Monday, April 29, 2013

At the Circus!

Bring on the dancing ponies and the acrobats! Today at storytime we went to the circus.
Not surprisingly, many kids in attendance had never been to the circus before ... I think it's a dying art.
But in any case, I whipped out all the stops for a circus-themed storytime.

Books We Shared :
Circus  by Lois Ehlert (warning : you may trash your voice if, as I did, you read this in a ringmaster's voice -- ack!)
Circus Parade  by Harriet Ziefert
Wolf Won't Bite  by the one-and-only Emily Gravett
Circus 1-2-3  by Megan Halsey

Flannel Story :
"Clancy the Clown"
super easy flannel story to make -- could also be used in a shapes-themed storytime.

Clancy is a circus clown.
He loves to make people laugh.

Before the circus begins
Clancy always puts on his clown face.

He starts with his clown eyes ...
Then puts on his clown mouth ...
And adds his crazy clown hair ...
And finally his clown nose!
(put on the blue square).

Wait a minute ... that's not right, is it?
(then put on each nose -- green triangle, large yellow circle, small purple dot -- until finally, in frustration, you ask the kids what his nose looks like. Finish the story by adding the red clown nose)
Now Clancy knows his nose ... and you do too!

I loves me a good draw-and-tell story. The trick is in finding ones that aren't too complicated to draw or too involved to tell a good, simple, SHORT story. This is one of the better ones.
"At the Circus"
Joey and his dad went to the circus.
When they entered the big top, the first thing they saw was the big arena.

Joey and his dad sat on one side of the arena. They could look across and see lots of other people.

The band began to play at the top of the arena.

They could see a conductor leading the band.

Finally, the lights all went out until one spotlight lit up the ringmaster in the center of the arena.

"Ladies and Gentlemen! Boys and Girls! Welcome to the greatest show on earth!
For your entertainment, we have dancing, prancing horses!"

"And for the brave of heart we have fierce lions jumping through hoops of fire!"

"High overhead we have the daring young man on the flying trapeeze ... watch as he swings across the crowd from side to side ..."

When Joey got home, his mother asked him if he liked the circus.
"Yes! There was a band, and dancing horses, and lions jumping through hoops of fire, and even acrobats flying over our heads! But what I loved the most about the circus was ..."
ask kids to answer

Monday, April 8, 2013

Finally ... Spring!

Spring has been a long time coming here in Minnesota. When I originally planned for storytime on this date, I thought we'd be well underway with birds, flowers and green grass. Instead, the last of the snow is slowly melting away. Still, it was time to celebrate all things spring this morning at storytime.
Books We Shared :
Wake Up, It's Spring!  by Lisa Campbell Ernst
Spring is Here  by Will Hillenbrand (complete with a snoring bear ...)
Forever Friends  by Carin Berger

I do not consider myself a super crafter ... but when I saw the instructions for creating these flannel rabbit fingerpuppets online, I could not help myself and accepted the (internal) challenge to make five of these little guys to use at storytime.

Of course I had a song/rhyme that went with these little fuzzy guys ...
tune = "Five Little Ducks That I Once Knew
(can be found on Raffi's CD More Singable Songs)
(spoken) :
Once upon a time there were five bunnies.
They lived with their momma in a tree stump.
One day ...
(sung) :
Five little bunnies
One spring day
Went to the carrot patch
Far away.
Momma bunny called
"Thump! Thump! Thump! Thump!"
stomp foot on ground
But only four came back to their stump ...

count all the way down until there are zero bunnies
last time :
Sad mother bunny
One spring day ...
Went to the carrot patch
Far away ...
Momma bunny went ...
thump ... thump ... thump ... thump ...
and ALL of her bunnies came back to their stump!!

I considered (briefly) using a large rabbit puppet for the mother but realized I needed both hands free to remove the bunnies behind my back one-by-one and (more important!) put them back on at the end.

For those crazy enough as I was to pursue this "craft" here is a link to the template :
If you put in the time, I promise you will NOT regret it!