Storytime Spotlight: Baby Animal Bash

Spring is almost in the air… which means it’s time for some of my favorite books and songs about baby animals!  Family time was so much fun last Saturday.  Here’s the rundown:


Welcome/Opening Songs:

  • If You’re Happy & You Know It
  • Shake My Sillies Out

ABC Routine: Letter H

Transition/Fingerplay: Dance Your Fingers

Book #1: What Will Hatch? by Jennifer Ward

I was really excited to read this nonfiction book to the crowd, but they just didn’t seem that into it.  I may try reading this again at a later point during storytime after everyone wakes up a little.  🙂

Book #2: Egg by Kevin Henkes

This one went over much better!  The repetition really drew the young ones in, plus they liked knocking along with me, trying to crack the egg open.

Shaker Song: Bunny Hop – Katherine Dines

Katherine Dines is the best.  I was lucky enough to participate in her closing session at CLEL last year and I’ve been in love with her music ever since!  🙂  We loved this song so much, we had to play it two times through.  Be ready to hop, stop and wiggle!

Transition: Little Duck, Little Duck

“Little Duck, Little Duck”

Little duck, little duck, waddle around.

Little duck, little duck, touch the ground.

Little duck, little duck, wings go flap.

Little duck, little duck, say “Quack Quack!”

Little duck, little duck, jump into the river.

Little duck, little duck, give a little shiver.

Little duck, little duck, shake your feet.

Little Duck, little duck, find your seat.

___

Credit: Carol Garnett Hopkins, Artsy Toddler Storytimes

Book #3: Nope! A Tale of First Flight by Drew Sheneman

This mostly wordless picture was SO. MUCH. FUN.  It was definitely the crowd’s favorite and mine as well.  We practiced some actions before we started reading (saying nope and swinging our finger, pretending to look down from a tree).  By the time we got towards the end of the book, the kiddos felt comfortable enough to help narrate.

My Twitter friends voted for a video, so here I go!  Please do pay special attention to the disclaimers.  I’m not an expert!  This is just worked well for me.  🙂

The best part for me was the mom who came up after storytime asking for more wordless books to take home!  She said she never felt brave enough to try before, but reading one together at storytime gave her confidence.

Book #4: Charlie Chick by Nick Dechenfield

Who doesn’t love a good pop up book?  This was a fun book to finish with and it was the perfect transition for our flannel game.

Fun Fact:

You may have heard play is the work of childhood and it’s true!  We develop so many skills through play, like our motor skills when we run and play tag.  Today we’re going to play a fun game and practice recognizing colors!

Thanks to an ALSC Webinar I took awhile ago, I now call my early literacy tip my fun fact of the day.  Parents really do seem to listen better.  It’s amazing what a difference being deliberate with your words can make!

Flannel: Little Chick, Little Chick

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Little Chick

Little chick, little chick,

Where did you fly?

Is that you

Behind the yellow egg I spy?

(repeat with other colors)

___

Template: clip art courtesy of My Cute Graphics


That’s all folks!  It was a fun day.  To see more great songs and stories I didn’t use, check out my handy dandy master OneNote notebook below:

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Storytime Spotlight: Bears n’ Berries with the Preschool Pack

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I LOVE bears.  There’s so many fun books, songs, rhymes, flannels… and so many different angles you can take!  You can do polar bears, teddy bears, bears in spring, bears hibernating in fall, forest friends… you get the idea.  Since spring has finally come to Colorado (*crosses fingers*) this week I went for what I call a “bears n berries” approach.

Here’s some of the fun books I had ready to read:


Welcome/Opening Songs:

  • I snuck into the story room wearing a fun “explorer” hat and a pair of binoculars.  I tiptoed in, ran behind the flannel board and looked over the top with my binoculars, then whispered “Has anyone seen a bear in here?”  The preschoolers all said no and I asked, “Do you promise?” then stepped out from behind the board.  Then I pointed to the books that were lined up and yelled “Aaah!  I thought you said there weren’t any bears in here!” and they laughed their little heads off over how silly I was.  🙂  After they assured me the bears in the books wouldn’t bite, I popped in the CD and we sang/danced to…
  • If You’re Happy and You Know It- Traditional
  • Shake My Sillies Out- Raffi
  • After singing and dancing we took a bow.  My hat fell off, which the kiddos again seemed to really enjoy.  I’m thinking I might have to make wearing a hat a story time tradition.  🙂

Letter of the Week: R

  • Sing ABC song
  • Find letter R on ABC chart (play hot/cold with pointer)
  • Write letter R in the air and on the ground
  • Give clues/kids guess letter R word pictures
  • Kiss your brain!

