This week's story time has been one of my favorite, and I think the same can be said for the kids (though my volunteers may hate me for the craft). Alas, we did bugs. It was fun, too, because it seems the teachers were really into this theme -- one mentioned they wouldn't be able to get to their insect unit in class this year, so it was nice to give them a little bit of that in story time.
We started with If You're Happy and You Know It as our song. I love doing this song, especially since it gives the kids a chance to shout.
I packed about six books for this theme, but in both sets of story times this week, I ended up sharing the same four stories since they were all huge hits.
The Eensy Weensy Spider Freaks Out (Big Time) by Troy Cummings: The kids totally loved this book about a spider who gets scared when the rain on the waterspout threatens to knock her down. The entire book follows Eensy's desire to climb again, and we see her learn to climb a pot, then a mailbox, then a dog, then a house, until finally...she climbs a rocket and sees the earth from outer space. The kids were oohing and ahhing over this one.
The Hungry Little Caterpillar by Eric Carle: A classic story that all of the kids had heard before but you know what? I think bringing in favorites is a good thing. The kids still loved it and were still captivated by how much the caterpillar ate. If you don't incorporate some classic/well-known stories in your story time, I think you're missing out. Kids don't care how many times they've heard it; each reading experience is still fun to them.
I Love Bugs! by Emma Dodd: Although this is plotless, the pictures of different insects are so fun, it doesn't matter. The illustrations capture the interest of a crowd so easily. I really like Dodd's style, and she's become a bit of a go-to. It's a quick read, but it was all a nice lead up to the final story I shared with the kids.
Can You Make a Scary Face? by Jan Thomas: This book requires -- yes, requires -- the kids to participate. They stand, sit, stand, then wiggle and make scary faces. It's fantastic, and it's a great way to end a story time. One of my classes begged me to read it again.
For a craft, we made spider hats:
I got this photo from another website, but it kind of shows what we did. We took long strips of black paper to form a head band. Using legal size paper, we needed a strip and a half of paper an inch or so wide. I stapled the long strip and half a strip together. Then, we cut more strips of paper into 1/4 inch strips -- enough for 8 to give each kid. The kids folded the paper to make the legs slinky, then glued them onto the headband portion of the spider (which served as the body). And of course, the kids got googly eyes to attach, too. An easy but labor-intensive craft to prep in the classroom on a tight schedule. Fortunately, I have a lot of volunteer help to make it happen for 120 kids. Here are instructions for a twist on my craft, and a better photo of what it might look like.
Ever done a bug story time? I know Awesome Storytime inspired me to do this one, but I don't think I had much book overlap this time because there are so many good insect books.