Sunday, June 24, 2012

Program: Family Storytime

In an effort to not be posting about programs months after I actually held them, I'm probably going to be posting more frequently this summer. So, this is about my first storytime of the summer season. It happened to fall on Father's Day weekend so our theme that week was dads! Now, I want to preface this by admitting that I was not entirely enthusiastic about this theme (I didn't pick it; the themes are all chosen ahead of time by other Youth Services staff) - there is nothing wrong with celebrating fathers, obviously. But, a lot of kids these days don't know their fathers, or don't have one (well, technically, I suppose everyone does but you get what I'm saying). Additionally, not a lot of dads are bringing their kids to storytimes - let's just be honest, it's the moms that do it. So, if it were up to me, I would have billed this as a special Father's Day storytime, which might have encouraged dads to come with their kids and let everyone know ahead of time what we'd be focusing on. Despite my qualms, though, no one seemed uncomfortable or angry about the choice of theme, so maybe it's all in my head. Anyway, let's get to what we did.

Welcome, introductions and reminders - I tried to get the kids to tell me what special day was happening that weekend; one child shouted "SUNDAY!"

Opening: Open Shut Them - I slacked on looking for a different opening, so I suppose I'm stuck with this one for another season.

Book: The Daddy Book by Todd Parr - I'm not really a huge fan of Parr's illustrations but this is a nice book to talk about how daddies are the same and different. Many kids chimed in to let me know that their own dad did something similar to what was being described on the page.

Song: "Bluegrass Jamboree" by Hap Palmer - though I still love "Silly Dance Contest" I wanted to mix things up a bit, so I picked this new activity song. It went over really well, though if someone could explain to me what action I'm supposed to do for "step and swing as the banjos ring", I'd really appreciate it. They especially loved falling to the ground.

Book: Daddy Hug by Tim Warnes, illustrated by Jane Chapman - I love Chapman's illustrations; they're adorable. I picked this book because it features many different animals and some great vocabulary words. I had the kids help me name the animals and we acted out a few of them (monkeys, sheep, lions, etc.). They all loved this one.

Flannel: Where's My Daddy? - I know I sound like a broken record but I really don't like flannel stories and, for once, I think the kids were on my side (usually, for some reason, they love them). I picked this one from available options because it was the most relevant and also it was about dinosaurs. But the kids were bored within the first 30 seconds with this one. Maybe my own ambivalence about flannel is too apparent.

Song: "Skinnamarink" by Bob McGrath - it was the only song about love that I could think of off the top of my head and the only one I found in our (admittedly small) professional collection. I had some parents who seemed enthused about this one and it was a nice quiet sort of song compared to what we usually do.

Book: Oh Daddy! By Bob Shea - I love Bob Shea; he's one of my new favorite picture book authors. His style is just so simple and bright and his stories are funny and enjoyable. So, it was a no-brainer to pick this one. The kids loved it! They laughed at all the silly things that Daddy did and they loved the big hugs at the end.

Book: The Biggest Kiss by Joanna Walsh, illustrated by Judi Abbot - I picked this one as a general love/family title so that everyone would feel the love at the end of the program. I like the illustrations and the different kinds of kisses are sweet (though some of the descriptions are a bit odd to me). I had everyone give their caregiver a big kiss at the end of the story and all were happy to do so.

Closing: Wave Goodbye by Rob Reid - still a big hit with my crowd and I'm not sick of it yet, so we're good to go.

And that was my dad-themed storytime! What would you do with this theme?

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