Tuesday, December 20, 2011

How do I choose?

Story time is a completely different animal for everyone who does it. Some people like to stay within a theme and read books about one topic, and center their songs and crafts around the theme. Other people are more random in their book selection - choosing new books that come in that week, or choosing their favorites as they come across their desks.

I do a random story time every once in a while (in fact, I have a random story time post coming up soon!), but, as you may know, I usually center my story times around a certain theme, and all the books, songs and crafts usually follow.

I do a lot of animal themes, because animal books are easily found and available. I could probably do a cat theme for months and never repeat a book. I also do themes based on things that every kid has or does, for instance my Hair story time (which was FABULOUS, and the kids loved it!), and maybe Bath stories, or more Bath stories (and even more Bath stories) and even one about Manners. I also had a Tooth story time (post coming soon)!!

I do get some outside help finding books, however, and I need to give props to a couple of FABULOUS websites and blogs.

Storytime Source Page
Awesome Storytime
storytime katie
SurLaLune Storytime

I also get a lot of craft and song ideas online, too!! Here are some of my favorite sites!!

All Kids Network
Kids Soup
Preschool Education
Perpetual Preschool

Anyway, I hope this helps to get you started!! I've been so fortunate to have found some good resources - there are some amazing children's librarians out there who are really up on their kid lit!!! If you know of any other good sites - feel free to share them in the comments section!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Random Favorites

It was a weird week in story time! I had a performer call out sick just two hours before a very special Fairy Tales program, and then I had a group from a ballet school in town come to perform a program for my regular preschool story time - but I didn't even know they were coming!!! They only stayed for the first story time, though, and I didn't want to use my already planned story time (because it was super exciting, and wanted to use it for BOTH groups). So, I scrambled again and picked out a couple of my favorite story time books.

Opening Song: Shake My Sillies Out - Raffi

Book: Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale by Mo Willems

Hey Diddle, Diddle

Book: Dinosaur vs. The Library by Bob Shea (LOVE this series!!!)

Dance: The Freeze - Greg and Steve (from Greg and Steve We All Live Together Vol.2)

Book: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.

Craft: Since I still had lots of supplies, I decided to make the crowns again!! I LOVE paper plates!!!

It's another edition of FMRNS!!! The feature this week was The Crow, a drama from 1994 starring Brandon Lee and Rochelle Davis. I remember thinking this movie looked really weird when it came out, and didn't really have a desire to see it. But, I trust my friend A wholeheartedly when it comes to what is on The List, so we watched it. I was NOT disappointed!!

Impromptu Fairy Tales

We had a performer all set to come in and do an amazing interactive Fairy Tale program for us, and everyone was SUPER EXCITED...until... My fabulous performer called me a short two hours before the program and informed me that she was sick and couldn't make it. Now, I could have thrown in the towel and told the disappointed kiddos that there would be no Fairy Tales, but I just couldn't do that!!! So, I scrambled a little and whipped something together!

Opening Song: Shake My Sillies Out - Raffi

Book: Ten Big Toes and a Prince's Nose by Nancy Gow

Song: Old McDonald

Book: Jack and the Beanstalk by Rosemary Wells

Dance: The Freeze by Greg and Steve (from Greg and Steve: We All Live Together Vol. 2)

Book: Who Wants a Dragon by James Mayhew

Craft: A variation of the Birthday Crown!!

Brush your Teeth!!

When I saw that Karma Wilson had put out a new Bear book, I jumped on the chance to use it at story time. So, my preschoolers had a little lesson about teeth!!

Opening Song - Shake My Sillies Out by Raffi

Book: Bear's Loose Tooth by Karma Wilson

Song: Brush, brush, brush your teeth (To the tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat) (taken from Preschool Education Music and Songs: Dental Health)
Brush, brush, brush your teeth!
Brush them every day!
Then you'll have a pretty smile
And healthy teeth all day!

Book: Tabitha's Terrifically Tough Tooth by Charlotte Middleton

Song: The Dentist Says (to the tune of Wheels on the Bus)
The dentist says please brush your teeth, brush your teeth, brush your teeth,
The dentist says please brush your teeth, every day!

(extra verses: Floss your teeth, eat healthy food)

Book: Clarabella's Teeth by An Vrombaut

Craft: Tooth Men Puppets

And of course, we had FMRNS!! The feature for this week was Two for the Road, a love story from 1967 starring Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney. It, of course, was a fabulous movie - full of love and drama and all that good stuff!!

Thanks for Monday

Today was all about Thanksgiving in Toddler Time!! We had a couple great Thanksgiving books, and one not so Thanksgiving book!!

Opening Song: If You're Happy and You Know It from Favorite Children's Songs CD.

Book: Five Silly Turkeys by Salina Yoon

Rhyme: Hey Diddle, Diddle

Book: Thank You, Thanksgiving by David Milgrim

Practice: Count to 5

Book: From Head to Toe by Eric Carle

Interactive Playtime

All the colors

I found some great books about colors, so I wanted to see how well the toddlers knew their colors!! They did really well, of course!!

