Monday, April 30, 2012

Outreach Storytime

Today I did a storytime at a local day care center. I (personally) don't do a lot of outreach programs because it works best for the library if we do them Monday and Tuesday morning and I'm usually on the night shift those days.

But Not Today! Yay! It was a for a large group of 2-5 year olds and they specifically requested puppets. I don't do puppets. BUT! I sucked it up, brought the puppets and had a really good time and got a great idea for  some puppet-action to include in my preschool storytime on Thursday. Read more to find out!

Where is Thumkin?


The Aunts Go Marching by Maurie J. Manning

This one's a FAVORITE of mine and sadly out of print. I don't do it a lot at storytime because we don't have that many copies left. One of the nice things about outreach? You don't need extra copies for people to check out afterwards. This is a book you sing and has a great "rat a tat tat, rat a tat tat, ba-rump, ba-rump, ba-rump" repetition as a little girl marches to town with all of her aunts. The kids caught on to the song and the "rat a tat tat" within the first verse and it was SO MUCH FUN. Why oh why oh why oh is this book out of print.

Hickory Dickory Dock

Going to Kentucky:

Oh, we're going to Kentucky, we're going to the fair
To see the pretty ladies with the flowers in their hair
Shake it baby shake it! Shake it if you can
Shake it like a milkshake and shake it once again
Roll it to the bottom
Roll it to the top
Turn around and turn around until I holler STOP!

The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? By Mo Willems

This one was great! Because there's no breaking of the fourth wall. Pigeon tends not to go over really well in my storytimes because the kids don't fully understand that they're supposed to talk back to the Pigeon. Now, that would not have been an issue with this group, BUT it's good to remember for other groups.

Wheels on the Bus

Grand Old Duke of York

"Hi, Pizza Man!" by Virginia Walters, illustrated by Ponder Goembel

Another storytime favorite that's long out of print and hard to do because of lack of copies. But it's animals noises! Delivering pizza!

Apple Tree

Five Little Monkeys Swinging in a Tree (with an alligator puppet!)

AND NOW IT'S TIME FOR PUPPETS!

SO, the only thing I ever really go with puppets is the Wide Mouthed Frog, because we have the puppet kit. I usually just read Keith Faulkner's The Wide-Mouthed Frog, but act it out with puppets.

Today, the kids were in a talky mood, so when the Wide Mouthed Frog declared that he ate flies, they all said EWWWW! And so I started ad-libbing a bit. And the puppets got into arguments over which was tastier, flies or slugs. And then when the frog jumps away, the alligator said "good thing I just ate all those monkeys and aren't really hungry!"

It worked really well. I've written up a script because I think I'm going to end it with the alligator going to eat the monkeys and follow it with "Five Little Monkeys Swinging in a Tree" instead of doing that one first. Like I said, I'm planning on doing this again on Thursday, so I'll post the script then (if it works.)

Comin' Round the Mountain

Every Little Cell is Happy







Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Book Club


It was book club day!

We read James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl.

I picked this one because it's a classic. I've loved Dahl since childhood and I figured this is one they probably hadn't read yet. Reactions were mixed. Some kids liked how weird it was. Some kids did NOT like how weird it was. I mean, really, a giant peach? Some got turned off by the poetry and some loved the silliness.

I've mentioned in earlier posts that my book clubbers have some reading comprehension issues. Last month, they didn't know didn't know to go back and look in the text if they didn't remember something. I was incredulous. I actually said "OH MY GOSH YOU GUYS!!! Why do you think I make sure everyone has a copy of the book before we start?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!" So, reading comp hasn't magically improved BUT! Everyone was looking in the text and trying to find the answers. They couldn't always find relevant passages and would just read me random sentences BUT! They were trying. I consider that a major win.

We also had a long discussion about how snacks work at the library (someone picked up on the fact that the Rice Krispie treats were left over from candy sushi.)

Here were the book-specific questions:

1. Many of you mentioned that the book is "weird." Good weird, bad weird, or just weird weird. (All three options got votes.

2. When the book starts, James lives a nice life with his parents. Then what happens? (They were eaten by an angry rhino.) Ok, so then he goes to live with his aunts. Were they nice (NO!) Then what happened? Then what happened? Then what happened? We went through the entire plot this way (like I said, we're working on comprehension.)

