MCBD 2018 – Sparkle Boy and Music Time

In celebration of Multicultural Children’s Book Day, I have two posts today devoted to some really outstanding books! Be sure to check out my review of the Celebrate! Series™ by Real MVP Kids®.

Thanks so much to Lee & Low Books for sending me a copy of the glorious Sparkle Boy by Lesléa Newman and the super fun Music Time, a reader by Gwendolyn Hooks.

Let’s start with Music Time. Out of the box, Lilah gravitated toward this one. She loved saying the title, she loved that the main character drums, and she generally enjoys looking at readers despite being two years old.

Main_music_time_cover

Henry dreams of becoming a rock star drummer and practices at home whenever he can. One day while Henry is drumming, his mom has to work, and asks him to stop playing. Henry decides to go outside to play his drum and he sees his friends. Henry wants to keep practicing, but he also wants to play with his friends. By playing Freeze Dance, he can do both. And when his mother finishes work that evening, they figure out how to enjoy music together too. –From the publisher.

This emergent reader is part of the Confetti Kids Series which features friends Henry, Pablo, Mei, Lily, and Padma. It is a simple story about compromise and friendship that would be a fun read for an emergent reader.

Okay, let’s sparkle with Sparkle Boy

Main_sparkle_boy_cover

Last summer at Storytime Underground, we interviewed Lesléa about her new book and I almost screamed when I saw this included in my bundle for MCBD.

Casey loves to play with his blocks, puzzles, and dump truck, and he also loves things that shimmer, glitter, and sparkle. Casey’s older sister, Jessie, thinks this is weird. Shimmery, glittery, sparkly things are only for girls. Right?

When Casey and Jessie head to the library for story time, Casey proudly wears his shimmery skirt and sparkly bracelet. His nails glitter in the light. Jessie insists that Casey looks silly. It’s one thing to dress like this around the house, but going outside as a “sparkle boy” is another thing entirely. What will happen when the other kids see him?

This sweet and refreshing story speaks to us all about acceptance, respect, and the simple freedom to be yourself. Shimmery, glittery, sparkly things are fun—for everyone! -From the publisher

My favorite part of this sweet story is that the grown-ups are never wary of their child’s choices. You want to wear nail polish? We can do that. As a mom, I have always tried to remain gender neutral. Now that Lilah has grown up a little, she can make a lot of her own decisions regarding her clothes, toys, and activities. She loves accessories, dressing up, working with her tool set, and pushing her cars down the slide. I hope this book inspires caregivers to let their children explore the world in whatever, safe, way they want to. Props to Lesléa for creating books that are important, but also great reads.

 

————-

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/18) is in its 5th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.  

Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2018 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board.

2018 MCBD Medallion Sponsors

HONORARY: Children’s Book Council, Junior Library Guild

PLATINUM:Scholastic Book Clubs

GOLD:Audrey Press, Candlewick Press, Loving Lion Books, Second Story Press, Star Bright Books, Worldwide Buddies

SILVER:Capstone Publishing, Author Charlotte Riggle, Child’s Play USA, KidLit TV, Pack-n-Go Girls, Plum Street Press

BRONZE: Barefoot Books, Carole P. Roman, Charlesbridge Publishing, Dr. Crystal BoweGokul! World, Green Kids Club, Gwen Jackson, Jacqueline Woodson, Juan J. Guerra, Language Lizard, Lee & Low Books, RhymeTime Storybooks, Sanya Whittaker Gragg, TimTimTom Books, WaterBrook & Multnomah, Wisdom Tales Press

2018 Author Sponsors

Honorary Author Sponsors: Author/Illustrator Aram Kim and Author/Illustrator Juana Medina

