Opening Song: “I Am Here & You Are Here” by Peter & Ellen Allard (on Sing It! Say It! Stamp It! Sway It! Vol. 3)
We started with a quick discussion of Valentine’s Day, which was the following day. I didn’t really do any Valentine stories, but some of the other staff did, and the room was decorated with hearts, so I figured we’d better address it. I asked what the kids were going to do for Valentine’s Day and who they were going to give Valentines to. I thought they’d say their parents, but they all said their friends in class, so that worked out unexpectedly well for me as an intro into Friends.
Story: The Best Friends Book by Todd Parr. Typical Parr – a nice intro to the topic, with a decent amount of silliness tossed in. The kids really got a kick out of this one. Sadly, it was in horrible condition, so we withdrew it after storytime this year. And it’s out of print, so I’ll have to come up with something new next time. Ah, well.
Song: “Clap with a Friend” I haven’t played this in a while, and I should probably have practiced more ahead of time. I was a little distracted by getting the chords right, instead of just having fun with the song. I was afraid that this was too close to the opening song, which also features a variety of actions, but I guess you just can’t jump too many times in one session.
Story: Ten Things I Love About You by Daniel Kirk. I considered substituting Suzanne Bloom’s A Splendid Friend, Indeed, which features a similarly pesky-but-lovable friend in a simpler storyline, but decided to go for this one. I was glad I did. The kids stayed really engaged in the story – which would have been even better in a tandem storytime, with two voices. The only place we started getting wiggly was at the end, when reading the two lists of things the friends loved about each other.
Song: “Stick to the Glue” from Jim Gill Makes It Noisy in Boise, Idaho. The tune was super easy, so I played it myself on the guitar instead of using the CD. The tie-in here is the “hugging friends” verse, which ends with the two friends stuck together, so before we started the song, I asked the kids to stand next to someone they wanted to hug. Some of the kids hugged themselves, which was super cute. For the last verse, we did “singing songs” with our lips covered with glue and then sung/hummed the chorus as if our lips were stuck together. This is always a big favorite (and works better for me than the “brushing teeth” verse used on the CD.)
Ending Song: “See You Later”
Craft: Even though I didn’t use any Valentine-specific stories, I wanted the kids to make something they could give to a friend. I had a lot of pre-torn foil sheets left over from a boat-making program, so I was thinking maybe something shiny. I used this shiny heart as an inspiration, but I wanted to make it a little simpler. Wrapping cardstock hearts in foil was too hard for the little guys to do themselves at craft time, and I didn’t want to pre-prep a ton of crafts, so I ended up with paper plates that the kids covered with foil and decorated with paper hearts, sequins, and other goodies. I considered doing a hole punch at the top with a piece of ribbon so they could hang it, but punching through the plate and foil was pretty hard. I started the year with some over-complicated crafts, so I’m trying to minimize frustration by keeping things a bit simpler. I also left out the Mod Podge step shown on the website.