Preschool Activities: Toss Your Scarves


Toss Your Scarves

Scarf Song: Toss Your Scarves. It’s so much fun to play with scarves! This song is not only fun, but it gives the children practice following instructions and it builds gross motor skills.

(Tune: “Jingle Bells”)

Toss your scarves, toss your scarves
Toss them way up high.
Toss your scarves up in the air,
‘til they reach the sky.

Wave your scarves, wave your scarves,
Twirl them ‘round and ‘round.
Twirl your scarves one more time,
Then let them, all fall down.

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Choral Reading for Babies in Bloom

BIBYou may have noticed that in my Babies in Bloom program, I tend to use choral reading rather than choosing one or two books for the group for me to read. This post just covers why I do that– and what the benefits are for doing it in your own system/branch/library/storytime. I find that when I’m doing storytime with babies I can’t quite bring in the level of clowning required to keep their attention when they aren’t ready to look at a book far away (from birth, babies eyesight is set to look to a parents face, and expands from there).

Choral reading is “reading aloud in unison with a whole class or group of students.” In the case of a Baby Storytime, choral reading is accomplished by passing out many copies of the same book and having parents read along with the storyteller. It can be used to accomplish many things:

  • Keep parents engaged and interested in the activities
  • Build positive associations with babies and reading (reading is fun, it comes with all of these other fun things!)
  • Create an opportunity to give better examples of early literacy techniques or tips: “When reading with your children, don’t get too caught up with just reading the words on the page. Take a moment to look at whats happening and point things out!” (while I prepare for the next time of storytime)
  • Giving parents an opportunity to participate when they aren’t comfortable with acting silly and singing
  • When you leave the books out, they get added into play time as play-items, a great way to increase kid’s print motivation.

Some tips:

  • Sing popular songs with parents while you pass books out to keep attention (Itsy Bitsy Spider, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Mary Had a Little Lamb, etc)
  • Use call and repeat techniques to keep parents involved — for instance, if the book is well-known, pause and let the parents say a few words.
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Preschool Storytime, Theme: Houses

preschool storytime

In this weeks storytime, you can look at a new flannel board (building a house out of shapes), learn the signs from our closing song, and focus on tips related to integrating writing and shapes into everyday.

Children ages three to five (with caring adult) build the early literacy skills needed for school readiness through engaging books, songs and activities.

Adults              39                    Children    42 + 1 teen

Housekeeping: Doors, Emergency Exits, Participation

Opening Song Wave My Hands
Early Literacy Tip Today we’re going to focus on writing as an early literacy practice, prepping kids to write in their everyday. Writing begins with scribbles and other marks. Encourage this by providing many opportunities to draw and write.
Book A Bed for Bear – Clive McFarland
Preschool Activity Mat Color Activity

Red, Red is the color I see
If you’re standing on red, then show it to me.
Stand up, take a bow and turn around,
Show me your red, and sit back down.

Calming Song Open, Shut Them
Book In a people house, by LeSieg, Theo., 1904-1991. Seuss, Dr
Flannel Board Build a Shape House
Early Literacy Tip


Pointing out differences and similarities between shapes helps later when they are focusing on the similarities and differences between different letters.
Book A New House for Mouse by Petr Horacek
Fingerplay Here is a House
Book The house that Jack built / Mayo, Diana.
Movement Song

song cube

Song Cube

  • Ants Go Marching
  • Banana Song
  • This Little Piggy
  • Mary Had a Little Lamb
  •  I’m a Little Teapot
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
Dance Party! Choose a random song for Freeze Dance
Early Literacy Tip: Encourage literacy in your child’s daily routines by writing thank-you notes or making shopping lists together.
Goodbye Song The More We Come Together (with Sign)
Craft  H Is For House

Continue reading

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Babies in Bloom: Phonemic Awareness and Singing

BIBIn this weeks Babies in Bloom, we look at how singing prepares our children for reading later and life– and we talk about how it doesn’t matter how well you do it!

Babies from birth to 18 month (with caring adult) enjoy songs, action rhymes and playtime while building early literacy skills. A great way to get to know other families in your community! Today’s early literacy skill is Phonological Awareness.

Housekeeping: Welcome to an AACPL Early literacy storytime. My name is Ms. Elaine. Don’t worry about wandering babies, please feel free to step outside if they need a break, and rejoin once they are ready. For now, it doesn’t matter whether your children follow along. If your babies see you play along they’ll want to copy you so please silence any cell phones and try to keep conversation until the social time afterwards.

