Friday, June 21, 2019

Family Story Time, 6/21/19 (Houses & Homes Theme)

Remember me? The last time I did a story time before today was June 14, 2017! In that time, I've published a second book and added another daughter to my family. This summer, I've invited the families in my homeschool group and my Catholic women's small group to join me for story time in my living room. The seven-session series kicked off today, and three families besides mine participated. There were 8 kids: a little boy under one year, 3 girls who will turn two soon (including my toddler), two 3-year-olds (including mine), a five-year-old (also mine), and a 7-year-old. There were at least five other families interested who couldn't make it this week, but plan to come to future sessions, so this was really just the warm-up.

Opening Song (with ukulele): Story Time is Starting

Story time is starting - clap your hands [stomp your feet / shout hooray]!
Story time is starting - clap your hands [stomp your feet / shout hooray]!
Story time's begun; I hope that you have fun!
Story time is starting - clap your hands [stomp your feet / shout hooray]!

I started using this hello song when I was doing story time at a church 2 years ago. It works better than a hello song because we are all friends and have already greeted each other and chatted a bit when story time starts. 

Book: We Were Tired of Living in a House by Liesel Moak Skorpen, illustrated by Doris Burn
I am kicking myself for not remembering I had a song to go with this book! (See this post.) The kids seemed to like this one, and it is such a pleasure to read aloud.

I found this on YouTube and decided to only sing the English for fear of really butchering the Spanish. I had my kids practice it ahead of time so I'd be guaranteed some audience participation, and they didn't let me down. My mom friends were also really awesome about doing the motions too. (The librarian on whose YouTube channel I found this song has a lot of good stuff in both English and Spanish.)

Book: The Giant Jumperee by Julia Donaldson and Helen Oxenbury
I think this book was just right for this broad span of ages. I do wish it had some more interactive elements, but it does have repetition and a simple plot, making it ideal for those toddlers and young preschoolers. 

Song (with ukulele): Stop and Go
I had the big kids choose the motions we would do for this song, and they had a great time with it. My friend's 7-year-old picked jumping jacks, which was really fun. 

Rhyme: Elevator 

First floor (touch toes)
Second floor (touch knees)
Third floor (hands on hips)
Fourth floor (touch shoulders)
Fifth floor (hands on head)

Going down! 

Five (hands on head)
Four (touch shoulders)
Three (hands on hips)
Two (touch knees)
One (touch toes)
Basement! (sit down)

This was a bust. Even my own kids didn't seem to get it. 

Flannel Board Story: This is the House that Jack Built
I had the kids help me tell this rhyme by pointing to the image of each character on the flannel board and having them say its name. I used this booklet and just cut out the characters.

Book: I Can't Said the Ant by Polly Cameron
One of the other moms remembered this book from childhood too, which made me so happy. My five-year-old laughed through the whole thing, but it was harder to get a read on the other kids. 

Song: I'm a Little Teapot 
My kids somehow don't know this song, so they weren't as keen on demonstrating the motions. I also messed up the chords more times than is really forgivable. I suspect, though, that my audience is going to skew much older next week and this won't be an appropriate song anyway.

I had intended to use Visor, T-shirt, Shorts, and Shoes, but there weren't enough big kids, so we just did the basic version. Everyone seemed to enjoy it. 

Book: The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson, illustrated by Beth Krommes
I tossed this book in at the end, mostly because one family had come really late and I felt like they had missed out. My oldest daughter gasped and oohed and aahed through the whole book, but no one else seemed that impressed.

I had this in the back of my mind as a potential song for this session, and the kids seemed like the right ages. At least one mom knew the song from listening to Laurie Berkner. 

Closing Song (with ukulele): Story Time Is Over
Story time is over - clap your hands [stomp your feet / shout hooray]!
Story time is over - clap your hands [stomp your feet / shout hooray]!
Story time is done; I hope that you had fun!
Story time is over - clap your hands [stomp your feet / shout hooray]!

I ended story time with this song, and then my kids got out a few toy bins we had set aside. Everyone stayed for at least an hour to play.  It's nice to be back in the saddle. I can't wait for next week! 

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