Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Winter Weather Fun Preschool Storytime

Storytime for 3 to 5 year olds.

  • Literacy activity flannelboard - Snowing Letters
I found this wonderful snowing rhyme flannelboard on the Once Upon a (Story) Time blog that I adapted for my flannelboard. 

Snow on my forehead, (F)

Snow on my knee, (K)

Snow on my eyes, (E) 

Getting hard to see.

Snow on my boots, (B)

Snow on my hair, (H)

Snow on my mittens, (M)

Snow everywhere!

I gave each child a snowflake (clip art cut out on paper). Each snowflake had one letter written on the backside corresponding to the letters above in the rhyme. As I said the rhyme I would then say the first letter of each underlined word. I would also write the letter on the board. The children were to place their snowflake on the white board (with tape) when I said their letter. This turned out to be a great exercise in letter recognition. 

  • Book #1 - In the Snow by Sharon Phillips Denslow, illustrated by Nancy Tafuri

  • Movement activity - Snowflakes (action rhyme I picked up many years ago)
Snowflakes falling down, down, down
Gently covering all the town
Swirling, twirling, down they come
One landed on my tongue!


  • Activity - Itsy Bitsy Snowflake (fingerplay I found in a Mailbox Preschool magazine, December/January 2007-8, page 26)


  • Art experience - Create melted snowmen by pouring a puddle of glue on a colored paper plate. Create a melted face using pom-poms and beads.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Family Library Challenge

Last month my library celebrated "Take Your Child to the Library Day" as an effort to reach out to families we don't see on a regular basis.  We like to do passive programming throughout the day for this event since we have plenty of other big events happening at the library throughout the year to plan for.  This year, one of our passive ideas included a type of scavenger hunt that we named a "Family Library Challenge." As the name suggests, this scavenger hunt was to be done as a family, although some older children did it on their own.  Every child who finished 6 out of the 12 tasks got a piece of candy and a sticker. This challenge was a great way to introduce families to some unfamiliar areas of the library.

  1. Read a book that is a winner or an honor winner of the Caldecott Award for most distinguished picture book illustrations.  (Hint: These books have special stickers on their spines.)
  2. Discover where the learn-to-draw books are located. Grab some paper and pencils and try to draw one thing from a learn-to-draw book. (Note: Paper and pencils can be found at the Children's Desk.) 
  3. Leave a thoughtful review on a post-it note in a book you really loved. (Note: Post-it note paper can be found at the Children's Desk.)
  4. Find a joke or riddle book. Share one joke and/or riddle from this book with a library staff member.
  5. Search for a poem in a poetry book and read it out loud.
  6. Discover the atlas stand on the second floor. Pick out one atlas book and spend some time looking at it.
  7. Find a baby name book. Make a list of funny name combinations or look up the meaning of your name.
  8. Meet someone new. Read a biography from the children’s section on someone you know very little about.
  9. Show off your architectural skills.  Build a block tower.
  10. The very first library in Puyallup was started by pioneer Eliza Meeker in her cabin located where the ivy trellis is in Pioneer Park. Go stand under this ivy trellis and jump 5 times.
  11. Explore the Friends of the Library Book Store. Purchase something for a special person in your life. (The money goes to a good cause…to support your library!)
  12. Make sure each child in your family has their own library card or library book bag. (Puyallup Public Library bags are only $1.)

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Help Your Child Understand What They Read

Last month I gave a presentation to some parents at a local elementary school about what they could do to help their children understand what they read. The reading intervention teacher at the school requested this "mini class" for parents who were interested.  The slides to my presentation can be found here.  The notes attached to the slides is where the substance of what I talked about can be found.

My presentation covered:
1. The journey of a reader.
2. Words of wisdom from The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease (7th edition).
3. Practicing the basics of Dialogic Reading.
4. Practicing asking open-ended questions.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Harry Potter Book Night 2016

On February 4, my library celebrated Harry Potter Book Night. This seemed like a fun program to do since the librarians knew that Harry Potter was still popular.  Last summer during our summer reading program, not a single Harry Potter book could be found on the shelves.

