Friday, May 18, 2012

Storytime - Moms

I had a great time last weekend doing my first storytime at Fenton Street Market. Since Saturday was the day before Mother's Day, and the market is a great place to pick out gifts, the theme was Moms. There were some older girls (age 7 or 8) there and it was fun to have them participate - they were all very sweet and articulate.

I started out asking the kids who had the best mom in the world (all of them, even the adults, raised their hands). Then I asked the kids to tell me something they love about their mom. The responses were all sweet, ranging from "I like the way she gives me hugs and kisses" to "She lets me have dessert for dinner." I don't think there's anything more pure in the world than the love between a mother and her children.

The first book I read was The Mommy Book by Todd Parr. I love Todd Parr books - he has a great way of explaining things to kids (The Peace Book is one of our favorites) and the rudimentary illustrations are fun. The kids enjoyed this one, and definitely recognized bits of their own mommies in the book.
Next I read If Mom Had 3 Arms by Karen Kaufman Orloff. My son loves this one; this is one of our favorite bedtime stories. The kids likes this one, too, although they said the multi-armed mom was a little strange looking. The story fantasizes what if the old "I only have two arms!" mom-ism weren't the case.

The last book I read was Owl Babies by Martin Waddell. This is one of my favorites, mainly because the baby owls are so adorable! The story is about 3 baby owls who wake to find their mother missing and they worry about whether she will return. Of course, she soon arrives - moms always come back! It's a sweet book and the kids related to the emotions of the owls.

After stories, we worked on special crafts for mom. Since this was my first time at Fenton Street Market and I wasn't sure what to expect in terms of ages, surfaces, etc, I wanted to keep it simple. I had foam hearts, foam flowers, foam letters and foam paint for the kids to decorate hearts for their moms. It went over well but, note to self: foam paint is messy!

Cathy Burt is a used children's book vendor at Fenton Street Market. She is very passionate about children's literacy and books in general. Marino and I got some perfect condition hardcover used books from her for a great price!
My friend Megan, Fenton Street Market's Manager, took a few pictures of me reading to the kids.
Look at all those sweet faces!
That afternoon, Olivia Mancini played at the market. My boy just loved her and told me "I just want to stay here and listen."
I'm looking forward to going back to Fenton Street Market to do another storytime next month (and visiting the market to shop!).

Monday, May 7, 2012

Storytime - Bugs

My most recent storytime theme was bugs. There's soooo many fun stories, songs and crafts centering around bugs; I actually had a hard time narrowing down what to use.

I started out by asking the kids to share their names and their favorite bugs. Next we sang "The Itsy Bitsy Spider", which even the older kids seemed to like (the hand movements make it interactive and fun).

The first book we read was Bugs, Bugs, Bugs by Bob Barner. This was my first time reading this book, but it was perfect - it covered characteristics of various bugs, it rhymed and had cute pictures.

The next book I read was one of my son's favorites, The Grouchy Ladybug. This is an Eric Carle book and very similar to The Very Hungry Caterpillar (but a bit edgier). I was surprised that my son was the only child there who knew the story, but they all really enjoyed it. The premise of the book is that a very crabby ladybug approaches various threatening animals and asks them if they want to fight, but when they agree, she dismisses them with "you're too small" reply. That is until a humpback whale puts her in her place (literally and figuratively). Its a fun book, with great illustrations.
Next, we played the "Mystery Box" game, which is inspired by my librarian friend's blog. This is always a big hit with the kids; even if the "guessing" part is easy, they love to see what's inside the box. The week's mystery box was filled with Melissa and Doug Sunny Patch Bugs (which are also a lot of fun to bury in the sandbox and have my son find them). This game was a bit of a challenge, though. I'm not sure how much younger kids know about the characteristics of different bugs, so there were a lot of wrong guesses before we got the right ones, but ideally that means the kids learned something (I can hope, right?).

The last book I read was The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Even the parents enjoyed hearing this story, that many remember from their own childhood. All the kids knew the story but still got excited at the end when the beautiful butterfly appeared.

This week's craft involved making these fun little bugs. I gave the kids the option to use finger paint and use their finger prints as the bug's bodies or to use dot markers for the bodies. Most of them used both. The "bugs" below are the ones I made as examples. The kids seemed to really enjoy making the bugs (and making a mess).