Friday, October 28, 2016

Tales for 2s and 3s - Monster Halloween Storytime & Craft!

My first storytime for the 2 and 3 year olds was October 27th so I did a fun monster/Halloween themed storytime! :) 

Here is my storytime & craft outline!

1)   Introduction – This is the Way Our Hands Say Hello (to tune of the Mulberry Bush)

This is the way our hands say hello,
With a clap, clap-clap, Clap, clap-clap
This the way our hands say hello,
With a clap, clap-clap, clap-clap

This is the way our knees say hello,
With a tap tap-tap,
Tap tap-tap
This is the way our knees say hello,
With a tap tap-tap, tap-tap

This is the way we wave hello,
Wave hello, wave hello
This is the way we wave hello,
So early in the morning

2)   Book #1 – Go Away Big Green Monster

This is such a classic book and perfect for this age range. The book is great because the children can participate and tell each part of the monster to "GO AWAY!" It's also great because it identifies colors, which children should be pretty familiar with at this age. 

3)   Song: Spooky Loo on the CD, Wee Sing for Halloween

Here we go Spook-y Loo, Here we go Spook-y Light,
Here we go Spook-y Loo, All on a Hal-low-een night.

You put your right hand in, You put your right hand out, You give you right hand a shake, shake, shake, And you turn your-self a-bout. Oh,

(Chorus after each verse)

2. ...left hand...

3. ...right hand...

4. ...left foot...

5. ...head...

6. ...whole self...

4)   Book 2: Little Monsters

This is an old pop up book from 1986. It might be hard to find in your library but I had to add it here. It is SUCH a cool book. The pop ups are spectacular and at the end, it asks the reader to count how many monsters were in the book. So I asked the children to help me count all the monsters in the book (there were five). Love it! 

5)   Flannel Board Story: Chocolate Chip Ghost

Chocolate Chip Ghost is a sweet little flannel board story that has been told in storytimes for years. It might not fit the monster theme but it's perfect for Halloween time! In this story, the five ghosts have to eat all white foods so they can stay white but the mom runs out of food. The mom goes to the grocery store and before she leaves, she tells the ghosts to not eat anything until she gets back with dinner! Of course, the naughty ghosties are hungry and begin eating different things in their fridge. One ghost eats a strawberry and turns red! I have the children try to guess the color the ghost will turn based on the food they eat. I also have them join in with me and say "Oh no!!" once I flip the ghost over to reveal their color.   Another ghost eats a lemon meringue pie and turns yellow! Oh no!! Finally, the last little ghost looks and looks but doesn't find anything in the cabinets, until he sees a cookie jar on the tallest shelf in the corner. He eats the cookie in a snap and turns chocolate chip colored! Oh no!! Of course the mom then comes home and gives each ghost a glass of milk where they all turn back to white again.  

Here are the words to the story:

Once there was a Mama Ghost and five little ghosts who lived in a spooky old house. They were all a sparkling dazzling white. Mama ghost made sure they stayed so white by letting them eat only white milk.

Once day, just before suppertime, when Mama Ghost looked into the refrigerator, there was no milk for their supper! She quickly got ready to go to the grocery store. Just before she left she told her five little ghosts to be sure not to eat anything, since she would be back with their suppers very soon. With that, she gave them all a kiss and went off to the grocery store.

All went well for a time, but soon the first little ghost said “I’m hungry. I really want something to eat.” And with that, he opened the refrigerator door and found a red ripe strawberry and ate it all up. And he turned bright red. "Oh no!!!"

The second little ghost said “No fair! I’m hungry too.” And opened the refrigerator and found a lemon meringue pie and ate it all up. She turned a bright yellow. "Oh no!!!" 

The third little ghost started crying that he was hungry too and ran to the refrigerator and drank a glass of grape juice and turned purple. What do you think he said? (ask kids to join in) "Oh no!!!"

The fourth little ghost was mad because she was hungry and the only thing left in the refrigerator was a piece of lettuce which she ate, and it turned her green! Oh no!!!

The last little ghost was hungry, hungry, hungry. But when he looked in the refrigerator there was nothing to eat! But he was hungry, hungry, hungry! So he looked in all the drawers, and in all the cabinets, and finally on the very top shelf of a cupboard, there was a cookie jar. And in that cookie jar was one chocolate chip cookie. The little ghost was so hungry that he ate in all up in one snap! And He turned chocolate chip colored! and what did he say? Oh no!!!

