Today's story time was performed out in the open carpeted area by our picture books. The story time room had to be painted (yes, again), and the paint fumes were still strong when we came in today. So this group was a mix of babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary schoolers. The theme was hibernation, and it was actually a pretty terrible theme. All the books were more or less the same, and all my songs were difficult to sing and even harder to teach. I think these activities would work well on their own in a classroom setting, but it was too much to pull together for one story time session. I feel like I bombarded the kids with too much information and bored them.
Opening Song: Hello, how are you?
Rhyme: Brown Bears Do It
I asked the kids to participate in this rhyme by calling out, "They hibernate!" This was mainly to keep the rhyme from sounding suggestive to me, as it did before I presented it with the title, "Who Hibernates?" I lost my flannel board ladybug, so there was a false start at the beginning as I realized I needed to replace it with a different creature.
Winter Lullaby by Barbara Seuling (2001)
This book explores questions about where animals go in the winter. Since today's group included school-age kids, they actually gave guesses as to how the questions would be answered, which was a great addition.
Rhyme: Here is a Cave
This is a terrible action rhyme. The actions are hard to model and hard to duplicate, and it goes on forever with the same motion before switching to another one. Also, the words were impossible for the kids to learn - and for me to memorize!
Time to Sleep by Denise Fleming (1997)
This story begins with bear reminding snail that winter has come and comes full circle when ladybug comes back to warn bear.
Song: Time for Hibernation
Another surprisingly bad idea. There is no refrain to the song, so no one knew what to sing, and the flannel board wasn't big enough to accommodate everything.
Bear Dreams by Elisha Cooper (2006)
Bear is determined to run and play and never rest, but instinct takes over and soon he is sound asleep anyway!
Rhyme: Two Little Black Bears
Song: Where is Bear?
Old Bear by Kevin Henkes (2008)
I decided to read a fourth book instead of trying to do any more clunky or otherwise ridiculous songs. It made a nice ending, because it looks forward to spring when hibernating animals will wake up once again.
Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This
One more Monday story time ever! Then it switches to Thursday, and the themes are much broader and more interesting. Can't wait!