Monday is my most challenging story time day for two reasons. One is that I typically only work every other Monday, so there is no sense of routine for this group. They have a different experience each time. The other reason is that I have yet to see the same group twice. Last week, for example, I heard the group was almost entirely older kids - preschool and elementary school. Today, though, the group was half babies! Needless to say, what I prepared for older kids wasn't going to fly, so I had to get a little creative on the spot. Here's how everything unfolded. (Our theme was space.)
Opening song: If You're Happy and You Know It
Song: The Wheels on the Bus
Book: Wynken, Blynken, and Nod by Eugene W. Field, illustrated by Giselle Potter
This is a beautiful interpretation of this old bedtime poem. Babies and big kids alike really enjoyed looking at the shades of blue and gold that make up the "sea of dew" on which the sailors travel through the moonlight. I don't know that kids fully understood the realization that Wynken and Blynken are eyes and Nod is a head, but they were clearly drawn to the book nonetheless.
Song: Monkeys on the Bed
Book: What The Moon Sees / What the Sun Sees by Nancy Tafuri
This two-sided book shows us what the moon and sun each see during their hours in the sky. We started with the moon side, then flipped over and read about the sun. The preschoolers in the audience enjoyed pointing out the various things they noticed, including the owl's small beak compared to the hugeness of the moon, and the fact that the bustling people were sharing a page with a yellow taxi. Our copy of this book is missing a page, which I didn't realize until we got to it, but no one seemed to mind. I chose this book because it seemed baby-friendly, but it wound up striking a chord with everyone.
Song: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star (a cappella, sung twice, second time with hand motions)
Book: Our Stars by Anne Rockwell
This is a non-fiction book. It would have been really good for 6- and 7-year-olds, but it did not fly for little ones. I wound up paraphrasing most of the text and quickly rushed us to the end, as a few kids actually wandered out of the room. Oops!
Song: One, Two, I Love You (Numbers Are Our Friends)
Song: Aikendrum by Raffi (from Singable Songs for the Very Young)
Song: Where is Thumbkin?
Book: Zoom! Zoom! Zoom! I'm Off to the Moon by Dan Yaccarino
Far and away the best book of this session. Rhyming text tells of a boy's imagined trip to space. He suits up, lifts off, and explores, then lands back on Earth in time for a hero's welcome and a snuggle back in his own bed. Brightly colored illustrations show the differences between Earth and space, and my favorite line describes the entire experience perfectly: "There's outer space all over the place!"
Closing Song: Skinnamarink
The tentative plan at this moment is to repeat the space theme for Baby/Toddler story time tomorrow, with different books, but we'll see if I carry that through, or change my mind at the last minute!