Special Events

How It Works: The Wizard of Oz

This was the last of my How It Works events for the spring and I think it was the most successful. The experiments worked great, we had a huge (for this program series) turnout, and the kids really seemed to enjoy themselves. I need to try and figure out how to work STEM programs around book/movie themes!

Of course, I forgot to take pictures but I have some of the signs I posted and the equipment we used for some of the experiments. First, we made a tornado in a bottle to get our story going. I bought a tornado tube on Amazon and attached two empty soda bottles. It didn’t work great (it required some squeezing and swirling of the bottles) but it worked well enough to show the tornado and why it worked. I made the accompanying sign:

Tornado bottle sign.jpg

The text and information for this sign came from one of my favorite STEM books: The 101 Coolest Simple Science Experiments: Awesome Things To Do With Your Parents, Babysitters, and Other Adults by Rachel Miller, Holly Homer & Jamie Harrington.

the 101 coolest simple science experiments

The tornado took us “over the rainbow” so next we made our exploding rainbow cups. I put two drops of food coloring and about two tablespoons of white vinegar into each cup. In separate cups I put about a tablespoon of baking soda. Then I picked six kids to help explode the rainbow. They poured their baking soda into the vinegar and WHOOSH! Colorful rainbow cup explosions. (I put the vinegar cups in disposable baking trays so we wouldn’t have a huge mess to clean up.) I made this sign to explain why it worked:

Exploding rainbow cups.jpg

I found the experiment here and used some of the wording on the site.

Once we were in Oz we started to meet our friends. The first friend Dorothy meets in Oz is the scarecrow who wants a brain. So we explored how our brains work. I had them draw corresponding pictures on two circles cut out of card stock. I made a fish on one circle and a fish bowl on the other as an example. (I also told them they could draw a bird in a cage or a person on one side and jail bars on the other.) I had some very creative kids. One drew a nest and a tree and one drew a jail cell and a zombie!

Once the drawings were done, we taped them onto a straw which we then spun between our palms and the two images made one! Totally cool.

Here’s mine:

Brain game sign.jpg

This experiment and sign wording was also found in The 101 Coolest Simple Science Experiments book.

Next in the story, Dorothy meets the Tinman who wants a heart. So we checked our pulses. We poked a toothpick into a mini marshmallow and placed them on the inside of our wrists and watched our heartbeats. This had varying success. I don’t think the kids were sitting still enough to see anything but they did enjoy eating the marshmallows …

I didn’t make a sign for this experiment since it was so simple but I found it in The 101 Coolest Simple Science Experiments book.

Finally, we met the Wicked Witch and made “melting” bath fizzies. I’d already mixed together the baking soda, cream of tartar, olive oil, and food coloring. I gave each kid a silicone cupcake mold to fill and take home. (I ran out of molds so we had to give some latecomers plastic cups!) They filled them about halfway and then patted them down nice and tight. I told them to take the fizzies home and let them dry for two days. Once they’re completely dry, they can add the fizzy to their bath (or drop it into a filled sink). I wanted them to have an experiment to complete at home because, of course, there’s no place like home. I told the kids to come back in and let me know if the fizzies worked!

Melting bath fizzies sign.jpg

This experiment and wording came from the Smithsonian Maker Lab: 28 Super Cool Projects book. One of the parents was leafing through it at the end of the program so I checked it in for her so she could take it home and do some at-home experiments with her kids. I like to think the How It Works programs (the family attended three out of four) sparked an interest in science and experimenting!

maker lab

The kids had an awesome time. I had an awesome time. I even wore my red flats so I had on “ruby slippers.” A great way to wrap up our How It Works series!

story time

Butterflies/Caterpillars & Garden Story Time (Outreach)

Welcome Song: Hands Go Up and Hands Go Down
(to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star)
Hands go up and hands go down
I can turn around and round
I can hop upon two shoes
I can listen so can you
I can sit, I’ll show you how
Story time is starting now

Song: The Wheels on the Bus
The wheels on the bus go round and round
Round and round, round and round
The wheels on the bus round and round
All through the town

The wipers on the bus go swish, swish, swish //
The horn on the bus goes beep, beep, beep //
The doors on the bus go open and shut //
The driver on the bus goes move it on back //
The people on the bus go up and down //
The babies on the bus go wah, wah, wah //
The people on the bus go shh, shh, shh

Book: The Caterpillar and the Polliwog by Jack Kent

the caterpillar and the polliwog.jpg

A bragging caterpillar thinks she’s the only one who changes but her polliwog friend has his own surprise transformation. My outreach kids already knew a polliwog was a baby frog so it slightly spoiled the ending but they still enjoyed the journey.

