Category Archives: Games

Sound Story: I Went To A Concert

MacMillan_cover_1p.inddHere’s a sneak preview of our newest book, More Storytime Magic (ALA Editions, January 2016).

I Went to the Concert Flannelboard and Sound Story

I went the concert and what did I hear? (play a sound from the links below and have the children guess what it is)

The sound of a piano in my ear! (show the flannelboard piece)

Repeat with other instruments.

 

Download full-size printable illustrations by Melanie Fitz.

music-note-clip-art-ncBXn8pcAClick on the links below for sounds:

Piano

Drum

Saxophone

Clarinet

Tuba

Xylophone

 

Find lots more great storytime activities in More Storytime Magic, the latest volume in the Storytime Magic series!

Advertisements

Bookmark This Site: SightWords.com

sightwords_logo

What a great find for teachers and parents!  Check out SightWords.com, an awesome collection of games that you can use to help kids practice vocabulary and sight words.  The best part is that the games are fun to play and easy to customize for your needs.  All the materials are free!

The site’s features include:

  • 12 fun games
  • customizable flash cards in three different sizes
  • classroom-tested lessons based on the latest research, complete with “how-to” videos
  • Templates of all materials using the Fry and Dolch sight word lists

A great resource for program and lesson planning!

Celebrate Deaf History with Clerc-Gallaudet Week, December 3-9

In December 1974, DC Public Library established Clerc-Gallaudet Week as a way of honoring the birthdays of Laurent Clerc and Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet (December 26, 1785 and December 10, 1787, respectively) and promoting library awareness in the deaf community and deaf awareness in the library community.

Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, a hearing minister from Connecticut, and Laurent Clerc, a deaf teacher from France, met by chance in 1815…but their partnership would found a school, plant the seeds of American Sign Language, and provide the foundation for both deaf education and Deaf Culture in the United States.

Read more about Clerc and Gallaudet’s inspiring story here.

Celebrate Clerc-Gallaudet Week in your library or classroom!

Share a picture book:

Share signs in a storytime rhyme or song:

Share an inspiring video:

Check out the Deaf Performing Artists Network page at http://www.d-pan.org for music videos designed for both Deaf and hearing audiences.  Our favorite kid-friendly and fun videos on the site:

 

Play a visual game:

For more games and classroom curriculum connections, see this article: Keep ‘Em Reading: Deaf History Month and ASL by Kathy MacMillan.

 

Little Hands and Big Hands coverLooking for even more rhymes, songs and crafts incorporating signs?  Check out Little Hands and Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together by Kathy MacMillan (Huron Street Press, 2013).

 

 

Not Your Grandma’s Flannelboard

As long as there have been library storytimes, there have been flannelboards. Here are some suggestions to give them new energy in your programs. 

1) Use yourself as a flannelboard:

Put on an apron with pockets to hold the flannel pieces and tell a story on your belly.

 

2) Use a story-appropriate object instead of a board:

Telling a story about cooking or food? Use a pot, flat pan or spatula with magnetized pieces. How about a metal music stand for a music-related story? Repurpose an old pet carrier or aquarium to help you tell an animal story. You could even raid your local junkyard for part of an old car to use for a transportation-related story!

 

3) Group storytelling:

Create pockets on the bottom of a freestanding flannelboard and fill them with a variety of pieces from your favorite flannelboards. Let each child have a turn to pull a piece out and add it to the board and telling part of a story. For example: Child 1 pulls out a dog and says one sentence about the dog, then Child 2 pulls out a sun and says a sentence about the sun that relates to the first… The dog went out to play, and the sun was shining…

4) Flannelboard hide and seek:

Hide flannel pieces (apple, balloon, car…) around the room, then give each child a letter of the alphabet and ask him or her to find the item that starts with that letter. If you want to work on counting, have each child find a certain number of items around the room.

 

5) Make your own flannelboard:

Pass out a carpet square and a set of simple pieces to each child so the children can tell the story along with you. (This is especially great for tangrams, an ancient puzzle/storytelling form from Asia! Find easy tangram patterns here.)

