By Awnali Mills
Last week’s storytime had no theme. This was the result of a total goof on my part. I had a dinosaur theme all planned, prepared, organized, and on my cart. Then realized that I’m doing another dinosaur storytime in just a few weeks—one that can’t be changed because it’s part of Science and Stories and has already been advertised.
So, I changed everything out at the last minute. Good experience for the storytime muscles. The books I chose were Nanette’s Baguette by Mo Willems, and The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli.
First, Biscuit introduced us to the letter X. Wha??? Yep. X never gets any love, so Biscuit brought him to us and we talked about the very few words that begin with X. Then, Biscuit brought us X’s best friend, E. When E and X get together, they’re excellent! And extra, exit, exam, excited, etc… Then, we did a stretch to work all the kinks out and swung into Nanette’s Baguette. When this new book came in, we knew it was storytime gold. It really lends itself to great expression. It was a little long for the younger members of the group, but excellent for the older ones.
Next, I put on Five Little Monkeys from Bouncy Blue by Eric Litwin, and we danced and I had my five little monkeys finger puppets that danced around. Next, I pulled out some storytime props for Baa Baa Black Sheep. These are pictures of different colored sheep on craft sticks. There is also a picture of 3 bags. So, we said the Baa Baa Black Sheep rhyme several times, each time with a different color sign.
I had planned to use the book Llama Llama Mad at Mama by Anna Dewdney at this point, but for some reason I’d had an abundance of toddlers show up in addition to my preschoolers. I knew that another longish book wasn’t going to fly, so I skipped right over it and went on to my Little Mouse flannel. You know this one. You have the different colored houses, and the little mouse hides in one. You say, “Little mouse, little mouse! Are you in the (red) house?” Then, flip that house over to see if the mouse is there. This is always a crowd pleaser, and we played several rounds of this. (You can find several renditions of this activity at Jbrary).
After Little Mouse, I passed out shakers, and played Shake with You by Eric Litwin from Bouncy Blue. We had a great time shaking our shakers and dancing around. After that, I collected the shakers and had the kids sit down for The Watermelon Seed. This is a wonderful read-aloud that lends itself to lots of drama, and it’s short enough that my littlest ones didn’t get bored. Then we did our goodbye song and broke out the toys.