Song: Row Row Row Your Boat
I do three verses of this classic:
Row row row your boat (the traditional way) //
Rock rock rock your boat, sway from side to side
Merrily merrily merrily merrily what a bumpy ride (bump hands on lap) //
Row row row your boat, gently down the stream
If you see a crocodile (crocodile snap with arms)
Don’t forget to scream (*AH*)

Song: Itsy Bitsy Spider
Itsy Bitsy Spider (sung normally)
Teeny Weeny Spider (sung in falsetto)
Great Big Hairy Spider (sung deeply)

Song: The Life of a Butterfly (to the tune of Skip to My Lou)
I’m a caterpillar, wiggle with me
I’m a caterpillar, wiggle with me
I’m a caterpillar, wiggle with me
Wiggle with me my darlin’
(A chrysalis, sleep with me / A butterfly, fly with me)
Adapted from Storytime Katie

Book: Houdini: The Amazing Caterpillar by Janet Pedersen

houdini.jpg

A classroom caterpillar dazzles his audience with amazing feats like chomping through leaves at the speed of light and balancing on his thin, high wire branch. When the kids find new distractions, Houdini plans his biggest trick of all. I wasn’t sure how this would go over but the kids really liked that caterpillar transformation set to a magic show theme.

Flannel: Five Little Flowers
One little flower in our garden grew,
Up popped another and now there are two.
Two little flowers were all that I could see,
I found another and now there are three.
Three little flowers — if I could find one more,
We’d give them to my mother and then we’d have four.
Four little flowers — in the spring they thrive!
Here is another and now there are five.

Song: Baby Shark
Baby shark do do do do do do (shark mouth with two fingers)
Baby shark do do do do do do
Baby shark do do do do do do
Baby shark

Other verses:
Mama Shark (shark mouth with hands connected at the wrists)
Daddy Shark (shark mouth with whole arms)
Grandma Shark (shark mouth like mama shark but with fists)
Shark attack (snap arms overhead)
Swim away (swimming motion with arms)
Safe at last (jazz hands)
Source: Adapted from Kindergarten Nation

Book: Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! by Candace Fleming & G. Brian Karas

muncha muncha muncha

My pre-K storytimers only tolerated this book while my outreach kids really got into the tale. Each time the farmer added a new obstacle we stopped and discussed how the clever bunnies got around it.

Song: Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
Sung three times, getting faster each time.

Wiggle Rhyme: Watch Out for the Bugs (to the tune of Jingle Bells)
Clap your hands, stomp your feet
Wiggle all around
Throw your hands up in the air and now let’s touch the ground
Touch your head, touch your hips, give yourself a hug
Now sit down upon the floor
But watch out for the bugs!! (stamp out the bugs)

Egg Shakers: Shake It by Sally’s Music Circle

Book: Whose Garden Is It? by Mary Ann Hoberman; illustrated by Jane Dyer

whose garden is it.jpg

A gardener, the garden creatures, and the elements all claim the garden is theirs because they contribute the most. Told in lovely rhyming stanzas and with beautiful dreamy illustrations (all the animals are very smartly dressed), I told my outreach kids they were my guinea pigs for this book and to let me know if they enjoyed it. I wasn’t sure if the old-fashioned illustrations would fly. They liked it so much I was sorry I didn’t read it for my pre-K story time at the library! I’ll definitely keep it in mind for next spring.

Song: The Farmer and the Seeds (to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell)
The farmer plants the seeds, (pretend to plant seed)
The farmer plants the seeds,
Hi, Ho, the dairy-o, (slap knees)
The farmer plants the seeds.

Other verses:
The sun comes out to shine (circle arms overhead)
The rain begins to fall (flutter hands down)
The seeds begin to grow (flutter hands up)
Adapted from SurLaLune Storytime

Book: Butterfly, Butterfly by Petr Horácek

butterfly-butterfly

A short one for my outreach group but the big pop-up reveal at the end always gets a reaction! They were no exception.

