Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Preschool Storytime: Monsters

One of my #YesWeCrab goals was to write up this fall's storytimes that I never got around to posting. I normally like to write in more detail about the books and activities that I chose, but due to the delay in posting, you're just getting my bare bones outline.

I did this monsters storytime the last week of October as a slightly scary option that wasn't actually HALLOWEEN. But one nice thing about monsters is that you can use this theme any time!

Here's what we did:

Opening Song: My Hands Say Hello

Book: Big Scary Monster by Thomas Docherty (Templar, 2010). Big Scary Monster loves scaring all the other creatures, but when he heads down the mountain in search of more creatures to scare, he finds himself getting scared and lonely.

Felt: Go Away, Big Green Monster (based on the book by Ed Emberley) Not only does this felt story reinforce body parts vocabulary, it shows kids that they have nothing to fear from monsters.

Book: Go to Bed, Monster by Natasha Wing (HMH, 2007).

Song: If You're a Monster and You Know It

(gnash your teeth, show your claws, stomp your paws, wiggle your tail, give a roar)

Source: Miss Meg's Storytime

Book: Jeremy Draws a Monster by Peter McCarty (Henry Holt BYR, 2009). Jeremy is a lonely little boy but when he attempts to draw himself a friend, he ends up with a rude monster.

Felt: Five Little Monsters Jumping on the Bed. Miss T made me this super cute felt with the template from Falling Flannelboards.

Book: Creepy Monsters, Sleepy Monsters by Jane Yolen (Candlewick Press, 2011).

Closing Song: Do You Know What Time It Is?

Play Stations:

  • Blocks (we always get the blocks out!)
  • Monster paper bag puppets

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Bookish Wedding is Coming

I'm getting married on Saturday!

And of course we're integrating books into our wedding in a couple of ways.

My fiance designed these awesome Game-of-Thrones-themed bookmarks with sigils for each of us. We sent them out as save-the-dates and every time I use one to mark my page or see a friend using one, it makes me happy! 

I saw the lovely Rita Meade's book-page bouquet from her wedding and I had to have one, too! Krista from Krista Mae Studios did an awesome job with my bouquet and the bridesmaid bouquets...

...she even made us custom comic book boutonnieres and corsages!

And what better place for a bookish couple to honeymoon but The Wizarding World of Harry Potter?!

Fiance has even read/reread all the Harry Potter books in preparation for our vacation. 

All this is to say that I'll be back in a couple of weeks! See you then! 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Preschool Storytime: Bugs

This morning, a preschool class visited us for a storytime on bugs. Here's what I did:

Opening Song: My Hands Say Hello

Book: Lenny in the Garden by Ken Wilson-Max (Frances Lincoln Children's Books, 2010). This sweet British import has simple text to introduce a variety of bugs that Lenny finds in his garden. This was a good basic introduction to some of the bugs we'd see throughout our storytime. One thing to note is that the book uses the British word "ladybird" instead of the American "ladybug". Depending on the age of your kids, you can either just substitute the more familiar word or you might explain why the book uses a different word from the one American kids typically hear. 

Felt Rhyme: Five Little Ladybugs. I used our felt ladybugs with a flannel mitt that fits over one hand. As we said the rhyme and I removed ladybugs, we practiced counting. 

Five little ladybugs, ready to explore
One flew away, and then there were four

Four little ladybugs, crawling up a tree
One flew away, and then there were three

Three little ladybugs didn't have a clue
One flew away, and then there were two

Two little ladybugs, looking for some fun
One flew away, and then there was one

One little ladybug, alone in the sun
She flew away and then there were none

(Apologies, but I don't have a source for this!)

Book: Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert (HMH, 2001). This is one of my favorite books to share about bugs or spring or flowers! Simple, rhyming text takes you through the life cycle of a butterfly from eggs on a plant to caterpillars to chrysalis to new butterflies. The bright illustrations and varied sizes of the pages hold a group's interest very well, even young children. The pages you turn start out very small and then get bigger as the eggs hatch, caterpillars grow, and new butterflies fly in search of nectar. This is a great book to insert some STEM knowledge with the life cycle of a butterfly. It also shows how a chrysalis looks different as the butterfly inside changes and grows. We flipped back and forth between the two illustrations and talked about what was the same and different. 