Fingerplay: 2 Little Black Bears

At this point I also talked about our ECRR skill, which was writing.  I shared how fingerplays can strengthen fine motor skills children need to write and encouraged the parents to make fingerplays a part of their daily routine, such as at bedtime.  We practiced this one together once, then went and taught our grown ups!  🙂

Two little black bears eating strawberries,

One named Michael and one named Mary.

Run away Michael, run away Mary!

Come back Michael, come back Mary!

___

credit: Sunflower Storytime

Book #1: Spring is Here by Will Hillenbrand

We really enjoyed the actions in this one- especially snoring!  By the end though we definitely had some wiggles, so it was time to go on a bear hunt!

Action Song: Going on a Bear Hunt by Greg & Steve

My favorite version of this song by far.  We stood up and stomped around the room for this one.  After storytime I had a ton of parents asking for the song title/artist, so I knew it was a big hit!

Transition: If You’re Ready for a Story

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

If you’re ready for a story pat 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!

Do you remember what Bear did when Mole finally woke him up?  That’s right, he ate food!  What do bears like to eat?  That reminds me, I know a finger song about bears and berries!  Can you…

Fingerplay: Pick Berries High (tune of Peas Porridge Hot)

Pick berries high (reach up high)

Pick berries low (reach down low)

Pick berries on the bush, nine in a row (clap 9x)

Some like them red (raise one hand to side palm up)

Some like them blue (raise other hand palm up)

Here’s one for me- yum! (pretend to eat berry)

And here’s one for you (hold out hand)

___

credit: adapted from Artsy Toddler Storytimes

Flannel: Baby Bear’s Big Feast

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As always, this kind of flannel story is a big hit with my preschoolers.  They love helping me with the actions in the story and the twist ending!  I always leave the flannel up afterwards so kids can tell the story again after craft time.  This has helped a lot with the crowding issue at the board- they know it’s my turn now, but they will have their own turn later.

Little Bear and his Mama woke up from their long winter’s nap (stretch and yawn). Little Bear was so hungry his tummy went grumble grumble.  Mama Bear was hungry too, so they stepped outside their cave and looked around.  In the clearing was the tree stump where they always ate their feast.  Little Bear hopped up and sniffed around- sniff sniff sniff.

“Mama, where’s the food?” he asked.  “I’m hungry!”

“We have to go get it, silly,” Mama Bear said.  “Why don’t you go get the blueberries?”

“Okay!” Baby bear jumped down from the stump and ran to the woods (pat knees quickly to imitate running).  He looked high (pretend to look high) and he looked low (pretend to look low).  He looked all around until he thought he saw some blueberries, then he went back.

“Look Mama, blueberries!” he said.

“No Baby Bear,” Mama said, laughing.  “That’s not a blueberry.  That’s a – (pause to let children respond) fish!  This time go past the stream.”

So Baby Bear went running back to the woods again (pat knees).  He looked high (pretend to look high) and he looked low (pretend to look low). He looked all around until he thought he saw some blueberries, then he went back.

“Look Mama, blueberries!” he said.

“No Baby Bear,” Mama said, laughing.  “That’s not a blueberry.  That’s an – (pause to let children respond) orange!  This time go past the stream and the orange tree.”

So Baby Bear went running back to the woods again (pat knees).  He looked high (pretend to look high) and he looked low (pretend to look low). He looked all around until he thought he saw some blueberries, then he went back.

“Look Mama, blueberries!” he said.

“No Baby Bear,” Mama said, laughing.  “That’s not a blueberry.  That’s an – (pause to let children respond) apple!  This time go past the stream, the orange tree and the apple tree.”

So Baby Bear went running back to the woods again (pat knees).  He looked high (pretend to look high) and he looked low (pretend to look low). He looked all around until he thought he saw some blueberries, then he went back.

“Look Mama, blueberries!” he said.

“No Baby Bear,” Mama said, laughing.  “That’s not a blueberry.  That’s a – (pause to let children respond) strawberry!  This time go past the stream, past the orange tree and apple tree, and past the strawberry bushes.”

So Baby Bear went running back to the woods again (pat knees).  He looked high (pretend to look high) and he looked low (pretend to look low). He looked all around until he thought he saw some blueberries, then he went back.

This time he was gone such a long time Mama Bear started to get worried.  But then Baby Bear came back and he said, “Look, Mama, blueberries!  And I found Daddy too!”

“Yes Little Bear, those are blueberries,” Mama Bear said.  “You’re just in time for dinner.  But it looks like Daddy already ate his!”