As we went through the journey, we had a looooooooooooooooooooooooooooong conversation about the fact that on page 106 the Grasshopper calls someone an "ass." And we talked about banned books. They asked me why I gave them a book to read that was BANNED and had a NAUGHTY WORD and I told them that it was because I thought they were mature enough to handle it. They were all very proud of themselves for being mature and where they had been snickering about it, they suddenly actually got very mature about it.

We also talked about the cloud-men and how weather was made, both in the book and in real life.

Sadly, we didn't get all the way to the end of the book, because Ladybug has a line in there about always being afraid of fire and her children being alone. I wanted to explain that one to them and talk about how horrible nursery rhymes are. And then I wanted to sing the Ladybug Picnic song.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Toddler Storytime

Start here to see what Toddler Storytime is all about.

Welcome Songs:

To the tune of “Happy Birthday”

Good morning to you
Good morning to you
We’re glad that you’re here
Good morning to you

Sing to each child, using their name for "you"

Way up in the sky, the little birds fly,
While down in the nest, the little birds rest.
With a wing to the left, and a wing to the right,
The little birds sleep all through the night.
Shhhhh! They’re sleeping!
The bright sun comes up, the dew falls away,
"Good Morning, Good Morning!" the little birds say.

Mother Goose Rhymes:

Way up high in the apple tree, (both arms in the air)
Two red apples did I see. (both hands in fists in air)
I shook that tree as hard as I could, (shake all over)
And down came the apples – (fists fall down to floor)
Mmm, they were good! (rub stomach – yummy motion)

Little Robin Redbreast
Sat upon a rail;
Niddle, naddle, went his head,
Wiggle, waggle, went his tail.

Ring around the Rosy
A pocket full of posy
Ashes, ashes
We all fall down

Jiē tóu xiàng wěi mài yóu tiáo
Mài lái mài qù mài bú diào
Huā lā lā lā lā lā biàn chéng lăo yóu tiáo

Translation: Doughnuts for sale along the streets/All day he couldn’t sell them/Hua la la la la la, they all got stale. From Chinese and English Nursery Rhymes: Share and Sing in Two Languages by Faye-Lynn Wu

Book:

Hooray for Truckmice! Wong Herbert Yee

This book (sadly) seems to be out of print, but I love it for its bright colors, rhyming text, and introduction to all sorts of trucks, all driven by adorable little mice.

Rhymes:

Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold
Pease porridge in the pot, 9 days old
Some like it hot, some like it cold
Some like it in the pot, 9 days old

Hickory dickory dock (tick tock, tick tock)
The mouse ran up the clock
The clock struck one, the mouse ran down
Hickory dickory dock (tick tock, tick tock)

Hickory dickory dock (tick tock, tick tock)
The mouse ran up the clock
The clock struck two, the mouse said “woo”
Hickory dickory dock (tick tock, tick tock)

Hickory dickory dock (tick tock, tick tock)
The mouse ran up the clock
The clock struck three, the mouse said “wee”
Hickory dickory dock (tick tock, tick tock)

Hickory dickory dock (tick tock, tick tock)
The mouse ran up the clock
The clock struck four, the mouse said “no more”
Hickory dickory dock (tick tock, tick tock)

Book:

One Hot Summer Day Nina Crews

The problem with ordering multiple copies the week before you use them is this happens. It's 80 degrees out and you're in the middle of a heat wave so you order a book about summer. And then the heat breaks and you read a book about a hot summer day when it's gray and in the 40s.


But that's OK, because it's One Hot Summer Day. While there is not much text per page, this one may be a little long for this age group. I love it because of it's descriptions of a hot day in the city, the photograph collage illustrations, and the African-American protagonist. It's pretty much made of win, but what else do you expect from Nina Crews?

Bounces and Action Rhymes:

This little cow eats grass,
This little cow eats hay.
This little cow drinks water,
This little cow runs away!
And this little cow does nothing, but just lies down all day.
We’ll chase her, we’ll chase her, we’ll chase her away!

With baby’s thumb representing the first little cow, lightly wiggle each finger in turn. When you get to the last cow (and pinkie finger), tickle it and run your fingers up to the top of baby’s shoulder—also fun to do with toes!


Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
And mouth and ears and eyes and nose
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes

If baby is old enough, have him or her point to each body part. If baby is still to young, touch each body part while singing.

Tony Chestnut knows I love you
Tony knows, Tony knows
Tony Chestnut knows I love you
That’s what Tony knows

Point to the mentioned body parts—Toes and knees for Tony, Chest and Head for Chestnut and nose and eyes for Knows I.


