Monthly Archives: March 2016

St. Patrick’s Day Activities

I like to have activities available all day for Holidays, it helps get the children in the spirit! For St. Patrick’s Day I found a lot of great printables (all the links are provided) which made planning the activities very easy.

Shamrock Stamp Art

IMG_7232My coworker found this idea and I’m not positive where it originated from. We had children wrap a rubber band around 3 or 4 wine corks (save your own, buy a bag online or ask a local restaurant if they have any), dip it into green paint and stamp on card-stock. This easy craft was a lot of fun! Children (and some adults) made cards and bookmarks.

 

 

 

 

Four Leaf Clover Hunt

IMG_7259Three leaf and four leaf clovers were hid in between books, children had to go through and find all of the four leaf clovers. They really enjoyed finding them and then hiding them for their friends. All I did was printed out pictures of four and three leaf clovers, laminated them and cut them out.

 

 

Why Are You Lucky?

IMG_7263I found this idea at Peppy Zesty Teacherista. I printed the document on green paper, cut them into square and put them out. Both adults and children wrote why they were lucky. As you can see Liam felt lucky because he found a four leaf clover while playing the game! When they were done writing why they were lucky I put them on the wall in the Children’s Room.

 

 

St. Patrick’s Day Play-Doh
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Who doesn’t love Play-Doh?? I don’t think you can ever be too old to play with it (that was proven by the teens who joined in). I found this awesome mats at Totschooling. All I did was print them and laminate them so the Play-Doh didn’t stick.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How easy was this?? I have to say this was one of the easiest Holiday parties I have ever thrown all thanks to the wonderful internet! Parents with younger children were thrilled to have some new activities for them to do (thanks Play-Doh!) and the tweens were happy to have something to do other than wait to get on a computer (which is what they typically do everyday). I will definitely be using some of these activities again next year.

 

 

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Book Review: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Summary: Simon is in his last year at Waterford, a school of magic. Simon doesn’t have your typical high school experience; his roommate is a vampire, his girlfriend broke up with him and he is considered to be the savior. Also, wherever Simon goes people end up being attacked by the evil Insidious Humdrum. Not only does Simon have to find out how to defeat the Humdrum but he also has sworn to help his roommate, Baz, find out who killed his mother. Simon, his best friend Penny and his nemesis Baz must work together to figure out who killed Baz’s mother and how to stop the Humdrum.

Review: I’m a huge Rainbow Rowell fan and was excited to get my hands on this book. I will admit that I have not yet read Fangirl (where the character Simon Snow comes from) and maybe if I did I would have liked this book better (or maybe not).  This book was pretty much Harry Potter; except Harry’s gay, Ron’s a vampire, Professor Dumbledore is a power hungry Mage and Lord Voldemort is Harry’s alter-ego. I was very disappointed in this book, if I didn’t know any better I would have assumed this was the final book in a series. The story starts off right in the middle with no introduction to the characters, the world of mages or the threat of the Humdrum. For the first 100 pages or so I kept rereading sections in hopes that it would make sense. The plot doesn’t actually pick up pace until half way but even then I was still confused and had a lot of unanswered questions. The big finale was a huge let down and I’m still not sure I know exactly what happened or who/what the Humdrum is (or why Simon has a tail). The plot was very drawn out and the end was just plain confusing and boring. While there are a lot of plot holes, the characters are well fleshed out. The only reason I kept reading this book is because I enjoyed finding out more about the characters, each is driven by a specific relatable desire. Overall I would not recommend this book, I think it will let down Rainbow Rowell fans and anger Harry Potter fans.

*please note that I received an advanced copy of the book from NetGalley

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Storytime: Scarves (Part 1)

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I love using scarves in my programs. Who doesn’t love scarves?? I think parents enjoy them as much as the children do. I have compiled a list of the scarf songs and activities I use in my programs. The great thing about scarves is that you can modify them for any age group, even babies! Since I have such a large collection of scarf  activities and rhymes I will be posting it in 2 parts.

 

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Activity Scarves from Lakeshore Learning.

