Wednesday, September 27, 2017

September 27th--Apples

This week's story time theme is apples, and I will admit that this week I was more excited for the craft than the stories. We did apple stamping, something I've always wanted to do but never had the chance. 

The books we read were

Little Apple Goat by Caroline Jayne Church
Apple Picking Time by Michele Benoit Slawson
What's so Terrible About Swallowing an Apple Seed? by Harriet Lerner and Susan Goldhor

I was a little nervous to give 25 preschoolers paint, but the whole craft went really well (though tablecloths and wipes are a MUST). 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Story Time is Back!

Happy Fall!
We took a break from story time for the summer but I'm so excited to be back at it. This week's story time theme was camping. I thought it would be a good end of summer/beginning of autumn type of theme.
The books we read were

  • Just Me and my Dad by Mercer Meyer
  • Monk Camps Out by Emily Arnold McCully
  • When I Go Camping with Grandma by Marion Dane Bauer
When I Go Camping With Grandma is one of my favorite books. The illustrations are breathtaking. It's a book from my childhood, so reading it brought on a fit of nostalgia.
To ease back into Story Time mode, I cheated a little and ordered a craft from Oriental Trading. That way there was no prep work, and the kids could still have fun with an awesome craft. I chose a campsite craft where the kids could just put up some trees, a tent, a bush with flowers, and a "camp" sign. They had fun, and the whole craft time went very well.

Link to Oriental Trading Camp Craft

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

April 12th--Easter

Holidays are pretty easy. I try to do stories celebrating all aspects of the holiday in question. The books I chose this time include subjects such as the Easter Bunny, decorating eggs, egg hunts, and the Christian celebration of Easter.

Easter by Miriam Nerlove (with the Christian story)
The Littlest Bunny in North Dakota by Lily Jacobs
Here Comes the Easter Cat by Deborah Underwood

The Littlest Bunny in North Dakota is part of a series of books that are made for most states. A complete list of Littlest Bunny books can be found HERE. See if your state/province is listed.

The Easter Cat is one of my favorite Easter books. The kids thought it was very funny.

For our craft we painted eggs. No, not real eggs (sadly). I had some coloring pictures that the kids got to paint. We used clothespins and pompoms for the brushes, but it was really unnecessary. It would have been easier to just use real paintbrushes.

March 22nd--Agriculture Week!

We live in a farming community. Ag week is huge here. And with the approach of spring, it's the perfect time to do an Agriculture centered story hour.

It was very difficult to choose books for this story time, as there are quite a few. I chose these three:

  • The Rusty Trusty Tractor by Joy Cowley
  • Harvesters by S.M. Maimone
  • Plant the Seed by Christie Matheson
Other books I considered are:
  • Oh say can you Seed by Bonnie Worth
  • National Geographic's Plants by Kathryn Williams
  • Planters by E. Weingarten
  • 4-Track Tractor by Samantha Bell
  • From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons
The craft I chose is more of a project. We planted beans! It was a lot of fun. While there was some grumbling because "I don't like beans!" The kids had fun planting. I told them they didn't have to eat the beans, just water them every day and watch the plat grow. We talked about the parts of the plant, what a seed needs to grow, and specifically how to plant and grow beans. 

Planting Beans
  • 2 cups (You will need to be able to punch a hole in one)
  • Bean seeds
  • Dirt (we used Miracle Grow)
  • Spray bottle(optional)
  • Stickers/paint/markers
  • Punch a hole in the bottom of one cup (This is so that any extra water will drain and not drown the bean)
  • Decorate the cup without a hole. We used stickers
  • Fill the cup with a hole with dirt (leave about 2 inches from the top)
  • Drop the bean seed in and cover with 1/4 inch of dirt
  • Spray the cup a couple of times with the spray bottle of water. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day is always fun for me. I love listening to the kids talk about how they're going to try and catch a leprechaun. That's why I chose to read How to Catch a Leprechaun by Adam Wallace. There was so much laughter during the book. After reading it I asked how each child would set their traps. There were some creative ideas! One kid told me he was planning on disguising himself as a table and putting some candy on his head.

Here is a list of books I read and books I considered reading:

  • How to Catch a Leprechaun by Adam Wallace
  • St. Patrick's Day by Anne Rockwell
  • Green Shamrocks by Eve Bunting (Where I got the idea for the craft)
  • How to trap a Leprechaun by Sue Fliess
  • Fiona's Luck by Theresa Bateman
  • Fiona's Lace by Patricia Polacco
Even though I only used the first three books for story time, I displayed the rest for the kids to take home and read/look at on their own.

Craft: Shamrock Necklaces

  • 5 shamrocks (we did 4 green and one white)
  • 18 beads
  • string/twine/yarn (we used twine)

 I love doing crafts that don't involve glue! Although this craft did involve a lot of cutting out. We made shamrock necklaces. There's really no wrong way to make a necklace, so I just told the kids to do 3 beads in between each shamrock. I suggested putting beads on to make it look like a rainbow, and most of the kids thought it was a good idea. Some did their own patterns.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

February 22nd Story Hour: Dragons

I have been waiting and waiting and WAITING to do a story hour on dragons. There are so many good dragon books out there. The ones I used are

  • Lovabye Dragon by Barbara Joossee
  • When a Dragon Moves in by Jodi Moore
  • Dragons Love Tacos By Adam Rubin
  • Me and my Dragon by David Biedrzycki 

I got the craft from THIS blog, and the kids LOVED it.

Dragons are so popular. Kids will go nuts over them. There are so many awesome books about dragons out there.
One really awesome thing about this craft is it's easy to make. It's just some folding and gluing. And of course kids love the wiggly eyes.

Lessons Learned from today's story hour:
1: Dragons love tacos
2: Kids LOVE dragons
3: Kids love making puppets

I've done one other story time where we made puppets. The results of that one were the same as this one: The kids went wild with their puppets.

Here's an excerpt of the aftermath:
Kid 1: Rawr: Give me some tacos!
Kid 2: Rararar! Not until you build me a sand castle!
*both attack each other in the face with their puppets*

Next time: I haven't decided if I want to do St. Patrick's Day or some other theme. I guess you'll have to wait and see!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

February 8: Valentine's Day

It's Valentine's Day (almost). Here is what we did on February 8th for Valentine's Day:

  • Ruby Valentine and the Sweet Surprise 
  • Love is all around North Dakota by Wendy Silvano (we live in ND, but there are other state versions of this book)
  • Love Monster by Rachel Bright
  • Froggy's First Kiss by Jonathan London 
My favorite part of story time is the kids' reaction to the stories. 
Love Monster was all around the kids' favorite book. The first page reads "This is a monster (hello Monster)." All the kids said "hello monster" with me. A few pages on, the book reads "poor monster" and of course the kids had to say poor monster. 
I read Froggy's First Kiss and of course every kid said "EWWWWW!" when Frogalina kisses Froggy. They loved it. 
Craft: Heart Window Clings

  • Washi Tape (Valentine's Day themed or other)
  • Heart cut-outs 
  • Glue

  • Each child will need two heart cut-outs and some washi tape.
  • decorate one heart with the tape
  • once the hole is covered, glue the second heart over the first, so that the sticky side is down.
  • Stick your completed craft to a window!

I had the kids make their heart on a ziplock bag, that way they could take the bag, peel the heart off, and stick it right on the window.

And of course we had to have a treat after story time, so I got these heart shaped suckers from our local Candy store (buy locally if you can!) and added a little extra to them with foam graphics I got at Hobby Lobby.

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