Saturday, December 15, 2012
The first book we read was Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buchner. This is a popular book - several of the kids were familiar with it. Its a fun story about all the wacky adventures snowmen have while we are asleep, explaining why they sometimes look different than how we left them the night before. This is a fun book for all ages.
The next book I read was Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner. I LOVE this book! The story is about a boy and his dad cross country skiing, and the animals they pass over who are hidden and hibernating in the snow. Its beautifully illustrated and the kids had lots of fun finding the animals in the snow.
indoor snowball fight! The kids LOVED this!! We had a parents vs. kids snowball fight and everyone enjoyed themselves immensely! It was fun, got everyone moving, and was a needed break for the kids in between stories. Honestly, if you are looking for something fun and safe for the kids on long winter days, I can't think of a better way to spend $15. The snowballs are made of a super soft - injury proof!
For a craft, we made very simple marshmallow snowmen. This ended up being easier and less messy than I was expecting and, of course, the kids loved making them and eating them!
Hibernation Station by Michelle Meadows. This is a cute story about a train full of animals getting ready to hibernate.
Monday, October 29, 2012
In the Haunted House by Eve Bunting. This one is about a girl and her dad who visit a haunted house...but only one of them enjoys being scared. This is a quick read, with lots of spooky illustrations.
Skeleton Hiccups by Margery Cuyler and S.D. Schindle was the next book I read. This one is my favorite of the group - the illustrations are hysterical! The book is about a skeleton who tries conventional means to get rid of his hiccups (drinking upside down, eating a spoonful of sugar), none of which are successful because, well, he's a skeleton after all. The kids loved this.
Scary, Scary Halloween by Eve Bunting. This one is a little stranger than the others (although all the "monsters" prove to be kids in costume at the end). One of the costumes is a devil, which all the kids asked about and I had no interest in attempting to explain (I just said a devil is a monster).
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Sunday, September 9, 2012
Thursday, August 16, 2012
The first book I read was Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman. I really love this book. It's a sweet story but funny, too and perfect for little boys. The story is about a boy who finds a robot in the woods but believes the robot and is sick and attempts to nurse him back to health. The robot later tries to do the same for the boy. Very cute story about caring for others, friendship and reciprocity.
The next book I read was One by Kathryn Otoshi. This book is about how to stop bullying and the importance of standing up for ourselves and our friends. With the added benefit of teaching colors and numbers, the book focuses on the power of ONE - what one person can do to help another. Great book, great lesson. One of the kindergartners at storytime told me they read it in his class at school.
The last book I read (after craft time) was Hurty Feelings by Helen Lester. This is a book about a hippo who may be considered a bit of a cry baby. The book is humorous, with a focus on understanding the hippo's feelings. The kids enjoyed it (especially the dramatic crying bits).
There were lots of ideas I kicked around for craft time, but I think one of the most important ways to create empathy is to listen and get to know other people. So I asked the kids to pair up with someone they didn't know well and "interview" the person. This required some help from parents for the younger kids, but the kids asked each other what colors the other liked, what their favorite things are, etc. The kids each then created a craft for each other based on that discussion. Ideally, this would work better with older kids, but its never too early to teach kids to listen and how to get to know each other better. Here's a couple pictures from craft time.
I'm hoping to explore this theme with another storytime in the near future.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
The first book I "read" was Flotsam by David Wiesner. I know, I know, I read this one all the time, but I LOVE IT! It's a great story, the pictures are gorgeous and fun, and it gets the kids engaged in the story and using their imaginations. It really is my favorite children's book.
The second book I read was I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry. What a fun book! This one is about a giant squid who compares himself to various sea creatures, until he encounters one that is bigger than he is. Even the parents were laughing at this book, which is always a good sign. We all really enjoyed this one.
Before our last book, I had a fun activity for the kids. I had a small bucket filled with a layer of sand and a layer of blue plastic pony beads (to give the impression of water). In between the layers, I had hidden various (plastic) sea creatures. I had the kids close their eyes and reach in the bucket to find a sea creature (which they got to keep). They all enjoyed this (even the bigger kids).
The last book I read was Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae. I hate to be negative on this blog...the purpose is certainly not to put down any authors or books. However, this is one of the few books I've read that I didn't like (certainly not for reading aloud). I got this book for storytime after reading positive things about it but it didn't work for me at all. The first issue was that it has a strange cadence to it...I could not pick up the appropriate cadence to get the book to rhyme. The other issue was that is used the word "dumb." I always change words like "stupid", "dumb" or "fat" when reading aloud, but its hard for me to understand why an author would include negative words in a children's book to begin with. This book does have cute pictures and the kids loved shouting out the names of the sea creatures on each page.
For arts and crafts time, I got a few different books of Dover stencils ,some blue construction paper, some paint and foam brushes and let the kids make their own underwater pictures. This was fairly messy, but we were using washable paint and I put newspaper down to minimize the mess. I love to see how creative some of the kids are...
Like this picture on the left, where the little girl added bubbles into her picture of seahorses. Love it!
And here's a shot of my boy shopping at the market. He got this foam sword - he LOVES it!
Thursday, June 21, 2012
The first book I read was The Daddy Book by Todd Parr. I've mentioned before that I love Todd Parr books...they are all about celebrating diversity and acceptance, with silly pictures added. My son loves them, too.
The next book I read was I Love My Daddy by Sebastian Braun. Again, this was a very simple book, but the illustrations were gorgeous - dreamy, ethereal pictures of an adorable bear and his Daddy. The kids enjoyed the pictures in this one a lot.
For crafts, I had the kids decorate picture frames for their dads. I had paint and some "dad" stickers - sports stickers, monster trucks, etc. They came out cute.
When Dads Don't Grow Up by Marjorie Blain Parker. This is a very cute book - all about the ways in which dads are fun and relate to kids. The kids could relate to some of the dad-behavior in the book, so they enjoyed it.
I'm sure all the dads enjoyed their Father's Day gifts!
Monday, June 11, 2012
Saturday, June 9, 2012
The first book I read was a new one that Marino and I found at Fenton Street Market called Slowly, Slowly, Slowly Said the Sloth. I hadn't heard of it before but we both love it. The story is about an adorable sloth and his slow ways. The sloth gets some insults from other jungle creatures but he explains that he is just being himself. Its a quick read and a cute story.