 

Green Means Go
For this activity you can have children march around the room or in place if you are in a small area.
Green means “Go, go, go, go” (wave green scarf, have children quickly march)
Yellow means “Slow, slow, slow” (wave yellow scarf, have children slowly march)
Red means “STOP” (wave red scarf, stand still)
Go! Go! Go!
Slow…. slow…. slow
STOP!
(repeat until children are tired)

Source: Jbrary

Hey Diddle Diddle
Nursery rhymes are great to use scarves with. Typically, parents and children already know them so they can join in right away. Also, nursery rhymes are great for little minds (rhyming, builds memory, etc).
Hey diddle, diddle (wave scarf up and down)
The cat and the fiddle
The cow jumped over the moon (wave scarf over head)
The little dog laughed to see such sport
And the dish ran away with the spoon (hide behind back)

My Scarf Has Four Corners
My hat has four corners (place scarf on head)
Four corners has my hat
And if there weren’t four corners
If would not be my hat
(my blanket – cover lap with scarf)
(my cape – hold scarf over shoulders)

Source: Jbrary

Popcorn Kernels (Tune: Frere Jacques)
Popcorn kernels (wave scarves overhead)
Popcorn kernels
In the pot (bunch scarves up in fists)
In the pot
Shake it, shake it, shake it (shake fists)
Shake it, shake it, shake it
Til they pop (throw scarves)
Til they pop

Source: Future Librarian Superhero

Rain on the Grass
Rain on the grass (shake scraf on floor)
Rain on the trees (shake high)
Rain on the roof (hold scarf over head)
But not on me (drop scraf)
(Sun on the grass…)
(Snow on the grass…)
(Leaves on the grass)

Source: So Tomorrow
Video: Jbrary 

Scarves All Around
Up and down, round and round (circle scarf in air)
Put your scarf on the ground (lower scarf)
Over (wave scarf over lap)
Under (wave scarf below knees)
In between (wave scarf between legs)
Now my scarf can not be seen (close knees)
Scarf in front (wave scarf in front of you)
Scarf behind, now my scarf I cannot find (hide scarf behind back)
It’s in my left hand, in my right (put in left, then right)
My lovely scarf is back in sight (wiggle scarf)

Source: Loons and Quines

Twinkle Twinkle
Twinkle, twinkle little star (wave scarf over head)
How I wonder what you are
Up above the world so high
Like a diamond in the sky
Twinkle, twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are

Wind, Oh Wind
Wind, oh wind, oh wind, I say
What are you blowing away today?
Scarves, oh scarves, oh scarves, I say.
I am blowing the scarves away

Source: Mother Goose on the Loose

We Wave Our Scarves Together (Tune: For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow)
We wave our scarves together
We wave our scarves together
We wave our scarves together
Because it’s fun to do
Wave them up high
Wave them down low
Wave them in the middle
Because it’s fun to do

Source: Jbrary

Here are some great songs you can use if you don’t feel like singing alone! (A fair warning – most of these songs will be stuck in your head and your significant other might go crazy while you sing them cooking)

Let’s Go Fly a Kite
by Georgina Stewart
Track 1 of “Musical Scarves & Activities”

Have children dance around and wave their scarves overhead. 

Shoo Fly
Track 39 on “100 Sing-Along-Songs for Kids”
There are a ton of different CD’s and musicians who sing this song.

Have children try to hit imaginary fly with scarf.

 

I typically repeat each rhyme or activity 2-3 times, the first time it is usually me doing it by myself but by the 3rd time the children know the actions and love doing it with you. If you regularly use scarves in storytimes (like I do) you often hear squeals of glee when they see the box of scarves. I’d love to hear how you use scarves in your programs! I’m always interested in learning new songs and activities.

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Storytime: Weather

The weather has been a little crazy in CT, we’ve gone from negative temperatures to 55 and snow storms to thunderstorms. In honor of the weather madness I decided to do a weather story time!

