Saturday, January 25, 2014

Storytimes and More Saturday Share: January 25, 2014

Welcome to our


Storytimes and More Saturday Share!

We have lots of inspiring links this week. 
So grab a cup of your favorite beverage and enjoy!

~ Amazing Activities Shares ~

Jennifer is kicking off our popular Amazing Activities Shares section with a "super simple playgroup activity" from her blog, In Short, I Am Busy. Every couple months she opens up her library's puppet theater, gets out the die cuts and popsicle sticks, and they have a puppet playgroup! Jennifer says, "It's a nice break when the programs get overwhelming." What a fun idea!

Miss Sue's colleague is sharing her ideas for a Nursery Rhyme Olympics! She based a lot of her activity ideas on the Westerville Library post about their early literacy Olympics-themed learning. 
And she added this ~ "As the kids arrived, we had several nursery rhyme flannel & magnet sets out and they could play with them on our easel board. After that, we read a few nursery rhymes, including the ones our games were based on, then started the games. I used Jack Be Nimble, Ring Around the Rosie & Wee Willie from that site, and a Hickety Pickety Pen collect the eggs relay and a Diddle Diddle Dumpling one sock on relay." This definitely sounds like a winner to me! Thank you to Miss Sue and her colleague for working together to bring us this timely share.

Travis is back this week with a new activity twist to a program for early readers that she has been trying to get going for months. The new program with the twist is Books and Bingo. Travis mentions that she "wasn't getting a big turnout for my loveable pet therapy dogs, but adding bingo to the mix seems to be a big improvement".
Aren't these two library friends cute?
They look like they are ready for a good story!
JacksNana is also back this week with a clever Duplo Counting Game that is sure to be a huge hit with all those Lego-loving kids in your life. This activity is good for focusing on numbers, counting, learning colors, recognizing patterns (which as JacksNana points out, is an important pre-literacy skill), simple addition, and so much more. According to Jacksnana, it is a "very versatile game and it kept Jack busy for over 30 minutes!"

Our next share comes from a wonderfully creative librarian whom I "met" through a Facebook group and then became friends with on Twitter. Lisa recently tweeted a link to a post on her blog, Libraryland. In the post, she walks her visitors through the planning and implementation of a Preschool Fair held at her library. Her post is very concise and informative. It shows that an important event for any community with young families is easily do-able with a little organization and consistent effort. This is certainly going on my to-do list!

~ Creative Crafting Shares ~

One of our favorite moms is back with another cute necklace craft. Did you ever make macaroni necklaces in Kindergarten? Well, Mom to Zoe did and, when her "DD Zoe wanted to make more necklaces", she "searched for how to dye pasta" ideas. The post she liked best is found on the blog, Intrepid Murmurings. Claire and Zoe are excited about all the beautiful colors. Their "rainbow pasta" is drying and they will be making necklaces with friends very soon! 

My share this week is a Storytime Prop that also works as an interactive craft. When I bring the egg out during storytime, my storytime friends are always immediately curious about what is inside. As I share the first song with them, I slowly open the egg and my storytime friends think it is magical when the egg begins to hatch! And I always get squeals of delight when I tell them that they get to make an egg and puppet of their own. So much fun! Oh, by the way, be sure to check out the link to the Blast from the Past mentioned in my post. It will provide you with another idea for a different little puppet that you could choose to make for your own interactive "hatching egg".

~ Fun Facebook Shares ~

Rachel, a stay-at-home mom, is inviting us to check out her local library's Facebook page, Franklin Public Library Children's Department. She mentioned that her children really enjoy all of their library's activities, especially the crafts like the penguin below. Rachel is happy to have a place to go where she can keep up with everything being offered at the library. "There are lots of great program ideas to be found on this page". Thanks for linking your first share this week, Rachel!
Look at the eyelashes on this cute penguin!