Just then Mama Ghost returned from the grocery store with milk for the little ghost’s suppers. My, oh, my! Was she surprised to see all her little ghosties all the colors of the rainbow!

You naughty little ghosties! Come and get your supper right now! So she gave each of them a glass of white milk and each little ghost turned sparkling white again.

6)   Book #2 – Tickle Monster by Edouard Manceau

This is such an awesome book and pairs so well with Go Away Big Green Monster! It is PERFECT for this age range. The book begins with, "Hey Tickle Monster! You don't scare me! If I tickle your horns... you can't poke me!" In this story, the reader is prompted to tickle various parts of a monster and he is deconstructed with each part that is tickled, repurposing the monster parts into a far less threatening scene (feet turn upside down and become trees in a scene, for example). You can prompt children to pretend they are a monster and have parents tickle the various parts on their child as the monster in the story slowly goes away. Parts that are tickled: horns, arms, feet, teeth, tummy, ears, nose, eyes, and finally, head (the last part to go). I love the last few pages of this book too. "And now, if I tickle your head... you're gone! Good-bye Tickle Monster!" -- "Phew! I can finally go to sleep" -- "But if you ever come knocking on my door, Tickle Monster, beware: I will tickle you again!"

It's been a while since I've seen a book that is almost as amazing as Go Away Big Green Monster! This book was a big hit with the kids. 

7)   Halloween Dance on the CD, Golden Records Spooky Halloween HitsThis is the classic 60's song that prompts children to march like a monster, shake their hands like a skeleton, put their arms up like a goblin, and dance like a fairy! It's a really great song to get kids moving. I will note though that some of the sound effects (particularly the monster roaring sounds) may be a little spooky for young children. However, I haven't had any complaints yet and I've played this song at 4 different Halloween storytimes over the years :) Listen to it below:

8)   Quote from Mr. Rogers: Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood. (perfect quote to lead into the playtime!)

9)   Craft & Playtime. The craft for this week was a monster visor. It is made mostly from ellison shapes with the addition of multicolored sticker dots and googly eyes. The beauty of this craft is that not all of them will look alike! I love crafts that don't end up looking all the same. I wish I had a picture of some of the children's visors but I forgot to bring a camera into the program. 

Happy Halloween everyone!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Sarah's Guide to Lapsit

This blog entry was updated on 5/21/2018 to include information about using bubbles in baby storytime!

This storytime is aimed at 0-24 months. At the beginning of each storytime I usually introduce some of our puppets. This gets children out of their shell a little. It also helps to calm any fears they may have about coming to storytime! I make sure every child gets the chance to pet the puppets if they'd like :) 

If I notice we have any new patrons at storytime, I formally introduce myself and also go around the room and do introductions. An introduction may be as simple as going around the room and having the parent/caregiver say the name and age of their child. If the group is small, I may also ask them to share a recent developmental milestone in their child's life. I also make any announcements that I have, like if the storytime session is coming to an end or I may mention any new programs for babies (like 1000 Books Before Kindergarten).

1. Opening Songrepeat the same song every week. Here are two options that I like to use.

Open Shut Them
Open, shut them,
Open, shut them
Give a little clap, clap, clap
Open, shut them, open, shut them
Lay them in your lap, lap, lap

Creepy crawly, creepy crawly,
Right up to your chin, chin, chin
Open up your little mouth
But do not let them in, in in

Welcome Welcome Sung to “Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star”
Welcome, welcome everyone,
Now you’re here let’s have some fun.
First we’ll clap our hands just so, (clap baby’s hands)
Then we’ll bend and touch our toes. (touch baby’s toes)
Welcome, welcome everyone,
Now you’re here let’s have some fun.

2. Book:  Try a unison read if it fits your theme.  If your library has a healthy budget, you can buy several copies of a specific book - enough so that each child and caregiver can read one together. For example, I would give everyone a copy of a board book of either Tubby by Leslie Patricelli, Pat the Bunny, or Moo, Baa, Laa by Sandra Boynton.  You read the copy and everyone follows along! This is a great opportunity for babies to get familiar with the different aspects of reading a book, like turning a page. 

3. Shaker Song - Sung to the tune of “London Bridge" Pass out shakers to the child and adult. If a parent feels their baby is too young to use a shaker, encourage the caregiver to take one to model the proper action. I actually sing this song every week! It really is awesome to see the young toddlers getting acclimated to it. After the kids have gone to enough storytime sessions, it almost becomes second nature to them! :) 

"Shake your shakers, shake, shake, shake,
Shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
Shake your shakers, shake, shake, shake,
Shake your shakers!

