Posts Tagged ‘Storytime’

Storytime Recap: Our Community

by Morgan Reeves on July 22nd, 2017
Storytime Recap: Our Community Cover Image

Today’s family storytime was all about communities, both large and small. We read books about community helpers, towns, and families. We sang some happy songs about friends and playing together. I talked about the different community events we have in Iowa City, like the Farmer’s Market, Parties in the Park, Stories in the Park, and bookmobile stops.

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Storytime Recap: Things That Go

by Morgan Reeves on April 27th, 2017

As the new ICPL Bookmobile is starting to make stops around the community, we celebrated all kinds of things that go this week in storytime. Today, as usual storytime began with our welcome song “Clap Everybody and Say Hello.” I talked a little about different ways of getting from one place to another. Read the rest of this entry »

Celebrating National Library Week at Preschool Storytime!

by Anne Wilmoth on April 13th, 2017

In the mid-1950s, the American Library Association grew concerned over research that showed Americans were “spending less on books and more on radios, televisions and musical instruments.”  In response, the ALA launched the first annual National Library Week in 1958 with the theme “Wake Up and Read!”

Since then, National Library Week has been observed across the country each year during the second full week in April, as a time to “celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support.”  (For more on National Library Week, check out this ALA fact sheet.)

The 2017 theme is “Libraries Transform,” and preschool storytime today was transformed into a jubilant celebration of all the things we love about being kids at the library!  It was difficult to choose which picture books about libraries to share with the children – there are so many good ones in our collection (see photo).  I finally settled on Bonny Becker’s A Library Book for Bear, a side-splitting read-aloud with sweeping watercolor illustrations about a bear’s first experience of the library – he’s initially skeptical (who needs more than seven books, really?) but is won over when he stumbles onto a storytime featuring a book about pickles and bears (subjects that resonate with him).  We also read Deborah Bruss’s Book Book Book, a fun read-aloud about a group of farm animals attempting to make themselves understood by the librarian and receive the books they’re after – a book that engages young listeners with a series of participatory animal sounds.

We sang a wacky song called “Bananas Unite,” with plenty of movement, silliness, and an eventual invitation to “GO BANANAS!”  I told the children I selected this song not only because it’s super fun, but also because it’s okay to go a little bananas in the children’s library!  We don’t have to whisper or tiptoe, but can get excited about books and be regular kids in the children’s department.  We also shook egg shakers to the beat along with Tom Knight’s boogie-woogie tune “The Library Song,” a little ditty that lists the wonders to be had at the library – “all you need is a library card!”

Finally, we capped off our half-hour of library love with a mini “behind the scenes” tour of the library – we put some books through the book return slot, then went to the “other side” of the book return to find our books there.  While we were there, several patrons passed by and put materials in the slot – the children gasped and cried, “WHOA!” as they watched the books tumble through the slot and thump into the bins below.  They seemed content to hang out and watch the book return in action for as long as I might let them, but we eventually returned to the storytime room to watch a hilarious classic Sesame Street clip wherein Cookie Monster nearly gives a straight-laced librarian an aneurysm by repeatedly requesting a box of cookies.

If you couldn’t make it today, don’t despair!  National Library Week storytime is happening again on Saturday, April 15 at 10:30am, with some new books, songs and activities.  Come celebrate libraries with us!

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Storytime Recap: 1,000 Books and Counting

by Morgan Reeves on February 11th, 2017

1000-books-graduationIt has been 1 year of 1000 Books Before Kindergarten, so today we celebrated with a storytime focused on books and counting.

We started off with our welcome song, “Clap Everybody and Say Hello” by Kathy Reid-Naiman.


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Storytime Recap: Music and Movement

by Morgan Reeves on January 14th, 2017
Storytime Recap: Music and Movement Cover Image

With the winter cold in full effect, cabin fever is setting in. It’s hard to work out all of your energy when you’re stuck inside. So today we explored all the different movements our bodies can make, then jumped, wiggled , and danced to the beat.

We started off with our welcome song, “Clap Everybody and Say Hello” by Kathy Reid-Naiman. We kept things musical and followed the directions in the song “Bodies 1-2-3” by Peter & Ellen Allard. To keep things moving we went through the action rhyme “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.” Then we found out how animals move in the book Move by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page.

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Stuffed Animal Sleepover at ICPL

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on January 10th, 2017

Hey kids, you have a slumber party with your stuffed animal every night, but what if they had one with their stuffed friends? What adventures would they have when you aren’t looking? What trouble would they get into? Find out at the Iowa City Public Library’s Preschool Storytime: Stuffed Animal Sleepover!stuffed-animal-sleepover

Bring one of your stuffed animals and join us for storytime from 10:30 to 11 a.m. on either January 18 or January 19 in the Storytime Room. We’ll read books and sing songs, but when it’s time to go, your stuffed friend stays behind to spend the night at the Library!

