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Easter time is here again, and we celebrated during our Storytime today. Our opening song was “If You’re Happy and You Know It” from 40 English Songs for Kids. Today we had a little fun, and instead of an Easter bunny being the star…
We had an Easter hippo! Here is his with five of his Easter bunny friends joining us in our first song.
Clap your hands, and pat your head if you’re happy.
Happy Easter! by Liesbet Slegers was our first book. It was springtime, and Easter had come again. New flowers were blooming, and mother animals welcomed their new babies. Springtime also meant the return of the Easter Bunny. The Easter Bunny lived in a small cottage in the woods, and every year he gathered, painted and hid lots of beautiful Easter eggs for all the children. Every Easter morning the children would excitedly wake up and go out on their Easter egg hunts. Once Easter was over, the Easter Bunny would retire to his cottage for a well deserved sleep, until he was needed next spring.
Mr. Tom Cat loved our first story today, he really likes the Easter bunny
Our first activity was a counting down rhyme entitled “Five Little Bunnies” that was borrowed from Once Upon a Storytime. In this rhyme we started off with five little bunnies, as each one hopped away, we counted down from five to zero. As an added bonus, I incorporated not only five bunny puppets, but also a tree and sun stick puppet into the activity, because the bunnies interacted with both of those items. As we counted down one puppet at a time left the stage. The children really enjoyed activities such as these, but it is even more satisfying for them when puppets were involved. It created a visual dimension, they could see the objects disappearing as each puppet left, and this helped reinforce the concept of subtraction.
Four little bunnies were under a tree, one hopped away, and then there were three.
Easter Parade by Irving Berlin was our next book. This delightfully colorful rhyming book, based on Berlin’s song of the same name, showed a plethora of animals getting ready for the Easter parade. Everyone had to select their very best hat. We saw straw hats, large brimmed hats with flowers and even a hat that was a real beehive. The most exceptional hat of all belonged to a lovely little girl rabbit. Her hat had Easter eggs, pinwheels, feathers and so much more. It was the most beautiful, whimsical hat of them all, and she showed it off proudly when her daddy took her to the Easter parade.
Bear, Turtle and Frog all showing off their magnificent Easter bonnets
Splat the Cat: Where is the Easter Bunny? by Rob Scotton was our next book. Scotton’s delightful feline Splat was back, this time on the hunt for the Easter Bunny. On each page was a lift the flap element that incorporated Splat’s search. As we read through, several of the children helped me tell the story by lifting up each flap, hoping that would be the one to finally reveal the Easter Bunny. It was not until the very end of the story, Easter morning, that we lifted the last flap and saw the Easter Bunny scurrying across Splat’s front yard, leaving him eggs.
All Splat wanted for Easter was a large Easter egg.
Our major activity for this Storytime was an Easter egg hunt! Before the start of Storytime I hid eggs in the program area and the children got to search for them. We had musical accompaniment during the search in the form of the CD Easter Party Music Activities such as this encourage the development of social, thinking and motor skills in children. Hunting for the eggs was an individual activity, but doing it in a group helped reinforce the ideas of fair play and letting everyone have an opportunity to find an egg. Thinking and motor skills worked hand in hand in an activity such as this. The children had to think about the most likely places where an egg would be hidden, and, of course, the entire activity involved movement from the physical act of searching to grabbing the eggs and putting them in a basket. This article from Education.com highlights why developing motor skills in children is so important and how motor skills tie into the development of other essential attributes. Overall though, the children really had such fun.
Where could the eggs be? Lets go look for them.
We found some taped to a chair and table.
Others were hidden behind doors.
Still more were stuck to windows.
Pete the Cat: Big Easter Adventure by Kimberly and James Dean was our last book. In this installment of our favorite groovy feline’s adventures, Pete was given a special task by the Easter Bunny. Pete had to find, paint and hide all the Easter eggs, all while wearing bunny ears so no one would know he was not the Easter Bunny. Pete took on his task with gusto, gathering eggs, painting them and even, after much trial and error, finding perfect hiding spots for them. Just as Pete hid the last egg, the Easter Bunny arrived, with an award for Pete for a job well done. Pete had fun, and got to help a friend.
Today, Pete had to help his friend the Easter bunny.
Pete gathered eggs from the chickens…
Then put on his Easter Bunny costume and hid the eggs for all the children to find
After our last book, we all stood up and danced, shook and clapped our sillies out with not only Raffi, from his CD More Singable Songs, but also our friend the Easter hippo, who made one final appearance today.
Shake your sillies out with us Mr. Easter Hippo!
Our craft today was a giant egg made out of construction paper. The children, with some help from their parents, cut the egg down the middle in a zigzag pattern, and then glued a chick to the bottom half of the egg. I attached the bottom and top halves together with brass fasteners so they would open and close in a hinged motion. The children then decorated their eggs with crayons.
