Monthly Archives: February 2015

Storytime: Letter K

All Kinds of Kisses by Nancy Tafuri

Pouch by David Ezra Stein

 

 

 

 

 

 

ABC Magnets

k

I like to start and end the Alphabet program by singing our ABCs. To start I put out all of the letter magnets and have the children tell me what letter is missing, that becomes our letter of the day. After we go through the letter and some words that start with it I invite each child up to take two letters off the board and put it into my bag. At first all the children like to swarm up and will grab as many letters as they possibly can, but after a few weeks they begin to understand that they must wait until they hear their name called. To help them stick with two letters only I count out loud (this program maxes out at 12 children so I know I will have enough letters). The children get very excited when it is their turn, plus this helps them learn patience and how to take turns!

Kangaroo, Kangaroo

Kangaroo, kangaroo turn around

Kangaroo, kangaroo touch the ground

Kangaroo, kangaroo dance on your toes

Kangaroo, kangaroo touch your nose

Kangaroo, kangaroo jump high now

Kangaroo, kangaroo take a bow

Kangaroo, kangaroo stomp your feet

Kangaroo, kangaroo take a seat

I Can Hug

I can hug, hug, hug

I can hop, hop, hop

I can kiss, kiss, kiss

I can stop, stop, stop

I can nod my head for yes

And I can shake my head for no

And I can sit down veerry slow

Different Kinds of Kisses

Grandma kisses (grab cheeks and squeeze)

Fish kisses (fish face)

Movie star kisses (blow kiss)

Rabbit kisses (Wiggle nose)

Dog kisses (stick out tongue and lick)

My Kitten’s Mitten (Flannel board)

kitten

My poor little kitten lost her mitten
And started to cry, boo-hoo.
So I helped my kitten to look for her mitten.
Her beautiful mitten of blue
I found a mitten just right for a kitten
Under my mother’s bed.
But, alas, the mitten was not the right mitten,
For it was colored red
I found a mitten just right for a kitten
Under my father’s pillow.
But, alas, the mitten was not the right mitten,
For it was colored yellow
I found a mitten just right for a kitten
On the hand of my brother’s toy clown.
But, alas, the mitten was not the right mitten,
For it was colored brown
I found a mitten just right for a kitten
Under the laundry so clean.
But, alas, the mitten was not the right mitten,
For it was colored
I found a mitten just right for a kitten
Inside a grocery sack.
But, alas, the mitten was not the right mitten,
For it was colored black
I found a mitten just right for a kitten
Under my sister’s kite.
But, alas, the mitten was not the right mitten,
For it was colored white
I found a mitten just right for a kitten
Under the kitchen sink.
But, alas, the mitten was not the right mitten,
For it was colored pink
I found a mitten just right for a kitten
Inside my favorite shoe.
And this time the mitten was just the right mitten,
For it was colored blue

Marching Around the Alphabet by Hap Palmer

This song has become a story time favorite! Every week the children line up on the outside of the alphabet rug and start to march with their adult. When the whistle blows the children stop, bend down and point out which letter they are standing on. I like to participate as well and sometimes I will ask a child what letter they stopped on and the color of the square.

Parachute

The children all grab on and we make some waves (fast, slow, big, small) then I ask the parents to hold on to the parachute. The adults lower the parachute and then pop it into the air, the children then go under (lots of happy squeals) and we gently shake the parachute over their heads. We do this 3 or 4 times, there is always one child that doesn’t want to come out but the parents are pretty good about it. Next I have the children hold on again and place foam letters on the parachute. We shake the parachute and watch the letters fly (again lots of happy squeals)!

ABCs

Craft

I always tell the parents to please do not do the craft for their child, feel free to help them use the glue stick but if they want to put an eye where the foot should be well then that’s just artistic license!

