Hi! I wasn't going to write about Books n Play for Pre-K again for a while but since every session is so different, I felt inspired today. Last week my theme was dinosaurs and it included digging for "fossils" in a sandbox, which was really fun! This afternoon the theme was food, which is a theme I've done before but haven't done often or in a long time.
First, I read Hi, Pizza Man! by Virginia Walters. An oldie but a goodie... a greatie even. I've found this book to be successful every time I have ever used it in storytime. Parents like it too and most of them haven't ever heard it before. Then I followed it with the classic Pete the Cat, I Love my White Shoes by Eric Litwin and James Dean, which I guess isn't really that food-ish of a book, but kids aren't too critical about stuff like that... especially when it comes to Pete the Cat.
Next we sang "Picked a Strawberry" which tied in nicely with Pete the Cat, as seen on Jbrary below:
I started this song off by asking the kids what the first two things Pete stepped in were and I was happy that they remembered both strawberries and blueberries! Once we sang about picking those fruits, I asked what other berries we could pick and was met with raspberries, watermelon (we picked these from the ground), bananas, grapes, and apples. Berries shmerries, right? (Shout out to the awesome moms who jumped in and reminded me that bananas grow on trees. Shoulda brushed up on my fruit knowledge ahead of time! Also, shout out to the awesome kids who made sure to point out that we do not wash bananas.)
After the two books and the song, I had the kids break off to play at the craft table and the toy table.
Here's what was at the craft table:
1. Paper pizza collages. (See below)
2. Fruit and vegetable stamping. (See below)
3. This vegetable coloring sheet and crayons.
Here are the pizza collages:
This is what was at the toy table:
1. Plastic fruit that velcros apart and together similar to this in a plastic "shopping basket."
2. A plastic scale that we had floating around and an assortment of foods from home for comparing weights. (See below)
3. This matching game I printed out from Life After C's "Free Food Pre-K Pack."
This is the scale and my array of food for weight comparison:
I timed everything out really well today. I was able to cram so much in after toy/craft time. First I played the song Today is Monday by Greg & Steve as I showed them the the book Today Is Monday, by Eric Carle. I was afraid they'd get distracted for this but it was just the opposite. I can't believe how incredibly captivated they were as we looked through this book and listened to the song. They were like perfect, model three-to-five-year-olds. Maybe it was the book+song combo; I'm not really sure. But whatever it was, it worked great!
After this we did the Milkshake Song by Anne-Marie Akin (from the Wiggleworms CD), which was fun except that I'm pretty sure none of the kids were actually familiar with the concept of a milkshake.
Usually I like to end the class with both The Hokey Pokey and then my usual Goodbye Song (Laurie Berkner's Blow A Kiss) but this week I had a little extra time so I threw Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes in there also. By request, we did it again faster and then once more faster still. They're a funny age.
What worked best: The book Hi, Pizza Man! This book is great because it's funny, clever, and interactive. It gets kids to first greet the pizza man (Hi, pizza man!), then the pizza woman (Hi, pizza woman!), and then an assortment of animals who all deliver pizza while also looking super-posh (Meow meow, pizza kitty!, Mooooo, pizza cow!, Ssssss, pizza snake!, etc.) Overall this is a really great storytime book. Here's the pizza kitty:
What worked least: Probably the Milkshake Song, although I wouldn't call it a total bomb or even write it off as something I'm going to stop doing. It fits into the food theme and provides some variety, but it isn't a song that really gets the kids excited like Rocketship Run (Laurie Berkner) does or even the way Picked A Strawberry did this afternoon.
That's it for today! But on a finding-the-silver-lining note: The regular moms have continued (still!) to tell me that I was missed during my time out on disability. I think the whole incident has not only made them super-appreciative of what I do, but it's made me super-appreciative of how supportive and kind they are. I'm a lucky librarian! Until next time!