This is the way the ladies ride:
Walk walk walk
This is the way the gentlemen ride:
Trot trot trot
This is the way the children ride:
BOOM BOOM BOOM

Bounce the baby on your knee or foot. When the ladies ride, bounce very softly, for the gentlemen, bounce a little more, and then bounce very vigorously when the children ride!

Song:

Shake My Sillies Out by Raffi

We shake our maracas as we dance and sing along to the CD.

Book:

What's Up, Duck?: A Book of Opposites Tad Hills

I always forget that this isn't the best book for storytime. It's just pairs of opposites, BUT! It's Duck and Goose and I love Duck and Goose and most of their other books work so well for storytime that every year or so I forget. Ah well.

Closing:

Patty cake, patty cake
Baker’s man
Bake me a cake as fast as you can!
Roll it, and pat it
And mark it with a B
And throw it in the oven for baby and me!

Clap baby’s hands for the first three lines. When rolling the cake, roll your hands, and then pat your knees when patting the cake. Draw a B on baby’s hand when marking the cake and mime throwing it in the oven at the end.

(to the tune of Shortnin’ Bread)

Every little cell in my body is happy
Every little cell in my body is well
Every little cell in my body is happy
Every little cell in my body is well
I’m so glad every little cell
In my body is happy and well
I’m so glad every little cell
In my body is happy and well
Every little cell in my body is happy
Every little cell in my body is well

To the tune of “Happy Birthday”

Goodbye to you
Goodbye to you
We’re glad that you came
Goodbye to you

Sing to each child, using their name instead of "you"




Baby Storytime

Start here if you want to know what Baby Storytime is all about.

Welcome Song:

Where is baby? Where is baby?
There (s)he is! There (s)he is!
I’m so glad to see you, I’m so glad to see you
Peek-a-boo! Peek-a-boo!


Sing to each child, using their name instead of "baby"

Mother Goose Rhymes:

Where oh where are baby’s fingers? (touch fingers)
Where oh where are baby’s toes? (touch toes)
Where is baby’s belly button? (trace on baby’s tummy)
Round and round it goes.
Where oh where are baby’s ears? (touch ears)
Where oh where is baby’s nose? (touch toes)
Where is baby’s belly button? (trace on baby’s tummy)
Round and round it goes.

Jack be nimble
Jack be quick
Jack jump over
The candlestick.

Do with each child, using their name instead of "Jack"

Jiē tóu xiàng wěi mài yóu tiáo
Mài lái mài qù mài bú diào
Huā lā lā lā lā lā biàn chéng lăo yóu tiáo

Translation: Doughnuts for sale along the streets/All day he couldn’t sell them/Hua la la la la la, they all got stale. From Chinese and English Nursery Rhymes: Share and Sing in Two Languages by Faye-Lynn Wu

Clap hands, clap hands
Dishes in a battle
Pots and pans all crash about
Bang! Rattle! Rattle!

Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold
Pease porridge in the pot, 9 days old
Some like it hot, some like it cold
Some like it in the pot, 9 days old

Hickory dickory dock (tick tock, tick tock)
The mouse ran up the clock
The clock struck one, the mouse ran down
Hickory dickory dock (tick tock, tick tock)

Hickory dickory dock (tick tock, tick tock)
The mouse ran up the clock
The clock struck two, the mouse said “woo”
Hickory dickory dock (tick tock, tick tock)

Hickory dickory dock (tick tock, tick tock)
The mouse ran up the clock
The clock struck three, the mouse said “wee”
Hickory dickory dock (tick tock, tick tock)

Hickory dickory dock (tick tock, tick tock)
The mouse ran up the clock
The clock struck four, the mouse said “no more”
Hickory dickory dock (tick tock, tick tock)

Book:

Hooray for Truckmice! Wong Herbert Yee

This book (sadly) seems to be out of print, but I love it for its bright colors, rhyming text, and introduction to all sorts of trucks, all driven by adorable little mice.

Bounces and Action Rhymes:

This little train went up the track
Choo Choo and then it came back
The other train went up the track
Choo Choo and then it came back

Run your fingers up baby’s arm, tickling the armpit on “choo choo” and then running back down the arm. Repeat with the other arm.

This little cow eats grass,
This little cow eats hay.
This little cow drinks water,
This little cow runs away!
And this little cow does nothing, but just lies down all day.
We’ll chase her, we’ll chase her, we’ll chase her away!

