Four Seasons Drop-In Story Time, 8/9/13
I thought last week's successful drop-in story time may have been a fluke, but I decided to assume it wasn't and went ahead and planned another in a similar format. This time, I focused on the four seasons. Instead of trying to make everyone look at our one tiny flannel board, I used the entire whiteboard to introduce the theme. I put up clipart images representing each of the four seasons (which I found free on this website) then wrote the verses to a seasons song by Meish Goldish (which I found here) so the adults, at least, could read them.
Song with ukulele: Seasons of the Year
To kick things off, we sang the song that was written on the board. Most of the adults at least tried to sing along, though I think may have played just a bit too fast. In any case, the song got everyone's attention and introduced the overall story time plan.
Book: Summer is Summer by Phillis and David Gershator, illustrated by Sophie Blackall
The text of this book is more like a poem than a story, but they did pretty well sticking with it. I wished that the adults would have picked up on the refrain and repeated it with me, but it was enough for me that they didn't carry on their own conversations while I was reading.
Song with Puppet: Mr. Sun
Book: Kitten's Autumn by Eugenie Fernandes
This is the book they paid the least attention to, possibly because of the smaller illustrations.
Song: Brown Squirrel
Book: Here Comes Jack Frost by Kazuno Kohara
I have used this book with better results in the past, but some of the kids were really glued to it and it got a lot of applause at the end.
Song: Five Little Snowmen Riding on the Sled
I had something else planned, but remembered this song at the last minute and used it instead.
Book: My Spring Robin by Anne Rockwell
They seemed to like this book, though the kids were getting restless by this point. I was glad to follow the story with an old favorite song.
Songs with Ukulele: ABCs / Twinkle Twinkle Little Star / Baa Baa Black Sheep
I truly think these past two drop-in story times have gone so well because I have put my foot down about the purpose of story time. It's about books. I have taken away a lot of the puppets and flannel boards and focused more on books, and I think that has minimized everyone's distractions - both kids' and adults'. I am also more engaged with the material now that I have tried a new structure. I think I was tired of repeating the same old things, and maybe me weariness was rubbing off on the nannies. I'll be off next Friday, but I'm looking forward to trying another new idea in a couple of weeks!
I use the same hello and goodbye songs at almost every session. Click here for the tunes and words. For descriptions of each of my story times, click here.