Between sessions, though, I regrouped, and did the following program for the second group, which was huge and had at least 45 kids! (I used the same books and most of the songs, but changed the order around quite a bit.)
Opening song: Hello song
Song: ABC's (a cappella sing-along)
I put the letters up on the flannel board and pointed as we sang. It's a great sing-along because all the adults know it, as do many of the older kids. I think I'll be doing it for a few weeks, just for a change. My goal is to get away from farm animals for a bit, before I get completely sick of them.
Song: The Wheels on the Bus
Song: If You'd Like to Read a Book
Book: Garden of Opposites by Nancy Davis
Song: Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes
Song: I'm a Little Teapot
Book: Counting in the Garden by Kim Parker
This one is a floral counting book where animals and insects hide among the blossoms and stems of different plants. I got everyone involved by having them count the different animals and bugs with me. Things got a little bit tricky as the numbers got bigger, though, because the inchworms and butterflies blended in so well, I almost couldn't find them all. The parents were very understanding, though, and when I found inchworm number nine, one mom actually said, "Good job!"
Song: One, Two, I Love You (Numbers Are Our Friends)
Song: Five Little Ducks (from Where is Thumbkin?)
This is a new one for my story time group, and this version is a little bit faster than I would like, but we used ducks on the flannel board and during the second session, especially, the kids really seemed intrigued.
Song: Monkeys on the Bed
Rhyme: Five Pretty Flowers (I borrowed this from Mel's Desk, and then adapted it slightly)
I butchered this rhyme completely for session one, so I actually wrote a cheatsheet for session two. I didn't like leaving the ending just hanging, so I added my own verse to the end. Unfortunately, some little fingers couldn't resist "helping" me with the flowers, and the end of the rhyme got cut off by his grown-up coming to get him from the front of the room. I also think this group is puzzled by rhymes and would rather have songs, which I don't fully understand. Still, though, I think it's a good one. I'm a sucker for rhymes about counting to five, and I do plan to try it again.
Out in the garden
Growing in the sun
Were 5 pretty flowers
And I picked one...
(count down until there are no flowers left)
Out in the garden
growing in the sun
Are five new flowers I plantedCount them one by one
Book: This is the Sunflower by Lola M. Schaefer, illustrated by Donald Crews
This story is a cumulative rhyme about a sunflower growing night and day in the narrator's front yard. Donald Crews of Freight Train fame is the illustrator, and I love the way he shows the effects of different types of weather and light on everyday things, like flowers and buildings and even grass. There is a page in this book where it's raining that I just absolutely love. I also love the surprise ending, when one sunflower becomes a whole patch.
Song: There's a Little Wheel a-Turnin' in my Heart
Goodbye Song: Skinnamarink