So as of today it has been a little over two months since I started Miss Meg’s Storytime. I have already learned so much about website design, storytimes, and the librarian blogging community in this short time. I have started posting for Flannel Friday and in July I plan on hosting. I am beyond excited for the future of this website, and more importantly, my future as a librarian.
I have about only 3 storytimes left at my current job and shortly after I start a full-time LTE position at the library I did my youth services practicum at last summer. After that I have honestly no idea what’s in store for me. Hopefully a full-time children’s librarian somewhere in the continental U.S.! I’ve never been out of the midwest so maybe I’ll do some exploring :)
There are also only 3 weeks left of my semester. Three weeks left of school after being in school for the past 19 years. Crazy! I have no idea what I will do without the lingering feeling of homework, papers, registration, and classes to fill my time and mind. That being said, I do have a lot of homework, papers, and a few classes left that need to be given my full attention for the next couple of weeks. I am going to try and finish this semester strong. Because of this I will be taking a bit of a hiatus from Miss Meg’s Storytime. I really enjoy doing this website and interacting with other children’s librarian’s bloggers but right now I need to stay focused on school so I can get my MLS and really rock this library thing :)
Space Storytime! At storytime this week we went outta this world and explored space and the solar system! Now, as someone who learned about Pluto during school it was very hard for me to decide whether or not to include Pluto in my songs and fingerplays this week. I decided against it, but boy did that feel wrong!
Anyways, storytime went very smoothly and even though space might be a foreign topic to 2 and 3 year olds they really enjoyed climbing into our pretend rocketships and learning about the planets!
Space Picture Books
Bugs in Space: Starring Captain Bug Rogers
by David A. Carter
Mousetronaut: Based on a (partially) true story
by astronaut Mark Kelly, Illus. by C.F. Payne
Light up the Night
by Jean Reidy, Illus. by Margaret Chodos-Irvine
do you want to go up with me to the moon? point to kids then to self then to sky
let’s get in our rocket ship and blast off soon! pretend to climb in ship, swish hands
faster and faster we reach to the sky! jump and reach
isn’t it fun to be able to fly?
we’re on the moon, now all take a look look around
and gently sit down and i’ll show you a book
One little two little three little planets
Four little five little six little planets
Seven little planets and here’s the eight planet
Orbiting the sun.
Mercury Venus and the earth
Mars Jupiter and Saturn
Uranus and here is Neptune
orbiting the sun
I added the planets in order as they came up in the song… for the first verse I laid them down without the names of the planets (they are velcroed on) and then for the second verse added the names. source disclaimer: rhyme originally came with 9 planets and so the new lyricsa re a tiny bit muddled
At storytime this week we escaped to the circus for a clown and circus storytime! Well, at least we pretended to with some fun and imaginative books, fingerplays, and activities. I actually forgot our opening song, Hi, Hello and was kindly interrupted and reminded as I started reading the first book that I had forgotten :)
Circus by Lois Ehlert
by Dayle Ann Dodds, Illus. by Pierre Pratt
Today I feel Silly & other moods that make my day by Jamie Lee Curtis, Illus. by Laura Cornell
Song of the Circus
by Lois Duncan, Illus. by Meg Cundiff
If you chance to meet a frown, Do not let it stay–
Quickly turn it upside down, And smile that frown away.
No one likes a frowning face, Change it for a smile–
Make the world a better place, By smiling all the while.
“I’m a Little Clown” source
(To the Tune of “I’m a little teapot”)
I’m a little clown, short and fat.
Here is my tummy, (rub tummy)
Here is my hat. (touch head)
I can do a trick as you will see,
Just turn around and look at me. (turn around, point, take a bow).
Flannelboard and Extension Activities
I found this great “Tell & Draw” story from Vivian the Librarian and have never done anything like this so I thought I’d give it a try! I altered a little bit from what she had and it worked really well for me. Instead of drawing the different parts on a white board I had them prepared construction pieces and just taped them up. It would also work well as a flannel board instead of construction paper. Here is a picture of the end of the tell and draw:
“Five Funny Clowns”
The library actually had these clowns in their storytime folders and I was not able to figure out their original source for ya’ll but I thought I would share it anyways because it is cute!
Five funny clowns, juggling balls galore
one tripped and fell, then there were four
four funny clowns, up on a trapeze
one jumped off, then there were three
three funny clowns blowing up balloons
one ran away, and then there were two
Two funny clowns, chewing bubble gum,
one left to get some more, then there was one
one funny clown, having lots of fun
the circus is over, now there are none Craft
This week during craft we talked a lot about shapes and colors! I realized while going through storytime stuff of the past year that we practice our counting, alphabet, and colors a lot but not shapes as much.
For set up I cut out a bunch of foam pieces into triangles, circles, ovals, squares, and rectangles. I then had them each divided up onto plates. Before craft started the kids helped me label each plate with the appropriate shape!
We then used the shape pieces to make a clown face on a paper plate. We had some fun paper plates at the library so we used those instead of just plain white ones (although those would work great too!)
And since glitter glue is a favorite in our storytime I had some set out for them to decorate with after they added their shapes. When each kid was done with their clown they came and showed me what they made and we talked about what shapes they used. It was very successful and easy!
It’s Skippyjon Jones- The Siamese cat who believes he is a Chihuahua! When Skippyjon’s imagination takes over he is departed to a whole new world, where he is known as El Skippito and is full of his best chihuahua friends. These brilliant and hilarious books by Judy Schachner mix in fun Spanish words and helps kids explore other worlds like the circus, space, and dinosaurs!
I’ve been using Skippyjon Jones for my outreach storytimes and he has been a huge hit amongst these preschool aged children! The books are a bit long though so I would avoid them for toddler’s. There are also concept books– in board book form– that are more appropriate for the younger crowd.
