Tag Archives: quarantine

Virtual Preschool Storytime: Week 8

My last preschool storytime (outside of specials)–possibly for a long while. If we keep with our proposed schedule for the fall and spring, other than those Saturday programs, I won’t be doing these again. This was such a fun age range. (I think I say that about all of them!)

For me, a benefit of COVID has been being able to really dig into storytimes for different ages. When I started as a youth librarian, I had very little storytime experience, and I essentially served as a substitute. I was tossed head first into Baby Storytime, which I made my own. I substituted for other ages, but I often just repeated the same program because I saw the kids so infrequently. Now that I’ve really been working with each age range, I can see the improvement across all of my storytimes, plus I have more awareness of what is appropriate for each age range.

One thing I didn’t get to explore as much as I wanted these last few weeks is diverse musicians. I am still working on this project, but as happens, especially now, deadlines keep trumping projects like these. I have been chipping away, however. I have a great lists of artists and CDs, and I am working on the listening. More soon!

Background: While my library is closed during the COVID pandemic, we are hosting five virtual storytimes a week, livestreamed through our Facebook page. While those livestreams are deleted soon after they are complete, we are also making YouTube clips of select elements of our storytimes that our patrons can view anytime they would like–and that I can share with all of you!

Find additional content at the links below:

Preschool Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip: Talking & Reading

When sharing a story together, take a look at the book cover. Have your child predict what the book might be about. Read them the title and see if that changes their thoughts. Take a look at the pictures inside, and see what they think.

Book: King of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes

The King of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes: 9781524740740 ...

Song: Wiggledy-Woo by Mr. Eric & Mr. Michael
(No video, as we don’t need a permanent record of me dancing to this.)

Fingerplay: Five Little Caterpillars

Book Retelling: Goodnight Moon

Action Rhyme: Mix a Pancake

Flannel: We’re Going on a Bug Hunt

Closing Song: Elmo Slide by Sesame Street

Virtual Preschool Storytime: Week 7

My second to last preschool storytime! I’m trying to keep to the same routine, but I also feel like I want to just squeeze as much content in as I can. Starting in the fall, I’m rotating between baby and toddler programs, so I don’t know when I will see this age range again outside of themed Saturday specials (Pinkalicious, I’m coming for you!).

Generally, I ended up with too many pieces this week that were a touch too long when all put in the same program (longer book, longer song, longer retelling). Virtual attention spans are still short, even with my preschool friends.

Background: While my library is closed during the COVID pandemic, we are hosting five virtual storytimes a week, livestreamed through our Facebook page. While those livestreams are deleted soon after they are complete, we are also making YouTube clips of select elements of our storytimes that our patrons can view anytime they would like–and that I can share with all of you!

Find additional content at the links below:

Preschool Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip: Reading

Encourage your child to choose books they are excited about, even if you think the story is too long for their attention span or bedtime. Try a “picture walk” if you really think the book is too dense, but consider trying to read it–their patience may surprise you when they are genuinely interested.

Book: Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao by Kat Zhang

Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao: Zhang, Kat, Chua, Charlene ...

Song: Waiting for the Elevator by Laurie Berkner

Fingerplay: Two Little Friends

Book Retelling: Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London

Action Rhyme: Zoom Zoom Zoom

Flannel: Five Fancy Peacocks

Closing Song: Elmo Slide by Sesame Street

Virtual Preschool Storytime: Week 6

Another week, another storytime. Lots of first time selections for me this week–actually all of this is first time activities except for the opening and closing song. Yay new stuff!

Background: While my library is closed during the COVID pandemic, we are hosting five virtual storytimes a week, livestreamed through our Facebook page. While those livestreams are deleted soon after they are complete, we are also making YouTube clips of select elements of our storytimes that our patrons can view anytime they would like–and that I can share with all of you!

Find additional content at the links below:

Preschool Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip:

Talk about print awareness. Start reading a book upside down and let your child figure out what is wrong. Locate the cover, title, and author’s names. Talk about reading from left to right.

Book: Bedtime Bonnet by Nancy Redd (Watch Book Talk Video here.)

Bedtime Bonnet: Redd, Nancy, Myers, Nneka: 9781984895257: Amazon ...

Song: Teddy Bear by Jazzy Ash

Fingerplay: My Garden

Book Retelling: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff

Action Rhyme: Show Me How You Move

Manipulative: Shaker Time

Closing Song: Elmo Slide by Sesame Street

Paw Patrol Rescue Academy

Paw Patrol and I have a bit of a history. During spring break 2019, I planned a program featuring one of the most popular kids TV shows of the time. It was scheduled for a Friday morning, and while we could tell from patron questions that there was some excitement, I didn’t really know what to expect. I had been planning for a storytime followed by eight hands-on games, crafts, and activities where you earned badges, and ending with an obstacle course where you earned your Paw Patrol “uniform” (hat and necklace).

