Because planning a program doesn't just take 5 minutes

Letter H

2016

See below for the 2015 Letter H Storytime.

Opening Song: “I Am Here & You Are Here” by Peter & Ellen Allard (on Sing It! Say It! Stamp It! Sway It! Vol. 3)

Mystery Bag objects: hot dog, hamburger, heart, horse, and hat/helmet.

Because we’d already talked about the letter, I introduced each story or song by having them guess what H-word it was about.

I actually did two different storytimes this week.  I’m going to write up the one where I had the most preschoolers and did a more typical preschool storytime, but I’ll also briefly describe what I did for the group that was mostly toddlers.

whose-hatStory: Whose Hat Is That? by Anita Bijsterbosch.  This was super simple, but the kids loved doing a big “Whoosh!” sound and waving their arms for each movement of the hat.  I had never used this one before, and I think it would work just as well for toddlers.  For the first group, I used Hooray for Hat! by Brian Won, which was similarly short, simple, and with repetitive lines where the kids could join in.

Song: “The Hokey Pokey” with Father Goose from Family Dance by Dan Zanes.  This is a fun, slightly older adaptation of “The Hokey Pokey.”  I tried to get the kids to circle up and do it as a circle dance, but that didn’t quite work.

are-you-a-horseStory: Are You a Horse? by Andy Rash.  And oldie but goodie.  I cut the text a bit because it does tend to go on, but the kids in this group loved identifying which animal it actually was.  I skipped this story for the toddler group and went straight to The Three Little Pigs and then ended with “Little Mouse.”

little-mouseSong/Flannel: “Little Mouse” (houses)  This is a fun interactive flannel.  With the smaller/younger group, I gave each child a chance to actually come up to the board and flip over a house.  With the bigger/older group, I just called on kids to give a guess and then flipped it myself.  With that group, it just so happened that no one gave a correct guess until the end, so we tried all the houses, but didn’t have to move the mouse.

three-pigsStory: The Three Little Pigs by Bernadette Watts (houses).  I barely used the book, except to turn the pages to keep up with the story.  I liked that this one goes pig by pig – he leaves, he gets materials, he builds the house, and the wolf comes.  Since the most interactive part happens when the wolf arrives, it’s hard to keep the kids’ attention through all the house-building if they all build their houses before the wolf shows up.  Most of the kids knew the story and were happy to participate on the wolf’s and the pigs’ repeated lines.

Closing Song: “See Ya Later”

h-craft-stick-house  h-craft-stick-broom

Craft: Building with (craft) sticks, (bubble tea) straws, and (Duplo) bricks.  In the group that was largely toddlers, the Duplo was most popular.  In the group that was mostly preschoolers, the straws and sticks were more popular and hardly anyone touched the Duplo.  The two creations shown above, a house and a broom, were made by preschoolers.  They didn’t include any straws, although many of the kids did, or built exclusively out of straws.

“Little Mouse”
To the tune of “Twinkle Twinkle”
Little mouse, little mouse,
Come out to play.
What color house
Are you in today?

2015

Opening Song: “I Am Here & You Are Here” by Peter & Ellen Allard (on Sing It! Say It! Stamp It! Sway It! Vol. 3)

Mystery Bag objects: hot dog, hamburger, and heart.  We also had a horse and a hen.

Because we’d already talked about the letter, I introduced each story or song by having them guess what H-word it was about.

are-you-a-horseStory: Are You a Horse? by Andy Rash.  Sometimes I have felt like this story goes on too long, but it seemed to work today.  I adapted a little bit so that the kids could repeat “Are you a horse?” on every page and then say what the animal in question actually is.  Both adults and kids loved the surprise ending.

Song: “The Hokey Pokey” with Father Goose from Family Dance by Dan Zanes.  School was out, and I had a madhouse of a group today (about twice our normal number, with a mix ranging from toddler all the way through early elementary), so it was nice to have a pretty familiar song to go to.  Everyone was up and participating, and this version is unfamiliar enough that the older ones didn’t seem to find it too babyish.

house-that-jack-builtMagnet Story: “The House that Jack Built.”  I made this set for my Magnet Science Storytime last year.  I am not huge on flannels or magnet stories, but I really like them for cumulative tales.  In this case, having the objects to point to helped set the rhythm and helped everyone (including me) remember what came next.

hippospotamusStory: Hippospotamus by Jeanne Willis.  I was planning to play “Little Mouse” before this, but I thought it would get unwieldy with the big crowd, so I skipped it.  The toddlers started getting squirrelly and a bunch of them left at the beginning of Hippospotamus, but the target audience definitely got the story and enjoyed the silly rhymes and the gross-out ending.  I would like to try it again some time with a smaller group where we could talk more about the rhyming.

Closing Song: “See Ya Later”

house-craft-1house-craft-3Craft: Build houses out of craft sticks, straws, tape, and glue.  I had a building project scheduled with the big guys later the same day, so I thought I’d let the little guys just build, too.  When I saw the group size, I added in Duplo as a backup, but none of them really went to the Duplo until after they were done with their sticks and straws.  They were thinking in 2-D, maybe because of the way I assembled the stick house for “The House that Jack Built,” so I put out some paper to help them carry their creations.  This helped them a lot, and many kids decided to just tape their sticks and straws onto the paper.

 

Possible subthemes:  hibernation, hearts, helping, horses, houses, hats, hands, hippo

Other possible titles:  

Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson (hibernation)

Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip C. Stead (hibernation)

Hiccupotamus by Steve Smallman

My Heart is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall

“Hands are for Clapping”

“If You’re Happy and You Know It”

 

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