Updated! Shark Week Storytime

Updated! Shark Week Storytime

A few weeks back I planned to do an ocean-themed storytime to go with my Reader’s Reef genre bulletin board. What started as ocean-themed quickly turned into something attuned to Shark Week in the library. There are just too many adorable shark projects and ideas on Pinterest. I couldn’t help myself!

My book selections were good, but I will definitely make some changes for next time around. I absolutely love Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee by Chris Van Dusen, it is a new favorite! The kids loved, loved, loved it!
I think I’m a Shark by Bob Shea is an adorable book for students to read and check out, but it wasn’t great for reading aloud. I think next year I’ll display it, but not use it in the storytime.
Last came Wave by Suzy Lee. This. Book. Is. Wonderful. I actually really enjoy using wordless books for storytime, the kids always impress me with their level of engagement and focus. The pictures are amazing and the “story” is so sweet. Love this one!
 
Between books we sang “Five Little Fishies” and used the shark and fish felts (my husband’s favorite). All credit for this goes to Jane from Piper Loves the Library! I fell in love with her shark so much, that I had to make one of my own. I love his big-toothed smile and semi-grimacing eyebrow furrow. Like Jane, I mounted him on black felt so that his tail and fins wouldn’t be so fragile.
 
“Five Little Fishies”
(Sung to the tune of Five Little Monkeys Swinging in a Tree)
 
Five little fishes, swimming in the sea.
Teasing Mr. Shark, “You can’t catch me.”
Along comes Mr. Shark, as quiet as can be … and … Sssnnnnnap!
 
Four little fishes, swimming in the sea.
Teasing Mr. Shark, “You can’t catch me.”
Along comes Mr. Shark, as quiet as can be … and … Sssnnnnnap!
 
Three little fishes, swimming in the sea.
Teasing Mr. Shark, “You can’t catch me.”
Along comes Mr. Shark, as quiet as can be … and … Sssnnnnnap!
 
Two little fishes, swimming in the sea.
Teasing Mr. Shark, “You can’t catch me.”
Along comes Mr. Shark, as quiet as can be … and … Sssnnnnnap!
 
One little fishie, swimming in the sea.
Teasing Mr. Shark, “You can’t catch me.”
Along comes Mr. Shark, as quiet as can be … and … Sssnnnnnap!
 
Burp … I’m full.
 

Thank you, Jane, this was a wonderful success!!!Update: Thanks to Shark Week on Discovery Channel, there are a gazillion shark-themed ideas on Pinterest. These are just a few I tried (and loved!):

 Shark Fin Hats, aren’t they fun! Pinned by Raquel Hernandez, I was unable to locate the original source. I simply cut strips of blue construction paper, stapled them together and added a fin (with some CHOMP marks). So easy and so fun!

The idea for this darling clothespin shark comes from Estefi Machado. The blog is in Portuguese and while I was able to translate the post through Google, it was still a challenge to understand. So, I took my best guess.

 I did a sketch on white card stock, outlined it with black marker and added some color.

 The fishy is attached with a small section of wooden toothpick, glued to the back of the clothespin.

 Cute and fun!

 Another fast and fun shark craft? The shark clothespin for developing fine motor skills, from Make, Do and Friend. Just paint, glue and play!

 I painted my sharky with blue acrylic paint, added a construction paper fin, and squiggly eyes.

The white paint was tough… I had to clamp the clothespin open in order for it to dry and even then, the teeth stuck together. Still cute.

 
Up next… I’m debating creating a storytime entirely dedicated to peas. Hmmm, what do you think? You might be asking yourself, “Why peas?” Well, they’re healthy, they’re green (I’m a fan of doing color-themed storytimes) and peas in a pod are absolutely adorable. Think of the craft possibilities! Pinterest, here I come!

Dr. Seuss Shirts

Orange Lorax Shirt
Supplies for the Lorax shirt: brown craft fur (I found a panel of the fur in the aisle that has pom-poms and felt sheets), white, black and tan scraps of felt, orange cotton t-shirt and matching colored thread.
Let me just say, this mustache was a huuuuuuuuge pain! The fur was really hard to work with and it took me a few tries. The first time I cut the fur, I was left with a mess and fur everywhere! For the second try, I slid the blade of my scissors under the fur but above the mesh. It worked! It cut the shape, but helped the fur to keep that “scruffy” look. Otherwise, it looks way too manicured. Play with it and you’ll get the look you want. But, prepare to be covered in fur.
I stitched the mustache in place and then added the eyes (I forgot to stop and take pictures). Done! Adorably done. And the best part? I got the shirt at Value Village so the entire project cost less than $4!
Blue Truffula Tree Shirt
Supplies for the Truffula Tree shirt: colored craft fur (I bought 1/8 of a yard of each color), non-shiny yellow ribbon, blue cotton t-shirt and matching colored thread.
This is the messy part of the project, prepare to look like you gave a muppet a haircut.
Here are the completed circles.
I cut varying lengths of ribbon and then sewed them onto the shirt. I used a black permanent marker to make them look more authentic. (I don’t think the tree tops can withstand being washed, so I’m not worried about what would happen to the tree trunks in the laundry. It will be a special occasion-only shirt).
I did a simple overcast stitch to adhere the tree tops to the shirt, it worked quite well!
The final product, I love!!!

