It's been a while since I've shared a story time plan. This one was for the last few weeks. I'm so tired of snow and cold and refuse to do a winter story time. So, I went with a more fun topic: pets.
There aren't any really good songs I know about pets, but I had two in mind and played it by ear which one to share. We did "Old McDonald" for a few of the classes and then mixed in "BINGO" for some of the others.
Then I shared these stories:
The Best Pet of All by David LaRochelle: This is a cute story about a boy who asks his mother repeatedly to get a dog and she gives many reasons why a dog is not a good pet. Finally, he gives in and asks for a dragon. She says to him if he can find one, he can have one. Low and behold, he finds one. But the dragon isn't as fun as the boy thought, and his mom isn't pleased either. She finally relents and lets him have a dog since "Dragons are afraid of dogs."
It's a simplistic story but the kids love the dragon. He eats spaghetti in the tub, even. I have some issues with how this story reads; it's too many simple sentences, so when I shared it, I did a little of my own improvising to make it smoother. No one cared.
What Pet to Get by Emma Dodd: I LOVE Dodd's style so much. This is another story about a boy wanting a pet. He asks about a ton of exotic pets -- a T-Rex, a lion, a giraffe and many others -- and each of the images is hilarious. In the end, he chooses a normal pet, but the way it's illustrated makes it look huge and scary. The kids liked this story a lot and all of them get a kick out of the end.
The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash by Trinka Hakes Noble and illustrated by Steven Kellogg: I originally brought the oversized book to my first classes but soon realized how unwieldy it was to hold and read. My reading became too choppy for me to stand, and I decided in my later classes to ditch the novelty for the standard book.
This was one of my favorite stories growing up, but I found that it didn't go over quite as well as I wished. My kids are in preschool and kindergarten, and part of me wonders if this is a book better appreciated by older reads or if it is the kind of book I should have begun my story time with, rather than end with. Oh well. You can't know until you try.
After stories, I played a couple rounds of "Little Mouse" with the kids and then we made this craft together. My coworker asked me if I needed any help prepping a craft about a month ago, and I said I needed some kind of pet craft for February. I gave her my parameters -- something that has just a few steps, lets the kids make some choices so they feel ownership over it, and something that can be done in about ten minutes.
I think she did really well in giving me this:
Everyone got to make their own pet birds!
This craft was exceedingly simple: it required a few feathers, two googly eyes, a paper bag, and yellow paper. My coworker cut the triangles for me, and I rounded up a ton of different colored feathers. When we got the kids situated to make the bird, each had their eyes and beaks handed to them. While they glued, I came around and let the kids each pick out 4 or 5 feathers and let them glue them anywhere they wanted to.
Some of my kids made paper bag horses and dogs, but most made birds that were much more creative than mine. And this craft was a total hit: who DOESN'T like a project that can be played with and involves using feathers and googly eyes. There aren't enough things like this, I tell you.
I had one kid ask me to have a conversation with the bird while it was on my hand. Not being one to miss an opportunity to let the kids be creative, I told him mine was actually mute but I couldn't wait to hear his. I totally did, too.