Song: Mr. Sun
Oh Mr. Sun. Sun. Mr. golden sun, (arms over head)
Please shine down on me. (move hands back and forth and down)
Oh Mr. Sun. Sun. Mr. golden sun, (arms over head)
Hiding behind a tree. (hide face behind hands)
These little children are asking you. (point to the children)
To please come out so they can play with you. (gesture ‘come here’ with hands)
Oh Mr. Sun. Sun. Mr. golden sun. (arms over head)
Please shine down on me. (move hands back and forth and down)

Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This (to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell)
We wave goodbye like this.
We wave goodbye like this.
We clap our hands for all our friends.
We wave goodbye like this.

story time

Garden Story Time

Welcome Song: Hands Go Up and Hands Go Down
(to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)
Hands go up and hands go down
I can turn around and round
I can hop upon two shoes
I can listen so can you
I can sit, I’ll show you how
Story time is starting now

Song: This Old Man
This old man,
He played one, (hold up one finger)
He played knick knack on my thumb.
With a knick knack (slap knees)
paddy wack (clap hands)
give a dog a bone, (hand jive)
This old man came rolling home. (roll hands)
Two … on my shoe // Three … on my knee // Four .. on the floor // Five … on the hive

Book: Lola Plants a Garden by Anna McQuinn; illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw

lola plants a garden.jpg

Little Lola plants a garden with seashells and silver bells. I had a lot of younger kids today at story time (I think some of the moms who usually attend toddler story time were either testing out the pre-K story time or couldn’t attend yesterday so they came today.) So this was a good, quick story for the little ones.

Flannel: Five Little Flowers

I had misplaced my agenda (found later in the story time) so I was going off memory as to the order of things. I didn’t have this flannel memorized so instead of the rhyme I stuck the flowers up and we named each color and counted them. We also have flannel bugs in the bag so I put up each bug and discussed (from my own very general knowledge) how they help the garden grow.

Action Rhyme: Dig a Little Hole
Dig a little hole (dig)
Plant a little seed (drop seed)
Pour a little water (pour)
Pull a little weed (pull and throw away)
Chase a little bug (skitter bug across hand)
Heigh-ho, there it goes! (shade eyes)
Give a little sunshine (circle arms overhead)
Grow a little rose (cup hands, smell rose)
Source: SurLaLune Storytime

Luckily I had already written this and The Farmer and the Seeds song on the whiteboard so misplacing the agenda wasn’t completely tragic!

Song: Song cube (Old MacDonald Had a Farm)

Song: Baby Shark
Baby shark do do do do do do (shark mouth with two fingers)
Baby shark do do do do do do
Baby shark do do do do do do
Baby shark

Other verses:
Mama Shark (shark mouth with hands connected at the wrists)
Daddy Shark (shark mouth with whole arms)
Grandma Shark (shark mouth like mama shark but with fists)
Shark attack (snap arms overhead)
Swim away (swimming motion with arms)
Safe at last (jazz hands)
Source: Adapted from Kindergarten Nation

Song: The Farmer and the Seeds (to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell)
The farmer plants the seeds, (pretend to plant seed)
The farmer plants the seeds,
Hi, Ho, the dairy-o, (slap knees)
The farmer plants the seeds.

Other verses:
The sun comes out to shine (circle arms overhead)
The rain begins to fall (flutter hands down)
The seeds begin to grow (flutter hands up)
Adapted from SurLaLune Storytime

Book: Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! by Candace Fleming & G. Brian Karas

muncha muncha muncha.jpg

A farmer devises more and more elaborate plans to protect his garden after rabbits keep breaking through his defenses. Longer than Lola. I should have read it first but as it turns out, it worked out for the best. All of the little, little ones were already wandering around so the older kids were the ones still sitting with me and we enjoyed it.

Egg Shakers: Shake It by Sally’s Music Circle

This is when I was finally able to find my agenda and found out I was right on track!

Song: Song cube (The Itsy, Bitsy Spider)

Book: My Garden by Kevin Henkes

my_garden.jpg

Song: Mr. Sun
Oh Mr. Sun. Sun. Mr. golden sun, (arms over head)
Please shine down on me. (move hands back and forth and down)
Oh Mr. Sun. Sun. Mr. golden sun, (arms over head)
Hiding behind a tree. (hide face behind hands)
These little children are asking you. (point to the children)
To please come out so they can play with you. (gesture ‘come here’ with hands)
Oh Mr. Sun. Sun. Mr. golden sun. (arms over head)
Please shine down on me. (move hands back and forth and down)

Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This (to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell)
We wave goodbye like this.
We wave goodbye like this.
We clap our hands for all our friends.
We wave goodbye like this.

story time

Caterpillars & Butterflies Story Time

Welcome Song: Hands Go Up and Hands Go Down
(to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)
Hands go up and hands go down
I can turn around and round
I can hop upon two shoes
I can listen so can you
I can sit, I’ll show you how
Story time is starting now

Song: This Old Man
This old man,
He played one, (hold up one finger)
He played knick knack on my thumb.
With a knick knack (slap knees)
paddy wack (clap hands)
give a dog a bone, (hand jive)
This old man came rolling home. (roll hands)
Two … on my shoe // Three … on my knee // Four .. on the floor // Five … on the hive

