Friday, January 24, 2014

Storytime Prop ~ I'm Bringing Home a...

This week I am sharing a Blast From the Past that has been tweaked for my Penguin programs this month. It is a Storytime Prop but I also use it as a craft for my Family Storytime friends.

What do you think is inside this egg?

Why it's a Baby Penguin!

Here is the song that I use with my little baby penguin puppet:

I'm Bringing Home a ...
(Sung to: "I'm Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee")

Look what I found!
(The words in purple are spoken.)

I'm bringing home a very unusual egg.
Won't my mommy sigh and tap her leg?
I'm bringing home a very unusual egg.
Crack! Crack! Crack!

Uh-oh! It's hatching!
(Open the egg slowly.)

And it's a penguin baby!

I'm bringing home a little penguin baby.
Won't my mommy let me keep it? Maybe?!??!
I'm bringing home a little penguin baby.
Cheep! Cheep! Cheep!

Oh, look!
(Take the penguin out of the egg.)

It might be hard to see but the body
and wings of this little guy are a dark gray
and the head is black.

It's ready to waddle!

My little baby penguin loves to waddle round.
Just watch him go so quickly cross the ground.
My little baby penguin loves to waddle round.
Waddle! Waddle! Waddle!

My storytime friends fell in love with this little dude and were very excited to make their own egg and baby penguin to take home. They also took home a flyer with the above song and the rhyme below. While saying the rhyme, they all made their little penguins waddle, swim and climb. So adorable!

(a penguin version of "There Was a Little Turtle)

There was a little penguin 
Who waddled when she walked.
She swam in the ocean 
And she climbed on some rocks.
She snapped at seagull.
She snapped at a seal.
She snapped at a fish.
Mmmmm, what a meal!

This post is being shared on the Flannel Friday Round-Up and on the Storytimes and More Saturday Share this week.

If you are interested in learning more about each group, you can visit Flannel Friday here on their blog and Storytimes and More on the Go here on our Facebook page or here on our new blog. Please feel free to join in our Saturday Share this week. We love sharing with new friends and you don't have to have your own blog to share. :o)

Thanks for stopping by this week.


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Guest Post: Trains, Buses, and Trucks!

Recently, I was involved in a discussion on the Facebook page for a wonderful new group of people who have the same passion that I have ~ a LOVE for sharing any and all things Storytime-related! If you have that same passion, you can find the discussion on the page for the group, Storytimes and More on the Go.

Our Guest Poster today is an active participant in the group so I am very excited that she asked to share one of her favorite storytime plans with us this week.

Her name is Jane and her favorite storytime themes are "Trucks and Trains -- 'though not together".

Jane says that she is quite active with her "Pinterest boards...but no blog". (Check out her pins here.)
She is also active on her "library system's wiki...but no blog". (Don't miss their wiki here.)
PLUS, she has been "hosting storytimes for 20+ years" and she has "lots of ideas -- (her) own and some "borrowed"...but no blog".

Well... guess what?!??! She doesn't need her own blog to share all her wonderful, invaluable experience with all of us. She can do it through this Guest Post! So from this point on, all credit goes to Jane!

Before we get to Jane's storytime plan, she has two songs that she opens all storytimes with. 

"The first, to greet our friends, and have them recognize colors and body parts":
"Hello, all my friends, how do you do? 
How do you do? How do you do?
Hello, all my friends, how do you do? 
How are you today?
If you're wearing _____, touch your _____."
(Repeat with 5-6 colors/body parts.)
End with:
"If you're here for storytime, put on your listening ear. Sh-sh-sh"

"The second song engages everyone...or tries to":
"Here's your hands, clap-clap-clap,
Here's your hands, clap-clap-clap.
Here's your knees, so pat-pat-pat,
Here's your knees, so pat-pat-pat.
Clap-pat, clap-pat, clap-pat,
Shake those arms about.
Here's your eyes, so blink-blink-blink,
Here's your eyes, so blink-blink-blink.
Here's your brain, so think-think-think,
Here's your brain, so think-think-think.
Blink-think, blink-think, blink-think,
Clap-tap, clap-tap, clap-tap,
Shake your arms about.
Move your arms, up and down,
Move your arms, up and down. 
Move your arms all around,
Move your arms all around.
Up, down - all around,
Up, down - all around,
Blink-think, blink-think, blink-think,
Clap-tap, clap-tap, clap-tap,
Shake your arms about!"

