Storytime Saturday: Rainy Days (Preschool Pack)

ss rainy days 2

Now for Preschool Storytime- always my favorite!  (I separated my Flannel Friday posts this week because I used a few different books/flannels for my bigger kids and the layout is little different, especially for Letter of the Week).


Welcome/Opening Songs:

  • I start with a “thumbs” check in.  Then I put out two thumbs up because “I’m so happy to see everyone, read stories and sing/dance today!”
  • If You’re Happy and You Know It – Traditional
  • Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Letter of the Week: N

  • Sing ABC Song
  • Find letter N on chart
  • Write letter N in the air and on ground using Fountas & Pinnell verbal path of motion
  • Give clues/kids guess letter N words
  • Kiss your brain!

Fingerplay: Itsy Bitsy Spider

The itsy bitsy spider crawled up the water spout.

Down came the rain and washed the spider out!

Out came the sun and dried up all the rain.

So the itsy bitsy spider crawled up the spout again.

___

Traditional

Book #1: Rain by Linda Ashman

I had so much fun with the voices in this book.  Everyone has an inner grumpy old man, right?  Then we talked about what happens after it rains… RAINBOWS!!!

Action Song: Rainbow Dancers Scarf Song

Rainbow dancers, let’s get ready!

Hold your scarves nice and steady.

You’ll hear the colors of the rainbow.

Listen for your time to go!

Shake RED… shake ORANGE… shake YELLOW… shake GREEN… shake BLUE… shake PURPLE

RED ribbons turn around.

ORANGE ribbons touch the ground.

YELLOW ribbons reach up high.

GREEN ribbons fly, fly, fly!

Rainbow dancers, dance around!

Ribbons swirl up and down.

Overhead and on the ground.

Rainbows flying all around!

Shake RED… shake ORANGE… shake YELLOW… shake GREEN… shake BLUE… shake PURPLE

BLUE ribbons tickle your nose.

PURPLE ribbons touch your toes.

Everybody dance around.

Swirl your ribbons up and down!

Rainbow dancers dance around.

Ribbons swirl up and down.

Rainbow dancers hug a friend.

Our colorful dance is at an end!

____

Credit: Start Smart Songs

Action Song: Like a Cloud

Can you stretch like a cloud up in the sky?

Stretch big and tall, stretch up high!

Can you curl up like a cloud into a ball?

Curl up tight, make yourself small!

Can you stretch like a cloud and make yourself wide?

Stretch out from you body, side to side.

Can you bend like a cloud down to the ground?

Bend left and right, bend all around!

____

Credit: Kindermusik

Transition: If You’re Ready for a Story (tune of “She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain”)

If you’re ready for a story have a seat!

If you’re ready for a story tap your knees.

If you’re ready for a story, if you’re ready for a story,

If you’re ready for a story look at me!

Flannel: 5 Little Umbrellas

  • What did the boy wear to get ready for his rainy day?  Boots?  A jacket?  (pretend to put on as kids suggest) What about an umbrella?
  • I have some umbrellas!  What color is this one?  And this one?
  • How many umbrellas do we have now?  1-2-3-4-5!  Let’s sing a song!

flannel umbrellas

5 umbrellas stood by the back door.

The red one went outside (say BYE! and wave) and then there were 4.

4 umbrellas pretty as can be.

The blue one went outside and then there were 3.

3 umbrellas with nothing to do.

The green one went outside and then there were 2.

2 umbrellas not having much fun.

The yellow one went outside and there was 1.

1 umbrella sad and all alone (sniffle and pretend to rub eyes).

He went to join his friends and that left none!

____

Credit: adapted from Jen in the Library

Pattern: available here and in master spreadsheet below

Book #2: The Thingamabob by Il Sung Na

This was hands-down our favorite book!  It had us giggling and laughing the whole time.  If you read one book only during your rainy days storytime, let this book be it!

Craft: Under the Umbrella Scene

Next time I’m thinking of doing this with a cupcake liner for the umbrella and cotton balls for clouds, or maybe making a paper towel roll rainstick!


