Tuesday, October 29, 2013

ABC Caterpillar

We have incorporated the 5 components of ECRR in our storytimes at my library and so we have increased the emphasis on recognizing the alphabet symbols as well as their sounds.  I recently made my own set of an adorable alphabet caterpillar to use with all ages of our preschool kiddos. The original idea came from Shelley Lovett at childcareland.com. She has an awesome site!  I made my set as a color pattern and alphabet set so I could turn them over and use just the color side with the toddlers. I talk about the alphabet and put up the caterpillar face and have the kiddos bring up the letters to add to the board as we all say the alphabet together.  It's a big hit! I used a diecut to make about 2 inch circles and a 1&1/2 inch letter diecut for the alphabet. You can see the color pattern in the circles and the letters. The face of the caterpillar has felt eyelashes and mouth, google eyes and a tiny pom pom nose and pipe cleaner antennae. I used a lot of tacky glue!!  I don't let the kiddos play with this set after storytime.  At least not yet...I won't let them play with the face because of the small pieces that could be picked off and eaten! LOL!

Talking, Singing, Writing, Reading and Playing ... is a lot of  
Fun with Friends at Storytime!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fall is Fun!

There's so many great themes to do in the fall; apples, leaves, squirrels and acorns. I've already posted about apples so I thought I'd post my newest fall set. It includes, leaves, squirrels and acorns! Of course, you'll want to use Nuts to You by Lois Ehlert and possibly her titles, Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf or, for older preschoolers, Leaf Man. I also like Nancy Tafuri's, The Busy Little Squirrel with this theme. The pictures are big and there's minimal text. There's also the added challenge of predicting what will come next from the clues on the page. This leads to some interesting exchanges between me and my storytime kiddos. I love it when one of them has that 'ah ha!' moment and begins to understand the concept.

Here are some pics of the felt set that I made. I already had the leaves and had made a larger version of the squirrels a few years ago to use with another rhyme. I reduced the size of the squirrel on the copier and cut out many separate pieces for the 3D look I wanted. I've been wanting to make some acorns since I saw Katie's post here. I love her great squirrel rhymes and was inspired to make up one of my own. Here is the link;  Fall Fun. I start by putting the leaves on the board as I say the first verse. The acorns are already under the leaves. Then I add a squirrel and turn over the leaf to 'find' the acorn underneath as I do the other parts of the rhyme.  We end up with all the squirrels on the board beside a leaf and holding an acorn. We always count again at the end.  This works on that one to one correspondence as they count rather than rote counting. I think I got the pattern for the squirrel from an old Mailbox magazine many years ago. There are a LOT of Google clip art images that you could easily deconstruct to make your own pattern. I used black and pink slick fabric paint for the features and a google eye.  I had to put some glitter on my leaves and acorn caps!  I am looking forward to using this rhyme and set this fall. After I do this rhyme, I'll play 'Which One's Missing' with the colored leaves. They never get tired of that game!
Fall is always Fun with Friends at Storytime!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Another Pumpkin Post.

Here's another not-a-flannel prop that I use when I do my pumpkin/Halloween theme. I cannot remember where I found this little rhyme. I've been using it for years! Anyway, I made two paper jack-o-lantern shapes and put black paper behind one and glittered white paper behind the other and then put them back to back and added a brown stem and green pipecleaner vine and green paper leaves. As I say the rhyme I start with the frown side and then turn it around for the happy face! It's always a big hit with the toddler crowd!

Little Pumpkin
I'm a little pumpkin, orange and round.
When I'm sad, my face wears a frown.
But when I am happy and all aglow,
watch my smile just grow and grow!

So much Fun with Friends at Storytime!

Old McRainbow's Pumpkin Farm

I just finished doing a Pumpkin themed storytime at a preschool to 10 classes divided into 4 groups.  It was a great success!  I heard, "Read it again!" or "Do it again", or even as he was leaving, a child said, "I love you!".  Of course, I replied," I love you too!".  *sigh*  That's why I do what I do!! Anyway, I used some old favorite flannel sets and a new favorite set copied from Sarah at Read Rabbit Read called Five Giant Pumpkins.  My set is a combination of felt pumpkins with glitter (of course!) and laminated Google images under the pumpkins. We even played a "which one's missing?" game with the Google images. This was a great hit!  But, I didn't have any interactive sets so that the children could get up and participate.  I realize, in that setting, there were just too many kids to really do the interactive game but I still would like a set for my library storytime or a classroom setting. I thought about it for several days and this is what I came up with:

Old McRainbow's Pumpkin Farm
by Kathryn Roach
There's a funny kind of farm where colored pumpkins grow;  
     planted by a funny farmer, Old McRainbow
         (chant or sing to tune of Mary Wore Her Red Dress)
       You can see a red one, red one, red one,
            a pretty red pumpkin on the farm.
(repeat with other colors as children bring up their matching colored pumpkin and add it to the 'farm')
        (speak the last rhyme to close the activity)
 What a funny rainbow farm with pumpkins row by row,
 Colorful pumpkins planted by Farmer McRainbow!