Author Janet Balletta, Author Susan Bernardo,  Author Carmen Bernier-Grand, Author Tasheba Berry-McLaren and Space2Launch, Bollywood Groove Books, Author Anne Broyles,  Author Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Eugenia Chu, Author Lesa Cline-Ransome, Author Medeia Cohan and Shade 7 Publishing, Desi Babies, Author Dani Dixon and Tumble Creek Press, Author Judy Dodge Cummings, Author D.G. Driver, Author Nicole Fenner and Sister Girl Publishing, Debbi Michiko Florence, Author Josh Funk, Author Maria Gianferrari, Author Daphnie Glenn, Globe Smart Kids, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Author Quentin Holmes, Author Esther Iverem, Jennifer Joseph: Alphabet Oddities, Author Kizzie Jones, Author Faith L Justice , Author P.J. LaRue and MysticPrincesses.com, Author Karen Leggett Abouraya, Author Sylvia Liu, Author Sherri Maret, Author Melissa Martin Ph.D., Author Lesli Mitchell, Pinky Mukhi and We Are One, Author Miranda Paul, Author Carlotta Penn, Real Dads Read, Greg Ransom, Author Sandra L. Richards, RealMVPKids Author Andrea Scott, Alva Sachs and Three Wishes Publishing, Shelly Bean the Sports Queen,  Author Sarah Stevenson, Author Gayle H. Swift Author Elsa Takaoka, Author Christine Taylor-Butler, Nicholette Thomas and  MFL Publishing  Author Andrea Y. Wang, Author Jane Whittingham  Author Natasha Yim

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Scholastic Book Clubs: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/27/18 at 9:00pm.

Join the conversation and win one of 12-5 book bundles and one Grand Prize Book Bundle (12 books) that will be given away at the party! http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/twitter-party-great-conversations-fun-prizes-chance-readyourworld-1-27-18/

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta

Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom-empathy-kit/

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

MCBD 2018 – Real MVP Kids®

In celebration of Multicultural Children’s Book Day, I have two posts today devoted to some really outstanding books! Be sure to check out my review of Sparkle Boy and Music Time too.

As you may know, I have a two year old in my house and she devours books. She just recently started to mimic reading aloud and you will often find her sitting with a book when she isn’t dancing to Caspar Babypants. Board books remain her favorite because they are easy to hold so I was super excited when we received titles from the Celebrate! Series™ by Real MVP Kids®.

The Celebrate! Series™ is made up of twelve diverse families that go through your basic everyday situations like bedtime, being dropped off at daycare, or pretending to be an astronaut.

From the publisher:

Celebrate! Our Differences™ guides children in becoming friends with others who are different than themselves, realizing that “we’re more alike than different” while celebrating those things which make an individual unique.

Celebrate! The Way I’m Made™ helps children appreciate their own unique qualities, from physical traits to skills and strengths, affirming that they are good.

Celebrate! Bedtime™ walks through a comforting bedtime routine while teaching gratefulness, obedience and calming strategies and features each of our MVP Kids® families saying “goodnight” in their heritage language.

Celebrate! Mommies and Daddies™ strengthens parent-child bonds as children describe the ways their parent(s) love and care for them.  The MVP Kids® families express “I love you” in their heritage languages.

In Celebrate! Grandmas and Grandpas™, grandparents help children apply proverbs and cultural wise sayings to everyday situations, teaching young people to value elders and encouraging grandparents to strengthen their bonds with the younger generation.

————-

Not only do I love the absolutely love the visual diversity on these pages, but they have even more to offer the reader:

  • The people are realistically drawn (okay, their heads are a little large) and the scenes around them provide a ton of familiarity for littles.
  • The rhyme is perfect for reading aloud. For example, Celebrate! Grandmas and Grandpas™ begins with a snuggles and tickles/homemade pickles set.
  • Each book ends with two extras. One is a picture list of each kid featured in the book alongside their name. That way, kids can identify with the characters as they go through each book. The other extra is a list of ‘Helpful Teaching Tips’. Celebrate! Mommies and Daddies™ has a lovely one for separation anxiety: “Do not shame your child for feeling anxious about separation. Instead, reassure your child that you love him and will return.” How perfect is that?
  • Each is it’s own cultural goldmine, filled with cultural identifiers, diverse vocabulary, and some even have multiple languages with pronunciation guides.

So far, Lilah has really liked these at bedtime, but I think they would work really well for a family storytime. I highly recommend them to librarians and parents for the teaching tips alone. They would make a wonderful addition to a collection and I hope you will all check them out!

————-

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/18) is in its 5th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.  

Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2018 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board.

2018 MCBD Medallion Sponsors

HONORARY: Children’s Book Council, Junior Library Guild

PLATINUM:Scholastic Book Clubs

GOLD:Audrey Press, Candlewick Press, Loving Lion Books, Second Story Press, Star Bright Books, Worldwide Buddies

SILVER:Capstone Publishing, Author Charlotte Riggle, Child’s Play USA, KidLit TV, Pack-n-Go Girls, Plum Street Press

BRONZE: Barefoot Books, Carole P. Roman, Charlesbridge Publishing, Dr. Crystal BoweGokul! World, Green Kids Club, Gwen Jackson, Jacqueline Woodson, Juan J. Guerra, Language Lizard, Lee & Low Books, RhymeTime Storybooks, Sanya Whittaker Gragg, TimTimTom Books, WaterBrook & Multnomah, Wisdom Tales Press

2018 Author Sponsors

Honorary Author Sponsors: Author/Illustrator Aram Kim and Author/Illustrator Juana Medina

Author Janet Balletta, Author Susan Bernardo,  Author Carmen Bernier-Grand, Author Tasheba Berry-McLaren and Space2Launch, Bollywood Groove Books, Author Anne Broyles,  Author Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Eugenia Chu, Author Lesa Cline-Ransome, Author Medeia Cohan and Shade 7 Publishing, Desi Babies, Author Dani Dixon and Tumble Creek Press, Author Judy Dodge Cummings, Author D.G. Driver, Author Nicole Fenner and Sister Girl Publishing, Debbi Michiko Florence, Author Josh Funk, Author Maria Gianferrari, Author Daphnie Glenn, Globe Smart Kids, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Author Quentin Holmes, Author Esther Iverem, Jennifer Joseph: Alphabet Oddities, Author Kizzie Jones, Author Faith L Justice , Author P.J. LaRue and MysticPrincesses.com, Author Karen Leggett Abouraya, Author Sylvia Liu, Author Sherri Maret, Author Melissa Martin Ph.D., Author Lesli Mitchell, Pinky Mukhi and We Are One, Author Miranda Paul, Author Carlotta Penn, Real Dads Read, Greg Ransom, Author Sandra L. Richards, RealMVPKids Author Andrea Scott, Alva Sachs and Three Wishes Publishing, Shelly Bean the Sports Queen,  Author Sarah Stevenson, Author Gayle H. Swift Author Elsa Takaoka, Author Christine Taylor-Butler, Nicholette Thomas and  MFL Publishing  Author Andrea Y. Wang, Author Jane Whittingham  Author Natasha Yim

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Scholastic Book Clubs: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/27/18 at 9:00pm.

Join the conversation and win one of 12-5 book bundles and one Grand Prize Book Bundle (12 books) that will be given away at the party! http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/twitter-party-great-conversations-fun-prizes-chance-readyourworld-1-27-18/

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta

Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom-empathy-kit/

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

Busy Babies at the Library – Baby Musicians

Busy Babies at the Library - Baby Musicians - talesforthetiny.com

In the winter of 2016, I put on a 4 week series entitled Busy Babies. I wanted to create a program for babies (0-24 months) and their caregivers that would take place over our Storytime break and be something a little ‘different’. Here, I share the one all about baby musicians. Be sure to check out the other three in the series:

This session of the series was very traditional. The room was set up similarly to our baby storytimes, I had books you sing on display, and I sat at the front of the room in presentation mode.

First we said hello with one of my favorites on the ukulele, Gilly Gilly Gilly Good Morning. I just alternate with the G and C chords for this one!

The first part of our program was all about songs and signing. I am a big proponent for teaching babies and toddler ASL signs. It helps caregivers and their children build communication skills that may help alleviate frustrating moments in the day. In my house, I have taught Lilah a few basic signs for simple things (milk, water, eat, please, help me, and more) and I do feel that they add something to our communication department!

In our program we learned:

Next, we got out the shakey eggs and went through my favorites:

Egg Shakers Up

Can You Shake Your Egg With Me?

Finally, I ended the program with a plug for the music collection at the library and pointed out the display of my favorite baby friendly cds while playing some songs on the cd player.

