I've been saying that my last story time was six months ago, but it turns out that, before this morning, my last story time was actually July 10th, which was 7 months ago. I did have a ukulele sing-along at the end of July, but other than that, it has been a very story time free existence for me since the start of my third trimester with Little Bo Peep. That's the longest story time break I think I have ever taken since leaving the library in 2013. I mention this because the story time I did yesterday morning for my local MOPS group (the same one I visited around Easter last year) felt very different than any I have ever done previously. It wasn't necessarily bad, but I was clearly very rusty, and I did not feel the usual rush I would normally have after doing a regular story time performance. Part of this is because it was a room full of strangers (I am only connected to the group through an acquaintance from MOMS Club), and part of it is that I tried to use new or unfamiliar materials, which is not usually wise, and part of it is that I haven't been feeling well, and was not at the top of my game. Still, it was strange to walk away from a story time without a strong feeling of either success or disappointment, which, in itself, is somewhat disappointing.
In any case, here is what I presented to yesterday's group. The theme was sounds.
Opening Song: Hello, How Are You?
If I ever have a regular story time gig again, I have got to let this hello song go. It's not as engaging as it once was, and it does not get people excited.
Song: If You'd Like to Read a Book
I got a lot of participation with this song - everybody caught on right away to the tune and they seemed to enjoy the hoorays.
Book: Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats
I have absolutely no idea if the kids liked this book. There were babies, toddlers, and preschoolers in the room, all the way up to age 4, so it clearly did not appeal to every child. My own Little Miss Muffet (age 2) didn't even look at me during this story. She was watching the audience watch me instead.
Song: Let Everyone Whistle Like Me
This is a song I know because of Bob McGrath from Sesame Street and Pete Seeger, both of whom have recorded it as "Let Everyone Clap Hands Like Me." I changed the words to suit my noisy theme, so the verses were as follows:
Book: The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins
I asked everyone to say "ding-dong" every time the doorbell rang, and most of the moms did it.
Song: Hands Up High
Everyone liked this one.
Rhyme: This is Big, Big, Big
Book: Rain by Robert Kalan, illustrated by Donald Crews
This book was most appropriate for the babies and toddlers of the group, but it didn't engage the room as a whole. (Except my own kid, who said she loved it, and did actually turn around to face me and listen to it.)
Song: I Like to Hear the Raindrops Fall
This is normally a piggyback song about the five senses, but I made some alterations to have it focus just on hearing. We sang about hearing raindrops fall, thunder clap, puddles splash, and breezes blow.
Rhyme: Quiet Quiet said the Queen
I wrote this as a flannel board. I love it. I tried it as an action rhyme. I made them do it twice. Never have children looked at me with such confusion. I almost cut this from the plan, but thought I would regret not doing it. Now I regret doing it. It would have gone over fine with a different group, I'm sure (one little girl did the whole thing with me), but it will be a while before I have the guts to try again.
Book: Hush Little Baby by Margot Zemach
This was my weakest book choice, but it didn't seem to have any particular impact on the audience, for the positive or for the negative.
Songs: ABCs / Twinkle Twinkle Little Star / Baa Baa Black Sheep
Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This