Duck Storytime

 

 

 

 

 

 

Books:
Just Ducky by Kathy Mallat
Animals on the Farm: Ducks by Wendy Strobel Dieker
Quack and Count by Keith Baker
Goose Needs a Hug by Tad Hills

Opening Activity: Quick! Touch your toes, eyes, ears, tummy, knees, floor, clap your hands!

Sing: Welcome Song: If you are ready for a story, clap your hands!

Parent Welcome: Thank you for joining us in Storytime today! Every child, like adults, has a bad day, so if you child is needing a break, please step outside the room with them so they can calm down and not disrupt the other children. However, when your child is ready, please rejoin us again! Also, pretend there is an invisible circle around my easel. This is where I have lots of our props. If your child goes inside this circle, please gently pull them back so they do not block the view for the other children. Let’s get started!

Introduce topic: Look at the books I have! What do you guess we will be talking about today? Ducks? Yes! And, what sound do ducks make? “Quack, quack, quack!  Can you say that with me?

Read: Just Ducky by Kathy Mallat

This is a very sweet book. Duck needs a friend to play with, but all his friends, Bee, Mouse, and Frog, are busy. He goes for a swim and finds his reflection in the water. Thinking it is another duck, they play together all day. The older kids in Storytime got that he was just playing with his own reflection, which made it fun. I also had a bee, mouse, and frog puppet, so I gave those out to three of the kids in Storytime, and they held it up when it was their page.

Possible Aside for parents: Missed the aside this week! Whoops!

Write: I wrote the letter D on our white board, and asked if the kids knew the letter, and what sound the letter made. I then wrote the word, “Duck” below the T. For fun, I asked the kids to help me find the letter D in the word duck. I pointed at the u, then the c, then the k, to the kids great amusement, and then I finally pointed to the letter D. Kids like it when adults make mistakes and they can correct them, and what a great way to reinforce letter recognition. I then asked the kids what other words began with a “D” sound. We had lots of nonsense words, all beginning with a “D” sound, which made it fun.

Read and Talk: Animals on the Farm: Ducks by Wendy Strobel Dieker

Good non-fiction books for early readers about Ducks. Pictures show different colored feathers, and we had a discussion about the oil on duck’s feathers help the ducks float. The book also gave a new vocabulary word for many of us. A drake is a male duck. Femail ducks are just called ducks.

Sing:
-Popcorn Kernels,
-1, 2 Shake it on Your Shoe,
-Scarves up!

Read:  Quack and Count by Keith Baker

I asked the kids to show me 7 fingers. 5 + 2=7. We had to count them all to make sure. As we read through the book, I asked the kids to continue showing me on their fingers all the ways we could make 7. It did not always work out perfectly, but it was an early math introduction through a book.

Read: Goose Needs a Hug by Tad Hills

Very good, and quick, board book to end Storytime on. At the end, I asked the kids to give a hug to the “big person who brought you to Storytime”. Lots of smiles.

Closing Song: Tickle the Stars

How it went:
Ducks are a fun Storytime theme! All the kids loved making duck noises. I really need to work on my flannelboards. I know that there are many fun activities we can do with them in this theme, so that is my goal.

Kids’ STEM Workshops: Thinking in Three Dimensions with KEVA Brain Builders

Today we get to work with puzzles! You only get 20 planks, and they all look the same. How many objects can you create with those 20 planks? A lot. How much fun will you have? Again…a lot!

The skinny: This was a very simple program to put together. I ordered six sets of KEVA Brain Builders from Amazon for $15 a set. This was much more than the $0.30 per child budget that I have been working with. However, these sets were made available to us through a grant. Also, I am able to use them over and over again. So, in time, the price for these sets will go down to less than $0.30 because of the repeated use.

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Celebrating Community through Irish Dance

Saint Patrick’s Day is one time in the year when everyone can be Irish! Ask your community if they would like to see Irish dancers, and they may just come out of the woodwork. Add in a fun craft project and some lively music, and you have a program that will be enjoyed by all ages!

