Summer Reading 2016 Wrap up!

Summer Reading 2016 Wrap up!

I have officially gone the longest time without blogging and for that I apologize! But, we had an amazingly crazy busy summer at the Library and I decided that my home time was time for self care (aka reality tv and popcorn for dinner) instead of more library things so I just took a bit of an unplanned hiatus.  Before I start blogging my storytimes and programs again I just wanted to give you a little wrap up of my summer reading program!  It was my third summer here and I finally finally felt like I got into my mojo and really did a great job.

I work in a small, rural town so over 400 is amazing for us, whereas those of you in bigger cities that may just be a fraction of your first day registrants. I am proud of our number ;)
I work in a small, rural town so over 400 is amazing for us, whereas those of you in bigger cities that may just be a fraction of your first day registrants. I am proud of our number ;)

This summer, in partnership with our local schools, we chose to track by time read rather than books or pages.  Ideally, I would love to ditch tracking but in CT we have a Govenor’s Reading Challenge that requires it so the kids and schools are already tracking so it’s better at the moment to just keep doing it and keep a good relationship with the schools.  Our prizes for reading are just free books and a super reader signs.We also have passports that kids get when they sign up.  These have fun challenges like visiting the library, attending a summer program, and checking out a nonfiction book.  Every time they get a stamp on their passport they get to add a sticker to our sticker wall!

School Visits

The BIG incentive this year was to get me to dye my hair blue.  During school visits I challenged the kids to read 1,000 hours.  Once they completed that I would dye my hair blue.  They were rockstars and finished in less than 3 weeks.

blue-hair3blue-hair

I did my programming a little bit different this summer which allowed for a lot more flexibility on my end. Going with the theme of “On Your Mark, Get Set…READ” all of my programs started with “On Your Mark, Get Set…” Here is an example of fliers for a couple of them:

experiment create
play-1 move

As you can maybe see in the flier, I just have a one or two word description of what each program will specifically be. This allowed me to have my daily (!!) programs while also not stressing myself out too much. For EXPERIMENT and one other program I did have help but otherwise it was just me.

Here are some program highlights (aka the only times I actually remembered to take pictures!). If you have any questions about specific programs please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments.  Most of these programs are for grades K-5.

sink-or-floatsink-or-float3

On Your Mark, Get Set… EXPERIMENT: Sink or Float.
At the beginning of the program I read the book Things that Float and Things that Don’t by David A. Adler
Station 1: Sink or Float
Table of different items and a tub of water!
Station 2: Make a Boat
Table of items that could potentially be made into boats: tin foil, styrofoam, cardboard, plastic, tape, etc. They then would test their boats float-ability by adding pennies and/or rocks!

Caldecott Program | Miss Meg's Storytime Caldecott Program | Miss Meg's Storytime

On Your Mark, Get Set…CREATE: Caldecott
This was one of my favorite programs of the summer! I started by reading some favorites by Jon Klassen and Lois Ehlert.  We then talked as a group about the art in each book.  After that they got to use the books as reference to create their own Caldecott inspired art!

Mini Golf in the stacks | Miss Meg's Storytime Mini Golf in the stacks | Miss Meg's Storytime

This one was a two part series…
On Your Mark, Get Set…CREATE: Design mini golf holes
I literally just had a bunch of random supplies (“trash”) and big posterboard.  Each group could design a mini golf hole on the posterboard using whatever they wanted.
On Your Mark, Get Set… MOVE: Mini golf in the library!
A week later we got to play mini golf in the children’s room using the holes they created! This was a TON of fun for both kids and parents and I will definitely be doing it again

Egg Drop  | Miss Meg's Storytime Egg Drop | Miss Meg's Storytime

On Your Mark, Get Set… EXPERIMENT: Egg Drop
Again, I just got a bunch of random supplies (“trash”, are you seeing a theme here…) and a couple dozen eggs and let them experiment!  Some kids love their little egg trap contraption the they ended up taking it home… with the egg still inside.

I went camping... with kids.......

Our summer series event this summer was Explorer’s Club.  We met weekly and the kids got to pick what we discussed.  At our first meeting I asked them what they knew about nature and the outdoors and then what they wanted to know or learn more about.  I used those lists to help me plan the next few weeks.  At the end of the month we went camping. Literally. Like, in tents.  Parents were 100% required to come and we camped at a local park (yay for great partnership with our parks & rec) that is secluded and BEAUTIFUL.  The above picture is our 6:30am hike.


