Monday, June 20, 2011

SUMMER READING (ate my brain) CLUB!

It's day 6 of Summer Reading Club and my organization skills are starting to slip. This happens to me every year, but I'm always amazed at how fast I start to lose track of things in the midst of the crazy, busy, program packed schedule of Summer Reading Club. During my first year of full-time Summer Reading programming (five years ago), I discovered that it's important to have a backup program for when I completely forget that a group is coming into the library (or alternatively, when a group spontaneously shows up on a different day/time than scheduled).

This summer my backup program theme is traveling. This combines one of my favorite toddler / preschool storytime themes, transportation, with all the awesome books / songs about traveling to other places. As an added bonus, I get to make all sorts of fun transportation noises, and the kids really get into naming all the vehicles and machinery (and they love making the noises too!).

So, whether you like traveling by car, boat, truck, train, airplane, bike, or your own two legs, here are a couple of fun activities to add try out!

My Aunt Came Back
Pat Cummings has illustrated the traditional rhyme, My Aunt Came Back. I love using this book as a call and response chant for baby and toddler storytimes. Recently my colleague, Erin, found a great way to use this chant for older kids. As you do the call and response, you add a different motion for each place the Aunt returns from. You keep doing the motions throughout the song and eventually you are attempting to do five motions at once, which is hiliarious and quite fun!

Here's the chant, the echo is in parentheses:
My aunt came back (my aunt came back) from old Japan (from old Japan)
She brought me back (she brought me back) a painted fan (a painted fan)  *Start fanning yourself*

My aunt came back (my aunt came back) from old Algiers (from old Algiers)
She brought me back (she brought me back) a pair of shears (a pair of shears)  *Continue fanning motion and pretend to use scissors with one hand*

My aunt came back (my aunt came back) from Holland, too (from Holland, too)
She brought me back (she brought me back) a wooden shoe (a wooden shoe)  *Continue fanning and cutting motions and start tapping your foot*

My aunt came back (my aunt came back) from the New York Fair (from the New York Fair)  
She brought me back (she brought me back) a rocking chair (a rocking chair)  *Continue fanning, cutting, and tapping motions and start rocking back and forth*

My aunt came back (my aunt came back) from Kalamazoo (from Kalamazoo)  She brought me back (she brought me back) some gum to chew (some gum to chew) *Continue fanning, cutting, tapping, and rocking motions and start pretending to chew gum*

My aunt came back from Timbuktu (my aunt came back) from Timbuktu (from Timbuktu)
But this time (but this time) brought me, too (she brought me too)

Blue Car, Blue Car, What Do You See?
Check out the awesome felt board from the SRC manual for Blue Car, Blue Car What Do You See? (pages 108 and 125.) I had a large book of construction vehicles fall apart a few months ago and so I cut out the images and I have made my own version using the photographs from this book. The kids love this huge set of transportation props!

I hope these two storytime ideas will be helpful if Summer Reading has eaten your brain :) What fun stories/props/songs are you really excited to use this summer?

-Megan Fogt
Manager of children's services at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - Squirrel Hill