____

credit: adapted from Ready-To-Go Storytimes by Gail Benton and Trisha Waichulaitis

pattern: available here (note the book also includes a pattern)

I really wanted to squeeze in a second book after the flannel, but by that point we were pretty crunched for time so we jumped right into the craft, which was a…

Craft: Paper Bag Bear Puppet

There’s a variety of free templates for this craft you can find online- the one my coworker picked this week is very similar to this one from East Coast Mommy and turned out super cute!  The kiddos really enjoyed running around the room afterwards.  I may have been mauled by a pack of preschoolers and their bears.


Overall I would give this story time two thumbs up!  I started collecting my storytime resources in Google Sheets as opposed to Excel so I could access them from work and home (yay!) but now they’re significantly less pretty (boo).  If you’re interested, you can download a copy by clicking the image below.  Have a great weekend!

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Flannel Friday: Baby Bear’s Big Feast

baby bear's feast.gif

Happy Flannel Friday!  Many thanks to Emily for hosting this week over at Literary Hoots.  (While you’re there, you should definitely check out the rest of her awesome blog)!  You also don’t want to miss the Flannel Friday websitePinterest, or Facebook page.

This week our theme was bears.  The preschoolers have been super into flannel stories lately (especially folk tales and participation tales), so I have been making new sets like crazy.  (Hence why my blueberries are missing the dark blue on top.  Is there anything worse than running out of a color when all the craft stores are closed?!)

Without further ado, here’s my version of “Baby Bear’s Big Feast!”

Little Bear and his Mama woke up from their long winter’s nap (stretch and yawn). Little Bear was so hungry his tummy went grumble grumble.  Mama Bear was hungry too, so they stepped outside their cave and looked around.  In the clearing was the tree stump where they always ate their feast.  Little Bear hopped up and sniffed around- sniff sniff sniff.

“Mama, where’s the food?” he asked.  “I’m hungry!”

“We have to go get it, silly,” Mama Bear said.  “Why don’t you go get the blueberries?”

“Okay!” Baby bear jumped down from the stump and ran to the woods (pat knees quickly to imitate running).  He looked high (pretend to look high) and he looked low (pretend to look low).  He looked all around until he thought he saw some blueberries, then he went back.

“Look Mama, blueberries!” he said.

“No Baby Bear,” Mama said, laughing.  “That’s not a blueberry.  That’s a – (pause to let children respond) fish!  This time go past the stream.”

So Baby Bear went running back to the woods again (pat knees).  He looked high (pretend to look high) and he looked low (pretend to look low). He looked all around until he thought he saw some blueberries, then he went back.

“Look Mama, blueberries!” he said.

“No Baby Bear,” Mama said, laughing.  “That’s not a blueberry.  That’s an – (pause to let children respond) orange!  This time go past the stream and the orange tree.”

So Baby Bear went running back to the woods again (pat knees).  He looked high (pretend to look high) and he looked low (pretend to look low). He looked all around until he thought he saw some blueberries, then he went back.

“Look Mama, blueberries!” he said.

“No Baby Bear,” Mama said, laughing.  “That’s not a blueberry.  That’s an – (pause to let children respond) apple!  This time go past the stream, the orange tree and the apple tree.”

So Baby Bear went running back to the woods again (pat knees).  He looked high (pretend to look high) and he looked low (pretend to look low). He looked all around until he thought he saw some blueberries, then he went back.

“Look Mama, blueberries!” he said.

“No Baby Bear,” Mama said, laughing.  “That’s not a blueberry.  That’s a – (pause to let children respond) strawberry!  This time go past the stream, past the orange tree and apple tree, and past the strawberry bushes.”

So Baby Bear went running back to the woods again (pat knees).  He looked high (pretend to look high) and he looked low (pretend to look low). He looked all around until he thought he saw some blueberries, then he went back.

This time he was gone such a long time Mama Bear started to get worried.  But then Baby Bear came back and he said, “Look, Mama, blueberries!  And I found Daddy too!”

“Yes Little Bear, those are blueberries,” Mama Bear said.  “You’re just in time for dinner.  But it looks like Daddy already ate his!”

____

credit: adapted from Ready-To-Go Storytimes by Gail Benton and Trisha Waichulaitis

pattern: available here (note the book also includes a pattern)

Hopefully sometime tomorrow I’ll have the whole plan ready for your reading pleasure.  Have a good weekend everyone!  🙂

UPDATE: See the whole plan here!

Flannel Friday: The Great, Big, Enormous Carrot!

great big enormous carrot

This week’s Flannel Friday is a fun adaptation of the traditional Russian folk tale “The Great, Big, Enormous Turnip.”  The original tale can be found many places, but my favorite beautiful flannel pattern for the original comes from Judy Sierra’s Flannel Board Storytelling Book.  Inspiration for this fun story also comes from Perry Public Library.