We are fortunate to have a very talented and trained Irish dancer who manages her own Irish dance studio in our community. On the weekend of Saint Patrick’s Day, she offered to come to the library and lead an Irish Dance Workshop. Here are my notes on what we did so hopefully it can be easily duplicated in any community. We hosted this program on the weekend of Saint Patrick’s Day, but because its popularity we plan to offer it again as summer workshop during our Summer Reading Program.

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Toddler Tech @ a Public Library Near You!

You should be at Toddler Tech! Photo Credit: Anna Arms.

Toddler Tech is a community event where multiple organizations with services for families with children ages 0-5 are able to come together, put up their booths, and engage with families. It is a time for organization representatives to participate in a community outreach program, a time for families to connect with these organizations and learn about the services that are available to them, and finally a time for young children to have fun and play together by participating in the interactive activities each organization prepares for families that come to their booth. It is a lot of fun, very low cost, and a wonderful way to cross-promote organizations in our community.

We hosted our first Toddler Tech event on Saturday, April 1st. This event had been hosted for the past 10 years by the hospital. However, they were looking for someone to take it over, and thought of the library. Of course I said yes when they asked if we would host it. The idea of dozens of families coming into the library on a Saturday was more than any librarian could pass up!

To set up the event, I designed a poster using Canva.com. We chose to host this event two weeks before Easter, which is also the week when our school district schedules Spring Break. This way, I knew that families would not be out of town (probably). This year, that date was Saturday, April 1st, 2017. I then sent out letters to multiple community organizations that serve families. If you are interested in doing this in your community, here is a list of organizations that I contacted:

  • Hospital
  • Dental offices
  • Domestic Violence Shelter
  • Home Educators
  • UW-Extension Family Living Agent
  • Birth to Three
  • Parks and Rec program
  • WEAP (Autism Support Network)
  • Saint Mary’s 3k and 4K program
  • Richland Christian Fellowship 3K and 4K program
  • Lincoln School 3K and 4K program
  • Crime Stoppers
  • Fire Department (they brought a fire truck!)
  • Police Department
A quite moment reading at the Birth to Three table. Photo Credit: Anna Arms.

After sending out the letter, I waited to see how many organizations would contact me back. In total, I heard from 11. Those that contacted me received a follow-up letter detailing set-up time on the morning of Toddler Tech.

 

 

 

Home Educators joined us with information for new homeschool families. Photo Credit: Anna Arms.

For promotion, I created a Facebook event, shared the poster on multiple community Facebook groups, hung up the poster at the library for three months before the event, contacted the paper and asked them to put in a small article about the event, and also was interviewed by our local radio station who very generous did a short promotion on the news at noon program for us.

We planned our event to begin at 10:00am and continue until 1pm. Set-up was available beginning at 9am (This was an hour before the library opened). You may not think it will take a whole hour to set up, but I was surprised to see how long it did take our organizations to arrange their booths, and thankful that we began an hour before we opened. The fire department brought a fire truck, and they were able to park it in our parking lot before it filled up with patrons. I bought white plastic table cloths for all the tables for our organizations to use on their tables. I think this is one of the cheapest investments to make tables look professional. Most organizations already had table cloths, but a few did not, so it was nice to be able to provide this.

The hospital Therapy Department planned a simple obstacle course. Most kids went through it 3-6 times before they were ready to move on! Photo Credit: Anna Arms.

The event was a big success! Families loved it clearly came to spend hours out of their morning meeting with organizations and playing with all the activity stations. Here is a list of the different activity stations that organizations offered:

 

 

 

 

 

  • Pete the Cat cookie decorating
  • Face painting
  • Tambourine decorating
  • Musical instruments petting zoo
  • Finger printing
  • Quiet space
  • Sensory table
  • Obstacle course
  • Meet the fire truck and the firemen!
  • Meet a police officer

    Photo Credit: Anna Arms.

This was a very relaxed event because I did not have to plan everything! Also, we did not have to pay anything to plan the program, so it was also great for my Youth Services Programming budget.