Book: Arabella Miller’s Tiny Caterpillar by Clare Jarrett

arabella miller.jpg

A little girl finds and cares for a little caterpillar. The rhymes are a tad inconsistent but I love the sweet story and the book is nice and big with colorful illustrations. Great for story time! I got my first “that was a little short” comment from one of my regulars who’s been coming to my story time since I started the job a couple years ago! They grow up so fast … *sniff*

Flannel: Butterfly Colors
The first to come to the garden bed
Is a lovely butterfly of brilliant RED.
Then in comes another and that makes two
Fly right in, my friend of BLUE.
This garden is fine, the best I’ve seen
Says the butterfly of the softest GREEN.
Our garden needs a sunny fellow
Fly in butterfly, with wings of yellow.
Little friend of PURPLE, fly in too
The garden is waiting for a color like you.
Hello ORANGE, we’ve waited so long
Fly in, right where you belong.
Butterflies, Butterflies, you’re such a sight
Flying together with such delight!
Source: Miss Meg’s Storytime

Song: Song cube (I’m a Little Teapot)

Book: Nibbles’ Garden by Charlotte Middleton

nibbles garden.jpg

A little guinea pig raises caterpillars with his new best friend, Posie. But the pair is puzzled when all of their caterpillar pets disappear!

Song: The Life of a Butterfly (to the tune of Skip to My Lou)
I’m a caterpillar, wiggle with me
I’m a caterpillar, wiggle with me
I’m a caterpillar, wiggle with me
Wiggle with me my darlin’
(A chrysalis, sleep with me / A butterfly, come fly with me)
Adapted from Storytime Katie

Song: Baby Shark
Baby shark do do do do do do (shark mouth with two fingers)
Baby shark do do do do do do
Baby shark do do do do do do
Baby shark

Other verses:
Mama Shark (shark mouth with hands connected at the wrists)
Daddy Shark (shark mouth with whole arms)
Grandma Shark (shark mouth like mama shark but with fists)
Shark attack (snap arms overhead)
Swim away (swimming motion with arms)
Safe at last (jazz hands)
Source: Adapted from Kindergarten Nation

Song: Butterfly (to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)
Flutter, flutter butterfly (hook hands together to make butterfly)
Floating in the springtime sky
Floating by for all to see (put hands over eyes)
Floating by so merrily
Flutter, flutter, butterfly (hook hands together to make butterfly) 
Floating in the springtime sky!
Source: SurLaLune Storytime

Book: Butterfly, Butterfly by Petr Horácek

butterfly-butterfly

A little girl spots a butterfly in her garden one day. When she can’t find her friend the next day she explores some of the other bugs and creatures in the garden before one, final pop-up reveal of her missing butterfly pal! This book might have been better suited to a garden theme (which we’re doing next week) but I had already selected four books and I wanted to read this one so I snuck it into story time this week.

Action Rhyme: My Friendly Caterpillar
My friendly caterpillar (crawl fingers up arm)
Made its cocoon one day. (close hands together)
It turned into a butterfly (open hands with thumbs hooked together)
And quickly flew away. (flap hands)
Source: SurLaLune Storytime

Egg Shakers: Shake It by Sally’s Music Circle

Book: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

the very hungry caterpillar.JPG

A classic that all the kids had read before but it’s a classic for a reason and I wanted to share it with them. I figured they might not have heard it for awhile. By this time they were pretty wiggly and many of them had abandoned me for the computers or blocks. 😀 This used to insult me but now that I have a kid of my own I know they just can’t sit still for very long.

Song: Song cube (Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)

Song: Mr. Sun
Oh Mr. Sun. Sun. Mr. golden sun, (arms over head)
Please shine down on me. (move hands back and forth and down)
Oh Mr. Sun. Sun. Mr. golden sun, (arms over head)
Hiding behind a tree. (hide face behind hands)
These little children are asking you. (point to the children)
To please come out so they can play with you. (gesture ‘come here’ with hands)
Oh Mr. Sun. Sun. Mr. golden sun. (arms over head)
Please shine down on me. (move hands back and forth and down)

Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This (to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell)
We wave goodbye like this.
We wave goodbye like this.
We clap our hands for all our friends.
We wave goodbye like this.

story time

Frogs and Turtles Story Time

Welcome Song: Hands Go Up and Hands Go Down
(to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)
Hands go up and hands go down
I can turn around and round
I can hop upon two shoes
I can listen so can you
I can sit, I’ll show you how
Story time is starting now

