Sunday, January 15, 2012

Everything's better with dogs

 After the success of the school-aged tourlibrary Field Trip ADVENTURE!, we decided to revamp the preschool tour library Field Trip ADVENTURE!.

As always, the preschool tour we offer revolves around a book. Last year was "Knuffle Bunny" by Mo Wilems. This year the book du jour (That's French for "soup") is "Dog's Colorful Day" by Emma Dodd.

You know you want to go on this tour, too.
We kept the scavenger hunt feel of last year's "let's find the stuffed animals" tour, but made it a bit more objective-driven. We give each of the kids a cardstock dog to take home. On one side, there is a sticker with our library's information on it. This other side is blank. As we go around the library and learn about the different parts, the kids collect stickers. Each area we visit is decorated with a colored "flag" that cooresponds to the color they receive. To add a little more engagement, I let the kids pick colored squares out of a bag so the tour is in a different order every time. (It also helps to have a reward like "pick the next color" to lord over the students' heads when reminding them to use their super-secret spy eyes and follow like a snake). (I was looking for a LOLcat for the "spy eyes" part to link to but OH MY GOD HOW CUTE)

Otherwise, the lay-out is pretty much just the school-age tour, but explanations are more cognitively appropriate for preschoolers.
Here's the write-up, link-free so it's actually usable:
Preschool Tour
Introduction: Today we are going to talk about the public library.  Has anyone ever been to a library before? Awesome. I’m going to tell you a few great things about this library!
1.       Who owns the library? YOU DO! Everyone and their families in La Crosse own the library. That means we are sharing it with each other as a community. You can tell your parents, “I can share! I share the library.” How cool is that? Every time you use the library, you are sharing with everyone in the whole city.
a.      A cool thing about sharing the library is that you get to come here whenever you want.
b.     You also get to find books and DVDs that you want to take home, and actually take them home! You just have to bring them back when you’re done so other kids can take them home too. The library is about taking turns.
2.     Read the book: “Dog’s Colorful Day” by Emma Dodd
a.      Before we read: We’re going to read a book about a dog who gains spots. The thing is, in order to read it we have to be able to count to ten. Let’s practice.
b.     After we read: Dog gained spots from different things he encountered during his day. Now, we will be helping Dog get spots as we travel with him through the library. The total number of spots he will have at the end of our tour is eight.
3.      Cool things at the library: there are lots of great things in our library just for kids your age!
a.      Picture books: These books have lots of pictures and are a great place to start when you’re looking for a book here at the library.
b.     Non-fiction: These books might look more grown-up, but they have great photos of real-life things that you might want to learn about.
c.     Easy Readers: These books are a great stepping stone toward reading on your own.
d.      AWE computers: We’ve loaded each computer with great games that will fill your brains all the way up! These computers have mice and keyboards, but guess what? You can also touch the screen and not worry about that extra stuff.
e.     The Reading Boat: The Reading Boat is a great place to read books with your friends and family!  You can read a book you have checked out, or read one of the great books ready for you on the boat!
f.       Early Literacy Centers: This is a fun place to work with a book. There’s different book every week or so!
g.     DVDs: You can also bring home DVDs for one week. (How long can you take out DVDs? *One week!*)
h.    Self Check-out: You can check out by yourself just like at the grocery store! All you need is a library card. 


  1. Thank you for posting this trip/tour. It is exactly what I have been looking for!

  2. Glad to be of service! You're welcome to use it. I do operate under a Creative Commons 2.0 by-nc-sa license:

    Worthy of note as well is that the entirety of the tour portion is about 10-15 minutes. Groups larger than 20 are split into two groups. One staff member does the tour while another provides some storytelling. My supervisor and tour partner writes about her experience in the story room here:

  3. Can you explain how you used "Knuffle Bunny" on your tour? Just through a stuffed animal scavenger hunt? Did the children have to collect stickers or cards as they went to each section?

  4. Hi Julia! No, all the collecting stickers was new this year. I came on in April of last year, and gave a few Knuffle Bunny tours but wasn't part of conceiving it.

    The Knuffle Bunny tour had numerous stuffed animals hidden around the room, and at each place the librarian would talk about that area of the children's room.

    The addition of stickers to collect and bring home is important, I think, because with last year's tour it was hard to know if daycare/preschool age children would remember much. This year, they have something to take home and their parents can see that they were at the library.

    I think you could do something similar with Knuffle Bunny though. My email is brycesa1 at gmail dot com. Feel free to contact me and we can discuss it more!

  5. Thank you!! I used this with my preschool tour today and they loved it. I posted paper the colour of the spot on the wall near each collection I was highlighting. After I told the kids about the collection I would say, "I spy with my little eye..." and they'd find the paper and get a sticker. We then went back into the program room for a brief storytime and I read Edward Gibbs' "I spy with my little eye." Fun!!

  6. Thanks for the great idea! I have a surprise tour coming tomorrow and needed something in a pinch.