Saturday, November 12, 2016

Preschool Story Time, 11/9/16 (Houses Theme)

This week's story time (the second ever at this location) had triple the attendance of last week's session. (There were six families last week.) There were five moms (including me) from my own mom's group, two families who belong to the church who were repeat attendees from last week, and a bunch of other families who attended today for the first time. Since leaving the library, I haven't done a story time for an audience of this size, and it felt great to be back in my element.

When I was planning this story time, I initially borrowed a bunch of construction books from the library, but then realized that houses made a much more interesting theme, and wound up using books I owned to plan a story time around that topic instead.

Opening Song: Story Time is Starting

Book: Stanley the Builder by William Bee
I have always liked the Stanley books, but have had mixed results using them in story time. The bulldozer on the cover of this book won over most of the kids, however, and it was a nice way to introduce the theme.

Song: Builder Stanley Had a Shop
During the planning process, I considered using Old MacDonald Had a Woodshop, but then decided it would be easier to do an abbreviated version as a flannel board. Old MacDonald became "Builder Stanley" and we sang about his saw (which went "zzzt zzzt"), his screwdriver ("squeak squeak"), his hammer ("tap tap"), and his pliers ("pinch pinch.")

Flannel Board: Little Mouse, Little Mouse
I had never done this activity in story time before, and I really didn't like it. There were too many kids for them to take individual guesses, so I had kids calling out random colors, and of course, the first time through, they guessed it on the second try, so I had to surreptitiously hide the mouse again with everyone watching me. I love doing this game one-on-one with my own kid, but in story time, it just seems like a group can't really get anything out of it. I will definitely do more flannel boards for this audience, but not this one.

Book: A House is a House For Me by Mary Ann Hoberman, illustrated by Betty Fraser
Because I have to take the bus to story time with two small children, my friend picks up my books the day before and drives them to the church for me. Unfortunately, this means I didn't get a chance to read through this book before my performance, which means I didn't remember until I was in the midst of sharing it at story time that it is super-long. To their credit, the group really stuck with it, and one member of the audience (a grandmother) actually came up to discuss that specific book with me afterwards. So, it wasn't a total failure, but that was a big rookie mistake I will not be making again.

Rhyme: I Want to Build a Little House
This is a rhyme I found the day before story time and spent some time memorizing. It was worth it. The kids did a beautiful job with it, and it's so ingrained in my memory now that I'll be able to pull it out any time I need an extra rhyme.

Book: We Were Tired of Living in a House by Liesel Moak Skorpen, illustrated by Doris Burn
I love reading this book aloud. The text is so pleasing to speak and to hear, and the plot is basic enough to be followed by toddlers, but not boring for adults. This book has been reillustrated but we own the original, with the black and white illustrations, and it was a big hit. I'm disappointed in myself for allowing it to be overshadowed by the length of the previous book; we may revisit this story in a few months to give it its proper due.

Song: We're Climbing Up Our Tree
Using the Farmer in the Dell as my model, I created a piggyback song specifically to accompany this book. I wrote a verse about each of the places the children in the story go to live before returning home.

We're climbing up our tree.
We're climbing up our tree.
Heigh-ho, the derry-oh! 
We're climbing up our tree.

We're splashing in our pond...
We're stomping our cave...
We're swimming in our sea...
We're sleeping in our house...

This was really well-received. I think everyone in the room participated!

Song with Puppet: Mr. Sun
I had another book and activity planned here, but realized I was probably going to run overtime if  I didn't skip ahead, so I pulled out the sunshine and sang the song twice through.

Song: Moon Moon Moon
To gear up for the last book, which has a night-time focus, we sang this song. The "pizza pie" line at the end got a big laugh.

Book: The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson, illustrated by Beth Krommes
This book was the perfect length for a final story, and also set the tone for winding down and saying goodbye.

Song with Ukulele: ABCs / Twinkle Twinkle Little Star / Baa Baa Black Sheep
The uke was really out of tune. If I'm saving this until the end, I need to retune live in front of the audience. Which I hate. But it must be done.

Goodbye Song: Chickadee
I decided to use this as my goodbye song instead of repeating the same song from the beginning. Story time ended on a weird note mostly because there was some confusion over whether I or a representative of the church was meant to make housekeeping announcements. But we'll get that right next week. I invited the kids up to hug Mr. Sun, but only a handful did so. I'm still not sure whether the group has fully warmed up to me, but it has only been two weeks.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...