Other Verses:
Shake your shakers high, high, high,
Shake your shakers  low, low, low,
Shake your shakers  fast, fast, fast,
Shake your shakers  slow, slow, slow"


Warning: Some shakers may be considered choking hazards because of the beads inside the shaker. It is important to regularly check shakers or other musical instruments to make sure they are not on the brink of breaking open. No level of safety precaution replaces the value of supervision, common sense, and caution on the part of librarians, parents and caregivers.  

4. Book: Any book of your choice

5. Song on CD: I usually choose a song by Wiggleworms or Kathy Reid-Naiman. I also love Raffi's version of "Little Red Wagon." Occasionally I will throw in a more upbeat shaker song like “I Know a Chicken” by Laurie Berkner if the kids in attendance are on the older side. However, you don’t want to play a song that is too upbeat and rowdy for the infants.


6. Book: Any book of your choice

7. Baby Bounce – review the other resources listed at the end of this post. Jbrary especially has great baby bounces. They are also on Youtube.

8. Another Song (And Perhaps Bubbles!) - The way you end your storytime depends on the energy levels of your group and your own comfort level. Sometimes the babies are just TOO squirmy and you may want to just end storytime a little earlier and go straight into playtime. In the past, I've also sometimes sung a Goodbye Bubbles song while turning on a bubble machine. I know some librarians make bubbles a regular routine for their program and blow bubbles while a bubbles song plays on CD in the background. It depends on your own comfort level and how you feel about it! I've had some bad luck with Bubble Machines (always needing batteries and just breaking really easily). My coworkers use a Gymboree bubble wand with a tray.

Benefits of Bubbles: Bubbles are an excellent addition to baby program! Bubbles excite a curiosity in babies that makes them eager to investigate their world with their senses. In addition:
- Watching bubbles for a period of time helps babies recognize patterns.
- Babies may try to reach for and touch the bubbles, helping to develop motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

- Watching bubbles help babies develop visual tracking skills. 

Watch Jbrary present the Goodbye Bubbles song in this helpful video!

9. Playtime! After storytime, I bring out a few toys and let children play for about 20 minutes (you can always go longer but sometimes I have to shorten it if I am on desk at the end of the hour or if there is another program right afterwards). Toys that are really popular with children are the Little Tikes pianos and animal pop up toys. Also the spikey bouncey sensory balls and rubber animals are extremely fun for babies and toddlers. The baby musical instruments and rainmakers are also popular. We recently also got a little Melissa & Doug Playful Puppy that kids enjoy “walking” by pulling the string. I also go around with my puppets and let kids interact with the puppets. (Can you tell how much I love puppets?)

There is no Magic Lapsit Storytime Routine
Also, please know that you don’t have to follow this exact sequence as long as you include at least 1 baby bounce, a song or two on CD, and a couple of books. Do what you feel comfortable with. There is no magic format for a successful Lapsit Storytime. Some librarians do more baby bounces, less books, or more songs. I do however, think it's important to always include early literacy tips as part of your storytime - even if you think the parents might already know the fact or tip you're going to share. It reinforces what they know and helps them feel that they are doing the right thing for their child. I sometimes share early literacy tips while we’re playing with the toys so it feels less instructional or I’ll share them at the end of my last book. 

Sample Early literacy tip:
Babies may just want to mouth the book! That’s okay. When you let your child explore books in the ways that interest her, the reading experience will be more meaningful.

Source: Zero to Three, How to Introduce Toddlers and Babies to Books


This is an incredibly helpful handout that talks about early literacy behaviors (book handling behavior, what type of books infants and toddlers like, and suggestions for ways to share books with babies and toddlers). 

Jbrary has a VERY comprehensive guide with a ton of helpful links to help you do baby storytime. I think you will find it very useful!
This is a very useful guide to lapsit as well! What I love here are the tips on age appropriate toys for playtime following storytime as well as the suggestions for board book sets! 

Excellent information about leading storytime to infants. Could be used for early literacy tips. Just be sure to credit the website you are getting the tip from! 

A great list of some baby bounces from Pierce County Library!

Kathy Reid-Naiman has some great tickle tunes, shaker, and bell songs. Definitely recommend her resources and CDs!