Overall, it was a busy but very rewarding summer but I am glad to have a couple months break until we start planning for the summer of 2017….

Silly Play Storytime

Silly Play Storytime

wowwwww it has been awhile since I last blogged! I have been busy with SRP and we took a storytime break for all of May and half of June but we are in the swing of things again! Our first storytime this summer was PLAY!  At the library we love reading and books but we also love Play :)

Copy of Fairy Tale Storytime

Silly Play Picture Books

Mr Tiger Goes Wild
Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown
Where is the Green Sheep
Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox
Tap the Magic Tree
Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson
Count the MonkeysCount the Monkeys by Mac Barnett, illus by Kevin Cornell

All of these books were perfect! Some other books you could do are:
Can You Make a Silly Face by Jan Thomas
Not a Box by Antoinette Portis
It’s a Tiger! by David LaRochelle, illus. by Jeremy Tankard
Oh, No! by Candace Fleming, illus. by Eric Rohmann
Chloe and the Lion by Mac Barnett, illus. by Adam Rex

Silly Play Songs

Any silly song from Laurie Berkner is perfect for this theme.  We did The Goldfish Song!

Herman the Worm is also my go to song, and will work especially well for the pre-school and school age crowd.  Instead of eating parents/grandparents I have Herman eat library books, my car, the library, etc..

Instead of a craft at the end of this storytime we did the parachute!  For some awesome parachute ideas check out Kendra’s blog!


 

All in all this was a very fun storytime!  This was planned right on the heels of the tragic news out of Orlando so it was great for me, and probably the adults in the room, to just play and laugh and have fun for a little bit.

Flannel Friday: Color Sorting Printable

Flannel Friday: Color Sorting Printable

Wow it has been so long since I’ve done a Flannel Friday!! I have so many piled up that I need to blog about though…

My submission this week is a color sorting printable that I made for my Little Explorers Sensory Playgroup

Color Sorting Free Printable | Miss Meg's Storytime

You can download the PDF for Color Sorting HERE!

All you need to do is print the pages, laminate them, and put velcro on the back! I had strips of velcro along the sides for the pieces to live before they go on their color.

Color Sorting Free Printable | Miss Meg's Storytime

Color Sorting Free Printable | Miss Meg's Storytime

Enjoy!


Flannel Friday this week is hosted by first time hoster Felt Board Magic!

Fairy Tale Storytime

Fairy Tale Storytime

We recently did a fairy tale storytime with my pre-school and outreach visits!  This is best done with an older group, but was simple enough to adapt with my younger crowds during outreach.

Fairy Tale Storytime

Fairy Tale Picture Books

Interrupting Chicken
Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein
One of my favorite books to do, but again, was better with the pre-school crowd.
Little Roja Riding Hood
Little Roja Riding Hood by Susan Middletown Elya, illus. by Susan Guevara
I LOVED reading this one, it was really fun with the spanish words mixed in with the English words and the ending always got a good laugh from the adults in the room.

Yummy
Yummy: eight favorite fairy tales by Lucy Cousins
We read The Giant Turnip story out of this one.  It was fun to do a story that some of the adults hadn’t even heard of.  Also a great book to talk about teamwork

Other Picture Books:

Over at the Castle by Boni Ashburn, illus. by Kelly Murphy
The Three Ninja Pigs by Corey Rosen Schwartz, illus. by Dan Santat (Any of the fairy tale spin offs by Corey Rosen Schwartz would be great!!!)
Jack and the Beanstalk  by Paul Galdone
Fairly Fairy Tales by Esme Raji Codell
One, Two, Guess Who? by Colin and Jacui Hawkins

In addition to the stories (I usually only did two books, unless they were a really good group), I had downloaded this free story book of The Three Little Pigs from Little Green on Teachers Pay Teachers.  I used the pictures and loosely the words, but also improvised a little bit because I know the story pretty well.   I think it was a nice change up for the kids and I to do a story that wasn’t in the traditional book format!

Fairy Tale Songs & Extension Activities

We built a castle using this awesome idea from Falling Flannelboards!  I handed out the shapes and would call out one shape at a time and each kid with that shape would put it on the board.  With smaller groups you could go more each individual but this was better with the bigger groups to save on time.  None of them *really* looked like castles but it was fun nonetheless :)

Build a Castle Flannelboard | Miss Meg's Storytime

Build a Castle Flannelboard | Miss Meg's Storytime

The Grand Ol Duke of York
(traditional)

The Grand ol Duke of York
He had ten thousand men.
He marched them to the top of the hill
And he marched them down again.
And when they were UP, they were UP!
And when they were DOWN, they were DOWN!
And when they were only halfway up,
They were neither UP nor DOWN!