K is for Kangaroo!

k3

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Book Review: I Was Here – Gayle Forman

I Was Here by Gayle Forman

3 out of 5 stars

Cody and Meg were the best of friends but Cody is taken by complete surprise when Meg commits suicide. Cody never saw any signs even though Meg’s suicide note declares that she has been thinking of death for a while. Cody visits Meg’s college and her Seattle hangouts in hopes of finding answers. Along the way Cody meets Meg’s roommates and her brief love interest, Ben. Cody goes on a quest to open encrypted computer files and to understand why Meg commits suicide. Cody is taken down a path that she never imagined Meg taking.

If I was handed this book and did not know who the author was I would have referred to it as “average” plot and writing; nothing exciting or out of the world about it but not a horrible read either. Unfortunately for Gayle Forman her name makes you believe that you are going to get something special, something that really reaches out and speaks to you, this is not one of those books. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad book! I found it to be a quick read, interesting enough and a lot of the descriptions of suicide and the aftermath it causes were spot on. What this book was missing was that extra special something that I was hoping for (and expected out of Gayle Forman). Also, I may or may not have thrown this book when Ben confesses his love for Cody UGH UGH UGH!! The love story portion was a huge turn off for me (and other readers as well),  the book could have stood perfectly fine without a love interest and if anything it adds an unnecessary superficial element. Although I did not find the romantic element beneficial I did enjoy several elements of this book. Forman does not glorify or vilify the act of suicide; Suicide is a very difficult subject and I believe the aftermath of it is shown clearly in this book. I also really enjoyed the “Author’s Note” at the end of the book where Forman talks about the inspiration for this book and even discusses the thin line between being suicidal and thinking about death. I might have even enjoyed the brief “Author’s Note” more than the actual book. Even though I was not personally blown away by this book I can see many teens enjoying it and relying upon it. I love the fact that a very popular teen author wrote about such a sensitive subject, one that sometimes gets over looked or examined in the wrong way. Teens will grab this book because it is written by Gayle Forman but I believe in the end they will come away with a better knowledge and understanding of what it means to truly think about or commit suicide. I would recommend this book to some more mature teens that would be able to fully grasp and understand the subject matter in this book.

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Storytime: Colors 2

I was low on time to prepare my 3-5 year old story time so I went ahead and reused a theme, I did modify it because the crew for this week is slightly older than the last group I used it with. I like to try to use a mix of books that the kids know (and hopefully love) and ones they most likely don’t know but this week I just went with books that I know are always a crowd pleaser.  The second I held up the books I received a chorus of “I own that book” “I love that book” “My teacher has that book,” the children were able to tell each story with me which was a really neat experience. So here are even more (and some of the same) ideas for a colorful story time!

 

Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh

Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Have a Crayon

I gave each child a crayon cut out before we began the rhyme, when their color was called they came and stuck it on the flannel board. I have had most of these children for at least a year and they all know Miss Michele’s rule –  I don’t take special requests, I just pass out the colors and you get what you get. This rule has worked surprisingly well, I have only had 1 child in 3 years cause a stir over the color they received and in the end another child was kind enough to switch!

crayons

I have a crayon, I’ll give it to you.

Here is my crayon, my crayon of blue.

I have a crayon, a lovely little fellow.

Here is my crayon, my crayon of yellow.

I have a crayon, it’s here on my head.

Here is my crayon, my crayon of red.

I have a crayon, I found it in town.

Here is my crayon, my crayon of brown.

I have a crayon, we can draw a circle.

Here is my crayon, my crayon of purple.

I have a crayon, what do you see?

Here is my crayon, an orange one for me.

I have a crayon right in my sack.

Here is my crayon, my crayon of black.

I have a crayon, I think it’s just right.

Here is my crayon, my crayon of white.

I have a crayon, the best ever seen.

Here is my crayon, my crayon of green.

Color Game by Jim Gill

Jim Gill is usually a big hit with this group so I thought I’d give this song a try. Basically the song calls out colors and tells the kids to find the color and put it on a different body part, since I didn’t want the children to physically take an object I told them to look around the room and at each others clothing and if they see the color to put their bean bag on the specific body part. 25% of the kids looked frantically around the room for colors and placed the bean bag in the appropriate place, 25% just put the bean bag wherever I put mine and 50% just stared at me blankly. While I love Jim Gill I think I might skip this song next time or I might modify it so I have enough colors for everyone and can have them pick up the color like the song states.