Opening Song Everybody Wave Hello (Silly Hands Verse)
Aside 1


When we listen and sing songs with our babies, it slows down the syllables helping them to hear the individual sounds in words.
Flannelboard Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Rhyme Waves on the Beach/Wheels on the Bus (Raffi)
Rhyme Two Little Blackbirds
Book BIB Kit Itsy Bitsy Spider (Choral Reading)
Aside 2


It really doesn’t matter the skill level of the singer,  just that children hear those songs, and they’re more likely to care about them if they come from you!
Song Baby Hokey Pokey
Rhyme Hurry, Scurry, Little Mouse
Rhyme Hello Bubble
Ending Song Shake My Sillies Out!  (Raffi Live- 12),

Add remaining instruments, balls, toys

Bubbles/Song Song to play during bubbles: I’m a Believer
Aside 3


Anytime you are singing with your babies, whether it’s along with the radio in the car, or a children’s song that you know, it helps them to hear all of the amazing songs that we make when we talk, and break them down.


Everybody Wave Hello

Did everyone bring their hands today?

 Everybody wave hello.
Wave hello. Wave hello.
Everybody wave hello.

Lets have some fun!

Now let me see those SILLY HANDS

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Readers Advisory: Disturbing Novels, Psychological Thrillers

disturbingWhile most of my work posted on this blog explores my work with children, I also do adult readers advisory and research.

If you’re like me, sometimes you just need to feel a little disturbed, creeped out, distressed by what your reading. You want a little of  the thrill of misfortune, twists and turns that get your blood pumping. Whether its delving into a life beyond what you could ever imagine happening to you, watching people overcome impossible odds, or just the urge to cry a little– these books will do the trick.

For me, these can help me move past a hard time in my own life– after-all someone has it worse.

Psychological Thriller/Horror

My Reads:

Those in this list are fantastic examples of real life events gone terribly, terribly wrong. The serial killers, kidnappers, and generally twisted fill this list. Continue reading

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Preschool Storytime: School Readiness (Animals and Dinos)

preschool storytime

Don’t limit yourself always with themes! In this storytime I combined a couple of types of books that I like to create something super awesome!

Preschool Storytime: Children ages three to five (with caring adult) build the early literacy skills needed for school readiness through engaging books, songs and activities.

My cart set up the night before: StorytimeCart

Early Literacy  Tips Explain Today we’re going to focus on activities that help our young ones to learn to self-regulate and follow instructions. A lot of our activities today also have animal noises, which help build on phonological awareness.
Opening Song Wave My Hands
Book Dinosaurompous
Flannel Board/Activity


5 Little Ducks
5 Little Ducks went out one day,
Over the hill and far away,
And the mother duck said QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK,
And 4 Little Ducks came running back.
Then I told the kids they couldn’t hear momma duck, could they help me? And they were very loud quakers, and then I told them that they scared the ducks, and that they needed to be very quiet. We quacked quietly and 

All little ducks came running back!

Calming Song Open, Shut Them
Calming Fingerplay I have ten fingers
Early Literacy  Tips Example Activities like the ones we are about to do helps kids practice following instructions and build gross motor skills
Activity Toss Your Scarves
Book The Cow Buzzed by Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha
Fingerplay Old MacDonald
Book Dinosaur Zoom by Penny Dale
Movement Song/Song Cubesong cube Song Cube**

spider = a spider for “Itsy Bitsy Spider”
star = a star for “Twinkle Twinkle”
bus = a schoolbus for “Wheels on the Bus”
sheep = a black sheep for “Baa Baa Black Sheep”*below
boat = a rowboat for “Row Row Row Your Boat”
hands = two hands for “If You’re Happy and You Know It”

Music/Shaker Eggs Silly Dance Contest
Early Literacy Empower Songs like this one, red light green light, and other stop and go activities help kids to learn self moderation, which helps with school.
Goodbye Song or More Dancing The More We Get Together (with sign language)
Craft Based on Dinosaur Zoom:
Dinosaur and Cars Coloring/Gluing Pages

Continue reading

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Job Updates and Transfers


Recently, I transferred to a smaller community branch as a Library Associate to expand my opportunities to experience a variety of different roles within the branch, and focus on programming, customer service, and technology education– my biggest passions.

It has been an exciting time to intensify my focus on the public service aspects of my profession, and get to know my customers better. Rather than focusing on a hundred customers through my door an hour, I can really focus on helping the customer in front of me. The kids are already recognizing me from our storytimes, something I never got to experience at a larger branch. I’m taking on exciting responsibilities in organizing outreach for the branch, and joining additional system-wide committees.

More fabulous things to follow, I’m sure.

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