This week’s storytime theme:
There are SO MANY awesome picture books about food that I had a terrible time narrowing it down. After stumbling across what are probably some of my new favorite books, I knew that I couldn’t not do “Dragons Love Tacos” or “Secret Pizza Party” both by Adam Rubin. They are not only hilarious or wonderfully illustrated, but they’re written in a way that makes for a very natural flow when reading aloud. I wanted to do a flannel board for at least one of them, and I had hoped two, but I was obviously a bit too ambitious and ended up doing only a modified flannel board to go along with the reading of “Dragons Love Tacos”, but I liked it. (see below for photos)
The parents seemed to enjoy the books as well, which is always good; this author / illustrator duo write /draw in a way that appeals not just to kids, but to anybody with even a mildly decent sense of humor.
Both of the stories have great narratives, but also encourage kids to use their memory and context clues to try to figure out what might happen next as well as give them a chance to talk about and share some of their favorite or least favorite foods which, as we’ve discussed before, builds confidence and camaraderie and as preschoolers, it’s the perfect age to do so.
After the first two books, we did an active rhyme that, I think, is a fun little twist on the typical “Five Little _____” rhymes. This rhyme has a lot of good actions that go along with it; counting, rolling their arms / hands, and at one point they even have to clap then point in one swift action. It’s great practice for coordination, and they were pros.
Five big cookies
Five big cookies sitting in the bowl. (hold up five fingers then make arms into a circle for the bowl)
One fell out and started to roll. (Fold up one finger, and roll hands)
It fell off the table and hit my toe (clap once, and touch toes )
How many cookies sitting in the bowl? 1-2-3-4 (Count fingers)
Four big cookies sitting in the bowl. (hold up four fingers)
Continue to count down until there are no cookies left.
I found the original version in various blogs and, once again, tweaked it a bit to my taste. The kids seemed to have a pretty good time rolling their arms and hands fast and slow and were were excellent clappers and pointers. A lot of times with these “5 Little” rhymes, I’ll do it once as “5 little” and then ask if they can do “10 little” or higher, but today I didn’t since we had some longer books and this rhyme was a bit more involved and longer than the usual ones, but they kept suggesting we do 10 or 50! I chuckled and said that there weren’t any more cookies in the bowl, but that I had stashed some in the cupboard for later. One kid then mumbled “That guy has got to keep better track of his cookies” which got a good laugh out of me.
After the rhyme, we did one last book. “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” by Judi Barrett. It’s a bit of a longer book, and the illustrations, while detailed, are not very vibrant and somewhat hard to see for large groups so I wasn’t sure how well it would go over. I warned them before I started that it was kind of long but they all wanted to hear it so we went ahead. Lots of parts garner responses of “EW!” or “YUCK!” and some even get kids to speak up saying “I love ___” or “That sounds good!” which is always fun, but it made for an even LONGER read!
After we finished, I could tell we had run over our usual time and some of the kids had gotten a bit antsy and left but the group that stayed, which was most of them, were still quite interested in telling me all about their favorite foods or what they really hate to eat. Sadly, I had to cut them all a bit short since we were quite past our stop time so we said our goodbyes and they all filed out of the room.
I really enjoyed this storytime and I’m excited to see what my Thursday session has in store for me!
Whoo boy, Thursday’s session was a real busy one! There were around 40 people in attendance and they had SO much to share about food they loved! For some reason, this group seemed to want to be much more interactive wwith the stories and books and frequently shouted out things they noticed on the pages or came up to point out the weird pictures during “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” I decided to switch the order up a bit and do that one first since it’s a bit longer and hoped that would make it easier to pay attention when it was at the beginning of storytime, but different days, different crowds. They still seemed to quite enjoy it, even if they were wriggly. After that book, I jumped right into “5 Big Cookies” this group LOVED it. They giggled and laughed and rolled like mad!
After burning off some energy, I got back to the books. They were much quieter and more focused for the last two books which is nice because instead of having to make sure everybody can see and hear, it gives me a chance to interact more directly with them; ask the questions about what they see and hear or if they can use context clues in the story to guess what happens next. It’s great practice for them, and always fun to hear the responses.
The Taco Flannel went over quite well and when we were done reading the books and I started asking them about their favorite foods, one kid said “I like the taco board” and pointed to the flannel, so, I pulled it back out and we played a memory game!
I put the check mark and the “no” sign back up on the board and I asked them if they could name something RED that dragons like on their tacos, then something RED that dragons DO NOT like on their tacos and so on until we had put all the ingredients and salsa back up on the board.
I love being able to interact with the kids instead of just expecting them to sit down, be quiet, and listen. I think it makes storytime more fun, less stressful and more free-flowing, and it’s excellent for them.
Here are the things I made for the “Dragons Love Tacos” Flannel board. As I said earlier, I was overly ambitious with the idea and lacked both time and patience to pull it off and had to resort to making things on the computer with clipart and paint and printing them out, but I think it still worked quite well. The kids loved it.
I’ll be honest, I have NO IDEA what I want to do for the next theme so it’ll be a surprise to us both when I post next week!
Any suggestions?! 😉