 

6) Color match:

Make multiple pieces of a flannelboard in different colors. Pass the pieces out to each child and ask them to come up and place their pieces on the board when you call their color. Some suggestions to use with this idea:

  • “The Little Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe”: cut simple child shapes to pass out (There was an old lady who lived in a shoe, and she had so many green children she didn’t know what to do…)
  • “Baa Baa Black Sheep”: cut sheep shapes to pass out and repeat the song several times, replacing “black” with other colors
  • “The Wheels on the Bus”: pass out animal shapes and sing the song with various animal sounds (The cows on the bus say moo, moo, moo…)

7) Mix and match forms:

Try using a flannelboard to preview a book, or to have the children help you retell a book after reading. Sing a song like “I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly”, then use the flannelboard to review the story/song sequence with the children. Doing so reinforces narrative and sequencing, which are important pre-reading skills

 

8) Play a memory game:

After telling a story, song, or rhyme with the flannelboard, play a visual memory game. Ask the children to close their eyes, then take one item away. Tell the children to open their eyes, and see if they can identify which item is missing. (Once they do, place the item back on the board to show where it was.) Repeat until all the items are gone. You can even take this activity one step further by teaching Spanish, American Sign Language, or other vocabulary for the flannelboard items, and asking the children to identify the missing item using their new vocabulary.

 

Nine Nifty Nursery Rhyme Activities

Nursery rhymes help children develop important pre-reading skills, such as phonemic awareness, and make language fun! Here are nine fun, interactive ideas to present nursery rhymes in storytimes:

1) Hey-diddle-diddle:

Read Over the Moon by Rachel Vail. (New York: Orchard, 1998.) This story is a clever twist on the classic nursery rhyme “Hey Diddle Diddle”. A frustrated director can’t get his cow to understand how to go OVER the moon. The story emphasizes prepositions in a fun way. After reading the story, make a large paper moon and have volunteers help you act out the various ways the cow interacts with the moon.  Then, for a surprise, use the “Magic Door to Books” trick found in Carolyn Feller Bauer’s Leading Kids to Books Through Magic (American Library Association, 1996) to walk through your moon. Review the prepositions in the book at the end.

2) The Little Spider: A Nursery Rhyme from the Philippines:

Every culture around the world has nursery rhymes. Many of the themes of nursery rhymes are similar across different cultures. Share this rhyme from the Philippines with children and ask them if it reminds them of one that they know.

The little spider, the little spider (wiggle index finger)

Climbed up the branch (move index finger up opposite arm)

The rain came down (wiggle fingers down)

Pushed it away. (show spider falling)

The sun came up (hold arms in circle over head)

It dried the branch.

The little spider is always happy. (make index finger hop up arm again)

Learn how to share this rhyme using American Sign Language in this free video featuring Kathy MacMillan.

For more terrific nursery rhymes from around the world, see http://itsasmallworld.co.nz/index.php.

3) Hickory Dickory Dock:

Give each child two rhythm sticks and have them hold them like clock hands to show the time in each verse of the rhyme.

Hickory Dickory Dock,

the mouse ran up the clock,

the clock struck 1, the mouse ran down

Hickory Dickory Dock!

…the clock struck 2, the mouse said “Boo!”

…the clock struck 3, the mouse said, “Whee!”

…the clock struck 4, the mouse said, “More!”

…the clock struck 5, the mouse did the hand jive.

…the clock struck 6, the mouse did magic tricks,

…the clock struck 7, the mouse said, “This is heaven!”

…the clock struck 8, the mouse cried, “I’m late!”

…the clock struck 9, the mouse said, “Fine!”

…the clock struck 10, the mouse said, “Again!”

…the clock struck 11, the mouse said, “Still heaven!”

…the clock struck 12, the mouse said, “Swell!”

4) Little Miss Muffet:

Try a traditional nursery rhyme silly style! Alter the last words of the rhyme, making sure to act very seriously, as though you think these are the correct words. The kids will love correcting you!

Example:

Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet, eating her…macaroni and cheese

Along came a…dinosaur

And sat down beside her

And ask her to go to the library!

5) Jack Be Nimble:

Set an unlit candle in the middle of the floor. (A large pillar candle works well for this activity.) Recite the rhyme together, then invite the children to take turns coming for-ward and jumping over the candlestick as everyone says the rhyme, replacing “Jack” with each child’s name. This activity is popular with babies through preschool. (Parents can lift babies over the candlestick.)

_____ be nimble, _______ be quick.

Jack jump over the candlestick!