~ P-interesting Shares ~

Miss Sue has 2 shares of her own this week. The first one is her new story time bin that she put on Pinterest. Miss Sue says, "I got the bin at Home Depot for $5 - yes, that is the normal price. It is a sturdy canvas bin with metal frame so its tough. Its the perfect size to hold my story time books, my Ukulele, and ALL of my story time props and tools. The outer pockets are tight, but good for puppets or teddys. I keep it by my desk at work and as I put together the story time, I just add to the bin and it's ready to go on Friday!"  What a cool find! 

I am very excited to be welcoming the librarian team known as Jbrary this week! I first became aware of this awesome team of Children's librarians on Twitter. I always enjoy reading their tweets and exploring their Youtube videos ~ which you will be introduced to later in this post. Jbrary has 2 shares this week. The first is a link is their "Lunar New Year Pinterest board which has lots of great crafts, books and ideas for celebrating Lunar New Year (or Chinese New Year) at your library or with your family". Thanks for joining us this week, Jbrary!

~ Spectacular Storytime Shares ~

Anne at itsybitsymom has seen "a lot of comments about Penguins this week" so she is sharing her Penguin Story Time Plans which includes 3 book recommendations, a game, a dance, a flannel board, a craft, and more! (In the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit that I was surprised and flattered when I saw a link to my own blog in Anne's post. I am excited to see her version of the penguin hats that I shared last year. Thank you, Anne, for linking to my post.)   Anne says, "It was a great program!" and, from the pictures she shared, it is obvious that her storytime friends had a blast learning about penguins. 

Carrie Roer, a youth service paraprofessional at her local library in Michigan, joins us for the first time. She is sharing her kangaroo storytime on her blog, The Lion is a Bookworm. (I love her blog name and the reason she chose it! Check out her About Me to learn more.) Carrie has lots of great book suggestions and also a cute song to get the kids up and moving which is always a good idea. She has chosen to use the alphabet as inspiration for storytime themes so I am sure there are many more helpful posts on her blog for anyone who needs ideas for alphabetical fun. Thanks for joining us this week, Carrie!

It's time for Miss Sue's second share which is her Preschool Storytime from last week. She says, "I know it's a story time post, but if you look at the bottom, you can see the activity we did - a snowball fight! I made snowballs out of hosiery and fluff - no stitching required. Reports from parents this week say that they went home last week and raided drawers for tights and hose so they could make their own snowballs! This activity was really fun. The kids all loved throwing the snowballs at me." I am completely sold! I can't wait to make some of these snowballs of my own for several programs I have coming up this week. Thank you, Miss Sue! I am inspired to have a snowball fight at my library!

~ Wonderful Website Shares ~

Hannah, one of the administrator's for our Facebook group ~ Storytimes and More On the Go ~ is jumping on board this week to share for the first time with the website, Teach Preschoolthat has helped her with planning one of her library programs. The Read It and Cook It program was a very popular one at her Library. Here is what Hannah has to say about it: "I did this program once a month last year and it got quite full, so I do recommend that people register ahead of time. We don't have a kitchen in our library so it made things a tad bit harder, but items such as a pizza cooker and blender can be used to make food. I simply would pick a book either off this website or pick my own such as If You Give A Pig A Pancake by Laura Numeroff and then make the food with the kids that go with the story. I fully enjoyed doing this program with my Storytime children and hope to bring it back soon". Cooking with kids is always popular. Thank you, Hannah, for taking the time to share this week and for all that you do on the Facebook group to keep us going strong. You are awesome!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Storytimes and More Saturday Share: January 18, 2014

Welcome to our
Storytimes and More 
Saturday Share!

 To kick us off this week, I thought I should mention that today is ~ 

National Winnie the Pooh Day!
This is one of my favorite Pooh quotes ~
although it is very tough for me to choose!
I adore Pooh and his friends!
To share your favorite Pooh quotes and read others' favorites, check out our Facebook page for our group at Storytimes and More On the Go.

Well, we have grown again this week! It is wonderful to have such a dynamic group of caring and sharing friends. A special thank you to everyone who has taken the time to share such diverse and interesting ideas! 