With baby’s thumb representing the first little cow, lightly wiggle each finger in turn. When you get to the last cow (and pinkie finger), tickle it and run your fingers up to the top of baby’s shoulder—also fun to do with toes!

Round and round the butter dish (trace circle on child’s tummy)
One, two, three! (walk fingers up chest)
A little here, a little there, (tap one cheek and then the other)
As tasty as can be! (tickle or kiss baby)

Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
And mouth and ears and eyes and nose
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes

If baby is old enough, have him or her point to each body part. If baby is still to young, touch each body part while singing.

Tony Chestnut knows I love you
Tony knows, Tony knows
Tony Chestnut knows I love you
That’s what Tony knows

Point to the mentioned body parts—Toes and knees for Tony, Chest and Head for Chestnut and nose and eyes for Knows I.

This is the way the ladies ride:
Walk walk walk
This is the way the gentlemen ride:
Trot trot trot
This is the way the children ride:
BOOM BOOM BOOM

Bounce the baby on your knee or foot. When the ladies ride, bounce very softly, for the gentlemen, bounce a little more, and then bounce very vigorously when the children ride!

Song:

Shake My Sillies Out by Raffi

We all have maracas that we shake as we dance and sing along.

Book:

What's Up, Duck?: A Book of Opposites by Tad Hills

I always forget that this isn't the best book for storytime. It's just pairs of opposites, BUT! It's Duck and Goose and I love Duck and Goose and most of their other books work so well for storytime that every year or so I forget. Ah well.

Closing:

Patty cake, patty cake
Baker’s man
Bake me a cake as fast as you can!
Roll it, and pat it
And mark it with a B
And throw it in the oven for baby and me!

Clap baby’s hands for the first three lines. When rolling the cake, roll your hands, and then pat your knees when patting the cake. Draw a B on baby’s hand when marking the cake and mime throwing it in the oven at the end.


(to the tune of Shortnin’ Bread)

Every little cell in my body is happy
Every little cell in my body is well
Every little cell in my body is happy
Every little cell in my body is well
I’m so glad every little cell
In my body is happy and well
I’m so glad every little cell
In my body is happy and well
Every little cell in my body is happy
Every little cell in my body is well

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Toddler Storytime

HA! I finally got the timing right! My secret? READ ANOTHER BOOK! So the middle book is NOT a board book, and only I have a copy. I introduced it as a tool to help transition into the preschool style of storytime. I'm still trying to figure out the best place to put the middle book.

Welcome Songs:

To the tune of “Happy Birthday”

Good morning to you
Good morning to you
We’re glad that you’re here
Good morning to you

Go around the room, singing to each child, using their name instead of "you." 

Way up in the sky, the little birds fly,
While down in the nest, the little birds rest.
With a wing to the left, and a wing to the right,
The little birds sleep all through the night.
Shhhhh! They’re sleeping!
The bright sun comes up, the dew falls away,
"Good Morning, Good Morning!" the little birds say.

Mother Goose Rhymes:

Little Robin Redbreast
Sat upon a rail;
Niddle, naddle, went his head,
Wiggle, waggle, went his tail.

Ring around the Rosy
A pocket full of posy
Ashes, ashes
We all fall down

Do you know the muffin man?
The muffin man, the muffin man?
Do you know the muffin man?
He lives on Drury lane.

Yes I know the muffin man.
The muffin man, the muffin man.
Yes I know the muffin man.
He lives on Drury lane.

NEW RHYME! I'm going to try to have a rhyme every week in a language other than English. I figure I'll change the rhyme every month, so parents have some time to learn it. I wrote the words (or in this case, the transliteration) on the marker board so parents could try to follow along. It's in Mandarin and comes from Chinese and English Nursery Rhymes: Share and Sing in Two Languages by Faye-Lynn Wu, illustrated by Kieren Dutcher. It helpfully comes with a CD so you can learn melodies and pronunciation.

Jiē tóu xiàng wěi mài yóu tiáo
Mài lái mài qù mài bú diào
Huā lā lā lā lā lā biàn chéng lăo yóu tiáo

Translation: Doughnuts for sale along the streets/All day he couldn’t sell them/Hua la la la la la, they all got stale. 

Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold
Pease porridge in the pot, 9 days old
Some like it hot, some like it cold
Some like it in the pot, 9 days old

Hickory dickory dock (tick tock, tick tock)
The mouse ran up the clock
The clock struck one, the mouse ran down
Hickory dickory dock (tick tock, tick tock)

Hickory dickory dock (tick tock, tick tock)
The mouse ran up the clock
The clock struck two, the mouse said “woo”
Hickory dickory dock (tick tock, tick tock)

Hickory dickory dock (tick tock, tick tock)
The mouse ran up the clock
The clock struck three, the mouse said “wee”
Hickory dickory dock (tick tock, tick tock)

Hickory dickory dock (tick tock, tick tock)
The mouse ran up the clock
The clock struck four, the mouse said “no more”
Hickory dickory dock (tick tock, tick tock)

Book:

Baby Animals At the Zoo

I like the Baby Animals series because there's more meat to it than you usually see in animal board books. You get a few sentences with facts about the animal, but in a way that's age appropriate. They also do fun things with font and text size and placement. Plus, BABY ANIMALS! Squeee!


Bounces and Action Rhymes:

Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
And mouth and ears and eyes and nose
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes

If baby is old enough, have him or her point to each body part. If baby is still to young, touch each body part while singing.

Tony Chestnut knows I love you
Tony knows, Tony knows
Tony Chestnut knows I love you
That’s what Tony knows

Point to the mentioned body parts—Toes and knees for Tony, Chest and Head for Chestnut and nose and eyes for Knows I.

I have a little heart (touch baby’s chest)
That goes thump thump thump (beat chest 3 times)
It keeps right on beating
As I jump jump jump (jump 3 times)

Book:

Simms Taback's Farm Animals by Simms Taback

This was a great one for this age group-- short, not a lot of text, animal noises, and, one you get the pages folded out, animal noises!

Rhymes:

This is the way the ladies ride:
Walk walk walk
This is the way the gentlemen ride:
Trot trot trot
This is the way the children ride:
BOOM BOOM BOOM

Bounce the baby on your knee or foot. When the ladies ride, bounce very softly, for the gentlemen, bounce a little more, and then bounce very vigorously when the children ride!

Song:

Shake My Sillies Out by Raffi

We shake our maracas and dance and sing along.

Book:

How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Birthday? by Jane Yolen and Mark Tegue

I love the dinosaur books. GIANT DINOSAURS! Acting like little kids! With human parents! But also, they teach manners and behavior while still being really fun. They're completely didactic, and I just don't care, because they're done so well.

Patty cake, patty cake
Baker’s man
Bake me a cake as fast as you can!
Roll it, and pat it
And mark it with a B
And throw it in the oven for baby and me!

Clap baby’s hands for the first three lines. When rolling the cake, roll your hands, and then pat your knees when patting the cake. Draw a B on baby’s hand when marking the cake and mime throwing it in the oven at the end.

Closing Songs:

(to the tune of Shortnin’ Bread)

Every little cell in my body is happy
Every little cell in my body is well
Every little cell in my body is happy
Every little cell in my body is well
I’m so glad every little cell
In my body is happy and well
I’m so glad every little cell
In my body is happy and well
Every little cell in my body is happy
Every little cell in my body is well

To the tune of “Happy Birthday”

Goodbye to you
Goodbye to you
We’re glad that you came
Goodbye to you

Go around the room singing to each child, using their name instead of "you".

Baby Storytime

Welcome Song:

Where is baby? Where is baby?
There (s)he is! There (s)he is!
I’m so glad to see you, I’m so glad to see you
Peek-a-boo! Peek-a-boo!

Sing to each child, using their name for "baby."

Mother Goose Rhymes:

NEW RYHME! I got saw this one this week on Library Lisa's Storytimes Blog and really liked it. The babies did, too!

Where oh where are baby’s fingers? (touch fingers)
Where oh where are baby’s toes? (touch toes)
Where is baby’s belly button? (trace on baby’s tummy)
Round and round it goes.
Where oh where are baby’s ears? (touch ears)
Where oh where is baby’s nose? (touch toes)
Where is baby’s belly button? (trace on baby’s tummy)
Round and round it goes.

Do you know the muffin man?
The muffin man, the muffin man?
Do you know the muffin man?
He lives on Drury lane.

Yes I know the muffin man.
The muffin man, the muffin man.
Yes I know the muffin man.
He lives on Drury lane.