Song: This Old Man
This old man,
He played one, (hold up one finger)
He played knick knack on my thumb.
With a knick knack (slap knees)
paddy wack (clap hands)
give a dog a bone, (hand jive)
This old man came rolling home. (roll hands)
Two … on my shoe // Three … on my knee // Four .. on the floor // Five … on the hive

Book: The Big Wide-Mouthed Frog by Ana Martín Larrañaga

the-big-wide-mouthed-frog.jpg

A wide-mouthed (and loud-mouthed) frog sets out to see the world. I’m not sure the kids understood that the frog was a braggart but they sat still and seemed to enjoy the story. One of the little girls enjoyed finding the fly on every page. (Which I didn’t even notice until she pointed it out!)

Flannel: Five Little Speckled Frogs
Five little speckled frogs
Sitting on a speckled log
Eating the most delicious bugs — Yum, yum!
One jumped into the pool
Where it was nice and cool
Now there are four speckled frogs — Ribbit, ribbit!
(count down from there)

Action Rhyme: The Frog on the Log
There once was a green little frog, frog, frog — (ribbit, ribbit, ribbit)
Who played in the woods on a log, log, log. (stretch arms out to make a log)
A screech owl sitting in a tree, tree, tree — (point to the owl in the tree)
Came after the frog with a scree, scree, scree! (hold hands up to mouth and scree)
When the frog heard the owl in a flash, flash, flash — (hold hand up to ear)
He leaped in the pond with a splash, splash, splash! (pretend to dive with arms)
Source: Librarian Lisa’s Storytimes

Song: Song cube (I’m a Little Teapot)

Book: Big Frog Can’t Fit In by Mo Willems

big-frog-cant-fit-in.jpg

Big frog is too big for her book! I thought the kids would be more excited for a pop-up book but they were having a subdued week. Though they all listened attentively and appreciated the big pop at the end.

Song: Baby Shark
Baby shark do do do do do do (shark mouth with two fingers)
Baby shark do do do do do do
Baby shark do do do do do do
Baby shark

Other verses:
Mama Shark (shark mouth with hands connected at the wrists)
Daddy Shark (shark mouth with whole arms)
Grandma Shark (shark mouth like mama shark but with fists)
Shark attack (snap arms overhead)
Swim away (swimming motion with arms)
Safe at last (jazz hands)
Source: Adapted from Kindergarten Nation

Every time someone new attends story time Grandma Shark gets a huge laugh. The kids love, love, love this song. I may never take it out of rotation …

Song: Song cube (Itsy, Bitsy Spider)

Action Rhyme: I Had a Little Turtle
I had a little turtle, (hands on top of each other, wiggle thumbs)
He lived in a box. (make a box with hands)
He swam in the river, (paddle with hands)
He climbed on the rocks. (climbing motions)
He snapped at a mosquito, (pinch fingers in air)
He snapped at a flea, (pinch fingers in air)
He snapped at a minnow, (pinch fingers in air)
And he snapped at me! (pinch fingers toward self)
He caught the mosquito, (clap)
He caught the flea, (clap)
He caught the minnow, (clap)
But he didn’t catch me! (shake head and point at self)
Adapted from Perry Public Library Storytime

Book: Who Wants a Tortoise? by Dave Keane; illustrated by K. G. Campbell

who wants a tortoise.jpg

A little girl wants a doggie for her birthday and to her disappointment, receives a tortoise instead. This one was a little long but the kids did sit still for it. I’m not entirely sure they loved it so I’m not sure I’d read it again. I may use my outreach kids as guinea pigs and try it one more time …

Egg Shakers: Shake It by Sally’s Music Circle

Song: Song cube (Row, Row, Row Your Boat)

Book: Turtle Island by Kevin Sherry

turtle island.jpg

A turtle takes care of four shipwrecked animals and is then sad when they want to go home to their families. Isn’t he their family?

Song: Mr. Sun
Oh Mr. Sun. Sun. Mr. golden sun, (arms over head)
Please shine down on me. (move hands back and forth and down)
Oh Mr. Sun. Sun. Mr. golden sun, (arms over head)
Hiding behind a tree. (hide face behind hands)
These little children are asking you. (point to the children)
To please come out so they can play with you. (gesture ‘come here’ with hands)
Oh Mr. Sun. Sun. Mr. golden sun. (arms over head)
Please shine down on me. (move hands back and forth and down)

Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This (to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell)
We wave goodbye like this.
We wave goodbye like this.
We clap our hands for all our friends.
We wave goodbye like this.