Before the program started, I debated dropping the storytime portion because my overzealous planning had led to very little room for attendees to sit down before completing their activities. I believe I left the room to get extra supplies about 30 minutes before the program and was extremely surprised to realize that there were over 100 patrons in the hallway. Waiting for a program that started in 30 minutes. A program that was supposed to take place in meeting rooms that have a firecode of around 200 when the room isn’t filled with tables and activities. The storytime portion was dropped, and by the end of the program over 300 people stopped by.

I have never written about that program on this blog because it didn’t go the way I had hoped (high attendance or not), and I didn’t actually have that many resources to share. Pre-COVID, I had been planning to try this program again this summer with quite a few modifications. Post-COVID, this program turned into another online special storytime, following the path of the recent Baby Shark Storytime and Elephant & Piggie Storytime.

Enjoy watching me make a fool of myself promoting this program in the below video. I think the video did help, as we had more people at this virtual program than Elephant & Piggie three weeks prior (about 76 at Paw Patrol).

To help continue the Paw Patrol fun at home, I curated a PDF packet that we shared with event participants. Download it here and view it below:

The general storytime layout is below, with videos where applicable.

Backdrop Setup: Pennant banners and Paw Patrol shields helped make my backdrop more on-theme to increase the Paw Patrol excitement:

Paw Patrol Intro: We got ready for storytime with the Paw Patrol theme song and explained our mission: to complete training activities to earn six Paw Patrol badges and become junior Paw Patrol members.

Book: Pit Crew Pups from Five Puptacular Tales

Amazon.com: Five Puptacular Tales! (PAW Patrol) (Step into Reading ...

Badge #1: Flying Badge with Skye: Airplane Song by Laurie Berkner

Whenever it was time to earn a new badge, we received pup mail. We had to guess which pup’s badge we were going to earn based on the front of our mail and then read about our challenge.

Our first challenge was to practice our flying skills with Skye!

Badge #2: Water Safety Badge with Zuma: Zuma Are You In a Boat?

Badge #3: Safety Badge with Chase: Crazy Traffic Light

Badge #4: Fire Safety Badge with Marshall: Hurry, Hurry Drive the Firetruck

Badge #5: Construction Badge with Rubble: Tip Tip Dig Dig by Emma Garcia
This was supposed to be just a read of the book, but I couldn’t get a copy of the book in time, so it turned into a last minute magnet. I’m sure I’ll reuse this set at some point in a toddler storytime.

Amazon.com: Tip Tip Dig Dig (All About Sounds) (9781906250829 ...

Badge #6: Handyman Badge with Rocky: Our Friend Rocky Had Some Tools

Graduation: Now that we had earned all six Paw Patrol badges, as shown in our Paw Patrol Badge Zone:

We recited the Paw Patrol Pledge:

And danced the morning away as Junior Paw Patrol members!

Closing Song: Pup Pup Boogie

Virtual Preschool Storytime: Week 5

I managed to incorporate shapes this week! I feel like I cover colors frequently and wow we have counted a lot in past weeks, but shapes always slip through. I haven’t put in the time to find enough great shape rhymes, but I’m going to work on that.

I’m preparing for a Saturday special storytime this week–Paw Patrol!, so a lot of storytime favorites appeared this week to make this preschool storytime a bit easier on my brain.

Background: While my library is closed during the COVID pandemic, we are hosting five virtual storytimes a week, livestreamed through our Facebook page. While those livestreams are deleted soon after they are complete, we are also making YouTube clips of select elements of our storytimes that our patrons can view anytime they would like–and that I can share with all of you!

Find additional content at the links below:

Preschool Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip:

Playing is so important developmentally—and a ton of fun! On the go, I Spy in the car can help build vocabulary. At home, act out a story or play dress up–maybe recreate a story like today’s book!

Book: What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night by Refe and Susan Tuma

What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night: A Very Messy Adventure - Kindle ...

Song: Monkey Dance by The Wiggles

Fingerplay: Old Brass Wagon

Book Retelling: Tickle Monster by Edouard Manceau

Action Rhyme: Point to the Ceiling

Flannel: Little Crab, Little Crab

Closing Song: Elmo Slide by Sesame Street

Virtual Preschool Storytime: Week 4

Due to last week’s surprise preschool storytime, I have a bit of time with this age range–6 weeks in a row. I’m passing babies back to a coworker for a few weeks as I dig into the preschool age range. Lots of fingerplays, direction-practicing, and letter and number skills!

