Snowy Storytime

I left my house this morning and thought “It’s kind of warm out here, almost balmy…. I am over dressed with this scarf and hat. Spring must be just around the corner!” Friends, it was 29 degress. Yes, that’s right, we have reached the point in the Chicago winter where anything above 25 degrees feels like springtime. Ten more degrees and people will start breaking out their shorts and tank tops.

Obviously by now everyone around these parts is well acquainted with winter. Today in storytime our theme was snow. I asked the kids if they knew about snow and they replied affirmatively and let me know that it snows if it is winter, at which point one of my regulars told me he “is sick of snow and hates winter!” I really had to laugh and apologize for devoting a whole storytime to something he is completely over.

Enough of my babbling, on to the storytime. We only had time for two books this week, I had a lot of other things going on that took up a lot of time.

We read Chaucer’s First Winter by Stephen Krensky, illustrated by Henry Cole.

I liked this book because it was your run-of-the-mill bear hibernates in winter story. (Don’t get me wrong I love those I did a whole storytime about them, but it was nice to have something different.) Chaucer is a curious bear and decides to stay up for winter. It’s a very sweet story and he luckily has two friends to pal around with as his parents sleep.

We also read I Know A Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow by Lucille Colando, illustrated by Jared Lee.

I am pretty sure that everyone who reads this blog is familiar with these stories. The old lady keeps swallowing crazy things and a huge surprise happens at the end (in this one she hiccups up a Snowman, which the kids loved.) When I was previewing this book prior to storytime, my main concern was whether or not she dies in the end. That crazy lady who swallowed a fly sometimes dies, which can be an awkward moment in storytime. However, I somehow missed the fact that when she swallows a scarf she doesn’t barf. I know that barf is not exactly a bad word BUT it is one of those words that some parents might be uncomfortable with. What did I do? Well, I will be honest, I said it and then told them I didn’t realize the word was in the book and moved on. Was that the best thing to do in the situation? Probably not. But it is my fault for missing it in the first place. Did the kids notice? Nope. Actually, when I finished one of them proclaimed “I LOVED THAT BOOK!”

I used a great flannel board today that I found on DLTK. This is a very easy flannel board to make, basically all you need is five snowflakes and a sun. You can be as creative as you want with these. I used our die-cut machine to cut out the shapes. I also made a sun to pull out at the end. If I had some sort of sun looking puppet, I would have maybe used that. Easy peasy and lots of fun.

Five Little Snowflakes!
One little snowflake with nothing to do.
Along came another and
Then there were two.

Two little snowflakes laughing with me.
Along came another, and
Then there were three.

Three little snowflakes looking for some more.
Along came another, and
Then there were four.

Four little snowflakes dancing a jive.
Along came another, and
Then there were five.

Five little snowflakes having so much fun.
Out came the sun, and
Then there were none!

We also sang a cute song that I found on Perfectly Preschool. This song was a great opportunity to get up and get moving.

Snow Pal Song (Sung to: “Feres Jacques”)
Great big ball, great big ball, made of snow, made of snow.
Rolling down the street, landing at my feet, great big ball, great big ball.
Medium-size ball, medium-size ball, Made of snow, made of snow.
Rolling down the street, landing At my feet,
Medium-size ball, medium-size ball.
Teeny tiny ball, teeny tiny ball, Made of snow, made of snow.
Rolling down the street, landing At my feet,
Teeny tiny ball, teeny tiny ball.
Watch my snow pal grow as up the Balls they go… 1 2 3, 1 2 3!

For our craft today we made hats. I have said before my favorite crafts are the ones they wear out of the storytime room. It is just so cute. All this consists of is a hat pattern a piece of cardstock and some bands cut out of cardstock.

Since I was so terrible about getting pictures last week I tried really hard to remember to snap a few shots this week. I had a really huge group (almost 30 kids!! Throw in their parents/caregivers and younger siblings and there were a lot of people in the room) so I was running around during craft making sure everyone was doing OK.

The next picture is a little blurry and not the best picture of the craft, but it is an awesome picture of one of my little friends enjoying himself.


I like bugs!

This week’s storytime was all about BUGS! This is a super versatile theme and a lot can be done with it. There are SO many great bug books out there.

We started with Sleepyhead Bear by Lisa Westberg Peters, pictures by Ian Schoenherr.

This book is about a bear who just wants to take a nap but can’t because bugs are constantly bothering him! It’s a sweet story and features lots of neat bugs. We had a fun time identifying each bug.

Next we read I Love Bugs by Emma Dodd.

I really love reading Emma Dodd’s books in storytime. That’s really no surprise since we’ve seen one about pets and also one about dogs show up in storytimes. This one was not a disappointment! I can’t recommend her books enough.

Finally, we closed with Can You Make a Scary Face? by Jan Thomas.

I really enjoy Jan Thomas’ books. This one is a PERFECT read aloud and PERFECT for storytime. It is similar to Monster At The End of This Book and Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus in that it speaks directly to the listeners and asks that they are active participants in the story. As a result, this was super fun for everyone. My favorite part is when the bug asks the children to stand… then to sit… and then to stand again. Very silly!

For our craft this week we made spider hats! This was a great craft to get the parents working with their children. Crafts that result in them wearing something as they head out the door are always very cute.

Beach Party!

Summer is officially here and for those of us in libraryland that means one thing: Summer Reading! We kicked off our summer reading club last week and yesterday we had our 1,000th person sign up! Last year we had 1,200 participants so we are anxious to see if this year’s number surpass that.
So what does all of this mean? The library has been super busy! Yesterday we had two storytimes, my 3-5 year olds followed by the 2 year olds. Between the two storytimes, we had over 100 people (including parents) in attendance. What an awesome way to start out the storytime this summer! Our summer reading theme this year is Make Waves @ Your Library so you can expect lots of storytimes that fit that theme.
Now on to the books!

First we read At the Beach by Anne and Harlow Rockwell.

This was a great way to start out our first summertime storytime! It is a sweet story about all a day at the beach. The children really enjoyed it and it led to a discussion about days we all had spent at the beach.

Next we read To the Beach! by Linda Ashman

 The story is about a family who is off to the beach but continually forgets necessary items. I loved reading this book! It has great rhyming text that make it lots of fun to read aloud. It was exciting and very funny for the kids too. definitely recommended for a storytime.

Finally, we closed with Beach Day by Patricia Lakin, illustrated by Scott Nash.

To be honest, I didn’t quite know how this one was going to go. I thought it might work but I also thought that it might not. Lucky for me it definitely worked. The kids thought it was fun and it ended up being a great way to finish.

For our craft this week, we made sun visors. The children were given visors to cut out as well as markers and stickers to decorate with. When they were finished, I  gave the parents elastic to tie on. They all turned out very cute! My favorite crafts are the ones that they can wear out, so this one definitely fit the bill!