We will start with a new category:

~ Amazing Activity Shares ~

Elena, a first grade teacher, is sharing an imaginative learning activity that she came across while searching for Dr. Seuss ideas for an upcoming schoolwide event. Easy to make and fun to use, Make a Story with Magnetic Words is just the type of Seuss-inspired activity that will promote learning and creativity. Elena is excited to share it with us and with her students and their families.

Lisa is once again bringing us an opportunity to excite the school-age crowd about an educational topic while "enjoying tons of fun, too"! Since her afterschool group is learning about polar bears and the north pole, Lisa thought she would bring in a little physical science and problem-solving with these Marshmallow Catapults. Wondering how this fits in with the north pole? Snowball fights, of course!

~ Creative Crafting Shares ~

Carrie, our self-proclaimed Google maniac, is sharing another fun Google find just in time for Valentine's Day. Check out this "super cute" picture frame ~ a Valentine's Day Picture Holder Craft ~ that is easy enough to make preschoolers and can be personalized, too. 

Travis, a member of our Facebook group, mentioned her Monkey craft and shared a link to it when another member was looking for monkey-related ideas. Travis graciously gave us permission to share her craft that she says "basically calls for squares, circles, and hearts cut in half". Very simple prep! Travis says, "it's cute, but very much a product craft" but I see awesome potential for some learning about shapes and scissor practice as the monkeys are made. Plus he is just such a cute little guy with his curly tail.

Ann, a librarian from the Modesto area of California, is sharing a useful suggestion this week for any of us who live near a Michael's Arts and Crafts store. She recommends visiting your local Michael's for crafting ideas and classes like the Rainbow Loom Meet Ups. Ann mentions that these bracelets ~ made from small, colorful rubberbands ~ are extremely popular in her area. The kids love to make them for themselves and their friends.

We have a share this week that came from a guy on Twitter who tweeted a link after he saw my tweet about last week's Storytimes and More Saturday Share. Jeff tweets under the name @celtic2004 and he shared this how-to picture collage with the words "Simple Art". Another Twitter friend mentioned that he used to let his storytime friends make these, decorate them, and then hang them by string from the ceiling. What a fun idea! Especially if you need to decorate for an ocean-themed storytime.

~ Fun Facebook Shares ~

JacksNana joins us for the first time this week with a Facebook share for New Age Nanas and a book recommendation for the book, New Age Nanas: Being a Grandmother in the 21st Century
Grandmothers in the 21st Century
don't parent in the past tense.
Cheryl has been Jack's Nana for three years and she is very excited to have found a book and a group to help her with this new role in her life. Grandparenting roles have changed dramatically over the years so she doesn't feel like she can just do what her own grandmother or mother did in the past. Cheryl found the topics in New Age Nana to be helpful and validating. She recommends that every library add this to their bookshelves!

My first share this week is a wonderful new Facebook group, After School Programs, that was started by one of our active members, Thrive After Three. Along with the FB page, Thrive After Three does a School Aged Programming Blog Hop for sharing ideas to use with older children. If you work with the school age group, I highly recommend that you follow and participate in the hop ~ Thrive Thursday. My contribution this week was an introduction to our new reading incentive program ~ Read Your Way to a Cookie Party!

~ P-interesting Shares ~

We have an anonymous share today. (I would love to give credit where credit is due so if this is your share, please let me know and I will update the post with your information.) Many of us are probably beginning to think about the possiblity of a Groundhog's Day program so this link is coming at just the right time! The Groundhog Valentine is a creative and "emberly-esque" art lesson. 

~ Spectacular Storytime Shares ~

Jane, another group member, is Guest posting on my blog, Storytime ABC'S. During a FB discussion about favorite storytime themes, Jane mentioned that her favorites were 'trucks and trains -- 'though not together". Well, she sent me her storytime plan for Trains ~ and then another storytime plan for Buses and Trucks. In her plans, she includes some delightful books and songs plus several participatory flannel board ideas. Everything you need to put together an enticing storytime for your young library friends.

