Thursday, March 8, 2018

I Had a Little Kawaii Turtle

I had a little turtle when I was a child. Its name was “Speedy” since it had a orange racing stripe down its back, not because it was particularly fast.  Speedy lived in a bowl with a fake plastic tree. A strange fungus took Speedy from this mortal coil within a month of coming home from the pet store.  This song is in memoriam of all the short lived pet store animals and their sad owners.

Kids love the part where you pretend to eat bugs and minnows!

I had a little turtle,
make a fist and stick out thumb as turtle’s head
It lived in a box.
cover fist with other hand
It swam in a puddle,
mimic swimming motions with hands
It climbed on some rocks.
stack one hand on top of the other repeatedly
It snapped at a mosquito,
clap hands up to the left
It snapped at a flea,
clap hands up to the right
It snapped at a minnow
clap hands down to the left
and it snapped at me!
clap hands down to the right
It caught that mosquito,
grab imaginary mosquito, mimic eating it
It caught the flea,
grab imaginary flea, mimic eating it
It caught that minnow,
grab imaginary minnow, mimic eating it
But it couldn't catch me!
shake finger like “no,no,no…"

Here is a video from KCLS Tell Me a Story that is similar to the way I perform this rhyme:

And here is an Adolescent Mutant Ninja Turtle:

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Ten (Tsum Tsum) in the Bed

Back a million years ago when I had a weekly "Bedtime" themed pajama storytime, I used "Ten in the Bed" all the time. It features counting down, rolling hands and the perennial kids favorite, things falling out of a bed. I remembered it recently and thought it would be fun to make a flannelboard set. I tried to think of something cute, round and stackable which could fit on a bed....Tsum Tsum

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Walking Through the Kawaii Jungle (and the forest...and the arctic...and by the river...and by the ocean)

I love the adaptability of this call and response song! You could use whatever pretend animals you have available, be they puppets or flannelboard pieces. Also, this chant works well with both animal noises and animal movements!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Five Kawaii Ducks That I Once Knew

This version of "Six Little Ducks" only has five ducks because I misremembered the lyrics and I'm doubling down on my mistake. Also, I have the kids pretend the fingers on one of their hands are ducks and most kids have five fingers per hand, not six. (My grandfather has 3 1/2 fingers on one of his hands because he was a woodworker, but this is beside the point.)

My version has a female duck in the lead, instead of a dude. Whenever I can, I try to switch up the genders in traditional songs and rhymes. Since I'm a (mostly) cishet man in a traditionally female field, I feel I need to do my part to help fight the patriarchy.

We start out by practicing quacking, waddling and shaking our tail feathers. Then we count the ducks on one of our hands. I ask the kids to act like ducks when we get to the quacking part of the song. Then we sing.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Yoga Bunny

Super excited about this new set of felt bunnies. This week I read the book "Yoga Bunny" by Brian Russo and loved it…but it is a little to wordy for my toddler storytime. I’ve wanted to incorporate yoga into my program for a while, so it was a perfect opportunity to cut up some felt!

I’m going to have the kids try to imitate the poses of the bunny.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Tiger is Sneaking - Part Deaux

I am an old school member of the Tame Tiger Torganization, friends of the 
OG puppet Daniel Tiger before his fancy animated son took over. 
Daniel Jr is still pretty awesome, tho.
I had to make him out of felt, of course...

Use this simple rhyme at story time 
whenever the crowd starts to get a little cuckoo.
It's a shout out to all the nice tigers out there 
who do not want to eat people.
The tiger is sneaking...Shhhh!
walk around crouching and sneaky and then shush with finger on lips
The tiger is sneaking...Shhhh!
repeat action
They don't make a sound when their feet touch the ground.
touch ground gently with your front paws
The tiger is sneaking...Shhhh!
repeat action one more time and enjoy the moment of peace and quiet and then...
JUMP UP and roar!

A less jumpy version of this rhyme can be found here.

I met another "Tiger" while I was in St. Louis a couple weeks ago: Tiger Reed, the Youth Services Specialist at the St. Louis Central Library. He was hosting their first Drag Queen Storytime. The performers were great storytellers and Tiger did fun crowd control activities between stories. I was taking frantic notes, trying to remember all Tiger's great ideas. The auditorium was full of caregivers and children having a wonderful time! 

Here is a pic of the ladies.

And here is a bonus felt, keeping with the cat theme.

Thanks to my talented coworker, Carolanne, for drawing the original "Amish cat" image.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

I'm a Little Kawaii Teapot

I bet you have heard this one before, but do you know the second verse? I didn't! 

I'm a little teapot, short and stout,
Here is my handle, here is my spout. 
When I get all steamed up, hear me shout,
Tip me over and pour me out!

I'm a clever teapot, yes it's true
Let me show you what I can do
I can change my handle and my spout.
Just tip me over and pour me out!

Nursery rhyme remixes remind me of the books of Jane Cabrera. She does such an awesome job of extending traditional songs. Her bright, bold illustrations are pretty great as well. I use her jungle-fied "If You're Happy and You Know It" and "The Wheels on the Bus" over and over at storytime. They can be shortened for toddlers or read in full with the preschoolers.

Image result for jane cabrera

Image result for jane cabrera

And look, here is a nonplussed aloe plant.

Thanks to Jessica from Storytime in the Stacks for hosting this weeks: