Five Finds – Vancouver Bird Week

May 2 – 9 is Vancouver Bird Week, a “week-long series of events to celebrate Vancouver’s birds. It was inspired by World Migratory Bird Day, a United Nations-sponsored initiative that recognizes the importance of birds as key indicators of our environment’s health.”

Our branch has a sizable collection of nonfiction bird books, but to celebrate Vancouver bird week I thought I’d share five fun bird-themed picture books!

1. The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog / Mo Willems

pigeon

Pigeon learns about sharing when a curious duckling keeps asking questions about the hot dog Pigeon has found.

2. Owl Babies / Martin Waddell

owl_babies

Three owl babies whose mother has gone out in the night try to stay calm while she is gone.
broken wing
When Will finds a bird with a broken wing, he takes it home and cares for it, hoping in time it will be able to return to the sky.
flora
In this wordless, lift-the-flap picture book, Flora and her new friend, the penguin, dance on the ice together and learn to treat each other with respect and kindness.
calvin
A young starling chooses to read books when his cousins are learning to fly, and the knowledge he acquires comes in handy when a hurricane threatens the flock’s migration.

Baby Story Time – May 1, 2015

This week we introduced the hostile baby rocking song, and it was a hit, lots of laughter from the caregivers!

Welcome Song: Hello, Friends!

Touching Rhymes/Tickles

  • The moon is round
  • Two little eyes
  • Head and shoulders
  • Roly poly

Book 1: Peek-a-bloom / Marie Torres Cimarusti

peek a bloom

Songs/Bounces

  • The hostile baby rocking song
  • Gregory Griggs
  • Tick tock tick tock
  • A hippopotamus got on a city bus

Book Two: Tuck me in / Dean Hacohen

tuck me in

Movement Songs

  • Dancing with bears
  • My bonny lies over the ocean
  • Zoom zoom
  • The elevator song

Soothing Songs

  • Come under my umbrella

Goodbye song: Goodbye, Friends

Family Story Time – May 1, 2015

We’re already into May, I can hardly believe it!

Today was a very exciting day at the branch because we had some special guests visiting us – three community health nurses from a local health centre came by to talk to caregivers about child development, health and resources. For libraries, connecting with local service providers is an increasingly important part of being active, visible members of our communities.

Welcome Song: Hello, Friends

Book 1: Clip Clop / Nicola Smee

clipclop

Hand Rhymes

  • I wake up my hands
  • Wiggle your fingers
  • Open-shut them
  • Roly poly

Book 2: Old Mikamba Had a Farm / Rachel Isadora

mikamba

Action Songs

  • Bend and stretch
  • Zoom zoom
  • Head and shoulders
  • Here we go a marching
  • The elevator song

Cool-down songs:

  • Orca whale

Goodbye Song: Goodbye, Friends!

Old Mikamba Had a Farm was a rousing success – the kids loved seeing all the unusual animals, and making all the wonderful animal noises. We were a little pushed for time because we took a bit of time at the beginning of the program to introduce the health nurses, so I shortened the story a little. The cheetah and the lion were particular crowd pleasers.

I have been introducing the sign for stop in the song Here we go a marching, and I’ve noticed that several of the kids have picked up the sign, and are signing along with me!

Only two more story times until we take a bit of a break for the summer! Where has the time gone?!?!

Language Fun Story Time – April 30, 2015

For today’s LFST we had a very special friend visit us today:

petethecat

Oh yes, it was Pete the Cat day at LFST

The kids were just over the moon when I pulled out Pete the Cat : I love my White Shoes. Most of them already knew the story, and were so excited to join in as we walked along and sang our song.

petebookEven some of our more shy children excitedly shouted out their colours, which was quite impressive!

After we read/sang the story together, it was time for our felt version:

petefeltThe kids took turns changing Pete’s shoes, and we sang the song again. And again. And again….But the kids seemed to love it, and we got a lot of words out of even our quietest participants.

Many of our children are new to circle times, group activities and felt stories, so using a felt board can be a bit challenging at times, but it is an ideal opportunity to reinforce expectations and give the children an opportunity to practice taking turns and sharing with each other in a supportive environment.

Once everyone had had a turn at the felt board, we took a singing break, and went around the circle singing about everyone’s shoes! We sang “I love my pink shoes”, “I love my yellow shoes”, and more, including my favourite verse: “I love my Yoda shoes”!

Then it was back to Pete!

stuffedpeteThis was a pretty ingenious little set-up – baby socks were coloured with markers to represent the different shoe colours, and the children slipped the baby socks over Pete’s shoes. They loved it! We went through the story several times to make sure everyone got a turn, which also helps the children get ready to eventually attend preschool or kindergarten.

The kids were pretty ravenous after all the singing and playing – we went through a lot of fishes and circles, as we call the goldfish and rice crackers.

Three sessions in, and I can already see the changes in the children as they become more comfortable with us and with each other. Can’t wait to see what’s waiting for us next week!

See you later, Pete!

pete

Baby Story Time – April 24, 2015

Welcome Song: Hello, Friends!

