Turtle Storytime

Today’s storytime theme was turtles! It was a fun theme and the group really enjoyed it. I can’t believe I haven’t done it before.

I only have two books to share today because my group was very talkative and had lots of energy so we did extra movement activities to help them get their wiggles out! It’s been cold lately and I think everyone has a bit of cabin fever waiting for spring to come back.

The first book we read is called Hurry Up and Slow Down and it is by Layn Marlow.

This is a very sweet book about a tortoise and a hare. The hare is always in a hurry and wants the tortoise to “Hurry Up!” However, when it comes time for the tortoise to read the hare a story, the hare worries the tortoise is going much too fast and wants him to “Hurry Up and Slow Down!” It’s a nice book and many of my kids were familiar with the tortoise and the hare which added a bit of depth for them.

We also read Turtle Splash! Countdown to the Pond By Cathryn Falwell

This is a counting book about turtles. It’s simple, but fun to read and it kept my group’s attention. We all counted together, which was a great way to keep them involved with the story. Falwall has another book that features turtles, Scoot! that is a great book for this theme.

I didn’t get to it because I ran out of time and we spent much more time moving around this week than usual.

Our craft today was really cute. It’s from this website.

It’s a turtle whose head can peek out from its shell! Everyone really liked it and the children were quite proud of what they were able to make. This craft does require a bit of cutting, which worked great today because most of the children are confident with scissors and if they needed help their parents were there to provide it. Everyone’s storytime group is different so if your group isn’t ready for scissors, this craft might require some pre-cutting. As usual, everyone’s turtle was spectacular!

I’m thankful for storytime!

Since Thanksgiving is next week, I decided to do a turkey themed storytime this week. It’s a bit early, but we don’t have storytime next week and I figured most of the kids would know it’s coming. I was right! I will be honest, I planned this way back in August and then when it came time to pull the books they were all gone! It was totally my fault and I felt silly. What ended up happening was me putting books on hold and hoping for the best. Luckily, everything worked out and we had a good time today!

First we read, I’m A Turkey by Jim Arnosky.

This is a cute book about a turkey named Tom. The kids thought this book was so funny. One interesting point in the book is when Tom points out that the next turkey the reader meets could be one of his flock or even Tom, himself! As a vegetarian, I have no problem with what this sort of insinuates. I don’t think any of the kids noticed since the book ends with gobbling and so we all gobbled like crazy.

Next we read Five Silly Turkeys by Salina Yoon.

This is a super short book about 5 very silly turkeys. Basically, it is a fingerplay that has been turned into a book. It could easily be made into a flannelboard or just be told by using your fingers.

We also read Charlie Chick by Nich Denchfield.

I have read this book before in storytime. It is definitely one of my favorite books for toddlers ( I just added to my shopping list for my 2 1/2-year-old nephew ) and fit well with this theme.  Charlie may not be a turkey but he does like to eat- and so do we on Thanksgiving!

I also read Who Hops by Katie Davis.

This is a great go-to book for storytime. It’s very funny and interactive. Books like this beg to be read in storytime.

There are lots of fingerplays and songs that are appropriate for a Thanksgiving or turkey theme. We changed our usual If You’re Happy And You Know It to If You’re Thankful and You Know It.

We played a game of “Turkey Says” and I used a turkey puppet to give directions. Basically this was a waterdowned version of Simon Says. We also discussed being thankful. Everyone got a chance to say what they are thankful for. This was my favorite part of storytime today. Lots of cute answers such as ponies, kittens, themselves, snacks at preschool (specifically fruit snacks) and family. What am I thankful for? My awesome job (the best in the world!) that allows me to spend time with my sweet, hilarious, cute and very awesome storytime kids.

For our craft this week, we put feathers on a turkey.

As usual, everyone was very creative with their turkeys. There was lots of good coloring going on, I just didn’t get any pictures. One turkey made me smile:

She told me it was the back of the turkey. Too cute!