Busy Babies at the Library - I shared some of my favorite car music. - talesforthetiny.com      Busy Babies at the Library - I shared some of my favorite car music. - talesforthetiny.com     Busy Babies at the Library - I shared some of my favorite car music. - talesforthetiny.com

Throughout the program, I provided tips on incorporating music and song into daily life. We discussed and shared some made-up songs created just for our babies. In my house, we make up songs all the time (some better than others) to encourage our daily tasks. Next time I offer this program, I am going to try bringing out some instruments (like pots, pans, spoons, jingly bells) for some open exploration.

While this was definitely more like storytime, I thought it was a nice addition to the baby series. Singing is a HUGE part of early literacy. It helps kids break down the parts of words, can really impact their mood, and helps add to caregiver bonding.

How do you use music at the library?

 

A Million (or seven) Ways To Get Through Summer Reading

This year, I have the absolute pleasure of being a part of the 2nd Annual Summer Hype! Over a year ago, the super amazing Bryce from Bryce Don’t Play got a grand idea to provide her staff at the Washington County Cooperative Library System with some support for the stress that is Summer Reading.

The videos from last year are amazing and if you need a boost…GO WATCH THEM NOW!

This year I threw mine name in the ring and made a little ditty for those who are in need of some motivation this summer.

In the video, I provide about 7 ways to make it through summer reading, but here are a few extras just for you:

  1. Purchase the softest stuffed animal at the toy store and tell all your problems to them over a nice cup of juice.
  2. Create a fort at your work desk equipped with twinkle lights, snacks, and a coloring book.
  3. Read the archives and join the mailing list for Summer Smiles from Beth Saxton! These have been an absolute delight for me to every week.

Just remember that you are making a difference in your community this summer by offering programs and services to children. Also, it is almost August.

Busy Babies at the Library – Babywearing Dance Class

Busy Babies at the Library - Babywearing Dance Class - talesforthetiny.com

In the winter of 2016, I put on a 4 week series entitled Busy Babies. I wanted to create a program for babies (0-24 months) and their caregivers that would take place over our Storytime break and be something a little ‘different’. Here, I share my Babywearing Dance Class. Be sure to check out the other three in the series:

Babywearing whilst dancing was all over social media last year. The first video I saw was from what seems to be the most awesome people at GroovaRoo:

How fun, right? My brain immediately thought – Why not do this at the library?

Some background – I participated in dance and a whole lot of musical theatre as a child/teen/college kid. So, it wasn’t a big stretch for me to think about choreographing some routines. If that thought terrifies you, reach out to those around you! Maybe someone else on staff or a volunteer would love the chance to show of their movement skills. Perhaps a local dance troupe has some older students looking to choreograph routines. Those that teach Jazzercise or other workout dance classes are a good source too! Don’t dismiss the idea just because it isn’t something you feel comfortable doing.

How it is done:

  1. Choose your music. I went with stuff that I loved (I would be listening to a lot of it while I created routines) and songs I thought would be fun for the caregivers in my community. I used:
  • Can I Kick It? – A Tribe Called Quest – This was our warm-up and had a lot of kicking (duh) plus stretching!
  • Roar – Katy Perry – I used this to bring the whole group together in a movement circle. It was a great way for the babies to observe everyone else too!
  • Party in the U.S.A. – Miley Cyrus – This brought our heart rates up, but was a lot of repeat movements like putting our hands up.
  • Frozen Penguin – Caspar Babypants – After a five minute break, we came back and used this song to get back in our groove. Caregivers pointed to the body parts on their child as the song went along.
  • Can’t Stop the Feeling – Justin Timberlake – This was our big number! Lots of movement, a few sequences, and a little bit of sweat.
  • Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me) – The Temptations – No real choreography here. Just a nice cool down song for us all to stretch, remove our children from pouches, and chill.