Be sure to come back to ICPL the next day to pick up your friend. We’ll even have photos showing what the “stuffies” got up to while not sleeping at their slumber party. Children who attend the January 18 storytime will pick up their friend on January 19. Preschoolers who come to the January 19 storytime will come back for their stuffed animal on January 20. Please note that if you can’t reclaim your friend on either of those days, the Library will hold on to them until your next visit.

Parents, we suggest your child bring a stuffed animal he or she is comfortable leaving behind for a night.

The Library’s preschool storytime is recommended for children between the ages of three and five. Younger and older siblings are welcome to attend, too.

For more information, call the Library at 319-356-5200.

Yoga with Karen

by Karen Gordon on October 5th, 2016

Earlier this year I received my yoga certificate for A Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) 200 hours. Two weeks ago I completed The Kids003’ Yoga Teacher Training, a 25-hour course with Dana Robinson, Founder of Sweet Feet Yoga.

I love working with families and children at the library and out at outreach. Life gets incredibly busy for families trying to balance family life, and kids are busy with school, homework, and afterschool and weekend activities. Yoga can offer kids tools to learn to de-stress!

Through yoga postures, breathing techniques, and creative movement kids will learn to listen to their bodies connecting to the 4 B’s: body, brain, breath and balance. Offering the practice of yoga encourages kids to learn and listen to their bodies

Join me on Saturday, October 15th from 11:30-12:30 I will be hosting a yoga program for kidsThe_Giving_Tree ages K-2nd grade at the library in the Storytime Room.

The theme is Loving Kindness and I will be reading The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Bring mats if you have one; we’ll have mats in case you come without. No registration required.

Iowa Public Television’s Dan Wardell to Visit Iowa City Public Library

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on June 17th, 2016

Dan Wardell, the popular host of IPTV KIDS Clubhouse, will be at the Iowa City Public Library on Monday, June 27, as part of his 10th annual Iowa Public Television’s Reading Road Trip.DanWardell@ICPL

Wardell will travel to 75 local communities this summer to share an original, interactive story connected to the 2016 Summer Reading Program theme: On Your Mark, Get Set … Read!

“We are excited to welcome Dan Wardell back to ICPL as he travels across the state to promote reading,” Children’s Coordinator Angela Pilkington says. “His enthusiasm for books, reading and using your imagination is what the Summer Reading Program is all about.”

Kids are invited to attend Wardell’s storytimes at 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. in Meeting Room A. During this special event, attendees will compete against cosmic aliens during the Intergalactic Olympic Championships. Every child attendee will receive a commemorative “space orb” for their efforts.

Support for the Reading Road Trip is provided by Blank Children’s Hospital, Casey’s General Stores and The Coons Foundation. For more information, visit

Spend Spring Break at the Iowa City Public Library

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on March 7th, 2016

No plans to travel over spring break? Spend your time off from school and work at the Iowa City Public Library! In addition to our regular lineup of Library happenings, we have special programs and events planned for all age groups the week of March 13 through March 19.

Sunday, March 13

Our final Second Sunday Garden Forum of the 2016 series will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. in Meeting Room A. Join David Cavagnaro, former Preservation Gardens Manager at Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, as he takes attendees “around the world in 80 minutes” to look at the origins of all our major food crops.

Also happening from 2 to 4 p.m. is Sunday Fun Day in the Storytime Room. Families are invited to stop by and make a dream catcher.

Monday, March 14

Join Nancy for Toddler Storytime from 10:30 to 11 a.m. in the Storytime Room. Specifically planned for toddlers or young preschoolers, this program is ideal for young children with short attention spans who need short stories, fingerplays, and action rhymes.

Children can join Simba and his friends on a journey of growth during a screening of “The Lion King” from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Storytime Room. Even better, this screening is a sing-along so if you want to join in on the chorus of “Circle of Life,” you are more than welcome to do so.

Tuesday, March 15

Join Karen for Toddler Storytime from 10:30 to 11 a.m. in the Storytime Room. Specifically planned for toddlers or young preschoolers, this program is ideal for young children with short attention spans who need short stories, fingerplays, and action rhymes.

Teens, better get your game face on because we’re throwing down with Super Smash Bros for Nintendo Wii U at our Spring Break Video Game Tournament. The battle will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. in the Koza Family Teen Center. This program is for students in seventh through 12th grades.

Tweens, get ready to put your problem solving and engineering skills to work at our Totally Tweens: LEGO Robots program, which will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Storytime Room. Totally Tweens programs are for students in third through sixth grades. Registration is required for this program. To register, visit and click on the program.

Wednesday, March 16

Blank Park Zoo will visit our storytime from 10:30 to 11 a.m. in Meeting Room A for a Spring Break Special Show-and-Tell Program. Stop by to meet a zoologist, a couple of the zoo’s animals and Ruby the Reading Red Panda.

