(Better late than never, eh?)
Week 9 – Bedtime
For this story time, I read Llama, Llama, Red Pajama by Anna Dewdey, Russell the Sheep by Rob Scotton and Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! by the great Mo Willems. The Llama books are always a hit and work with younger and older kids alike. The rhyming text is perfect for reading out loud to a restless group and the parents love these too because Baby Llama is “every toddler.” The kids totally get it too, and think it’s funny when Baby Llama whines and screams. I always ask them if they would ever act like that and they always say “no” with a big grin on their faces. In this story, Baby Llama has some trouble falling asleep and whines and frets until Mama rushes to him and tells him she is always there. Russell the Sheep has the classic Rob Scotton illustrations that I love and is a cute story about a sheep who tries everything he can think of to fall asleep to no avail. When he finally tries counting the sheep in his own flock, he falls asleep immediately. This is a cute story, but didn’t work too well with the group I had. They were on the younger side and the pictures are smaller and more detailed, so harder for them to see. I ended with Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! which is usually another one that works for all ages, but by this point, it was almost a lost cause! (The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are usually pretty tough for keeping kids focused, no matter what age.) Normally though, this is a great read-aloud because it involves the kids. They have to say “no!” to the pigeon, which they think is hilarious because they get to act like their parents.
Songs & Rhymes
We did the 5 Little Monkeys Song with hand motions. Bit hit! I had also planned to do Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, but they asked to do one of our Jim Gill dances – this particular group’s favorite is Jumping & Counting. So that got a little more energy out of them at least.
We made sheep out of cotton balls. Yup, that’s it! Some kids made several sheep, while some made one big one. I made a sample sheep, modeled after Russell.
Week 10 – Unusual Pets
I chose 4 books as possible reads for this story time, and I actually managed to read all 4 at my Wednesday session, a miracle!
The books were: My Rhinoceros by Jon Agee, Prudence Wants a Pet by Cathleen Daly, Chewy Louie by Howie Schneider and Smelly Bill by Daniel Postgate. Jon Agee’s new book is super cute and has that lovely off-beat humor and story-style that all of his books tend to have. At first, the boy thinks that his choice of a Rhinoceros as a pet was bad, as the Rhino doesn’t play fetch or any of those normal pet things. After speaking with an expert, he finds out that Rhinos only do 2 things. Those 2 things end up saving the day, and revealing that there is one more thing that Rhino’s do, making them the perfect choice for a pet after all!
As for Prudence, she wants a pet so badly and goes through all sorts of “non-pet” pets, such as a branch, a stick, a tire, and an old shoe. Her parents finally agree that she should have a real pet and the story ends happily, with Prudence choosing the perfect name for her new pet. I love this book, but it’s probably not the best group read-aloud. I only read it to my slightly older Wednesday group, who all loved it. It has cute illustrations and some subtle, dry humor for the parents too. Chewy Louie is about a dog that chews. Everything. Cute story, but a little on the longish side. Smelly Bill is a rhyming book about a smelly dog who finally gets a bath from Great Aunt Bleach, only to leave her as smelly as Bill was. A very funny story.
Song & Rhyme
We sang BINGO, which was a lot of fun, since the parents and myself kept getting confused as to how many claps to do! And did some more Jim Gill dances.
For the craft we made Sock Pets, which actually turned out even better than I thought it would. They are easy to make, since they don’t require any sewing, though I did heat up the glue guns so that they didn’t have wait for things to dry. I have 2 low heat glue guns that I put out for crafts sometimes, though parents always have the option of Elmers or tacky glue. Sometimes it’s just easier. I had black and white child socks I bought at Walmart. They chose a color, stuffed it with cotton balls, and then used a rubber band to tie off the end. This also worked as a tail. They came out so cute! And also really strange-looking, which was the whole point, of course.