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Happy Thanksgiving! – Toddler Move ‘N’Read Storytime

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Thanksgiving is almost here, and today we celebrated during Storytime. Our opening song was “If You’re Happy and You Know It” from 40 English Songs for Kids.

This First Thanksgiving Day by Laura Krauss Melmed was our first book. This counting story, written in rhyme, beautifully illustrated Thanksgiving from both the Pilgrim and Native American points of view. The Pilgrims were shown planting crops and establishing a settlement at Plymouth Rock. The Native Americans were shown fishing and hunting. At the end everyone came together to celebrate friendship.

After our first story it was time for everyone to get up and dance! I put on the CD Rhythms and Rhymes for Special Times by Jack Hartmann, and we all danced and played in the bubbles. This CD was a musical journey through the seasons and holidays. It not only contained several songs that fit each time of year, but also had many wonderful Thanksgiving songs on it.

Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes was our next book. Thanksgiving was a season for giving thanks, but there was so much to be thankful for. Friends, family, spending time together. This book, with its wonderful rhyming text, showed us the many reasons that this season was something we could all be thankful for.

The Tasty Thanksgiving Feast by Suzy Jane Tanner was our next book. This lift the flap story followed Henrietta Hen and the Thanksgiving feast she was holding. As each of her animal friends arrived to the feast, they brought a special dish with them. As we read through the story, we lifted up all the flaps to see what each animal brought to eat. Bear brought cornbread, Pig brought stuffing and Turkey brought…pie! As each new food was revealed, many of the children commented on whether or not they liked that particular item.

Our last activity was an action rhyme, based on an activity from librarian Carol Simon Levin’s blog Program Palooza, entitled “I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie.” I modified it greatly to fit this theme, and connected it to the previous story I had read. Prior to Storytime I printed out, and laminated, not only images of all the food items mentioned in the story, but also an image of an old lady’s face with an open mouth that was taped to a plastic soup cauldron. As the rhyme progressed the old lady swallowed more and more outrageous items, culminating in an entire loaf of bread. I passed out the food images to the children, and one by one held up an animal puppet holding a food item. This was reminiscent of The Tasty Thanksgiving Feast. Just like in the story, each animal had a different plate of food, only for our activity, they were feeding the food to the Old Lady. One by one, as I held up different animals, each child threw their matching item into the Old Lady’s mouth. There are many variations of the “I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a…” stories and children really enjoy the silliness of them. As we had fun with our puppets, we listened to Music Time by Robyn Dupuis. This CD has songs appropriate for every season.

Activities such as this have beneficial elements concerning brain development, as this article from The New York Times blog discusses. Traditionally flash cards were thought of as an excellent way to strengthen a child’s literacy skills and prepare them for school; however the article states that activities such as variations on freeze can be just as valuable.  Movement and action such as this test a child’s ability to pay attention, listen to instruction, and demonstrate self-control, all skills that will enable them to succeed in school. As the article states, playing freeze games is extremely cognitively stimulating. The article suggests several other activities that offer the same benefits.

‘Twas the Day After Thanksgiving by Mavis Smith was our last story. I always like to end Thanksgiving Storytimes with this hilarious lift the flap tale. This story followed the cadence of Clement Clarke Moore’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas poem. A family, and a mice family, were all celebrating the day after Thanksgiving, and as the story progressed, eating more and more outrageous leftovers. There was turkey with jelly for breakfast, and turkey ice cream for dessert with dinner. By the time the night was over the family wanted something new, so they ordered a pizza, only to find it covered in turkey meat! As we saw what the family did, and ate, during the day, by lifting up the flaps on each page, we were able to observe the mice family as well. The children always enjoy being able to lift the flaps in stories, and this book was no exception.

We ended our Thanksgiving celebration by shaking our sillies out, along with Raffi from his CD More Singable Songs. Mr. Turkey joined us in shaking, jumping and dancing in the bubbles, in honor of Thanksgiving.

