Monday, November 23, 2009

Storytelling 101

I got so many good ideas from that Early Literacy conference. Here's another one.

You know when you've been out (like to the library) and you're headed home just about at naptime. You're thinking to yourself No! Don't fall asleep in the car! You'll never take a decent nap when we get home! Here's a wonderful way to keep your little one awake and build verbal and narrative skills along the way. But don't think of it in those edu-speak terms. Just think of it as fun!

Use this format to start a story:

Once upon a time there was a ________________. (Your child fills in the blank.)
And one day he was ______________________.
He was wearing a _____________________.
He (or probably "they" by now) went to _____________________.
He/they found a ________________________.
This happened (you make up the event), so they decided to________________.
Finally ________________________________.
The End

I asked my 13-year-old to pretend she's three, and this is what she said.

Once upon a time there was a fairy. And one day she was flying. She was wearing a flower petal dress. She went to Peter Pan's house. They found a pony. They pony was lost and afraid so they decided to help it find its master. Finally, they found its master who was an indian. The End

Funny thing is, that's exactly what she would have said at three. She lived and breathed Peter Pan at the time.

Grab your kid and try this story framework. Write his/her story in the comments and lets share it with each other!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Scary Week at the Library

No, not really. We just read stories about being scared.

Preschool Storytime

Our stories were about scary things - the dark, being worried, being separated from Mom, that sort of thing. We read:

Come Along, Daisy - by Simmons. Such a great book for impressing on them how important it is to stay close.
Wemberly Worried - by Henkes. I think we can learn something from this book too!
Zee is Not Scared - by Gay. I got a lot of giggles with this one.
Can't You Sleep Little Bear? - by Waddell. A few kids told me this was their favorite. It's so much fun to read aloud!

I told Go Away Big Green Monster with a velcro puppet. The kids are very good at yelling "Go away!!!"

We also went on a Lion Hunt (like a bear hunt: "We're going on a bear hunt. I'm not afraid!")

Toddler Time

This week we got to do Looby Loo because we didn't have such a huge crowd. Although I think the people that got scared away from Thursday last week came on Wednesday instead. That group was bigger than normal, and we only had about 20 kids on Thursday.

We read a couple of favorites - Dinosaur Roar and Clip, Clop. I love it when some kids come running in and one of the most important things for them to see is which books I'm going to read. Do you realize how valuable that is for them to get all excited about reading when they're two?

Baby Time

Today we were commenting to each other how fun it is that the three six/seven month olds are all sitting up and looking so grown up. They've lost their infant look and are taking on little girl and little boy features. So sweet!

Next week we'll have Storytimes as usual on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday, have a wonderful Thanksgiving, hug your family and thank God for such a blessing!

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Great Idea!

At the Early Literacy workshop I mentioned that I attended, I heard about a great idea for helping little ones learn to recognize words. Find a small photo album, the type with sleeves to slip pictures into. Take pictures of family members and close friends and slip the photo into one side of the page, and slip a paper with the person's name into the sleeve across from the picture. The child can look through the album and learn to recognize the names of people special to him/her. Why didn't I think of that?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

We Set a New Record!

Wow! On Thursday we had 54 kids and 35 adults for Toddler Time! Please know that was not the norm (obviously, since it was a record), and it was most likely due to the library being closed the day before. If you or your child was rather blown away by the crowd, try again next week and I'm sure it will be much less intimidating. Then again, maybe your child thought it was awesome to be part of such a high energy group! Every child is different, and figuring that out is part of the fun.

Toddler Time

No new rhymes, though I was a little embarrassed when I intended to do a new fall-themed rhyme and I couldn't remember how it started.

Thanks to the mom who jumped up to help pass out the maracas! That saved a few minutes with that many kids. And I'm sorry that we couldn't do Ring Around the Rosie like I meant to. It just wouldn't have worked with 90 people trying to walk in a circle.

