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Frogs Preschool Storytime April 22, 2009

Posted by swegene1 in Storytimes, Youth Services Training.
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This week at the center we had frogs for our preschool storytime, it was fun and I got to try out some new storytelling techniques.

We opened up with a Jim Gill song–I Can’t Wait to Celebrate! And then did a little introduction to frogs, what they eat, how they move, how they eat, and so on.

I then read Karma Wilson’s Frog in a Bog–I love the rhyme, but the pictures SUCK. Really, it is hard to see what you are saying, so one has to do a lot of pointing out. A Frog in the Bog

Then we were going to do Raffi’s 5 Green and Speckled Frog, but ended up doing Jumping and Counting to get the wiggles out.
After that I read Down by the Cool of the Pool by Tony Mitton, which is an amazing storytime book, with all kinds of fun actions for the kids to make as the story is told. Down by the Cool of the Pool

I then presented a fold and tell story for the kids, of the Rain Hat. It involved folding paper to make a rain hat, then a firefighter hat, then a pirate hat, and then a boat, which we all rode in until it crashed and became a life jacket. It was really funny because a kid in the audience was actually wearing a pirate hat.

After that we sang the Wiggleworm’s Row, Row, Row your boat, which involved tied in with the fold and tell.

Our final element was a creative dramatic of the book Rainy Day Puddle, RAINY DAY PUDDLE which is a much better creative dramatic then a book. The kids acted out the animal sounds then one character jumped in as the other kids made rain sounds.


Family Story Time–The Most Wonderful Egg April 18, 2009

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Today I helped out with the Family storytime. It was my first time doing a storytime with such an anticipated age range, apparently sometimes there are birth to age 8 there. Today most of the kids were 3-8yrs old, which is still an age range, but meant fewer kids running around.

Our theme for the day was the Egg, even though it is a week after Easter, it is still nice to have a spring related topic. Since it was a really nice day outside, we started off with a boat ride and sang “Row, Row Row Your Boat,” on one of the Wiggleworms cds.

Following the opening song I read Daisy and the Egg by Jane Simmons. The kids enjoyed it and we did some actions to go along with the story, it was a little scary when Mama Duck seems determined to leave the unhatched sibling behind, but we were all happy when Daisy’s brother hatched! Daisy and the Egg (Gujarati-English)
Following the book, the librarian I was doing the story in tandem with and I presented a puppet show version of the Most Wonderful Egg It was a success, both the parents and the kids seemed to enjoy the puppets and the story.

From the puppet show we did a song “If you’re happy and you know it” from the same Wiggleworms CD.

After the song, we shared another story Guji Guji, which the other librarian really brought to life with her scary crocodile voices. Even I was a little scared! Guji Guji (Ala Notable Children's Books. Younger Readers (Awards))

We then threw in some  finger popping, as it is a must have at these storytimes.

I finished with my very first Draw and Tell story–it was about a bird who wants a family and builds a nest, gets another bird to join him, and then finds an egg in their nest. Only it turns out to be a Dinosaur, and so does the picture! One kid commented it was “magic” when I turned the page over to reveal what the baby was!

It was a fun storytime, and even the older kids seemed to really be engaged with the stories.

Baby Laptime–Ducks April 16, 2009

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This past Monday I had the opportunity to do Baby Laptime. It was sort of short notice, as the person who usually does the BLT was out sick. The theme was Ducks, which was a lot of fun and pretty easy.

We started out with the Baby Hop, a traditional opening song from the Diaper Gym CD.

Then a big stuffed duck puppet came out to introduce our theme, and then we read Duckie’s Rainbow Duckie's Rainbow
We then sang Raffi’s version of Six Little Ducks–which isn’t my favorite version. Next time I don’t think I will use this version as my singing range does not mesh well with Raffi.

After the singing we did a flannel of the five little ducks who went out to play. This was fun for some of the older siblings as well as the babies.

Then we did a version of Old MacDonald with puppets, and not a cd. Fortunately the parents were willing to jump in and help sing.

We finished with a duck related finger play and Skinnamarink.

Mothers–A Toddler Storytime! April 15, 2009

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For my solo toddler storytime, I decided to stick with a tried and true theme that toddlers could understand and relate to. Since it is Spring and Mother’s Day is right around the corner, I decided to do a storytime on Mothers. There are a lot of good books on this topic, but as usual toddler friendly books can be more difficult. I overcame the tendency to be slightly too long by paper clipping some pages to help kids stay focused!


