On motivation, or lack thereof

On motivation, or lack thereof

It snowed last week.

Today I opened my jeep door and it swung violently out in the wind.

There are some days that I see only a handful of kids before school lets out.

Gone are the busy days of summer reading, and with it my motivation to blog.  Music and Movement kept me going for awhile.  It was fun and exciting and new and seeing the kids and parents happy with the program left me feeling excited to share it with all of you.

So of course, when I’m feeling unmotivated to share and make a conversation about being a children’s librarian I go to my twitter friends, and as it turns out I wasn’t the only one feeling this way:

So, until I think of a fun challenge or get excited about storytime’s again (or plan them more than the day before) here is a picture of my perfect kitten (who is actually pretty naughty):

Music & Movement: the plan

Music & Movement: the plan

We are now in the fifth of sixth weeks in our music & movement program.  I blogged about it previously here, where you can learn from my mistakes and mishaps. Now I am going to go more in depth on what we have actually been doing in the program.

Music & Movement

To start off, I have an awesome assistant, who we will call Lady Barnacle as requested, who helps pass out props, does the motions, assists in reading stories, and changes the songs when need be.  I also have an iPod that has helped tremendously with this program.  I can just add the songs I want to a playlist and don’t have to scramble with switching CD’s.  It’s also great to be able to just pick out specific songs on iTunes that I want instead of buying an entire album.

As I mentioned in my previous music & movement post, I start out each time with a little spiel about what the parents should expect from the class:

Music and movement is supposed to be noisy and a little bit crazy!  Parents, you are encouraged to participate with your young one to model the importance of active play.  We hope to learn some new concepts including following directions, rhyme and rhythm, and creative play!

My last post also discusses our stretches and warm up but I am going to re-post them here- sorry for any repetition!

Keeping a Beat:
Sing your ABC’s
Count to 10 forwards and backwards
Count again while doing clapping our legs to the beat with our hands (can someone tell me what this called!? we just had a discussion at work and cannot figure out a term for this activity)
March in place

Stretches (while working on our breathing)
Straddle, reach hands up and forwards and to each side
Arm swings
Lay on our bellies and fly
Lift up with our arms
Downward dog
Cat, Cow stretch
Lay on our backs, leg lift
Jump 5 times on command
5 Jumping Jacks (side note: teaching small children jumping jacks is very amusing)

After we are all warmed up and have our heart rates going we get into the dancing!

I have a few really good recorded songs we’ve been using but if you have any recommendations for what worked with your group please pass them on!

Jump Up, Turn Around by Jim Gill is a huge hit and a great opener because it goes slow enough but also gets us into the following directions mode.

We also have really enjoyed Dancing Face and Hop Hippity Hop by Justine Clarke.  Dancing Face is a good one for working our face muscles!

The Chicken Dance and Hokey Pokey were also big hits once we learned the dance moves.

Kidz Bop has a version of Thriller which we danced to with scarves, and Party Rock Anthem where we used homemade wrist ribbons.

Last week we learned the Robot and danced to that!

We have also been using props such as the previously mentioned scarves and wrist ribbons, egg shakers, musical instruments, and a parachute.

The program usually lasts around 40 minutes, combining songs, activities, and props.  I have been ending with an active storyand that has been working really well to cool the kids down. The stories we have done are:

Can you make a scary face is everyone ready for fun You are a Lionsleepy little yoga

After our story we do the same warm up stretches and then we say goodbye!

I have been getting a lot of positive feedback on this from parents and kids.  I definitely think it was a need in my community and plan on doing another 6 week session in the spring.  Always looking for more ideas so send anything you have my way!

Night Storytime

Night Storytime

Even though we have storytime in the morning I decided to use some of the new books on our shelf and have a night themed storytime!

Nighttime Picture Books

don't let the pigeon stay up late
Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late by Mo Willems
it is night
It Is Night by Phyllis Rowand (full disclosure: I found this story a clunky read aloud and kind of strange…would not recommend)
the night parade
Night Parade by Lily Roscoe, illus. by David Walker (LOVED this book and it worked well in baby storytime as well!)
sleepy little yoga
Sleepy Little Yoga by Rebecca Whitford, illus. by Martina Selway

Nighttime Songs & Rhymes

Moon Rhyme
source: Library Village

Do you want to go up with me to the moon?
[Point to friend, self, then to sky]
Let’s get in our rocket ship and blast off soon!
[Pretend to climb in ship
Faster and faster we reach to the sky.
[Jump and reach]
Isn’t it fun to be able to fly?
[Stretch arms out]
We’re on the moon, now all take a look.
[Look down]
Sit back down, and I’ll read you a book.
[All sit down]

Ten in the Bed

There were ten in a bed
And the little one said
“Roll over, roll over”
So they all rolled over
And one fell out

There were nine in a bed
and the little one said
“roll over, roll over”
so they all rolled over
and one fell out

continue counting down…
…there was one in the bed and the little one said “goodnight”

Every storytime we dance to Shake your Sillies Out by the Wiggles and Icky Sticky Bubble Gum by David Landau… this week we did that as well but added glow sticks!


Well… as this was the week after Halloween our craft was to decorate leftover pumpkins!  Not exactly night themed but they kids had fun going crazy with glitter and stickers on their pumpkins!