Preschool Storytime

It's too bad we didn't have Preschool Storytime on Wednesday. I introduced a new theme of "Staying Healthy." When I scheduled it, I didn't realize the Library would be closed that Wednesday. I found some fun new books on the subject of germs and catching colds.

Felicity Floo Visits the Zoo by Redmond. This was particularly fun because Felicity Floo, after wiping her nose with her hand, leaves nasty, shiny green handprints all over the animals at the zoo and makes them come down with such BIG colds that they name it the "Floo".

Germs Are Not For Sharing by Verdick. This talks about using a tissue, washing your hands to the ABC song, and refraining from kisses when you have a cold.

Farm Flu by Bateman. A cute story about a child trying to take care of all the sick animals on the farm until he notices how much they're enjoying being catered to. When he tells them "No more TV, popcorn and games," they miraculously are cured!

Harold's Runaway Nose by Sonnenschein. Poor Harold freaks out when his mom give him medicine to "get rid of his red stuffy nose" and then tells him it's running. He takes off to find his missing nose.

I passed out a tissue to each child and we did the "Touch Your Nose" rhyme and sneezed into it. We also did Greg & Steve's "Freeze Game."

Baby Time

Did you know that babies can learn music as early as in the womb? I read a story about a man who was the son of a professional cellist. He heard a piece of classical music for the first time, but couldn't figure out why it was so familiar to him. Turns out his mother had rehearsed it while pregnant with him.

I point this out to say that it's never too early to bring your baby to Baby Time. Even if they can't quite hold their heads up, they're hearing and learning the music, rhythms and language. It all counts!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Library Closed Wednesday

Just a reminder that the library is closed for Veteran's Day on Wednesday.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Great Website

I attended an Early Literacy workshop a couple of weeks ago and found about this great website. Tell Me a Story is through the King County Library system. This site has a bazillion rhymes and fingerplays, and the best part is that many of them have video so you can see and hear how to do them. You know how you see a fingerplay and can't quite remember the melody or every motion that goes along with it? Well, somehow they got their Storyladies to stand in front of a wall in a conference room and do their stuff while the video camera rolled. It's almost kind of funny, but SO helpful!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I Got Hugs!

Yes, a little boy gave me several today, and they were SO sweet! And another little boy who has been very quiet up til now is very proud of himself that he can come up and say "Hi, Mith Tewetha!

Preschool Storytime

Our stories this week were about the weather, and rain in particular. We started with a favorite author, Robert Munsch.

Mud Puddle, by Munsch - Always silly. He's a master at making repetitive lines funny.
In the Middle of the Puddle, by Thaler - Did you know he lives in Portland? I saw him at MudPuddles once. He's most famous for his Black Lagoon series.
A Rainbow Of My Own, by Freeman - I love the idea of a pet rainbow!
Rain Talk, by Serfozo - Can you say bupbupbupbupbup really fast?

I told the Aesop's Fable of the North Wind and the Sun with stick puppets, and did It Looked Like Spilt Milk (by Shaw) on the flannel board.

We did the finger play "Rain for the Garden" and jumped in the puddle, and also the song "There is Thunder."

Toddler Time

I read the stories Come Along Daisy, by Simmons, and The Three Little Kittens, by Siomades.

I also introduced a lap bouncing song. Last week I did it with the babies and called it "I Had a Little Mousie," but I'm going to change it to "Bounce Upon My Knees" because I think I'm going to be making up LOTS of verses for it.

Let's see...

I had a little mousie who never would eat his cheese...
I had a little doggie who never would scratch his fleas...
I had a little elephant who never wanted to sneeze...
I had a little ice cube who never wanted to freeze...
I had a little rabbit who never would eat his peas...

Got any more ideas?

Baby Time

It's so much fun seeing these little guys sit up for the first time, or really get excited about a song. Every week they grow and change show off some new skill.

Please don't be afraid to bring along an older sibling with your baby. Hearing the rhymes and songs is great for toddlers and preschoolers. They can either play with balls and blocks that I have for them in the back of the room, or do what Mommy does with a doll or stuffed animal.