Thursday, July 23, 2015

Summer Camp Story Time, 7/10/15

When I was visiting my family recently, I volunteered to do a story time for my mom's summer camp kids. This audience included 20-25 "pee wees", all between the ages of 4 and 6, and my theme was nature. I haven't done a story time for this age group since I left the library, so this was a special treat, and the kids were one of the best groups I've ever had! Here is what I shared with them. 

Opening Song with Ukulele: Hello, how are you? 
I spent the morning before this performance playing every hello song I know on the ukulele and trying to choose one other than my usual. And then  I went with the usual. As basic as it is, it really works, and the kids happily participated.

Book: Who Was Here? by Mia Posada 
I received a digital ARC of this book when it came out last year, and it was the first book I chose for this story time. It is a guessing game which shows animal footprints, provides some rhyming clues, and then asks the reader, "Who was here?" The only issue I had was that some of the pages provided clues for two animals, and I had to manage guesses for both at the same time. (It helped that the kids just naturally raised their hands instead of just calling out, which is not something I usually enforce.) Otherwise, this book was a much better choice than either How to Be a Nature Detective or Around the Pond: Who's Been Here? which I used when I did this theme three years ago

Book: Birdsongs by Betsy Franco and Steve Jenkins 
I love this book, which focuses on birds and their calls. The text counts down from ten to one by asking the reader to make the sound of the first bird mentioned ten times, the next one nine times, and so on. It can sometimes be difficult to get the kids to count all the calls together, but this group was amazing. I think there was only one time where we had an extra "tweet" or "chirp" after the count was finished. Otherwise, they were perfect. (Incidentally, I read this book to Little Miss Muffet so many times in preparation for the story time, that any time we mention a chickadee now, she pretends to count six "dees" on her fingers.) 

This song (which is one of my favorite extension activities for school-age kids) continues to be my secret weapon. I used the summer version, since this is a summer camp, and the kids laughed on cue when I introduced each silly element. I could probably have done more verses, but kids were starting to call out suggestions and I didn't want us to run out of time, so we just did moose antlers, bat wings, squirrel tail, and tiger claws. 

Book with Ukulele: Over in the Ocean in a Coral Reef by Marianne Berkes 
I have never been able to do this book with the ukulele because I don't usually have help. This time, though, I enlisted my mom to do the hand motions, and a camp counselor to hold the book, and we turned it into a multimedia presentation. We were not that well-rehearsed, but the kids were into it anyway, and they enjoyed seeing some of their fish friends from Finding Nemo

Song: Taba Naba 
It has been a long time since I did this song with a group, and I had a harder time modeling the motions than I thought I would. The kids didn't mind at all, and seemed to enjoy the challenge, but I know I could have explained it a lot more clearly. I will work on the presentation if I ever have an opportunity like this again. 

Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This
I didn't even bother trying to come up with a different goodbye song. This one worked fine, as always. 
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