Old Shoes, New Shoes

The first time I used this chant I wasn’t sure how it would go over but the kids loved it! I go first to give them an idea of what to say and then each child describes their own shoes. Some will say the color, others will say they are old or new and then some will say things like “light up shoes” or “sparkly shoes.” For my shy ones I say their name, wait a few beats to see if they will describe them and then will throw out my own description.

Old shoes, new shoes

(child’s name) is wearing (description) shoes

1, 2, 3, 4

Now (child)’s stomping on the floor

Rainbow Stew (Tune: Jimmy Crack Corn)

I have a slight story time issue, I see what the tune should be but sometimes I just can’t get it right in my head. This is supposed to go to Jimmy Crack Corn but I just couldn’t do it, I turned it into a chant. I must say that this was pure story time magic…literally! I had numerous children oooh and ahhh and declare it was magic. One child was extremely baffled (I blew this poor child’s mind), I am officially a story time magician! Basically I had a pot (or in my case a left over Halloween basket) with the felt rainbow pieces already inside, next I put up the fruits and vegetables (you can use any that are the right color, I just had these from other flannel boards) and we went over what they were and their colors. After the color red they quickly gasped the concept and were able to chant along with me. I will definitely be using this again!!

rainbow rainbow 2

Take an apple, put it in the pot

Stir it, stir it, stir it at lot (mixing motion)

Take it out now.

What will it be?

The prettiest red you ever did see!

(repeat with other food and colors until you have your rainbow!)

Source: Storytime ABCs

Rainbow Colors

I used the rainbow we made for this next chant.

Rainbow purple,

Rainbow blue,

Rainbow green,

and yellow too.

Rainbow orange,

Rainbow red,

Rainbow smiling overhead (arms above head)

Come and count the colors with me.

How many colors do you see?

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6!

Craft

Since I was under a time crunch I didn’t want anything that was too complicated for me to prepare, I didn’t even have time to make a sample. I just laid out all the materials (the rainbow, tissue paper and cotton balls) and told the kids to go to town. I was so surprised how different each one came out, some kids crinkled the tissue paper, some put them down haphazardly and others were perfectionists about the rainbow being the right colors. It was a great moment for me when some of the kids called me over all excited because they had the light bulb realization that overlapping some of the colors created a new color, just like in “Mouse Paint!” I love sneaking in educational aspects and them not even knowing it muahahahah *evil laugh*

rainbow craftBelle was kind enough to let me take a picture of her rainbow!

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Storytime: Letter J

Jazzy in the Jungle by Lucy Cousins

Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw

Jump by Scott M. Fischer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ABC Magnets

letter j

I like to start and end the Alphabet program by singing our ABCs. To start I put out all of the letter magnets and have the children tell me what letter is missing, that becomes our letter of the day. After we go through the letter and some words that start with it I invite each child up to take two letters off the board and put it into my bag. At first all the children like to swarm up and will grab as many letters as they possibly can, but after a few weeks they begin to understand that they must wait until they hear their name called. To help them stick with two letters only I count out loud (this program maxes out at 12 children so I know I will have enough letters). The children get very excited when it is their turn, plus this helps them learn patience and how to take turns!

Five Little Monkeys Swinging in a Tree

Five little monkeys swinging in a tree (hold up 5 fingers)

Teasing Mr. Alligator “You can’t catch me, no you can’t catch me” (shake finger)

Along comes Mr. Alligator, as quiet as can be (put hands together and move slowly)

And snatch that monkey right out of the tree (clamp down hands)

…count down

Jungle Animal Box (Tune: The Muffin Man)

An hour before the program I realized I needed an activity for the kids, I quickly put this together. I must it is not my best work (clip art and a random box) but the kids loved coming up and putting their animal in the box. I will admit that some animals were harmed in the process, a few were torn and one was partially eaten.

photo 3

If you have a lion, a lion, a lion

If you have a lion, put him in the jungle!