Background: While my library is closed during the COVID pandemic, we are hosting five virtual storytimes a week, livestreamed through our Facebook page. While those livestreams are deleted soon after they are complete, we are also making YouTube clips of select elements of our storytimes that our patrons can view anytime they would like–and that I can share with all of you!

Find additional content at the links below:

Preschool Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip: Singing breaks up words into syllables, slowing down the sounds that words make. It also introduces new vocabulary!

Book: I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison

Amazon.com: I Got the Rhythm By Connie Schofield-Morrison ...

Song: Wiggle Your Lah-Dee-Dah by Ralph’s World

Fingerplay: Five Green and Speckled Frogs

Book Retelling: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.

Action Rhyme: There Was a Crocodile

Flannel Song: Five Little Ducks

Closing Song: Elmo Slide by Sesame Street

Virtual Baby Storytime: Week 10

I’m going to be honest–this is my third time writing this paragraph and WordPress keeps deleting this draft post. Essentially, this is my last baby storytime for a while, and this is a new book for me this week.

Background: While my library is closed during the COVID pandemic, we are hosting five virtual storytimes a week, livestreamed through our Facebook page. While those livestreams are deleted soon after they are complete, we are also making YouTube clips of select elements of our storytimes that our patrons can view anytime they would like–and that I can share with all of you!

Find additional content at the links below:

Baby Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip & Book: Head and Shoulders by Megan Borgert-Spaniol

Head and Shoulders by Megan Borgert-Spaniol

Early Literacy Tip: Sing to your babies! Your voice is better than a recording, and the quality of your voice doesn’t matter. Do you hear me singing on the Internet every day?

Song: Hurry Hurry Drive the Firetruck

Action Rhyme: Baby Hokey Pokey

Bounce Rhyme: Andy Pandy

Bounce: Snuggle Up

Song: Five Little Monkeys

Puppets: I Went Walking

Manipulative: Shakers

Closing Song: Skinnamarink

Virtual Preschool Storytime: Week 3

Surprise preschool storytime this week! This was a little more tossed together. I’ve also realized I focus so much on counting.

I’m working on bulking up the diverse titles in my home library to help with these and future storytimes. I’m still quarantining books I get from work for a while when I bring them home, so I’ve really been creating storytimes from my home collection a lot, and most of my books are animal focused. This is a part of my personality–I also beg for a lot of animal programs–but I need to expand, and I want to show that in my storytimes. This preschool storytime isn’t a great example, but it is on my mind.

I’m also working on really digging into the musicians I use in storytime and creating a collection of diverse artists to regularly pull from. This project has gotten sidelined more than I would like as I didn’t expect to be quite so exhausted and to lose quite so much time during my work in-building days.

Background: While my library is closed during the COVID pandemic, we are hosting five virtual storytimes a week, livestreamed through our Facebook page. While those livestreams are deleted soon after they are complete, we are also making YouTube clips of select elements of our storytimes that our patrons can view anytime they would like–and that I can share with all of you!

Find additional content at the links below:

Preschool Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip: Build writing muscles with scribbling, coloring, and fingerplays.

Fingerplay: Five Little Hot Dogs

Book: Swallow the Leader by Danna Smith

Amazon.com: Swallow the Leader (lap board book) (9781328482655 ...

Song: Jump! Jump! by Joanie Leeds

Book Retelling: Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by James Dean and Eric Litwin

Action Rhyme: I’m a Little Dump Truck

Flannel Song: BINGO

Closing Song: Elmo Slide by Sesame Street

Elephant & Piggie Storytime

10,000 years ago, in the days that were March, spring break week was supposed to end with an Elephant & Piggie Party. We had borrowed the full body costumes for some guest appearances, I had too many games and crafts planned to fit in our space, and we were expecting a decent crowd–last year’s Paw Patrol event, on the same day and time, had 300 people.

But before spring break, our library closed because COVID, etc., etc., etc., if you are reading this post in 2020 or soon after you don’t need me to rehash the details again. If you have no idea what COVID quarantining was…well I’m surprised this blog is still being used. Hopefully Google still exists too. Anyway, last weekend, I was able to bring part of the Elephant & Piggie Party online with Elephant & Piggie Storytime.

We had a smaller turnout than we would have had in person–just 51 online viewers during our Facebook Live event–but there were many familiar faces and the engagement in the comments was amazing.

To help continue the Elephant and Piggie fun at home, I curated a PDF packet that we shared with event participants. Download it here.

