Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Family Story Time, 7/12/19 (Kings and Queens Theme)

For this story time, I had my largest audience of the summer: 13 kids, ranging in age from 1 to 10. The theme was kings and queens.

Opening Song: Story Time is Starting

Book: May I Bring a Friend? by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers, illustrated by Beni Montresor
The four-to-seven-year-old crowd loved this book the most. They laughed at the different animals that the narrator brought to the castle, and they loved the various ways the royals accommodated the unexpected visitors.

Rhyme: The Queen Commands
I found a rhyme with this title through the King County Library System, but ended up writing my own version that made the actions a little more complicated for my very movement-oriented big kids.

The queen commands that you clap your hands.
The queen decrees that you pat your knees.
The queen proposes that you pinch your noses.
The queen insists that you do the twist.
The queen desires that you reach up higher.
The queen implores that you make loud roars.
The queen directs that you fly like insects.
The queen wishes that you swim like fishes
The queen prefers that you bow to her.
The queen requests that you take a rest.

Book: King Bidgood's in the Bathtub by Audrey & Don Wood
This is one my all-time favorite books to read aloud. A few of the kids (including my five-year-old daughter) spent the entire book speculating on where King Bidgood was keeping all the props for the various scenes before he put them in the tub.

Song: There is Clapping in the Castle (originally by Nancy Stewart)
I couldn't master the ukulele chords for this one, so I did it a cappella. Even when the kids did other motions, I kept clapping to keep the beat, which was a new approach to this song for me, and I liked it better than doing the exact motions the kids were doing.

Song: Stop and Go (originally by Ella Jenkins)
This has become a staple of this story time. The kids love to come up with movements - even some of the twos and threes!

Book: The Foggy Foggy Forest by Nick Sharratt
I've never had a group actually try to guess what the pictures portrayed, but most of the elementary-age kids called out guesses, and it was fun to see them surprised by the fun little twists, like the fact that the witch had a motorized broom. Even the oldest kid in the room (a ten-year-old who was accompanying younger siblings) was into this book.

Song: There was a Princess Long Ago
I saw this mentioned on some story time blogs, tracked down a few versions on YouTube and cobbled them together. The linked version is the one closest to what I sang.

Book: The Missing Tarts by B.G. Hennessy, illustrated by Tracey Campbell Pearson
I threw this book in for the toddler crowd, but the big kids loved filling in the names of the nursery rhyme characters to match the rhymes at the end of each sentence.

Song: Moon Moon Moon
The Missing Tarts ends with Hey Diddle Diddle, so I segued quickly into this song, which I had not planned, but which fit well.

Closing Song: Story Time is Over

Friday, July 5, 2019

Family Story Time, 6/28/19 (Rain Theme)

For my second summer story time session,  there were 12 kids in attendance ranging in age from 6 months to 7 years. Though it was a hot and sunny day, I did a rain theme because I ended up pulling a bunch of rain books from our shelves, and they all fit together really nicely.

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]!

Book: Noah Builds an Ark by Kate Banks, illustrated by John Rocco
This new picture book (March 2019) tells the story of a little boy who builds an ark over his wagon to shelter the creatures in his backyard from a storm. I chose this book with the oldest kids in the group in mind, and they were the ones who were most attentive to it.

Rhyme: Rainbow Over the Waterfall
I changed the second verse of this rhyme so I could use easier and more obvious hand motions. My version of that second part went like this:

Rainbow over the rabbit
Rainbow over the bee
Rainbow over the butterfly
Rainbow over me

Book: My Red Umbrella by Robert Bright
I chose this book specifically for the younger end of the age spectrum, but the big kids helped me make all the animal sounds of the animals that appear in the story. I'm not sure how much the other toddlers liked the book, but my 20-month-old has been asking me to re-read it all week.

Song: Come Under My Umbrella
I used the motions Jbrary shared in this video, but I stuck with the tune which I originally learned for this song, "Did You Ever See a Lassie?"

Song with Ukulele: Boots (originally by the Laurie Berkner Band)
I used some of Laurie Berkner's verses for this song, and then added a few verses for other motions like skipping, marching, etc.

Song with Ukulele: Stop and Go (originally by Ella Jenkins)
This was the best-received song from the first week, so I brought it back and once again had the kids supply the motions they wanted to do. My favorite suggestion came from my friend's four-year-old who wanted to breakdance. The group got a little wild, so I quickly improvised a final verse:

Tippy toe, tippy toe, tippy toe to your seat...

By the end of the song, they were seated and silent. It was kind of amazing. 

Book: Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain by Verna Aardema, illustrated by Beatriz Vidal
The kids were all very quiet during this book, possibly because all the dancing wore them out. I realize now that I have done two cumulative stories like this in a row, so I'm making a mental note to change things up for next time.

Rhyme: When Water Drops
I wanted an action rhyme that would help us act out what animals do when it rains. I used the text of Rain Dance by Kathi Appelt (which I borrowed from Open Library) and then made some additions and alterations based on information in When Rain Falls by Melissa Stewart.

When water drops
Frog hops
Water beetles swirl
Snakes curl 
Caterpillars crawl
Ladybugs fall 
Spiders skitter
Chicks flitter
Cows swish
Pigs squish
Rabbits hurry
Squirrels scurry
Dogs splatter 
Cats scatter
Turtles hide
And I go inside. 

Book: Singing in the Rain, illustrated by Tim Hopgood
I had never sung this song in front of a group before, and no one jumped in to sing along, which felt a bit awkward, but it was fine. I love the illustrations in Hopgood's books!

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]!
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