2. Plan your routines. I took a lot of inspiration for the routines from the GroovaRoo videos and also thought a lot about your traditional social dances (there were many grapevines, step touches, and sways). I made sure to put in some moves that involved the babies we were wearing be it swaying while cuddling, shaking our heads, or dips and squats. The routines needed to be something active and fun enough for ‘experienced’ dancers while also being something that wouldn’t be intimidating to beginners. I also had prepared modifications for those with mobility issues (you could do the routines while sitting down) or those who were carrying babies without carriers (you don’t have to do the arm movements).

Busy Babies at the Library - Babywearing Dance Class was a major success! - talesforthetiny.com

3. Wear a baby or baby-like friend. When I did this program, Lilah was about 10 months old so I was lucky enough to bring her to work with me! Next time I do this program, she may be a bit big for me to comfortably dance with so I will likely use my stuffed bunny Eleanor. You can purchase baby carriers for around $25, ask around to borrow, or fashion a makeshift one with a long scarf.

4. Promote! Do you have a local babywearing group? Are there breastfeeding support groups in your area? Perhaps you offer baby storytimes in your library? These are all fantastic places to promote your babywearing dance class.

5. Get your dance on! On the day of, wear clothes you can move in, be sure your music can be cranked up, and STRETCH! At the beginning of my program I did the basic ‘bathrooms and water fountain are over there’ speech, but I also talked about modifications to movements and how those with very young babies needed to be wary of head control.

Busy Babies at the Library - Babywearing Dance Class is a unique way to get caregivers active in bonding with their babies - talesforthetiny.com

Those are the basics! I truly hope that some of you take this program on because it is definitely my favorite of all time. Babywearing Dance Class promoted being active, bonding with babies, and helped show that the library was more than traditional programming. As always, I am here if you have any questions.

Busy Babies at the Library – Artsy Baby

Busy Babies at the Library - Busy Babies: Artsy Baby - talesforthetiny.com

In the winter of 2016, I put on a 4 week series entitled Busy Babies. I wanted to create a program for babies (0-24 months) and their caregivers that would take place over our Storytime break and be something a little ‘different’. Here, I share my Artsy Baby program. Be sure to check back for the other three in the series:

For Artsy Babies, I set up four art related activities for everyone to complete at their leisure. I was very inspired by the Baby Art Playground over at Library Bonanza.

1. Baby Footprint (and sometimes baby whole body prints)

Busy Babies at the Library - Artsy Baby - One baby attendee gets some help from their caregiver to create a footprint using paint! - talesforthetiny.com
This baby brought their own giant t-shirt from home. Next time I do this, I want all the babies to have them!

I taped down shower curtain liners on one side of the room and set up stations with baby wipes and paper. I squirted some washable paint on paper plates and set those on tables. Caregivers used large kitchen sponges to apply the paint to their little one’s feet and then made their prints! Warning: You will likely have at least one baby who does not like the feeling of cold paint. That is the beauty of having more than one station!

2. Painting in a Bag

Busy Babies at the Library - Artsy Baby - Baby paints in a bag equaling no mess! - talesforthetiny.com

Very simple. Before the program, I cut paper to fit inside a resealable bag. Caregivers could then squirt in some drops of paint, seal up the bag, and let their kiddo at it. Cardstock will work best with this as to avoid soggy artwork and I recommend having a drying station in your room for completed works. To remove the art, you can just open the bag and pull, but I found cutting the bag open on two sides to be way cleaner.

3. Contact Paper for the Win!

Busy Babies at the Library - Caregiver and baby work on those fine motor skills by placing foam shapes on the contact paper wall - talesforthetiny.com

If you don’t already know, I love contact paper. So, it was an easy decision to devote a section of my room to my beloved sticky wall. While it is fun to just stick stuff, I encourage caregivers to talk about colors and shapes while also mentioning all the great fine motor skills their baby is practicing!

4. Epic Baby Paintings

I had the painting in a bag thing down and I had seen others go a little bigger with wrapped canvas, but I wanted an epic baby collaboration station.

Busy Babies at the Library - Using poster board, tape, a shower curtain, and some paint, babies collaborated on some beautiful art! - talesforthetiny.comSquirt washable paint onto poster board. Wrap poster board with a clear shower curtain and secure in the back. Tape entire thing down on the floor and allow babies to interact. One of my favorite things friends. Next time, I may just have to go even bigger. Please, someone beat me to the punch and share!

