Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Preschool Story Time, 11/2/16

This morning, after a three-year hiatus from regular weekly story times, I made my return to the "story time stage." Every Wednesday for the rest of this school year, I will be presenting a public story time at the local Baptist church. This week's session was small - 10 children (including my own), and 6 adults (including me) - but I expect that number to rise in the weeks to come. Because it was the first session, I used the material I know best, so I would have the chance to get to know this audience without having to also learn new songs, books, etc. I am used to having large, distracted groups, so I was surprised by how attentive these kids were, and how quickly we breezed through everything. I'll be planning more carefully for next week for sure!

Opening Song: Story Time is Starting
Hello, How Are You? used to be my favorite hello song, but I got sick of it, so now I use this one, sung to the tune of If You're Happy and You Know It.

Story time is starting - clap your hands!
Story time is starting - clap your hands!
Story time's begun. 
I hope that you have fun,
Story time is starting - clap your hands!

I sang three verses: clap your hands, stomp your feet, and shout hooray.

Book: Owl Babies by Martin Waddell, illustrated by Patrick Benson

Song: Flap Little Owls
I used a bat song and changed some of the verses to make it more suitable for owls. The owls flapped, snatched, swooped, and slept. The kids loved this. (Note to myself for future reference: the transition from Owl Babies to this song was the smoothest and most natural of the session.)

Book: Monkey See, Look at Me! by Lorena Siminovich

Rhyme: Monkeys on the Bed
In the photo at the top of this post you can see a glove with monkey faces attached. I brought it with me thinking I might try it out, but then decided not to add a new prop to my repertoire during the first week. There will be time to try new things in a month or so.

Rhyme: This is Big Big Big
I could tell I was running short so I threw in this rhyme. I haven't done it in many months, and halfway through I realized I might not actually know the words. But automatic pilot kicked in and I got through it twice without issue.

Book: From Head to Toe by Eric Carle
All the kids got really into this book and did all the prescribed motions. There wasn't really anything they didn't like, but I would say this was the favorite.

Song: Head and Shoulders, Baby
I was undecided about which movement song I would do here, so I had several jotted down on my plan, but since they were so into From Head to Toe, I went with this one, which required a lot of different movements.We did the following verses:
  • Head and shoulders
  • Knees and ankles
  • Tummy and back
  • Do the twist
  • Turn around 
  • Sit right down

Book: Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin and James Dean
The kids didn't really know this character, and I didn't give my absolute best reading, but it still got applause. I actually think Pete works better in large inattentive crowds. I may not need to rely on him here.

Ukulele Medley: ABCs/Twinkle Twinkle Little Star/Baa Baa Black Sheep

Song with Puppet: Mr. Sun
I no longer have access to the Folkmanis sunshine puppet I used to use for this song because it belonged to the library, so I bought a big sunshine cushion from Ikea and held it up to sing the song. The kids loved Mr. Sun, and at the end of every story time, each child got a chance to give him a big hug.

Ukulele Song: Aikendrum
I felt like I was running short, and this is typically a crowd pleaser, so I decided to play it. I found that I was kind of sick of it, though. I think I need to seek out some new material to keep myself interested.

Goodbye Song: Story Time is Over
This is the exact same thing as the hello song, but with these lyrics:

Story time is over - clap your hands!
Story time is over - clap your hands!
Story time is done. 
I hope that you had fun,
Story time is over - clap your hands!

It's really good to be back at story time. I felt a little rusty, but I'm sure that was only obvious to me, and now that I know what an enthusiastic audience I have, I'll be eager to try some new and different things I never could have done with the huge audiences I used to have in DC. Check back next Wednesday for my write-up of session 2!
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