Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Preschool Story Time (Monster Theme), 10/17

Today's theme was MONSTERS.

I am really proud of this particular story time. It is the first session ever in the entire history of me doing story time that I purposely did all of my own singing. The music selections for today included only one recorded song, which we used for shaking our shaker eggs. Otherwise, it was just me engaging with the kids. Some things needed tweaking, as I'll point out below, and a little girl did announce fifteen minutes in that she was ready for me to be done, but I still felt a strong sense of success when it was over, and got a group hug from the kids who sat in the front row.

Here is my monster repertoire:

Opening Song: Hello, how are you? 

Song: If You're a Monster and You Know It
There are a billion versions of this out there, including the book by Rebecca and Ed Emberley, for which there is a recording. I sort of pulled my favorite motions from each version I found, and put my own together.

Book: Little Goblins Ten by Pamela Jane, illustrated by Jane Manning (2011) 
This book is based on Over in the Meadow, and counts various spooky creatures. The zombie page grossed me out, but overall, the book was gentle enough not to scare small kids.

Rhyme: If I Were a Monster
(Thanks to Mary for pointing me here for this rhyme.)

My group was with me right up until the last line, then they looked at me like I was from space. I think the rhyme actually works well without that line, anyway, and would probably leave it out next time.

Book: There Was an Old Monster by Rebecca, Adrian, and Ed Emberley (2009)
This book is a new twist on the old song, There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. I thought it was a lot of fun, and one or two kids seemed really engrossed, but I still had the sense that it wasn't as great a choice as I initially expected.

Song: Horns and Fangs, Knees and Claws
This is the song I performed in my interview for the job I have now, but today was my first time doing it with kids. (I wound up leaving my old job just before Halloween last year and didn't have the chance.) And I have to say - this was the hit of the session. The kids begged me to do it faster and faster, and I did my best.'

Song: Les Zombies et les Loups-Garous
This was a last-minute addition and a good idea in theory only. I loved the idea of including this song - the title of which is French for "the zombies and the werewolves" - but the kids hated the shaker eggs. I have  tried to use shaker eggs twice with this group now, and they're just not a very enthusiastic bunch. And I hate dancing and looking stupid anyway, so it's a win-win I think. Still, I was proud of myself for connecting this song to this theme. 
Book:  Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (1963)
No monster story time could ever be complete without this book. I got a chill at the wonderful ending yet again when I was reviewing it this afternoon. The kids seemed bored, but I don't care. It's the best. 

Song: One Little Monster
I revamped my usual One Little Finger song to suit my monster theme, and this was another good one.

Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This

Other books I considered reading for this story time include:

Find more monster story times on these other blogs:

A full description of this, and all my weekly story time programs can be found here.


  1. Thanks for the shout-out, Katie! I love the idea of Horns, Fangs, Knees & Claws - will have to add that to my repertoire this week.

    1. Same! This one is easy and fun - most songs and rhymes I adapt to fit a theme just go over kids' heads, but this one is nice and simple and you could probably start off with the original too.

  2. I'm doing monster storytime next weekk in honor of Halloween. I'm actually doing two of the other titles you mentioned: Go Away Big Green Monster (one of my personal favorites) and If You're a Monster and You Know It. I saw the Goblins book on the booklist and was debating whether to order it. Did the kdis like it?

    For Halloween preschool craft, I am doing the book the 13 Days of Halloween. I love that book!-Michelle

  3. @abadcaseofbooks - You're very welcome! Horns, Fangs is so much fun. Even my school age groups had fun with it!

    @booklady1017 - The kids seemed to like it. I think the boys on the older end of my audience - ages four and five - were the ones who liked it the most.

    My theme for next week is Bats. We have a lot of Halloween books, I had to spread them out over a few weeks.

  4. Love your honesty, Katie! Not everything always goes over as well as I hope in storytimes either but I always feel proud when I put a lot of effort into producing something different and theme-appropriate (also I find at least one parent always thanks me for my effort and enthusiasm, which is encouraging). And I agree that if a book is good (or in the case of Where the Wild Things Are, GREAT and a timeless classic), I think it's important to expose kids to that. Not everything has to be flashy. Maybe they'll appreciate it later on, and at least you're setting the foundation for nostalgia!


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