The Museum Blog

Category: Storytime

Dog's Colorful Day: Our Family Literacy Month Book!

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Why “Dog’s Colorful Day”?

As the Literacy Coordinator here at The Children’s Museum I had the exciting task of picking the book we would be giving away to visitors as part of our Family Literacy Month celebration.

This might sound like a simple task. I adore picture books and use them as much as possible in all the programs I do here at the museum. I go to the library to pick out a few books for a specific class and always come back with about 12 more than originally planned. I can’t help myself!

However, this book buying was different. I wanted to choose a book that had great illustrations and a fun story--- I wanted the book to be entertaining for adults as well as children, I wanted it to prompt fun conversations among families and become a favorite to be enjoyed over and over again. I wanted it to be a book that could be appreciated by a grandparent, a teenage babysitter, an 18 month old or a nine year old—or even better—all of those people together!

Needless to say, it took me a very (very) long time to select a book.

The book I ended up picking is “Dog’s Colorful Day” by Emma Dodd.

This is a story of a busy little dog that goes on a colorful adventure and ends up getting into all kinds of messy trouble—teaching colors and numbers along the way. School Library Journal calls it “A multifaceted concept book and a charming story to boot!” I couldn’t agree more.

Here’s why I think “Dog’s Colorful Day” is a perfect fit for Family Literacy Month—and how you might like to use it with your family:

For reading with Babies:

  • The book has clear illustrations that are easy for baby’s eyes to see and understand—there are many familiar shapes that appear in the book (shoe, ball, table, clouds). These are great to point out to baby--it will help them understand the world around them. Point these items out in the book while you read and then find real life examples.
  • There are wonderful onomatopoeic words (Splat! Splish! Squash!) These playful words will resonate in baby’s ears and help them learn the sounds of our language.
  • It’s a lovely and fun introduction to colors and numbers.

For reading with Toddlers & Preschoolers:

  • This book is perfect for reading with the toddler & preschool age group—be sure to ask lots and lots of questions while you read—“What do you see on this page that Dog might get into? What color spot do you think he will get? Can you help me count Dog’s colorful spots?”
  • As you read the book—point out the different colors of spots that Dog has—ask your toddler or preschooler if they can remember how Dog got each of his colorful spots. This activity will reinforce narrative skills—one of the most important pre-reading skills!

Reading with Older Children:

  • This book has many familiar words that children starting to read will recognize. The pictures also lend themselves well as clues to help figure out what the words on the page say.
  • Use it as a math activity! Ask your older child “If I wiped off Dog’s pink spot and blue spot—how many spots would he have left?”
  • Do an art activity when you finish reading the book—have your child draw a picture of dog and then add all of his colorful spots.

I hope you enjoy “Dog’s Colorful Day” as much as I do. It’s a splendid book to read together as a family and has lots and lots of potential for literacy activities at home.

If you do enjoy “Dog’s Colorful Day”---Emma Dodd has written two more books about the adventures of Dog—“Dog’s ABC’s” and “Dog’s Noisy Day”. What kind of trouble will Dog get into next? Sounds to me like a good reason to pile into the car and head to the library!


We would like to give an extra special "Thank You!" to our Family Literacy Month sponsors for making these book giveaways possible:

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Happy Reading!

-Meredith

meredith@childrens-museum.org

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Shaky Eggs

Baby Storytime 2015 24

by Meredith Lamothe, Early Childhood and Literacy Coordinator

We were making shaky eggs the entire first week of our Toddlerfest celebration. Shaky eggs or egg maracas are a great first percussion instrument for little ones and a fun way for them to feel included in making music as well as get a good introduction to rhythm, which is an important early literacy skill!

There are lots of songs that can be used with shaky eggs—actually, you can shake along to most any song you like or listen to---but there are a handful of songs that I use regularly in Baby Storytime here at the museum that highlight shaky eggs and are a lot of fun.

Here’s a few you can try at home!

Counting Shakes: (Tune: "If You’re Happy and You Know It")

If you’re happy and you know it shake your egg—one time!

If you’re happy and you know it shake your egg—two times!

