Fourth of July Storytime 6-29-16

By Awnali Mills

Do you ever have days when you wonder what the heck you’re doing in children’s services?  A day when you just can’t seem to connect in storytime?

Yeah, this was one of those days.

I had prepped what I thought was an awesome storytime.  Very few people showed up, and only one of those was a regular.  Forty-five minutes before storytime, I discovered that our old, on-it’s-last-legs iPad had been left off the charger and was completely dead.  In 30 minutes, it charged up to 17%–enough to come on—but quickly dropped to 9% as soon as I brought up my storytime slides.  I scrounged up an extension cord so I could leave it plugged in while using it, but it continued to drop, and kept coming up with low battery notifications during the storytime, so I had to keep dealing with that while trying to switch slides.

The books I had chosen were How to Bake an American Pie by Karma Wilson and Hats Off for the Fourth of July by Harriet Ziefert.

How to Bake an American Piehats off for the 4th of July

I started with red, white, and blue scarves in my magic bag, and then handed out a scarf to each person after we’d talked about the July the Fourth holiday coming up.  Then we marched around the room, waving our scarves and singing Oh, When the Flags Come Marching In written by Jean Warren:

(tune: When the Saints go Marching In)
Oh, when the flags come marching in,
Oh, when the flags come marching in,
How we love to see our three colors
When the flags come marching in.
First comes the red, then white and blue
First comes the red, then white and blue
How we love to see our three colors
When the flags come marching in.

Then I asked the children to sit on their scarves.  They did this beautifully, and I didn’t have any trouble with them.  I read How to Bake an American Pie, and that was a total dud.  I had one child walking around, another making fart noises, and another one squirming in mom’s lap fussing (he was a bit young for my group anyway.)

Next, I did the flannel Five Little Firecrackers.  I had the kids rub their hands together and we all did the sizzle, sizzle, sizzle, sizzle BOOM! together.  They seemed to like that well enough, and then we got up and waved our scarves to The Flag is Flying:

(tune: When Johnny Comes Marching Home)

The flag is flying in the breeze,
Hurrah! Hurrah!
Flying high above the trees,
Hurrah! Hurrah!
The red, the white, the blue float by,
The stars and stripes in the wide blue sky,
And we’ll all stand up
As the flag goes marching by.
by Mary Dixon

Then I read Hats Off for the Fourth of July which went slightly better than the first book.  I was able to get them to pat their knees with the repeating refrain, so they seemed more engaged.

Next, I did the flannel Red, White and Blue where I put out photos of the different red, white and blue colored things and deliberately said the wrong colors.   The children were quick to correct me, and quite vocal about it.

Then, I did the song Wave a Flag

 (tune: Did you Ever See A Lassie?)
Did you ever wave a flag, a flag, a flag?
Did you ever wave a flag on Independence Day?
Wave this way and that way,
And this way and that way.
Did you ever wave a flag, on Independence Day?
adapted from Barbara Paxson

We did this song while waving our flags from side to side.  Then, we repeated it, moving our scarves up and down.  Then, because they were actually engaging, I threw in a twirl, and we twirled around with our flags.

So, then I flipped the slide and realized that I had totally forgotten to get the experiment ready that I had prepped earlier this week.  I was going to do Fireworks in a Jar, but the rushing about trying to get the iPad up and working had totally pushed the experiment from my mind, which really made me angry with myself.

I had also prepped an iPad app for the kids to make their own fireworks, and figured they would really enjoy that on the big screen, but with the iPad acting up, I was afraid to risk it.

I sang our closing song, and offered to pull out the toys, but every child had already raced from the room.  I wanted to sit and cry.  This is so totally Not Normal for my group.

Do you ever have days like this?  When the feeling in the room is lackluster, but you just can’t seem to connect no matter how much you wave your pompoms? When your tech doesn’t work, and you forget something critical?  Tell me it’s not just me, okay?

 

 

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One Response to Fourth of July Storytime 6-29-16

  1. Morrisa says:

    Nope! Not just you. Happens with my church kids too. So, hang on to those times when you have their rapt attention. Let go of the rest. Have a stunning day!

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