Friday, October 28, 2011

Baby/Toddler Lap Time, 10/28

Opening Song: Hello, how are you? 

Rhyme: This is Big, Big, Big (twice)

Rhyme: One Little Ghost

Song: Brown Squirrel 

Song: Itsy Bitsy Spider

Book: Trick or Treat? by Melanie Walsh (2009)
I sensed that this book wouldn't be a good read-aloud, and I should have trusted my gut. Too many small flaps to open while also holding the book. I got basically no reaction at all. Also, the book felt disjointed and had no real sense of continuity.

Song: I'm a Little Teapot

Song: Head and Shoulders 

Flannel Board Song: Five Little Pumpkins
I (temporarily) lost a pumpkin before story time, so we had one imagined pumpkin, and four tangible ones. Ugh. The magic of this song has finally started to wear off, too, so it's probably going to be retired for  the season after today.

Song: One Little Monster

My sense of timing is all confused, so I had to add some songs to the end of what I had planned. Though I don't think anyone else realized it, I felt very awkward and rushed today.

Book: Halloween Faces by Nancy Davis (2010)
I thought this would be a decent read-aloud, but I was wrong again! I really think I need to stop trying to read more than one book to this group, and focus more on flannel boards and rhymes.

Song: The Wheels on the Bus (Raffi version)

Song: ABCD Medley

Song: Chickadee

Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This

Halloween Family Story Time and Craft, 10/27

This is the only story time I have ever done where I didn't even bring the CD player into the room. And there is a very strong part of me that, after the success of today's session, wants never to bring the CD player in there again. There is just something about that connection you can make with kids with just your own voice. I think adults also have a harder time being rude (sometimes) when someone sits in front of the room and sings without accompaniment. This story time was fantastic - one of the best I've ever done, I think - and I'm really hoping to do more like it this Winter.

Part I: Halloween Story Time

Opening Song: Hello, how are you? 

Song: If You're a Monster and You Know It

Book:  One Witch by Laura Leuck (2005)
The preschoolers, kindergartners, and first graders in my group started saying "ewww" at the end of every page of this book, which was really funny, and kept the interest of some of the smaller kids who might not have been following the story.

Rhyme: One Little Ghost

Book: The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams, illustrated by Megan Lloyd (1986)
I know I could have used props or a flannel board or something to make this book more interesting, but I do a lot of that already, so I just read it straight. Some of the older kids caught onto the refrain and said  the sound of each article of clothing along with me. 

Song: Horns and Fangs, Knees and Claws

Song: Flap, Flap, Flap Little Bats

Book: Sheep Trick or Treat by Nancy Shaw (1997)
You know, Sheep in a Jeep is a great book, but some of its sequels really tie up my tongue with their alliteration and rhyme.  I don't think most of  the kids had a good sense of the plot of this story, and I really didn't either.

Song: One Little Monster

Flannel Board Song: Five Little Pumpkins

Poem:  I wrote a Halloween poem to accompany our craft for today!  Click here for the pdf. And here's what it looks like:

It needs a title, but here's how it goes:

Flap, flap, flap
go the wings of the bat.

"Meow, meow, meow,"
says the little black cat.

The little white ghost says,
"Boo! Boo! Boo!" 

And the jack-o-lantern says,
"Happy Halloween to you!" 

Part II: Popsicle Stick Puppet Craft
After I read the poem and showed my example craft, each child received a sheet with four Halloween creatures on it, as well as a copy of my poem.

The craft page looks like this. (Download it here.)

 (I only used the one on the left, but another option would have been to print both sides and have them glue the puppets together around the stick to make them two-sided. But I was trying to simplify and save paper!)

