What’s your favorite food? Every kid I’ve ever met loves to answer this question. My preschool group talked about their favorite fruits and veggies, a nice surprise, considering most people assume kids hate to eat healthy.
Opening song: If you’re ready for a story take a seat ( to the tune of: If you’re happy and you know it)
If you’re ready for a story take a seat. If you’re ready for a story take a seat. If you’re ready for a story, clap your hands and stomp your feet. If you’re ready for a story take a seat.
If the kids are antsy, I get them to settle in on the carpet with this song. If they are ready for stories, I skip right to our opening hello song!
Hello song: Bread & butter
I learned this song 5 years ago from my very first children’s librarianship mentor at the Free Library! I use it for the opening of all my preschool & toddler story times.
Action game: COLORS- If you’re wearing (color) do (action). This helps the kids get their sillies out before we start reading and also helps reinforce their color knowledge.
Book: Hi, Pizza Man! – Virginia Walter
I skipped this book with the toddler group because their vibe was extremely high energy so we jumped right into Orange Pear Apple Bear. The idea of a Pizza Dinosaur was hilarious to our preschoolers. Admittedly, I was hoping for a Pizza Dinosaur, too!
Feltboard: Build a pizza – inspired by Abby the Librarian’s feltboard. We talked about our favorite pizza toppings and then rolled out the pizza “dough”. I handed out pineapple (yellow felt rectangles), cheese (white triangles), mushrooms (brown dots), green peppers (long skinny green rectangles), tomatoes (bright red circles), pepperoni (dark red circles), to the kids who wanted to help make the pizza. One by one, I called each shape and those children came up to place their felt pieces on the board. After all the toppings were assembled, I turned the felt board around to hide the pizza, telling them it’s in the oven baking! We checked on it at the end of story time to see if it was “done”. Despite being very simple, the kids had a fun interacting with this felt board! Inevitably, one of the preschoolers asked why we didn’t just go to the kitchen and make a real pizza. If only it were that simple!
Book: Orange Pear Apple Bear – Emily Gravett
I attended a lovely PA One Book Every Young Child training with Will Hillenbrand and Julie Dietzel-Glair, who introduced her “Books in Motion” active story time approach to books. The idea of getting kids moving during story time is one of my main goals, so I tried her method with Orange Pear Apple Bear and it was a hit! I was going to introduce just one action with everyone’s favorite fruit, apple, but my preschool group was so ambitious, they wanted to do the all the actions. Each time I said Orange we clapped, for Pear we SPUN, for Apple we JUMPED, and lastly for Bear we Grr’ed. I love the illustrations in this story but I always wondered how to make it more interactive for story time. My toddler group just jumped for apple, which was great fun, too!
I like to bring my toddlers back to the carpet with a deep breath, arms stretched out and down (a yoga move, really). The preschoolers requested the much-loved banana song instead.
Book: The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle
Reading this book is very relaxing for me, most likely because I often read it as a bedtime story to my son. Both the toddler & preschool groups got excited about this one, it being one of the most popular kids’ books ever, so they crowded into the front row for optimum viewing. We told the story together, since most of them knew the story by heart.
Goodbye song: The preschoolers sing If you’re happy and you know it wave good bye and the toddlers Kick with two feet!