NEW RHYME! I'm going to try to have a rhyme every week in a language other than English. I figure I'll change the rhyme every month, so parents have some time to learn it. I wrote the words (or in this case, the transliteration) on the marker board so parents could try to follow along. It's in Mandarin and comes from Chinese and English Nursery Rhymes: Share and Sing in Two Languages by Faye-Lynn Wu, illustrated by Kieren Dutcher. It helpfully comes with a CD so you can learn melodies and pronunciation.

Jiē tóu xiàng wěi mài yóu tiáo
Mài lái mài qù mài bú diào
Huā lā lā lā lā lā biàn chéng lăo yóu tiáo

Translation: Doughnuts for sale along the streets/All day he couldn’t sell them/Hua la la la la la, they all got stale. 

Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold
Pease porridge in the pot, 9 days old
Some like it hot, some like it cold
Some like it in the pot, 9 days old

Hickory dickory dock (tick tock, tick tock)
The mouse ran up the clock
The clock struck one, the mouse ran down
Hickory dickory dock (tick tock, tick tock)

Hickory dickory dock (tick tock, tick tock)
The mouse ran up the clock
The clock struck two, the mouse said “woo”
Hickory dickory dock (tick tock, tick tock)

Hickory dickory dock (tick tock, tick tock)
The mouse ran up the clock
The clock struck three, the mouse said “wee”
Hickory dickory dock (tick tock, tick tock)

Hickory dickory dock (tick tock, tick tock)
The mouse ran up the clock
The clock struck four, the mouse said “no more”
Hickory dickory dock (tick tock, tick tock)

Book:

Baby Animals At the Zoo

I like the Baby Animals series because there's more meat to it than you usually see in animal board books. You get a few sentences with facts about the animal, but in a way that's age appropriate. They also do fun things with font and text size and placement. Plus, BABY ANIMALS! Squeee!

Bounces and Action Rhymes:

Round and round the butter dish (trace circle on child’s tummy)
One, two, three! (walk fingers up chest)
A little here, a little there, (tap one cheek and then the other)
As tasty as can be! (tickle or kiss baby)

I have a little heart (touch baby’s chest)
That goes thump thump thump (beat chest 3 times)
It keeps right on beating
As I jump jump jump (jump 3 times)

Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
And mouth and ears and eyes and nose
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes

If baby is old enough, have him or her point to each body part. If baby is still to young, touch each body part while singing.

Tony Chestnut knows I love you
Tony knows, Tony knows
Tony Chestnut knows I love you
That’s what Tony knows

Point to the mentioned body parts—Toes and knees for Tony, Chest and Head for Chestnut and nose and eyes for Knows I.

This is the way the ladies ride:
Walk walk walk
This is the way the gentlemen ride:
Trot trot trot
This is the way the children ride:
BOOM BOOM BOOM

Bounce the baby on your knee or foot. When the ladies ride, bounce very softly, for the gentlemen, bounce a little more, and then bounce very vigorously when the children ride!

Song:

Shake My Sillies Out by Raffi

We shake our maracas and dance and sing along.

Book:

How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Birthday? by Jane Yolen and Mark Tegue

I love the dinosaur books. GIANT DINOSAURS! Acting like little kids! With human parents! But also, they teach manners and behavior while still being really fun. They're completely didactic, and I just don't care, because they're done so well.

Closing:

Patty cake, patty cake
Baker’s man
Bake me a cake as fast as you can!
Roll it, and pat it
And mark it with a B
And throw it in the oven for baby and me!

Clap baby’s hands for the first three lines. When rolling the cake, roll your hands, and then pat your knees when patting the cake. Draw a B on baby’s hand when marking the cake and mime throwing it in the oven at the end.

(to the tune of Shortnin’ Bread)

Every little cell in my body is happy
Every little cell in my body is well
Every little cell in my body is happy
Every little cell in my body is well
I’m so glad every little cell
In my body is happy and well
I’m so glad every little cell
In my body is happy and well
Every little cell in my body is happy
Every little cell in my body is well

Cherry Blossom Festival!

Yesterday was our annual Cherry Blossom Festival for ages 6-12!

This is the third year we've done the program, and it's always a favorite of mine. We start with a short story program and then have activity stations around the room that the kids can rotate through. It's scheduled to go an hour, but the kids stayed until we kicked them out after 75 minutes (another group had the room reserved, so we had to clean up fast!)

Story program

Yoko written and illustrated by Rosemary Wells.

