Because planning a program doesn't just take 5 minutes

Archive for January, 2014

Chinese New Year Storytime

Tomorrow is Chinese New Year, so our theme this week was Chinese New Year / Horses (to go with the Year of the Horse).  The kids in today’s group didn’t know much about Chinese New Year.  In fact, when I asked them what holiday comes tomorrow, the first answer I got was “spring.”  Since it’s been many degrees below zero this week and is currently gusting snow, I’d call spring a real holiday right now!  The kids were pretty chatty this week, so we read less and talked more about what we were reading.  Overall, a fun time.

Want to know more?  Read on!


Winter Storytime #1

We do not put specific age ranges on our storytimes (this program is just called “Preschool Storytime”) and usually I accommodate a pretty wide range of ages.  This was definitely one of the “older” storytimes I’ve ever done, in part because I tried two new things – a science experiment and rhythm sticks during a story.  It worked great for the kids who were old enough, but not as well for the pile o’ toddlers.  Fortunately, I had talked to many of the caregivers of the smaller kids ahead of time and let them know that, while they were welcome to attend, there were other programs that might be more developmentally appropriate.  So I don’t think I totally alienated anyone. 

Want to know more?  Read on!


Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things

I just led my first ever book club!  I have done book parties before, but never a book discussion, and to be honest, I was scared stiff. It was a Boys and Books program for 3rd and 4th graders with a parent.  We made a few mistakes in advertising.  It was meant to be the boys’ version of our Mother-Daughter Book Club, but we were afraid that not enough dads would commit to pull off a Father-Son Book Club.  (Tonight, we ended up with three moms and two dads.)  Unfortunately, neither the title nor the program description suggested to the parents that they should read the book, even though they were required to attend.  Four of the five boys and one of the five parents had read the book in advance, and the questions were general enough that those who had not read could still join in.

Want to know more?  Read on!

Getting Started

I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, and I’m ready to bite the bullet.  A program blog.  No more last-minute program planning.  Or, at least, if I do plan at the last minute, I’ll have to ‘fess up and face semi-public shame.  And think afterwards about what choices I made, and why, and how I could have done better.  Because that’s what intentionality is all about, right?  And when you’re doing something important – like introducing kids to stories, or music, or art, or science, or a general sense of wonder about the world, or all of the above – you shouldn’t do it half-assed.

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