As always, please feel free to help yourself to the additional resources in my master plan below:

rainy days spreadsheet

And have a wonderful weekend!

Storytime Saturday: Rainy Days (Toddler Time)

ss rainy days

It’s spring and you know what that means… RAIN!  (Or, if you live in Colorado… SNOW!)

So even though it’s been snowing, we forged ahead with a rainy days theme storytime this week and the kiddos loved it!  First up is the plan for Toddler Time.  Here’s some of the books I had ready to go:


Welcome/Opening Songs:

  • I start with a “thumbs” check in.  Then I put out two thumbs up because “I’m so happy to see everyone, read stories and sing/dance today!”
  • If You’re Happy and You Know It – Traditional
  • Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Letter of the Week: N

  • Sing ABC Song
  • Find letter N on chart
  • Name letter N words (flannel)
  • Kiss your brain!

Fingerplay: Itsy Bitsy Spider

The itsy bitsy spider crawled up the water spout.

Down came the rain and washed the spider out!

Out came the sun and dried up all the rain.

So the itsy bitsy spider crawled up the spout again.

___

Traditional

To make this rhyme a little easier for my littles, we followed this version below.  We did it twice since our ECRR skill was READ this week and I focused on repetition.  First we did it once together, then we taught it to our grown up!  🙂

Book #1: Red Rubber Boot Day by Mary Lyn Ray

This book goes much better with the littles if you act out the pages- such as breathing deeply when “I press my nose against the screen and smell the smell of rain and screen.”

Action Song: Boots by Laurie Berkner

This song got a little long, but the kiddos still enjoyed it- especially hopping around in our frog boots!

Action Song: Can You Jump Jump Jump? (tune of Do Your Ears Hang Low?)

Can you jump jump jump?

Can you hop hop hop?

Can you clap clap clap?

Can you stomp stomp stomp?

Can you nod your head yes?

Can you shake your head no?

And can you sit down very slow?

___

Credit: adapted from 1234 More Storytimes

Transition: Storytime Stretch

Stretch to the window, stretch to the door

Stretch to the ceiling, stretch to the floor

Hands in our laps, we’re ready for more!

Let’s start our story in 5 and 4…3…2…1…now (whisper towards end)

Book #2: Kite Day by Will Hillenbrand

Definitely our favorite book!  We had lots of fun “running” to try and save the kite when the wind blows it away.  It was the perfect book to transition to our flannel guessing game.

Flannel: Where Oh Where Has My Little Kite Gone?

kite flannel

Where, oh where has my little kite gone?

Oh where, oh where can it be?

It is purple and pink and its tail is long.

Oh where, oh where can it be?

(Optional)

Little kite, little kite, what did you decide?

Is the white cloud a good place to hide?

____

Flannel Pattern: here or in plan below

Craft: Under the Umbrella Scene

Next time I’m thinking of doing this with a cupcake liner for the umbrella and cotton balls for clouds, or maybe making a paper towel roll rainstick!


As always, you can grab the master plan (with lots of more rainy ideas) by clicking on the spreadsheet below!

rainy days spreadsheet

Next up… Rainy Days with the Preschool Pack!

Flannel Friday: 5 Little Umbrellas

flannel umbrellas

We did this fun little counting/color recognition flannel in conjunction with reading The Thingamabob by Il Sung Na (which may just be my new favorite weather picture book ever!)  Here’s how it goes:

5 umbrellas stood by the back door.

The red one went outside (say BYE! and wave) and then there were 4.

4 umbrellas pretty as can be.

The blue one went outside and then there were 3.

3 umbrellas with nothing to do.

The green one went outside and then there were 2.

2 umbrellas not having much fun.

The yellow one went outside and there was 1.

1 umbrella sad and all alone (sniffle and pretend to rub eyes).

He went to join his friends and that left none!

____

Credit: adapted from Jen in the Library

Pattern: available here

Stay tuned for the rest of the preschool plan on Saturday, and don’t forget to check out all the other fun flannel posts too at Felt Board Magic, our gracious host for the week!  You can also check out the Flannel Friday websitePinterest, or Facebook page!

