bears... oh my!

Our library is closing early today due to inclement weather... but I still had 9 kids at storytimes today! Woot! :)

This was our first week of storytime for the new session. We do two sessions per trimester (it's the way our city newsletter comes out - four months of activities at a time) - each is six weeks long. This is my first session as the sole storyteller for the 2-3 year olds and the 4-K kids and I was a little nervous about how I'd be received since the other ladies who helped me with storytimes while I was adjusting to my new position are really great. All in all, I think I was well-received and I am looking forward to spending more time with my new friends!

On to the Bears Setlist*:

'Hello Everybody' - stuck with my tried and true opening song... it's a winner - if you don't have one, I highly suggest this one!
Welcome: I asked the kids to guess what we were reading about based on the picture books I had on display behind me. They caught on pretty quick as there was a bear on every cover! I asked them if they had any bears in their houses (TEDDY BEARS!) and where real bears live (in the forest, in the zoo, in caves, etc.). I asked them if they knew what real bears were probably up to right now - it's funny how even my little ones know about hibernation!!
Wiggles/'If You're Happy & You Know It' - I always have the kids wiggle it out before we start our stories, but my wiggle routine (involving starting with fingers and then adding more and more body parts until we all look silly - then doing that in a circle!) was getting stale. So I added 'If You're Happy & You Know It" because I found an additional part to add!:

If you're ready for a story, take a seat.
If you're ready for a story, take a seat.
Clap your hands (clap-clap), stomp your feet (stomp-stomp)
and make sure your hair is neat (smooth-smooth)...
If you're ready for a story, take a seat!

We got lots of giggles from smoothing our hair. :)

A Bear and his Boy by Sean Bryan 
Simple, funny, rhyming story about a bear who wakes up with a unique problem - a boy named Zach on his back. Bear continues through his busy day until Zach convinces him to stop and smell the lilacs.

Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson 
I was so surprised by how taken my 2-3 year olds were with this story... which is sorta long for them. But the pictures are wonderful and they just know that Bear is going to wake up at some point - and when he does, we're all surprised by his reaction!

Song/Rhyme: 'Five Bears in a Bed' & 'Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear'
I don't know where I first heard this rhyme, but it's a childhood melody/memory for me. I also don't know how to start the song, so I jump right in...

Five bears in a bed and the little one said,
"I'm crowded... roll over!" [cross your arms and scowl/rolling motion with arms] 
So they all rolled over [rolling motion with arms]
And one fell out [hold up fingers and take away one]...

Four bears in the bed and the little one said,
"I'm crowded... roll over!" [cross your arms and scowl/rolling motion with arms] 
So they all rolled over [rolling motion with arms]
And one fell out [hold up fingers and take away one]
Three bears in the bed and the little one said,

And on until

One bear in the bed - the little one!- said,
"I'm lonely. Come back now."

And start the song again until

One bear in the bed - the little one!- said,
[stretch, yawn] "That's better."

Parents/kids are shocked by that ending and get a laugh!
To get us up and moving, we also did 'Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear':

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, turn around.  [turn around]
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, touch the ground.   [touch the ground]
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, go upstairs.   [stomp, stomp, stomp]
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, say your prayers.  [hands together]
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, turn out the light.   [reach up, pull down string]
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, say 'Goodnight!'  [lay hands on head]

Orange, Pear, Apple, Bear by Emily Gravett
Love, love, love this book for little ones. It's an entire story made up of just four words - orange, pear, apple, bear - and tender watercolor and pencil illustrations. Again, children and parents alike delighted as the "story" unfolded... and it was a nice, quiet way to lead into our craft.

Craft: Bear Puppets
Our Ellison die for bears is actually a puppet diecut - at the bottom of the bear shape are two holes for fingers so the kids can give their bear legs! I made an orange bear, apple, pear. :D

* - I call my storytime plans "setlists" because I write them out on half sheets of paper and bring them into the storytime room with me... plus, let's face it, we're rockstars! :D


Happy New Year!

If I pretend that I waited until the 12th day of the 12th year of the millenium to post, will you believe that this is why it's taken me so long to get back to posting on my blog? ;)

Truth be told, since I last posted, I spent two weeks in Ireland and (up to now) almost two weeks recovering here at work. As you may know, I am a YS librarian newbie and I have a lot to learn and a lot of experiences to get under my belt, so this time of year is crucial for me as it is SUMMER READING CLUB PREP TIME.

Many of my fellow YS librarians are well aware that SRC requires months of planning and that these months begin in January. Without the handy dandy "cheat sheet calendar" left to me by my awesome predesessor, I may have missed the boat on this. But because someone cared enough to throw me a bone, I have picked the dates for Summer Reading, I have booked the kick-off performer for two shows, I've sent out emails to two other programmers I am interested in booking, and I have started ordering the tchotchke-type prizes that are the hallmark of all themed reading programs. :)


Storytimes start up here again next week, so I hope to get back to regular posting then. In the meantime, please enjoy this earworm... will.i.am is awesome and I love this song. :)