Sunday, July 27, 2014

Have a Happy Home and Family Day!

Greetings and thank you to all of you who follow Every Day Is Storytime!  I have been slow to post my latest theme as I have been busy finalizing my first picture book, Miss Lucy Jane, which will be published and available in September.  The beautiful illustrations are by my cousin Emmeline Hall.  I am very excited and look forward to sharing Miss Lucy Jane with the world come autumn.

Every day, whether it is filled with activities away from your house or busy with lots of house and yard moments, is wonderfully framed with the comfortable look and feel and smell and spirit of the home you create with your family.  Take time to take a few photographs (or make drawings) of favorite spaces in your house, making sure everyone gets to add their special places to the list.  Take a photo (or draw a picture) of each person and pet in your family.  Use your photos or drawings to make a banner all about  The Story of Our Home and Family.   Write under each picture why that place was chosen, who chose it, and what special things you can do there.  Tape your pictures to a string or ribbon and tape your banner across a window or pin it to a curtain.  I hope at least one of the pictures shows an especially good place to read a book!!

Collect books from around your house that have something to do with home and family.  Check your local library for the following titles.  Request them from the interlibrary service if necessary.  Be sure to explore the library shelves for books that look good to you1

Castles, Caves and Honeycombs  by Linda Ashman
I Want to Say I Love You  by Carolyn Buehner
Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother, Too?  Eric Carle
A House for Hermit Crab  by Eric Carle
Big Brother, Little Brother  by Penny Dale
Where's My Mom?  by Julia Donaldson
Ask Mr. Bear  by Marjorie Flack
Moving Day  by Robert Kalan
Peter's Chair by Ezra Jack Keats
What Baby Wants  by Phyllis Root
We Were Tired of Living in a House   by Liesel Skorpen
This Is the House that Was Tidy and Clean  by Teri Sloat
Raise the Roof!  by Anastasia Suen
This Is the House that Jack Built  by Simms Taback
Bunnies on the Go  by Rick Walton
The House That Jack Built  by Jeanette Winter

After you have shared a few books and talked about your own home and family, have fun with my HOME ACTION RHYME.  I wrote it many years ago to use in my Home and Family storytime.  It is one of my favorites because the hand movements flow so smoothly from one to another.  Try it and see how it works for you.  My teaching suggestion is to talk about the individual homes that appear in the poem and who lives in them so everyone knows what you are talking about.  Then read the poem, learn the actions, then put them all together.  Face your child to model the actions, or do them together in front of a mirror, or do both!


                                                               A king lives in a castle,
                                                                   A bird lives in a tree,
                                                          A bear lives in a deep, dark cave,
                                                                   And a fish lives in the sea.

                                                          A mouse lives in a mousehole,
                                                                 A hive is fine for bee,
                                                          A turtle crawls under a shell,
                                                              But a house is home to me!
                                                                                Copyright 1999 Jane Willis Johnston

Substitutions:  Replace "king" with queen or prince or princess in the first line.
Replace "house" with any other kind of human home, such as igloo, treehouse,  houseboat, tipi, tent, apartment, trailer, or anything else you can think of.  Be sure to create a motion for your new word.  Take turns being inventive.

Castle:  Stretch fingers and hold hands on sides of head to show a castle tower.
Tree: Stretch arms way out at your sides.
Cave: Hold arms in arch over your head with hands together.
Sea:  Keep your hands together and make them wave up and down as you bring your arms down in front of you.  You are making a wave and a fish swimming at the same time!
Mousehole:  Now open your hands and touch fingers to make a circle for the hole.
Hive:  Close your hands together into a double fist.
Turtle shell:  Move one hand curved over the other.  Stick out your thumb and little finger of the covered hand to show the turtle's head and tail (unless you want him to stay pulled in under his shell!)
House:  Lift your arms over your head and bring your hands together in a point for a roof.

Choose a few small stuffed animals or dolls or action figures, gather up whatever building supplies you have (blocks, legos, boxes, plastic food storage containers, plastic cups, straws, plastic spoons, etc.) and build a differently shaped house for each figure.  Consider their size and shape and what their needs might be.  When you are finished, you will have neighborhood all ready for you to tell a story about each house and who lives inside and what they like to do when they are home.

Get a little exercise by moving all around your house to the rhythm of my poem about going home.
You might want to get a lot of exercise and move in all the ways described in the poem.  Choose a place that is going to be "home" and when you get to the last line, run to that place and plop down!!

                                                     ALL THE WAY HOME

                                       I like to go walking and skipping and riding,
                                       I like to go climbing and jumping and hiding,
                                       I like to see all of the world when I roam,
                                       Then I like to go running all the way home!