UPDATE: Grab the whole plan here!

Flannel Friday: Where Oh Where Has My Little Kite Gone?

kite flannel

This week I used this flannel with my toddlers for a fun-filled rainy days storytime!  We played this guessing game after reading Kite Day by Will Hillenbrand.

Where, oh where has my little kite gone?

Oh where, oh where can it be?

It is purple and pink and its tail is long.

Oh where, oh where can it be?

(Optional)

Little kite, little kite, what did you decide?

Is the white cloud a good place to hide?

____

Flannel Pattern: here

Stay tuned for the whole plan on Saturday, and don’t forget to check out all the other fun posts too at Felt Board Magic, our wonderful Flannel Friday host for the week!

UPDATE: Grab the whole plan here!

Flannel Friday: Get Up & Groove (Toddler/Preschool Storytime)

ff dance

I was so excited when I saw the Summer Reading theme for this week’s Flannel Friday!  We actually just did a healthy movin’ and groovin’ storytime to go along with this year’s One Book for Colorado, Giraffes Can’t Dance.  It was super fun and I’m so excited to share the whole plan with you- hopefully it will come in handy soon!  Don’t forget to check out the rest of the great resources by hopping over to Lisa’s Library Land, our gracious host for the week.

Here’s the books we read this time (our favorites being the biggest):

And here’s the nitty gritty!


Welcome/Opening Songs:

  • If You’re Happy and You Know It – Traditional
  • Shake My Sillies Out- Raffi

Letter of the Week: M

Fingerplay: Dance Your Fingers

Dance your fingers up,

Dance your fingers down.

Dance them to the side,

Dance them all around!

Dance them on your shoulders,

Dance them on your head.

Dance them on your tummy.

Now put them all to bed!

___

Credit: Storytime Katie

Book #1: Dance with Me by Charles R Smith Jr.

The kiddos really seemed to like the actions in this book.  This could be read standing up or sitting down!

Transition: My Thumbs are Starting to Wiggle (to the tune of The Bear Went Over the Mountain)

My thumbs are starting to wiggle,

My thumbs are starting to wiggle,

My thumbs are starting to wiggle-

And now so are my hands!

(repeat with hands, arms, toes, body)

___

Credit: Jbrary

Action Song: Silly Dance Competition (Jim Gill)

Transition: Can You Jump Jump Jump?

Can you jump jump jump?

Can you hop hop hop?

Can you clap clap clap?

Can you stomp stomp stomp?

Can you nod your head yes?

Can you shake your head now?

And can you sit down very slow?

___

Credit: adapted from 1234 More Storytimes

Book #2: Hop Jump by Ellen Stoll Walsh

This was a great book to sit down for a minute and catch our breath.  Plus it’s cute and it went with our flannel!

Flannel: 5 Green and Speckled Frogs

5 green speckled frogs

Five green and speckled frogs

Sitting on a speckled log

Eating some most delicious bugs – YUM YUM!

One jumped into the pool

Where it was nice and cool.

Now there’s 4 green and speckled frogs.

(repeat with 4, 3, 2, 1)

___

Credit: Traditional

Pattern: Click here (also in plan)

Book #3: Dancing Feet by Lindsey Craig

Our favorite book by far!  This was so much fun.  The kids loved guessing which animals were dancing next and acting out the stompity/tippity/flappity/creepity feet.  It was a perfect way to end storytime!

Craft: Rainbow Ribbons

craft stick ribbon dancer

For the craft we made craft stick ribbon dancers similar to the one above from Sunflower Storytime.  The kids had lots of fun dancing with their sticks to the “Rainbow Dancers Let’s Get Ready” song, which I have on a CD and whose artist escapes me at the moment.


For preschoolers, we ended by reading Giraffes Can’t Dance and telling parents about One Book for Colorado.  Then kiddos could take their picture with their book and Gerald!

20160422_140648_resized

There were so many great books and songs to choose from, I wish we could have read and sung and danced them all!  (Oh well, there’s always next year, right?)  You can check out all the resources I gathered by clicking on the master plan below:

dance spreadsheet

Have a great weekend everyone!