 

Richard Scarry’s Huckle Puppet

I posted my precious Lowly Worm plush a few days ago and today I finished up his good buddy, Huckle.

 
As I mentioned in my original post, fellow blogger, Suzy Fairchild shared these 1977 Richard Scarry pattern pieces on i heart fabric:
Huckle actually ended up taking longer than Lowly because I lost interest. He just isn’t as cute. Granted, is there anything as cute as a 14″ felt worm wearing a bowler’s hat? I think not.
I veered from the original pattern a little because, while comparing the pattern to the modern pictures of Huckle, I couldn’t help but notice that he is a different color and always wearing the Oktoberfest-y suspenders:
Even though I’m not entirely in love with my Huckle, I am debating making matching Sally Cat and Goldbug puppets.
Goldbug would be particularly fun because I could hide him in different places around the library, you know, like Richard Scarry does on all the pages of his books? Ahhh, the things school librarians find entertaining.
 
Last, but not least, I need to get my hands on an adult-sized Richard Scarry shirt:
 

Lowly Worm Plush

Spending my last days of summer freedom checking off more items from my Pinterest bucket list. Richard Scarry is one of my favorite classic authors, I can remember many a trips to the public library, paging through What Do People Do All Day? and Cars and Trucks and Things That Go. A few months back I found that Scarry had published patterns (and lots of other fun projects) in his 1977 Best Make-It Book Ever!
One of the projects is a pattern for Lowly Worm and I’ve been dying to make it ever since I laid eyes on that cute little guy. Unfortunately, the closest library that has a copy is almost 1,000 miles away (according to WorldCat) and used copies are pretty spendy.
 
Fortunately, there are some wonderful bloggers out there and Suzy Fairchild happens to be one of them. She posted the pattern pieces on her i heart fabric blog and so I was able to finally assemble my little worm friend.
 
I printed the pattern and directions on just plain ‘ole printer paper and got to work using cheap crafting felt sheets.
  
I was so excited about assembling Lowly that I forgot to take pictures along the way. I followed the book’s directions pretty closely and he turned out adorably. I did do a lot of hand-sewing. A lot.
I didn’t have a tiny yellow feather on hand, so I trimmed down a small feather and colored it with a yellow permanent marker. Worked like a charm!
The gluing of the eyes didn’t work so good, so I stitched them in place.
Isn’t he adorable!
Have fun making your very own Lowly. I’m in love!

Travel-Size Felt Board

My current felt board is huge. Seriously, it’s gigantic. It’s as tall as I am.
While this is great for some projects, it can be a bit of a pain and it’s really hard to store. I decided I needed to make a portable felt board that was also magnetic. But, you know me, Miss Frugality, I needed to do it for as cheaply as possible.
 
I found a magnetic dry erase board on clearance for $3.97 at Joann Fabrics (they have everything there). Check it out, you can still find it at Amazon, but for MUCH more expensive! I’d suggest finding a cheap-o alternative.
Next, I took some light flannel, wrapped it tightly around the board and duct-taped it in place. Done!
14″ x 14,” incredibly lightweight, and magnetic!

Lois Ehlert’s “Color Zoo” Flannel Set

This project has been a long time coming. And, boy, I’m glad I finally did it. First, I love Lois Ehlert. Reading is Fundamental has a wonderful (very kid-friendly) interview with Ms. Ehlert, if you’re interested in doing an author study. She has so many amazing, classic books and many of them can be incorporated into a ton of units. Her books are particularly great for science themes: seasons, winter, summer, fall, spring, life cycles, animals, insects, plants, trees, fruits and vegetables.
 
If you are looking for project and activity ideas to use with Lois Ehlert’s books, check out the collection of possibilities The Educators’ Spin On It has compiled, it’s great!
 
Or, how about an author interview? Check out the Reading Rockets video.
 
And now, on to the fun stuff…
I made copies of the pages from Color Zoo and then used the pages as cutting patterns.
 Like the book, each panel turns into the next panel. The ox becomes the monkey, the monkey becomes the deer, ect.
 And last, but not least, this interview through BookPage is beautiful and a must read.

Monster Book Bags

My summer break is not at all a break… It’s a flurry of crafting and sewing and making deliciously healthy meals. It’s the best kind of “break” I could possibly imagine. This project started as a birthday gift for one of my favorite three-year old monsters. He is a big fan of monsters and a big fan of reading (yaaaay!), so I wanted to combine the two into a fun birthday gift.

I purchased this adorable downloadable Library Tote Bag pattern from Shiny Happy World on Etsy.
The best part about the pattern? The darling little library card pocket inside of the bag.