For a craft today, we made circle turkeys. Each turkey’s body was a brown circle, and it’s feathers were leaves. Some googly eyes, and a yellow triangle for a beak completed our birds. The circles and leaves were all created on our die cut machine, but could easily be traced from template.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

In honor of National Cookie Day, which is December 4th, Cookies will be our theme next week!

-Miss Jessica

Turkey Craft at North Greenwood

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On Tuesday, November 17 the North Greenwood Library offered a make-and-take craft program for kids. We made turkey wreaths to decorate for the Thanksgiving holiday. This is a nice, simple DIY cut and glue craft that can be made easily at home.

To make this craft you will need: 1 paper plate, 1 piece of ribbon, 1 turkey body cut out of brown construction paper, 1 turkey beak cut out of red or yellow construction paper, 3 strips of red construction paper, 3 strips of brown construction paper, 3 strips of orange construction paper, and 4 of yellow construction paper, glue, scissors, black marker.


The paper plate will need to have a hole cut into the center of it and have a hole punched on the outside.

We started by making the turkey. First, glue the beak to the turkey body. Then, take one strip of yellow construction paper and fold it back and forth evenly. Then when fully folded, cut it in half to create the turkey’s legs. Stretch out the legs and glue them to the back of the turkey. Then draw eyes on your turkey. I also drew little toes on my turkey’s legs. Set the turkey aside for later.


Next I tied my string to hang the wreath. This will help orient the top of the turkey wreath.


After that, glue the strips of construction paper to create rings.


Once the rings are all glued together, it’s time to start gluing the strips to the paper plate. I created a color pattern but you can glue them however you would like.


Lastly, glue the turkey to the bottom of the wreath. You want to glue it on the ring opposite from the string. And that’s it! You have created a cute Thanksgiving turkey wreath craft!


Here are some pictures of the kids doing the craft.


Next month on December 22 from 5-6 p.m. the North Greenwood Library will be hosting a holiday make-and-take craft. Be sure to stop in for another fun and creative project!

Family Time – Toddler Move ‘N’ Read Storytime

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All the different members that make up a family was our theme today at Storytime. Our opening song was “If You’re Happy and You Know It” from 40 English Songs for Kids.

Mr. Tom Cat joined us…
as we jumped and shouted…
to show how happy we were!

Grandpa Green by Lane Smith was our first book. The little boy in this book told us all about his great grandfather. The little boy said his great grandfather grew up on a farm, before television or even radio. He and his great grandmother had a wonderful life together, never once fighting. His great grandfather was getting older, and couldn’t always remember everything, but the important stuff he never forgot. The truly ingenious part of this book was the illustrations. The whole book was set in the great grandfather’s garden, and each event the boy described was illustrated by a topiary that depicted that item or circumstance. The final pull out illustration showed a magnificent view of the whole garden.

Our first activity was all about color matching with that loveable dog Spot. Author Eric Hill has a series of books about Spot and his many adventures. For our activity, we, with the help of some animal friends, had to help Spot’s dad choose his favorite color tie. Prior to Storytime, I placed an image of Spot’s dad up on the board. Before beginning the activity, I handed out ties in various colors to the children. Then, one by one, I would hold up a different animal puppet wearing a different colored tie. The child with the matching tie could then come up and place it on the image of Spot’s dad on the board. As we matched colors we listened to family songs from Junior Jukebox Home Sweet Home. The Junior Junkebox CD collection has music corresponding to many varied themes, with songs that are lively and fun to sing along with.


Should Spot’s Dad wear a rainbow tie?

Pete the Cat: Rock on Mom and Dad by James Dean was our next book. Pete’s mom and dad did so much for him every day, that Pete wanted to make them a special present to say thank you. What would be good enough? Pete’s friend said it wasn’t necessarily what Pete made, but that whatever it was came from the heart. Pete eventually decided that the best thing he could do was to write, and sing, his mom and dad their very own song.