If You’re a Hero and You Know It
source: Franklin Public Library 

If you’re a hero and you know it, Clap your hands!
If you’re a hero and you know it, Clap your hands!
If you’re a hero and you know it, Then your face will surely show it.
If you’re a hero and you know it, Clap your hands!

other verses: jump up high, touch the ground, etc..

Fairy Tale Craft

Building on our build a castle flannelboard, I had out different shapes and gluesticks and the kids created their castles!

Fairy tale craft with shapes | Miss Meg's Storytime

Other Fairy Tale Storytime Ideas

Abby the Librarian, Storytime: Fairy Tales
Falling Flannelboards, Storytime: Fairy Tales!
Project I.Am.Abbey, Fairy Tale Theme- Toddler Storytime
Storytime Katie, FairyTales!
Franklin Public Library, Fairy Tale Storytime
Brenda Potter, Pinterest, Nursery Rhymes & Fairy Tales (crafts, storytime & other classroom activities)
Blair Preston Public Library, Pinterest, Fairy Tale Storytime

Opposites Storytime

Opposites Storytime

A storytime theme that seems like such a no-brainer that I couldn’t believe I hadn’t done before is Opposites!  This was a super quick and easy one to plan and really lended itself well to having unique and fun conversations with the pre-schoolers!

Opposites Storytime

I started by talking about the concept of opposites and telling them some examples.  After we went over the theme we did our opening songs Rickety Tickety and Hello Friends (both can be found on the opening songs page)

Opposites Picture Books

Sun Above Blooms Below
Sun Above and Blooms Below: a springtime of opposites by Felicia Sanzari Chernesky, illus. by Susan Swan
The Hueys Opposite
The Hueys in What’s the Opposite by Oliver Jeffers
I am a Oliver Jeffers fan but this is the first time I have successfully used one of his books in storytime! It went really well

Green Sheep
Where Is the Green Sheep by Mem Fox, illus. by Judy Horacek
I do this one a lot in tiny tots so it was fun to see how to pre-schoolers enjoyed it!

Other Opposites Picture Books:
Black? White! Day? Night!: a book of opposites by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Maisy Big, Maisy Small by Lucy Cousins
Big and Small: an animal opposites book and Long and Short: an animal opposites book by Lisa Bullard
Opposnakes: a lift-the-flap book about opposites by Salina Yoon
Big Bear Little Chair by Lizi Boyd
Some Monsters Are Different by David Milgrim
Alex and Lulu Two of  a Kind by Lorena Siminovich

Opposites Songs & Rhymes

Cool Cat 
Jbrary
I did this in both tiny tots & Pre-school storytime and it was a hit with both crowds!

I Say Fast
Did you ever go to Chuckee Cheese for a birthday party and they would do that song with all the big creepy animatronic animal things that went “I say happy you say birthday! Happy! Birthday! Happy! Birthday!
Anyways, this is a play off of that song!

I say fast and you say…. SLOW!
Fast! Slow! Fast! Slow!

I say up and you say….DOWN!
Up! Down! Up! Down!

I say happy and you say… SAD!
Happy! Sad! Happy! Sad!

I say over and you say… UNDER!
Over! Under! Over! Under!

and you can add as many verses as you would like!

Opposites Craft
source

Over and under weaving!  We have been working very hard the last couple months on our cutting and pasting skills that I thought it was about time we introduced a new skill– weaving! It was a little difficult for some of the kids but we all practiced saying “over and under over and under” so they knew that’s what our strips of paper had to do.  After they finished weaving we laminated the finished products and turned them into placemats.  This was a fun project that taught a new skill and had a great finished product

Opposites Craft (1)

Other Opposites Storytime Ideas

Sunflower Storytime- Opposites Storytime
Never Shushed- Preschool: Opposites
Literary Hoots- Storytime: Opposites
Storytime Katie- Opposites!
Jbrary- Opposites at Storytime
A Library Geek- Storytime- Opposites
Reading with Red- Baby Storytime- Opposites

Little Explorers: Sensory Playgroup

Little Explorers: Sensory Playgroup

side note before I get into this post: you may have recently started seeing ads.  While I used to pride myself on being an ad free site, I do need to find some way to try and supplement the money I put towards the hosting and maintenance of Miss Meg’s Storytime.  After all, I do live on a small town librarians salary ;)
I am going to see how using google adsense works for the time being, and I truly truly do apologize for any inconvenience.  Hopefully it will not need to be a long term solution. -Meg

Sensory storytimes and playgroups are happening all over the place and I’ve been wanting to try it for awhile so I was excited when we started getting requests for Friday morning programming (when I had previously been told no one comes to) and could try it out!  We are offering a sensory playgroup once a month for the spring and may continue it through summer or start it up again in the fall.  Our first group was a great size for our first time and was very mangeable…there were about 10 kids that came.