I ended up wanting to make bags for a family of little kiddos and so I started “mass producing.” The first bag I made (the lime green one), I followed the pattern exactly, but because I was making so many, I wanted the pattern-cutting process to go faster, so I changed the dimensions just a bit. So as not to give Shiny Happy World‘s pattern for free, I’ll let you buy it on Etsy and then make your own adjustments.

 
 Getting everything laid out
 Assembling the inside pocket
 Assembling the outside pocket
 Putting it all together
 Adding some google-y eyes
 Assembling the handles
 Finishing it all up
 Before flipping it inside out
  And viola!
Aren’t they adorable?
Now, on to the next project…
 

Preschool Storytime: Ants

The ants go marching one by one, hurrah! Hurrah!
This week we did an ant storytime and it was so much fun! With warm weather on the rise, it was exciting to talk about picnics in the park and snacks by the swimming pool.
 
When I was first brainstorming books for this theme, I was sure the selection would be small. Oh, no! It was quite the opposite. There are a ton of great ant books and many of them have a math tie-in, which I love. Any excuse to sneak in some STEM is a big success in my book.
 
We started by reading/singing the Jeffrey Scherer version of The Ants Go Marching, I was surprised to find that a lot of the kiddos weren’t familiar. Once they figured out the repetition, they were all on board. This was my favorite book of the week, I would definitely recommend it!
 The second book we read was the Berenstains’ A Book, so much fun! We had a blast brainstorming where those angry ants might be going. It is a perfect book to demonstrate alliteration; a after a after a.
Last but not least, the flannel project that inspired this week’s entire storytime… Five Hungry Ants. I first discovered this rhyme through Anne Hicks over at AnnesLibraryLife and it was too cute to pass up:
 
Five hungry ants, marching in a line,
Came across a picnic and thought they could dine.
They marched into the salad,
They marched into the cake,
They marched into the pepper…
Uh, oh! That was a mistake! Ahhh-ahhhh-ahhhhh-choo!
 
*Throw one of the ants over your shoulder, the kids squeal with glee*
Continue counting down until all the ants are gone.
 

Preschool Storytime: Go Away, Big Green Monster

Who doesn’t love adorably cute but supposedly scary monsters? This girl sure does! And the classic Go Away, Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley does not disappoint. If you’re not familiar, well… You should be. You might remember me talking about Ed Emberley in my Choo! Choo! storytime post, he is the guru of fingerprint art and he inspired our thumbprint trains. Check out some of his other (incredibly cool) books.

 
 I read the original version of the story while using a felt manipulative
I created. All of the pieces are removable so as the monster is appearing and disappearing, the little felt monster can follow along.
Next, we read Nighty Night, Little Green Monster, how cute is he!!! The kids love the contrast between the scary monster and the cute baby monster.
For our project, I was so in love with Ms. Jessi’s “squash painting” monsters, that I knew I had to try and re-create them. We used white card stock and then squeezed a small amount of each color on one side, “squashed” it closed, “smooshed” it around and when we opened it back up, we had monsters! I ended up adding the eyes, nose, mouth and teeth with construction paper after they dried. I would have loved to have the kids do this, but there just simply wasn’t enough time.
These are a few of my favorites… check out the chins on those guys!
 

Pizza! Pizza! Storytime!

Don’t ask me why, but I have been craving doing a pizza storytime for soooo long! Almost as much as I’ve been craving a hot, cheesy, garlicy pizza. Sigh. Maybe I was hoping to vicariously fulfill my longing for a delicious treat through storytime. Ahh, nonetheless… Pizza storytime was a yummy success!

I started by reading William Steig’s classic, Pete’s a Pizza. The kids love, love, loved it! And we had fun talking about what other things you could find around the house to use for pretend toppings. From there, we moved straight into Curious George and the Pizza Party, George is always a bit hit and they loved all of his crazy shenanigans. Last, we read Pizza At Sally’s by Monica Wellington. With all the farmer’s markets opening for the season, it was fun to read about where the ingredients for pizza might actually come from.

And now, on to the main event… I fell in love with Ms. Tara’s Pizza the Size of the Sun activity and I was inspired to make my own gigantic, interactive pizza.

 I went on a thrift store scavenger hunt to find all of my ingredients, so this is one of the cheapest pizzas I’ll ever make:
Crust: Old curtain ($2.00)
Sauce: Leftover fabric (Free)
Mozzarella Cheese: Knit blanket with tassels ($1.00)
Pineapple: Felt (33¢)
Green Peppers: Felt (33¢)
Black Olives: Felt (33¢)
Cherry Tomatoes: Felt (33¢)
Onions: Felt (33¢)
Mushrooms: Felt (33¢)
Grand Total: $5.00
We even got Papo Jack and Morah Stella to join in the fun!
Mmm! It smelled delicious!
 
We ended by singing P-I-Z-Z-A (to the tune of B-I-N-G-O), I found this specific version through Lisa at Storytime Source Page:
 
I know a food that starts with P
And pizza is its name-o
P-I-Z-Z-A, P-I-Z-Z-A, P-I-Z-Z-A
And pizza is its name-o
 
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