Category Archives: Holidays

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!

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Something to Celebrate Every Day

cover of World Rat DayWorld Rat Day: Poems About Real Holidays You’ve Never Heard Of

by J. Patrick Lewis; illustrated by Anna Raff  (Candlewick, 2013)

Ever heard of “Dragon Appreciation Day” (January 16)?  How about “International  Cephalopod Awareness Day” ( October 8)?  Or our personal favorite, “Chocolate-Covered Anything Day” (December 16)?  Well, J. Patrick Lewis and Anna Raff have, and they’ve assembled a funny, surprising collection of poems and illustrations that pay tribute to lesser-known celebrations.  From advice from a worm in “What the Worm Knows” (for Worm Day on March 15) to the susurrating, lyrical word-pictures of “Bats” (for Bat Appreciation Day on April 17), these poems introduce a variety of poetic forms along with the silly holidays they celebrate.  These kid-friendly poems beg for classroom and programming extensions with stories, songs, and crafts, and this book would be a terrific holiday or end-of-year gift for the teacher on your list.

Sign Language Wreath Craft

Check out some of the beautiful creations from today’s “Holiday Signs” program:
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To make this craft:
1) Cut out the center from a paper plate.
2) Trace and cut hands (8-10 per wreath) from green construction paper.
3) Glue the hands around the edges of the wreath.  You can leave them flat, or glue down the fingers to form I-LOVE-YOU signs, numbers to count down to Christmas, or letters to spell out a name.
4) Decorate with red circle stickers (processing dots) for berries.

Thanksgiving Fun

Kathy and I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, and to express our thanks to our followers!

In order to celebrate the season, we suggest reading I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie, by Alison Jackson.  New York, Dutton Children’s Books, 1997.  This wonderful circle story with rhyming text describes how the old lady devours the Thanksgiving feast and grows larger and larger until the unexpected happens!  After reading the story, try some of the following activities with your group.

Reinforce math skills with a Pie Chart.

1.  On a piece of large paper or poster board, create a simple chart with three pies listed across the top; apple, pumpkin, and chocolate.

2.  Give each child in the group a sticker and have them place the sticker in the column with their favorite pie.

3.  Touch and count the number of stickers in each column aloud with the group.  Write the total at the bottom of the column.

4.  After all the columns are counted, ask the group which was the favorite pie.  Review the number of stickers in each column with the children.

Reinforce early literacy skills by retelling the story.  Cut food pictures out of magazines or find clip art online and distribute the food pictures to the children.  As you retell the story have each child bring up their food item.

Reinforce early literacy skills by creating extensions.  Ask the children what they will have for dinner at their Thanksgiving feast.  Do they have a favorite item that they would want to keep eating?

i-know-an-old-lady-who-swallowed-a-pie

Super Scarves: 7 New Ways to Use Them in Your Programs

Beyond peek-a-boo and freeze dances, what can you do with a scarf? Plenty!

1) Windy Days:

Perfect for weather or springtime storytimes, the activity encourages children to imitate the qualities of the wind with their scarves.  With or without music, ask the children to move their scarves as they would in a light wind, a medium wind, and a heavy wind. They can even be the wind and blow their scarves into the air! Ask older children to make two lines facing one another and wave their scarves at shoulder height, then have each child take a turn walking through the lines and experiencing the indoor “windy day”!

2) Kites:

Using the song “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” from the Mary Poppins soundtrack or the original song below, encourage children to fly their kites through the air.

“Kites Are Flying” (to the tune of “Frere Jacques”)

Kites are flying, kites are flying

In the sky, in the sky

See them in the springtime,

In the windy springtime

Kites fly by, kites fly by.

Blue kites flying, blue kites flying…

Red kites jumping, red kites jumping…

Yellow kites circling, yellow kites circling…

Green kites diving, green kites diving…

Orange kites turning, orange kites turning…

Purple kites wiggling, purple kites wiggling…

(Adjust color verses to the scarf colors you have; End by repeating first verse)

 3) Waves in the Ocean:

Pass out scarves and encourage the children to wave them at waist height to mimic the waves as you tell the story below.

Ocean Journey

We’re going on an ocean trip

We’re boarding a great big ship.

Se the tiny waves below

In the harbor rippling slow.

Now we’re leaving from the shore

And the waves are moving more.

Slow and steady, our ship goes past

But now the waves are getting fast.

Here comes a wind, the waves get bigger.

Will we make it, do you figure?

The ship is rocking to and fro

As higher and higher the waves go.

A storm is coming, see the clouds?

This is getting scary now!

The waves are huge! Big and rough!

I’m getting seasick! I’ve had enough!

But look! The sun is shining through.

The waves are growing calmer too.

They are still big, but getting slow.

Back and forth and to and fro.

Now we’re almost safe in port.

And the waves are getting short.

Little ripples in the water.

And we’ve arrived at the shore, just like we oughta.

The waves are waving, small and shy

So we wave too, and say goodbye!

4) Butterflies:

Make a beautiful butterfly using American Sign Language along with your scarf! First, hold both hands up facing away from you.  Then hook your scarf over one thumb. Next, cross your wrists. Now carefully turn your palms so that they face you. (Don’t drop the scarf!) Hook your thumbs together and wiggle your fingers and you’re signing “butterfly”! Play instrumental music or a freeze dance as the children make their butterflies fly around the room!

See a video of the sign BUTTERFLY.

5) Flag-waving Fun:

Have a Fourth of July Parade! Pass out scarves in red, white, and blue and play patriotic music as your storytimers march through the library! Make it a St. Patrick’s Day Parade by using green, white, and gold scarves.

6) Washcloths:

Read Dog’s Colorful Day by Emma Dodds and invite the children to “scrub” the colorful spots off the dog with their scarves when he takes his bath. Then invite everyone to scrub-a-dub with Bert and Ernie as you sing “Everybody Wash” from Splish Splash: Bath Time Fun.

Click here for a free flannelboard pattern for Dog’s Colorful Day, courtesy of artist Melanie Fitz.

7) Soup-Stirring Tissue:

Share Monkey Soup by Louis Sachar, and invite the children to “stir” the soup with their “tissues” (scarves). This book lends itself well to a flannelboard or prop story presentation.

Click here for a free flannelboard pattern for Monkey Soup, courtesy of artist Melanie Fitz.