Top 10 Tuesday: Books that Make You LOL

Welcome to another addition of Top 10 Tuesday!  While writing this I realized I don’t really read funny books.  Like ever.  My personal bookshelf doesn’t contain a single happy-go-lucky feel-good or laugh-out-loud book.  Lots of murder mysteries and George R.R. Martin though.  (Not sure what that says about me… O.O)

Luckily, my professional bookshelf is another story!  One of the occupational hazards of working with kiddos is you end up reading a lot more kidlit than grown-up books.  And that’s okay because heck, a lot of times they’re a lot more fun!  This week I bring to you…

top 10 LOL sm

(Picture Book Style)

Here they are, in no particular order:

monsterbook

1. The Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone

It doesn’t get any better than this classic!

pigeonbus

2. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems

Did I say things couldn’t get better?  I LIED!  Pigeon is the ultimate awesome funny character.  Plus you can read a bunch of books about Pigeon’s silly stories!  (All of Mo Willems’s work is worth reading, by the way).

everyone ready for fun

3. Is Everyone Ready for Fun? by Jan Thomas

The funniest farm animal picture book I know (and also my favorite farm animal book overall).  I think I burst out laughing after every page!

cowboyoctopus

4. Cowboy and Octopus by Jon Scieska and Lane Smith

Talk about the dynamic duo!  I love everything these two put together.  This funny tale of friendship is one of my favorites though.

notmyhat

5. This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen

It’s funny and it’s a Caldecott.  What more needs to be said?  Go read it now and grab the prequel while you’re at it- I Want My Hat Back.

munschalligatorbab

6. Alligator Baby by Robert Munsch

It was a toss-up for me between this gem and The Paper Bag Princess, but I think this book gets my little ones giggling a bit more.

childrenpets

7. Children Make Terrible Pets by Peter Brown

They really do, don’t they?  You moms and dads amaze me.  I love kids but having to hang out with one all the time every day… whoa.  *makes sign of cross to ward off evil*

motherbruce

8. Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins

This is one my favorite newer funny stories.  It’s also absolutely adorable!

crayonsquit

9. The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt (yes, that’s Oliver Jeffers illustrating!)

Not only is this book funny, it also gets you thinking about life from another perspective.

all my friends are dead

10. All My Friends are Dead by Avery Monsen and Jory John (NOT for kiddos!)

Speaking of perspective, this little beauty of a book is both a funny and sad look at some of life’s harsh realities, such as:

end tables

Honorable Mentions:

Little Owl Lost by Chris Haughton

Is There a Dog in this Book? by Vivian Schwarz

Gilbert Goldfish Wants a Pet by Kelly DiPuchio

Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano

Who’d I miss?  What’s making you LOL right now?  Don’t forget to link up at The Broke & the Bookish this week!

Flannel Friday: Dog Days (Outreach Storytime)

ff dogs sm

Welcome to my first Flannel Friday post!  I’m so excited to share this storytime with you today.  This storytime was a HUGE hit with my preschoolers when I was doing outreach.  Since I started in a new role at the library, I adapted the plan to include a craft and be more flexible for toddlers/preschoolers.

I love to start storytime with a mischievous puppet.  For Dog themes, I use either Ben the golden retriever or Bob the bulldog.  Here’s what the introduction might look like:

Me: What kind of animal is Bob?

Kids: He’s a DOG!

Me: That’s right!  Do dogs make good pets?

Kids: YES!

Me: What about alligators?  Do alligators make good pets?

Kids: NO! (Yes, my kiddos talk in all caps.  True story.)

Me: Do fish make good pets?

Kids: Yeeessssss.

Me: What about cats?

Dog: *shakes head*

Kids: *laugh heads off*

Me: What are you doing Bob?  Why are you shaking your head?

Dog: *barks like crazy*

Me: I wonder what’s wrong with Bob?

Kids: Dogs don’t like cats!

Silly me.  I should have known!  🙂

From there the story takes two routes: I either transition into a book about cats and dogs getting along and tell my puppet he really needs to listen, OR sometimes my puppet confesses to taking all the cat books out of my bag and the kids laugh their heads off again.

