Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Very Talented Eric Carle Preschool Story Time, 2/22/13

 The Very Talented Eric Carle Preschool Story Time, 2/22/13

I had a busy afternoon yesterday, so I ran out of time and forgot to take a photo of my set-up for this story time. I also brought my very hungry caterpillar (shown above), which I bought at the Eric Carle Museum, to work with me, and then forgot to actually bring him to story time.So that was kind of a disappointment. However, despite my forgetfulness, this was one of the best preschool story times ever. The audience for this story time has evolved a lot since September. It used to be a lot of four year olds, but now we're getting a wider age range. Because we used beads this week, I really discouraged folks from bringing in babies who might try to swallow them, so some of the toddlers and babies didn't join us, but we did have a couple of two year olds. The average age was probably three and a half.

Book: The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle
The kids all knew this book, so it was easy to get them to call out the names of the animals and make their sounds. One older sibling, who is a first grader, seemed really annoyed with being asked what a cow says, but a kindergarten big sister got really into it, so that was nice.

Flannel Board: Four Colorful Spiders
This is a flannel board rhyme I wrote to use at the spider-themed story time I did on Halloween. I was looking forward to using it again because it's simple and kids are intrigued by bugs. In the past, my preschoolers have not liked flannel boards, but I'm going to start trying to incorporate them more, because this was a huge hit. Even after story time was over, kids were still interested in using the pieces to retell the story.

Book: The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle
This book is long and repetitive, but the kids loved guessing what might be bigger than each creature the ladybug refuses to fight. I kind of liked doing my longer book in the middle of the story time. By then, everyone was settled into story time and fully focused, and all the stragglers were finished wandering in.

Song with ukulele: Bugs Around the Town (Tune: The Wheels on the Bus)
I found this song here, then added my own verses, shown below. I asked the kids to do the motions while I played the ukulele. Some of them did. Some of them just listened instead. This group was especially intrigued by the ukulele, and a few of  the kids came up to me afterward for a turn to strum the strings. One little boy also suggested that if a string ever gets broken, I can use yarn to fix it! Too cute.

The ladybug with spots goes wiggle, wiggle wiggle
The firefly at night goes blink blink blink
The bees in the flowers go buzz buzz buzz....
The ants in the grass go march march march...
The spiders on their webs crawl up and down...
The grasshopper’s legs go jump, jump, jump...
The caterpillar in the field goes creep creep creep....

Book: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
I had big plans for this story earlier in the week, but ran out of time to implement them. I wanted to create a clothesline of the different foods and hang them across the room, but I didn't think it would be as fun to throw it together at the last minute, so I skipped it and decided on a simple craft instead.

Craft: Beaded Pipe Cleaner Caterpillars 
I saw this idea on Pinterest when I was searching for activities related to The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I had some dark green pipe cleaner and some pony beads, and the kids got very excited about making patterns. Most kids did make caterpillars, but one little boy made a snake, and a couple of girls made bracelets. Only one mom became overly concerned with doing things the "right" way and I responded to her question by saying, "I make it up as I go along." Once I said that, she was content to do the same thing. I really hate the way some of our customers treat our craft supplies, but this group has done a wonderful job of cleaning up and following  the rules the last few times we have done crafts that I might start incorporating more of these simple activities.

For more ideas to use with a caterpillar theme, check out of my Caterpillars and Butterflies board on Pinterest. I also have a board for Bugs and Spiders 

I use the same hello and goodbye songs at almost every session. Click here for the tunes and words. For descriptions of each of my story times, click here.
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