If you don't know about the fabulous Sarah's Awesome Storytime blog and you do preschool storytimes, become familiar. I get so many of my ideas from her, and the bulk of this week's small story time (small being a relative term for 70 kids, of course) came from one of her posts. The theme? Colors and Rainbows. This was one of my and the kids' favorite story times so far.
Rather than sing a song, I started my story times this week by playing "Simon Says." While the kids didn't want to play fair in any of the classes, it did not matter. The kids absolutely loved getting up and acting silly, and frankly, it was amusing for me to make them walk in circles clucking like chickens. In one of my classes, I let one of the kids be Simon, and he had as much fun as I did making us do things. A nice change up from the routine.
Then we dove into three stories:
Wow! Said the Owl by Tim Hopgood. The kids loved telling me what happens when the sun and rain happen at the same time, and the pictures in this book are so fun.
Lots of Dots by Craig Frazier. This story is so colorful and fun. We chose different pages to not only talk colors, but talk shapes and objects, and we even counted. The kids loved counting the dots on the different items, and they loved finding the smaller dots within dots. I've had my eye on this book for a while because it's so pretty, and I'm glad it was easy and fun to use in story time. The kids were even begging to see the end pages, which are nothing but colorful dots. I highly, highly recommend using this book in a story time, and I will work it in again in the future.
Then, I tried out something totally different: a flannel board story. I've never done one before, but thanks to Sarah's inspiration, I knew I could do it for this last story. So the book was this one:
Dog's Colorful Day by Emma Dodd. In this story, the dog on the cover finds himself with not just the black dot he was born with, but with nine additional, non-permanent dots that come about through his daily adventures.
I made up a copy of our dog by tracing the dog on the cover through white felt, then I cut out the 9 colored dots dog earns through the story.
Then I had nine kids be volunteers for the story. As I read it, I told them to come up and put their dot on dog when their color was mentioned in the book. They loved it. The kids had a real blast with the story and by interacting with the flannel. Plus, they secretly got to play with dots (which they loved in the previous story) AND they worked on their color recognition skills and their listening skills.
I should note, since I work with a very young group during this day, as well, I did end up doing the dot placing myself for the day care kids. They really loved this, as it made the story come that much more alive. Even the teachers got a kick out of this method of telling a story.
When we finished this story and flannel, we played two quick games of Little Mouse before making our craft:
I printed up copies of the rainbow template from here, then I cut about three sheets of each rainbow color for the kids to use. The way I did the craft was a little time consuming, but for the group that does the craft, the teachers liked this because it gave them a project they could work on during my time at the school and when they had down time later in the afternoon. Katie has done this craft too, and I love how her rainbow turned out. Lots of possibilities, and the kids had fun making it all their own.