Here’s what my plan looked like for my last outreach storytime:

dog plan

Here’s the books we read:

And here’s the play-by-play:


Puppet Intro

Fingerplay: Two Little Puppies Lying in a Heap

2 little puppy dogs (hold up two fingers)

lying in a heap (lay fingers down)

Soft and furry (stroke fingers)

and fast asleep (lay hands against side of face)

Along came a kitty cat (hold up opposite finger)

Creeping near (move closer to other fingers)

“Meow” she said right in their ears (cup ear)

Two little puppy dogs after one cat! (two fingers chase other finger)

Do you like to play tag like that? (point to children)

Credit: Jodene Smith, Activities for Fine Motor Development

Review Storytime Expectations

“Do my hands go in the air?  Do they go in my ears?  Over my eyes?  No?!  Somebody help me, I can’t see!  Where do my hands go?  That’s right, in my lap!”

Book #1: Is There a Dog in this Book? by Vivian Schwarz

Also known as, the BEST BOOK EVER.  The kids love when we lift the flaps and see what’s behind!  It’s so interactive and funny to boot.

Flannel: Where Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone? (Guessing/Colors)

dog post

Where oh where has my little dog gone?

Oh where, oh where can he be?

With his ears cut short and his tail cut long,

Oh where, oh where can he be?

Little dog, little dog, what did you decide?

Is the yellow sofa a good place to hide?

Credit: In the Children’s Room

Flannel Patterns: Toddler Storytimes II by Dianne Briggs or alternate here (also in the storytime spreadsheet)

Book #2: Dog Blue by Polly Dunbar

This is a sweet book about the friendship that develops between a boy and a dog, even if the dog isn’t exactly what he always wanted.  The preschoolers got way into it, but I probably wouldn’t read it to my toddlers.  After reading we talked about what the boy did to take care of his puppy, which was a nice transition to…

Action Song: “Walk, Walk, Walk Your Puppy” (tune of Skip to My Lou)

Walk, walk, walk your puppy

Walk, walk, walk your puppy

Walk, walk, walk your puppy

Walk him all around!

Feed, feed, feed your puppy

Feed, feed, feed your puppy

Feed, feed, feed your puppy

Feed him till he’s full!

Wash, wash, wash your puppy

Wash, wash, wash your puppy

Wash him all around!

Credit: adapted from I Read to Relax

 Action Song #2: If You’re a Dog and You Know It (tune of If You’re Happy and You Know It)

If you’re a dog and you know it, wag your tail.

If you’re a dog and you know it, wag your tail!

If you’re a dog and you know it, and you really want to show it

If you’re a dog and you know it, wag your tail!

(repeat with other actions- bark like this “woof woof!”, scratch your ear)

Credit: Mary Marshall

THEN… TRANSITION TIME!

If you’re ready for a story, have a seat.

If you’re ready for a story, slap your knees.

If you’re ready for a story, if you’re ready for a story

If you’re ready for a story look at me!

Sit quietly… ready in 1…2…3…

Credit: Me! 🙂

Book #3: Dog’s Noisy Day by Emma Dodd

Another great interactive book!  The kiddos love making the animal noises.

Closing Song

Open, shut them

Open, shut them

Give a little clap clap clap!

Open, shut them

Open, shut them

Put them in your lap lap lap.

Wave them, wave them

Wave them, wave them

High up in the sky sky sky!

Wave to me, I’ll wave to you.

Let’s all say good bye bye bye!

Credit: Kim Siffring


This is honestly probably my favorite storytime yet.  It’s just so much fun, there’s so many great books and so many awesome ideas that there’s no way you can try them all at one time!  I wanted to see my master list of ideas and plug them into my plan without having to click through a gazillion pins and places… and voila!  I created THIS color-coded, super storytime master spreadsheets of organizational awesome-ness:

spreadsheet example

Here’s what’s in the super storytime spreadsheets:

  • Two storytime plan templates (one for outreach and one for conventional storytimes)
  • Growing book list with suggested age-groups and favorite features (e.g. Noisy Story, Silly Story, etc).
  • Action Songs
  • Fingerplays & Rhymes
  • Flannelboard Fun (with links to FREE pattern templates)
  • Crafts
  • Coming Soon: ECRR take home extension ideas/talking points

Did I mention you can download it and make it your own?  Click here or on the image above and download the file from Dropbox!  You’ll want to make sure you download the file and open it with Excel if you want everything formatted properly.