Dog Storytime

Our fall storytime session began again today and I am super excited to be doing our 3-5 year old storytime again this year! I had a whole new group this fall because most of last year’s group had grown out of storytime and graduated on to kindergarten.  I was accustomed to an older group and a lot of these kids are on the younger side of the 3-5 range so that sort of changed things for me. But, that being said it was super fun! Everyone was so excited to be in storytime and that always makes it more fun for me. Anyway, on to the storytime!

This week’s theme was dogs. I can’t believe I’ve never done a dog theme before! The first book I read was I Don’t Want a Posh Dog by Emma Dodd.

I really love Emma Dodd’s books. The illustrations are super fun and they stories are alway a joy to read aloud. This book was no exception. It’s all about a girl who knows exactly what kind of dog she does not want. I know that the kids got a kick out of and it made for a good first book for this storytime.

Next we read Hunky Dory Ate It by Katie Evans, illustrated by Janet Morgan Stoeke.

Once again, this was a very fun book with rhyming text. It’s a very simple story, Hunky Dory eats everyone’s food and then she gets sick. This was a great book for making predictions. After each page I would ask the kids what would happen next… of course it was Hunky Dory ate it!

After that we read Do Your Ears Hang Low by Caroline Church.

This book is a cute depiction of the classic song “Do Your Ears Hang Low?”.  It was lots of fun to read and then afterwards we sang the song with all of the motions.

There are lots of dog crafts out there. I ended up finding this week’s craft in an old file from a long time ago. Sometimes I like using those crafts. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel each week.

We made a dog house this week. It’s very basic. The kids just cut out a dog and a house, glued it on a sheet of paper and then decorated it.

Fishy storytime

This week’s storytime was all about fish. There are so many great fish books out there, it is hard to pick just a few for storytime.

We started with Smiley Shark by Ruth Galloway.

This is a fun story about a shark who scares away all of his potential friends with his huge smile. Luckily, they learn the value of having a friend like him and they end up being friends. This is a fun book to read in storytime because the kids always think the shark is going to be mean, even though the title clearly states that he is smiley. It always leads to a fun discussion.

Next we read Bright Stanley by Matt Buckingham.

This is about a little fish named Stanley who loses his friends. That seems to be a theme with fish books. Anyway, he is shiny and bright and that helps him find them. This is an exciting book to read just because of the foiled scales on Stanley, the kids really like that. It’s in the same vein as the Rainbow Fish books by Marcus Pfister.

We only read two books today because we played some games and also did a fun flannel board. I gave each child a different color piece of felt and they added it to the fish on the board. I have done this before and everytime it’s a huge success. I call out the colors by name so they have to identify what color they are holding and then get to come up.

Our craft was a similar idea. They had to put scales on fish. This craft is very much like the craft I did for a previous fish storytime except this time I used a paper plate and they tore the scales from paper. I don’t know which one was more popular. They both worked great!

The picture isn’t the greatest of the actual craft, but this is the best one I was able to get. You can see the paper plate fish on the left. My favorite part of the picture is actually hard to see. One of my favorite storytime kids (who am I kidding, they are all my favorite!) made an all yellow fish, you can see it on the right. He told me it was his own Stanley to take home. The same child came up to me prior to storytime and said “I AM SO EXCITED FOR STORYTIME MISS SARAH!!!!” It melted my heart. And that, my friends, is the perfect example of why I have the absolute best job in the whole world.

Hoo! Hoo! Owl Storytime

After what has seemed like the longest storytime break ever- we are back!!

I was very excited to start this session with an owl storytime! There are some very cute books all about owls that I knew my storytime kids would enjoy.

We started out with A Book of Sleep by Il Sung Na.

I think this is one of the most beautiful picture books to come out last year.  I just love the illustrations and the kids really enjoyed this calming story.

Next we read Wow! said the Owl by Tim Hopgood.

This is a great story all about an owl who decides to stay up during the day to see all of the beautiful colors. This was a fun book to read because not only did it teach the children that owls sleep during the day (What? Who knew?!) but also reinforces colors. The illustrations are bright and beautiful and the kids liked guessing which color each page was about.

Next we read one of my favorite owl books, Owl Babies by Martin Waddell.