Local children’s book author Delia Ray is the featured guest at our Totally Tweens: Author Visit from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Storytime Room. She will give a presentation on her latest novel, “Finding Fortune,” which is recommended for third through sixth grade students. If you have your own copy of her book, Delia will autograph it. After her program, stick around to create a button craft to take home. All Totally Tweens programs are for students in third through sixth grades.

Are you ready to find out what makes you tick? Time of Your Life is the theme of this week’s Crazy 8s Math Club. Students in kindergarten through second grade will race their way through crazy stunts, “be” a clock and see if they have the winning birthday. Join us from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Storytime Room.

Thursday, March 17

100 Grannies will host today’s preschool storytime from 10:30 to 11 a.m. in Meeting Room A.

Calling all teen Whovians! Come geek out about The Doctor and his companions at our annual Teen Doctor Who Day celebration from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Koza Family Teen Center. We’ll watch specially-selected episodes of the show and hold a trivia contest. This program is for students in seventh through 12th grades.

Students in third through eighth grades who love to play Minecraft are invited to our After School Minecraft program from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Computer Lab. Students can register for one hour of play at by clicking on the date of the event. Participants should have a Minecraft account to play in multiplayer mode. Players without an account may use a library account, but these are limited and first come first serve. Otherwise, players without an account may still play in single player mode.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a live performance by Dunlavin Green. Join Larry Mossman, Guy Drollinger, David Hicks, and Kathy Maxey from 7 to 8 p.m. in Meeting Room A as they perform traditional Irish music. This concert is part of the Library’s Music is the Word celebration.

Friday, March 18

Join Karen for Book Babies from 10:30 to 11 a.m. and again at 1:30 to 2 p.m. This program features rhymes, fingerplays, songs and short stories designed to stimulate an infant’s language development. We ask that there be a lap for every baby.

Saturday, March 19

Relive the experience of watching cartoons on a Saturday morning with the Library’s Retro Saturday Morning Cartoons program from 10:30 to 11 a.m. We’ll screen a lineup of Saturday morning classics from the 1980s from 10:30 to 11 a.m. Pajamas, pillows and stuffed animals are welcome – we may even have cereal for you to enjoy!

Calling all teenage adventurers! Our Saturday Dungeons and Dragons campaign will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Koza Family Teen Center. Teens in grades seventh through 12th are invited to play. Never played before? No problem! Allie is there to instruct you in the dark arts.

Our Music is the Word Spring Break family Concert from 2 to 3 p.m. in Meeting Room A features Tom Pease. Tom has been entertaining families for more than 30 years, with songs that touch on a variety of themes from cultural diversity to self-esteem.

All Week

The Koza Family Teen Center will have extended School’s Out Tech Times this week. The Teen Center will be open for teens in grades seventh through 12th to use the Internet, play video games on the big screen, use iPads and laptops, or just hang out. School’s Out Teen Tech Times will be 1 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 1 to 8 p.m. Friday; and 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday.

Buy 1, Get 1 Free CD sale at The Book End, the Friends Foundation’s used bookstore located on the Library’s second floor.

For more information about any of these programs, contact the Library at 319-356-5200.

Storytime Recap: Black History

by Morgan Reeves on February 21st, 2016
Storytime Recap: Black History Cover Image

Saturday’s family storytime was in honor of Black History Month. We started off by singing a favorite welcome song, “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” After clapping, stomping and saying hello, I talked to everyone about how February is a month full of celebrations. We have Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, plus Black History Month. This is a time to honor the many historic accomplishments and current contributions of black Americans.

The first book we read was We March by Shane W. Evans. This simple story follows a family as they join in the crowds marching to Washington, D.C. to demonstrate for civil rights.

Next we all stood up and moved together as we did the action rhyme “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.” One time slow and one time fast is always a fun way to repeat these.

Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
And eyes and ears and mouth and nose
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes

Then I introduced our next book by talking about how many contributions black Americans have made to music styles over the years. This Jazz Man by Karen Ehrhardt takes the tune of “This Old Man” and adapts it to a swinging jazz band counting from one to ten. This is a joy to read with the rhythmic beat and scat-style interjections.

Next I asked everyone to join me in singing and moving to “Mr. Sun”

Oh Mr. Sun. Sun. Mr. golden sun. Please shine down on me.
Oh Mr. Sun. Sun. Mr. golden sun. Hiding behind a tree.
These little children are asking you. To please come out so we can play with you.
Oh Mr. Sun. Sun. Mr. golden sun. Please shine down on me

Then I reminded everyone that black or white or somewhere in between, we all start out as babies, so our last story was Please, Baby, Please by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee. This is a sweet and funny story about a parent asking their mischievous baby to behave.


Then we finished up with our call and response goodbye rhyme.


Our movie today was the animated version of This is the Rope by Jacqueline Woodson, which follows a rope’s uses as it travels with a family from South Carolina to Brooklyn.