Happy Friday everyone!  Don’t forget to make the flannel rounds at Mel’s Desk this weekend!

Top 10 Tuesday: Books for Tudor Enthusiasts to Try

top 10 tuesday tudors sm

Thanks for reading my first Top Ten Tuesday Post!  Don’t forget to catch up on all the other great reads by heading over to The Broke & the Bookish.

I want to preface this post by saying I liked the Tudors before the TV series came out (or the movie with Natalie Portman, for that matter!)  The book that got me started on my Tudor trek many years ago (and inspired a lasting love of historical fiction in general) gets the honor of going first on my list:

red rose

1. Elizabeth I, Red Rose of the House of Tudor, England 1544 (Royal Diaries)

The Royal Diaries series (published by Scholastic) is great for all young historical fiction buffs.  For the budding Tudor enthusiast, consider similar titles such as Carolyn Meyer’s Young Royals series.  Also consider Ann Rinaldi’s The Redheaded Princess or Nine Days a Queen: The Short Life and Reign of Lady Jane Grey.

other boleyn girl

2. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

My favorite Philippa Gregory novel by far.  More than anything else, I love how she explores the relationship between sisters, especially in such a high-stakes environment as the Tudor court.

wolf hall

3. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

It’s not hard to see why this book won the Man Booker prize.  Although the writing style is a deterrent to some, I absolutely loved it.  It’s definitely a unique read in the world of Tudor historical fiction.

starkey six wives

4. Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII by David Starkey

Moving away from fiction for a while, I recommend giving David Starkey a try.  His biographies are anything but dry, combining the facts with his own unique flavor.  Truly, truth is stranger than fiction!

six wives

5. The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir

A good solid biography.  I enjoy all of Alison Weir’s biographical accounts, by the way, but I do not recommend her forays into fiction.

Queen's_Fool

6. The Queen’s Fool by Philippa Gregory

There are only four books by Philippa Gregory that I’ve ever returned to, and this is one of them.  Generally I prefer books written from a primary player’s point of view, but this outside perspective provides a unique and refreshing look at Princess Mary and Elizabeth during some of the most tumultuous times of their lives.  (What can I say?  I’m all about relationship dynamics!)

dissolution

7. Matthew Shardlake Series by C.J. Sansom

This brings me to another outsider account.  This series takes my two great loves and combines them together: historical fiction and mystery.  Follow the tales of lawyer and hunchback Matthew Shardlake as he wades through the treacherous waters of Henry VIII’s England.  (Really, I should be writing back cover descriptions, don’t you think?)

If you’re into more adventure and mystery during Tudor times, you may also want to check out P.F. Chisholm’s Sir Robert Carey Mystery series.

The_Boleyn_Inheritance

8. The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory

Speaking of treachery, enter into the troubled mind of Jane Boleyn as she serves Henry VIII’s next queens and soon follows her sister-in-law to the scaffold.  *cheers*  Talk about just deserts!

thistle and the rose

9. The Thistle and the Rose by Jean Plaidy

What about Henry VIII’s equally hot-blooded and hot-tempered sisters?  Learn more about Margaret Tudor’s marital misadventures in Scotland in this fictional account by Jean Plaidy. (Also it’s the only Jean Plaidy novel I ever liked, so I figure that alone warrants it a place in this list).

the other queen

10. The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory

My fourth and final Philippa Gregory book.  Although Queen Mary of Scotland plays a prominent role in this novel, it’s actually Bess Hardwick who captured my attention.  If you’re interested in learning more about the woman behind the myths, I highly recommend John Guy’s Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart.

So what’d I miss?  Who do you recommend?   Would love to hear your thoughts!