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Adventures in early literacy

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Storytime for Twos: Eric Carle

Today’s 2 year old storytime ended up with an Eric Carle theme unintentionally, but hey, the guy’s great so there ya go. And this is the cutest meme and kinda related so.

Today’s outline:

Introduction, including a reminder about our district’s program marketing survey and to check out books for grown ups and let your children see you reading and enjoying it. The more you enjoy reading, the more your child will.

Hello Bubbles

Hi, Hello and How Are You with ukulele (I’m getting better, finally!)

This is Big, Big, Big

Breathe: take a deep breath and blow it out slow. Works really well for getting them ready to listen. Plus, I personally love it as a coping mechanism for stress and transition.

Book: The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle

We repeated the phrase “she was very busy” in chorus on each page. It was really effective in keeping them engaged through this longer book.

Let’s Go Riding on an Elevator Love this video from Washington County of this rhyme.

Head Shoulders Knees and Toes

This is Big, Big, Big


Book: From Head to Toe by Eric Carle


Warm up with shake high, low, fast, slow, fast, stop, fast, stop

We’re Tapping by Kathy Reid-Naiman

This is Big, Big, Big

Book: If You’re  Happy and You Know It by Jane Cabrera (4 verses)

Description of Activity: tell them about playdough and remind them to check out books and participate in our Library Week activity. Share what they love about the library or how the library has changed their lives in a thought bubble. We’ll photograph it and post it on Facebook. Had no takers during storytime but a co-worker was able to catch some after. So yay!

Goodbye Bubbles

Activity: playdough with cookie cutters and stampers. Lavender colored this time. ’tis Spring!





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My Storytime for 1 year olds

It’s been almost a year since we created a one year old storytime.

To recap: Before, our toddler storytimes were for walkers up to 3 years. And the room was at capacity (66, but usually ended up at about 70). So not only were there a lot of people crammed into a room, the size difference in the children made everyone crazy. They were constantly falling on top of each other, stepping on each other, the big kids knocking over the little ones and the little ones freaking out about so many big kids. It was kind of like this but not quite as cute and furry.

Something had to give so we split the ages. 1 year olds and 2 year olds (though we don’t card so if parents are comfortable with their little guy being with a bigger guy, that’s fine!).

It is working beautifully and I have learned a few things about the difference between a storytime for ones and a storytime for twos. When we first made the change I kept the content basically the same with just one less book for the ones. It was fine, but I knew it could be better and there really are some significant differences between a 13 month old and a 25 month old. So, here’s what my one year old storytime looks like today. It’s more of a modified version of Baby Storytime rather than Toddler Storytime and it works a lot better that way. For me it’s all about the kinds of rhymes, songs, and books, rather than how many are happening in each storytime.


Hello Bubbles

Hi, Hello and How Are You? with the ukelele, we wave for the first verse, stomp for the second and clap for the third.

This is Big

These are the same for ones and twos. I feel it helps their transition to the older group to hear the same songs.

Book: I always have a few options on my table so I pick a meatier one for the first book because my second and final book will be sung. Examples: Jazz Baby by Wheeler, I Went Walking by Williams, Peek-A-Moo (or Zoo) by Cimarusti, Barnyard Banter by Fleming

Rhyme or Song: Usually something done seated like Giddyap, Giddyap, If You’re Happy and You Know It, or Ram Sam Sam

Rhyme or Song: Usually something a little more raucous or standing up. Head. Shoulders, Knees and Toes, The Elevator Song, or Go In and Out the Window.

Stand Up Song: Now we stand up for sure. Thanks to Anna, all my groups are now addicted to Fruit Salad so I like to work it in somewhere. The Merry Go Round song is popular as well (and works with them all on the parachute). I let grown ups know they can hold their children for these songs or just follow along with me and their children will learn the movements as they get older.

Activity/Prop: Shakers, Scarves, Parachute, Flannel Sets. I either do 3 songs with the scarves or parachute, 1-2 with shakers, or one flannel rhyme like 3 Little Ducks, 3 Little Monkeys, etc.

Rhyme: This is Big

Closing Book: This is always a sing along book, usually Jane Cabrera because I love her and so do they. I pick 2-3 verse to sing each week and change the book each month.

Explain after storytime activity

Goodbye Bubbles

Activity: Something sensory, artsy, or play centered and very open ended.


Upcoming Webinar: Create a Personal Learning Network That Works For You

Hooray! I’m excited to announce that on March 25th I will be co-presenting an ALSC Student Session webinar (this means it’s free!) with fellow Joint Chiefs Cory and Amy. We will be talking about the whys and hows of creating your own personal learning network.

This promises to be a good time (we have Ninja Turtle gifs, need I say more?) and educational so we hope you’ll join us! If you can’t make it on the day the webinar will be archived.