Learn how to share this rhyme using American Sign Language in this free video featuring Kathy MacMillan.

6) This Little Piggy:

Make this traditional rhyme interactive by having the children suggest new destinations and foods for the piggies. Write their suggestions on a board or flipchart, then have everyone recite the new rhymes together. This is a great tie-in for nursery rhyme, community helper or “in my town” storytimes.

Example:

This little piggy went to the zoo,

This little piggy stayed home.

This little piggy had ice cream,

And this little piggy had none.

And this little piggy went “Wee! Wee! Wee!” all the way home.

7) The Grand Old Duke of York:

Give each child a pair of rhythm sticks and tap out the rhythm of the song as you sing, moving the sticks up and down as the soldiers do.

The grand old Duke of York,

He had ten thousand men

He marched them up to the top of the hill,

And he marched them down again.

And when they were up, they were up,

And when they were down, they were down,

And when they were only half-way up,

They were neither up nor down.

8) Wee Willie Winkie:

In your baby program, pass out large pom-poms to the parents. Invite them to use the pom-poms as puppets to act out this classic nursery rhyme, making the pom-pom race up and down baby’s arms and tap gently on their foreheads:

Wee Willie Winkie runs through the town,

Upstairs and downstairs in his nightgown,

Tapping at the window and crying through the lock,

Are all the children in their beds, it’s past eight o’clock?

9) Jack and Jill:

This interactive craft is a great way to act out this favorite nursery rhyme.

  1. Print out the craft templates here.
  2. Cut a slit in the “Up the Hill” sheet along the dotted line.
  3. Color Jack and Jill, then cut them out.
  4. Glue Jack and Jill to the craft sticks.
  5. Poke the sticks through the slit in the worksheet to act out the rhyme!

Five Fun Uses for Paper Plates in Your Programs

If you’ve got a stack of paper plates, you’ve got a creative storytime prop! Go beyond mask crafts with these fun ideas.

1) Stick Puppet Theater:

Fold plate in half and cut a slit in the center of the fold. Then open the plate and decorate your stage. Poke the stick of your stick puppet down through the fold and manipulate the puppet from the back.

2) Peek-a-Boo Plates:

Use the plate to hide your face throughout this rhyme.

Peek-a-boo, I see you

Now I don’t, and now I do.

I slip behind and there I hide.

Now I pop up grinning wide.

Now I’m gone and now I’m here.

One side, other side, far and near.

I love to hide and so do you

But I love most to say PEEK-A-BOO!

3) Hats:

After reading Hats Hats Hats by Ann Morris (Mulberry, 1993), discuss how people around the world carry things on their heads. Then say the following rhyme. Invite a child to the front to help you act it out. Place a paper plate on the child’s head and fill it with plastic food as you say the rhyme. Or get everyone in on the fun by passing out plates to each child, along with a packet of pictures of the food. Ask the children to place the plates on their heads, then add the correct food when it is said in the rhyme.

Going to the Market

I’m going to the market, I’m going just like that.

I will buy potatoes and put them in my hat.

(Repeat with tomatoes, apples, mangos, grapes, bananas, cheese, bread and other foods as desired.)

4) Steering Wheels:

Pass out a paper plate to each child, then have the kids line up and hold their paper plates like steering wheels.  Play “Car Car” from Travelin’ Magic by Joanie Bartels (BMG, 1989) and let the kids act out driving, honking their horns, and the other verses of the song.

5) Find that Plate:

Mark the plates with animals, letters, or colors and when you say the animal sound, word (beginning letter sound), or color,  invite the children to find the appropriate plate.

Carpet Squares: Not Just for Sitting on Anymore

Those good old standbys, carpet squares, can be so much more than just a seat! Check out these cool new ideas for using carper squares in your programs.

1) Surfboards:

Spice up a summertime or ocean-themed program by inviting the kids to climb aboard their carpet squares and surf along with your favorite Beach Boys tune!

 

2) Color Action Game:

If you have carpet squares of different colors, use them to play a color recognition action game. (If all your carpet squares are the same color, put processing dots of different colors in the corners.) Then sing the song below and invite the kids to perform the actions:

(to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It”)

If your carpet square is red, pat your head.

If your carpet square is red, pat your head.

If your carper square is red, then go ahead and show it.

