Because planning a program doesn't just take 5 minutes

Archive for November, 2015

Letters I & J Storytime

should-i-shareWe weren’t sure we’d have enough material for I & J separately, so we combined them.  In the end, finding books and songs wasn’t hard, but finding items to put in the mystery bag was!

For the activity, I let the kids play with ice.  Honestly, I think just melting ice with water and salt would have been fun enough (and some of the adults were surprised to see how much fun it was), but I also made some baking soda ice cubes that we melted with vinegar to get a huge, bubbling mess.  It was awesome, but, sadly, too hectic to take any photos.

Want to know more?  Read on!


Letter H Storytime

house-craft-2Letter H was a little bit thinner in both possible themes and stories than some of the previous weeks’ letters, but it just takes a few good stories to make a storytime work, so it worked out fine.  As I’ve been trying to do this fall, I used a few old favorites and one new book.

We got a super big crowd today – school was out for conferences – and I loved having no chairs at the craft tables.  It allowed the kids to crowd around the tables and all fit, which they definitely would not have with chairs.  I tried putting an alternate activity (Duplo) on the floor to take some of the pressure off, but they all wanted to do the original project.

This was another fun lesson in how much you can stretch the age on an open-ended activity.  I was doing a 3-D building project with 3rd-5th graders later in the day, and gave the preschoolers pretty much the same materials (craft sticks and straws of assorted sizes, along with masking tape).  The two groups used them differently, and the preschoolers definitely preferred having paper to tape them onto, but both groups were super engaged and came up with some really creative projects.

Want to know more?  Read on!

Letter G Storytime

green-grass-grewI wasn’t expecting this one to go well, because we couldn’t come up with a million possible themes and titles for G, but actually all of the stories and songs were fun, and so was the activity at the end. The sleeper success was “The Green Grass Grew All Around.” I’ve talked some this year about wanting to get the adults more involved, and this cumulative call-and-response song totally did it. The kids participated verbally a little bit, and also waved their fingers around to be the green grass in the chorus, but the adults held the whole thing together. Yay!

Want to know more? Read on!

Boys & Books: The Mad Potter

mad-potter-11This month, we read and discussed The Mad Potter by Jan Greenberg. Making pots as an activity was a given. However, because George Ohr, the subject of the book, liked crazy mustaches and trick photography, we also made goofy mustaches and took pictures of the kids with their pots. This was pretty simple to plan and run, and everyone had lots of fun.

Want to know more? Read on!

Letter F Storytime

watercolor-treeThere were tons of choices for F.  I went with several old favorites, one that is quickly becoming a favorite, and one that was brand new.  The new one didn’t go as well, but I still think it’s important to keep trying new things.

Craft-wise, I am going to put in a plug here for liquid watercolors.  We buy ours in a 10-color set from Oriental Trading, although we’ve also seen single colors at Blick Art.  I’ve used them recently for wax-resist painting, both for letter C and Halloween storytimes.  They’re also amazing for salt painting and shaving cream marbling, which might be too complicated for storytime, but are awesome nonetheless.  I’ve also used them for color mixing experiments in a color science storytime.  This week, we just used them to drop fall colors on giant coffee filters.  Not fancy, but fun and attractive!

Want to know more?  Read on!

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