Attendance was back down this week. This was partly because my moms group was on a field trip, so none of the members could make it to story time. I'm not sure why others who have previously attended didn't come, but the most likely theory is that it was one of the last reasonably warm days we're going to have. (I hope it's not that they were scared away by how big the audience was last time!) In any case, I enjoyed the story time, and I think the kids did as well.
Opening Song: Story Time is Starting
Book: Hello, Day! by Anita Lobel
The audience agreed with me that rabbits do not make a sound. I'm still not sure what Anita Lobel was thinking. But this was a nice way to break the ice with a new group. Even the oldest child in the room, who was around six, got into making the animal sounds.
Song: When Pigs Get Up in the Morning
I forgot to bring stick puppets so I had to just hold flannel board pieces in my hands. I only had three animals with me, and that felt like too few, so I had everyone use their hands to make a duck for the final verse. Though it was a decision I made on the fly, I liked it a lot, and I want to make better use of "props" we can all make with our hands. Because I have to travel by bus to the story time, and I rely on a friend to transport my supplies, I've become a lot more interested in limiting the number of props I use.
Book: Bear's Day Out by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Adrian Reynolds
I like this book because it has great rhythmic refrains on every page that the kids can repeat. I was a little nervous that my small audience would be shy about repeating them but that was not the case at all.
Song: Sunny Day
I realize as I'm looking at this plan that I basically only read books and sang songs. I really should have switched this song out for a fingerplay or action rhyme, especially since this group has responded well to action rhymes. The song was fine, but I don't like the hand motions as much as I used to. Blue is the Lake would have been a good alternative.
Song: Mr. Sun
Book: Thank You, Thanksgiving by David Milgrim
I threw in one Thanksgiving book since we're not having story time next week. (This is the perk of doing volunteer story times: no obligation to have story time on days when it is unlikely anyone will show.) This book never seems to read completely clearly on its own, so I did a lot of additional talking about the details in the illustrations. I would have preferred a different book, I think, but it's hard to get holiday books from the public libraries so I made do with what was available.
Song: Thanks a Lot
In the past, I have done this Raffi song as a flannel board, but I needed an action song and decided to use simple motions instead of images. It worked really well. Everyone sang along and did the motions, and it was probably my favorite part of the whole session. Here are the motions we used:
Thanks for the...
...sun in the sky (hands over head in a round shape)
...clouds so high (raise hands in the air and wiggle fingers)
...whispering wind (finger to lips, say "shh")
...birds that sing (flap arms like wings)
...moonlit night (hands over head in a round shape)
...stars so bright (hands up, wiggle fingers)
Song: Five Little Pumpkins Round
I have never done this as a fingerplay, and probably would not choose to do so again. Still, the kids liked counting the pumpkins/fingers and it filled just enough time to make the session last as long as I wanted it to.
Songs with Ukulele: ABCs / Twinkle Twinkle Little Star / Baa Baa Black Sheep
I'm going to take a break from the ukulele for a few weeks, mostly because I was having my friend keep it for me so she could shuttle it back and forth every week, and I was missing having it at home to practice and to use with my own kids. This medley is fine, but I don't need to rely on it to refocus the group like I did when I was doing story time at the library. I'd rather learn something new and interesting and reintroduce it in a month or so.
Book: Tell Me About Your Day Today by Mem Fox, illustrated by Lauren Stringer
I'm not entirely sure the meaning of the illustrations in this book translated to everyone in the audience, but it's a sweet book, with a gentle rhythm and reading it aloud was a pleasure.
Since we sang good morning to the animals at the start of story time, we sang them to sleep at the end. We used the same duck technique as mentioned above.
I'm not completely sold on this as a goodbye song. For some reason, this audience just doesn't seem to love it as much as previous groups. But I'm going to stick with it for now and see if it catches on more.