Now for Jane's Storytime Plan for:


Opening songs—Greet & Movement

*Engine, engine #9 (movement activity)

*FREIGHT TRAIN, Donald Crews

*I’ve Been Working on the Railroad (song)


*BREAK –  Down By the Station (movement song)

*Participatory Flannel Board – I hand out pieces of a train and then call the children up to complete flannel board picture—either using colors or asking for specific pieces.

*Story to Draw, Birthday Surprise (Jerry Mallett, p. 26-28)

You can also use:                       Peanut Sat on a Railroad Track

A peanut sat on a railroad track,
His heart was all a-flutter.
Around the bend, came number 10,
Toot-toot, peanut butter.

I met an engine on a hill,
All hot and broken-hearted.
And this is what he said to me,
As up the hill he started.
I think I can, I think I can,
At any rate I'll try.
I think I can, I think I can,
At any rate I'll try.
He reached the top, and looking back,
To where he stood and doubted,
He started on the downward track,
And this is what he shouted.
I knew I could, I knew I could,
I never should have doubted.
I knew I could, I knew I could,
I never should have doubted. 

And her Storytime Plan  for:

Buses and Trucks

Opening songs—Greet & Movement

*I Like Trucks, I Always Will (song, lyrics KIDSONGS)

*TRUCK DRIVER TOM, Monica Wellington
*Trucks are driving through the town, (fingerplay)
Driving up and driving down.
Here’s a red fire truck,
A green recycling truck,
A yellow construction truck,
A brown delivery truck,
And a red, white and blue mail truck.

*BREAK – Hurry, Hurry, Drive the Fire Truck (movement song, Barney lyrics)

*Participatory Flannel Board – I hand out different trucks and then call the children up to complete flannel board picture—either using colors or asking for specific pieces.

*Wheels on the Bus (movement song)



(I may do a train craft if I’m with older kids. We have an Ellison machine. )

At the end of storytime, I will almost always end with Ring-Around-the-Rosie for 2’s.

For the Preschoolers:
I’m as tall as a giraffe,                     
(hands are stretched high)
I’m as big as a house,                     
(hands are stretched wide)
I’m as tiny as an elf,                        
(hands are made low to ground)
I’m as quiet as a mouse.                               
(finger to lips)

A HUGE "Thank you!" to Jane for sharing TWO complete Storytime Plans with us this week. After reading her plans, I have added Preschool to the Rescue to my TBR pile and I'm looking for a week or two to add Trains, Buses, and Trucks to my storytime schedule. I haven't done transportation in quite awhile so I am sure my storytimes will love a Jane-inspired week or two. Lol!

***This Guest Post has been shared on the Storytimes and More Saturday Share for 1/18/14***

Friday, January 17, 2014

Flannel Games ~ Animals in WHAT?!??!!


"Animals, animals
everywhere -
from A to Z in

The other day a bright and colorful  book arrived on my desk.

The second I saw it, I knew it needed to be flannel-ized for an ABC game for my preschool friends. It is a book that, according to the back cover, "helps kids learn the ABCs in a fresh, new way."
I would totally agree! 
Underwear is definitely a FRESH way to approach the ABCs!
And who better than Todd Parr to make such a book?

Animals in Underwear ABC by Todd Parr
To make my alligator and letter A, I enlarged the picture in the book and cut them out of colorful felt. I then glued the pieces onto stiff black felt to create the outline. Stiff felt also makes the pieces much more durable which is necessary when they will be played with by lots of little hands.

I plan to make all the letters and animals over the next few weeks. I will be back to update the post as I get them done. 

It is going to be a great felt set to use when sharing the book. I think I will pass out the animals to my storytime friends before reading the book. Then as I put the letters up and show the pictures, each child can bring up the appropriate animal. Should be fun with lots of laughter!

For the game aspect, I will be placing all the pieces out at our large flannel board and allow our library families to match the letters to the animals. I also think the animals could be used for a sorting game by underwear ~ too funny! Sometimes kids will surprise you with the way they sort things. Some might sort by colors or by stripes but, if you do this sorting activity with a child, I recommend that you let the child take the lead and tell you how they want to sort the animals and their underwear. You just might learn something new!

Thanks for stopping by this Friday! 

I will be sharing this post on the Flannel Friday Round-up and on the Storytimes and More Saturday Share this week. 

