The First Day of Winter

I decided I would make a magnet board for Denise Fleming’s The First Day of Winter and boy did this take more time then I thought it would.


I basically hand drew each of the 10 items:

Red hat with a gold snap, two blue mittens, three scarves, four prickly pinecones, five birdseed pockets, six tiny twigs, seven maple leaves, eight orange candies, nine big black buttons and ten roasted peanuts.

Then I laminated everything and stuck magnets on the back on them.

Went I tested them out on my snowman, I realized that anywhere there were magnets on the snowman’s body, my pieces would stay stuck. SO when I use this for storytime, I am going to draw my snowman on the white board and just use the pieces to tell the story.

I am also going to attempt to sing the story to the tune of: The Twelve Days of Christmas.

Honestly, if I can get through it without dying laughing, I’ll deem it a success. HA!

That’s all for now!


Music & Movement: Storytelling with Music and American Sign Language

Over the summer, I have been working with the Maryland Deaf Culture Digital Library to put together a special storytime program that would be fun and accessible for our both hearing and deaf patrons. And implementation time has arrived!

This program is a special storytime for all ages but content-wise is specifically targeted to ages 0-5, with their grownups. What we wanted to do in this storytime, was to incorporate our summer reading theme of music, while teaching some sign language–hence the music and movement theme.

To help me with this storytime, I have deaf mother Roberta Mather. Roberta will be signing everything for us and teaching us how to sign some of the words in our songs.

I set this up with an introduction to the program and the positive aspects of incorporating, not only music and movement but also sign language into a child’s routine. Then we jumped right in.

The four songs we did were: The More We Get Together, The ABC’s, BINGO and Old MacDonald had a farm. If you want my outline or powerpoint with the highlighted words, let me know. WordPress won’t let me format it correctly on here.

The More We Get Together–this one is actually really easy to sign. We learned the whole song and opened and closed the program with it.

The ABC’s–we went through the alphabet once with the kids and then we put it together with the song. I had practice sheets they could take home. For the other songs we highlighted specific words. So, even though Roberta was signing the whole song the kids knew to focus on just the signs they learned.

BINGO–We learned how to sign “dog” and then we did our finger spelling for B-I-N-G-O.

Old MacDonald Had A Farm–For this one we used our finger spelling for E-I-E-I-O but we also learned the sign for “farm,” “cow,” “pig,” “chicken” and “sheep.” As we moo moo’ed the kids would do their animal sign. We had a lot of fun with this one.

To make this a visually accessible as possible, I created a powerpoint that I projected onto a screen off to the right of the room. This way, people could reference it for the words if they wanted to.

After we learned these songs and went through them a few times, I passed out instruments and we told a musical version of the three little pigs. I did a play on the version from Let’s Play Kids Music.

What I wanted to do was to inject music and action into the story, so it was like the kids were telling the story with me.

  • We shook our shaker eggs when the first little pig build his straw house.
  • We hit our rhythm sticks when the second little pig built his hour of sticks.
  • We used our percussion instruments when the third little pig built his brick house.
  • We slapped our legs when the pigs were running from the wolf.
  • We helped the wolf blow the houses down and when they were down we stomped our feet.

This is something you could do with any version of the three little pigs. Even if you don’t have the instruments handy, just clapping, stomping or slapping your thighs can add action and an interactive element to the story.

How’d it go: This program went great and definitely makes me want to continue doing something like this in the future. Roberta, myself and the interpreter all worked really well together. I’d like to use a story that is more narrative driven next time but other than that I was extremely satisfied with the way things went.

That’s all for now!


Family Storytime: Music & Dance

Hi Guys! So we are back to our summer schedule for storytimes, which means no weekly baby storytimes for a bit 😦 BUT I am still doing my family storytimes and this week I thought I’d go along with the summer reading theme of Libraries Rock! and revolve my theme around music and dance.

Here’s what I planned:

  • SONG – Top of the Morning
    • This is a fun tune and great for waking up and doing a little stretching. It’s called Top of the Morning.
  • HELLO RHYME – Say Hello
    • This is a great rhyme for saying hello because we get to do it in so many fun ways!
  • MOVEMENT STRETCH – Simon Says…
    • Who doesn’t love a good round of Simon Says? I figured I could throw in some music themed actions and help us get warmed up.