This is such a sweet story about three owl babies who wake up and their mother is not there. The children were all worried about the owls but were not too worried that the owl babies’ mother would be missing for too long.

For our craft, we made owl masks. These were perfect because they looked just like the owls in Owl Babies.

It was very easy to make. Just cut out some eye holes, attach a beak and some cotton balls and you have yourself one cool owl mask

Fish

This week we went under the sea and had a fish storytime.

We started with Not Norman by Kelly Bennett.

I have been wanting to do this in a storytime for a long time. It’s so cute and was very popular with the kids. It also opened up the conversation to discussing our pets.

Next we read Little Fish, Lost by Nancy Van Laan.This a great book about a little fish who loses his mom and meets all sorts of nice animals while he is looking for her. Of course they are reunited and it’s a happy ending.

We finished this week with Fish is Fish by Leo Lionni.

I really like Leo Lionni and had planned on reading another book by him, Swimmy, but then I saw this one on the shelf and decided to switch it up. It’s about a fish who is friend with a tadpole who learns that its ok be different. It’s a beautiful book and was a good way to end storytime.

For our craft this week, we put scales on fish!

 Gluing is very popular with the kids, they could glue all day long. So I made lots of colored circles for them to glue and they had a ball.

Pigs

Our theme for storytime this week was Pigs. Good thing I had planned to do this theme this week and not last week. Last week it probably would have been in poor taste due to all of the Swine Flu craziness going on. Luckily, no one cares about swine flu this week so I could go forward with my theme.

We began with Z-Z-Zoink! by Bernard Most.

zoinkI read about this book a bit online before choosing it for storytime. I have to say, it is a great addition to my storytime repertoire! It is repetitive, which makes for a fun chorus of Z-Z-ZOINKS! throughout the story.

Next we read If You Give A Pig A Pancake by Laura Numberoff, illustrated by Felicia Bond.

if you give a pig a pancakeI will be honest, I have always been a skeptic when it comes to the If You Give books by the Numeroff and Bond combo. I received If You Give a Mouse a Cookie from my friend Meredith when I was in first grade so it has always been completely astounding to me that these books are still coming out. This being said, my skepticism was quickly shoved aside when I read If You Give A Pig A Pancake to the group this morning. The kids were into this book and found the pig hilarious. I guess this is just another case of me allowing my adult judgment carry too much weight.

We finished with Pepo and Lolo Are Friends by Ana Martin Larranaga.

pepo_loloThis is a very simple but sweet story about two friends, Pepo and Lolo. It is a charming book to read and although it is a fairly simple story, the children really enjoyed it.

For craft this week, we made pig masks. I found the template here: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/Mask.shtml

For a little more excitement for this craft, I had the children glue on a pink felt nose. I also swapped out the elastic band and had them connect popsicle sticks with masking tape instead.

Ribbit! Ribbit!

In storytime this week we read all about frogs! I think the best thing about this theme is the fact that it motivates large groups of preschoolers to RIBBIT with huge amounts of enthusiasm.

We started this week with I Took My Frog to the Library by Eric A. Kimmel, pictures by Blanche Sims.frog-to-the-library1As a librarian, I love books about libraries. Luckily the kids shared my excitement and loved this one too! It’s about a girl who brings her many exotic pets the library and the silly results. We had a funny discussion about what would happen if we brought our pets to the library.

Next we read The Big Wide-Mouthed Frog by Ana Larranga.big-wide-mouthed-frogI really love this book. In my storytelling class, one of my peers told this story and I fell in love with it. The Frog has attitude and due to the repetitive nature of the story, before too long the children were chanting along with me. I would read this one again and again and I don’t think it could ever get old.

We finished with Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan Landon, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz.froggygetsdressedThis book is perfect for storytime. I think it might be the best of the Froggy books to share with a large group of kids. I love the process of Froggy getting dressed, it makes for a great action oriented telling. However, nothing beats the hilarious surprise of Froggy forgetting his underwear. The kids picked up on the fact that he for got his coat and pats but no one guessed he forgot underwear. Very funny!