That is everything.

The room was opened for about 45 minutes to an hour which is a lovely amount of time for babies in the morning. I was left with a lot of fabulous baby art too so major win! My suggestions for anyone wanting to try this out:

  • If you go messy, let caregivers know and have non messy alternatives. No grown-up wants to get paint (even the washable kind) all over a special outfit.
  • Think about the cleanup! I am a huge fan of shower curtain liners. They are sturdier than plastic tablecloths, very easy to wipe and reuse, and at a $1 they are way cheaper than tarps.
  • Don’t make it a free for all! Get in there and work those early literacy and child development tips.

Join me again soon for the next post in this series: Babywearing Dance Class!

Friends, have you ever made art with babies? Share your tips, tricks, and projects below.

Tuesday Toolbox-The Ukulele

Tuesday Toolbox

The Tuesday Toolbox series will feature items I use to engage my audience. They may range from the obvious, good books and a shaky egg, to the awesome, bubble wrap and a hula hoop.

Today’s Tool: The Ukulele!

Before I got my first job in children’s services, I wanted to start preparing to be an amazing storytime professional. I even asked a question about in on Storytime Underground and got some amazing tips! Back then, I thought storytimes were just playing the ukulele, singing, and reading silly books. Of course, now I know I should have stopped worrying about learning the ukulele and read more about child development, but I am glad to have a musical skill.

Tuesday Toolbox-The ukulele is something I am proud to bring to my storytimes! - talesforthetiny.com

My wonderful brother gifted me a ukulele a few years ago and I started out playing covers at family occasions.

(Yes, I am really that sarcastic and cruel to my family most of the time)

I mainly used Uku to learn the basic chords and some easy songs.

This helpful chart was pulled up on my computer for weeks.

I watched plenty of videos from Ukulele Underground and The Ukulele Teacher.

Then, I got this job, and I could bring this new love to work! How could I translate my pop parodies into toddler tunes? 

Well it was easy with a little help from our friends:

Miss Mary Liberry: Sleeping Bunnies is pure gold, but search out her site for more ukulele gems!

Storytime Ukulele has SO MANY CHORDS!

If you like detailed instructions: Let’s become friends….and be sure to check out The Loudest Librarian’s beginner tips!

My tips?

  1. Don’t spend a ton on a ukulele. $50 is a great price point, but kiddos will love the sound from a $10 plastic uke just the same.
  2. Choose songs that you will repeat often. I bring out the ukulele for our good morning songs, the chicken song when we do egg shakers, and during my many renditions of Sleeping Bunnies/Fishies/Dinos/etc.
  3. Talk about your ukulele! Don’t just have it be this magical thing your bring out. Have kids guess what it is, play an air ukulele, or count the strings.
  4. Tune it up! Invest in a ukulele clip or use an online tuner before each storytime.
  5. As cheesy and obvious as it sounds-have fun! I never stress about being perfect or learning all the songs out there. You are boosting cognitive behavior with your music making skills after all!

I am curious friends. Do you play the ukulele? What tips do you have for those that may be too intimidated to try?

Program Spotlight – Mini Masters of Library Science

Program Spotlight - Mini Masters of Library Science - talesforthetiny.com

I can’t go further in this program share until I give credit to those who came before me. My Mini Masters of Library Science program was inspired by the fantastic Punk Rock Book Jockey Hafuboti’s response to the curious child. Her service was inspired by the amazing Miss Meg. I can only hope that my little site is shining a fraction of the guiding light theirs have shone for me.

So, what is the Mini Masters of Library Science program?

After being inspired, I set out to turn the Mini-Master’s idea into a program. Looking at Spring, National Library Worker’s Day seemed like a brilliant fit. The drop-in program consisted of six stations in which participants could learn more about working in a library, the skill set we put to use each day, and a little about what goes on behind the scenes. The program was open for two hours (4:30-6:30) and I had 26 kids of all ages (2-13) drop in and complete each station. As each participant showed up they got an introduction to the program and we talked about what library science is. “Have you ever asked a librarian a question or told a friend about a good book?…That is library science at work!”