Then we get into our theme:

    • I also teach my group a few American Sign Language signs to go with every theme. This is great to help frustrated little ones communicate but it also helps make our world a better place by fostering communicatio51hey-mzijl-_sx497_bo1204203200_n with each other. We have a large deaf community near my library so learning just a few signs are great! I usually use Signing Savvy or Baby Sign Language.
  • BOOK – Hilda Must Be Dancing by Karma WilsonI love this one for the rhyme and for the fun sounds we get to make as we read this one.
  • ACTION RHYME – The Finger Band is Coming to Town
    • Another Jbrary gem! We get to use our fingers to pretend play lots of instruments.
  • FREEZE DANCE – Can’t Stop the Feeling from The Trolls Soundtrack
    • A music themed storytime is perfect for a game of freeze dance and this is the perfect song to get into funny dance positions with.
  • BOOK – Violet’s Music by Angela JohnsonThis is a great storytime book–a little long but worth it for it’s diversity and the lesson learn. A book all about finding staying true to who you are and eventually you will find your niche. 51t6gqshrzl-_sx388_bo1204203200_
  • RHYME in the Round – Row, Row, Row Your Boat
    • I am going to TRY to introduce the concept of singing in a round. I am going to split the room into thirds and I am going to point when each group should start singing and then we will talk about how we just make music together. We’ll see how it goes!
  • SONG w/ SHAKERS – Happy Feet from Dancin’ Magic by Joanie Bartel
    • You can’t have a music themed storytime without breaking out those shakers!

Finally, we finish up with:

  • Movement Exercise – If You’re Happy and You Know It
    • I tell the kids that I want to know how happy they are.
  • Rhyme – Say Goodbye
    • This is the same rhyme we started with, so the new guys are familiar with it by the end of storytime.
  • Song – Clean It Up! by The Laurie Berkner Band
    • Everyone helps put our shakers away
  • Song – Goodbye, So Long, Farewell my Friends by Music Together
    • I always put this one on as I go to open the door. Its a nice, slow, peaceful song to wind down on.

How’d it go: This one was a lot of fun! I probably could have used a shorter second book but I sort of summed it up, instead of reading every word and all was well. We loved doing Simon Says and the freeze dance was awesome!

That’s all for now!





Summer Read & Learn

It’s that time of year, where schools start wrapping up their classes and close their doors for three glorious months. For the library, our busiest time of the year is about to start!

Today, is the first day of Summer Reading at my library. Our doors will open and we will be flooded with kids and caregivers looking to sign up and get started on all the fun things the library has to offer. Time to gear up and get ready for questions, troubleshooting, and lots and lots of readers advisory!!!

To help spruce up the children’s room, I created a few signs and displays to go along with the “Libraries Rock!” theme.

Window displays, like from my last display post.


Other window displays that are a bit more interactive.

We plan on letting the kids write their names on paper music notes and adding them to our scales. Hopefully, they will be able to add a sticker to their note as they progress through the program.


Oh and I can’t forget my bulletin board! A little homage to the other meaning to “rock.”


I also made a quick sign to show patrons where they can access our computers in order to sign up for summer reading, while they are at the library.


And finally, I added a little flare to our program flyers. Who doesn’t love a border of gold stars!20180608_165531

Pair all this with awesome book lists, really great incentives and raffles and some awesome summer programming—the library is going to be the place to be this summer!

Let’s keep those brains sharp this summer and continue to read and learn, all while having fun!

What are you doing to get ready for summer reading?

That’s all for now!



Libraries Rock!

Hey Guys,

I finally got my summer reading display up and it came out better then I’d hoped! The theme for summer read and learn this year is “Libraries Rock!” Of course I had to do a music themed window display!

I tried to go a little retro with my music, creating an electric guitar, a boom box and some vinyl records.

My drums have the theme verbiage and lots of fun music notes. Everything was crafted, freehand using construction paper and markers. I laminated everything to make it last.

I am super proud of my piano. I knew I wanted my piano to look like it was sort of moving, so I cut out the keys and attached them, using tape, to fishing line. That was each section of keys could bend.


I like this theme a lot and hopefully the display will last the whole summer!

That’s all for now!