Opening Song: If You're Happy and You Know It from Favorite Children's Songs CD.

Book: Driving in my Tractor by Jan Dobbins

Game: Colored circles on popsicle sticks and have kids guess the colors.

Book: Meeow and the Little Chairs by Sebastien Braun

Song: Twinkle, Twinkle

Book: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.
Interactive Playtime

Mondays Kittens

I think I accidentally forgot to plan story time, oops!!! Luckily, there are always a couple themes that have plenty of books to choose from if you are a last minute planner as I seem to sometimes be! But, it turned out great - LOVE those toddlers!!

Opening Song: If You're Happy and You Know It from Favorite Children's Songs CD.

Book: I Love Cats by Barney Saltzberg

Hey Diddle, Diddle

Book: Kitten for a Day by Ezra Jack Keats

Song: I'm a Little Teapot

Book: Cat the Cat Who Is That? by Mo Willems

Interactive Playtime

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Review: Downward Dog, Upward Fog by Meryl Davids Landau

After reading the summary and some other reviews of this novel, Downward Dog, Upward Fog by Meryl Davids Landau, I was super excited to get this one to review!!

The Summary:

Lorna Crawford has a great boyfriend, longtime friends, and a well-paying job as a special-events coordinator at a premium ice-cream manufacturer. But, out of sorts and filled with self-doubt, the 33 year old realizes that what she really wants is to stay on the spiritual path she keeps diving off of. Lorna jump starts her efforts at a silent yoga retreat. But after returning from the mountain, she quickly loses her connection in the face of scheming coworkers, judgemental girlfriends, and especially, her overly critical mother. Lorna also wrestles over her future with her boyfriends, a hot guy who takes her to the hottest places, but who can't discern a meditation cushion from a toad stool. Reading spiritual books and visiting a channeler and energy healer move Lorna forward, but her confusion remains.

Lorna's seeking is put to the ultimate test when personal tragedy strikes. Will she come to truly understand that living spiritually has little to do with how you pretzel yourself on the yoga mat (although she gets plenty good at that), and everything to do with embracing the twists in every day life?


Downward Dog, Upward Fog by Meryl Davids Landau really dives into Lorna's spiritual journey. It really isn't all about just the poses on the yoga mat and learning how to breathe. Lorna, who supposedly has it all, is so stressed out and is really searching for some calm and perspective in her life. As she reads several spiritual books, we also get to learn some interesting spiritual concepts and quotes from new-age spiritual leaders that make total sense for daily life. Will she be able to apply these teachings in the face of all the distractions - especially her mother?!

I really enjoyed this novel. I thought it was interesting and out of the box. I also think it will give you a perspective on spirituality. Though this book may not be for everyone, if you are open to just reading a really good novel, then it just might open your eyes to something different. I'm definitely trying to look at things differently - even if I am not going full tilt and creating a meditation altar.

I want to thank Meryl Davids Landau for sending me a copy of her novel. I highly enjoyed it, and thanks for helping me put some things in perspective.

To read more about the novel, check out DownwardDogUpwardFog.com!!

Sharing the love, and some hugs

I came up with Hug story time because of a super cute and totally perfect for story time book came across my desk. I also found out that Hug a Bear day was coming up, so I thought we'd combine the two and have a fabulous story time.

Hug a Bear day also brought out the song writer in me (I say 'song writer' very loosely). This new song is to the tune of "Rock the Boat" by Hues Corporation.

Hug the bear, don't hug the bear, baby!
Hug the bear, don't hug him, he'll eat you!!

A couple of the moms appreciated it! Hahaha!! Anyway, back to story time...

Book: One More Hug for Madison by Caroline Church

Song: A Hug from You (To the tune of Mary had a Little Lamb. Taken from Preschool Education Music and Songs: Valentines Day)
It's nice to get a hug from you, hug from you, hug from you,
It's nice to get a hug from you,
So, let's give one right now!

Book: How to Hug by Maryann Macdonald

Rhyme: Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear (traditional, with my own interpretation)
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
Turn Around
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
Touch the Ground
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
Touch your Nose
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
Touch your Toes
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
Dance on the Rug
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
Give a Big Hug!

Book: How Do You Hug a Porcupine by Laurie Isop

Craft: Since this theme was based on Hug a Bear day, we made Bear CD magnets!

And, as usual, it's FMRNS!!! Two for the Road, a romance from 1967 with Albert Finney and Audrey Hepburn was the feature for this week. This movie follows a married couple through the ups and downs in the journey of their marriage. They go through so much and they really need to decide what is important. It was very sentimental, and of course, listworthy!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wheelin' around!

Found some fun books that each had something to do with wheels or round things. Well, almost all of them... =)

I'm also changing up my Opening song. The Favorite Children's Songs CD that I had always been using was starting to get a little choppy, so I decided to see if I could find another fun version of If You're Happy and You Know It. I'll let you know what version I decide on!! But for now:

Opening Song: If You're Happy and You Know It from Favorite Children's Songs CD.

