Thursday, November 13, 2014

Pumpkins: All-Ages Storytime

This is the first time I did a pumpkin theme and it was so much fun!

Animal Song with Puppets: "Mr. Duck"

Mr. Mrs. Bear was not able to come to storytime today so his gal pal Mrs. Bear came to sing hello to us.  She is dressed as Elsa to remind you that Anna and Elsa are coming for Caroling in the Library on Dec 4th.  See our online calendar here.

Duck and Goose Find a Pumpkin by Tad Hills.  Duck and Goose look everywhere for a pumpkin and finally finds one at the pumpkin patch.

I read the large board book copy which was plenty big, especially with the large illustrations, even in our enormous storytime room.  It was super interactive because the kids got to answer, "No," each time Duck or Goose asked if the pumpkin was somewhere.
The Ugly Bumpy Pumpkin by Dave Horowitz.  This book is downright mean.  It's actually called "The Ugly Pumpkin" and the characters are pretty cruel to the "pumpkin".  I pretty much skip the whole middle of the book... but I love the end!

Prop Song: "Pumpkin Vine".    Basically the song leads us through using our imaginations to grow a pumpkin and I pull out the vine, big leaves, yellow flowers, red bug, and finally a pumpkin as they grow/appear in the song.
Listen here

Watch me in action (I have no idea why it's so insanely fast, but I actually like that it all plays out in like 5 seconds and then you can listen to the song at the link above):

Activity: Bibbity Boppity Boo
I used this rhyming game as a way to get the kids settled and holding autumn, sparkly, foam leaves for the Magic Cauldron activity (see next activity below).

Bibbity Boppity Boo a leaf is on my shoe
Bibbity Boppity Bed a leaf is on my head
Bibbity Boppity Bee a leaf is on my knee... etc...

Activity: Magic Autumn Cauldron
There is a squash (or pumpkin if you have the forethought to buy one in October) hidden in cauldren under a black plastic bag.

I tell the kids I am going to put item in my cauldron that make me think of fall.  I have a black trash bag because that's what we used to rake leaves into when I lived in NY and I add the apple, leaves, scarecrow, and jacket and then use my magic wand to say, "Hocus Pocus, "Bibbity Boppity Boo," and, "Abra Cadabra."  Sadly nothing magical happens.

Ahhhh!  We need magic leaves.  We practice holding up the color leaf we have and the kids bring their leaves up to put in the cauldron by color groups so they don't all run up at once.  It's not perfect, but it works.

Once all the leaves are in the cauldron, we say the magic words again and I magically pull something out of the cauldron I didn't put in.  Real magic there, folks.


Monday, November 10, 2014

All-Ages: Squirrels

Arizona is cooling off in the evenings and mornings so it's as good a time as any to talk about squirrels getting ready for winter.

Animal Song with Puppets:  "My Squirrel" Listen here
Letter of the Day: Ss
Mr. Mrs. Bear:  Mr. Bear was busy this week so his gal pal Mrs. Bear came to sing hello.  She is promoting our 8th Annual Caroling in the Library program.  This year Anna and Elsa will be joining us for the storytime portion of the event. Our calendar

Check out my blog post about this event a couple of years ago..

The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri:  Squirrel is too busy getting ready for winter to play with the other animals.

That Pup by Lindsay Barrett George: After having fun digging up acorns, a little dog helps hide them again when he finds out a squirrel was saving them for winter.

Flannel: "Sammy Squirrel" by Liz and Dick Wilmes:

Sammy Squirrel is sad and cold (look at his pink little nose) now that all the leaves fell off his tree.
 Yay!  Sammy found a new warm tree right as it started snowing.
 Here are Sammy's first getting ready to hibernate / stay warm for the winter.

Music and pom poms: "Gray Squirrel" by the Learning Station.  There are many versions of this song, but I love this one because it encourages the whole family to participate!  Listen / watch here.

Activity: Acorn Hunt
The kids found acorns around the library and put them in Squirrel's burrow.  I think next year I will let each kid take one acorn on the way out and give it to squirrel.  The hunt went fine, but I think it would better with a smaller group (40+ kids attended both sessions).

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Family Storytime Canceled Tonight

I truly apologize for canceling Storytime tonight. Hopefully some of my attendees see this post before heading over. I am currently having an issue with childcare for my two little ones.

On that note, if you or anybody you know is looking for a babysitting gig let me know.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

All-Ages: Monsters

Not all of our families braved the Arizona rain, but I certainly had fun with those who attended today! (28 kids in the first session, 43 in the second).