After my darling spiel, each participant received a booklet showing the requirements needed to receive their master’s certificate.

Mini Masters of Library Science - Page one of participant booklet - talesforthetiny.com Mini Masters of Library Science - Page four of participant booklet - talesforthetiny.com

Mini Masters of Library Science - Page two of participant booklet - talesforthetiny.com Mini Masters of Library Science - Page three of participant booklet - talesforthetiny.com

 

 

 

 

Station #1: Sorting    
Mini Masters of Library Science - The sorting station had 3 levels of difficulty (color, alphabet, and Dewey) - talesforthetiny.comMini Masters of Library Science - The sorting station had 3 levels of difficulty (color, alphabet, and Dewey) - talesforthetiny.comThe sorting station featured 3 levels of difficulty to accommodate all ages and skill level. There was a stack of books that could be sorted by color and two sets of magnetic spines (one with author’s last names and one with Dewey numbers).

Station #2: Reader’s Advisory

Mini Master's of Library Science - At the reader's advisory station, participants used the provided books to answer challenge cards. - talesforthetiny.com

Again, participants could choose their level of difficulty (green cards=easy, yellow=medium, red=hard) when selecting a Reader’s Advisory Challenge Card. Challenges were questions I get at the library all the time like “Do you have any scary books?” or “I am looking for a bedtime story to read to my new baby”. Children were instructed to use the books on the cart shelves to answer the request.

Station #3: Programming

Mini Masters of Library Science - At the programming station, participants could present a small part of storytime by reading a book, singing a song, playing with a felt game, and more - talesforthetiny.com

The programming station was all about storytime! Participants could choose to present any of the storytime basics for our stuffed friend audience. They could read a story, shake an egg, play with Little Duck behind some trucks, put on a puppet show or teach a song.

Station #4: Circulation

Mini Masters of Library Science - Participants went in our back room and learned about the proper techniques required to check materials in at the discharge station! - talesforthetiny.com

By far the most popular station of the evening was due to my amazing coworkers back in customer services. They set up some book return tubs with “recently returned materials” that included damaged items, mismatched discs, and more! They did things a little different depending on the age of the child, but everyone got to check in a few materials. Oh, the amazement when scanning an item resulted in a hold slip!

Station #5: Locating ItemsMini Masters of Library Science - PParticipants searched the library for a variety of items. - talesforthetiny.comWho doesn’t love a good scavenger hunt activity? I created three levels for this scavenger hunt and participants took off into the library!

Station #6: Recommend a Book!

Mini Masters of Library Science - Participants could recommend one of their favorites using a sticky note, bookmark, or book review card - talesforthetiny.com

Everyone could recommend a favorite book using a simple sticky note, a bookmark, or a book review card.

After they finished:

Each station was equipped with a bowl of stickers (summer leftovers) and participants added them to their booklet after completing each activity. Once they had all six, they found me and received a certificate with their name on it!

Mini Masters of Library Science - Participants received a master's certificate after completing each station. - talesforthetiny.com

How did it go? What would I do different?

I walked around with melted heart glee for the entirety of this program. I expected maybe 10 kids and only printed 20 of everything. Not only did I get 26 kids, but I received amazing feedback! The honor system of the stickers worked well and every kid was very engaged in each activity (even the older siblings that may have been dragged into the program). Staff was very happy to share their secrets and I think we showed off our new building space pretty well.

Of course, it wasn’t perfect and I plan on changing a few things when I repeat the program.

  • Take a little more time creating some of the printables. Since this was fairly popular, I think I will recreate and laminate the challenge cards and update the book review items. I wish they were a little more attractive so that I could display them proudly.
  • Do a little more planning in the back room so that banned patron photos aren’t on display, hold slips pop up for more items, and perhaps make two discharge stations available.
  • Represent other library science professions better! While public libraries and youth services is my bag, it is not all that is out there! Next time I would like to represent archives, special libraries, and other librarianship fields somehow. Do you have a great idea for this? Please let me know in the comments!

This program not only delighted my soul, but those in attendance were hanging out and having fun in the library. They learned a little bit and had a lot of questions.