If you’re happy and you know it and you really want to show it, if you’re happy and you know it shake your egg—three times!

(Keep going for however long the focus lasts!)


Shake, Clap, Tap! (Tune: "If You’re Happy and You Know It")

If you’re happy and you know it give a shake

If you’re happy and you know it give a shake! (etc)


If you’re happy and you know it give a clap!

If you’re happy and you know it give a clap (etc)

If you’re happy and you know it give a tap (tap your egg on a surface or part of your body)

If you’re happy and you know it give a tap (etc)

If you’re happy and you know it give a shake! And a clap! And a tap!


Shake Your Shaker! (Tune: "London Bridges")

Shake your shaker way up high, way up high, way up high

Shake your shaker way up high

Shake your Shaker

Shake your shaker…

Way down low

To the left

To the right

On your foot!

On your head

Really fast

Really slow

Etc!


That’s just a sampling of the egg shaker songs we do during Baby Storytime—stop by on Wednesdays at 9:30am in Primary Place to see the other ways we use them.

Shakers can also be used as an early reading and literacy tool. Bump them along the pages of a book to point out the different words, sound out familiar words and names using the eggs to accentuate the different syllables, or read a book that lends itself to music (Pet the Cat anyone?) and have your shaky eggs ready for the grooviest parts of the book!

How will you use your egg shaker at home?! Let us know!

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Storytime: SNOW

by Meredith Lamothe

Hi there! I am the Lead Educator at The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire and also the host of Baby Storytime. I have a Bachelors Degree in Theatre from The University of Southern Maine and a Masters of Library and Information Science with a focus in Children’s Services from Simmons College.

I’m passionate about early literacy and excited to share information with you about our weekly Baby Storytime stories and activities. Join us for the next Baby Storytime which meets every Wednesday in the Museum's Primary Place exhibit at 9:30am.

SNOW

Our theme today is perfect for the kind of weather we're having: SNOW!

Let's start with a rhyme about snowflakes:

Snow, Snow is falling down
Falling down onto the ground
it’s falling over here
And it’s falling over there
It’s falling so much that it’s everywhere!

Now, what could we do in all that snow? I know! We could ride in our little red sleds!

This one is to the tune of “Bumping up and down in my little red wagon

Slippin’ and Slidin’ in my little red sled
Slippin’ and Slidin’ in my little red sled
Slippin’ and Slidin’ in my little red sled
Won’t you be my darling?

It is snowy and the sled string’s broken
It is snowy and the sled string’s broken
It is snowy and the sled string’s broken
Won’t you be my darling?

It’s easy to fix with a big strong knot
Easy to fix with a big strong knot
Easy to fix with a big strong knot
Won’t you be my darling?

Slippin’ and Slidin’ in my little red sled
Slippin’ and Slidin’ in my little red sled
Slippin’ and Slidin’ in my little red sled
Won’t you be my darling?

And since we sang about slippin’ and slidin’ in sleds, I have to include my favorite bounce song “The Royal Duke of York” who likes marching armies up and down hills! I bet they wish they had sleds…:)

Now let's do another rhyme about snow. It's called “Five Little Snowmen” and we do this one counting on our fingers:

Five little snowmen standing in a row
Each one has a hat and a big red bow
Out came the sun and it shone all day
And one little snowman melted away!

Four little snowmen…
Three little snowmen…
Two little snowmen…

One little snowman standing in the row
He had a hat and a big red bow
Out came the sun and it shone all day
And that little snowman melted away!

Literacy Tip

Our literacy tip is about talking! Talking about books, making predictions and asking questions helps children understand things when they’re learning to read. Comprehension is an important pre-reading and reading skill. Some kids will learn to read and be able to fly through books, but at the end when asked “So, who was the good guy in that story?” They may have no idea, because although they’re reading – the comprehension is missing – and if that’s missing, those kids won’t stay motivated to read.

Asking babies a question or two about a book before you begin to read helps you and them get into that habit. Talking about books with your child gets them ready to read!

Our last song is about what to wear in the snow! It's called “Boots, Parka, Scarf and Hat” and is to the tune of “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”–you can point to where these items of clothing go while singing this song!

