I have recently developed a new relationship with an area rec. center, which I'm very excited about. On the second Wednesday of every month, I'll be visiting their preschool class to provide a story time. Today was my first visit, so I over-planned just in case I ran out of time, and wound up actually sharing the following:
Opening Song: Hello, how are you?
This song has become the source of my story time confidence. It's not quite a security blanket, but singing it gives me the opportunity to get into the right frame of mind for story time and lets me sort of assess the crowd and figure out what might work well, and what I might need to scrap. Today's group was not very talkative, but they were great with hand motions, so I knew right away they'd like my rhymes, and their wonderful attention spans told me I could read more than two books. By the time I finished singing, I felt comfortable and ready to read.
Song: If You'd Like to Read a Book
For the first time, I introduced this song by first asking if they knew If You're Happy and You Know It. They did, and that seemed to help them understand what this song would be.
One Mitten by Kristine O'Connell George, illustrated by Maggie Smith (2002)
I was so proud of myself because I actually rehearsed how I would present this book at home last night and then actually stuck to what I rehearsed! I talked about the cover of the book, which is something I often don't do in my large, hectic story times here at the library, and even though the kids didn't seem very excited by it, I continue to think that having the girl's face on the front of the book and the back of her head on the back is brilliant. I also asked who wore mittens to school today and asked them to tell me what color the mitten on the front cover was. Then we read the story, which went over pretty well. It's kind of a step up from Under My Hood I Have a Hat, and worked really well for the age group (mostly threes.)
Song: Five Little Snowmen Riding on the Sled
This is a rewritten version of Five Little Monkeys, where snowmen ride on a sled, and Frosty is the one who calls the doctor. This was my first time doing this one with kids, and it was awesome.
May I Bring a Friend? by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers, illustrated by Beni Montresor (1966)
This was a book I loved as a kid, and I was thrilled to share it. This group knew most of the zoo animals - they thought the hippo was a pig, but got everything else right - and they got a kick out of the animals' wild behavior inside the King and Queen's castle. This was the perfect length for the age group, with just the right amount of repetition and rhyme. Also, in the middle of the story, I realized it's one of those wonderful stories that fits many themes - castles, friendship, zoo animals, and days of the week. It would also be great to pair with A Sick Day for Amos McGee.
The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins (1989)As I did with my group here on Monday, I asked the kids to say "ding-dong!" each time the doorbell rang. They got into the plot of the story much more than any other kids I've shared this with, and one little boy astutely observed, "There are just too many friends coming over!" Adorable. I have never had great luck with this book, but making it interactive has been the key to its success.
Rhyme: I Am Making Cookie Dough
Again, a Monday repeat. They really enjoyed this and got really into the stirring motions. I really didn't think this rhyme would work for me, but I do a pretty decent job with the motions.
Can You Cuddle Like a Koala? by Jim Butler (2003)I intended to read this book and sing Cuddly Koalas, but was shorter on time than I expected, so we just did the motions that go along with the animals in this book, and had a lot of fun with it. They especially liked swinging their arms like monkeys and jumping around like frogs and hares. And they were great listeners. That's what I love about school groups; they know how to behave, and someone is there to manage their behavior.
Song: One Little Finger
This song is too simple for them - I should have done Rum Sum Sum. Next time!
Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This