Thursday, April 26, 2012

Flannel Friday: Trashy Town

Trashy Town is one of my favorite books - I love the rhythm and the option for motions and movements.  For trash storytime, I made signs for each of the stops Mr. Gilly makes in the book, and I placed some "trash" near the location.  I place these all around our program room.  As we read the story, we stop, look for the given place (the doctor's office, the pizza parlor, etc) and selected kids get up and pick up the trash for me.  I have a big dump truck that the kids put the trash in (sorta like a garbage truck!) and then we do the refrain together, making appropriate motions as we go:

"Dump it in! Smash it down! Drive around the trashy town!"

I've done this storytime several times and the kids really get into picking up the trash and doing the refrain of the book.  

I'm afraid I don't have a source for this cute rhyme; I've had it in my rhyme box for a while. It has some great action elements to it that the kids really got into when I did it in storytime. The trucks were drawn, but the "look" of them is clearly based off of Mr. Gilly's trash truck.

Five little Garbage trucks painted green
Picking up trash to keep the town clean
They work and they work until they fill up
Now one of the garbage trucks drives to the dump!
Back up!
Beep! Beep! Beep!

Here's another rhyme; it's from Awesome Storytime. This is a great action rhyme that the kids just loved.  I borrowed a cute trash can from a coworker and gave each child a colored piece of trash.  I then called up each color, the kids put the trash in the trash can, and we acted out this rhyme.

Pick up garbage and throw it in the bin!
Push it down, and stomp it in!
Carry the cans to the street
for the garbage trucks to eat.
When the truck comes roaring by,
workers lift the can up high.
Garbage falls in to the back.
Crush it, mash it, smash it flat!
Set the cans down with a thump.
Now drive that garbage to the dump!

Super cute craft idea that I cannot take credit for!  It came from Awesome Storytime, too.

And the lovely books we used:

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Caterpillars & Butterflies

I tend to take on ideas in the 11th hour.  Bad news for getting things like statistics done but good news for my storytime audiences! This idea, orignially from Read it Again is GENIUS, and even though it was not my original plan, it was too darling to pass up.  I had already been inspired by Miss Mary Liberry's butterfly design.

I got 5 booktape boxes and covered them in black construction paper.  I put velcro dots on the front and back.  The caterpillars start out on the front of the boxes, and we use the rhyme "5 little caterpillars and not one more, spun a cocoon and then there were 4." {Rhyme from the book Storytime Magic.} Replace each caterpillar with a cocoon as you go, placing the caterpillar in your box.

To finish, you can use "then one cocoon opened up in the sun / a butterfly came out and that makes one..."  But, I really liked the idea of clapping for the butterfly while it came out & that is what I did today, just letting the rhyme drop after the cocoon line and having the kids clap so the butterfly will emerge.  Each of the butterflies has fishing line taped to its back, so you just grab the line from the back of your board and give it a tug.  Since the butterflies are flannel, they lightly stick to the board and the string doesn't have to be held taut.  The part I love the most about this idea is how visual and symbolic it is for the actual caterpillar/cocoon process - I feel like it is a great way to help kids visualize it and the surprise of a butterfly is truly surprising and delightful.

This set for the Very Hungry Caterpillar was one of the first things I made when I started at the library - it is showing its age, but it was a labor of love at the time.  When I tell this story, I keep the pieces in my lap, hold them up at their time, and have the caterpillar munch through them.  When done, I just set them on the floor or a chair beside me.  I think the size of my pieces are the main appeal, as well as cute Mr. Caterpillar. 

I have a piece of brown suede fabric that I use for the cocoon, just wrapping it around him and mentioning that he fell asleep for two weeks.  Then the warm sun comes out and little caterpillar begins munching his way out of the cocoon and, surprise, butterfly wings!  Anyone who reads this story loves it, of course, but it is a tribute to the story itself that it is so flexible.  It can be done from young gradeschool down - even babies - you just limit the details and even edit out some of the food if needed.  But the story stands on its own, to be sure, and is a delight.

And here's a classic bee rhyme, just for fun:

Here is a beehive
But where are the bees?
Hidden inside where nobody can see.
Let's count the bees as they come out of the hive -
1, 2, 3, 4, 5!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Flannel Friday: Rain, Clouds & Rainbows

I had so many ideas for this storytime that I actually FORGOT to do the one I was most excited about! Too many fun things (pretty sure it is the distracts me!)

Interactive Rhyme.  I did an interactive version of 10 Little Raindrops and 10 Little Umbrellas.  I had 10 kids be umbrellas (sitting on the floor) and 10 kids be raindrops (standing above them) and we went through our rhyme.  I also counted down, so that the raindrops went away - the sun came out and then we counted down our umbrellas and put them "away."

The raindrops were made with kebab skewers and fishing line.  The number of raindrops on the line reflected what number it was (#1 had one raindrop, #2 had two, etc., all the way up to 10.)  The raindrops were really fun to look at and shake - they had a great rain effect.  {Be warned: they are prone to twisting & tangling!}

Here's the scoop on this kind of activity.  Honestly, a bit of an overreach for my audience, which is a daycare.  They don't have the immediate parental support of a mom nudging them and saying "it's okay!"  And some of them are younger and not the best age for this activity - which is probaby best for older 3's and even better for 4's.  Super fun to do and they did like it, but I could see it was pushing them and possibly would be better in an audience with more parent support and fewer tiny ones.

Rainbow Stew is the adorable activity I forgot (and had been so excited about).  I first saw it here.  Just too cute! Put all those pieces in a pot & use this rhyme (also from Roving Fiddlehead Kitlit).

Take an apple
Put it in the pot
Stir it, stir it, stir it a lot.
Take it out. What will it be?
The prettiest red you ever did see.

Puppet Activity.   Today the kids helped Woolly find the most appropriate shoes to wear in the rain.  I used some flannel pockets and put the shoes in the pocket.  Selected children got to pull the shoe out and tell us if it was a good rain shoe or not.  In the end, Woolly was SUPER excited because the rain boots we found for him matched an umbrella he already has - way to coordinate, Woolly!

The craft was such a huge hit!  Oh my - I saw this in a catalog of all things a few years back (like, just a decoration in a staged children's bedroom.)  I used wrapping paper tissue for the rainbow streamers, but you could also use crepe paper / streamers.

Books we read are below - both really fun with great language and rhythm.  It was definitely a full storytime!

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