This book isn't about Japan, but is about an anthropomorphic Japanese-American cat. Importantly though, it's about sushi. Are there any other picture books about sushi?

After I read this, I always ask if the kids have ever tried sushi. This year, 7 had!!!! We talked about it and how raw fish sounds gross but is actually very tasty. We talk so much about sushi, because one of the activity stations is candy sushi.

My awesome story-teller colleague told a story about Japan called "That's totally true!" from the book Stories To Play With by Hiroko Fujita. This is a great story because it has a lot of audience participation. Lauren recommends almost everything from the book.

Then, I told some choice, super-gross facts from the very cool book You Wouldn't Want to Be a Samurai!: A Deadly Career You'd Rather Not Pursue by Fiona MacDonald.

In this part of the program, you could also sing a Japanese song or learn some Japanese.

THEN! It was activity station time! Here are the stations we had:

Crafts


Tissue paper cherry tree:


I really liked this craft idea, where you use straws to blow India Ink around paper to make your cherry branches in a way that mimics traditional Japanese art. You then glue tissue paper to your branches. BUT! Blowing around India Ink in the library sounds like maybe not a good idea, so I had pre-printed branch templates! I found clip art of leafless trees, copied them into word, made the image fill the page and then printed them out. I used two different trees, so kids could choose their preferred look. I used this full-sized tree and this close up of branches (I used the one at the bottom).



I also cut out several small squares of white and pink tissue paper before the program, and then had kids wrap the paper around the end of a pencil, glue stick it, and stick to the paper. Easy peasey and really pretty. You can also have them just ball the paper up (which works better for younger kids.)

Try this variation using real branches.

Japanese Fan Craft:





We used these great fan printables and had the kids color them in, cut them out, and tape on some tongue depressors. Very fun for a wide range of ages.



Try this pretty twist on folded paper fan.

Origami:



I cut a bunch of old fliers so they were square to use for paper. I had the paper out with some of our origami books for the kids to play with.

One year, I'd like to also have a kite craft. This one sounds really cool, but we can't have to kids outside (too much traffic!) so I haven't done it.

Candy Sushi




I'll be honest. We started this program because I wanted an excuse to do a candy sushi program. But, this year was the first year that I could actually EAT the candy sushi. We always do this over spring break, and always manage to schedule it during Passover when I can't eat corn, which means no high fructose corn syrup, which means no candy. *le sigh* BUT NOT THIS YEAR!

We bought pre-packaged Rice Krispie treats and cut them into thirds. Then you add a Swedish fish and wrap it up with a bit of green skinny fruit roll snack. Fruit By the Foot does NOT come in green, but some of the other brands do. Before the program, I cut the Rice Krispie treats and pre-cut the lengths of fruit roll.

Some years, I also have Pocky, which is a Japanese snack that's basically a chocolate covered crispy breadstick. I have the kids use the Pocky as chopsticks to eat their sushi, then the Pocky. It's a lot of fun.

Chopstick Challenge


We have chopsticks and things to try to pick up with chopsticks. If you can pick it up with the chopsticks, you get to keep it. In order of easiest to hardest, the bowls are:

Cotton Balls
Insect Rings (left over from Summer Reading many, many, many years ago)
Compass Toys (left over from Summer Reading a few years ago)
Jelly Beans
M&Ms

The M&Ms are really, really, really, really, really, really hard to get with the chopsticks.


During the activity station portion of the program, we play I mix CD I made from my personal collection of Japanese Pop music. It features a lot of music by Puffy Amiyumi and Shonen Knife and some other tracks I discovered through my Puffy Amiyumi Pandora station.

I also had a display of books about Japan, samurai, ninjas, and some translated manga aimed at younger kids.

This is one of our more expensive programs. Luckily, the tissue paper and craft sticks I bought last year got us through this year and will get us through next year and maybe even the year after that. The chopsticks are a one-time purchase (although ours were donated) and we were able to use little gee-gaws that we had lying around.

The main expense is the candy for the sushi. We have a great friends group that funds us. I bought too much (always the case) BUT! we'll be able to use the leftovers as snacks for our various book clubs. So, it'll all get used.

We do try to have at least 3 staff members. The way it worked this year is we had 1 person running candy sushi, one person running the Chopstick Challenge, and one person running the craft area.

If we had a staff person who knew Karate, I'd love to teach some basic stances. Maybe one year we'll borrow the gaming equipment from the teens and have a Wii station. Maybe something with manga or anime?