This was a wonderfully enjoyable Storytime. Happy Easter everyone!
We will not have Storytime next week, due to a conflicting program. We will return April 7th and our theme will be Fruit!
This past Saturday at the Robofest competition in Oldsmar, the Clearwater Library robotic team, BiblioBots, took the People’s Choice award for their exhibition submission of JobBot, the Neat Freak Robot.
The team built JobBot from a Lego EV3 Mindstorm kit and programmed it to pick up toys around the house. The Bibliobots group has been meeting at the Main library weekly researching, designing and building JobBot.
Look for our summer two week robotic camp for grades 4 – 8 starting on June 8th.
For More Info and Registration Click HERE !
Crossing the midline involves developing the bilateral skill of being able to move opposite sides of the body simultaneously. When doing this your child’s brain communicates across the two hemispheres and strengthens the pathways which will later assist in learning. Difficulty in mastering this skill can affect his/her ability to read. As you read you move your eyes from left to right across the page and at the midline you stop to blink or refocus. Some children have difficulty at this point and lose their place in the line.
Babies naturally start working on this skill when they begin to crawl as a required cross-lateral coordination left arm/right leg, or right arm/left leg is needed. Here are some rhyme and movement activities you can play with your child that will help develop this coordination.
This week we did a dual themed Storytime, celebrating the first day of Spring and St. Patrick’s Day. Our opening song was “If You’re Happy and You Know It” from 40 English Songs for Kids.
If you’re happy, clap your hands!
The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day by Natasha Wing was our first book. This story, in terms of poetic style, was modeled after Clement Clarke Moore’s Twas the Night Before Christmas. Siblings Tim and Maureen had a plan, to trap a leprechaun and get the little man to tell them where he buried his gold. Tim and Maureen carefully laid out all their traps the night before St. Patrick’s Day. The following morning, as the family was all at breakfast, there was a resounding crash! A leprechaun had been caught, and he did indeed tell the children where he hid his gold, under a rock marked with a ‘X’ in the backyard. However, when the children rushed outside, they discovered every rock was marked with an ‘X’. The little leprechaun had tricked the children, but as a parting gift he created a glorious rainbow, and wished them better luck treasure hunting next year.
In keeping with our St. Patrick’s Day theme, “Leprechaun, Leprechaun What Do You See?” which was borrowed from Storytime ABC’s, was our first activity. This was a color matching rhyme wherein the children and I created a rainbow, just like the leprechaun did for Tim and Maureen in our first story. Prior to Storytime I printed out, and laminated, each of the objects mentioned in the rhyme. Before beginning the activity, I placed an image of a leprechaun, and his hat, on the board. As we read through the rhyme, and each new object was mentioned, the child with that object was able to come up and place it on the board. In the end, when all our items lined up, we saw we had made a rainbow. Then, one of the children came up and removed the leprechaun’s hat from the board, and we all discovered we had found his treasure of gold coins. Here is the rhyme:
Leprechaun, Leprechaun What Do You See?
Leprechaun, Leprechaun What Do You See?
I see a red ladybug flying around me.
Red ladybug, red ladybug what do you see?
I see an orange sun shining on me.
Orange sun, orange sun what do you see?
I see a yellow star twinkling at me.
Yellow star, yellow star what do you see?
I see a green leaf smiling at me.
Green leaf, green leaf what do you see?
I see a blue bird flying by me.
Blue bird, blue bird what do you see?
I see a purple butterfly soaring by me.
Purple butterfly, Purple butterfly, what do you see?
I see lots of children in front of me.
Children, Children, what do you see?
a RED bird,
an ORANGE sun,
a YELLOW star,
a GREEN leaf,
a BLUE bird,
a PURPLE butterfly
Up above us flying across the sky!
We see a RAINBOW!
We built a beautiful rainbow out of butterflies, leaves, birds and more
Underneath the leprechaun’s hat, we found his golden treasure!
Color played a large role in our first activity today. Learning about color is tremendously important for children. Color assists in childhood development in various ways. Colors enable children to organize objects and distinguish them from each other. This article from Scholastic outlines how learning about color, and the many ways it is used in daily life, is beneficial to all children.
Next, it was time to switch gears and celebrate the coming of the first day of spring. Bluebird’s Nest by Dorothea Deprisco was our first book. Our story began with a little bluebird gathering materials. What was she making? With each turn of the page the children and I got to discover just what the little bird was up to. This book contained both movable parts and a popup element, so as each page was turned a new layer of brown yarn appeared, slowly creating birds nest. At the end, I had one of the children come up and turn the last page, which revealed a lovely pop up, with Bluebird, her nest, and her children. With this, we all learned what she was building that nest for.
