Sunday, January 29, 2017

Preschool Story Time, 1/25/17

Our story time group was small this week, since the weather was nice. In attendance were my own girls (ages 3 and 1), a three-year-old boy, and two little girls around two. I decided to stick with my trend of unthemed story times, and it made planning feel so much easier.

Opening Song: Story Time is Starting

Book: Tinyville Town Gets to Work! by Brian Biggs
This was kind of long and a bit technical for toddlers, but they loved it. I think it was the combination of transportation and community helpers that really grabbed their attention.

Song: The Wheels on the Bus

Book: Titch by Pat Hutchins
I think this was the only time I read this book at story time and felt that it went over well. I think 18-24 months is really the sweet spot for this story, and most of the kids were in that range.

Song: Sing a Song of Opposites
This song was a lot of fun, and even more so for me because my one-year-old started doing the motions along with me.

Song: Head and Shoulders

Song: Mr. Sun

Book: Pug Meets Pig by Sue Lowell Gallion, illustrated by Joyce Wan
The kids like the illustrations for this one. This is exactly the kind of book I have been wanting for this group - short, but with a bit of plot.

Rhyme: Wiggle Fingers

Song: Itsy Bitsy Spider

Book: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
I am not sure I have ever read this at story time. I actually found it difficult to hold the smaller pages open, and doubly so because some of the kids moved their seats mid-story and I had to move the book to accommodate them.

Song: Butterfly Gals
I love this song. This group did too.

Song: Chickadee

Friday, January 20, 2017

Preschool Story Time, 1/18/17

Little Bo Peep, age 1, "helping" Mommy set up for story time. 
Everyone who attended this story time was a repeat visitor. In addition to my girls (ages 1 and 3), there were 3 boys (all around age 2) and two girls (ages 1.5 and probably almost 3). I decided not to do themes for a while, so this was kind of a hodgepodge of books I own and some I borrowed from the library. I ran short, despite reading five books, so the end of the session is really just a sing-along of random favorites. I need to plan longer books for next time!

Opening Song: Story Time is Starting

Book: Here Comes Jack Frost by Kazuno Kohara

Rhyme: Little Jackie Jack Frost
I found several Jack Frost rhymes and songs, but each one had something about it that I didn't like. I finally just pulled a few of them together into my own version. It went like this:

Little Jackie Jack Frost pinched my nose
Little Jackie Jack Frost pinched my toes
I went into my house and I shut the door
Then little Jackie Jack Frost didn't pinch me anymore! 

Book: Under My Hood I Have a Hat by Karla Kuskin and Fumi Kosaka
The ending of this book got a nice giggle from a few people.

Song: Head and Shoulders

Rhyme: This is Big Big Big

Book: Toot Toot Beep Beep by Emma Garcia

Song: The Wheels on the Bus

Song: Mr. Sun

Book: Shape by Shape by Suse MacDonald
I could feel that the audience thought there should be more to this book after the brachiosaurus is revealed. I can't say I disagree.

Song: Stomp Like a Dinosaur (tune)
This was a hit. The motions were just simple enough for two-year-olds. We stomped, flew, and chomped all around.

Song: Here We Go Up Up Up
I threw this in because I knew I still had 10 minutes to go and I wasn't sure how I was going to fill it. It felt out of place to me, but I don't think anyone else noticed.

Song: ABCs / Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Book: Mary Had a Little Lamb by Sarah Josepha Hale, illustrated by Salley Mavor
The kids were surprisingly into this book, which I did not expect.

Song: The Itsy Bitsy Spider

Song: Chickadee

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Preschool Story Time, 1/11/17

I was supposed to return to story time on January 4th, but my whole household caught a bad cold, and I wound up having to cancel. So my first story time of the year was yesterday. I decided to return to my original approach from when I first started performing story times, which is to avoid themes and simply read good books. It made planning a lot easier, and I think the story time flowed better than the others I have done recently. There were 8 kids in attendance including my own, and here is what we did:

Opening Song: Story Time is Starting

Book: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr. and Eric Carle
This book was very well received. With the exception of my three-year-old and her friend, all the other kids were under two years old and this was just right for them. The two big kids happily filled in the names of the animals for me, and my one-year-old stood right up front grinning ear to ear.

Rhyme: Blue is the Lake

Book: Here Are My Hands by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault, illustrated by Ted Rand
I asked the kids to show me the different parts of their bodies as they were named by the text. That worked well for this age group and it seemed to keep the adults' attentions.

Song: Head and Shoulders

Rhyme: This is Big, Big, Big

Book: King Bidgood's in the Bathtub by Audrey and Don Wood
This book has always been hit or miss at story time. This was probably the best it has ever been received.

Rhyme: One Elephant in the Bathtub

Song: Mr. Sun

Book: Little Penguins by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Christian Robinson
This book has a very brief text, but slowing down the pace and being careful not to flip through the pages too quickly helped make it work.

Song: One Little Two Little Three Little Penguins

We sang this song as follows: 

One little two little three little penguins
Four little five little six little penguins
Seven little eight little nine little penguins
Ten little penguins... waddle! 

In subsequent verses, I replaced waddle with other actions: sneeze, turn around, jump, sit right down. 

Song: Chickadee

Friday, January 6, 2017

February Story Time Themes

In February, I like to use themes connected to Groundhog Day (shapes and shadows) and Valentine's Day (hugs and kisses and mail.)

Shapes and Shadows

Suggested Books:
  • My Heart is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall 
  • It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw 
  • What's Going on in There? by Geoffrey Grahn
  • Perfect Square by Michael Hall
  • Shape by Shape by Suse MacDonald
  • The Shape of Me and Other Stuff by Dr. Seuss 

Extension Activities

Hugs and Kisses

Suggested Books: 

  • All Kinds of Kisses by Nancy Tafuri
  • I Love You! A Bushel and a Peck  by Rosemary Wells
  • Panda Kisses by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
  • Kitty's Cuddles by Jane Cabrera
  • Cuddles for Mommy by Ruby Brown

Extension Activities:


Suggested Books:
  • A Letter to Amy by Ezra Jack Keats
  • Love, Mouserella by David Ezra Stein
  • Seven Little Postmen by Margaret Wise Brown 
  • Mr. Griggs' Work by Cynthia Rylant 
  • Meerkat Mail by Emily Gravett

Extension Activities: 

Valentine's Day

Suggested Books:
  • If You'll Be My Valentine by Cynthia Rylant
  • Valentine's Day by Anne Rockwell
  • Ten Things I Love About You by Daniel Kirk
  • Henry in Love by Peter McCarty

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