Category Archives: Storytimes

Storytime: Balloons 2

Continuing with my theme of revisiting previous storytimes, in March the focus was on balloons (what I did before). I was hoping to find some fun books that dealt with air, but I must not have been creative enough because I wasn’t able to find any that were suitable for a storytime setting. They would have been perfect for one-on-one reading, but not in a larger group setting with children who have varying attention spans.

Opening Songs
“Hello, Hello, How Are You?”
“Zoom Zoom Zoom”

Books

Balloons, Balloons, Balloons by Dee Lillegard
Too Many Balloons by Catherine Matthias

Songs (Parachute Play)

“Let’s Go Riding on an Elevator” (Jbrary)

“The Parachute Goes Up” (Storytime All-Stars)
(Tune: “The Farmer in the Dell”)
The parachute goes up
The parachute goes down
The parachute goes up and up
And then it goes back down

Activities
1. Balloon Rockets – This is a simple, if somewhat logistically tricky experiment if you forget the clothes pins. Supplies needed are: balloons, straws, tape, clothes pins, and a long piece of string. Blow up the balloon and clamp closed with the pin. Use 2-3 pieces of tape to attach a straw to the balloon. Thread the straw onto the string (the other end being either held or tied to a chair), unclamp the pin, and watch the balloon rocket off. The experiment can be repeated several times with the same balloon/straw, though you will need to use fresh pieces of tape.

2. Dancing Balloons (from Babble Dabble Do) – This is a very simple activity requiring only a circular fan and balloons. Poster board tube optional (very useful if using water balloons). Our experience:

Monet Storytime 2

As with the Van Gogh Storytime I did last November, my Monet Storytime is a revisit of the one I did at my previous library (with some changes). Only four children attended (one of them an older sister), but the flow was much better than last month. Both Katie and the Waterlily Pond and Where is the Frog? are longer books, but the children had the attention for them and I ended up not needing to read Monet’s Impressions as my “quick read back up”.

I have three more storytimes scheduled before I break for the summer: Air/Balloons (March), Matisse (April), and Birds/Nests (May). All of these themes are revisits from previous storytimes.

Opening Songs
“Hello, Hello, How Are You?”
“Zoom Zoom Zoom”*

*”Mary Wore a Red Dress” was an inherited song from the person who did storytimes before me at my previous library. After two sessions, it doesn’t feel like it is right for this library. I decided to try replacing it with “Zoom Zoom Zoom”, and this song was better received.

Books

Katie and the Waterlily Pond by James Mayhew
Where is the Frog?: A Children’s Book Inspired by Claude Monet by Geraldine Elschner
Monet’s Impressions by The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Egg Shaker Songs

“Shake Your Shakers” (Jbrary)
“Shake it to the East” (Jbrary)

Activity
Construction Paper Waterlilies – This project was mostly the same as I had done before, however I changed a few aspects. The white background paper was 9″x6″, slightly larger than than last time. I also had the children use tissue paper for the lily flowers instead of construction paper. I prepped by cutting out the “water” from nine of the ten colors from a Tru-Ray cool colors pack (I skipped the darkest green), and the “lilies” from two shades of pink tissue paper. Because I forgot to grab pencils to form the lily flowers, I had the children use their pinkies.

Sticky Storytime

Making slime was the basis for this storytime, however I haven’t really found a lot of books that work with a slime theme. Sticky or gum, yes, but not slime.  I wanted to read, Too Much Glue by Jason Lefebvre, but I was unable to find my children’s copy of it in time. It worked out for the best because the several of the children had trouble focusing on the stories I did read. Stuck was a hit, but as a whole the group was too wiggly. The songs didn’t really help because the children were unsure of participating and many of them took the opportunity to up the silliness. Once we got to the activity things calmed down, but that had more to do with the fact that they wanted to play with slime and not listen to stories.

Opening Songs
“Hello, Hello, How Are You?”
“Mary Wore a Red Dress” (I sing the first verse, then make up additional ones using the children’s names and an article of clothing they are wearing)

Books

 

Stuck by Oliver Jeffers
Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum by Lisa Wheeler

Songs
“Hokey Pokey”

“Sticky Sticky Bubble Gum” (from Jbrary)

Activity
I used a basic slime recipe that I consistently have good results with: Elmer’s glue and liquid starch. I’ve tried it with other brands of glue, but the slime doesn’t gel as well. The glue needs to be Elmer’s. The recipe is equal parts glue and liquid starch (make sure to shake the starch up first) with a little bit of water added. For this slime, I used clear glue, liquid watercolors, and fine glitter. The children had the choice of green, blue, or red.

I prepped everything beforehand. Filling up 5 oz cups to the top line, which still left about 1/2 inch to the rim of the cup. I placed the cups in a bowl, and then on a plate.

With the help of their parent, the children poured the glue into a bowl to mix the color and glitter. Then they poured the starch in and stirred until it started to look like lumpy snot. Not the best mental image, but an accurate one. At that point, slime needs to be played with by hand to help it gel (this can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes). Give it a rest for a few minutes, and you have slime.

Note: White vinegar will get slime out of anything. Even a bathmat your children hid from you for three weeks.

Van Gogh Storytime 2

This is my first storytime post in over two years! I’m back in school, and this semester’s class is children’s literature – a fun class for sure, and one where I have had to plan multiple storytimes/programs centered around various books. One of the main requirements was to do a thematic program at a library. I chose to do a storytime, and liked the idea of revisiting my Van Gogh storytime.

I ended with five children (and a baby) attending. Coincidentally, all of them were boys. It was a good turn out given my local library doesn’t have evening programs for children – they don’t have enough staff. The boys all had fun, and the parents expressed interest in attending more evening storytimes.