The general storytime layout is below. I wish I could share the whole video with you because some of the best parts just aren’t in the pre-made YouTube videos. I added a few screenshots for your enjoyment where I could.

Find additional content at the links below:

Backdrop Setup: Pennant banners and book covers helped make my backdrop more on-theme to increase the Elephant & Piggie excitement:

Elephant & Piggie Intro: We got ready for storytime with my go-to storytime intro song: Shake Your Sillies Out by Rainbow Songs.

Fingerplay: I Have One, I Have Two, I Have Three Little Piggies!

First Book: Let’s Go for a Drive by Mo Willems

Let's Go for a Drive! (An Elephant and Piggie Book) (An Elephant ...

I used to perform this book as a puppet show back when I was a teen volunteer, so I’m very familiar with the content. I included some props and got quite energetic in sharing the book:

Song: Elephants Have Wrinkles by Rainbow Songs

Magnet: Piggie, Are You In a Book?

Magnet: Five Elephants in the Bathtub
**This was the planned starting point for Pigeon takeover. I made a full video for YouTube, but this wasn’t part of the storytime beyond the introduction.

Pigeon Takeover: I’ve been trying to think of ways to use virtual storytimes to my advantage. In a room full of kids, I could never transform a storytime space like I’m able to by covering the camera for a minute and swapping out decor. Hence, Pigeon Takeover was born.

**Our storytimes are live. This would have been much easier pre-recorded, but it wouldn’t have been half as fun.

How This Worked:

  • While swapping out magnet pieces from Piggie, Are You in a Book? to start what I told viewers was our next activity, Five Elephants in the Bathtub, I really pressed play on the iPod Touch I use for music (connected via bluetooth to a speaker), starting a Spotify playlist. The playlist contained 7 door knocking sounds followed by the Hot Dog! song by They Might be Giants (Pigeon likes hot dogs!).
  • Once the knocking started, I pretended to ignore it while making an annoyed face before apologizing to viewers and telling them I needed to check on the door. I’d be right back!
  • As soon as I was off camera, stuffed Pigeon made an appearance, using a sign to make his opinions known:
  • I moved the Pigeon Storytime sign up against the camera before swapping it out with a black washcloth. The Hot Dog! song continued to play and my awesome coworker kept the shenanigans going in the comments while letting viewers know to keep watching.
  • In a minute, I swapped out as much of the decor as I could, focusing on: the books on the bookshelf, stuffed animals, and hanging up as many Pigeon book covers and pre-cut Pigeon images on top of the Elephant and Piggie decor as I could manage. These were all pre-taped and on a table off camera.
  • I positioned myself with the Pigeon headband and holding some of Pigeon’s signage. I made sure before I started that my chair was close enough to the camera to remove the wash cloth in a clean motion. I stopped the music, moved the wash cloth, threw in a “is there a bird on my head?” joke, and let my confusion show before accepting my fate that I was now in a different storytime:

Book: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems, Hardcover ...

Since this was now Pigeon storytime, we had to wrap things up with a Pigeon story.

Closing Song: If You’re an Elephant/Piggie/Pigeon and You Know It!

Extra: 5 Little Pigeons Jumping on the Bed

Virtual Baby Storytime: Week 9

While we look at moving back into the library (I’m back in the library two days a week now–starting today!), virtual programs continue. We are discussing how to transition to filming in the library, especially since our building will most likely be opening to the public soon, any regular programming spaces are being used for quarantine of deliveries or returns, and an open-office staff space with no area for private filming. Returning to the library gives others staff members who don’t have the at-home tech an opportunity to film storytimes…but that also means restarting a learning curve about the technology and the differences between an in-person and virtual storytime, at a time when the patron expectation in program quality is higher (after all we’ve been doing this a while).

Background: While my library is closed during the COVID pandemic, we are hosting five virtual storytimes a week, livestreamed through our Facebook page. While those livestreams are deleted soon after they are complete, we are also making YouTube clips of select elements of our storytimes that our patrons can view anytime they would like–and that I can share with all of you!

Find additional content at the links below:

Baby Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip & Book: Leo Loves Baby Time by Anna McQuinn

Leo Loves Baby Time: McQuinn, Anna, Hearson, Ruth: 9781580896658 ...

Early Literacy Tip: Babies understand more than they can say. Using gestures, including sign-language is a great way to communicate with your little one. More, Stop, and No are great words to practice.

Song: She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain by Old Town School of Folk Music

Action Rhyme: Head and Shoulders

Bounce Rhyme: Old Grey Mare

Bounce: Two Little Boats

Song: The Tickle Song by Rainbow Songs

Puppets: Jump!

Manipulative: Stuffed Animals

Closing Song: Skinnamarink