See? I'm getting better about it! My second family storytime of the summer is below.
Welcome, introductions and reminders - this week we were talking about farms and farm animals, guaranteed fun at a storytime.
Opening: Open Shut Them - this rhyme is slowly becoming the bane of my existence. Anyone have suggestions for a replacement?
Book: Millie Waits for the Mail by Alexander Steffensmeier - I had never seen this book before so I was happy to discover it when looking over the books staff had pulled for storytimes this week. This is an extremely enjoyable story about a cow who loves nothing more than lying in wait to scare the mail carrier. I thought this book was fun and funny, but the kids didn't seem to like it as much. It might work better one on one, when you can talk about all of Millie's hiding places together.
Song: "Old McDonald" - well, this was an experiment for me and not a very successful one. I decided to sing a cappella, which is fine, though my voice is horrible. But I had wanted the kids to be able to give some input on the animals. Then I decided that would be too chaotic, so I thought I'd pull out some puppets and have the kids guess which animal was coming next before I pulled them out. It made the rhythm of the song strange and we only had four suitable farm animal puppets, so I would definitely figure out something better for next time.
Book: Pigs to the Rescue by John Himmelman - another one I wasn't familiar with until I started looking for more interesting farm books in preparation for storytime. The kids seemed to like this one better; I had them tell me what the pigs were doing on each spread that said, "PIGS TO THE RESCUE!" This book is actually sort of a sequel to Chickens to the Rescue but I had already picked a chicken book (which I didn't end up using), so I went with the pig one. Very fun book.
Flannel: Oh Dear by Rod Campbell - this is a simple but fun flannel about a little boy who is sent to gather eggs on his grandmother's farm. But he searches in all the wrong places. It's fun to have the kids guess what kind of animal lives in each different enclosure. I also had them make the corresponding noises after we lifted the flap to discover what animal lived there. Beforehand, I had wondered what noise a bunny makes and my boss advised me to just ask the kids and see what they said. The loudest answer was "Hop! Hop!" I suppose that works.
Song: "Bluegrass Jamboree" by Hap Palmer - like I said, I wanted to switch it up from Jim McGill for a little while and they definitely needed to get some wiggles out by this point in the storytime. This seems to be an equally popular active song and dance, so I'll be keeping this one for a while. Plus, I thought it went especially well with this week's theme.
Book: Russell the Sheep by Rob Scotton - originally, I had wanted to end with this one because it's really more of a bedtime story than a farm story but then I changed my mind (again). I still wanted to include this one, though, because I have long loved it and think it gets overshadowed by Splat the Cat (not that there is anything wrong with Splat - I'm a big fan, too). I had the kids help me count the sheep at the end.
Book: Is Everyone Ready for Fun? by Jan Thomas - once again, I couldn't help but incorporate a Jan Thomas book into storytime, because this one has cows and a chicken. The only problem I've encountered with these books is that, if I use the actual book, the kids crowd around to try to see the pages instead of staying where they are and just doing the actions. But they of course love getting up and acting out the motions, so maybe I'll figure out some alternative.
Closing: "Wave Goodbye" by Rob Reid - I think the waving of derrieres is getting overshadowed by the belly-waving, but it's still fun for all involved.
And that was farm family storytime! What would you do differently?