Opening Songs
“Hello, Hello, How Are You?”
“Mary Wore a Red Dress” (I sing the first verse, then make up additional ones using the children’s names and an article of clothing they are wearing)

Books

Katie and the Starry Night by James Mayhew
Vincent’s Colors by The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Egg Shaker Songs

“Shake Your Shaker” (from Libraryland)
Tune: “London Bridge”

Shake your shaker in the air,
Shake it here, shake it there.
Shake your shaker in the air,
Shake your shaker.

Shake it high and shake it low,
Shake it yes, shake it no.
Shake it high and shake it low,
Shake your shaker.

Shake it up and shake it down,
Rub your shaker on the ground.
Shake it up and shake it down,
Shake your shaker.

Shake it near and shake it far,
Drive your shaker like a car.
Shake it near and shake it far,
Shake your shaker.

Shake it fast and shake it slow,
Shake it stop, shake it go.
Shake it fast and shake it slow,
Shake your shaker.

“Shake it to the East” (from Jbrary)
I usually chant this as opposed to singing it

Shake it to the east
Shake it to the west
Shake it all around
and then you take a rest
Shake your shakers up
Shake your shakers down
Shake it, shake it, shake it,
and then you settle down.

Activity
My initial inspiration came from a Van Gogh-inspired art project from The Imagination Tree. I used this activity with my previous Van Gogh storytime, and the kids had fun with it. It felt something was missing, so I ended up getting a bit more fancy, adding paper cutouts of the cypress trees and moon. This version was also a hit. The boys loved swirling the paint around and smashing the paper on top of it to make an impression.

Storytime: Bats

Books

batty baby bat lullaby

Batty by Sarah Dyer
Baby Bat’s Lullaby by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Rhymes

“Fruit Bat” (from Bayviews)
Fruit bat, fruit bat, turn around. (Turn around)
Fruit bat, fruit bat, touch the ground. (Touch ground)
Fruit bat, fruit bat, blink your eye. (Blink eyes)
Fruit bat, fruit bat, fly up high. (Flap arms)
Fruit bat, fruit bat, better behave. (Shake finger)
Fruit bat, fruit bat, hide in your cave. (Flap fingers behind back – we crouched down)

“Lift Your Wings” (from Bayviews)
*Used as a scarf rhyme*
Lift you wings up in the air (Hold up arms out to sides)
Flap them, flap them, everywhere. (Flap arms)
Jump up high, sit down low, (Jump up, sit down)
Now fold your wings & sit like so. (Fold up arms next to body)

Activity
Static Electricity Bats (from Inspiration Laboratories) – I cut multiple bats out from tissue paper ant taped them to the table. Each child was given a balloon to generate static electricity (by their head or Miss Emma’s sweater) in order to make the bat “fly”.

bat

Storytime: Van Gogh

Books

vincent's colors garden van gogh

Vincent’s Colors by The Metropolitan Museum of Art
In the Garden with Van Gogh by Julie Merberg and Suzanne Bober

Songs

“If You’re Wearing [color] Today” (from SurLaLune Storytime)
(Tune: “If You’re Happy and You Know It”)
If you are wearing red, shake your head
If you are wearing red, shake your head
If you are wearing red
Then please shake your head
If you are wearing red, shake your head

If you are wearing blue, touch your shoe
If you are wearing blue, touch your shoe
If you are wearing blue,
Then please touch your shoe
If you are wearing blue, touch your shoe

If you are wearing yellow, shake like Jell-O
If you are wearing yellow, shake like Jell-O
If you are wearing yellow,
Then please shake like Jell-O
If you are wearing yellow, shake like Jell-O

Final verse: wearing a rainbow/do all three

“The Parachute Goes Up” (from Storytime All-Stars)
(Tune: “The Farmer in the Dell”)
The parachute goes up
The parachute goes down
The parachute goes up and up and then it goes back down
(sing several times)

Activity
Van Gogh Style Finger-Paint Printing (from The Imagination Tree) – I put 3 dots each of blue, white, and gold paint on a piece of foil. The children used their fingers to swirl the colors together. Adults, with help from the children, then placed a piece of sulphite paper on the swirls to make a print. Second prints came out much better than first prints.

009 ed

Storytime: Apples

Books

apple pie ten red apples

Apple Pie ABC by Alison Murray
Ten Red Apples by Virginia Miller

Songs

“A Little Appleseed” (from Jen in the Library)
(Tune: “Itsy Bitsy Spider”)
Once a little apple seed
was planted in the ground.
Down came the raindrops falling all around.
Out came the big sun
Bright as bright could be
And that little apple seed grew up
to be an apple tree.

Rhymes

“The Apple Tree” (from Perry Public Library)
Way up high in the apple tree (hold hands above head)
Two little apples smiled at me (make circles with thumb and forefinger of each hand, smile)
I shook that tree as hard as I could (pretend to shake tree)
Down came the apples (lower hand to ground and wiggle fingers)
Mmm…! They were good! (takes bite , rub tummy, smile)

“Apple Roll” (from Storytime Katie)
Five little apples in the bowl
One fell out and started to roll
It bumped the table and hit my feet
How many apples left to eat?
(count down)

*I brought a mixing bowl and five small apples to use as a prop while telling this story. I swirled the apples around as I said it, then tipped it over and popped an apple out to roll on the carpet in front of me. The children loved it, though one little girl kept bringing the apples back to put in the bowl.

Activity
Apple Coloring Page – This was the back up activity because I forgot to bring a knife with me to cut apples for stamping.