Here are the details:

Create a Personal Learning Network That Works For You

Join the Joint Chiefs of the Storytime Underground, an online community for youth services librarians, as we discuss how you can use social media to create your personal learning network, or PLN. We will explore how your PLN can help you meet and collaborate with others in the field as you take charge of your career and professional development.

Who Should Attend

This webinar is open to all students, ALSC members, non-members and anyone with an interest in a career in children’s services.

Course Level & Prerequisites

No specific course level nor prequisities are required for this course.


Cory Eckert is a Librarian III with the Houston (TX) Public Library. She also serves on the ALSC Quicklists Consulting Committee, the LLAMA Membership Committee, the YALSA State Association Outreach Committee, and the YALSA State Conferences Road Trip Task Force.Kendra Jones is a Children’s Librarian at the Vancouver Community Library, part of the Fort Vancouver (WA) Regional Library District. She also serves on the ALSC Managing Children’s Services Committee.

Amy Koester is the Children’s Librarian at the Corporate Parkway Branch Library of the St. Charles (MO) City-County Library District. She served on the ALSC 2014 (John) Newbery Award Committee.

Date(s) & Time(s)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014
7 PM Eastern
6 PM Central
5 PM Mountain
4 PM Pacific

Credits &/or CEUs Heading

College credit nor CEU’s are available for ALSC Student Sessions at this time.


Student sessions are offered free of charge.

Technical Requirements

To take part you must have a computer, Internet access, web browser, and a copy of Flash® Player 8 or higher. You can download a free copy of Flash® Player from the Adobe website if you do not already have it. For more information, view a video about Abode Connect meetings produced Adobe.

How to Register

To sign up for this webinar, please fill out the registration form. Registration is free. Participants must register before Monday, March 24 at 4pm Central. A few days before the event, registrants will receive an email with a direct link to the forum. For more information, please see the contact information below.


Dan Bostrom
ALSC Membership/Marketing Manager
(800) 545-2433 ext 2164


Storytime: Take a bath and paint with balloons!

Those of us who do storytimes for ones and twos decided to collaborate on the after storytime activity. Since storytimes are back to back with different presenters each time, this has helped immensely with set up each day. This week we all painted with balloons. This was one of my co-worker’s (soon to be former, WAAAAHHH!!) brilliant ideas and now I can’t wait to try variations. Like, not inflating the balloons and filling them with rice, buttons, marbles, cotton balls, whatever! Can we use other things besides paint? So many ideas!


Anyway, here’s Storytime for Twos!

Hello Bubbles

Hi, Hello and How Are You? with the ukulele

This is Big

Book: Animal Baths by Bob Barner

Ram Sam Sam

Head Shoulders Knees and Toes

Book: Dini Dinosaur by Karen Beaumont (awesome one to sing and the kids responded SO well to the entire thing, as did the parents)

Coconut Soap by Frank Leto with scarves (even though this is long, they stuck with me the whole time and LOVED scrubbing with their coconut soap scarves)

Itsy Bitsy Spider with scarves

This is Big

Closing Book: The Wheels on the Bus by Jane Cabrera

Goodbye Bubbles

Activity: balloon painting

balloon painting serious painter

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Storytime for Twos

Adding storytimes this year seems to be working as the group size has been much more manageable! Fingers crossed it keeps up!


Good morning and welcome to storytime for two year olds. Before we get started, I have just a few housekeeping items. Please put away snacks during storytime and save any grown up conversations until after storytime. The table behind me and the tables by the window are no fly zones. If your little one is grabbing things off the tables or otherwise distracted by them, please re-direct them to the storytime rug.  And lastly, please sing and dance and play along with me. The more you get involved, the more your child will!

Hello Bubbles

Hi Hello and How Are You?

This is Big (Thanks to Mel for this one)

This is big, big, big

This is small, small, small

This is short, short, short

This is tall, tall, tall

This is yes, yes, yes

This is no, no, no

This is fast, fast, fast

This is slow, slow, slow

Parent Message: We have read this book in storytime before and that’s because repetition is very important. The more you do something with your child, the better they learn it. This is also why we do songs over and over again.

Spots, Feathers, and Curly Tails by Nancy Tafuri

Cover image for Spots, feathers, and curly tails

3 Little Ducks Flannel Board: KCLS Tell Me a Story has a video for it here

Rather than 5 or 6 little ducks going out one day I cut the number to 3. Otherwise it’s just too long for toddlers. We’re really lucky to have these individual flannel bags that have a clear pocket on one side for holding flannel pieces and felt on the other side so families can play along. The kids love getting their own flannel set to play with.  I have no idea where these bags came from or how to find them again. They probably wouldn’t be too hard to make actually… *adds to long list of things to try*

photo (56) image (39)

Elevator Song

Ram Sam Sam

This is Big

Little White Duck by Walt Whippo

Cover image for Little white duck

Toast in the Toaster

The Wheels on the Bus by Jane Cabrera

Cover image for The wheels on the bus

This is Big

Goodbye Bubbles

Activity: Dobbers and die cut shapes. This is a great fine motor activity for toddlers as they have to grip the dobbers just right. Plus it’s noisy fun to pound them on the tables.