Pam, a former teacher for 5 year olds, is sharing this week for the first time. She is sharing a penguin song that her class of 5 year olds loved to sing every day for 2 weeks straight. Pam says, "They NEVER grew tired of it!" Sounds like a keeper to me! The Five Little Penguins is a fantastic song for "developing early numeracy, speech development, and storytelling" and an added bonus is the free puppet printable!

Anne from the blog, itsybitsymom, is back again this week to share Monkeys! , one of her Wiggleworms Story Time Plans. She shares a complete storytime with a final analysis of how she felt it went and what she will probably change. It seems that lots of monkey fun was had by all!

My second share this week is from my blog, StorytimeABC'S, and it is an awesome new book by one of my favorite children's authors for storytime books. The book is Animals in Underwear ABC by Todd Parr. His books are simply illustrated but bold and colorful. Perfect for sharing with toddlers and preschoolers at storytime AND perfect for flannel-izing! Check out the uses I have planned for the felt pieces I am making based on these cute, colorful, underwearing animals.

~ Wonderful Website Shares ~

Meaghan is sharing for the first time this week and she brings us a "cool website with tons of creative crafts". It is the Kix cereal website! Who would have thought a cereal website would be a good resource for our group? Not me! But Meaghan is so right! She says she is using this craft for her kids' Valentine's Day boxes for their school's Valentines exchange.

~ Yearnful Youtube Shares ~

Claire, Mom to Zoe, is returning this week with a crafting video featuring Martha Stewart and her daughter's favorite Sesame Street character, the adorable little Zoe. Hmmmm... I am sensing a reason that she is her daughter's favorite. :o) 

Claire and her daughter were looking for a fun craft idea for Zoe's upcoming birthday party when they found this bright and colorful idea ~ Paper and Straw Necklaces. So sweet!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Storytimes and More Saturday Share: January 11, 2014

Welcome to our


Storytimes and More Saturday Share!

We have lots of inspiring links to share. 
So grab a cup of your favorite beverage and enjoy!

~ Crafting Shares ~

Joining us for the first time this week is Carrie  who says she has no blog but she "google(s) everything!" The craft she is sharing a "super super cute snowman with added bonus of recycling".

The snowmen in the picture were made with water/juice bottles, cotton balls, felt, and buttons. Carrie mentioned that she will probably use Gatorade bottles. 

Thanks for sharing this environmentally-friendly craft, Carrie. We would love to see pictures of your snowmen when you make them. 

~ Fun Facebook Shares ~

Sue is back again this week with a brand new kind of share! She brings us our very first Fun Facebook Share! According to Sue, this Facebook page is a compliment to her blog, Library Village, where she collaborates with her two colleagues, Kristen and Kristie. (You will find another share or two from them in the Spectacular Storytime Shares this week.)

The FB page is where the ladies from Library Village share "everything else that doesn't fit on the blog". I'm really curious to see what "doesn't fit on the blog", aren't you?

~ P-interesting Shares ~

Jane is joining us for the first time this week to share a creative, colorful display that she has pinned on her Library Displays board on Pinterest. This display is for a Tournament of Kids Books during March Madness.

Has anyone ever done a tournament type display/program like this? 

Jane also invites us to have fun exploring her other Pinterest boards that you can find here. Thanks, Jane!

For my weekly share, I have decided to challenge myself to stop "hoarding" pins on Pinterest and to actually start creating and using the things I pin. I am committing to sharing at least two creations a month on my blog, Storytime ABC'S

My first creation was one that I pinned awhile back in the hopes of using it this Winter. I am excited that it was an easy one to make and a very popular one for exploring at our Family Storytime and our Stay and Play time this past week.

 It is a large Build a Snowman felt set! 

We called this cool dude our "Florida Snowman".
He was extremely popular!

In my post, I provide a link to the original pin which has directions for making an even bigger snowman than I made. I think the original one is 4 feet tall! I made mine to fit my felt board so it is a little smaller. I had so much fun with this cool guy plus I feel very accomplished since I finally made one of my pinned ideas.

