By Awnali Mills
Learning numbers is, obviously, a very important part of getting ready for kindergarten. If we can make numbers fun, that’s even better! This morning’s storytime was all about numbers and counting. If you replicate this storytime, your early literacy tip is that it’s a lot of fun to help kids recognize numbers everywhere you go—especially street signs!
The books I chose were Chicka Chicka 1,2,3 by Bill Martin, Bear Counts by Karma Wilson, and Soup for One by Ethan Long.
After a check of the weather, we took a peek in my magic bag and pulled out (wait for it….) magnetic numbers! I put them randomly on the board, and then we had fun putting them in order. Boy, you should have heard the shouts when I “accidentally” put five before four! Then, there was a great deal of consternation when we had to figure out what to do with zero. We couldn’t use the one to create ten because then we didn’t have a one. Sooo, we decided to place zero BEFORE one. What a relief!
I have to say that this is the only time I’ve ever pulled out a book and had kids go “oooohhhhh!” Then there was a little confusion because it wasn’t Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. Oh, well. They still enjoyed Chicka Chicka 1,2,3, very much.
Next, I pulled out a Pete the Cat puppet. This is a puppet that was very confusing when I first got a hold of it. It was designed to look just like the Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons book cover, with one button popping off. But, you couldn’t use it to tell the story because none of the rest of the buttons came off. Grrr! So, some alterations were in order. I removed all the buttons, sewed Velcro on (removing the black string that kept the one button attached to the puppet), and voila! A useable Pete the Cat. So, Pete came out and he and I told the story. There were gasps and giggles each time a button fell off. Then, a lot of laughing when Pete’s belly button comes out. (A little girl informed me after storytime that I was wrong, that buttons do NOT come. I explained that we can sew new buttons on when we lose them, so buttons can both come and go. She was not happy with my explanation.)
Then, we sang Zoom, Zoom, Zoom. This, of course, works well because of the backwards counting. And, any song where we get to jump is a good one!
Next we read Bear Counts. Kids enjoyed counting with Bear. I had a large group (40), and they had no trouble being vocal!
My next activity was a flannel called Eight Fat Sausages. I hadn’t used this in a storytime before, but it worked well. There are eight fat sausages frying in a pan. One went POP (have kids throw hand up and shout POP) and one went BANG (have kids clap loudly as they shout BANG). Remove two of the sausages and repeat until they’re all gone. We counted each time to be sure we had subtracted two correctly.
For our last book, we read Soup for One. I showed them the sneaky spider on the cover, and on each page we looked for the spider. I really built up how sneaky the spider was and asked whether they thought he was going to eat the bugs. The ending was a fun surprise, and one child even pointed out that soup was used to spell “The End.” Good job!
Then, to finish us up, we all counted how many people were in the room. I meant to write it on the board, but forgot in the rush of finishing.