Book: Wheels Go Round by W. Nikola-Lisa

Song: Wheels on the Bus

Book: Little Duck's Bicycle Ride by Dorothy Stott (Sorry - no picture!!)

Rhyme: Hickory Dickory Dock

Book: You Are My Sunshine by Caroline Jayne Church

Interactive Playtime

Saturday, November 5, 2011

It's been a while!!

I was just thinking today how it has been a LOOOOOOOOOONG time since I had a patron story. It's about time, right??

The scene: Preschool Story Time, at the end of the program while the kids are all working on their craft... I'm walking around, complimenting everyone on their fabulous art.

Real Librarian: Oh, wow - I love those ears!! Did you know that purple is my most favorite color?

Pre-school Artist: Purple is my most favorite color too!!! And my most favorite boy is Justin Bieber!!!

Looks like we have some Bieber Fever up in here!!! LOL

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

And the winner is...

Ugh, I am such a slacker. Please forgive my tardiness in announcing the winner of this FABULOUS giveaway!!!! I promise to not keep y'all in suspense for a minute longer... The winner of a copy of The Journey of the Noble Gnarble is...


I've sent you an email requesting your snail mail address. I'll then forward your info on to the publisher, who will mail you your book! Congratulations!!!!

Thanks to everyone who entered!! And thanks to everyone for reading my blog!!!

A mixed-up storytime

This story time was a mix of body parts and animals - yeah, a little weird. And we even threw in some colors, too!!!

Opening Song: If You're Happy and You Know It from Favorite Children's Songs CD.

Mommy, Carry Me Please by Jane Cabrera

Rhyme: This Little Piggy

Book: Look at the Baby by Kelly Johnson

Song: Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

Book: The Artist who Painted a Blue House by Eric Carle

Interactive Playtime

Fall into Monday

This week, we did Fall stories for the little ones!!! Can I just tell you how cute these little ones are?!?! I am loving my Toddlers!!!!!

Opening Song: If You're Happy and You Know It from Favorite Children's Songs CD.

Book: Mouse's First Fall by Lauren Thompson

Song: The Leaves on the Trees (to the tune of Wheels on the Bus - adapted from Jean Warren's Preschool Express Fall leaves & rhymes page)

The leaves on the trees are falling down, falling down, falling down.
The leaves on the trees are falling down, all through the town!

Let's rake the leaves into a mound, into a mound, into a mound.
Let's rake the leaves into a mound, all through the town!

The children in the town jump up and down, up and down, up and down.
The children in the town jump up and down, on the leaves on the ground!

Book: The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri

Rhyme: Humpty Dumpty (because he had a great FALL! Haha, sorry, I couldn't resist)

Book: Big Fat Hen by Keith Baker

Interactive Playtime

Oooohhhhhh, spooky!!

This year for Hallopween I decided to focus on Spooky stories instead of Halloween. It was great getting all the kids to make spooky sounds!!!!

Opening Song: Shake My Sillies Out - Raffi

Book: Little Goblins Ten by Pamela Jane (there is a line about Halloween at the very end of this book, but that page can be avoided if you don't want to bring up the Halloween side of the spooky).

If you're a ghost and you know it (to the tune of If You're Happy and you Know It) (Taken from Brooklyn Public Library's First Five Years Halloween Songs page)

If you're a ghost and you know it, just say BOO!!!
If you're a ghost and you know it, just say BOO!!!
If you're a ghost and you know it, and you really wanna show it!
If you're a ghost and you know it, just say BOO!!!

Book: The Teeny-Tiny Woman by Paul Galdone

Rhyme: 5 Little Jack-o-Lanterns (taken from Jean Warren's Preschool Express Pumpkin Songs page) I also made it into a flannel board.

Five little jack-o-lanterns glowing by the door
Father took one and that left four.

Four little jack-o-lantersn, a sight to see
Mother took one and that left three.

Three little jack-o-lanterns lit through and through
Brother took one and that left two.

Two little jack-o-lanterns greeting everyone
Sister took one and that left one.

One little jack-o-lantern, with a great big grin
I picked him up and took him in.

Book: The Woods by Paul Hoppe

Craft: Night Scene (I just google imaged a picture of a scared cat and a flying bird, cut the other shapes, and there you have it!)

This week for FMRNS we watched something that neither of us had seen yet. Remember, this is where we watch a movie, and then decide if it is 'Listworthy' or not. If it is, we cheer and immediately add it to the list. If it is NOT, then we point at the screen, and say in our judgy-est voices "NOT LISTWORTHY!!!" It's actually a really fun tradition!! Anyway, this feature definitely belongs on the list!!! The Lincoln Lawyer from 2011 with Matthew McConaughey, Marisa Tomei, and Ryan Phillippe was phenominal!!! Lots of twists and turns!!!