 

Opening – Here, Here (Tune: Skip to My Lou)
A great way to break the ice, especially with new little patrons, is to use a puppet. Children often have an easier time connecting with a puppet than a person. I like to go around the circle and have each child shake the puppet’s hand when I say their name.
Here, here, we’re all here
Here, here, we’re all here
Here, here, we’re all here
We’re all here in story time
Hello (child’s name), how are you?
Hello (child’s name), how are you?
Hello (child’s name), how are you?
We’re so glad to see you

Book

Sledding by Elizabeth Winthrop

Snowflake, Snowflake (Tune: Twinkle Twinkle)
Snowflake, snowflake fancy free (wave hands over head)
Snowflake, snowflake dance with me
First on my head, then on my toes (touch body parts)
Then on my nose, where the cold wind blows
Snowflake, snowflake turn around
Snowflake, snowflake touch the ground

Snowflake, snowflake fancy free (wave hands over head)
Snowflake, snowflake dance with me
Touch my ear, then my knees (touch body parts)
Snowflake, snowflake I’m about to freeze (hug self and shiver)
Snowflake, snowflake turn around
Snowflake, snowflake touch the ground

Book

Raindrop Plop! by Wendy Cheyette Lewison

Itsy Bitsy Spider
The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout
Down came the rain and washed the spider out
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain
And the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again

Rain is Falling (Tune: Ants Go Marching)
The rain is falling down in drops (wiggle fingers down)
Drip drop, drip drop (tap thighs)
The rain is falling down in drops
Drip drop, drip drop

The rian is falling down in drops
We can’t go play until it stops (wag finger side to side)
Oh, the rain is falling down
To the ground (wiggle fingers all the way to floor)
Where it makes lots of mud
Squish, squish, squish (pat floor)

Flannel Board

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Five Little Umbrellas (Flannel Board)
You can use any name for this rhyme but I prefer to use the name of the children in the story time and have them come take the color off of the board. If you have more than five children you can always repeat the rhyme.
Five umbrellas stood by the door
(name) took the pink one and then there were four
Four umbrellas, as pretty as can be
(name) took the blue one and then there were three
Three umbrellas having fun
(name) took the yellow one and then there was one
One umbrella alone in the hall
(name) took the purple one and that was all!

If You Have… (Tune: Do You Know the Muffin Man)
This is a handy song to get the flannel pieces back!
If you have a (color) umbrella
A (color) umbrella, a (color) umbrella
If you have a (color) umbrella bring it to me now
(pink, blue, green, yellow, purple)

Book

One Windy Wednesday by Phyllis Root

I Went to Visit the Farm
This is a great one to use puppets with!
I went to visit the farm one day
I saw a cow along the way
What do you think that animal did say?
Moo, moo, moo
(repeat with other animals)

Scarves

Wave Your Scarf (Tune: London Bridge)
Wave your scarf up and down,
Up and down, up and down
Wave your scarf up and down
Wave your scarf

(left and right)
(fast and slow)
(high and low)
(round and round)

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring
It’s raining, it’s pouring (wave scarves)
The old man is snoring
He went to bed and bumped his head
And couldn’t get up in the morning

(repeat)

Wind, Oh Wind!
Wind, oh wind, oh wind I say (hold scarf out to side)
What are you blowing away today?
Scarves, oh scarves, oh scarves I say (wave scarves)
I am blowing the scarves away

 

Rain on the Grass
Rain on the grass (shake on floor)
Rain on the trees (shake high)
Rain on the roof (hold above head)
But not on me!

(repeat with sun)
(repeat with snow)

If You’re Happy and You Know It
If you’re happy and you know it wave your scarf
If you’re happy and you know it wave your scarf
If you’re happy and you know, then your face will surely show it
If you’re happy and you know it wave your scarf

(throw your scarf)
(play peek-a-boo)

Free Play
Free play with special toys is always a great way to end story time. I recently started doing this after hearing several mothers tell me that the main reason they come to story time is to allow their child to socialize with other children. While singing and reading together is a great bonding experience, children learn a lot through play and by playing with others. I am lucky enough to have several friends with children who donated some gently used  toys to the library, now I have a box of toys I pull out special for story time participants. I hang around for a little bit and pop in and out during free play to see if parents have any questions and to interact with the children.

 

 

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