Polushkin (See librarian Steven Englefried’s YouTube demonstration.)
**Fingerplay: The Beehive
Flannel Story: The Goat in the Chile Patch (from Multicultural Folktales: Stories to Tell Young Children edited by Judy Sierra)
***Action Song: Fun with Hands
Storytelling: “The Little Red Hen” (This is a traditional folktale, possibly of Russian-origin. Children dressed up and acted out the parts. I used a singing refrain from storyteller Heather Forest’s sound recording Sing Me a Story.)

****Closing Rhyme: Thank You

*If You Want to Hear a Story (Tune: “If You’re Happy and You Know It”)
If you want to hear a story, clap your hands!
If you want to hear a story, clap your hands!
If you want to hear a story,
if you want to hear a story,
if you want to hear a story, clap your hands!
Other verses:
“nod your head,”
“rub your tummy,”
“sit real still,” etc.

**The Beehive
Here is a beehive
Make a fist.
Where are the bees?
Hidden away where nobody sees.
Watch as they come out of their hive—
One, two, three, four, five,
Extend fingers one at a time.
They’re alive! Buzzzzzz!
Wiggle your fingers.

***Fun With Hands
Suit actions to words.
Tune: “Row, Row, Row your boat”.

Roll, roll, roll your hands,
As slowly as can be.
Roll, roll, roll your hands,
Do it now with me.
Roll, roll, roll your hands,
As fast, as fast can be.
Roll, roll, roll your hands,
Do it now with me.
Clap, clap, clap your hands…
Shake, shake, shake your hands…
Stamp, stamp, stamp your feet…

****Thank You
My hands say thank you
With a clap, clap, clap
Clap hands
My feet say thank you with a tap, tap, tap
Tap feet
Clap, clap, clap.
Tap, tap, tap.
Clap hands, then tap feet
Turn myself around and bow,
Thank you!
Turn around, bow, then smile

April 2018 “Outer Space” Second Grade Visits

Sigh. It’s my last month of class visits for this school year. I’ve really enjoyed sharing stories with these enthusiastic and appreciative second graders. I hope that many will come visit me at the library this summer!

Song: Boom Chicka Boom
Book: The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot by Margaret McNamara
(Poetry Book Bite: “The Earth” or “Pluto” from Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars by Douglas Florian)
Nonfiction Book Bite: booktalked various “space” books (such as 50 Things You Should Know About Space by Professor Raman Prinja, Eclipses by Martha E.H. Rustad, and Astronaut Handbook by Meghan McCarthy)
Storytell: “At Midnight” (I learned this “boo baby” story from storyteller Priscilla Howe)

Schools visited: Heritage, Laurel Hill

March/April 2018 “Road Trip” Kindergarten Visits

And now for the Kindergarten version of the “Road Trip” theme I’m doing for my visits this month (and part of next month)…

Opening: If You Want to Hear a Story
Book: Moo! by David LaRochelle
Book (and Nursery Rhymes): Motor Goose: Rhymes that Go by Rebecca Colby [This is a really fun picture book that puts a “vehicle” twist on classic Mother Goose rhymes. I shared 3 of the rhymes with the kids… but before each rhyme, we would recite/sing the familiar (non-vehicle) rhyme together (ex. Humpty Dumpty and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star). This strategy worked really well with the kindergartners and was really fun.]
Book: Let’s Go for a Drive! by Mo Willems
Flannel Song: The Wheels on the Bus
Dancing Song: “Face the Facts” from Jim Gill Sings Moving Rhymes for Modern Times
Closing: We Wave Goodbye

Schools Visited: Parkwood, Heritage

March 2017 “Road Trip” Toddler Storytime

Opening: If You Want to Hear a Story
Book: Race Car Count by Rebecca Kai Dotlich
*Flannel: Five Fast Race Cars
Action Song: Hands Up High
Song: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems
Flannel Song: The Wheels on the Bus
Dancing Song: “Silly Dance Contest” from Jim Gill Sings the Sneezing Song
Closing: We Wave Goodbye

Schools visited: Little Bear Academy

*Five Fast Race Cars (Source unknown)
Five fast race cars speeding round the track.
The first car said, “I can’t look back!”
The second car said, “Oh, no! I’m out of gas!”
The third car said, “Beep! Beep! I’m fast!”
The fourth car said, “Watch my tires spin.”
The fifth car said, “Vroom, vroom. I win!”
Then beep went a horn and flash went the lights,
And five fast race cars sped out of sight!

March 2017 “Road Trip” Pre-K Visits

It’s hard to believe that I am already going on my last round of visits for the school year! I really loved visiting the Pre-K classes this year… I am already looking forward to the next school year!

Opening: If You Want to Hear a Story
Book: Toad on the Road by Stephen Shaskan
Flannel Song: The Wheels on the Bus
Book: Moo! By David LaRochelle
Flannel: It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles Shaw (flannel pieces here)
Dancing Song: “Face the Facts” from Jim Gill Sings Moving Rhymes for Modern Times
Closing: We Wave Goodbye

Schools visited: Horizon, Little Bear Academy

February 2018 “Animal Friends” Second Grade Visits

My third round of second grade visits started last week!

Poetry Book Bite: “I Made My Dog a Valentine” from It’s Valentine’s Day by Jack Prelutsky OR “My Dog Has Got No Manners” from If Pigs Could Fly… by Bruce Lansky
Nonfiction Book Bite: read a 5-minute story from Animal BFFs by Aubre Andrus (and book-talked other animal nonfiction books)
Book: Big Mean Mike by Michelle Knudsen OR Children Make Terrible Pets by Peter Brown
Storytell: Monkey and Frog (West African tale as told by Laura Simms on her Four Legged Tales cd)

Schools visited: Heritage, Laurel Hill

January 2018 “Snow Clothes” Toddler Visit

It’s been cold and snowy in Illinois. Today, my toddler friends and I stayed warm indoors and shared this fun storytime together. (This month, my preschool and kindergarten friends are enjoying a version of this “It’s Frosty Cold Out!” storytime plus “The Freeze!” song listed below.)

Opening Song: If You Want to Hear a Story
Read-aloud: Under My Hood I Have a Hat by Karla Kuskin
Song: Silly Hat Song
Action Song: If You’re Wearing Red Today
*Flannel Rhyme: Cute Little Snowman
Action Song: Fun with Hands
Dancing Song (with scarves): “The Freeze!” from Carole Peterson: Dancing Feet
Closing Song: We Wave Goodbye

Schools visited: Little Bear Academy

*Cute Little Snowman
A cute little snowman
Had a carrot nose
Along came a bunny,
And what do you suppose?
That hungry little bunny,
Looking for his lunch,
Ate the snowman’s carrot nose,
Nibble, nibble, crunch!