Category Archives: Baby and Toddler Programs

Colors Signs for Storytime!

Brighten up any storytime by teaching the American Sign Language colors!

Learn the color signs from Shaylee, Ivy, Manny and Sheena in this adorable video from ASL Nook! It’s perfect for learning the signs yourself, and also short and engaging enough to share with students or in storytime!

Then incorporate the ASL signs for colors in your favorite songs and rhymes!  Here’s a fun one to get you started. This song is terrific for online storytimes and lessons too, because it keeps kids engaged even through a video screen! For more signing fun, click on the links to learn the signs for the movements too.

Where are Colors? Song
by Kathy MacMillan
(to the tune of Frere Jacques)

Where is RED? Where is RED?
Look around. Look around.
Point to something RED, Point to something RED
JUMP up and down, JUMP up and down.

WHERE is BLUE?…DANCE around.
WHERE is YELLOW?…TURN-AROUND.
WHERE is GREEN?…STOMP around.
WHERE is PURPLE?…then SIT down.

Register now for Little Hands Signing Professional Development Series 2!

Little Hands Signing Professional Development Storytimes Series 2: Seasons

Join us for weekly interactive “annotated storytimes” that teaches basic American Sign Language vocabulary and demonstrate how to use the signs in storytime activities and the early childhood classroom. Each session will focus on specific seasonal vocabulary:

  • Tuesday, July 7, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Summer Signs
  • Tuesday, July14, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Autumn Signs
  • Tuesday, July 21, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Winter Signs
  • Tuesday, July 28, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Spring Signs
  • Tuesday, August 4, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Celebration Signs

Because each webinar is theme-based, it is NOT necessary to have taken Series 1 in order to get the most out of Series 2!

Children of participants are welcome to join for the first 40 minutes. The final 20 minutes will consist of lecture and Q&A.  Webinars are presented in spoken English. To request accommodations, contact info@storiesbyhand.com.

Individual registration: $200 for the 5-webinar series. Group rate: $1500 for 10 people for the 5-webinar series.

Add-ons available:

  • 30-minute one-on-one coaching session: $30.  A one-on-one Zoom session with Kathy MacMillan to receive individualized feedback on your planned signing materials for storytime or the classroom – planned around your schedule! Includes recording access. Must be used within 6 months of purchase. 
  • Individualized video feedback: $20. Submit a video (up to 10 min) demonstrating your planned signing activities for storytime and receive individualized feedback on sign choices, production, and more from Kathy MacMillan via return video within 14  days. Must be used within 6 months of purchase.

Register now! Get 40% off when you register using code EARLYLITERACY (valid on group tickets too!)

Register now for Liven Up Baby and Toddler Storytimes with Sign Language

Liven Up Baby and Toddler Storytimes with Sign Language: A 90-minute webinar

Wednesday, June 10, 2020, 2:30pm Eastern/1:30pm Central/12:30pm Mountain/11:30am Pacific

Presented by Kathy MacMillan, NIC, M.L.S.

Signing with young children of any hearing ability fosters bonding, stimulates language development, and reduces frustration for caregiver and child. Learn how to use sign language in storytimes to broaden their appeal and make them more participative. In this interactive workshop, Kathy MacMillan—American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter, librarian, and storyteller—will use video examples to provide easy-to-learn signs that can be retaught and incorporated into stories, rhymes, and songs. You will be able to use the skills learned in this workshop to create programs that will help you, your staff, and parents communicate better with children. Register at https://www.alastore.ala.org/content/liven-baby-and-toddler-storytimes-sign-language-workshop

Complete list of upcoming webinars from Kathy MacMillan

Register now for the Little Hands Signing Professional Development Storytime series!

Perfect for the librarian or teacher stuck at home trying to juggle professional development with childcare! It’s continuing education you can share with your child!

Little Hands Signing Professional Development Storytimes

Join us for weekly interactive “annotated storytimes” that teaches basic American Sign Language vocabulary and demonstrate how to use the signs in storytime activities. Each session will focus on specific vocabulary:

  • April 29, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: First Signs
  • May 6, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Feelings Signs
  • May 13, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Colors Signs
  • May 20, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Animal Signs
  • May 27, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Family Signs

Children of participants are welcome to join for the first 40 minutes. The final 20 minutes will consist of lecture and Q&A. Presenter Kathy MacMillan is a nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter, librarian, and storyteller. She is the author of the Little Hands Signing series from Familius Press, as well as Little Hands and Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together (Huron Street Press) as well as many other resources books for librarians and educators. Certificate of completion for each webinar available upon request with successful completion of post-test.

$50 per person per webinar. $200 for 5-webinar series.

Add-ons available:

  • 30-minute one-on-one coaching session: $30. A one-on-one Zoom session with Kathy MacMillan to receive individualized feedback on your planned signing materials for storytime or the classroom – planned around your schedule! Includes recording access. Must be used within 6 months of purchase.
  • Individualized video feedback: $20.Submit a video (up to 10 min) demonstrating your planned signing activities for storytime and receive individualized feedback on sign choices, production, and more from Kathy MacMillan via return video within 14 days. Must be used within 6 months of purchase.

Register now!

Individual webinars:

NITA’S DAY now available for preorder!

Available now for pre-order from Familius Press!