I started off with a very short intro, and mentioned that moms are one of my favorite things, and that we would have stories, songs, and finger plays about them.


We then did some Jumping and Counting with Jim Gill.

My first book was a new one that we just received: Please Pick Me Up, Mama!by Robin Luebs Please Pick Me Up, Mama! it was a bit long, so I clipped some of the pages.

We then did a fingerplay about how much we love our Mom:

A Mom’s a special lady,

So hug her every day, (hug self)

She gives you lots of food to eat (mime eating food)

And takes you out to play (mime playing)

Your mother reads you stories every day (make book with hands)

Aren’t you happy that you have

A Mom who loves you in each and every way? (hug self or mother) modified from: 1001 Rhymes and Fingerplays

I then introduced a song about gifts for our Mothers, we had baby bumblebees, baby dinosaurs, baby crocs and baby grizzle bears, we sang it using the “Gifts for Mommy” on the Toddlers on Parade CD. 

I was going to do the flannel Mother, I want another, but it was missing, so I did “My Mother is Lost” in which a little bunny has lost his mother, and various animals say they might be his mother because they share various characteristics with his mother.

Then we did the perennial favorite Finger popping, without which toddler storytime would not be complete! We had some new kids, so we did more introduction then usual.

Our final book is Mama’s Little Bears, by Nanci Tafuri, which is cute and simple: Mama's Little Bears 

I did a simple extension activity where a big Mama bear puppet came and introduced herself to the storytime group, and we helped her find her cubs, which were hidden around the room. “We sang a simple song: where oh where have my little bears gone, oh where oh where could they be?”

For a take-away we had baby bumblebees the children could take home with them to give to their mothers and practice singing the song!

Veggies and Gardens–Toddler Storytime April 15, 2009

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For my first two weeks at the Center For Discovery, I am doing toddler storytimes. The first week I did it with Ann the CFD’s guru of the toddlers. It was very interesting because we looked through two different storytime kits before we settled on a theme, and even then it was an interesting choice for the age group. We did a veggie and gardening theme, which was somewhat similar to the garden theme I did with preschoolers earlier, but there was a different emphasis for the younger group.

We started out with a Song: Clap Your Hands.

Then Ann and I introduced the theme by talking about the veggies that are our favorites. We had very realistic looking props,  and traded off who was talking.

 I presented the Ready to Read skill of Vocabulary, and encouraged parents and caregivers to teach new words during ordinary times like at the grocery store by saying them with their kids.

I then transitioned into an AWESOME Book, Keith Baker’s Potato Joe, Potato Joe

We sang: In My Garden–Raffi, which I had done before, but the kids enjoyed.

As part of my goal to do more flannel stories, I did the flannel/prop Story of Picky Paul. It was fun, and the kids loved to say “No I WONT!” and liked the pizza too!

After that we did Preschool Aerobics Fingerpopping, the toddlers’ anthem, and a riot of fun.

Ann finished the storytime off with reading Growing Vegetable Soup, Growing Vegetable Soup and an extension activity where the kids acted it out and then picked laminated veggies that they put in a big soup pot.

As a whole it was a lot of fun, and the three storytimes we did this program for were really well attended.

Chicken Preschool Storytime April 5, 2009

Posted by swegene1 in Ready to Read, Storytimes, Youth Services Training.
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My boss came to observe this storytime, and I was pretty nervous. I actually recorded myself doing the storytime in advance so I would have plenty of practice, and so I would make sure I was panning and pacing correctly. That was a really good experience, and periodically I will do this if I’m worried about a flannel or activity. Fortunately my boss had lots of good things to say, just suggesting I make sure the volume on the CD player was high enough to reach the back of the room.

Opening Song: Jump Up, Turn Around, Jim Gill

Intro: Chicken puppet and eggs! (the chicken puppet actually laid eggs, we talked about vocabulary, and we had an egg in a shell puppet to talk about how chicks hatch from eggs)

Book: Cock-a-Doodle Quack! Quack!, Ivor Baddiel Cock-A-Doodle Quack Quack

Song: Milkshake Song, Songs for Wiggleworms

Book/Flannel Little Red Hen Little Red Hen Big Book
(First we read the book, then the children helped me tell the story with the flannel, and I told the parents about the importance of ready to read narrative skills, and encouraged the children to tell the story at home.)