We made Heart Frog Paper Crafts this week.frog2good

The link for this craft is here: http://www.dltk-holidays.com/valentines/mheartfrog.htm

I have been trying to find really easy crafts that involve just a bit of gluing and coloring because we have been getting large groups from daycares in storytime and there usually are not enough adults to really help out with complex crafts. This craft worked really well. I wish I could have taken pictures of some of the frogs the kids made because they were very awesome.

DINOSAURS!!!

This week we came back from quite a long storytime break (4 weeks!!!) and I wanted to start off with a bang! So, what better theme than DINOSAURS!!! We had a lot of fun practicing our gigantic ROARS with some fantastic books.

First we readEdwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct by Mo Willems.

Edwina, the dinosaur who didn't know she was extinct

I love reading Mo Willems’ books in storytime because not only do the kids always have a fun time, but the adults in the room usually enjoy them too. Not quite as popular as his Pigeon or Knuffle Bunny books, Edwina is one of my favorites. It is really fun to read aloud and a great way to get storytime started out!

The next book we read was Dinosaur vs. Bedtime by Bob Shea.

Dinosaur vs. Bedtime

I have read this book with my evening storytime crew before but hadn’t had an opportunity to share with the morning kids. This book is very popular at the library and goes out all of the time. I will admit, at first I thought it was a crazy choice for a storytime but the kids really get into it.

We finished with How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague.

How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food

I have often read another of this duo’s books, How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?, and while I don’t think this one is quite as awesome it was still a hit with the kids. I don’t think seeming dinosaurs making the wrong choices and acting silly ever gets old. I especially like the dinosaur who smashes oranges in his toes (gross!)

For craft this week I got a little help from an old college pal. A few weeks back during a g-chat we were discussing craft ideas. She is extremely creative and clever and she sent me the template she used for a dino finger puppet. This was the perfect craft for this week because it required so little preparation. I had the pleasant surprise of a local nursery bringing in a group of their kids at the last minute and it was easy for me to whip up a few more so everyone would be able to participate.

Thanks a lot Alex for letting me use your awesome craft!

Here is a link to the Dino Puppet Template.

Pets!

I was a bit anxious about this week’s theme but we ended up having a fantastic time at storytime!!

We started with What Pet To Get? by Emma Dodd.What Pet To Get?

I think this is just one of those books that begs to be read aloud in storytime. A little boy and his mother discuss what pet they should get and come up with some pretty crazy ideas such as an elephant, a shark and a tyrannosaurus rex! The kids really loved this book and it was a great way to start out.

Next we read A Kitten Tale by Eric Rohman.A Kitten TaleI absolutely adore this book. I used it in my Nursery Rhyme Time program and could not wait to use this week. Four kittens are waiting for it to snow and three are nervous but one can’t wait. It has been snowy here for a long time so it was fun to ask the children how they felt about snow. Most of them felt the same way I feel, they are ready for this snow to be gone!

We followed up A Kitten Tale with Ginger Finds A Home by Charlotte Voake.

Ginger Finds A Home

This is another great book about a kitten (can you tell what kind of pet I have?) who is homeless but a kind little girl feeds him and gives him a new home and a special name, Ginger. I was surprised about how well this book in storytime. The pictures are a bit space however, the text is large and I think the children enjoyed looking at the words .

Finally, we finished with Hooray For Fish by Lucy Cousins.

Hooray For Fish

This book is one of my all time favorites for storytime. Both toddlers and preschoolers really enjoys Cousins’ bright and colorful illustrations. There is a double page spread of many fish and the children always love to count all of the fish. This book was a great lead into the craft we did this week which was a fish bowl.

fishbowl

I have to say this was, by far, the most successful craft I have ever done. The initial workload was sort of time consuming, I cut out each of the fish individually. But it was worth it because the kids had a blast gluing them onto their fishbowls. In fact, barely anyone touched the crayons, they all just glued and glued and glued. When it doubt, plenty of quality time with a glue stick is all that’s needed for a super fun craft time.