Scarf Activities: I passed out the scarves and we warmed up a little bit by waving them high and low, fast and slow, and tossing them in the air. Then we fluttered our scarves like butterflies as I said this rhyme: 

Butterflies, butterflies, flapping around.
Visiting flowers, not making a sound.
Flapping your wings, as you go.
Flapping your wings, up high, then low.
Butterflies, butterflies, flapping around.
Visiting flowers, not making a sound.

After our rhyme, I called the scarves up to me by color (check out my post on the ASLC Blog for more about using scarves in storytime). 

Book: The Itsy Bitsy Spider by Richard Egielski (Atheneum, 2012). This pop-up book is a fun book for storytime and it's a book that can be sung. Singing with children helps them hear that words are made up of smaller sounds. I love to use pop-up books in storytime because they really capture the interest of the children. As I sang the words, I invited the kids and teachers to sing with me and do the motions that go with this song. 

Book: I Love Bugs! by Emma Dodd (Holiday House, 2010). This is another great book to share because the large trim size and colorful pictures capture the attention of a group and this book uses lots of really great vocabulary words. Though it doesn't actually name bugs, it uses descriptive words for the myriad types of bugs that this child loves: springy, slimy, spiny, fuzzy, whiny, frilly... this book is full of great words! One reason it's great to read books with children is that books expose kids to lots of different vocabulary words that they might not hear in typical conversation. It's much easier to read a word that you've heard before than one that's brand-new, so vocabulary knowledge is one of the six early literacy skills kids need before they learn to read. 

Closing Song: Do You Know What Time It Is?

Monday, April 4, 2016

Preschool Storytime: Clothes

One of my #YesWeCrab goals was to write up this fall's storytimes that I never got around to posting. I normally like to write in more detail about the books and activities that I chose, but due to the delay in posting, you're just getting my bare bones outline.

I did this clothes storytime in November and it was really fun. I especially liked getting our scarves out with one of our books. Here's what I did!

Opening Song: My Hands Say Hello

Book: Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed by Mo Willems (Disney-Hyperion, 2009). 

Book with Scarves: What Can You Do with a Rebozo? by Carmen Tafolla (Tricycle Press, 2008). I passed out the scarves and we pretended that our scarves were rebozos and used them for all the things the book mentions. 

Felt: Mittens in Washing Machine. Source: Miss Mary Liberry. This is one of my ALL-TIME favorite storytime props because it is always a hit; the kids have so much fun with it! We adapted it to use mittens, which we use quite often for winter storytimes. 

Usually, what I do is I tell the kids that I need their help to finish my laundry. It's been in the dryer, but I need help matching up my mittens. I pull out a mitten and we talk about what color it is. I put it on the felt board and then pull out another mitten and ask them if it matches. I pretend that I think it matches when it doesn't, etc. and the kids have a blast correcting me. 

Once we've paired up all the mittens, we count - this is a great opportunity to count by two's or you can just count each mitten, depending on your age group. 

This is a great activity for practicing same-and-different and identifying colors. The kids are always on the edge of their seats waiting to see what will come out of the washing machine next!

Book: Mrs. McNosh Hangs Up Her Wash by Sarah Weeks (HarperCollins, 1997). This silly story is another storytime favorite with its rhyming words and funny imagery. 

Action Song: If You're Wearing Red Today. This is not only a fun, active song, but it helps kids practice listening and following directions (school readiness skills!). 

Book: Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback (Viking Books for Young Readers, 1997). 

Closing Song: Do You Know What Time It Is? 


  • Dress up! I put out our dress up boxes, which are full of random things we've collected over the years. 
  • Blocks - I always put the blocks out.