Song: If You’re Happy and You Know It!

Flannel Where’s the Chicken? (I omitted this, as we were running short on time)

Book: Hungry Hen, Richard Waring Hungry Hen

Craft: Chick in Shell (children cut out shapes that came together to make an egg shape, which were hooked together with a brad, so a baby chick popped out)

Overall, this storytime was a lot of fun, and the excitement was added to when the flannel board unexpectedly came crashing down when I went to start the “Little Red Hen” flannel. The entire room of 65 children (mostly preschool age, but some toddlers and infants) and parents went dead silent, and fortunately no one was hurt, not even the flannel board. Everyone recovered quickly–and since I had everyone’s attention, we were able to continue with the story!

Bathtime–Preschool Storytime April 4, 2009

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Bathtime is a staple of storytime, suitable for babies to preschoolers, which can make it hard to find ways to get kids excited. We sure had fun at this storytime, I wore my bathrobe the whole time, which was very hot, but set the silly mood! I’d planned on reading a different set of books, and doing a different activity, but at the last moment switched it up. I like it this way better.

Intro: Bathtime stuff, (I came dressed in my bathrobe, and pulled out all kinds of bath stuff from my pockets, and trusty basket: a Bath towel, sponge, soap, shampoo, rubber ducky) We also spelled BATH, to work on R2R

Opening Song: Jump Up, Jim Gill

Book: Squeaky Clean Simon Puttock Squeaky Clean

Song/Action Rhyme: This is the way we wash our (hair, arms, feet, leg, take suggestions) sung to Around the Mulberry Bush

Song: “I took a bath in the washing machine,” Jim Gill

Book: Who’s in the Tub? Sylvie Jones

Flannel Story: Rub a Dub-Dub, who’s in the tub! Based off a book–a boy finds various animals behind the bubbles in his tub. The flannel actually looks a lot better then the book–which has kind of strange illustrations.

Song: Milkshake, Songs for Wiggleworms

Book: Big Smelly Bear , Britta Teckentrup Big Smelly Bear

Craft: Give Bear a Bath (Kids colored and then cut out a picture of a bear, pasted it in a picture of a bath, and then decorated it with cotton ball bubbles and a yellow rubber ducky sticker)

Animal Houses–Preschool Storytime April 4, 2009

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Over the past couple of months doing Preschool Storytime here, I’ve found that the kids are eager to learn and know most of the basics we usually cover in storytime. This allows me the opportunity to introduce them to new ideas, and teach them new words and concepts. Thus when the theme “Houses” came around, I decided to focus on where animals live.
Here is my plan:


Opening Song: Jump UP, Jim Gill


Introduction: Puppets looking for homes (I use a large wicker basket full of props to introduce most of my storytimes, for this I had puppets of: a bear, a beaver, a bird, a bunny, and a bee. Kids identified what the animal was, and where it lived, and shared facts they knew. One girl knew LOTS about bees!)


Here I talked about learning new words–told parents that introducing new words was an important ready to read skill.


Book: Where to Little Wombat? Charles Fuge (Has new types of animals that kids are less familar with) Where To, Little Wombat?


Song: Milkshake Song, Songs for Wiggleworms


Book: A New House for Mouse A New House for Mouse


Flannel: Better Move on Frog–based loosely on the book by Ron Marris. Frog finds lots of houses, but each time he tries to see if they would make good homes for him, he finds out a different animal lives there. (we knocked on the door, and made animal sounds) Finally he finds a hole that is perfect, once some water fills it up.


Song: Jumping and Counting, Jim Gill (not everyone can jump, and not everyone can count, but everyone can try one or the other!)


Book: The Doghouse, Jan Thomas (I cut this one out when I was doing the storytime, as it was getting too long)
The Doghouse

Fingerplay:  My Turtle

This is my turtle
Hold fist in front of you
He lives in a shell

cap hand with other hand to make shell
He likes his home very well
wiggle hand
He pokes his head out when he wants to eat
Push thumb out of fist
And pulls it back in when he wants to sleep
Pull thumb back in


Craft: Turtles (paper plates, with head, tail and feet, kids decorated the turtle’s house)

Overall it was a very successful storytime, with about 35 kids and parents in attendance! I provided copies of all the books I used, and most of them were checked out!