By Awnali Mills
Because our SRC this year is On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!, I had to do a sports storytime.
Yes, I did.
There are lots of sports books for preschoolers, but I wasn’t thrilled with many of the choices in a storytime context. The books I finally chose were Maisy’s Field Day by Lucy Cousins, and Clothesline Clues to Sports People Play by Kathryn Heling.
We talked a bit about the sports equipment picture that I had on my PowerPoint, and the kids correctly guessed the types of balls I had in my magic bag.
Then, we sang Take Me Out to the Ballgame.
It was sad.
Apparently, this is not a song that children sing anymore. I explained to them that my dad played on a baseball team when I was a kid, and we used to sing this song. It’s a fun song and maybe they could ask their grownups to teach it to them.
Then we read Maisy’s Field Day, which they seemed to enjoy. We followed that with the rhyme My Favorite Fastest Shoes, which I got from Ms. Kelly:
My favorite fastest shoes
I was walking along the street one day (march)
With my knees up high, can you walk this way?
But I stepped in something. What should I do?
My favorite, fastest shoes have turned the color blue!
I was hopping along the street one day (hop)
On just one foot, can you hop this way?
But I hopped in something. I’m filled with dread.
My favorite, fastest shoes have turned the color red!
I was twirling along the street one day (twirl)
Around and around, can you twirl this way?
But I twirled in something. I’m not a happy fellow.
My favorite, fastest shoes have turned the color yellow!
I tiptoed along the street one day. (tiptoe)
Way up on my toes, can you tiptoe this way?
But I tiptoed in something. I’m about to make a scene!
My favorite, fastest shoes have turned the color green!
I stood still on the street one day (stand in place)
With my feet like this, can you stand this way?
I stepped in nothing, but this isn’t very fun.
My shoes are meant to run, run, run! (run)
For each color, I had a separate slide with the appropriate color shoes. I guess this is supposed to be a song, but it didn’t list a tune, and I just said it as a rhyme while we did the motions.
Then, I did the flannel that I created, One Player Went Out to Play. The kids enjoyed hollering “HEY PLAAAAYER!” We followed this with a rousing rendition of This Is the Way We Play T-Ball.
(Tune: Here we go Round the Mulberry Bush)
This is the way we bat the ball,
Bat the ball, bat the ball.
This is the way we bat the ball
When we play T-ball. (or baseball)
Throw the ball
Run the bases
I am so sorry, but I’m having trouble tracking down where I got some of these songs from. I’ll be happy to attribute, if you’ll leave me a message.
I read Clothesline Clues next, and the kids really got into it, shouting out the sport before I could finish the rhyme. The sport of fencing really threw them for a loop, though. One child said, “Well, I don’t know what sport it is, but it looks like pirates to me.” That was great! My husband and son are both fencers, so I told them just a teeny bit about the sport.
Next, we sang Baseball Player:
(sung to Frere Jacques)
Baseball player, baseball player
Swing the bat, hit the ball (Pretend to swing a baseball bat.)
Run around the bases, run around the bases (Pretend to be running.)
Homerun, homerun (Do a victory dance)
Next, I had the kids play the Little Football, Little Football flannel, which they loved and would have happily continued playing for ages, but I kept it to 3 rounds.
To end, I had everyone divide onto two sides of the room and let them bat several beach balls back and forth across the room. This is a lot of fun, but you really need to keep kids seated so that nobody runs into each other while chasing a ball. There were no rules, it was just a crazy free for all. I did, however, sneak my early literacy tip in here. This kind of play helps kids develop the motor skills that they will need to be prepared for kindergarten.