In addition to having a sensory enriched setting I also wanted to have a lot of DIY toys and activities that parents could replicate at home.  Out of all of our stations, only one was fully store bought!

Little Explorers | Miss Meg's Storytime

I advertised the playgroup as a sensory playgroup that encourages participation from both caregiver and child.  It was open for ages 6 mos to 5 years and we had kids come that were every age in that range.  I set up the room with different stations and had a powerpoint slide up explaining the guidelines of this group.  Since we already do a regular playgroup and I had many families come that go to our other playgroup I really wanted to set up the expectations I had for this one:

Little Explorers | Miss Meg's Storytime

I was very impressed with all of the grown ups in the room– they really stayed with their tiny human and interacted.  It was so so so amazing to hear all of the great conversations that were happening in the room:

Do you like touching this?  It feels crinkly!

How does that feel on your toes? Hot or cold?

Is that slippery?

Here are the different stations we had set up:

Dyed Sensory Noodles

Little Explorers Noodles | Miss Meg's StorytimeLittle Explorers Noodles | Miss Meg's Storytime

Source: Growing a Jeweled Rose

This was a HUGE hit.  Biggest recommendation: lay down a tarp or something.  If you have carpet- lay down an extra big tarp.  The noodles got stuck to the shoes and then ground into the carpet quite a bit.  Towards the end a few kids had taken theirs shoes off and it was like a whole nother level.  We had a relatively small group and all of the parents were attentive so that’s why I didn’t ask shoes to remain on, but it was a bit of a hazard because the noodles were so slippery so I’d keep that in mind.
As for making the noodles, the tutorial on Growing a Jeweled Rose is great.  I made mine the night before and they were just fine the next morning.  I actually used Easter egg dye (I ran out of food coloring and Walgreens didn’t’ have any and it was 9pm so I wasn’t about to drive to a grocery store) and it worked great as well!  Half of the green and the pink/orange color were dyed with the egg dye.  When making it, I would recommend wearing gloves because your hands will most likely get stained.  Unless I am just a messy person which is completely possible.

Amount of prep time: 1 hour (I did 3 batches of noodles)

Sensory Board

Little Explorers Sensory Board | Miss Meg's Storytime

source: mamiblock , linked on Storytime Underground and my local CT chapter of SU

The video is not in English but if you google diy sensory board and look for it in pinterest there are a TON of ideas.  For ours, I tried to use whatever I already had and it ended up being relatively cheap.  All I bought was the board (a trifold board), some sparkly pipe cleaners, hair gel, and the orange fuzzy fabric.  We had an old numbers puzzle that was just sitting in storage so that’s what I used for the numbers on the top right corner.  Behind the board I have two zipper boards and a pull box (both from Laughing Kids Learn).  These were very simple to make and were also a big hit.  The pull box was a great way to introduce cause and effect!

Prep time: The longest thing to do was the pipe cleaner star and combined with the zipper board and pull box it probably took about 2 hours total.

Paper Pool & Bubber

Little Explorers Bubber | Miss Meg's Storytime Little Explorers Paper Pool | Miss Meg's Storytime

Both of these things were introduced in our regular playgroup before I was even here, so they are already crowd favorites.  The paper pool is very simple: shredded paper in a kiddie pool!  I have also seen some librarians do it on a parachute or just on a tarp.  The second thing is called Bubber and it is usually a favorite toy with the parents and we get questions constantly about what exactly it is.  Bubber is similar to play doh but doesn’t create a big mess, doesn’t dry out, is easy to pick up off the floor and is wheat, gluten and casein free and 100% safe and non-toxic.  It is like strange new miracle stuff, basically.  We have a bunch of play dog toys in with it including little letter stamps.  The most popular toy with it, though, is a little toy play doh knife.

Prep Time: this one you don’t have to do any pre-set up!  Except for shredding paper… But we get ours from a staff member’s husband who is a professor and shreds stuff at school.

