Because planning a program doesn't just take 5 minutes

Squares & Rectangles

This week was the second of our shape-themed storytimes.  Books are beautifully rectangular, so I figured I could choose any book and make it relevant, which really took the pressure off.  There’s also invitations and presents (read that as “birthdays”), beds and pillows (bedtime!), windows and doors (houses!), and lots more.  I joined another staff member for a tandem storytime, and then will also do a solo storytime later in the week.


Tandem Storytime

Opening Song: “If You’re Ready for Storytime”

not-a-boxStory: Not a Box by Antoinette Portis.  What’s more rectangular than a box?  And this book makes such a great tandem – one adult to ask what the little guy is doing with the box, and one little guy to insist it’s not a box and show what it really is.  We were able to act out some of the pretend play (spraying water on a burning building, driving a race car).  It would have been cool to really have a big box, but also maybe a little bit distracting, so acting it out from our seats worked just fine.

Song: “A Cat Had a Birthday” from the Sesame Street CD Hot! Hot! Hot! Dance Songs.  We sang this without the CD.  We introduced cats, and then the kids suggested cows, chickens, and fish.  We finished with kids and sang “Happy Birthday” the regular way.  The kids liked the song and were good at coming up with suggestions, but didn’t sing along with us as much as I’d hoped.

ten-thank-you-letters Story: Ten Thank-You Letters by Daniel Kirk.  This book was one of the reasons I thought of using Squares & Rectangles as our tandem theme for the season.  (The other was Small Blue and the Deep Dark Night by Jon Davis, which was also beautifully divided into two voices.  We didn’t think we could pull off both of them in the same storytime, so we didn’t end up doing Small Blue, but I’d love to try it another time.)  Pig is trying to write a thank-you note to his grandma, but Rabbit keeps interrupting, asking for materials to write his own thank-yous.  In the end, we get 9 thank-yous from Rabbit (including one for Pig), plus the one from Pig to his grandma.  The story may have been a bit sophisticated for the crowd, but the adults enjoyed it and, as usual, the back-and-forth of two tellers was enough to keep the little guys’ attention.

Action Rhyme: “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.”  Sometimes you just gotta go with one that everyone knows and loves.  This was a fun wiggle break for everyone.

i-am-invitedStory: I Am Invited to a Party! by Mo Willems.  This is my all time favorite tandem story.  With a few quick dress-up props, it is super easy to act out.  We hid our clothes behind the whiteboard.  When the characters zip off to change, we played the song “Celebration” by Kool & the Gang (there are several versions on kid-friendly CDs) while we changed.  We came back and danced a little bit to the song before picking up the narrative.  So fun and easy to do, and the kids and adults loved it.

Closing Song

Craft: Letter writing with colored paper, plain and colored pencils, markers, stamper markers, stickers, and envelopes.


Solo Storytime

Opening Song : “I Am Here & You Are Here” by Peter & Ellen Allard (on Sing It! Say It! Stamp It! Sway It! Vol. 3)
Story: I Am Invited to a Party! by Mo Willems

Song: “A Cat Had a Birthday” from the Sesame Street CD Hot! Hot! Hot! Dance Songs

Story: Open this Little Book by Jesse Klausmeier

Story: Small Blue and the Deep Dark Night by Jon Davis

Action Rhyme: “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed”

Story: Perfect Square by Michael Hall

Craft: Letter writing with note cards, colored paper, plain and colored pencils, markers, stamper markers, stickers, and envelopes.

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