I'm feeling so good that I want to share the feeling of accomplishment ~ I really want to encourage each of you to pick one of your pins and GO FOR IT! You'll be so glad you did!

~ Spectacular Storytime Shares ~

Miss Kristen from the Library Village blog has posted a wonderful storytime plan for Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

This particular storytime is geared towards babies and includes several book recommendations, an action rhyme, several songs, and even a felt board for doing a count-down rhyme with stars. It is a simple but very cute storytime that parents and babies will enjoy from beginning to end, I'm sure. Oh, and if you have time to click around, you will find two more storytime plans for babies posted by Miss Kristie this past week. She has been busy!

Thrive After Three brings us her post on several ways to present the book, The Perfect Gift, written by Mary Newell Depalma. As you can see in the picture, she made flannel board pieces that are adorable. Also included in the post is another video of a puppet version of the book AND a link to some delightful puppet bins that look perfect for outreach or classroom storage of items for story re-telling. You won't want to miss either of these!

Thank you, Thrive After Three! I have not seen this book but it is now on my TBR ( to-be-read) pile.

Jennifer at JeanLittleLibrary (her library and reading journal) is sharing a few ideas with us from her blog, In Short, I Am Busy. I love the blog name because aren't we all busy all the time? 

Jennifer shares a new Winter Reading Program, Paws to Read
The program is for independent readers and is based around "reading challenges". Jennifer includes several links to samples of the challenges. She also mentions that there is little work for the staff to do which is a plus at many libraries. I personally like the interaction between staff and young patrons as they meet the challenges. I am always looking for fun ways to connect with my library friends! Thanks for sharing with us this week, Jennifer.

~ Wonderful Website Shares ~

Mom to Zoey is back again this week to share an Author Website that she and her daughter found by Googling one of Zoey's favorite authors. Claire says that she was inspired by a share from last week's collection because she never knew that some authors have their own websites.

Zoey's choice for sharing this week is Eric Carle's official site:

Awesome choice, Zoey! I love Eric Carle, too!

Anne is sharing the blog, The Library Adventure, where she collaborates with other writers to cover a variety of topics. Here is a little information from their About page: "The Library Adventure strives to be a go-to resource for both library patrons and librarians... there is a special focus on children."

This is exactly the purpose behind our group, Storytimes and More on the Go. We also hope to be a helpful resource for parents, grandparents, librarians, teachers, etc. ~ essentially, anyone who enjoys the presence of a child in their lives. So I'm thinking that The Library Adventure will be a site to visit often!

The post that Anne linked us to is very positive and encouraging and ends with a challenge that I think each of us should consider accepting. Thank you for sharing your post, Anne! I enjoyed reading it and I am very excited to explore more of The Library Adventure! Just the name entices me because I love a good adventure!

~ Yearnful Youtube Shares ~

I know! Many of you are probably saying, "What the heck?!??!" but I couldn't find another adjective that started with Y ~ anyway, "yearnful" does mean "desirous". That's good, right??? If anyone has a better name for this new section of shares, please let me know. I will definitely consider something else. ;o)

This new share topic is being introduced by Lisa's second weekly share. Lisa says her afterschool kids voted to learn about polar bears. Something about which she "know(s) nothing!!!" so she decided to head on over to Youtube where she found this video:

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Storytimes and More Saturday Share for 1/4/14 ~ Our Very First Share!

HAPPY 2014
welcome to our very first

Saturday Share!

We are very excited to be starting a new way for our group to share resources each week! 

We hope you enjoy our first SMSShare!

In hopes of making the shared items easier to access later, we will be organizing the shares into several different topics. To that end, we have the Craft ideas under the label:

~ Creative Crafting Shares ~

Our first share this week comes from Lisa. She is bringing us a "quick easy snowman craft" that she will be doing next week with her afterschool crowd. 
It's a Paper Plate Snowman with a twist! 

This looks like a lot of fun with plenty of opportunity for the kids to be creative while decorating their own individual snowmen. Thank you for sharing such an easy-to-prep craft this week, Lisa!

