Flannel Friday: Paintbrushes

This week I made and used these super fun paint brushes that I originally saw at Storytime Katie (and she credits Anne’s Library Life).

I use them with Anne’s rhyme too:

I know the colors of the rainbow.
Do you know them too?
If one color were missing,
Would you know which hue?

I start with the paintbrushes in random order and then after a few tries, I mix them up and make it a little harder. I’ve used this one with two preschools and two sets of storytime kids and all of them loved this new game!

You can find this week’s round-up at Storytime with Miss Mollie!

Toddler Storytime: Ducks

It turns out there aren’t actually that many duck books for toddlers, so we ended up doing more a general bird theme.

We read…

What Will Hatch? by Jennifer Ward
A Good Day by Kevin Henkes
One Duck Stuck by Phyllis Root

We sang…
Well, Hello Everybody
Can You Shake Along With Me?
Shake Your Shakers
If You’re Happy and You Know It

We wiggled…
Open, Shut Them
Dance Your Fingers Up
This is Big, Big, Big
Two Little Duckies (it’s Two Little Blackbirds… but with ducks!)

We played…

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Why, Five Little Ducks, of course! I managed to forget the words completely, so I asked my patrons to help me out and an older brother of one of the toddlers lead us through the rhyme. It was great, I couldn’t have planned it better!

We made…

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Credit: Domestic Mommyhood

We painted ducks with yellow paint and pom poms! This is one of my favorite crafts to do because gripping the clothespins and using them to pick up the pom poms is so great for fine motor skills. I do use the pom poms instead of cotton balls because I’ve found the cotton balls will unwind or fall apart when too much paint is used (and 100% of toddlers will use too much paint). It’s an easy craft that you can use with literally anything. It makes really lovely textures too!

Our literacy tip…

Even when your child isn’t sitting still or looking at the book, they’re still listening and absorbing what’s going on around them. Moving and playing is how young kids learn and interact with the world.

Toddler Storytime: Dogs

We had a LOT of barking through storytime because we read books all about dogs today!

We read…

Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill
I Love Dogs! by Sue Stainton and Bob Staake
I’m the Best by Lucy Cousins

We sang…
Well, Hello Everybody
Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
If You’re Happy and You Know It

We wiggled…
Open, Shut Them
Dance Your Fingers Up
This is Big, Big, Big

 We played…

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Little fox, little fox, are you in the purple box? A fox looks like a weird choice for a dog theme, but foxes are members of the canidae family! So there’s a little science to throw into your storytime. Plus, he’s really cute.

We made…

Paperbags + crayons = puppets! We had some very cute ones and I never manage to grab any pictures. I suggested dogs, since we’d looked at picture books of several, but we had people puppets too. All of them were lovely.

Our literacy tip…

We repeat the same songs every week to help little ears learn and remember new vocabulary.

Flannel Friday: Little Fox

My love of Little Mouse games is no secret– and I’ve got another new one today! This is one I’ve been meaning to make since I saw it on erinisinire’s blog and I’m so glad I finally got around to it. This is little fox and his birthday boxes.

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The boxes are so simple to make and they look so cute when they’re put together. They’re just three pieces. To make it even easier for you, I’ve attached the pattern I made for these so you can make your own!

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I made little fox using clip art I found on google images. Someone who’s a better artist than me could probably freehand him because he’s pretty simple. A little puffy paint for the eyes and nose and you’re all set!

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There are a few ways you could mix up the rhyme. Your more traditional little fox game:
Little fox, little fox
Are you under the (color) box? 

Or maybe he’s been invited to a party:
Little fox, little fox,
Did you bring the (color) box?

Or it’s his birthday:
Little fox, little fox, 
Will you open the (color) box? 

You can find this week’s round-up at Storytime in the Stacks!

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Toddler Storytime: Bunnies

I continued with my animal themes this month and did a storytime with bunnies!

We read…

 

 

 

 

Life Size Farm by Teruyuki Komiya
Little White Rabbit by Kevin Henkes

We sang…
Well, Hello Everybody
 Old MacDonald
If You’re Happy and You Know It
Bunny Hop

We wiggled…
Open, Shut Them
Dance Your Fingers Up
This is Big, Big, Big

We played…

We did two activities with my Little Bunnies. First, we did the rhyme Hippity Hop, Hippity Hay and we used all six bunnies. Later, I brought them back out and we played a Little Mouse style game with a hidden carrot. We only used bunnies 1, 2, and 3 for this. Some of the older siblings of my toddlers are good with number recognition, but the youngest are still relying on colors to identify which bunny they wanted to look under. I didn’t want them to get confused or frustrated with having two of each color on the board.