(repeat with other jungle animals)

Source: Abby the Librarian

Jumping Joey

The kids jumped during the rhyme, they were more focused on jumping up and down than the actual rhyme.

Jumping Joey went a jumping joyfully to town

Jumping Joey got so tired jumping up and down

Jumping Joey asking his mother, “Could I have a ride?”

Jumping Joey’s mother answered, “Sure, just jump inside”

Source: King County Library

Jumping and Counting by Jim Gill

Driving Round in My Little Red Jeep

Driving round in my little red jeep

Driving round in my little red jeep

Driving round in my little red jeep

Beep beep beep beep beep

(repeat with different colors)

Marching Around the Alphabet by Hap Palmer

This song has become a story time favorite! Every week the children line up on the outside of the alphabet rug and start to march with their adult. When the whistle blows the children stop, bend down and point out which letter they are standing on. I like to participate as well and sometimes I will ask a child what letter they stopped on and the color of the square.

Parachute

The children all grab on and we make some waves (fast, slow, big, small) then I ask the parents to hold on to the parachute. The adults lower the parachute and then pop it into the air, the children then go under (lots of happy squeals) and we gently shake the parachute over their heads. We do this 3 or 4 times, there is always one child that doesn’t want to come out but the parents are pretty good about it. Next I have the children hold on again and place foam letters on the parachute. We shake the parachute and watch the letters fly (again lots of happy squeals)!

ABCs

Craft

I always tell the parents to please do not do the craft for their child, feel free to help them use the glue stick but if they want to put an eye where the foot should be well then that’s just artistic license!

I had some issues trying to find a letter J craft that I liked, I stretched it a little this week and went with J is for Jaguar.

jaguar

 

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10 Valentine’s Day Picture Books

It’s that time of the year….

The time where you can’t walk into a store without seeing hearts, flowers and chocolate. In honor of Valentine’s Day I’ve compiled some of my favorite Valentine’s picture books, these would work great in a story time or as a gift for a special child in  your life!

Ps- if anyone would like to buy me a present I love dark chocolate!

             

             

         

  1. The Very Fairy Princess Follows Her Heart by Julie Andrews
  2. A Crankenstein Valentine by Samantha Berger
  3.   The Day it Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond
  4.   The Valentine Bears by Eve Bunting
  5.   Roses Are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink by Diane de Groat
  6.   Queen of Hearts by Mary Engelbreit
  7.   Snowy Valentine by David Petersen
  8.   If You’ll Be My Valentine by Cynthia Rylant
  9.   Love, Splat by Rob Scotten
  10. Nate the Great and the Mushy Valentine by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat

What are some of your favorites?

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Storytime: Snowmen

Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner

There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow by Lucille Colandro

Snowballs by Lois Ehlert

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’d like to preface my book choices by stating that I’m not the biggest fan of “There Was an Old Lady….” stories, the original is too graphic because she often dies and the remakes (most often involving holidays) are just plan weird, with that being said I still gave it a shot with “There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow.” If the kids really liked the book I was going to put my personal feelings aside and start using them in story time but alas my children thought it was weird. So this was the beginning and end of my “There Was an Old Lady…” story time use. I know some kids love these books but it just doesn’t work for my crew (or me).

 

Five Little Snowmen (Flannel Board) (Tune: Five Little Monkeys)

photo 2-1

Five little snowmen riding on a sled

One fell off and bumped his head

Frosty called the doctor and the doctor said

No more snowmen riding on the sled

(count down)

Chubby Little Snowman

A chubby little snowman (hold hands out to side)

Had a carrot nose (point to nose)

Along came a bunny (hop like a bunny)

And what do you suppose? (shrug shoulders)

That hungry little bunny (rub stomach)

Looking for his lunch (hold hand above eyes and look around)

Ate that snowman’s carrot nose (bite)

Nibble, nibble crunch

(repeat)

Parachute

We played with the parachute and made some paper snowflakes fly.

Craft

Name snowmen!

photo 1-1

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