Friday, September 2, 2016

Picnic with the Librarian!

At the end of each summer I try to find a fun way to say "goodbye and good luck" too all my storytime attendees who will be starting kindergarten in the fall. This year I decided to host an outdoor "picnic" storytime. This is not an original idea, having been hosted by my colleagues many times in the past. For me, however, this was my first time ...

We were blessed with absolutely STUNNING weather -- blue sky, temps in the high-60s, low-70s, a slight breeze and NO MOSQUITOES (amazing for Minnesota).

The grass was, naturally, damp due to morning dew so I did bring a tarp to place underneath my picnic blanket :

I have a nice, large wicker picnic blanket at home that I brought in not only to carry snacks that I planned to share with my storytime attendees, but to use as a prop for the Raffi song "Goin' On A Picnic" (can be found here : Goin' on a Picnic)

However ... instead of pulling out sandwiches, lemonade and cookies from my picnic basket, I pulled out a hammer, wrapping paper, a stapler, an extension cord, a Ping-Pong paddle and a license plate. After deciding that we didn't need those items for a picnic, we substituted with things that kids thought we *did* need to have at a picnic (including ice cream which always makes me kind of scratch my head ... how does that work??). I give my co-worker Tami Lee full credit for this idea.

Because storytime was being held outside and not only does the voice not carry as well outdoors but kids are less likely to have long attention spans, I only shared one "regular" book at this storytime. My choice for this event was "Good News, Bad News" by Jeff Mack.

Since the only text in this book are these two phrases, it was easy to keep the attendees' attention and we talked a lot about what they were seeing in the pictures. This page spread is a perfect example -- even more so since the tree we were sitting under was a crabapple tree :

I shared the fingerplay/rhyme "Five Hungry Ants" :

Five hungry ants were marching in a line
Looking for a picnic where they could dine.
They marched upon the salad,
They marched upon the cake,
They marched upon the pepper ...
ahh ... ahhh ... AH-CHOO!!!!!
What a mistake!

I sing this fingerplay to the tune of "Six Little Ducks" and speak the "what a mistake!" line.
To make this more visually appealing, I made five felt ants that I used on a fingerpuppet mitt, and had actual salad, cake (cupcakes) and pepper on a tray that my little ants "walked" over. Each sneeze resulted in an ant being tossed over my back. What a hoot.

We ended storytime attempting to play "Duck, Duck, Grey Duck" (in Minnesota, you have to use "Grey Duck" -- "Goose" just doesn't cut it in this state ...) but surprisingly a lot of the kids didn't really know how to play it. I was "it" four times and allowed each kid I selected to catch me, just so it was fair.

After storytime I had snacks plus bubbles and sidewalk chalk available for play.
Overall, this was a glorious storytime ... wish they could all be outside on beautiful days!

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