Ten Lucky Leprechauns by Kathryn Heling and Deborah Hembrook was our next book. This was a rhyming, counting book. As we counted up from one to ten, we met a whimsical batch of leprechauns. Some played the kazoo, some were artists, and some were jugglers. The last leprechaun we met was a treasure hunter, and he led the other nine leprechauns, his new friends, to a big pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
The bubble machine made an appearance for our last activity. I put on the song “Spring is Here” from the Learning Station’s CD Seasonal Songs in Motion, then the bubble machine was switched on. Everyone had such fun running, jumping and laughing, while playing with the bubbles.
Celebrate spring with bubbles!
Mouse’s First Spring by Lauren Thompson was our next book. Together Mouse, and his Mama, we celebrated all the things that make spring wonderful. From chasing butterflies, to meeting bluebirds, to visiting the pond and meeting frogs, Mouse and his Mama had an exciting, fun filled day.
Everyone shook their sillies out, and jumped their jiggles out, along with Raffi, and his More Singable Song.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone, spring is here!
Our theme next week will be Easter. We will not have a Storytime on March 31st, but will return April 7th and our theme that day will be Fruit!
Today we celebrated the four legged, winged and scaled members of the family, our pets. Our opening song was “If You’Re Happy and You Know It” from 40 English Songs for Kids.
Mr. Hippo joined us in jumping for joy to show how happy we were
Dino Pets by Lynn Plourde was our first book. At the beginning of our story we were welcomed to the Dino Pets Shop, where every dino you could every want was available and ready to take home, which was just what the little boy in our story did. Each time the boy brought home a dino pet though, there was a problem. Either it was too big to fit into the house, or it liked to run so much it ran away, or it didn’t like to have it’s hair brushed. One way or another, by the end of the story the little boy had no dino pets left and he was very sad. Until, we got to the final page and there were all of his dino pets, safe and sound, at home waiting for him. Plourde has another book about the dino pets entitled Dino Pets Go to School.
To continue with our dino pets theme, our first activity was an action song called “We Are the Dinosaurs” from Laurie Berkner’s CD Best of the Laurie Berkner Band. Prior to beginning the activity, I handed out egg shakers to the children. Then, as the song played, we all marched along and shook our egg shakers to the beat. One of our dinosaur puppets joined in the musical fun, dancing and marching right along with us.
We are the dinosaurs, marching, marching!
I Spy: Pets by Edward Gibbs was our next book. Gibbs has a series of “I Spy” books, each dealing with different animals. The books are constructed in a unique way, with a die cut hole in the middle that only reveals a small portion of the illustration behind it. That, combined with Gibbs’ simple text, gave us hints about each of the pets in the story. Once we turned the page we got to see what animal it was, and we learned something about them.
I spy a pet with scales…it’s a fish
I spy another pet with a hard shell…look, it’s a turtle
Just Perfect by Jane Marinsky was our next book. A little boy, his mommy and daddy made a family of three, but they wanted to make it four by adding a pet. They tried several different candidates. The dog would not work because it shed too much and the little boy was allergic. The chameleon kept blending in and disappearing and no one could ever find him. The octopus, with his many arms that got into everything, made too much of a mess. The little boy and his family looked all over to try to find the perfect pet. At the end of our story we discovered that the perfect new addition to the family was not a pet, but a new baby. Now the happy family was four instead of three.
We tried a dog for a pet, but it shed too much.
The dolphin seemed like a good idea, but it required too much water
Our last activity was one of my own devising, a Pet Matching Game. I printed out various pictures, two each, of many different kinds of pets. Before beginning the activity I not only placed one set of images on the board, but also handed each child two different images each. Then, one at a time, a puppet would appear and the child holding the image was able to bring it up to the board and place it next to the one that matched. It was hard to tell what the children enjoyed more, watching and waiting for each new puppet, or coming up to the board to place their image up.
Here was our first pet, a chick. If you have a chick, bring it up to the board
Next, a lizard appeared. bring you lizard up to the board
Then it was time for the cat and the hamster. Bring them on up if you have the right picture!
There Are Cats in This Book by Viviane Schwarz was our next book. This interactive tale actually allowed the children and I to play with the cats that inhabited the pages of this story. By simply turning the pages, and lifting flaps, we were able to play games with the three delightful cats, Tiny, Moonpie and Andre, who provided us no end of fun.
Owning pets can be of enormous benefit to children, as this article from Parents magazine outlines.Pets can aid children with their learning, first and foremost because they are nonjudgmental. For example, if a child who is struggling with reading reads to a pet, the pet will never correct the child’s mistakes. They will simply be a comforting presence that will boost the child’s self-esteem helping them to better master the skill. Pets provide companionship, help teach children to build bonds and teach them responsibility. The article also provides a handy link at the end for how to find the best pet to fit your family.
Mr. Tom cat joined us in shaking our sillies out, from Raffi’s CD More Singable Songs for our finale today.
Jump your jiggles out Mr. Tom Cat!
We had such adventures with our pets today at Storytime.
Our theme next week will be Spring and St. Patrick’s Day!