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What We Do in Storytime

I started this blog partly as a way to keep track of the storytimes I did and to share what I’d learned in almost 15 years of doing storytimes. It’s hard to get good photos of a storytime in action with littles moving all about! Anywho, enjoy these random shots from my most recent storytimes along with the answers to a couple of FAQs.

How do you setup storytime?

Like this. All the books that I might read. Our Ipad with my storytime playlist and a Beats Pill. Storytime stickers. Bins with scarves, ribbons and shaker eggs. My song cube. And a couple of props. Everything I need is in reach. I don’t have problems with anyone removing things from my table. Once in awhile kids want to get the Ipad or the buckets so I sit them at the back out of reach.

What do you in storytime?

STEM activities like fizzy concoctions.

Art/messy play like painting with shaving cream.

Sensory play.

Large motor play.

I have never seen kids working as hard at play as I did with this sensory table setup. Cardboard boxes I cut up and tubes crisscrossing through them. Kids surrounded this the entire time. Heads down, scooping, digging, pouring, figuring out what was happening to the beans they poured down a tube, catching the beans as they spilled out. The kids played easily with each other, sharing cups and space. I could’ve used a bigger table!

 

What do you do in storytime?

 

Until next time…….

What We Did in Storytime, Bunnies!

We did a bunny storytime for spring.  Storytimers are the most fun!

Theme:   Bunnies         Age:  0-6         Literacy Focus:  Love Books

Books

I don’t know if I’ve ever had a group laugh so much to a book as this group did to the Easter Bunny’s AssistantEverybunny Dance! had a lot actions you could invite a group to do with you to make it more interactive. Continue reading

Best of March Reading Roundup

I’ve been in a mood where I want to read everything I see. If only there was time to do that. One of these days I’m going to take a reading vacation. Just me, some beach, a stack of books and a big mango daiquiri! In the meantime, a few standouts I came across this month.

This book is super cute with its thick-lined pastel illustrations. It’s about a little chick who tries to convince her egg friend to hatch listing all the fun things they can do once he does. He’s got an excuse for everything and repeatedly declares, “I’m not hatching.” The excuses are funny and the reader may be a little surprised at what finally gets him to hatch. Can’t wait to read this one at stortyime!

Susan Gal’s illustrations perfectly capture the wild and wonderful beauty of spring. With flaps that open to reveal spring’s hidden surprises to the ‘magic’ words on each spread this is lovely read aloud title for anytime of the year. I just did it in storytime this week and kids and adults were transfixed by it.

 

I don’t know why cows are funnier than other animals; they just are. This title is about a cow with a dream, a dream of flying. What else do you need to know? From beginning to end this is a good story with a great message of staying curious and discovering the possibilities.

 

I know this book came out a long time ago but it was new to me. Actually, I’d tried reading the book a long time ago and just couldn’t get into it. A friend recommended the audio book. Oh. My. God. So much funny. I’m sure people that saw me driving thought I was crazy as I doubled over the steering wheel laughing hysterically to myself! All the parts about him in France and the bit about explaining Easter to the Muslim classmate, worth listening to just for that. Seriously. Listened to some parts several times because I couldn’t get enough! His odd, deadpan voice is the perfect vehicle for his dry, sarcastic humor. It does get a little dark at times when he’s talking about his struggle with drug addiction. But if you can overlook that and you’re the kind of person who appreciates a dark, sarcastic wit, you will love this.

 

I read tried reading Eat, Pray, Love. It seemed like another book about bored, white, suburban life and I’d already read enough of those. So I was really surprised when I saw her Ted Talk on creativity and loved it. If you haven’t seen it, you should watch it. I’d heard good things about this title and decided to give her another try. So glad I did because this book is AMAZING. I’m not finished yet but so far it’s funny, insightful and inspiring. She has a fresh perspective on inspiration and working through fear which I found to be helpful. If you liked Eat, Pray Love you should read this. If you liked her Ted Talk, you should read this. Just go ahead and put it on the to-read list. You can thank me later. 😉

What were your favorites this month?

 

 

 

Storytime Rewind

We had storytime yesterday with ages ranging from 0-8 years  and everyone had a good time. I don’t usually follow a ‘theme’ per se. I just pick books, music and activities I like. Here’s what we did!

I’d been wanting to read these pirate books for a while and yesterday was the day. If you haven’t yet read Half-Pint Pete, read it already!  It’s one of the better pirate books I’ve seen. I wasn’t sure about Swap! for a readaloud but I did it anyway. The illustrations are a little busy but the older kids were able to follow what was happening, and I had everyone saying ‘swap’ every time we saw it. There was a little girl about two years old who after a few rounds of saying ‘swap’ with the group looked at her mom and exclaimed, “I said swap! I’m reading!”

  

In between I read….

This is a beautiful book with flaps on each page that reveal the magic of spring. It has lots of interesting words having to do with spring and kids thought it was fun getting to say things like, “hocus pocus” and “bibbity boo”. It’s a good one to read this time of year.

We sang……

I’ve been trying to incorporate more diversity in my storytimes. One of the ways I am doing that is with music. “Funga Alafia” by Mr. Eric and Mr. Michael on their Bouncy Blue CD is a fun West African song of welcome and has actions that you can simplify for the preschool crowd. Loosely translated it means the spirit in me welcomes the spirit in you;  everyone is welcome here; namaste or amen. That’s a great message to share with people. Youtube it if you’re unfamiliar.

“Funga Alafia” by Mr. Eric and Mr. Michael (use with shakers and bells)

“Finger Poppin” by Georgina Stewart

“Ram Sam Sam” (watch the Wee Sing video here)

“I Can Shake My Shaker Egg” by Mr. Eric and Mr. Michael (so much fun to watch kids moving to this one!)

“Skinnamarink” by Sharon, Lois and Bram (Don’t count them out because their music is older. They’re awesome! And they do the best rendition of “Itsy Bitsy Spider”!)

For our station time we…..

played in a sensory table filled with packing peanuts, seashells and scoops

did body tracing on rolls of butcher paper

and had a ‘build-a-palooza’ using all the blocks we had

 

By the end, one little boy kept coming up to me with a big smile and giving me hugs. I think he enjoyed storytime!

What did you do or are going to do in storytime this week?