If you are interested in finding out more about each group, you can find Flannel Friday here on their blog and Storytimes and More here on their Facebook group or here on their blog. 


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thrive Thursday: Read Your Way to a Party Intro

I have been excitedly waiting for our first event in our new reading incentive program titled:

Read Your Way to a Party!

Our first 8 week session of this program is actually having 
our young library friends work on earning their way to a 

Cookie Party!

This is our large wall display where we will
keep track of who is earning an invitation
to our first party. 
The program consists of two parts. One is library-related and the other can be completed outside the library for those who can only visit the library occasionally.

The basics are:
  • Participants must be in grades K through 5.
  • Reading logs must be kept over the 8 week period. They must be completed and turned in on a specific date.
  • Each participant must earn a total of 8 cookies to qualify for an invitation to our exciting Cookie Party.
  • To earn a cookie, participants either read for 2 hours to earn a round cookie or complete 2 specific activities for a gingerbread man cookie.
  • Each time a librarian signs off on reading time or activities, the child is given a paper cookie to decorate and place up on the display.
Our first two cookies added to the cookie jar
The program includes meet-ups at the library on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Wednesdays of the month for an hour-long event. Participants are not required to attend. But, if they do, they will get assistance with the library-related activities and they will be introduced to tons of good books and authors; view quality children's videos; either make a fun craft or participate in unusual literacy-related games. In other words, tons and tons of afterschool fun!

For our first meet-up, my co-worker chose a Cat theme.
We set out cat items from all sections of the children's area ~ picture books,
easy readers, chapter books, non-fiction books, magazines, videos, etc.

My co-worker read a cat book to our library friends and then we made some awesome corner bookmarks. I actually found a cat corner bookmark and a monster corner bookmark by using Google.
I made this purple cat corner bookmark for my co-worker
who adores cats. No surprise!

Both websites that I found on Google had a template. I printed each one out on cardstock. The templates made the craft much easier for the younger participants. All they needed to do was pick their paper ~ I provided lots of crazy, colorful paper as well as solid colors ~ draw around the template, cutout the shape, decorate, fold and glue. Very simple! Very fun !

 Although they liked the monster bookmarks that I shared with them, everyone decided to make cats for their book buddies. Perfect choice, don't you think?

Two of our purrr-fect book buddies. 

While creating our corner bookmarks, we talked about books that everyone had read recently. It was as awesome discussion during which I discovered that some of the friends did not know who Pete the Cat is. WHAT?!??! No way!!

Of course, we had to remedy this horrible problem! Once everyone was duly introduced to Pete the Cat, I decided to make a Pete the Cat corner bookmark by tweaking the pattern a little.

Isn't he the cool-est cat ever?

We ended our meet-up with a video of another cool literary cat ~ Splat the Cat ~ along with every cat's favorite snack, Goldfish crackers! 

Definitely a great way to end our first Read Your Way to a Cookie Party session!

Here is a quick look at our first reading log (each participant will need to fill out two different logs for this 8 week session), our paper cookies before decorating, the sample corner bookmarks ~ monster and cat ~ and a special Pete the Cat bookmark with our library information stamped on back.

That is a quick overview of our new reading incentive program.
I look forward to sharing our future meet-ups and information on how things 
are working and not working  
~ What we find successful and what we need to tweak as we go. ~

I know I didn't cover everything in detail here ~ like the activities aspect of the log ~ but I hope to share more details over the next 8 weeks. I also plan to share the preparations for our Cookie Party. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to email them to me at or leave them in the comments below.


***If you noticed the title of this post, you may be asking yourself, "What is Thrive Thursday?" Good question! It is a new Blog Hop that I am linking to this week. It is a weekly compilation of programming ideas for school-age children. I am excited to be linking up for the first time but the Hop has been going on for months. Be sure to check all of them out at the host blog, Thrive After Three.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Pinterest-ing Fun: Let's Build a Snowman

I love using Pinterest for my storytime planning ~ Ah, heck! Who am I kidding? ~ I love hoarding storytime ideas on Pinterest! But who doesn't, right?!??!

In order to continue to feel like I am not just wasting time on there, I have decided to create or use at least two ideas a month and share the results on my blog. So I now introduce you to my newest blog feature:

~ Pinterest-ing Fun ~

For the first Pinterest creation, I decided to make something that I can use with a rhyme or two during storytimes but also set out for exploration at our Stay and Play time following our Read, Sing, Play Toddlertimes and after our Read, Learn, Imagine Family Storytimes. 