Coloring Table

Little Explorers Crayon Table | Miss Meg's Storytime

The picture isn’t great for this one so hopefully I can explain it well enough… This is just a table set on the floor without the legs up with plain paper taped on the top.  I made some homemade crayons with little broken crayon pieces we had donated and set them out for the kids to draw and color and explore!  The crayons were made in a muffin tin and cooked at 275 for about 16ish minutes.  There are a lot of diy crayon tutorials online to look up!  (I initially googled “crayons from crayons” and somehow google knew what I was getting at…)

Little Explorers Crayon Table | Miss Meg's Storytime

The crayon table was near the noodle area so toward the end it ended up being a little bit of a crayon and noodle collage :)

Prep Time: 30 minutes (if you soak the crayons in water it is so easy to take their wrappers off before you cook them!! Really saves time)

Baby Zone

Little Explorers Baby Zone | Miss Meg's Storytime

Baby zone was a very low key area of the room.  I set up some fleece fabric scraps I had from previous projects into a patchwork type layout, put some board books out and foam pieces that were used year ago for a project of some sort.

Prep Time: 10 minutes, maybe


All in all, this was a super successful program, but it did take quite a bit more prep time than I put into our regular playgroup.  We will be meeting monthly through the spring and will probably continue it beyond that.

Do you do a sensory playgroup or storytime? I’d love to hear about it! What do you call it, what do you include, how is it received?

GoNoodle in the Library

GoNoodle in the Library

**this post is in no way sponsored by GoNoodle, although I did ask their permission to make sure they were okay with me posting it**


I may be a bit behind the bandwagon but I have recently discovered GoNoodle— and luckily in the middle of a 7 week music & movement session.  I first saw it mentioned on the Storytime Underground facebook page and immediately spent over an hour watching all of the different videos.

For those that have never heard of it, Go Noodle is a web site that “helps teachers and parents get kids moving with short interactive activities”.  It is originally designed for K-5 classrooms but I use many videos for my pre-k groups, although it takes more time to find those videos most appropriate for the younger crowd. When I googled ideas nearly all of them were for older kids in a classroom setting, whereas my focal point was the 2-5 year olds.  So, after a lot of ‘research’ I have compiled a list of some of my favorite GoNoodle songs for pre-school age.

Using GoNoodle in the Library | Miss Meg's Storytime

First, you will need to make a free (There is a paid plus account but I have no tried that yet) educator account.  A cool thing about GoNoodle is after you use it in a library program you can inform caregivers that they can  make their own accounts (as kids or parents) and keep on dancing at home!

In order to watch the videos you will need a computer, access to the internet, and a screen such as a projector or interactive whiteboard set up in your programming room.

*There is a paid plus account but I have no tried that yet*

After you create your account you will need to set up a classroom– I just named mine Music & Movement.  Up at the top of your page you should see a menu bar that includes “Explore”, “Categories”, and “Channels”.  These three areas are where you will find your videos.  I highly recommend just playing around to figure out how everything works.  It is a kid friendly interface, though, and not that hard to navigate. Now that you have an account let’s look at some of my favorites.  Each video has the name of the video and the channel you will find it in.

Miss Meg’s Favorite GoNoodle Videos

For ages 2-5 in a library program

Action & High Energy Videos

Wobbly Man- Koo Koo Kanga Roo

Slo-Mo Machine- Koo Koo Kanga Roo

Roller Coaster- Koo Koo Kanga Roo

Too Hot- Zumba Kids (especially good for a crowd of 4-5 year olds)

Om Petalhead in “William Tell Overture”- The Champharmonic

Dance Like This Dude- Awesome Sauce

Ants In Your Pants- Youtube

*as a bonus please watch Disco Brain by Awesome Sauce because it is really hilarious*

Cool Down & Calming Videos

Hug it Out- Maximo

Congratulations- Maximo

Belly Breathe- Youtube (from Sesame Street but on the Youtube channel)

Airtime- Game On (A little bit different concept than just watching a video… you pick grade level K-2 then where you are and breathe as a bubble floats as you breathe and then collect postcards as you go along)

Rainbow Breath- Flow

If you yourself ever feel the need to calm down and collect yourself before a program I recommend Chin Up by the Flow channel!

*another bonus: watch anything with Mr. Catman because also hilarious*


As you watch videos your ‘Champ’ will grow!  I have already been able to max out Om Petalhead:

gonoodle

Let me know if you have any other favorite GoNoodle videos in the comments!  I have yet to sift through them all and loving finding more songs to share in my Music & Movement program.