Spot returned for our next story, Spot’s Baby Sister by Eric Hill. In this fun tale, Spot got a new addition to his family, a baby sister, Susie. Spot really loved Susie, he even let her play with him and his friends. When Susie ran off with Spot’s new toy, Spot and his friends played a spirited game of hide and seek to find her, which we were able to participate in through lift the flap elements in the book. Eventually they did find her, asleep under the table. After Susie’s nap, she was ready for more fun and games with Spot and his friends.

For our last activity, I put on the song “Five People in My Family” from the CD Songs from the Street: 35 Years of Music, a compilation of music from the TV show Sesame Street. As the song played, the children jumped and danced in the bubbles, trying to catch as many as they could.


Everyone try and catch the bubbles!

Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo was our last book. The little boy in this book was going on an adventure of sorts, visiting his Nana for a sleep over. His Nana lived in a large noisy city, which was a little frightening for the boy at first. Subway trains, new sights and smells made everything a little overwhelming. His Nana knew just what to do though, he made her grandson a special cape. With that cape on, the little boy wasn’t as afraid of the new place he was visiting.

Helping children develop good literacy skills starts at home, with family as this article from Reading Is Fundamental outlines. The article goes on to expound that having a literacy friendly home does not just mean having a lot of books on the shelves, it means having a variety of literacy related materials in various forms, for various ages. It also means making literacy a family priority, such as parents reading to children. The article details other aspects of a literacy friendly home, such as other materials to have that encourage, and enable children to practice, literacy skills.

Mr. Tom cat joined us in shaking our sillies out today, as we all played in the bubbles along with Raffi, from his CD More Singable Songs.


Mr. Tom Cat had a lot of fun joining us to shake his sillies out today!

We explored family relationships today in Storytime.

Thanksgiving will be our theme next week!

-Miss Jessica

Whatever the Weather – Toddler Move ‘N’ Read Storytime

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It’s raining, it’s windy, but wait, the sun is peeking through. Weather of all sorts descended on Storytime today. Our opening song was “If You’re Happy and You Know It” from 40 English Songs for Kids.


Mr. Tom Cat joined us…

Happy2 Happy1

As we jumped and clapped to show how happy we were.


Mr. Tom Cat’s favorite kind of weather is warm and sunny, where he can curl up in a window.

Rain by Manya Stojic was our first book. This story took place on an African plain. It was hot and dry, but as our story began the animals could sense something was coming. They could smell it, feel it, and even taste it on the air. The rain was coming, and it turned the hot dry earth into a place where food grew, water collected so the animals could drink and trees grew big and tall so the animals would have shade. The rain did not last, but the animals knew it would return again one day. Stojic’s use of words that conveyed sound and description was prolific in this book. The particular words were always in a typeface that was bigger than the other words on the page. This helped them stand out and drew the children’s attention. It also aided in reading the story aloud, because those words could be emphasized.

Since our first story was all about rain, our first activity continued the theme. Prior to Storytime I filled up three Mason jars almost to the top with water. During the activity, I squirted whipped cream on top of the water, and a little bit over the top of the jar. Then, the children were able to come up and pour food coloring on top of the whipped cream. After a little wait, it began to rain colors into the jar! Once the children realized the fun effect taking place, they were all eager to pour their own food coloring over the whipped cream to make it rain. We listened to Weather Songs, from the Ballads for the Age of Science collection. A link to this rain activity can be found here. I substituted whipped cream in place of shaving cream for Storytime.


We started off with water, food coloring and whipped cream…


and slowly…

Rain3 Rain4 Rain5 Rain6

We made it rain! The water turned all sorts of colors as our rain dripped down from our whipped cream cloud.

Where Does the Wind Blow? by Cindy Rink was our next book. Rink’s beautifully illustrated story showed us a wide variety of people, places and things the wind blew through. The wind blew past bears fishing in streams, mountains crowned with snow, and people enjoying a campfire. We learned that the wind blew all over the world, touching people and animals in a myriad of ways.