I die cut 4 of each color.  I plan to hand them out to the kiddos to bring up and add to the board as I chant/sing the color verse for each color.  I could see this being tweaked to apples or different veggies or fruit depending on the color. The first verse could be; There's a funny kind of farm where colored produce grow...  That gives me the chance to define a new, big word for the kiddos.  Rainbows and pumpkins are so much Fun with Friends at Storytime!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Growing a Smile - Teeth!

I'm typing this post after doing several Halloween themes and maybe the thought of all that Halloween candy is what reminds me of Teeth!  I know that's pretty random, but they do somehow go together in my mind, LOL! I found cute flannel rhymes to use with a Dental Health theme at this post and this post at What Happens In Storytime.  I was inspired to make a couple of my own too. I used pictures of my grandsons, who LOVE to brush their teeth, to illustrate my rhyme. 

J. is such a happy boy!
Growing a Smile!
by Kathryn Roach

When I was a baby, I had a toothless grin.
I began to grow and soon, my first 2 teeth came in!

2 on top and 2 below, my poor gums were so sore.
Then as I grew, tooth by tooth, my mouth held many more!

Without my teeth I couldn’t chew; my bottle was my treat.
C. is a fun loving little guy!
But now with lots of teeth there are so many things to eat!

Yes, getting all my shiny teeth took a little while.
But now I’m glad to show them off with a happy smile!

I actually had 4 pics of the boys from a toothless baby to these last happy smiling pictures.  You could use your own or some Google clipart. I mounted each pic on colorful paper and laminated them.
I also made up a color toothbrush rhyme that I made 2 different ways. I made a felt set of color toothbrushes and I made a cute filefolder version. 

My Colorful Toothbrushes
by Kathryn Roach

I went to the store to buy a toothbrush
I looked at each one, I didn’t want to rush.
I know that brushing my teeth every day,
Is an important way to stop tooth decay!
(sing the following rhyme to tune of 'Mary Wore Her Red Dress')
*I could use a blue one, blue one, blue one,   
A new blue toothbrush is such fun!
*repeat with each color...
(speak this last bit)
I liked all the colors so I bought every one.
Having clean, healthy teeth is colorful fun!

Here's a fun youtube clip of Raffi singing 'Brush Your Teeth'. It is on his CD, 'Singable Songs for the Very Young'  I just sing/chant this without the CD. I also found that Jim Gill sings, 'Hands Are For Clapping' on his CD, "Jim Gill Sings The Sneezing Song and Other Contagious Tunes" that has a whole verse about teeth and toothbrushing!

I used a Google clipart image for the felt and  file folder. I cut out the handle part of the toothbrush and glued on the white bristles and toothpaste and tube of toothpaste and then laminated the folder. I stacked the colors in the folder and taped a copy of the rhyme on the back. For the felt toothbrushes I did use some slick white fabric paint on the bristle part to give it a little more dimension.

Good dental hygiene is so much Fun with Friends at Storytime!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Not so Scary Scarecrow.

I don't really do scary Halloween themes for storytime. I don't read books that have ghosts or scary witches. That's a personal preference and presenter's prerogative. Here are some of my previous Halloween ideas; spiders, monsters and bats.  I do have a not-so-scary scarecrow that I like to use. I made this cute scarecrow many years ago from Liz and Dick Wilmes' terrific book, Felt Board Fingerplays with Patterns and Activites: Rhymes and Songs. I have used so many of their patterns and rhymes over the years. This is one of my favorite, most used resources!  Anyway, I did enlarge the patterns a little because I like my flannel sets to be big.

Let's Build a Scarecrow!

First the body,
Then the head,
a big straw hat,
and a scarf of red.
buttons for eyes,
a carrot nose,
a mouth made of stitches,
In two smiling rows

I made my scarecrow out of pellon and colored him with color pencils. There's two pieces of velcro on the back of the buttons to hold them on the scarecrow. I may have to use some tape because they tend to slip and slide when I put them on. His carrot nose and mouth are made of felt. I'm thinking of doing a little freshening with some yarn and slick puff paint this year.  I can't leave well enough alone! LOL!
My coworker introduced me to a cute little song, "Dingle Dangle Scarecrow" to use with this theme.  Here's another youtube link for the song.  I also talk about the fact that scarecrows are for scaring crows and not people. We talk about dressing up and pretending at Halloween.

We have a lot of Fun with Friends...and scarecrows...at Storytime.