Friday, April 7, 2017

May Story Time Themes

My go-to themes for May are connected to spring, growing, flowers, gardens, and Mother's Day.


Suggested Books:
  • How to Grow a Friend by Sara Gillingham
  • Alison's Zinnia by Anita Lobel
  • The Rose in My Garden by Anita Lobel 
  • Fantastic Flowers by Susan Stockdale
  • This is the Sunflower by Lola M. Schaefer, illustrated by Donald Crews

Extension Activities:


Suggested Books:
  • Harriet, You'll Drive Me Wild by Mem Fox, illustrated by Marla Frazee
  • Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara Joosse, illustrated by  Barbara Lavallee
  • Mother, Mother, I Want Another by Maria Polushkin Robbins, illustrated by Jon Goodell
  • My Mom by Anthony Browne
  • The Quilt Story by Tony Johnston, illustrated by Tomie de Paola
  • This Quiet Lady by Charlotte Zolotow, illustrated by Anita Lobel


Suggested Books: 
  • Arabella Miller's Tiny Caterpillar by Clare Jarrett 
  • Beetle Bop by Denise Fleming 
  • Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! by Bob Barner 
  • Butterfly Butterfly by Petr Horacek
  • The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle
  • I Love Bugs! by Philemon Sturges 
  • Yoo-Hoo Ladybug by Mem Fox, illustrated by Laura Ljungkvist


Suggested Books:
  • A Garden of Opposites by Nancy Davis 
  • In the Garden: Who's Been Here? by Lindsay Barrett George 
  • Inch By Inch by David Mallett, illustrated by Ora Eitan 
  • My Garden by Kevin Henkes 
  • Up, Down, and Around by Katherine Ayres, illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott 
  • Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner, illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
  • Whose Garden Is It? by Mary Ann Hoberman, illustrated by Jane Dyer 

Extension Activities:

Fruits & Veggies

Suggested Books:
  • The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss, illustrated by Crockett Johnson
  • Jamberry by Bruce Degen
  • The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear by Audrey and Don Wood
  • The Pea Patch Jig by Thacher Hurd
  • Rah Rah Radishes by April Pulley Sayre 
  • Tops & Bottoms by Janet Stevens

Extension Activities:

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Preschool Story Time, 3/29/17 (Friends Theme)

Opening Song: Story Time is Starting

Book: May I Bring a Friend? by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers, illustrated by Beni Montresor
This is the first time in my long history of using this book at story time that it was a total flop. The audience was a bit young - average of 2 today, probably - but even the kids who were the right age just didn't seem to "get" the book. So disappointing.

Song with Ukulele: The More We Get Together
We sang the original version of the song, and then changed the word "get" to action words like clap, stomp, roll, and read. The group knew the song, and I think the novelty of the ukulele was appealing even though most of the kids didn't want to do the motions.

Book: My Friends by Taro Gomi
This book was the best of the session. It's very straightforward which seemed to resonate with the younger ones.

Song with Ukulele: Johnny Has One Friend
This is an Ella Jenkins song I've been singing with my kids. Even though it doesn't have much of an ending, the group liked it.

Rhyme: Dance Your Fingers
I used this rhyme to make up for the fact that Johnny Has One Friend has no real ending. The kids loved it!

Song with Puppet: Mr. Sun

Songs with Ukulele and Shaker Eggs: 

  • Stop and Go
    This is another Ella Jenkins song. Instead of the motions she uses (walk, skate, etc.) I sang about shaking eggs, and then shaking them high, low, fast, and slow. The slow verse was too hard to sing and I got completely tongue-tied, but the parents and kids all loved this, and I want to use it again. 
  • Can You Shake Your Egg With Me?
    This is the shaker song this group likes the most. We did it the normal way, I just played the ukulele instead of shaking an egg and pointed to the body parts between verses. 

Book: Little Bitty Friends by Elizabeth McPike, illustrated by Patrice Barton
This group got really restless once the shaker eggs were put away, and they barely paid attention to this book. I kept on with some of the rest of my plan, but I probably could have ended story time here.

Rhyme: This is Big Big Big

Song: Put Your Hands Up High
I threw this in because the group was so restless and I thought it might calm them down for the last book.

Book: A Year with Friends by John Seven, illustrated by Jana Christy
Thankfully, this was a very short book because everyone's attention span was pretty much spent by this point and only my own kids were listening.

Ukulele Medley: ABCs/ Twinkle Twinkle Little Star/ Baa Baa Black Sheep

Goodbye Song: Chickadee

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Preschool Story Time, 3/22/17 (Berries Theme)

This session was very well-attended: fourteen kids and nine adults, including me and the girls. I think this is the biggest audience we have had since the second week.

Opening Song: Story Time is Starting

Book: Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey
This might be the longest book I've ever read to this group. One boy identified it as a favorite, and I think the older end of the group (ages 3 to 3 1/2) appreciated having a story with a bit more plot than usual. The toddlers were not too restless, except for my own who spent half the story trying to climb into my lap.

Rhyme: Two Little Brown Bears
I rewrote Two Little Black Birds to suit the theme of the book. This group really likes very simple fingerplays, so it worked great.

Rhyme: Blue is the Lake

Book: Jamberry by Bruce Degen
This book was a favorite of a few of the kids, including my toddler. I have never really used it in story time very much, but it's growing on me. The group was the most attentive for this book.

Song: Head and Shoulders Baby

Song: Put Your Hands Up High

Book: The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood
I didn't get much of a reaction at all to this book, so I decided not to push for a fourth book, especially since Blackberry Ramble was pretty long.

Song: Mr. Sun

Songs with Shaker Eggs:
Song: Chickadee

Monday, March 27, 2017

Preschool Story Time, 3/8/17 (Up, Up and Away Theme)

Opening Song: Story Time is Starting

Book: The Grumpalump by Sarah Hayes, illustrated by Barbara Firth
I traditionally have the kids perform hand motions to accompany this book, but this group is young (lots of toddlers) so I read it without the interactive elements and it worked just as well.

Song: Way Up in the Sky

Book: Molly Who Flew Away by Valeri Gorbachev
This book is a little bit longer than I realized, but most of the kids were into it.

Rhyme: Five Balloons in the Sky
I've seen others do this as a flannel board, but I made it into a fingerplay.

Book: Higher Higher by Leslie Patricelli
This was the hit of the session. A couple of moms took down the title to find it for their kids.

Song: Here We Go Up Up Up 

Song: Put Your Hands Up High

Song: Mr. Sun

Book: Hello, Airplane by Bill Cotter
The illustrations really make this book, and there were a few kids who really reacted to them.

Song: I'm an Airplane
I find it impossible to get audiences to sing in a call and response format, so this song was a bit awkward, but the really little ones were able to do the motions, so that was a plus.

Book: I Want to be An Astronaut by Byron Barton
This group is not that big on nonfiction, but they did like this book.

Song: Moon Moon Moon 

Shaker Egg Songs:

  • Egg Shakers Up  
  • Can You Shake Your Egg With Me?
  • Chickadee
    I tried to put the shaker eggs at the end of the session to avoid having to collect them mid-session, so we just held onto them for the goodbye song. I didn't like doing this song with the shakers, however, and won't do it that way again. 
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