Letter of the Day:  Mm for monster

Animal Song with Puppets: "When Ghosts Wake Up in the Evening".  I found this awesome song just yesterday, downloaded it, sought out a ghost and witch,  and we grooved to it this morning. Listen here
Mr. Bear did his usual song and dance routine, but dressed like a pumpkin:
Monster, Monster by Melanie Walsh.  This is a super fun lift-the-flap book where the kids have to figure out who is in costumes and who is the real monster.

A Ghost in the House by Ammi-Joan Pacquette.  My 2 1/2 year old (now 3) loved and still loves this book. A ghost bumps into a mummy, momster, skeleton, witch, and finally the creepest createure of all - a little boy! 

As the creatures run away one by one, I tossed them over the flannel board for dramatics!  The monster is the tallest at about 14"


Star Monster

A hunting we will go (pat rhythm on legs)
A hunting we will go
We'll catch a monster
And give her ___ start
And then we'll let her go

Repeat with all colors

 Music: "We Are Monsters" Listen here
We stomped, clapped, shook, sneaked, and roared like monsters while holding these small plush monsters.


"I Saw a Ghost"
I saw a ghost (use this ASL sign for "ghost")
He saw me to (point to self)
I waved hello (wave)
But he said, "Boo!"

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Baby Time: Monsters

Reminder:  I will be in NY for the next two Baby Time Sessions so there will not be storytimes until right before Halloween.  I had to get my monsters in today!

Here are some of the theme-specific activities we did today:

"Mr. Bear" sang his welcome song (dressed like a Jack o' Lantern)

 "The Star Monster"
A hunting we will go
A hunting we will go
We'll catch a monster
and give her a pink star
And then we'll let her go...
 "Five Green Goblins"
The Halloween version of "Five Little Monkeys" Listen here.  There is a 20 second interval at one point where there is just music and we take that opportunity to toss our babies in the air.

 Book:  Monster, Monster This is a really fun lift-the-flap book
 Uh oh!  We found the monster and he  likes to munch on books.
"Pumpkin, Pumpkin"

Make pumpkin in front of your with arms
Tip over
Roll your hands
Hug baby (or through your arms up and say, "Trick or Treat!"
"I Saw a Ghost"

I saw a ghost (use this fun ASL sign for "ghost" )
He saw me too (point to self)
I waved at him (wave)
But he said, "Boo!" (gesture with hands)

Shakers:  We shook to Eric Litwin's "We are Monsters" Listen here

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Rainbow Magic Book Club: Autumn the Falling Leaves Fairy

Yesterday was the first Rainbow Magic club meeting for 6-9 year olds and it was a huge success!  I could not believe how wonderful the group was (all girls, but boys are invited too).  There were 18 girls who came; almost 100% attendance based on registration.

Held on the fourth Monday of every month at 4:00 p.m.
Registration is required
Book should be read before the meeting (I will hold 15 copies at Perry, first come, first serve)
Next month's book is Trixie the Halloween Fairy and we are meeting on October 27th

Sign In
As Gabby, a teen volunteer, checked the children in and got them name tags, I gave them their fairy names using this Fairy Name Generating website  I had the screen projected on the wall so the kids could read about their fairy names.

 The sign-in tables were decorated like this and I brought my Scentsy lamp in to fill the room with pumpkin spice (like the magical pumpkin smells in the book):
The Discussion
I arranged the chairs in a circle and each chair had a "fairy wand" on it for the kids to raise when they wanted to answer one of the discussion questions.  Some examples of questions I asked are: What did the farm look like when Kirsty and Rachel arrived? (easy) What are the names of the Fairy King and Queen? (hard)  Have you ever experienced fall in cool weather?  What's your favorite part about fall?
I had the map of the Farm projected on the board so we could talk about what happened at the different locations.  I also had some black and white copies and colored pencils available to color in case we ended early.  We didn't end up needing the back-up activity, but the girls took them home to color.

The Craft
We filled these tiny little bottles with "fairy dust".  I had tables set up with six different colors of art sand and sixteen colors of fine, shimmery, glitter.  They turned out so cute!  We put yarn through the loops so they could be worn as necklaces.

The answer is "NO" - kids are never too old to play with the parachute, especially when you dump a large bucket of leaves in the middle and they go EVERYWHERE!  We did this while I played "It's Fall Again".  Listen here