Nita’s Day: More Signs for Babies and Parents

  • Text by Kathy MacMillan
  • Illustrations by Sara Brezzi
  • Published by Familius Press

Nita and her family are back in an all-new adventure that teaches 10 basic American Sign Language signs for babies and their grownups to use throughout the day: wake up, change, clothes, eat, potty, go, play, bath, book, and bed. A simple story about Nita and her parents teaches each sign in context, and repetition throughout each story makes them easy to practice. Even better, each page slides open to reveal accurate instructions on how to make each sign, plus tabs on the side of each page make it simple to locate every sign for later reference. No signing book collection is complete without Nita!

Pre-order now:

Learn more about the Little Hands Signing series here!

Kathy MacMillan is a writer, national certified American Sign Language interpreter, librarian, and signing storyteller. She writes picture books (the Little Hands Signing series, Familius Press), children’s nonfiction (She Spoke: 14 Women Who Raised Their Voices and Changed the World, Familius Press), and young adult fantasy. Her debut young adult novel, Sword and Verse, was a finalist for 2017 Compton Crook Award, and its sequel, Dagger and Coin, was published in October 2018. She is also the author of eight resource books for educators, librarians, and parents, including Little Hands and Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together (Huron Street Press, 2013). Her diverse career includes working as a children’s librarian at public libraries, working a school librarian at the Maryland School for the Deaf,  leading the Eldersburg Library Bookcart Drill Team, and performing characters at a theme park.

Register now for Liven Up Baby and Toddler Storytimes with Sign Language

Liven Up Baby and Toddler Storytimes with Sign Language: A 90-minute webinar

Thursday, March 28, 2018, 2:30pm Eastern/1:30pmCentral/12:30pm Mountain/11:30am Pacific

Presented by Kathy MacMillan, NIC, M.L.S.

Signing with young children of any hearing ability fosters bonding, stimulates language development, and reduces frustration for caregiver and child. Learn how to use sign language in storytimes to broaden their appeal and make them more participative. In this interactive workshop, Kathy MacMillan—American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter, librarian, and storyteller—will use video examples to provide easy-to-learn signs that can be retaught and incorporated into stories, rhymes, and songs. You will be able to use the skills learned in this workshop to create programs that will help you, your staff, and parents communicate better with children. Register at https://www.alastore.ala.org/content/liven-baby-and-toddler-storytimes-sign-language-workshop

Register now for Liven Up Baby and Toddler Storytimes with Sign Language

Liven Up Baby and Toddler Storytimes with Sign Language: A 90-minute webinar

Thursday, March 28, 2018, 2:30pm Eastern/1:30pmCentral/12:30pm Mountain/11:30am Pacific

Presented by Kathy MacMillan, NIC, M.L.S.

Signing with young children of any hearing ability fosters bonding, stimulates language development, and reduces frustration for caregiver and child. Learn how to use sign language in storytimes to broaden their appeal and make them more participative. In this interactive workshop, Kathy MacMillan—American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter, librarian, and storyteller—will use video examples to provide easy-to-learn signs that can be retaught and incorporated into stories, rhymes, and songs. You will be able to use the skills learned in this workshop to create programs that will help you, your staff, and parents communicate better with children. Register at https://www.alastore.ala.org/content/liven-baby-and-toddler-storytimes-sign-language-workshop

Candle: A Rhyme to Sign

Direct Link: https://youtu.be/lESwVjoDdZo

Candle, candle burning bright, (sign CANDLE)

lighting up the darkest night.

Thank you for your shining light,

but with one puff, you’re out of sight. (blow on the fingers representing the flames and curl them into a fist to show the candle going out)

MacMillan_cover_1p.inddFind lots more great storytime activities in More Storytime Magic, the latest volume in the Storytime Magic series!

Storytime Stuff featured on Mother Goose on the Loose!

Our ASL Rhyme “Woodpecker, Woodpecker” was chosen as the rhyme of the month over at Mother Goose on the Loose!  Mother Goose on the Loose is an award-winning early-literacy program for children from birth to age 3 created by Dr. Betsy Diamant-Cohen.  This innovative program is based on research which shows that children learn best through routine and repetition in a nurturing environment. Mother Goose on the Loose uses a variety of activities, such as rhymes, songs, puppets and instruments to foster speech development, motor coordination, self-confidence, and sensitivity to others.

Check out the Mother Goose on the Loose website for lots of early literacy resources, and make sure to sign up for the monthly newsletter to receive great tips, ideas, and research links in your inbox.

Night Owl Flannelboard and Sound Story

Another sneak peek from our newest book, More Storytime Magic (ALA Editions, January 2016):

Night Owl Flannelboard and Sound Story

Based on the book by Toni Yuly (New York: Macmillan, 2015).night owl

Night Owl listens to the sounds of the night, waiting for his very favorite one: his mother returning home! As you tell the story, play clips of the sounds that Night Owl hears and ask the children to identify them.

Download full-size printable illustrations by Melanie Fitz.

Click on the links below for sounds:

Owl Hoot

Woodpecker

Train whistle

Cricket

Toad

Thunderstorm

Owl Hoot

MacMillan_cover_1p.inddFind lots more great storytime activities in More Storytime Magic, the latest volume in the Storytime Magic series!