We had a library table with calendars, table toppers giving dates for our Storytime and Baby/Toddler Play Times, as well as sign-up sheets for the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Program. Our theme was music, so I had a small bin of musical instruments with me. Kids joined me on the floor, testing out instruments and hearing the different sounds (and picking up valuable fine-motor skills along the way!).

The fire truck was very popular! Photo Credit: Anna Arms.

One of my friends is very talented in photography, and offered to come and take pictures at the event. She received verbal permission from the parents as she mingled with the crowd to take photos of them and their children for the library to use in promotions. Everyone was thrilled to have their kiddo photographed, and it made the day just that much more special. After the event, she made the photos available to save, share, and print for the families for free.

If you have any questions about this event, just let me know! It was a wonderful time, and I am already brainstorming ways to make it better next year. I would like to ask the Police Department to offer car seat checks ask part of the program, and to set up a table for the police officer to play with the kids at a free-play table with blocks so that they can talk with the kids and parents without having to prep anything.

On to planning Toddler Tech next year!

Downloads: 

Toddler Tech Letter to Organizations 2017

Toddler Tech Confirmation 2017

Photo Credit: Anna Arms.
Photo Credit: Anna Arms.

 

Photo Credit: Anna Arms.
Photo Credit: Anna Arms.

 

Photo Credit: Anna Arms.
Photo Credit: Anna Arms.
Photo Credit: Anna Arms.
Photo Credit: Anna Arms.

April Book Display-Drop Everything and Read (D.E.A.R) Month!

For the past two months, we have been experimenting with picture book displays above our picture book shelves. I had been using this space for new books, but after a large weeding project, I realized how many wonderful books we already own! These books deserve some face time too so that parents and kids can discover them. In March, we celebrated National Puppy Day (March 23rd) all month long by displaying our puppy and dog books all throughout March. We began with 80 puppy and dog books. Because our check out is three weeks, we do not code these books any differently than regular books, because by the time the display books are returned, we are prepping for our next display. So, when they are returned, we just shelve them back into the regular collection. When I took the Puppy display down yesterday, we had only 30 that had not been checked out. For April, I asked one of our library interns to go through the picture book collection and pull anything that was related to books, reading, or libraries.  I added all these books to a list in our library software so that next year we can  refer to the list and pull the books without going through every book in the picture book collection to find them again.

For April, I decided to celebrate Drop Everything and Read all month long! For more information, visit: http://www.dropeverythingandread.com/NationalDEARday.html.  I asked one of our library interns to go through the picture book collection and pull anything that was related to books, reading, or libraries.  I added all these books to a list in our library software so that next year we can  refer to the list and pull the books without going through every book in the picture book collection to find them again.

Here is a snapshot of what our book display looks like. 🙂

Downloads:
April-D.E.A.R Poster (PowerPoint)
April-D.E.A.R  Poster (PDF)

Bridge Engineering with Legos and Engino Pieces!

Just how hard is it to build a bridge? Well, I think our library kids can best answer that question. What I do know is that planning a Kids’ STEM Workshop around bridge building using Legos and Engino toys to help reinforce the B.A.T.S. design that all bridges utilize was super easy, and super fun!

The skinny: This was a wonderful, relaxed program that cost us $0. The Engino toy parts and Legos we used were proved to us through a grant and by gift from our Friends of the Library. We already had these resources, so it made sense to me to feature them as a STEM program. Again, if you do not have these materials, then this may be a great idea for a grant project. I hope this lesson plan helps spark every better ideas you can use in your grant proposal for how you plan to use these materials in your community!

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The Hat Week 2

3rd Week of February Storytime
The Hat: Week 2

Books: 
My Heart is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall
A Hat for Minerva Louise by Janet Morgan Stoeke
Jingle-Jangle by Nicola Smee
The Hat by Jan Brett

Flannel board: 

This week I was able to use our “Hat” themed flannel board one of our library interns made! The kids loved it! I did this at the end of Storytime instead of reading the book. I simply held the book up and introduced the story. Using the flannel board pieces, I told the story o f “the Hat”. Even the youngest kids were attentive, and mesmerized at how the pieces “moved” as the story progressed. To help me, I also used one of our puppets which looks like a hedgehog and a red and white sock that I brought from home.

