By Awnali Mills
Today’s storytime was a nice change from the craziness that our programs have been lately. The numbers were down a bit, but we had a nice size group. The theme was blankets, and I put one of my daughter’s old baby blankets in my magic bag. Then, we made a graph. On one side was a blanket picture and on the other side was a blanket with the universal “no” sign on it. I gave the kids post-it notes and they got to put them on the side of the graph that signified whether they had a favorite blanket or not. Favorite blanket for the win!
The books I chose were Hooray for Harry by Kim Lewis, No More Blanket for Lambkin by Bernette Ford and Fly, Blanky, Fly! by Anne Margaret Lewis.
Our first book was Hooray for Harry. Harry loses his blanket and has to remember all the things he and his friends did with the blanket to retrace his steps and find it again.
Last week I did a Preschool Dance Party, and The Dancing Scarf Blues is STILL circling through my head. Since scarves are sorta like blankets, we all (even adults) got scarves and danced to The Dancing Scarf Blues. I’m tellin’ ya, one of the grandmothers could really move!
The next book I did was No More Blanket for Lambkin. In this sweet little story Lambkin goes to Ducky’s house to play. After they decide to play laundry day, Ducky takes Lambkin’s dirty blanket and dumps it in the wash water. That’s a little unnerving, but Lambkin goes along with it until the wash dries and Lambkin’s blanket has not only shrunk, but has holes in it. Ducky takes the shrunken blanket, ties a ribbon around the middle, ties knots in the two top ends, and it becomes a lambkin doll. While I was reading the story I used one of the white scarves to imitate Lambkin’s blanket, acting out the story a bit with it. I had memorized the few lines where Ducky makes a doll, so I set the book down and told the story while making the scarf into a doll. You should have seen the kids’ eyes! It was great!
Next we did the flannel Ten Teddy Bears.
Ten teddy bears sleeping in the bed
Five at the foot and five at the head
One of the bears said, “This bed is too full!”
And he grabbed the blanket and started to pull!
He pulled and he pulled and he pulled some more (grab an imaginary blanket and pull)
Till one of the bears fell BOOM! on the floor (clap hands with the BOOM)
(Go through all the bears but one)
One teddy bear sleeping in the bed
None at the foot and one at the head
That teddy bear said, “This isn’t right! I don’t want to sleep alone tonight!”
At this point we had used up all our story time, so I didn’t get to the last book. Instead, I pulled out the parachute and our playtime was all about the ‘chute. I led off with something new for me.
We have a little spider finger puppet that I tossed onto the ‘chute. I sang, “There’s a spider on my ‘chute, on my ‘chute. There’s a spider on my ‘chute, on my ‘chute. He wasn’t there before, someone bounce him on the floor! There’s a spider on my ‘chute, on my ‘chute!” I was a little concerned because the spider is only about two inches long, so I thought he might be too little, and also, I thought I might be picking him up a lot since the song DOES say to bounce him on the floor. But he was absolutely perfect. “Sure, we’ll bounce him on the floor, but NOT near me!” was kind of the attitude the kids (and adults) had. And it’s true. There was an atavistic thrill whenever the spider bounced your way, and you automatically began working to get it away from you. He was small enough that you got that feeling of a spider coming near you, but he was big enough and black enough to be able to see well against the ‘chute’s bright colors. We did all the other normal parachute play that we usually do, but I also added in doing The Noble Duke of York, raising and lowering the ‘chute to the song. That went really well, and after doing it twice a usually reticent boy shouted and asked if we could do it again. Well, sure, partner!
Overall, a very successful storytime.