We made…

Some VERY cute bunny noses! These were a big hit. I encouraged the grown-ups to let their child fold the pipe cleaners themselves and a lot of them were surprised how well their littles did. This is a great craft for those fine motor skills. Plus, there’s gluesticks, and what three year old doesn’t love a good glue stick?

Our literacy tip…

Nonfiction isn’t just for big kids. Younger children love learning new things and getting answers to their questions. Our nonfiction collection is a great place to browse.

An Ode to Bulletin Boards

I love bulletin boards.

I hate bulletin boards.

I love combing Pinterest for clever ideas, I love creating the pieces- from book covers to flower to letters- by hand, I love the finished product.

I hate hanging bulletin board paper. I hate hanging bulletin board paper SO MUCH that I resist changing my bulletin board for weeks (*cough*months*cough*) at a time. I’ve been working at my library for close to three years; in that time, I’ve hung maybe six bulletin boards. Of those, I was proud of three and I’d like to contribute my ideas to the hive mind of storytime librarians.

The “Intentionally Designed to Leave Up for Months” Bulletin Board

The letters were cut from gardening magazines. I used Century Gothic in 500 pt font and cut them by hand because that somehow seems easier than asking the branch that stores the Ellison Die letters to send them to me.

The leaves (Ellison Die) and flowers (handmade stencils) are made from picture book covers, both ones I printed myself and some sent to me by our collections department just for crafting.

The “Wait, Is Pokemon Cool Again?” Bulletin Board

I went old school for this one and traced the characters using a projector. I painted them by hand (which is why Clefairy looks like she’s wearing pants… sorry, Clefairy). It was super relaxing, I would paint five more giant Pokemon right now and love it.

I made the border in Publisher by overlapping Pokeballs on a sheet of 11×17 paper and printing them out in sets of five. I just flipped them to change the orientation for the sides and top.

The letters are again Century Gothic in size 500 font (because I have really convinced myself it’s easier to cut them by hand than to send a single email to one person and ask for the Ellison Die letters. I’m hopeless). I used a Pokemon character computer wallpaper and traced the letters onto it.

The “I Always Regret Doing Thematic Bulletin Boards Because I Have to Change Them Sooner Than I Want To,” Women’s History Month Bulletin Board

This one was actually a ton of fun to make. I repurposed my giant Century Gothic stencils and pinned them to the paper, then sponge painted around them. Then I carefully covered everything, including myself, with paint smocks and threw every color of paint at it for a while.

Pro-tip: it will 100% get on the walls anyway. Acrylic paint wipes off with wet paper towel easily but ONLY if you clean it immediately. Got that part?

Mess aside, it looks really cool. Here’s a close-up to prove it:

I made a big ol’ list of women I like and who inspire me and the kinds of women I want the girls I meet in the library to aspire to be like. I sent it around to a few friends and co-workers because it was important to me to present a diverse view of what women can look like, what they can do, and who they can be.

Bulletin boards are a great way to express to the community what your library values, whether it’s the skills you’re trying to help kids attain, programs you provide, or the diversity of the community you serve, and I love seeing what I can create and what others can create.

But, man, do I hate putting up bulletin board paper.

Toddler Storytime: Fish

I work with two other fabulous children’s librarians and each month we each take a turn doing one of our three weekly programs: Preschool Storytime, Toddler Storytime, and H-Club, our homeschool program for school age children. This month, I’m covering Toddler Storytime. We started with books about fish!

We read…

 

 

 

 

Hooray for Fish! by Lucy Cousins
Rain Fish by Lois Ehlert

We sang…
Well, Hello Everybody
We Wave Our Scarves Together
There are Scarves in the Air

We wiggled…
Popcorn Kernels
Open, Shut Them

We played…

We borrowed Little Mouse’s houses and played with Little Shark instead!

We made…

http://sarahmeredithclassroom.blogspot.com/2013/10/here-at-our-school-fish-bulletin-board.html

We used crayons instead of paint because our craft time usually goes pretty quickly and I hate making grown-ups leave with their arms full of kids and wet paint!

Our literacy tip…

Using scissors is a great way to strengthen the muscles that will help your child learn to write. Even if they can’t cut perfectly yet, it’s still good practice.