Bear in Sunshine by Stella Blackstone was our next book. Blackstone has a series of books about Bear and his adventures. In this story, we saw Bear out and about in all kinds of weather. When the sun came out, Bear liked to play with his toy boats on the lake. In the wind, Bear loved to fly kites, and when it was foggy, Bear loved to paint. In the end, we saw Bear having fun in all different types of weather, throughout the year.

Our last activity revolved around creating weather in a bottle, or in this case three. Prior to Storytime, I filled three old water bottles halfway up with vegetable oil. During the activity, I had the children dye water three different colors, orange, purple, and green. For the first weather phenomenon,  the children poured the orange water into one of the bottles, and shook it up. We had created the sun in a bottle! The purple water became fog in a bottle, and the green water transformed into wind in a bottle. The children had a lot of fun shaking the bottles as hard as they could, then watching as the oil and colored water would always separate. One child shook the fog bottle so fast that, for a moment the mixture turned gray and it actually looked like fog! While we made our weather in a bottle, we listened to “Weather Walk” by Jack Hartmann from his CD Colors All Around. A link to this activity can be found here.


Weather in a bottle.


First, we dyed some water green.


Then we poured the green water into the bottle labeled wind, and had wind in a bottle.


Our purple fog bottle got shaken up so well, the contents actually looked like gray fog!


We also created sun in a bottle with orange dyed water.

If Frogs Made Weather by Marion Dane Bauer was our last book. This delightfully quirky book described what weather would be like if were made by different animals. If cats made weather, the sun would slant through windows and hit the windowsill just right so every kitty could bask in the warmth. If polar bears made weather, it would always be winter and spring would never come. Each page portrayed a different animal, and the weather described suited the animal’s characteristics perfectly. Bauer did some interesting things with the type in her story. On several of the pages sound and action words were in bold face, highlighting their relevance to the story.  When Bauer described what kind of weather a hawk would make some of the words in bold were ‘blow,’ ‘rising,’ and ‘swirling.’ Since the hawk uses wind to fly through the air, these words were appropriate and helped the children relate to the concepts being described. In other instances, words were repeated to help establish a certain feel to that particular part of the story. For example, Bauer depicted the type of weather flies would make and the words ‘hot,’ to describe the weather and ‘rot,’ to describe what would happen to food, were repeated three times. This leant a lively rhythm to the text and really evoked a sense of what flies would do with food left out in the hot sun.

Sounds and sound words played a large role in several of the books we read in Storytime today. Sound words can evoke images and actions in a very direct way. Using sounds in various ways is an excellent tool to help children improve their literacy skills. This article from the Raising Children Network  outlines some useful suggestions for how to not only incorporate sounds into daily activities with your child, but also how these activities will greatly improve their literacy skills, the suggestions are broken down based on children’s age groups. One example is to discuss the sounds that various objects and animals make with your child, as our books did today. Your child will not only learn to associate those sounds with the objects that make them, but also learn how sounds can be a basis for language.

Bubbles, and Mr. Hippo, accompanied us as we shook our sillies out along with Raffi from his CD More Singable Songs.

Sillies1 Sillies2 Sillies3

Mr. Hippo joined us for our final song.

Neither rain, nor wind prevented us from enjoying our Storytime!

Family will be our theme next week!

-Miss Jessica

North Greenwood Halloween Dance Party

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Last Friday from 2-4 pm, the North Greenwood Library held its annual Halloween party! This year we had a blast breakin’ it down on the dance floor. DJ Lil’ Kid Bay kept the party going with a light show and todays hit music.


We had some spooky treats for our partiers.


We saw some cute costumes including a pirate and Elsa. Miss Sarah dressed up as Waldo from Where’s Waldo.

IMG_5821      Waldo

For a craft, we had Halloween bookmarks for the kids to color.


We also played Halloween BINGO. The prizes for our lucky winners were some sticky eyeballs!


As a parting gift, all our partiers got Halloween gift bags filled with goodies.

We all had a Happy Halloween!