Monday, April 25, 2011

Family Story Time, 4/25

Monday is my most challenging story time day for two reasons. One is that I typically only work every other Monday, so there is no sense of routine for this group. They have a different experience each time. The other reason is that I have yet to see the same group twice. Last week, for example, I heard the group was almost entirely older kids - preschool and elementary school. Today, though, the group was half babies! Needless to say, what I prepared for older kids wasn't going to fly, so I had to get a little creative on the spot. Here's how everything unfolded. (Our theme was space.)

Opening song: If You're Happy and You Know It

Song: The Wheels on the Bus

Book: Wynken, Blynken, and Nod by Eugene W. Field, illustrated by Giselle Potter
This is a beautiful interpretation of this old bedtime poem. Babies and big kids alike really enjoyed looking at the shades of blue and gold that make up the "sea of dew" on which the sailors travel through the moonlight. I don't know that kids fully understood the realization that Wynken and Blynken are eyes and Nod is a head, but they were clearly drawn to the book nonetheless.

Song: Monkeys on the Bed

Book: What The Moon Sees / What the Sun Sees by Nancy Tafuri
This two-sided book shows us what the moon and sun each see during their hours in the sky. We started with the moon side, then flipped over and read about the sun. The preschoolers in the audience enjoyed pointing out the various things they noticed, including the owl's small beak compared to the hugeness of the moon, and the fact that the bustling people were sharing a page with a yellow taxi. Our copy of this book is missing a page, which I didn't realize until we got to it,  but no one seemed to mind. I chose this book because it seemed baby-friendly, but it wound up striking a chord with everyone.

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star (a cappella, sung twice, second time with hand motions)

Book: Our Stars by Anne Rockwell
This is a non-fiction book. It would have been really good for 6- and 7-year-olds, but it did not fly for little ones. I wound up paraphrasing most of the text and quickly rushed us to the end, as a few kids actually wandered out of the room. Oops!

Song: One, Two, I Love You (Numbers Are Our Friends)

Song: Aikendrum by Raffi (from Singable Songs for the Very Young)

Song: Where is Thumbkin?

Book:  Zoom! Zoom! Zoom! I'm Off to the Moon by Dan Yaccarino
Far and away the best book of this session. Rhyming text tells of a boy's imagined trip to space. He suits up, lifts off, and explores, then lands back on Earth in time for a hero's welcome and a snuggle back in his own bed. Brightly colored illustrations show the differences between Earth and space, and my favorite line describes the entire experience perfectly: "There's outer space all over the place!" 

Closing Song: Skinnamarink

The tentative plan at this moment is to repeat the space theme for Baby/Toddler story time tomorrow, with different books, but we'll see if I carry that through, or change my mind at the last minute!


  1. Whew--with this kind of crowd, do you bring lots of different books with you, or can you dash back and grab "more baby books" or "more older books" if need be?

    I have to say that it has NEVER occurred to me that Wynken and Blynken are eyes and Nod a head--I could blame all the versions I've seen with pictures of 3 little boys, but it's more likely my lack of attention! I need to go back and reread the rhyme, now!

  2. Libby - This time I came prepared with two sets of books on the same theme, and put them all on display, and then just read the ones I thought would work best. I have yet to leave the room to find more books, but I wouldn't be above doing that if I had to!

    I used to hear Wynken, Blynken and Nod every day at the nursery school I worked in and never figured that out either, but the rhyme apparently says it: "Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes / And Nod is a little head / And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies / Is a wee one's trundle-bed." Who knew?

    I have to say, this book didn't really emphasize the point, either, and it's pretty easy to miss when the whole rest of the story is little boys in a boat!


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