Boots, Parka, Scarf and Hat
Scarf and Hat

Boots, Parka, Scarf and Hat
Scarf and Hat

Boots and Parka and Scaaaaaarf and Haaaaaat

Boots, Parka, Scarf and Hat
Scarf and Hat!

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Storytime: Nursery Rhymes

By Meredith Lamothe

Hi there! I am the Lead Educator at The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire and also the host of Baby Storytime. I have a Bachelors Degree in Theatre from The University of Southern Maine and a Masters of Library and Information Science with a focus in Children’s Services from Simmons College.

I’m passionate about early literacy and excited to share information with you about our weekly Baby Storytime stories and activities. Join us for the next Baby Storytime which meets every Wednesday in the Museum's Primary Place exhibit at 9:45am.


NURSERY RHYMES

We started with "Open Them, Shut Them," which we do every week. I thought I’d post the words here for anyone who doesn’t know this wonderful song/finger play.

Open them, shut them
Open them, shut them
Give a little clap clap clap!

Open them, shut them
Open them, shut them
Lay them in your lap

Creep them, creep them
Creep them, creep them
Right up to your chin chin chin!

Open up your little mouth…But do not let them in!

I love that one!

The reason we do this rhyme every week and why I will commonly use the same rhymes/songs/finger plays is because repetition is so important for babies and for early literacy! Even though we, as adults, may get tired of hearing the same rhyme/song over and over again–babies enjoy hearing the same things over and over again. They gain familiarity with the actions and words and are able to play along. They’re also learning vocabulary from those songs and rhymes and each time we sing the song or say the rhyme it is a little different and babies will always be getting something different out of our repetitions!


LITERACY TIP

Our literacy tip today is about rhythm in rhymes or songs. Babies are learning to speak our language just as we would have to learn to speak a new language–to many of them our words sound like big long strings of sounds with no clear words or phrases. When we bounce babies on our laps while singing a song or saying a phrase or when we clap out words during a rhyme (this was tricky!) we’re helping to get them ready to read by knowing that a number of different words make up a sentence which makes up a story or song.

The rhyme that we clapped to was “To Market”
Here are the words:

To market, to market to buy a fat pig
Home again, home again, jiggety-jig

To market, to market to buy a fat hog,
Home again, home again, jiggety-jog

This is another fun rhyme about Rain!

Rain on the green grass,
And rain on the tree;
Rain on the house top,
But not on me!

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Storytime: The Royal Duke of York

By Meredith Lamothe

Hi there! I am the Lead Educator at The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire and also the host of Baby Storytime. I have a Bachelors Degree in Theatre from The University of Southern Maine and a Masters of Library and Information Science with a focus in Children’s Services from Simmons College.

I’m passionate about early literacy and excited to share information with you about our weekly Baby Storytime stories and activities. Join us for the next Baby Storytime which meets every Wednesday in the Museum's Primary Place exhibit at 9:45am.

NURSERY RHYMES

I had a request for the lyrics to “The Royal Duke of York” (otherwise known as "The Grand Old Duke of York") as well as the motions – so here they are!

BOUNCE: The Royal Duke of York (This is sung to the tune of “A Hunting We Will Go”)

Bounce babies on lap. When you say “up,” lift them up, when you say “down,” sit them back down in your lap.

Oh, the Royal Duke of York,
He had ten thousand men,
He marched them up the mountain top
and marched them down again.
Oh, when you’re up, you’re up.
And when you’re down, you’re down.
And when you’re only halfway up,
You’re neither up nor down.

He rolled them to the left.
He rolled them to the right.
He rolled them backwards down the hill
Oh what a silly sight!

LITERACY TIP

Singing and saying Nursery Rhymes is a great way to get babies ready to read! Children who know nursery rhymes by heart tend to have an easier time learning to read because playing with the rhymes (whether saying them or singing them) helps them to understand how words come together and go apart!

The Mother Goose Story book we used today is one of my favorites and is illustrated by Rosemary Wells, here’s a link to the Amazon listing: http://www.amazon.com/My-Very-First-Mother-Goose/dp/1564026205

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