2016 Goals, Revisited

Do you ever have one of those days?

Do you ever have one of those weeks? Months? Six months?!

Way back at the beginning of 2016, I set some blog goals for myself and I have failed in a truly spectacular fashion. I thought about it every time I reviewed a book on goodreads, but not here. Every time I made a felt board I didn’t post. Every storytime I didn’t publish. Eventually it was easier to just ignore that nagging feeling than it was to do the work to catch up.

Who hasn’t taken on one too many projects and found other things suffering? I neglected my blog, but my programs have flourished. I’ve been doing some really cool things in my library that I can’t wait to (eventually) share with you! But those super cool things have required attention I couldn’t dedicate to other projects, like here, or things I’ve said no to personally and professionally.

I’m a relatively new librarian- just over two years as a professional. It’s hard for me to admit when I’ve got too much and have to step back. I’m still figuring out what “too much” means to me. It’s a balancing act. And I don’t have the years to back this statement up, but I’m going to guess it’s the same for a lot of you too.

So here is my goal for the rest of 2016: Forgive yourself. Acknowledge you cannot possibly do all things at once and that when trying to means something else will suffer, step back, and forgive yourself.

(and maybe eventually remember to share your felt boards on flannel friday because it’s fun)

Preschool Storytime: Eggs

“Eggs” is a theme I find myself repeating time and again. There’s so many cool things that come out of eggs and so many great books about those things!

We read..

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Early Bird by Toni Yuly
Whose Egg? by Guy Troughton

We Sang…

Hello/Goodbye, Friends
If You’re Ready for a Story
C
an You Shake Along With Me?
Shake It to the East
Everyone Can Shake, Shake, Shake

We Wiggled…

Two Little Blackbirds
Open, Shut Them
These Are My Glasses

We Made…

I don’t have an example of my craft but it’s SO EASY and I love it. All you need is brown paper, white paper, glue, and crayons! We tore the brown paper into strips (such a great activity to build those little finger muscles) and glued that down however we wanted to make a next. With the crayons we drew one of the many awesome things we read about in Whose Egg?, one of my favorite nonfiction books.

It Went…

Uuuuum AMAZING! I am a big believer that the librarian/storytime presenter needs to love their topic and this one is so fun for me. I love the books- Toni Yuly is a favorite you’ll see again soon- and I love the craft. Everyone had a great time (almost too great- I did have a third book planned, but we had to skip it).

Preschool Storytime: Kevin Henkes

I LOVE Kevin Henkes so when a new Henkes book appeared on my cart, I took the idea and ran with it.

We read…

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Birds by Kevin Henkes
My Garden by Kevin Henkes
When Spring Comes by (who else?) Kevin Henkes

We sang…

Hello/Goodbye, Friends
If You’re Ready for a Story
F
ive Little Ducks

We wiggled…

Here Comes a Bunny
This is My Garden
Open, Shut Them
These Are My Glasses (spoken)

We made…

Whatever we wanted! I put paint and paper on the tables along with sponges (some cut into shapes), toothbrushes, and chunky paintbrushes. A few kids started tentatively with the brushes but by the end, all of them were stamping the sponges or using the toothbrushes instead. They made some amazing spring-inspired art (mostly mud- the color yellow, red, and green paint become when you mix them with a circle sponge).

It went…

So, so well. Henkes has such a wonderful, soothing quality in storytimes! My Garden was by far the favorite because it was so silly and we had a lot of conversation about things we would plant in our pretend garden. We used my bunny felt board from last week to play Little Mouse. I left it up after storytime and had a lot of kids playing with their caretakers and each other!

Flannel Friday: 5 (or 6) Little Bunnies

This is the easiest flannel board ever! I found these adorable little bunnies in the dollar section at Target ready and waiting for me.

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And they were pretty good… but we can do better.

I play Little Mouse almost every week in storytime. It’s great for interaction and conversation but it’s also excellent for color recognition. With these little bunnies, I thought we’d practice another skill: number recognition!

I cut some numbers out of flannel and now…

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They’re also excellent for vocabulary and learning order numbers: first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth!

My bunnies are still perfectly for a Five Little Bunnies rhyme or Five Little Bunnies Jumping on the Bed… basically anything!

Preschool Storytime: Storytime

Sometimes I don’t theme at all. In those cases, I like to say my storytimes are “storytime themed.” We do all the things you do in storytime!

We read…

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Cat Nap, Toni Yuly
Hug Machine, Scott Campbell
All Year Round, Susan B. Katz

Cat Nap and All Year Round are both new books and they’re both wonderful! Cat Nap provide lots of opportunities for interaction as readers try to find the cats on each page and All Year Round is about shapes and months, two great topics for preschoolers!

We sang…

Hello/Goodbye, Friends
Shake Your Sillies Out
We Shake Along Like This
To the tune of “The Farmer in the Dell”
We shake along like this,
We shake along like this,
With our friends at storytime,
We shake along like this.
(we shake up high like this/down low/really fast/super slow)

We wiggled…

My Thumbs Are Starting to Wiggle
These Are My Glasses (spoken)

We made…

Paper bag puppets! They got a pile of foam stickers, marker, crayons, and a paper bag. We had an army man, a monster, and one hug machine!

And it went…

Things were a little chaotic today! We used our colorful maracas to sing our songs and had some frustration when the colors wanted were not the colors available. Cat Nap had a wonderful calming effect as we were able to redirect our attention to finding the cats and talking about the differences between the older cat and the kitten. We spent more time singing and getting the wiggles out than I had planned, but that was just what we needed to do and it definitely helped!

Preschool Storytime: New Books

I have a tendency to rely too heavily on books I know to be staples of storytime so occasionally I like to have a focus on the newer books on our shelves.

We read…

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The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton
One Family by George Shannon
Rupert Can Dance by Jules Feiffer

We sang…

Hello/Goodbye, Friends
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star*
There Are Ribbons Way Up High*

We wiggled…

My Thumbs Are Starting to Wiggle
These Are My Glasses (spoken)

We made…

Toilet paper heart stamps!
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And it went…

Rupert Can Dance was a HUGE hit! The parents loved One Family but it was a little slow for some of my kids. We enjoyed counting the different objects together and finding their families’ “number.” Many of my storytime kids come from BIG families and it was fantastic to be able to share a family book that acknowledges large families.

* We used my DIY ribbon sticks with two of our songs today, once of which is actually a great bubble song, but works really well for ribbons too!

Preschool Storytime: Award Winners

Typically my favorite themes are the ones that are only obvious to me. For this storytime, I picked award-winning books as well as songs and rhymes that have the Nikki Seal of Approval too.

We read…

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Beekle, The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat
Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena
This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen

We sang…

Hello, Friends (and Goodbye, Friends)
The Itsy Bitsy Spider
The Wheels on the Bus
Skinnamarink

We wiggled…

We Can Jump, Jump, Jump
These Are My Glasses (spoken version)

We made…

Something similar to this (I forgot to take a picture of ours!). We just used construction paper and string for our spiders. When I do crafts with pieces, I put what they need on the table and let them put it together however they want.

And it went…

Really well! If you haven’t used Last Stop on Market Street in storytime, DO IT! They were absolutely entranced by the language and loved pointing out things they saw in each page. And you can sing The Wheels on the Bus afterwards and who doesn’t love that?