When I get kids to actually show up for Saturday story time, it's always a lesson in improvisation. Today, I planned for mostly toddlers and had only one toddler, along with three babies, and four preschoolers. Go figure.
Thankfully, I took a big pile of books in there with me, and had some choices so that I could adjust as the crowd grew. And it was really nice. I love my big groups and actually feel most comfortable with those, but it's also nice to be able to get to know the kids a little bit in the small groups. Before today, I thought I'd cancel monthly Saturday story times, but now I'm wondering if it's worth having one now and then, even during the school year...
Opening Song: Clap Along With Me
Rhyme: This is Big, Big, Big (twice)
Rhyme: Dance Your Fingers (twice)
Mr. Gumpy's Outing by John Burningham (1970)
Everyone loves Mr. Gumpy. This book does go on, with Mr. Gumpy's various restrictions about how the animals and children are to behave in the boat, but it's a lot of fun building up to the moment when they all do exactly that which they were asked to avoid doing, and splash! into the water they go! Even babies like this book.
Song: Itsy Bitsy Spider (a cappella; sung twice)
Book: My Heart is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall (2009)
I usually remember to read this book around Valentine's Day, but it seemed like a good one for an all-ages group as well. The older kids laughed over the silly rhymes and enjoyed dissecting the images to see how the hearts fit together. The babies were drawn to the bright colors, and the moms oohed and aahed. I'll definitely want to remember this book for future family story times!
Song: ABCD Medley
I think my days with this song are numbered. Time to find a replacement for the Fall!
Song: One, Two, I Love You (Numbers Are Our Friends)
Song: Old MacDonald (a cappella with puppets)
Song: You Are My Sunshine (sung twice a cappella, with puppet)
The Queen's Feet by Sarah Ellis, illustrated by Dusan Petricic (2006)
I learned of this book just this morning, but quickly fell in love! Queen Daisy's feet have a mind of their own, and they get her into all kinds of trouble in situations where she's supposed to be on her best royal behavior! This story has the same sense of humor as Princess Hyacinth, which is my favorite read-aloud for school-age kids, but it's less wordy and worked for everyone in my audience, except one little baby, whose attention span made it only 7/8 of the way through. (These babies were amazingly attentive, I've never seen anything like it!)
Song: The Wheels on the Bus
It warmed my little heart when a three-year-old announced after the first verse - "This is my favorite song!"