Lunch by Denise Fleming (1992)
I didn't realize it would annoy me until I was reading it to the group, but the page turns in this book are awkward. It's set up so that kids can predict what vegetable is coming up based on the color, but it made it nearly impossible to read out loud to kids who are not yet verbal because it breaks up the text and makes it sound choppy. The first group liked it a lot because of the ending, but the second one showed very little interest.
Rhyme: Wiggle Fingers
Song: Itsy-Bitsy Spider
In the Small, Small Pond by Denise Fleming (1993)
I didn't actually realize I was reading two books by the same author until the start of the first session, but it worked out okay. This book is a little long, and didn't have as many opportunities for interaction as I expected, but it still went over pretty well. I'd use it again, though perhaps as the first book, and with a much shorter interactive book as the second title next time.
Song with Puppet: I'm a Little Green Frog
I had some very positive feedback about this song from a grandma, and I think the kids liked it because the puppet is very large and easy to see. I also made it jump when the song refers to jumping and pretended to catch a fly when the song mentioned it. I'll probably use this one again.
Song: Head and Shoulders
Song: Clap, Clap, Clap Your Hands
- clap, clap, clap your hands
- stomp, stomp, stomp your feet
- flap, flap, flap your arms
- tap, tap, tap your head
- jump, jump, jump around
- turn, turn, turn around
Flannel Board Rhyme: Seven Snazzy Aunties
There was dead silence in the room when I did this for the first session. The kids were mesmerized. During the second time around, the adults talked a lot and basically ruined it, but we got them all back with the Wheels on the Bus.
Song: The Wheels on the Bus
- ...wheels...round and round
- ...door...open and shut
- ...driver...move on back
- ...wipers...swish swish swish
- ...horn... beep beep beep (I forgot the horn during session one! whoops!)
- ...people...bumpity bump
- ...babies... waa waa waa
- ...grown-ups...shh shh shh
Rhyme: Wiggle Your Fingers and Toes
This is like a secret weapon. They love love LOVE this rhyme.
Song: Put Your Finger in the Air
Song with Puppets: All the Pigs Say Oink, Oink, Oink
I don't have a good sized pig puppet, so we didn't actually sing about the pig. We did the cow, dog, cat, horse, and lion.
Song with Puppet: You Are My Sunshine
We sang through this once with the puppet, and once making a sun with our arms over our heads.
Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This
Now that I'm not using recorded music anymore, I've been trying to keep things exciting with a lot of variety. I've started using more puppets, and I actually do rhymes in the second half of the story time, which I never used to do. It's working really well, especially in the first session of the day when they're not bored yet.