Because planning a program doesn't just take 5 minutes

Paws to Read

Since this was our last regular school-year storytime, we did it as a tandem.  We particularly looked for books that work well in two voices.  We did this one three times, so each group had a slightly different dynamic.

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

oh-no-georgeBook:   Oh No, George!  by Chris Haughton.  One person read the narrator, and the other read George.  We had to practice a bit because there were a few sections where we couldn’t immediately decide whether the narrator or George should be talking.  One of the things I liked about this was the ambiguous ending, which is pretty rare in a book for preschoolers.  We had the kids vote on whether they thought George would get into the garbage at the end.  It was pretty evenly split.

Song:   “Bingo”  Because, you know, dog story = dog song.

momo-and-snapBook:   Momo and Snap are NOT Friends! by Airlie Anderson.  One person read Momo and the other read Snap.  We weren’t sure whether the kids would get this, because all of the action – two characters afraid of each other, showing off for each other, working together, becoming friends – takes place in the pictures and the text is a lot of “oooh aaah” and “grrr.”  It worked out being very fun to read, and the kids did get the story.  In every group, at least one child shouted out, “Now they’re friends!” at the end.  (Our backup in case of very young’uns was My Dog, My Cat by Ashlee Fletcher.)

Songs:  “5 Little Monkeys Swinging from a Tree” and “5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed”

i'm-a-frogBook:   I’m a Frog! by Mo Willems.  We almost always act out an Elephant & Piggie at our tandem storytimes.  They’re just so fun!  You can pretty much type up a script and read it word for word with no adaptations, which is what we did.  It was interesting, but a lot of kids at the first two storytimes wanted to stand up and jump and “ribbit” with Piggie.  I think it’s because usually when we’re standing, we want the kids to stand too.  For the third session, we let the kids know that we were going to stand to act it out, and that seemed to work better.

Ending Song: “See You Later”

Craft:  The hardest part of this storytime was choosing a craft.  We ended up choosing paper plate masks.  We cut the middles out of the paper plates and put the sticks on in advance.  At the program, we gave the kids paper, scissors, crayons, and glue to make their own masks.  I did a sample that flipped from pig to frog and one that flipped from elephant to cow.  We decided they would be too distracting to use during storytime, but I did show them to the kids before they started crafting.  A few kids (and a few more adults) wanted to copy these almost exactly – there ended up being a lot of frog masks, plus some pigs and elephants (not so many cows) and a few other individual creations like dogs (and Angry Birds!)

Here’s the pig/frog:


And the elephant/cow:

mask-elephant     mask-cow
And the Angry Bird, created by a little guy who always comes in wearing an Angry Bird hat!

I also did a Paws to Read storytime for a preschool group of 4s and 5s this week.  I kept  Oh No, George! and I’m a Frog! but swapped in Snip Snap! What’s That? by Mara Bergman for the middle story.  I was planning to keep “5 Little Monkeys Swinging from a Tree” as reasonably thematic, but the group was late, so we skipped it.


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