Next, we have two shares found on Pinterest that we will call:

~ P-interesting Shares ~

From Mom to Zoe, we have a link to a post about how-to-build a simple 

Mom to Zoe is a stay-at-home mom who enjoys finding new things to do with her young daughter. She plans to make a shadow puppet theater and wondered if this is a project that would be good for libraries. My answer is "Absolutely!". What an exciting way to encourage families to retell a book that they have just read together! I hope anyone who uses this idea will come back and share pictures and experiences with us. Thank you, Mom to Zoe, for bringing this to our attention this week.

Our second P-interesting idea is from Miss Sue who says she "just saw THIS on Pinterest" and wonders if she has time to make it for a Valentine's Day storytime.
Isn't this an adorable little Mailbag?

Plus it has "working envelopes"!

I'm adding this to the very top of my TBM (to be made) pile. Sue, it is perfect for a Valentine's Day program and you should definitely "go for it!". (Be sure and share pictures with us once you have it made.) Thank you for sharing this week!

This week we also have some Storytime ideas that we will label:

~ Spectacular Storytime Shares ~

From Thrive After Three we have an interesting discussion on repetition in storytimes. The discussion is based around Candace Fleming's book, Oh, No!, and the post includes a video of a puppet version of the book.

I'm sure you will want to click on over and join in the discussion about an important ~ but often overlooked ~ aspect of storytimes.

Miss Sue from the blog, Library Village, is bringing us a second share this week. She is sharing an idea that we have discussed on our group's Facebook page. It is a story-themed Flash Mob
Miss Sue presents Caps for Sale with props!

This is such a fun idea and I love those tiny little caps! Miss Sue includes a link to her Monkey Themed Storytime, as well. It is definitely worth the time to click on over to her blog!

My share this week is a Blast from the Past on my blog, Storytime ABC'S,  because I love January and Wintertime and the opportunity to share snow-related books and snow-filled learning activities. I include several ways to use felt or paper snowflakes for early literacy fun. 

Plus, there is a link to a template which will make creating your own snowflakes very simple to do. Enjoy!

Our last category for our shares this week is all about useful websites. We will call this category:

~ Wonderful Website Shares ~

The first share in this category is the Spaghetti Book Club ~ it is a book review site featuring reviews written by kids! 

This inspiring share is from Ann, a librarian from California. She says this site has been a helpful resource for her during Summer Reading when parents and teachers are looking for ways to help their children/students connect with the books they are reading. Ann has only used the site for reading the book reviews but, apparently, it is a full program that can be used by classrooms, libraries, etc for teaching children how to write and illustrate quality book reviews. That portion of the site has a cost but the actual reviews are free! I personally love that there is a list of participating schools so you can see if there is one near you. And there is also a list of schools from other countries! How fun would it be to do a "reading Around the World" program? You could include the book reviews written by children from different states and countries. Thank you, Ann, for sharing this unusual link. I plan to use it with my school-age library friends and to share it with my teacher friends.

Another wonderful website is being shared by Elena who is a 1st grade teacher.She has been searching for fun ideas to use with her kids on the topic of the Winter Olympics. She says if she had her own blog she would write a review about a cute book she found that is perfect for this unit. It is:
Olympig by Victoria Jamieson

Besides being a "spirited, sporty romp" about competing, this book is also about losing gracefully. The kids will laugh and cheer for Olympig through all his competitions. 

Elena has included a website in her share. It belongs to the author, Victoria Jamieson, and it provides lots of fun ideas for planning your own kid-sized Olympics for the kids in your life. The suggestions take you all the way from the opening ceremonies to the awarding of medals. There is even a template for making your own medals!
Thanks for the timely share, Elena!

A huge "Thank you!" to
 everyone who shared this first week!

We will be back again next week with our 2nd Storytimes and More Saturday Share.
So start planning now for what YOU would like to share!

The link-up post will be available on Thursday morning so you will have plenty of time to share your post or interesting "find" before Saturday at Noon EST.

Enjoy your weekend!