Before starting the story, we practiced how the different movements would go.  We hit our knees for each animal- what do you think a bunny hops like?  What about a squirrel?  A turtle?

Here’s how my version of the tale went…

Once there was a brown bunny hopping along one day- hop hop hop.  He was VERY hungry.  His tummy went rumble-rumble-growl.  So he went to the garden where he saw some tall green leaves.  “That is one BIG carrot!” he cried, and he grabbed onto the top.  He PULLED- mmmmph!– and he PULLED- mmmmph!  But the carrot wouldn’t come out.

Along came a grey squirrel- skitter scatter scamper.  “Do you need help?” she asked.  “Oh yes please,” the bunny said.  So Bunny grabbed onto the top of the carrot and Squirrel grabbed onto Bunny’s tail and they PULLED- mmmmph!– and they PULLED- mmmmph!  But the carrot wouldn’t come out.

Along came a green turtle- step…step… step…  “Do you need help?” he asked.  “Oh, yes please,” the bunny and the squirrel said.  So Bunny grabbed onto the top of the carrot and Squirrel grabbed onto Bunny’s tail and Turtle grabbed onto Squirrel’s tail and they PULLED- mmmmph!– and they PULLED- mmmmph!  But the carrot wouldn’t come out.

(That must be a really BIG carrot.  Bigger than big!  What are some more words for big?)

Bunny was so sad and hungry he started to cry sniffle-sniffle-snuff.  Along came a little white mouse.  “Do you need help?” she asked in her high squeaky voice.

“How can YOU help?” laughed Squirrel.

“You are TOO SMALL,” Turtle said.

“And this carrot is way TOO BIG!” Bunny added.

“Let me try,” said Mouse.  So Bunny grabbed onto the top of the carrot and Squirrel grabbed onto Bunny’s tail and Turtle grabbed onto Squirrel’s tail and Mouse grabbed onto Turtle and they PULLED- mmmmph!– and they PULLED- mmmmph!  And sure enough, the BIG ENORMOUS CARROT CAME OUT!

“Oh, thank you!” cried Bunny, and he shared his BIG ENORMOUS carrot with all his new friends.

___

Credit: adapted from the traditional folk tale as told by Judy Sierra in the Flannel Board Storytelling Book

Pattern: click here

*Note the pattern includes a snail- I ran out of time to make one, so I snagged a mouse from another set instead!  Also the tail of the original squirrel as pictured ended up ripping off pretty easily, so I am going to make a new squirrel with a “thicker” tail based on the pattern included in the download.

This was a HUGE hit with the preschool crowd!  I just loved the synonyms they came up with for big- my absolute favorite was “beastly.”

Be sure to come back tomorrow for the full spring-themed storytime preschool plan and don’t forget to check out the other Flannel Friday fun at Fun with Friends at Storytime.  You can also check out the Flannel Friday websitePinterest, or Facebook page!

Flannel Friday: Ahhh Choo! with Tulips & Toddlers

ah choo tulips

Happy Flannel Friday!  Hope everyone had a good week.  (We won’t talk about mine.  All that needs to be said is FINALS…. dun dun dun!)  Thank you to Kathryn at Fun with Friends at Storytime for hosting the round-up this week.  You can also check out the Flannel Friday websitePinterest, or Facebook page!

I actually had a break from storytime this week (thank goodness, I had so much homework) so the flannels I’m presenting are from last week.  Also like my last FF posts I have 2 to share with you- one set I used with toddlers and the other set I used with preschoolers.  I think I will continue to do this as much as possible in the future.  They really are such different age groups that things go so much smoother if I just end up making two different plans.

Many thanks to Maria at The Serpentine Library for putting me onto this rhyme and the fun book Finger Tales by Joan Hilyer.  I can’t wait for my copy to get in and see what other fun rhymes are in store!  I adapted the original rhyme a bit to be tulips instead of flowers (easier to draw) and added some more actions, but other than that the words are mostly the same.

5 pretty tulips (hold up 5 fingers)

in the meadow grew.

“Hmm,” I said (tap chin)

“I bet they smell pretty too!”

So I bent down to sniff (pretend to sniff)

But they tickled my nose!

Ah-ah-choo! (pretend to sneeze)

Oh no- away 1 flower blows!

(repeat with 4,3,2,1)

___

Credit: adapted from Joan Hilyer’s Finger Tales

Pattern: click here

The toddlers had a ton of fun making huge sneezes and blowing the tulips the away!  I think for now I will stick to fun guessing/interactive flannels for the little guys, they seem to go over the best with the crowd.

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for the full spring-themed toddler plan!