Stories With Ms. Jenna

Storytimes, Programs, Booklists, and More!

Early Literacy: Grocery Kit

In August, I posted about the first Early Literacy Kit I made: Rhythm and Rhymes. Recently, we put out a new kit I put together called Grocery Kit. Inside, there are play foods, a half sheet with a list of ideas of how to play together, and a clipboard with the grocery list half sheet on it.

Ideas for How to Play Together:

1. Help your child fill out a grocery list by asking him or her to select a specific amount of items. Then, take all the food out and let the child match the items he/she chose on the grocery list.

2. Ask your child to sort the food into different categories. For example, your child can sort the foods into piles of what he/she likes and dislikes, or foods to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.


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Letters Everywhere!

A few years ago when I was in undergrad, I interned at the local public library. I worked on a handful of early literacy- passive programming projects. “Letters Everywhere!” was my favorite display I made. I can’t take full credit for it because my supervisor saw it elsewhere and asked me to make one. But we all know librarians love to share! Now, at my position as Youth Services Librarian at a different library, I was able to re-create the Letters Everywhere display. It’s across from the family restrooms, right beneath the children’s coat rack. It’s so fun to watch kids sit down in front of it and point at the letters that spell their name!



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Storytime: Names

Yesterday night was my first Evening Family Storytime! It is aimed at children ages 2-6 and their families. My first theme was “Names.” Overall, we had a lot of fun, and hopefully they’ll all be back next week! I am using the same Hello and Goodbye songs/ rhymes each week. Here is what else we did at the “Names” storytime:

Book: Me… Jane by Patrick McDonnell


Rhyme/Activity: Hickity Pickity

Hickety-Pickety Bumble Bee
Won’t you say your name for me?
Let’s clap and say it.
Jen-na (clap-clap with syllables)
Let’s say it loud!
Let’s say it quiet.

We sat in a circle and went around doing this for every child’s name. In my handout for the storytime I included an “Early Literacy Tip!” section next to the words for this rhyme: Breaking words into syllables is a component of developing phonological awareness (awareness of sound structure) which leads to later success in reading and spelling.

Book: Matthew A.B.C. by Peter Catalanotto


Song/Flannel: Aiken Drum by Wiggleworms Love You -see my earlier post about my Flannel for this song. I also handed out the instruments listed in the song to the kids so they could jam out.

Book: My Name Is Elizabeth by Annika Dunklee


Song: John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt by Susie Tallman

John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt, that’s my name too
Whenever we go out, the people always shout
There goes John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt
Da da da da da da da!

I let the kids free dance for the song and we all threw our hands up in the air for the “Da da da…” part.

I could have probably squeezed in another book but I decided to give them a few minutes to look at the books I pulled that they could check out. And then I got my first library-kid hug so my night ended on a great note. 🙂

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Early Literacy Kits: Rhythm and Rhymes

At my library, we have an area called the Preschool Pavilion. It’s a gorgeous, spacious area at the end of the library next to floor to ceiling windows. In this area we have puzzles and puppets and ipads and toy cars… and now we also have early literacy kits. Each kit is just a simple plastic box filled with some toys and a paper explaining how to use these items to encourage literacy. One kit that I created is called the “Rhythm and Rhymes” kit. Inside, there are laminated sheets hooked together with a loose-leaf ring. Each sheet has  a rebus rhyme on it [see below- click to view larger]. Also in the box are two eggshakers, and an explanation sheet stating:

Ideas for How to Play Together:

1. Read the rhymes with your child. Point to the words and pictures while reciting and have your child help say the words as able.

2. Have your child shake the eggshakers to each syllable to practice rhythm. For example, hey did-dle did-dle the cat and the fid-dle.

3. Ask your child to help you find the words that rhyme. For example, in “Hey Diddle Diddle” you can ask your child to point to the picture of the word that rhymes with ‘moon’.

I’m pretty happy with how my first kit turned out, although we have had an issue with the egg shakers not being placed back in the box! We are going to rotate the kits every month or so (still haven’t completely decided). Next up, I’m creating a grocery kit, and I’ll be sure to post about it when it’s finished!