I made the decision a few weeks ago to stop worrying about the summer theme when I got sick of my Dream Big, Read stuff. That time has come. For the next few weeks of story time, I'll be doing different color themes, as a way of showcasing some of my "greatest hits." Today's color was red.
Things started out strong, and then just... I don't even know. This cloudy, humid weather has got to go!
Opening Song (with ukulele): Hello, how are you?
Rhyme: Blue is the Lake
After this rhyme, I asked the kids to think about the red apple for a minute. Then I opened the cover of Lemons Are Not Red and showed them all the red things on the front endpaper.
Lemons Are Not Red by Laura Vaccaro Seeger (2004)
Sharing this book has proven somewhat difficult in the past, so this time, I held up the book and said, "Look! A red lemon! Wait a second... Lemons are not red!" Then I turned the page to reveal that lemons are yellow, but apples are red. Talking through the first page like this made reading the story more of a conversation, and by the end, I had all of the adults helping me out with the text and pointing out the silly "mistakes."
Instead of clapping after the book, I guided us right to the last page, where the end papers have more red items. I named each one, saving the red wagon for last. Then I said, "Hey, I know a red wagon song!" And I picked up the ukulele.
Song (with ukulele): Bumpin' Up and Down in My Little Red Wagon
We sang each verse twice, and everyone actually did the motions even though I was playing and not modeling for them. I made sure I sang "The wheels turn around..." as the last verse so I could segue right into my next book, about something else with wheels that is also red.
Fire Truck by Peter Sis (1998)
I guess this is probably where I started to lose them, but the book itself seemed to get them back on track. Then I followed it up with a great action song.
Song: Hurry, Hurry Drive the Firetruck
This was more fun than I ever expected. I'm going to use it more often.
Song: Head and Shoulders, Baby
This is where story time took a turn for the worst. They did great with this song, but I could not get anyone's attention back for the next book.
Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Felicia Bond (1985)
I skipped almost the entire book. It was just a disaster. So afterward, I announced we would just be singing for the rest of the time.
Song: If You're Happy and You Know It
Thankfully, singing this seemed to get us back on track. Though I didn't dare try another book, I did manage to keep their attention almost to the 20-minute mark.
Song: Here We Go Up, Up, Up
Rhyme: Ladybug, Ladybug (from Yorba Linda Public Library)
This was great. Some of the three year olds thought it was hilarious when I put the ladybug on my own head.
Song: Four Red Cherries
During this song, a little girl in the front asked me to play my "guitar." I'm concerned that the ukulele is now becoming a distraction.
We clapped along as we sang. That seemed to work well. I could have played the ukulele, but I just wanted to be done.
Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This