Our H.P. Night was celebrated as a party with a craft station and several party games:

Decorate your own wand -
We found this DIY wand directions at the Boxy Colonial blog. My volunteers did the hot gluing and painting before the actual event. At the event, party goers chose a wand then decorated it with pipe-cleaners, feathers, yarn, and lace scraps. Not only did we offer some very unique wands, but some of the children were fabulously creative with the supplies on hand!


Snacks -
What party is complete without snacks?  After some searching on the internet I found three easy to make themed snacks: Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans (jelly beans, of course), Hufflepuff Cheesepuffs (cheesepuff snacks), and Ollivander's Salty Wands (pretzel sticks).

Trivia -
Every child who answered all of the 12 trivia questions correctly received a gold foil D.A. sticker. One of my interns did an awesome job creating the trivia questions. Without even realizing it, she included a trick question that got many kids researching the correct answer.

Owl Mail -
This fun party game was thought up by another intern of mine. I set out a wicker basket with an owl puppet inside. Party goers threw origami folded letters, addressed to book characters, into the basket.

Pin the glasses on Harry -
Just like the classic Pin the Tail on the Donkey game.  I made some paper spectacles that were then placed on a charming picture of a young Daniel Radcliffe by blind-folded party goers.

Mini Quidditch -
Inspired by this Quidditch drinking game, we created our own hoops on library tables. The party goers then hit pop-pom quaffles through the hoops with paintbrush "brooms".  The children actually had a fun time playing this challenging game.


Reflection - This was a well attended library event. Some staff members requested to be involved in the planning of this event next year.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Baby Brain Builders Storytime Winter 2016

A special storytime experience for babies 6 months to 18 months old.  

“Row, Row, Row Your Boat” from Songs for Wiggleworms by Old Town School Folk Music

"Hello chant"

Hello ______________,
Hello ______________,
How are you?
We're so glad you're here,
We're going to clap for you!

"When Animals Get Up In the Morning" (A few years ago, I found a small cloth barn to use with this song. I put little stuffed animals into it and then pull out the animals one by one to sing this song.)

When cows get up in the morning, they always say “Good day.”
When cows get up in the morning, they always say “Good day.”
Moo! Moo!” this is what they say.
Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo!” this is what they say.
(substitute other animals and animal sounds)

Book #1 – Cowboy Baby by Lissa Rovetch, illustrated by Cheryl Mendenhall (board book)

"Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" (traditional song)

Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes;
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes;
Eyes and ears and mouth and nose;
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes.

"Round and Round the Garden" (tickle rhyme)

Round and round the garden
(with index finger, make a circle on baby’s tummy)Like a teddy bear
One step, two step
(walk fingers up chest)Tickle under there!
(tickle under chin)
Round and round the garden
(with index finger, make a circle on baby’s tummy)Goes the little mouse
One step, two step
(walk fingers up arm)Up into his house
(tickle baby under arm)

"Tick Tock" (lap bounce)

(bounce baby from leg to leg)Tick tock, tick tock, I’m a little cuckoo clock.
Tick, tock, tick tock, now it is one o’clock… Cuckoo!
(raise baby up for each cuckoo)
(repeat for other times of day)
Now it is two o’clock… Cuckoo! Cuckoo!
Now it is three o’clock… Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Cuckoo!

Book #2 – What Does Baby Love? by Karen Katz (lift-the-flap board book)

"If You're Happy and You Know It" from Where is Thumbkin? by Kimbo

"Little Bo-Peep" (scarf rhyme) 

Little Bo-Peep has lost her sheep and doesn’t know where to find them;
Leave them alone, and they’ll come home,
Wagging their tails behind them.

"Two Little Chickens" (traditional fingerplay done with scarves)

Two little chickens sitting on a fence,
One named Jack, the other named Jill.
Fly away Jack, fly away Jill.
Come back Jack, come back Jill.
Two little chickens sitting on a fence.

“Bubbles” from Peekaboo, I Love You! By Kindermusik
“Ten Little Bubbles” from Toddler by Sara Hickman
“Bubble on my Snuffle” from Sesame Street: Splish Splash Bath Time Fun
“Bubble Ride” from Bubble Ride by Vanessa Trien and the Jumping Monkeys

Soft blocks
Stacking cups
Shape sorter
Mega Bloks

Back-up books:
Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton (board book)
Peekaboo Baby by Sebastien Braun (lift-the-flap board book)