If your carpet square is red, pat your head.

Blue…touch your shoe…

Yellow…wave to a fellow…

Brown…jump up and down…

White…curl up tight…

Green…do a forward lean…

Black…scratch your friend’s back…

Grey…shout “hooray!”

Any color…give a holler!…

 

3) Play a life-sized board game:

Set up a path of carpet squares around the room, randomly mixing up colors. (Again, if your carpet squares are all one color, mark the corners with different colored processing dots.) Designate a starting and ending square. Create cards of each color by cutting up pieces of construction paper (or put dots on index cards if you are using the dot method. If desired, mark some squares with pictures relating to your theme and make cards to match. (For example, a Fall storytime might include a pumpkin, apple, leaf, and tree.) Have the children line up at the starting square and then take turns drawing a card from the pile. If a child draws a red card, he or she goes to the first red square. If a child draws a picture card, he or she must go to that square, even if that means going backwards. Keep playing (reshuffling cards as needed) until everyone gets to the end.

Literacy variations:
  • Alphabet matching: Mark the squares with letters of the alphabet and make cards to match. (Or use a set of magnetic alphabet letters and have each child draw one out of a bag on his or her turn.) Be sure to ask the child to identify the letter and match it to the correct square.
  • What’s that sound?: Mark the squares with letters of the alphabet as above, but make cards with simple words that begin with different letters of the alphabet. On each child’s turn, read a word aloud without showing it to the child, and see if the children can guess the first letter by sound. If they have trouble, show them the card and help them identify the first letter and its sound before moving to the correct square. (Make sure that the letters on your cards and squares are consistently uppercase or consistently lowercase to avoid confusion.)
  • Big and Little Matching: Mark the squares with uppercase letters of the alphabet, and make cards showing the lowercase letters. The children must match the letters to find the correct square.

 

4) Make Your Own Flannelboard:

Give each child a carpet square and a set of simple felt shapes, and invite them to tell the story along with you as you use the large flannelboard. This is a great activity for baby storytimes, as it encourages one-on-one interaction between parent and child, and gives parents a useful model for storytelling with their little ones at home. A simple flannelboard story such “Dog’s Colorful Day”, based on the book by Emma Dodd, is ideal for this activity. (Download a free flannelboard pattern by artist Melanie Fitz here.)

For older children, consider using this activity with a tangram story. Tangrams, a traditional Chinese puzzle and storytelling form, are easy to make and can yield thousands of different shapes. Check out one of the books below for stories and instructions on how to make a tangram set:

  • Grandfather Tang’s Story: A Tale Told With Tangrams by Ann Tompert. New York: Crown, 1990.
  • Grandfather’s Shape Story by Brian Sargent. New York: Scholastic, 2007.

 

5) Lilypads:

Liven up a froggy storytime with this rhyme, performed on carpet square lilypads.  Follow up by inviting the kids to hop from lilypad to lilypad around the room while you play a frog song such as “Jumping Frog” from Pretend by Hap Palmer (Freeport, NY: Educational Activities, Inc., 1998).

Lilypad Rhyme

I am a frog, lovely and green

I sit on my lilypad, calm and serene

Until a fly comes whizzing by

Then I LEAP in the air so high!

I stick out my tongue and SLURP.

Down goes the fly and out comes a burp.

I like being a frog, so I don’t think I’ll stop

Because it’s so much fun to hop!

There goes another fly, I really must dash.

I hop into the water with a great big SPLASH!

 

6) Tuffets:

Invite the kids to imagine that they are Miss Muffet sitting on her tuffet and act out the silly rhyme below.

Miss Muffet’s Tuffet

Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet

Eating her curds and whey

Along came a spider and sat down beside her

And frightened Miss Muffet away.

But she came back around and sat back down

And continued then to eat.

Her toes got cold, so she was told

To put the tuffet on her feet!

Miss Muffet was done, she’d eaten a ton

But she didn’t care.

The spider came back and jumped on her back

So she waved her tuffet in the air!

It started to rain, she said, “What a pain!

I don’t want my hair to get wet!”

So she lifted her hands like that, and made up a hat

She put the tuffet on her head!

The rain started to slow, and the spider had to go

So she said, “I’ll see you around!”

She put the tuffet on the floor, and then once more

She sat herself back down!