I actually had the kids line up and I handed each of them their sheets personally. I did that for three main reasons:
  1. To bring order to the chaotic sprint from the story time room to the craft table.
  2. To ensure that every child who attended the story time would definitely get a craft sheet. (Our story room is carpeted and has no real breathing room for crafting, so I do the crafts out in the open space of the library, which means I have to allow walk-ins to do them, too. That is usually fine, and great for our stats, but as an upcoming Gettin Crafty post will show, there are days where greed gets the best of some people. Better to be safe than sorry.)
  3. To help me count how many kids attended the program. (I had 40 craft sheets, and had 15 left when I was done, so that meant 25 kids were there. Then I just had to count up the babies not doing the craft and voila! Instant stats.) 
I arranged for someone else to put the craft supplies onto the craft table for me, so when the kids emerged from the story time room, they found crayons, popsicle sticks, glue sticks, and scissors waiting for them.

Here are the instructions for the craft:
  1. Color Halloween creatures.
  2. Cut out creatures (possibly with the help of an adult.)
  3. Glue a popsicle stick to the back of each colored creature.
  4. Use puppets to perform the poem.
I was pretty proud of my little poem to begin with, since it came to me so quickly, but on top of that, I happened to overhear two little friends - a boy and a girl around age 5 - making plans to perform the poem together for their families. I can think of no higher praise.

Flannel Friday: Irish Story Time

This week's Flannel Friday has an Irish theme. I know it's not St. Patrick's Day for a good long while yet, but my library system is participating in a festival about the countries in the European Union, and my branch is doing a preschool story time focused on Ireland. The story time is happening next week, so I'm putting the finishing touches on my repertoire today. Because I expect the average age of my audience to be around two years old, I'm using a lot more flannel boards than usual because the books we have on Ireland are much better suited to older children.

Here's some of what I have planned:

The Colors on the Irish Flag
(Tune: The Farmer in the Dell)

Orange, white, and green
Orange, white, and green
The colors on the Irish flag
Are orange white and green.

My idea for this song comes from Melissa at Mel's Desk, who suggested a red, white, and blue flannel activity for the Fourth of July earlier this year. I have a set of clip art photos and drawings of objects that match each of the three colors on the Irish flag. Depending on the age of the kids who actually show up, I will either have them put up the objects, or I will just ask the group to tell me what color each one is, and put them up myself. As each object is place on the board, we'll sing a verse like this:

The tennis ball is green
The tennis ball is green
The colors on the Irish flag 
Are orange, white, and green. 

Five Little Fairies
(Lyrics transcribed from Track 46 on Demon Music Group's
100 Songs for Children: Sing-Along Favourites)

Five little fairies
Sitting on the floor
One ran away,
And then there were four. 

Four little fairies 
Sitting in a tree 
One flew away,
And then there were three.

Three little fairies 
how do you do?
One went "Pop!" 
And then there were two.

Two little fairies
Lying in the sun
One fell asleep, 
And then there was one. 

One little fairy
All alone
Say goodbye,
It's time to go home. 

I created my fairies using this coloring sheet. I colored them in using Microsoft Paint, then printed them out and covered them with Contact paper as usual. I will sing this song a cappella, because it saves the trouble of having to burn the recording to CD.

One Green Shamrock

One green shamrock
in the morning dew,
Another one sprouted,
and then there were two.

Two green shamrocks
growing beneath a tree, 
Another one sprouted,
and then there were three.

Three green shamrocks
by the cottage door
Another one sprouted,
and then there were four.

Four green shamrocks
near a beehive
Another one sprouted,
and then there were five.

Five little shamrocks
bright and emerald green
Think of all the luck
these shamrocks will bring.

I love finding rhymes that count up to five, instead of down to one. It's a simple thing, but it feels like it adds such variety and possibility to the "five little" formula.

My pdf files for all three of these flannel boards are below:
This week's Flannel Friday host is Tracy at 1234 More Story Times. She's asking us to provide our links either in comments to her post, or on Twitter (@tcy28). Also check out Flannel Friday's boards on Pinterest, and the list of previous Flannel Friday round-ups at So Tomorrow.

Have a great weekend!
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