Kids’ STEM Workshop: Binary Code!

We live in a binary world. Our computers, music, books, magazines, almost every form of media is digital and it all runs on the binary code. But, it is surprising how little many of us understand about the code that influences so much of our lives. For Teen Tech Week in March 2017, I wanted to do a program for tweens on coding and showing them the binary system. But, is binary code easy enough for kids to understand and write? Can we do a coding program without a computer? As we found out, the answers are yes, and yes!

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Kids’ STEM Workshop: Engino Simple Machines

Wow! Give kids a challenge (and don’t tell them that it is hard) and watch them create for you! That is the lesson I learned by offer a STEM program using Engino toy parts to build simple machines. Our kids both followed the directions, and free built. Engino toy parts are a cross between Legos and Knex, and they are a little bit harder to work with than either of those toys. Lots of fine motor skills were needed. I ran this program with 5th graders, 2nd graders, and an all ages program. All of the groups were able to build the simple Experimental Car, and then enjoyed some free build time.

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A Little House Party at the Public Library!

“Once upon a time, sixty years ago, a little girl lived in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, in a little gray house made of logs.” So begins Little House in the Big Woods, the first book in an autobiographical series written by Laura Ingalls Wilder about growing up in 1800’s American. 150 years later, the Little House stories and activities are still wildly popular. And what better way to celebrate Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Birthday than to have a party at the public library as one of our Family Super Saturday events?

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Dr. Seuss Storytime!

In the mood for a Dr. Seuss Storytime! Me too! With Read Across America Day coming up, why not celebrate!

It can be hard to find Seuss books that are short enough for a Storytime crowd. In the end, I chose:

 

 

Dr. Seuss’s ABC
Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?
Hop on Pop ( I read pages 1-31, ending with, “No Pat No, Don’t Sit on That!”)
Green Eggs and Ham (I read pages 1-25 and then skipped to page 49 and read till the end.)
My Many Colored Days

How it went: 

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What to do when you are sick on a Storytime morning….

This Wednesday I woke up with a sick stomach and only about five hours of sleep. It was a Storytime morning, so I immediately went into, “What are we going to do if I cannot make it into the library?” mode. We do not have a staff person set up to take over Storytime if I am not there on Wednesdays, so if I do not come in, Storytime would not happen. I have a very wonderful director, and after a few texts, she told me stay home. My director has respect for me, the Children’s department, and what Storytime means for our library as a whole, not just a single program. And, I am incredibly thankful to work with her, both as our director, and as a person. I ended up being able to pull myself together (I knew that I was not suffering from anything that would be contagious), and went into Storytime anyway. The kids and parents had a great time, but the experience prompted me to post a question of the Storytime Underground Facebook page asking my colleagues how they handle a similar situations. 56 librarians responded. Missing a Storytime, as I read, is something that we all worry about. It can mean losing momentum with our programming numbers, and other consequences. Yet, some of the solutions and proactive plans that I read made me want to share my colleague’s wisdom.

To summarize the 66 comments, here is some of the best advise that my fellow children librarians shared:

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Storytime: The Mitten Week 4

The Mitten: Week 4

      

Books:
In the Snow by Sharon Phillips Denslow
Clifford’s First Snow Day by Norman Bridwell
The Mitten by Jan Brett (to hold up)

This is our final week for the telling of the tale, “The Mitten”! I think that having one consistent story for a whole month helps the Storytime kids gain knowledge and experience with stories through review, and it also shows the parents how a simple story can be retold and enjoyed in different ways. It is also a way for the kids to be more active in the telling of the story, and I can layer in actions and repeat-after-me-phrases that I could not do if I was sharing new stories all the time. I also like to bring some theater in the form of play for the final week in the telling of the story, and this week we used masks that Jan Brett made available on her website for our props that each child was able to hold for our final telling of the story! Thank you Lynette, one of university interns, who made printed, laminated, and cut the masks out for us! We did not glue sticks on the back of the masks. I think sticks can make homemade masks harder for little hands to hold.

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