I found the idea here:

While the orignal post had directions for making a 4 foot felt snowman, I realized that I already had the perfect pattern for my snowman. I decided to make my cool dude using my magnetic board snowman that I made a few years ago. He is just the right size for my magnetic/flannel board that makes an appearance at every one of my storytimes. Plus I use him for lots of snowy fun that you can check out here.

He is a magnetic kind of guy! ;o)

I used my magnet pieces as patterns for my felt snowman and all his features. I did change it up a bit though. I made my new felt guy a green bowtie and purple mittens. I also added a 4th star button and a red band to his hat. I'm sure you are curious about how my newest snow friend turned out so... without further ado, here he is!

My storytime friends have had a BLAST with our Florida Snowman!

Someone even added a few of our felt snowflakes to him before leaving the library last night.
Too cute! 

Besides playing with our cool guy and re-building him over and over, we also did a song with him. This is a song that has been around for awhile so I really don't have a source to name. It is a piggyback song ~ which I always love! Plus I have tweaked it a little for my own purposes ~ as usual! It is sung to the familiar tune of "The Farmer in the Dell".

We Build a Fun Snowman

(Add a snowflake to the flannel board as you sing each line.)
The snow is falling down, 
The snow is falling down,
It's covering the cold, cold, ground
The snow is falling down.

(Add a snowball to make a snowman ~ starting with the smallest.)
We roll snow in a ball,
We roll snow in a ball,
We make a great big circle
When we roll snow in a ball.

(Add the items to make the snowman's face in the next three verses.)
We make a happy face,
We make a happy face,
We add blueberries to make two eyes
To make a happy face.

We make a happy face,
We make a happy face,
We add one orange carrot nose
To make a happy face.

We make a happy face,
We make a happy face,
We add five cherries for a mouth
To make a happy face.

When we put it all together, what did we make?
We made a fun snowman,
We made a fun snowman,
We worked together having fun
And made a fun snowman.

For my youngest storytime friends, these verses are enough and we just add some more items ~ like two brown sticks for arms, 4  yellow stars for buttons, a tall black hat, etc. ~ as we talk about the items. For my older storytime friends, I add a few more verses to the song as we continue to decorate our snow friend.

For an added learning opportunity, you could pass out the felt pieces and have the children bring each piece up at the appropriate time. This is a very good way to practice focusing, using appropriate listening skills, and also following directions.

I have lots more plans for my new snow friend! I will be adding many more items so that he can be a fashionable snowman. I also plan to make cards with differently dressed snowmen illustrated on them. Then I can ask my storytime friends to re-create each one. Great activity to focus learning on the differences and similarities!

I am sharing my first Pinterest-ing Fun creation on the Flannel Friday Round-Up which is being hosted by Anna this week and on the 2nd Storytimes and More Saturday Share, a new link-up for anything related to early literacy and early learning. Be sure to check out all the other awesome ideas on both link-ups ~ you'll be so glad you did!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Blast from the Past: Snowflakes, Snowflakes Everywhere!


Welcome to my first post of 2014. I am hoping to get back to blogging on a regular basis this year. And to get started, I have a:


I love January because that means Wintertime! And, even though I now live in Florida, I love sharing snow books and learning activities with my storytime friends. One of my favorite flannels for the snow theme is this one ~

These snowflakes were made from dark blue felt circles, glittery white snowflake shapes, and  ~ just to jazz them up a little ~ I added a few clear jewels that I had laying around. I will try to get a better picture later so you can see how sparkly they are.

I have made these snowflakes before. But I love them so much AND they are so easy to make that I couldn't resist a different version. Before I made them out of paper. Here they are:

In my past post, Activity: Five Little Snowflakes, you will find several ideas for using these snowflakes during your storytimes and I shared a couple of rhymes ~ one is a count-up rhyme and the other is a count-down rhyme. Great to use together!

I did not create these beautiful snowflakes on my own! I want to give a shout out to one of my favorite on-line friends, Library Quine! She actually created these awesome snowflakes and shared the template on her blog, Loons and Quines @Librarytime. Be sure to click on over for her snowflake post and the template. I highly recommend exploring the rest of her blog while you are there. It is a wonderful resource!

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have as much snow fun as I will be having this January!