Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer Story Times: Camping, Bedtime and Nighttime Animals!

Well, things have been a little crazy for me - both at home and at work - so I'm afraid I'm a wee bit behind on posting about this summer's story times. And by a wee bit, I mean we're just wrapping up week three, and I have yet to post about... anything. So here is a general overview of what I've been up to!

I missed my first story time due to some personal reasons, so I don't have much of a roundup for that one. My coworker was kind enough to take it on for me. Our theme for week 1 was "camping" - and I had a surprisingly difficult time finding camping books I really liked. I did have a flannel board halfway put together, so I'll put a separate post up for that.

Our week 2 theme was bedtime, where I ran into the opposite problem of having too many books I wanted to read. After some wibbling and wobbling back and forth, I finally decided on the following three:

 Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein is one of my favorites. I love the story, I love the pictures, and I especially love the way the bedtime stories that Papa tells Chicken are incorporated into the story. It's a great book, but my 2s and 3s were a little bit too squirrelly and distracted to get into it. Alas. I'll maybe pull it out again for a story time where I don't have 60+ people in the room. (With oh-so distracting latecomers to boot!)

Fly Blanky Fly by Anne Margaret Lewis was our second book. I borrowed my coworker's idea to use scarves as our blankies while I read, and we swooshed, whirled, and hopped our way to bed. Again, great idea in theory, but with the room as crowded as it was, I had a tough time keeping everyone focused.

Aaaand finally, we have one of those beloved Pigeon books by Mo Willems. The kids were so completely done with story time at this point that I had to start skipping pages, despite Mo Willems generally being a safe bet for story time. Attention spans were just not working in my favor this week.

The flannel board was a hit, at least! I used a coworker's Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons, which the kids thoroughly enjoyed. (You can take a look at my other coworker's version here! Her version is super cool as it involves buttons that actually popped off, but I was so overwhelmed with my crowd that my head might have popped had I tried to do anything more complicated than simply tossing the buttons over my shoulder. Maybe next time!)

And finally, for our week 3 theme I went with nocturnal animals. My books tended toward simple and concise this week, which was a necessary change. I chose A Book of Sleep by Il Sung Na, which is lovely, and we had fun identifying the animals in each picture. We also read Look Whooo's Counting by Suse MacDonald, and then we finished up with Little Owlet's First Flight by Mitra Modarressi. I hadn't intended to do all owls, but the books held my audience's attention, which was all I wanted. (By my best estimate, I had about 75 audience members for week 3, which is roughly 30 more people than I'm used to!)

Again, I snagged a coworker's 5 Hoot Owls flannel board, which you can find here. (It is indeed a hardship, let me tell you, to have such super talented coworkers who are willing to let you borrow their creations.)

We also used Laurie Berkner's Wimoweh (The Lion Sleeps Tonight) with our shaker eggs, which was pretty delightful. During the verses, we pretended to be the sleepy lion, so we stretched, yawned, and laid our head on our hands for a nap. The song picks up during the chorus, so that's when we shook our eggs - high, low, slow, fast, while turning in a circle, etc. Lots of fun! We also did We are the Dinosaurs, because that's one of my favorites. (Haha, and I mean, you know, the kids like it, too.)

That pretty much sums up story time for the past few weeks! My coworker, Jan, and I have also been putting on a craft program for kids age 3-7, so I'll be putting up a post with all of the crafts we've been doing.

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