Thursday, March 24, 2016

Spring Has Sprung ... or has it?

I had planned on a spring-themed storytime this week, but here is what it looked like the morning of storytime :

Nice, eh?

Still, I went ahead with what was originally planned.
We shared four spring-themed storytime books.

This new one by Kevin Henkes and Laura Dronzek is lovely (the same pair that created the book "Birds" which I simply adore)

Anne Rockwell's book about a little girl looking for her robin is also charming. I asked the kid's if they could see the robin on each page of the book.

I love Lauren Stringer's illustrations in this book - the text sometimes goes over the heads of younger kids, but the images of bare feet squishing in the mud can be enjoyed by anyone.

I was a bit apprehensive about sharing this book because Easter is not a holiday we can celebrate in public libraries, but fortunately the library barcode label sat right over the word "Easter" so I could just call this book "Babies : A Springtime Counting Book".

I also skipped the last page about bells ringing at the church. Worked pretty well with a bit of clever editing.

I shared my flannel for "Five Spring Eggs" ... always get a kick out of the reaction at the end when the fifth eggs cracks open to reveal a little chick.

This flannel rhyme is to the tune of "Five Brown Teddies" and goes ...
Five spring eggs were sitting in the hay
Five spring eggs were sitting in the hay
And if one spring egg should crack (clap hands) and roll away ...
There'll be four spring eggs sitting in the hay ...
(last time)
One spring egg, sitting in the hay
One spring egg, sitting in the hay
And if THAT spring egg should stay just one more day ...
CRACK! (clap hands)
There'll be one spring CHICKEN sitting in the hay!
The trickiest thing about this was putting the eggs up on the board in front of my storytime families without revealing the chick in side the last egg.

For my early literacy handout, I made a "Talk Together" activity sheet to promote letter recognition and discussion about starting sounds of words.
For at home use only
Since it was spring break at the local school district, I ended storytime with a craft. I don't usually do this at storytime but thought that a more diverse group age-wise might make storytime a better fit for families with children of multiple ages.

I had purchased some felt spring shapes from the dollar bin at Target. I had cardstock and glitter on hand and supplemented with some Easter basket grass (paper). This allowed kids to make a spring tableau using the felt shapes. I CONTROLLED ALL THE GLITTER APPLICATION. I knew from past experience that this was the only way glitter would work! The result was minimal glitter on the floor. Success!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Everything Green

Today at storytime we celebrated the color GREEN.
In addition to recognizing St. Patrick's Day, we also recognized that winter is over and spring is on the way - which means the world will soon turn green again.

I couldn't believe how many green-themed books were available for storytime. I think it's one color that is highly recognizable by young children and it is found in a variety of areas (nature, food, animals) which makes it a color into which many themes can be combined.

Here are the books that were shared at storytime today :

"Green : Seeing Green All Around Us" by Sarah Schuette from the "Colors All Around Us" series is a good starter for a green-themed storytime. Large photos illustrate the green objects being described in the rhyming text.

"The Great Big Green" by Peggy Gifford is a fun guessing game - the book's text asks the reader to try and guess what the great big green thing is. Turns out it's the earth ... which is also blue!

"Good Luck Bear" by Greg Foley from his series of books about bear was my token St. Patrick's Day book. Actually, it's not about St. Patrick's Day so much as it is about four-leafed clovers, but that's about as in-depth on St. Patrick's Day as you want to get with a bunch of 3-and-4-year olds.

Ended with "Green" by Laura Vaccaro Seeger, one of my favorite books about the color green.

We also sang "Five Green & Speckled Frogs" and I highlighted singing as my early literacy tip. I handed out this activity sheet for families to take home as an extension activity.
For home use only
I also shared another guessing game "What Is Green?" through a flannel board story. I described the green thing that I was thinking of and for the most part kids were able to guess what I was describing. For some reason 'snake' was a tricky one ... but they eventually got it. Nice thing to use since most of these flannel pieces were "borrowed" from other flannel stories I own, making varied use out of other pieces that I'd made in the past.

For my grand finale I had brought along my fiddle! I played two tunes, "Sheebeg & Sheemore", perhaps the first Irish fiddle tune most folks learn, and after playing I asked kids (based on how the tune sounded) what they though Sheebeg and Sheemore were. Boats? Flowers? Girls? No! Turns out the song is about two mountains in the misty, cloudy Irish landscape (actually, they are two mountains beneath which a big ol' battle happened with lots of death and destruction, but I didn't mention that part). I also played "The Road to Lisdoonvarna" which is a nice tune with a rocking beat meant to represent walking down a road.

Fun storytime all around.