Touching Rhymes/Tickles

  • Well hello everyone, can you touch your nose?
  • 1 little, 2 little, 3 little fingers
  • Slowly slowly very slowly
  • Pizza pickle pumpernickel
  • Roly poly

Book 1: Dear Zoo / Rod Campbell

dear zoo

Songs/Bounces

  • Giddyup giddyup giddyup horsey
  • Trot trot to Boston
  • You be the lemon
  • A hippopotamus got on a city bus

Book Two: I went walking /  Sue Williams

walking

Movement Songs

  • London bridge is falling down
  • Up up up in the sky like this
  • Zoom zoom
  • The elevator song

Soothing Songs

  • Come under my umbrella

Goodbye song: Goodbye, Friends!

I Went Walking is very similar to Brown Bear, Brown Bear, so it’s great for babies and toddlers. It can work very well as a call-and-response activity, where the audiences asks the reader, “what did you see?”

I try to include a little bit of sign language in my story times (both my hello and goodbye songs have signs), and Come under my umbrella introduces a few new signs. When it comes to signing, I’m less interested in teaching pre-verbal babies to communicate than I am in introducing and promoting diversity. We often think of diversity in terms of ethnicity, religion, gender or sexual identity, but diversity includes different abilities and means of communication as well. Some of us speak with our mouths, but others of us speak with our hands, or with a computer, but we all have a special voice worth sharing! Hopefully, by introducing children to the diversity of the human race at a young age, we can help them learn to understand and celebrate the differences that make us all so wonderful!

Family Story Time – April 24, 2015

I had planned a very rain-themed story time for today in the spirit of the weather, complete with all sorts of songs and stories about rain. Wouldn’t you know, about thirty minutes before story time started the heavens cleared and the sun shone through – so it was back to the drawing board! Here’s what we did:

Welcome Song: Hello, Friends

Book 1: Dear Zoo / Rod Campbell

dear zoo

Hand Rhymes

  • I wake up my hands
  • Wiggle your fingers
  • Open-shut them
  • Roly poly

Book 2: The Seals on the Bus / Lenny Hort

seals

Action Songs

  • Bend and stretch
  • Zoom zoom
  • The hokey pokey
  • Toast in the toaster
  • The elevator song

Cool-down songs:

  • Mm-ahh went the little green frog (with puppet)

Goodbye Song: Goodbye, Friends!

Funnily enough, the hokey pokey was not an audience favourite this time around. The kids enjoyed shaking and turning around, but weren’t all that excited by the song, so I kept it brief – arms, legs, whole self.

What they really, really seem to love is jumping. Jumping, jumping, anything with jumping. So, toast in the toaster was received with much enthusiasm after the lackluster response to the hokey pokey!

Mm-ahh is a perennial favourite because I make sure that all the children practice really sticking their tongues out for an authentic froggy experience, which they just find absolutely hilarious. I also happen to have a freakishly long tongue (think Gene Simmons….), which typically leads to shrieks of laughter. I’m not above an easy sight gag ;)

Language Fun Story Time

Language Fun Story Time is back!

LFST is an adaptive story time for children with speech language challenges. To quote a VPL report,

For children with speech and language difficulties, attending regular Library Storytimes can be frustrating and overwhelming.

The pacing of the programs can be too fast for these kids and sometimes the children and their caregivers can feel uncomfortable in a large group when the child’s development is not typical. So to accommodate these children’s learning needs, a Vancouver Public Library children’s librarian and Vancouver Coastal Health speech language pathologist came together to create a unique program, Language Fun Storytime, for children who have speech and language difficulties regardless of any other diagnoses.

LFST participants are referred by their SLP, and the groups are kept small, typically with around 8-10 kids. Each week for 8-10 weeks, we explore one story three ways – as a picture book read-aloud, as a felt story, and with realia. The sessions are supportive and interactive, with every child encouraged to participate to the best of their individual abilities.

We’re known to get a little silly at LFST, too… :)

horseEach LFST kit contains a picture book, multiple smaller copies of the same book for participants to take home, handouts for families with extension activities, a felt story, puppets or toys, and usually a stamp.

kitEvery week participants are sent home with a copy of the week’s book, which they exchange the following week for the next story, allowing families to practice what they learn at LFST.

booksWe start the program with a simple hello song, (Hello, friends!), which gives us a chance to practice everyone’s names, and helps the group connect. We then sing Roly Poly, as it’s fun, repetitive, and introduces great vocabulary.

Then it’s time to explore the week’s story!

We first read the story together, much as we would in a traditional story time. With LFST, it’s particularly important to be mindful of your speed when reading aloud, as the children benefit from a much slower pace.

We then reenact the story using felt characters. Each child is given a chance to place the felt pieces on the board as the SLP elicits speech.

Finally, we retell the story using stuffed animals, again giving each child an opportunity to participate in the retelling.

stuffiesThe program really emphasizes repetition, which is beneficial for all children, but particularly those with speech and language challenges.

Once we’ve finished telling the story, it’s time for a snack break! Even the snack portion of LFST is designed to help children build language skills. Children are asked which colour of plate and cup they want, and which healthy snacks they’d like. Expected outcomes are adapted to each child’s individual level, from full sentences to single mumbled words, and the atmosphere is always kept positive and supportive.

cupsSnack time is also an opportunity for parents to connect with each other or ask the librarian and SLP questions.

We finish the hour-long session with a goodbye song, and of course, a stamp!

There really aren’t words to describe how incredibly meaningful and rewarding it is to participate in a program like this. Every week, you actually get to see the difference you’re making in a family’s life. Several of the children in this session were in my previous session, and it’s wonderful to see how much they’ve grown!