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Baby Storytime: Sing


Hello Bubbles

Hi Hello and How Are You? with the ukulele

Parent Message: Don’t worry about how you sound when you sing. Your child loves your voice, even if you’re tone deaf or don’t think you sound great and singing is a great way for them to learn about language. And I love to hear all your voices, too!

Zoom Zoom Zoom by Kathy Reid-Naiman

Smooth Road

Dos Manitas, Diez Deditos

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star by Jane Cabrera (3 verses)

Cover image for Twinkle, twinkle, little star

Parent Message: Song books with multiple verses are great to share at home. You can sing as few or as many verses as your child wants to hear. Just close the book when they’ve had enough.

Elevator Song

Chop Chop Choppity Chop

Toast in the Toaster

Humpy Dumpty by Anthony Lewis (Hands-On Songs series)

Cover image for Humpty Dumpty

Go in and Out the Window

This is a Choo Choo Train

Cuckoo Clock

Goodbye Bubbles

Play time!

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New Year, New Baby Storytime

Most my resolutions this year were professional ones. I’ve given up on any kind of “getting fit” or “be Martha Stewart in my spare time” resolutions. The more I resolve, the less I do. It’s my contrary brain. I’ll do it when I’m ready to, and not a moment before. Conveniently, I was ready to change baby storytime right as the new year came around so now it became one of my new year’s resolutions! Since today was so successful… this New Year’s Resolution is DONE!

Basically, I spent a couple hours on Jbrary’s youtube channel finding some rhymes and songs that are perfect for me. Part of what I love about their selection is there is something for everyone. Every storyteller has their own style and Jbrary has something for everyone.  Other songs and rhymes included here came from the WCCLS website and KCLS Tell Me a Story. The words to the rhymes and songs mentioned here can be found on the Rhymes page (only the first time they occur on the blog are they written out in posts).

Parent Message:

Happy New Year and welcome to baby storytime. My name is Kendra. We will be learning some new rhymes and songs today and the words to them are taped on the wall behind me. Feel free to use those as a “cheat sheet” during storytime, but we will also repeat songs several times in order to learn them. Part of the reason I put the words up on the wall is to help your babies start understanding that these squiggles and things they see actually have meaning. If they see you looking at the words, they know they are important and will be interested in them because you are.

Opening Song #1: Hello Bubbles

Opening Song #2: Hi, Hello and How Are You (London Bridge)

I’ve added verses to this simple song to turn it in to a name game.

Hi, hello and how are you?

How are you? How are you?

Hi, hello and how are you?

How are you today?

Hi, hello and how is Jack?

How is Jack? How is Jack?

Hi, hello and how is Jack?

How are you today?

Repeat with each baby.

When there are more babies in the room (we had 10 or less in each today) I will modify it this way:

Hi, hello and how is Jack?

How is Evelyn? How is Suzie?

Hi, hello and how is Robert?

How are you today?

Recorded Song: Zoom Zoom Zoom by Kathy Reid Naiman

Bounce: Trit Trot to Boston

Book: Peekaboo Morning by Rachel Isadora

Stand Up: The Merry-Go-Round

Stand Up: Go In and Out the Window (see Jbrary’s video for the tune)

Go in and out the window, Go in and out the window, Go in and out the window, As we have done before (step forward and back while holding baby OR with baby lying stomach down swing them in and out of the circle)

Stand up and face your partner, Stand up and face your partner, Stand up and face your partner, As we have done before (turn baby toward the baby next to them)

Stand up OR Sit Down song: The Elevator Song

Book: Itsy Bitsy Spider by Annie Kubler

Bounce: Toast in the Toaster (go faster each time)

Toast in the toaster

Getting very hot

tick tock, tick tock

Up you pop!

Bounce: Smooth Road (bounce slowly, then faster and then dip baby between legs or off to the side)

A smooth road, a smooth road, a smooth road, a smooth road

A bumpy road, a bumpy road, a bumpy road, a bumpy road

A rough road, a rough road, a rough road, a rough road, A HOLE!

Closing Rhyme: Cuckoo Clock

Closing Song: Goodbye Bubbles

Activity: Finger paint on the windows. Not a lot of babies participated, but I had great conversations with all the caregivers about sensory development and ideas for things like this they could do at home with their babies.

One of the standers had a LOT of fun.

One of the standers had a LOT of fun.