Friday, April 18, 2014

Customer Satisfaction Survey

Since I won't see many of my regular programming families in person for a couple more weeks, please take the (brief) time to fill out this Customer Satisfaction Survey online. 

We really appreciate it!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Flannel Friday: Caps for Sale

Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina has been in print for over 50 yeras and was a storytime favorite of  mine when I was a kid going to library programs.

Even though it's an older book, it's super interactive and so clever.  (NOTE:  I just read the reviews on Amazon and a few people complained that the publisher cut some text and refrains so it's shorter than the book I remember from my childhood.  No complaints here though!)

This flannel works best with a helper to arrange the pieces while you read the book.

Caps for Sale:

A peddler (cap salesman) walks up and down the streets trying to sell the many caps he keeps stacked on his head.  He decides to take a nap against a tree one afternoon.

At this point, I would turn the flannel board around and have the storytime helper arrange the pieces for the next scene.

When he wakes up, his caps are gone.  He looks to his left, he looks to his right, he looks in back of himself, he looks behind the tree, and finally he looks up and what do you think he sees?

Every time he asks for the caps back, the monkeys mimic him - first he shakes his finger, then he shakes both hands, then he stamps his foot, then he stamps both feet, and finally he get so angry that he throws his own hat on the ground and the monkeys throw down their caps too.  

This whole part is really interactive with the kids.

This flannel is one of the sets I remade while on maternity leave.  Bigger and better!  My almost 3-year-old has been having a blast with personal storytimes:

Friday, April 4, 2014

Flannel Friday: Ten Eggs in a Nest by Marilyn Sadler

 This flannel accompanies the book Ten Eggs in a Nest  by Marilyn Sadler, though it sounds very similar to the flannel rhyme "Ten Fluffy Chicks" that has been done a lot over the past couple years.

That rhyme can be found here Ten Fluffy Chicks

Ten Eggs in a Nest: Gwen the Hen does not count her eggs before they hatch (smart hen!) and patiently waits.  Red Rooster, on the other hand, is so excited that as soon as one egg hatches, he struts over to the store to buy ONE worm with ONE coin for ONE baby chick.

Red returns home to discover that TWO more chicks have hatched so he heads back to the store to buy TWO worms for TWO more baby chicks using TWO coins.

This continues until...

 All 10 baby chicks have arrived

Red Rooster buys worms with coins (this adorable mini cloth bag is perfect for this flannel prop):

Young readers learn how to do (or review) simple addition in this begin-to-read book.  If you are trying to incorporate more STEAM or STEM elements into your storytimes, I think this is a fun way to do that.  

Activity: Buy ONE worm with ONE coin

When I do this in storytime, I will probably hand each child ONE "coin" after I read the book.  Their adults will have to tell them it's ok, but after storytime they can use it to buy ONE worm from me (gummy worm). Our library attracts large groups of kids so I'll have to have additional staff around for this activity.

Bringing storytimes home to Grayden, my almost 3-year-old:

Friday, March 28, 2014

Repurposed books (and more suggestions welcomed!)

My sister was given some plush flannel books that are about 7 or 8 inches tall and were kind of beat up.... but I saw the potential:

What the books looked liked before:

Here's the final product:

I removed the paper pages and flanneled over the inside:

I made these worms for a matching game:


Little color worm 
Which fruit is your home?
(Use Baby Sign Language while saying the colors)

 So you can appreciate the plushness of the books

 I WELCOME ideas on other ways to use these books!  They are pretty neat in person.  Thanks!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

My little munchkins reading

I am returning to work in less than five weeks.  I am going to miss hanging out with these guys like crazy!

(I'm also going to miss NOT having to set my alarm clock for 5 am)  ;-)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Meet Baby Phoebe

I am officially on maternity leave and wholeheartedly enjoying every minute with my beautiful kids. 

Phoebe Catherine
Born January 20th

Big brother Grayden and Phoebe

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Pizza Party! Pre-K and Family Storytimes

The kids guessed it!  Pizza is my favorite food ever! 

I've never done a pizza storytime before and it really was a blast and the kids were great (except for an incident at the very end - detailed at the end of this post).

Signs (ASL) for Pizza: See signs here

Memory Box:  Snake from "Hi, Pizza Man!"

Pizza for Sam by Mary Labatt.  This is a begin-to-read book so it's fairly small but the story is still cute.  I made props and used this puppet to bring the book to life and make it easier to "see".

This works best with a "helper" puppeteering Sam because she has a lot of emotion and actions in this book like jumping up on the chair, sniffing, flopping on the ground, and feeling disappointed, hopeful, and happy.

Meet Sam.  She's just a puppy trying to figure out what puppy should eat.
Her owners have a party and Sam gets caught a few times sniffing out the snacks the guests have brought. 
Her owner gives her dog food, but Yuck!  Dog food does not seem like a good food for puppies.  Poor Sam.
When everyone is distracted, look who gets her paws on the pizza!

"Hi, Pizza Man!" by Virginia Walter.  When the pizza man comes, we say, "Hi, Pizza Man!"  But what if it wasn't a pizza man?  What if it was a pizza woman or a pizza cat or a pizza snake?...

This is a super interactive book that is out of print so I bought a used copy from amazon and think it's definitely worth it for a pizza storytime!


"Pizza Dance" by Laughing PizzaListen here  This song is so cheesy (haha) but really fun!
"I am a Pizza" by Linda Arnold.  Listen here
There are lots of versions, but I used the one above.  It's really fun to act out the building of a pizza in this call-and-response song and then the pizza's sad demise at the end:

......"Out of the oven
Into the box
Into the car
and upside down
I am a pizza.... dropped on the ground
I was a pizza
I was the best
I was a pizza
Now I'm a mess"

Letter of the Day:  Pp for pizza
Pepperoni also starts with P... which led into a "discussion" about the other toppings that can go on pizza... which led into our last activity.

Flannel Activity:

I read the poem "A Pizza the Size of the Sun" by Jack Prelutsky and we imagined how big this pizza really is!
Read poem here

Afterwards, we managed to arrange the kids into a large enough circle to build a large (70") pizza in the middle. My awesome co-worker helped build the pizza as the kids recalled ingredients from the poem (pizza dough, sauce, cheese, red and green peppers, mushrooms, peas, sausage, olives, tomatoes).

Note to fellow programmers:
Then we sang the goodbye song and everything was great until in a lapse of judgement I told the kids that if they were gentle they could touch the big pizza and naively imagined them pretending to eat it while parents took pictures... but they descended on it like" zombies" - literally tearing the props apart.  So unless you have a mellow group, I would leave this prop as HANDS OFF!