The library I work at has a Skippyjon Jones backpack that kids are able to check out. The backpack includes this costume set and I have found it to be a very popular addition to storytime.
Since doing a craft is hard when doing outreach a Skippyjon Jones activity book for the kids. The Skippyjon website has a lot of great printable resources and I just took a bunch of these and made into a mini book. I basically just printed out a bunch of the printables in their “Downloads” section and made a bunch of copies. I then made a front page that said “Thank you for joining Skippyjon Jones and Miss Meg” and then a last page that had all of remaining storytime dates and themes for this session. If you go to the “For Teachers” section there are a few more printables to download and some more information about the books.
The website also has nametag templates that you can kind of see in that great selfie of me up above.
In order to try and channel the sunshine to Wisconsin, our theme last week was Caterpillars and Butterflies! Our nametags were butterflies and we started with our normal Opening Song, Hi, Hello. The library that I work at has an adorable butterfly puppet that turns into a caterpillar from Folkmanis. I used this to help introduce our theme and explain the lives of caterpillars and butterflies.
Fluttering Picture Books:
Waiting for Wings
by Lois Ehlert
The Very Hungry Caterpilalr
by Eric Carle
Dora the Explorer, So Many Butterflies
by Lara Bergen, Illus. by Warner McGee
Caterpillar Spring, Butterfly Summer
by Susan Hood
Songs and Fingerplays
“My Friendly Caterpillar”
I also used the butterfly puppet for this fingerplay. source
My friendly Caterpillar Fingers crawl up arm.
Made its cocoon one day. Close hands together.
It turned into a butterfly Open hands with thumbs hooked together.
And quickly flew away. Flap hands.
“Two Little Butterflies”
Two little butterflies sitting on a hill
One name Jack, and one name Jill
Fly away Jack, Fly away Jill
Come back Jack, Come back Jill
Cloud… Soft.. Loud
Stick… slow… quick
A template for the butterflies is available here! (this is my first time trying to share a google doc link– if it doesn’t work please tell me and I will add it another way!)
The first to come to the garden bed
is a lovely butterfly of brilliant RED
Then in comes another and that makes two
Fly right in, my friend of BLUE
This garden is fine, the best I’ve seen
says the butterfly of the softest GREEN
Our garden needs a sunny fellow
Fly in butterfly, with wings of yellow
Little friend of PURPLE, fly in too
the garden is waiting for a color like you
Hello ORANGE, we’ve waited so long
fly in, right where you belong
Butterflies, Butterflies, you’re such a sight
Flying together with such delight!
After we did the rhyme and counted the butterfly’s I had another activity with the butterflies. I had hidden a caterpillar behind one of the butterflies and each kid guessed which color butterfly had the caterpillar. We then did this rhyme in order to check for the caterpillar:
Knock, Knock, Knock
Little caterpillar, little caterpillar
Are you behind the ______ Butterfly?
and then turn it over to see if the caterpillar is there!
And our caterpillar was behind the PURPLE butterfly! The kids loved this activity and I plan to incorporate it into more flannels.
Butterfly Sun Catcher! Printable (again a google doc link so let me know if it doesn’t open!)
I printed the butterflies out on different colored paper and cut out the outline. I then used contact paper and stuck it to the back of the butterfly, sticky side up. The children then had a lot of tissue paper colors to choose from to stick to their butterfly! For the open spots they didn’t cover with tissue paper they added glitter. The finish touch was to add black pipe cleaners as anntanae.
I’m new to the storytime and library scene. And by new I mean I haven’t even graduated from library school yet (MAY 13 — so soon!!!). I work part-time doing one storytime weekly and a very small, rural town about 40 minutes from where I live. I do not have the stress and anxiety of planning programming and storytimes weekly while still doing other librarian jobs. Because of that, I have a bit more flexibility in my planning. I plan storytimes for fun. Seriously, I’d rather do this than my homework any day. “Hmm… On one hand I can find an adorable craft and fingerplay for our butterfly storytime coming up or I can do my cataloging homework…” (actually, cataloging is my favorite class this semester, weird).
That being said, I have looked at a lot of storytime resources, pinterest crafts, and blogs. I know what I’m doing (or at least I have a nice allusion). And I have an opinion about crafts and how I prefer them to be done.
I prefer storytime crafts to have more freedom than structure. I encourage the kids to use their imagination– go ahead– make your monkey purple! Add 6 googly eyes to your monster! Your fish is riding a surfboard?! GREAT! When I plan out storytimes I try to make it so that kids can interpret it their own way. I have a basic plan and idea but then let them go their own way with it.
A good example of this was our recent monster craft. I gave the kids colored styrofoam balls, google eyes, plastic straws, pipe cleaners, glitter, and glitter glue and let them do whatever they wanted for their monster. And I got some great results.
To me, the point of a craft in storytime is the actual doing not the end result. It’s okay if your dog doesn’t necessarily look like a dog as long as you had fun being creative.
Because of this, I try to stay away from the crafts that could look adorable and fit with the theme, but maybe don’t have a lot of substance or opportunity for creativity. I’d rather kids have fun with what their doing and create a purple monkey than just glue pieces together to create the same exact thing as their neighbor.
Now, I understand that this is not what everyone wants nor is it always possible. I do think that some more simple and more constricting crafts can often teach early literacy and fine motor skills and those are great resources. I just have a problem with doing a craft that looks cute or would be easy to clean up if it doesn’t give any chances for creativity or learning.
My passion is to push kids to explore their creativity through books, songs, fingerplays, and crafts.
Please give me your thoughts, feedback, constructive criticism and what not! Like I said, I’m new here– there is always room for improvement.