I have shared most of my materials here in pdf format, but please contact me if you would like the original publisher files. I am always happy to share my work with you! Please reach out to me with any questions or if you hold your own Mini Masters program!

 

 

 

Tuesday Toolbox-Rhyme Cards

Tuesday Toolbox

The Tuesday Toolbox series will feature items I use to engage my audience. They may range from the obvious, good books and a shaky egg, to the awesome, bubble wrap and a hula hoop.

Today’s Tool: Rhyme Cards

When I first started storytime, my fabulous colleague Holly suggested we start handing out rhyme cards to caregivers in our infant storytimes. She was inspired by Katie Salo’s post on the ALSC Blog and worked out all the details and design (I said she was fabulous, right?).

Rhyme cards

Each week in storytime, I hand out the new card and we go over the songs and rhymes together. They get to take the card home and soon have a whole set of fun for on the go! Every session, we create a title card and everyone gets a binder ring for their new set. I always have extra cards for when caregivers miss a week or are brand new to the program.

Not only do I see these cards hanging from diaper bags out in the community, but I am a PROUD user myself. Lilah loves these cards so much that they are our number one tool for getting through tough times like a 3 hour flight, teething, or horrible diaper rash.

Lilah holding Rhyme Card

That is some print motivation in action!

I am curious friends. What type of tangible tools do you give out to caregivers in your community?

 

Program Spotlight-Tape Town

Program Spotlight-Tape Town

Imaginative play builds up creativity in a child’s brain, helps develop narrative skills, and does a lot to increase cognitive abilities. You, as a reader of this blog, probably know all this. You probably also know that many young children like cars. Cars: the cause and effect wonderment of youth.

So, you know all of this. Might I recommend Tape Town?

Child playing in Tape Town

I was first inspired to do Tape Town a few years ago when perusing program ideas. It has been done:

At Kindergarten Nana (Dinosaur town? Daredevil town? Count me in)

Amy at Catch the Possibilities has some great town activity ideas

Many families have tried variations on this same theme!

I combined what everyone was already doing and added some fun town features I thought my community would love. I have done Tape Town four times now and it has always been a blast.

First, you get some tape. I have used a little bit of everything from duct to masking tape and really, just about anything will do. I will usually use a 2-3 inch tape to make the outer circle of town and then 1 inch tape in a variety of colors to fill in all the criss crossing roads. It looks like this:

Tape all over the floor

You could leave it at that and just let the kiddos drive their cars around, but I find that stations really work for the toddler/preschool age group so I always set up fun places to visit in Tape Town. My programs have always been drop in and open for two hours. I have done:

The Library, of course. Here, I put out a broken barcode scanner, some books, and pretend library cards for kids to work on their circulation skills. I have also put out bookmark creation supplies.

Library Station

The Grocery Store. I put all of our fake food out along with a toy grocery basket borrowed from my niece. I made little shopping lists to accompany this errand.

Child playing in grocery store

The Bank. I have gone through two fake ATM machines because this is a very popular spot in my town. Along with the ATM, I put out fake money, debit cards, and checks.

The Post Office. Get together a mailbox, some paper, crayons, envelopes, and stickers for your very own mail center! Bonus, you get some very cute letters to read later!

Mail station

The Gym. I repurposed some fuzzy dice and created a sign detailing what workout activity corresponded with each roll (hop, stretch, jumping jacks).

The Veterinarian’s Office. Kids became vet technicians with clipboards, check-in paperwork, a child’s doctor kit, bandages, and stuffed animal friends. Once, my storytime bunny had 27 band aids applied!

Penguin in bandage

I also do a Car Dealership and DMV at the door where everyone gets a driver’s license. Kids that didn’t come with a car are also able to take one of mine out for a test drive.

The possibilities are many! Are you crafty? Make a car wash a la Non-Toy Gifts. Are you a felt/sewing genius? Have children build felt sandwiches at a deli. Do you have little time? Get some brown paper and empty coffee cups so kids can pour hot chocolate at the coffee shop. Personally, I would love to add a farmer’s market, parking lot, and mechanic.

That is my Tape Town! What would you put in yours?

Child playing in Tape Town