                                                                                 Copyright 2003 Jane Willis Johnston

Take a look at your The Story of Our Home and Family banner before you settle down in a cosy corner of your home for a good bedtime book.  Sweet dreams!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Fun on a Summer Day!

A beautiful summer day is worth waiting for, and Kansas is celebrating a summer with more thick green grass and full lush trees and bushes and flowers of every color everywhere than we have seen for a long time.  Our yard is busy with bunnies and squirrels and songbirds.  One day this week I counted 20 different kinds of birds coming to our water pans and birdbath.  I know you and your family are enjoying all the surprises nature brings in the summer.  Make sure each day is special and fill your summer with stories to share and stories to keep!!

Book breaks are perfect for resting up and cooling off after time outside.  Gather up any books you have that make you think of summer days and nights.  Check out books from your library.  Always ask for interlibrary loan if your library does not keep these titles in their collection.  Sometimes you can find used picture books very inexpensively on the internet.  I hope you find and enjoy some of my favorites!

Rabbits & Raindrops  by Jim Arnosky
Up, Down and Around  by Katherine Ayres
The Very Lonely Firefly  by Eric Carle
Jack's Garden  by Henry Cole
Jamberry  by Bruce Degen
Waiting for Wings  by Lois Ehlert
Muncha!  Muncha!  Muncha!  by Candace Fleming
Little Bunny Follows his Nose  by Katherine Howard
The Carrot Seed  by Ruth Krauss
Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni
I Love Bugs!  and  Ten Flashing Fireflies  by Philemon Sturges
Bunnies on the Go  by Rick Walton
Bear's New Friend  by Karma Wilson

When you read Up, Down and Around, use a lot of movements!  Have everyone stand up and reach up high, then down low, then turn around and around or move your arms in the biggest circles you can draw in the air.  It makes the book all the more fun and provides great exercise.

When you read  Muncha!  Muncha!  Muncha! make sure everyone says those words with great energy and rhythm as they are repeated throughout the silly story.  Examine the illustrations carefully to be sure everyone finds the rabbits each time they outsmart the gardener. 

Bunnies on the Go is a wonderful book for rhyme and for being a good detective.  As soon as you read it once, and everyone knows how it works, read it again right away! 

Use the following action rhyme after you read  The Very Lonely Firefly.  Make sure everyone has a good idea about what a firefly is and what it can do.  Use a few flashlights in a darkened room to be fireflies yourselves, especially if you do not have fireflies where you live.  Here in Kansas we are seeing them every night!


                                               FIREFLIES, FIREFLIES

                                       Fireflies, fireflies, small and bright,
                                       Flash your winking, blinking light.
                                                       Twinkle ON
                                                    like stars at night.

                                                        Twinkle OFF!
                                                    You're out of sight!!

                                                                                       by Jane Willis Johnston  Copyright 1999

Say the words and  reach as high as you can and open and close your hands, waving your arms and stretching your fingers to the rhythm of the words.  For "Twinkle", wiggle your fingers until you say "ON."  Then stretch your fingers out and hold them still.  Now wiggle your fingers again for "Twinkle," then close your hands into a fists when you say "OFF" and then quickly hide them behind your back.  Such fun!  Do it again!!



                                          Summertime wind, summertime sun,
                                          Summertime rain, summertime fun!

                                          Summertime swim, summertime play,
                                          Summertime picnic, summertime day!

                                          Summertime stars, summertime bright,
                                          Summertime moon, summertime night! 

by Jane Willis Johnston  Copyright 2000

Read SUMMERTIME aloud several times, with everyone saying "summertime" together. I made up a tune for these words.  You can, too!  Or just say them in a chant.

Now talk about all the summer things in the rhyme and what actions you can do for them.  I like to wave my arms for the wind, make an arch over my head for the sun, wiggle my fingers and make rain.....and for fun, I hold my hand up next to my face and wiggle my fingers and twist my hands.  That is close to the action for "play" in American Indian sign language. (A fun thing to know.)   I will enjoy thinking about the actions you can create for the last two verses.
SUMMERTIME is also fun to use for a march around the room or around the yard.

On a really dry hot day, find some paintbrushes (the bigger the better) and fill a bucket with water.  Wear clothes you can get wet in and find some sidewalk in the sun.  Dip your brush into the water and see what you can paint before the sun dries up your picture.  Make up a story about what you paint.  Everyone can add to the story before the drawings disappear in the summer heat.  It might be fun to have things in the story that are supposed to disappear because that is what should happen, especially if there is a little breeze.   When you are finished painting disappearing pictures and stories, paint on yourself and your clothes!  Then give the grass a drink with any water leftover.

Do a little stargazing before it is time for bed and say "Thank you" to the summer day.  Share memories of the day in a "sunrise to sunset" story.  Chose a favorite book from your summer day and read it again!  Sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star as you fall asleep.